Z1: Lectrosonics or Zaxcom? at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old September 16th, 2007, 12:14 PM   #1
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Z1: Lectrosonics or Zaxcom?

I've been really enjoying my Z1 that last couple of months I've had it and i'd really like to get a nice audio system for it. After a bit of research, Lectrosonics and Zacom seem to be the two winners that I should go with.

I heard that this was a good one from Zaxcom:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...t_Digital.html

and this was a good one from Lectrosonics:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Receiver.html

Both could be used with a countryman B3,or so i read.

My question is what would be a great kit for each company (Lactrosonics and Zaxcom)? How do they compare?

I'd like to have the option of input from two different mics.

Thanks ahead of time.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 01:55 PM   #2
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I've heard Lectrosonics as the clear winner time and time again. My school has had wireless mic systems that have lasted them 10-15 years with continual use and the sound is great.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 02:55 PM   #3
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Zaxcom are in a league of their own.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 10:00 PM   #4
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Shawn,

The Zaxcom unit is a stand-alone recorder that records to flash memory. The Lecrosonics is a receiver meant to be part of a wireless system. What is it that you are trying to do?

I would do a search on the forums for wireless mics. It's been discussed a lot. If you think you still need to ask a question, try in the audio forum. You'll get much better results there, as the question isn't really specific to the Z1.

Good luck.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 12:57 AM   #5
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Vito,

What confuses me is how to package these things. I know that you need a transmitter (the mic part secured to the actor) and a receiver (connected to the camera or external recorder).

I'm looking for near perfect audio recording wirelessly for digital films.

Flash recording seemed like a great way to go because it avoids any problems with going into the camera. Thus I can hide the recorder anywhere and not be concerned with cords.

Yet it seems that these two companies make these devices for the larger typically shoulder mounted cameras. It seems that, for example, TC to these things would be a big issue.

Maybe I'm wrong but I just can't seem to follow what has been said about these two devices. The Lectrosonics systems seem to win in every way.

I'm just trying to find the best setup. If it helps, let's go with Lectrosonics.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 09:14 AM   #6
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You have a lot of things to consider.

For instance, if you really want the best sound, you might want to avoid going to camera with the Z1, as the HDV format uses compressed sound. Because of that, you need to be careful with levels to get the best you can out of it. Basically, the highest levels you can without clipping. Though that issue is probably not important if you are just worried about recording dialogue.

But, going to camera gives you sound with the same timecode as you video, which simplifies your editing. It's all already in sync.

If you know you want to do a lot of taping with subjects farther from the camera, then you must use a wireless to camera, or hide a stand alone recorder on your talent (like the Zaxcom).

If you go with wireless, Lectrosonics are widely viewed as either the best, or at least among the best, but there are others that are viewed as very good to use with the Z1. The Sennheiser ENG100 G2 system is popular, for example.

I still suggest searching the forums. These subjects have been discussed many times, and you'll get lots of good info.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 10:01 AM   #7
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A basic top of the line Zaxcom system is the very best money can buy. It's probably more expensive than the Z1 though. Unless you're shooting film and/or recording into top shelf recorders they might be overkill.
You can get nice features like a backward channel, very handy for giving directions to the talent. Another feature causes the transmitter to record to internal memory if the link goes down and then transmit the data with timecode when the link is restored. All that in a very small unit too.
For more afforable kit as others have said the Lectrosonics seem to be extremely good, AT and Sennheiser make good units too at various price points that are more affordable.
I think first you need to set a budget. Saying you want the best is very open ended.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 10:30 PM   #8
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Thanks for the remarks. It seems that lectrosonics is the way to go. My only concern now is which series. At this time, budget is what I'm willing to save up for. I just can't stand not having good audio anymore.

thanks everyone!
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Old September 20th, 2007, 06:56 AM   #9
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A Lectro 401 receiver (digital hybred) with an LM transmitter and a stock Lectro mic will run about $1700+ from B&H.
Step up to the 411 receiver and the LM body pak with a stock mic and you're at about $2100-2200 per unit.
Go up from there. Since I never really saw your budget anywhere it's hard to advise but I will say the 401/LM combo is a standard here in Chicago in the news arena and having used them myself you certainly can't go wrong. I would however consider using another mic either a countryman B6 or the Tram TR50 depending on what you're using it for.
Good Luck and Happy Spending :-)
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Old September 20th, 2007, 07:16 AM   #10
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Yeah, I was looking at the Zaxcom system, but after finding out it was over 4000.00 for the system, I decided to get another sennheiser system. My issues were/are frequencies more than anything. Although the Zaxcom does internal recording (which is nice), I had a hard time seeing myself paying essentially 8 times what my sennheiser costs. Maybe if I get into commercials or live television, I'll step up again.

About the 4000.00, I even tried to get Don Bloom to sell his equipment so I could afford it, but it was a no go, something about him having to eat. :}
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Old September 20th, 2007, 12:23 PM   #11
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So I guess I'd have to double those prices if I'm going to have two actors/subjects talking? I thought I read that Zaxcom and Lectrosonics have a dual receiver? Though I could be getting my facts all jumbled.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #12
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Don't know about Zaxcom but Lectro does not offer a dual receiver that will fit on the camera. Only AT and Azden have that at least as far as I know.

if you need 2 units then Lectro 401/LMs are a good choice for both quality and price-that is IF your budget is about $4000.00 for the 2 units.

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Old September 20th, 2007, 06:33 PM   #13
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Thanks Don and everyone else for the great advice!
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Old September 20th, 2007, 06:34 PM   #14
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Thanks Don and everyone else for the great advice!
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