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Topic: Wireless Mics.
Message: Posted by: BondJames628 (Mar 25, 2005 10:18AM)
Which would you guys recommend, a lavalier microphone that clips on the collar, or a headset? Just thinkin about gettin a wireless mic and wanted to see some opinions. Thanks for your input!
Message: Posted by: Tyler_Magician (Mar 25, 2005 11:08AM)
I use a lapel mic...wireless. It doesn't get in the way. I can't stand doing a whole magic show with a mic on my head. That might be just me.
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Mar 25, 2005 11:32AM)
It's not just you Tyler, I use a lapel style also. The headset mikes definitely have better sound quality and less feedback issues (see other threads), but if you get a good lapel mike the problems a minimized.

Message: Posted by: muzicman (Mar 25, 2005 12:01PM)
I use a headset wireless mic. It has a very small mic that is almost unnoticable. It's comfortable and delivers excellent sound. If your act does not involve a lot of physical activity, a lapel mic will work ok. I demand high quality with my sound, which is why I bought a great sound system and went with a headset wireless mic. To each their own. What works for me may not work for you. I am very active on stage and found lapel mics too tinny, and too much feedback. I love what I have and would never use a lapel mic. I have unique needs and performance styles that could only be done professionally with a headset.
Message: Posted by: Rimeister (Mar 25, 2005 12:18PM)
I own a wireless lavalier (I believe that's how it's spelled...). Anyhow, it works quite well, and if you're going to purchase a wireless mic, try going with a multi frequency transmitter, just in case you're in an area where someone's already broadcasting something on the frequency you're on. All you have to do is flip the switch and you're on a new channel- (hopefully) without any interference.
Message: Posted by: muzicman (Mar 25, 2005 12:58PM)
That is a great point Rimeister! I use a dual diveristy system that eliminates any CB or any interference. Nothing worse than someone that breaks into your show electronically!!
Message: Posted by: ThePartyMagician (Mar 25, 2005 02:41PM)
I use a headset mic, and have been VERY happy with how it works!

Kind regards
Message: Posted by: Tyler_Magician (Mar 25, 2005 05:06PM)
Where are good places to get headset mics? Online? Are they a lot more expensive than lapel mics?
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Mar 26, 2005 10:53AM)
On 2005-03-25 13:58, muzicman wrote:
That is a great point Rimeister! I use a dual diveristy system that eliminates any CB or any interference. Nothing worse than someone that breaks into your show electronically!!

[buzzer goes off] Sorry, thanks for playing, please try again. Diversity receivers have NOTHING to do with eliminating interference. They minimize dropouts in reception (I'll leave the detailed explanation for another time and place). Trust me, if there's any sort of transmitter in the area you're in on the same frequency or one that can interfere with it (again, I'll leave the detailed explanation of intermodulation and other causes of interference for another time and place), a diversity system won't help you at all. The one has nothing at all to do with the other.

--Andy, whose day job is as a sound engineer for a national tour
Message: Posted by: wol (Mar 26, 2005 12:42PM)
Saved me a job there andy! But to answer the question I use a Headset mike , Using one of these means you can be more physical, also unless you have a lot of money to spend on a lapel mike you are going to have a hell of a lot of feedback issues and bad sound. Head mikes can be picked up reasonably cheap . I don't know any american sites so I cant help but I would recommend senheisser. I don't know if the retail in the states but I use two of them and they rock. Multi frequency, well built, metal cased belt pack , they'll take a beating and still come back for more!
Message: Posted by: socalmagic (Mar 27, 2005 02:18PM)
Try http://www.fullcompass.com. They have rock bottom prices. Make sure you talk to a sales rep, and ask for a lower price, free shipping, etc. I prefer a headset. It has much better sound and less feedback. However, if you buy a $100 feedback destroyer, then it will eliminate ALL feedback on a lapel mic.
Brock Edwards
Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Mar 27, 2005 07:58PM)
Hi there,

I've just looked at the Fullcompass site and checked out some of the senhiesser and other brand wireless headworn microphone systems. Although good, they seem to cost a pretty penny.

Here in Taiwan where I live I can get products from the Mipro company for very cheap prices. For example a headworn wireless microphone system for only around $400US. If you look at their website: http://www.mipro.com.tw and check out their MR-801 UHF single channel true diversity reciever they have some info on it. I've used it and it works really well. They also make beige (almost flesh) colored subminiature headworn mics that look very nice indeed. MH-55HN, which can be connected to the transmitter. These are very cheap compared to other high priced top of the line models, however in my opinion and from many years of using them here in Taiwan (over 12 years now) they deliver a very nice and clear sound.

If you want I can send digital pics of these items, and can also help anyone buy them here, and send them either through DHL or the post.

Give me a PM if you have any questions or are interested.

Message: Posted by: muzicman (Mar 27, 2005 08:34PM)
Mic salesmen are worse than car salesman. This guy told me the dual diversity would eliminate interference...something about picking the best channel. Well, he convinced me it was worth the extra clams. I bought it as well as some timeshares, some diet pills and something to increase my........uh, my......,
oh ya........ my memory!
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Mar 28, 2005 12:43AM)
It is worth it. Just not for that reason. Anybody who buys a non-diversity receiver is asking for poor reception.

And your salesguy is not trying to scam you, either he's misinformed, or you misunderstood him. Both receivers in a diversity system are receiving the same signal on the same frequency. The only difference is in physical location and orientation. This way, when the transmitter moves into a dead spot in the room, odds are good that the dead spot will only be for the one antenna, and the other will still be getting a strong enough signal. The processor inside the receiver chooses whichever antenna has the stronger signal at any given moment in time, thus minimizing dropouts. Make sense?
Message: Posted by: muzicman (Mar 28, 2005 10:46AM)
Well, I feel better now. I really do like the wireless headset. It's got really good sound and it's lightweight, and comfortable! There is a mute switch that I use when climbing in and out of boxes. I run the mic through an Alesis digital effects unit and use just a hint of delay, and sometimes a chorus effect as well.
I don't like a totally dry signal, even when speaking. I do't overdo the effects, which is easily done. I also have a noise gate but I honestly don't think it does much as the headset is virtually quiet when I'm not talking. I have NEVER had any problems with interference or dropouts. And all this time, I thought it was because of what the saleman told me. Thanks for clearing that up!
Message: Posted by: socalmagic (Mar 28, 2005 01:14PM)
You have to call to get the best price. Most distributors will not list their lowest price because of agreements they sign with the manufacturer to not sell below a certain price. I'm sure you can get a lower price in Taiwan, but in the states they are among the lowest price retailers I have found.
Brock Edwards
Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Mar 28, 2005 10:49PM)
Hi Socalmagic,

On the fullcompass site they were listing prices for all the units they were selling. I was using that site as the reference in my post above. I'm sure you're right when you say the prices in the states are quite cheap.

When I bought a battery operated PA system for a magician in NZ it was less than half the price he would have paid if he was to buy it from a store over there.

Message: Posted by: Tim Hannig (Mar 29, 2005 11:29PM)
I love my Countryman E6 Omnidirectional Microphone, available at

Here's the same microphone at Full Compass

(I'd buy the 2mm cable, as it's more durable.)
Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Mar 30, 2005 12:16AM)
No doubt a great mic. It should be if the price for the mic only is $488. For the professional who does full stage and large illusion shows, I can see the need.

For those who don't need such ultra high class mics, I still say you can get a great sound and high quality complete UHF receiver,with subminature headworn mic, and body transmitter for less than one Countryman E6, sent to anywhere in the world. Send me a PM if I can help you with this.

Message: Posted by: John C (Mar 30, 2005 01:22PM)
$100 feedback destroyer, then it will eliminate ALL feedback on a lapel mic

Hey Andy, what do you think about these? Worth it? I have a handheld wireless I hang on my neck and to get it fairly loud I turn it up. Sometimes there is a little feedback.


John Cesta
Message: Posted by: bloodyjack (Mar 30, 2005 01:51PM)
Head set mics look stupid and dated go with the lapel, unless you want to look like a throw back from the 80,s
Also buy a good one the cheapos are rubbish
Message: Posted by: BondJames628 (Mar 30, 2005 03:41PM)
Well, although the CountryMan microphone looks awesome, I don't have hundreds of dollars to fork over for a microphone. I think, from what you guys have said, that I will go with a headworn microphone, since I will be moving around a lot on stage. I do need a cheaper mic. Also, are there any cheap mics that just fit on the ear, and not around the head? Thanks you guys!

Message: Posted by: David Garrity (Mar 31, 2005 08:10AM)

My solution to the problem was this. I bought a UHF Diversity receiver and beltpack transmitter with lavalier mic. The lavalier plugs into the beltpack transmitter and can be unplugged with a 'mini' xlr connection. I also bought a headset with the same plug for the transmitter.

In most situations, I can use the lavalier, which I prefer. However, if I find myself in a situation where I can't get the speakers far enough apart or far enough in front of the performance area to use the lavalier without feedback, I just switch to the headset and do the show with the headset on instead. And the audience never knows the difference.

So, to answer Bond's original question, get both! That way you will be prepared either way.

Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Mar 31, 2005 08:53AM)
I used a lavalier microphone for more than 16 years, but switched to a headset about 7 years ago. Here are my thoughts. I would prefer to use a lavalier if I could them to sound as good as a headset because I like the fact that they aren't very noticeable. (Also, I felt funny wearing a mic like today's pop stars when I'm a middle-aged magician!) Unfortunately, the truth is that a wireless lavalier mic is far more prone to feedback than a headset.

When I was setting up my own sound system, I could work around that. The problem is I work a number of events where there are professional sound people running their own system. Most of these guys (and I know I'm generalizing - please forgive me) work with bands and not magicians/speakers. They aren't used to lavalier mics. These guys drove me crazy by constantly trying to tweak the sound of my lavalier mic during my performance. There would be a slight squeal and than the sound would go flat. They were trying to get the sound as clean as the handheld mics the singers were using. That's not very likely!

The thing that made me jump to a headset full-time was when I booked a series of 18 library shows. I realized I wouldn't have enough time to set up an equalizer at each show (which I generally did for the lavalier) and I might not be able to put my speaker out far enough in front of me to avoid feedback in those circumstances. A wireless headset was the answer.

Getting a good sound out of the headset was a breeze compared to the lavalier so it didn't take much time. I then started using it whenever I was working the events with the sound guys I described above. That worked much better! Before I knew it, I wasn't ever using the lavalier mic.

I still have the lav. for the times that others want to use it, but at it's best, it never sounds as good as the headset mics.

Finally, I agree with those recommending the Sennheiser mics. I use one that I bought from http://www.northernsound.net/Sales/Wireless/wirelessframe.html and they had the best prices I found. Their service is terrific too. They also sell the Country Man line. (Click on the microphone links at the categories rather than the wireless systems.)
Message: Posted by: muzicman (Mar 31, 2005 09:46AM)
Headset mics do come in many sizes and flavors as well. There are even some that have no beltpack, it's all contained on the headset. The mics don't need to be some oversized mic with a windscreen like you see Madonna or other music performers. They do make small, nearly unnoticable mics. They are not cheap, but for the professional that wants the quality and reliabitiy, they do exist.

Personally, I have top end gear when it comes to sound and I make no compromises. I feel it's important to have a sound that is clean, clear, and not a distraction to the presentation. I base that on personal experiences of performances I have seen. I have seen really good acts but they lacked quality when it came to the sound. Feedback and tinny reproductions can disctract an audience and ruin an otherwise great show. I do not want to repeat mistakes I have personally seen others make. I am not saying all performers should wear headsets, to each their own. I saw Copperfield last fall and he used a lavalier microphone. It worked for him!
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Mar 31, 2005 01:56PM)
On 2005-03-30 14:22, johncesta wrote:
$100 feedback destroyer, then it will eliminate ALL feedback on a lapel mic

Hey Andy, what do you think about these? Worth it? I have a handheld wireless I hang on my neck and to get it fairly loud I turn it up. Sometimes there is a little feedback.


John Cesta

Short version, maybe, but they're really best used in addition to a properly set system equalizer, rather than as the primary tool to cut out feedback. If you do a search here, we had a pretty detailed discussion on this at some point in the past, if I'm not totally mistaken.

Message: Posted by: kenscott (Apr 1, 2005 05:36PM)
I know this has been brought up before. But I use the countryman E-6 with much success. It does not lok stupid to me and it sounds great! I know when people are looking to buy sound the first time we all tend to go cheap. Do yourself a favor and don't do that. You will only pay for it later by buying something that will work better for you. And the long run you end up spending more money than if you would have bought the nicer stuff the first time.

Again I have TWO E-6 mics and extra cords. Saw Lance Burton this past week in Vegas an noticed he too is still using the Countryman E-6. It has been very dependable for me.

PS the price has come down a lot on these mics in the last year.
Message: Posted by: socalmagic (Apr 2, 2005 11:54AM)
Yes, in fact you can find the Countryman E6 in the low $300's. An extra $180 for a low profile mic with ggod sound is worth it.
Message: Posted by: BondJames628 (Apr 3, 2005 02:01PM)
Thanks a lot guys!!!!! Sounds like the CountryMan E-6 is the way to go! Again, thanks for the help!!!

Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Apr 3, 2005 02:27PM)
I will be getting a mike from Jojo a Café mamber pretty soon. Is flesh colored made by mipro, very affordable and for what I hear from a couple of users it does a great job.
Message: Posted by: petermagic (Apr 5, 2005 05:31PM)
James, this is the man you should talk with about wireless mics: dan@magicroadie.com. Dan is a Café member and his day job is as a wireless specialist.
Message: Posted by: BondJames628 (Apr 5, 2005 06:02PM)

Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (May 28, 2005 02:13AM)
On 2005-03-30 00:29, Tim Hannig wrote:
I love my Countryman E6 Omnidirectional Microphone, available at

Here's the same microphone at Full Compass

(I'd buy the 2mm cable, as it's more durable.)


The countryman is omnidirectional. How is it with regard to feedback?

Message: Posted by: bwarren3 (Jan 15, 2006 02:45PM)
Andy & Dan,
I'd like to hear yur thoughts on this system that Cody Fisher had asked about.
SoundTech AL12R Portable PA System with CD Player for $629.
I'm looking for something that on the top end can be used for Street Magic plus be able to hold my own like in a Holiday Inn or Sheraton room with another DJ in the next room that doesn't know the meaning of turn it down some.
150 watts is huge compared to what I'm using now.
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (Jan 15, 2006 03:48PM)
I've never used, or to the best of my knowledge, even heard, a SoundTech system.

In my professional life as a audio & wireless specialist, what I use is very different from what is discussed here at The Café, and that's why the opinions & advice I offer here are directed at how to make [b]ANY[/b] audio or wireless system, regardless of the system's quality, perform better.

I imagine you & Cody will get some feedback in the other thread.
Good luck, Bill!
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Jan 17, 2006 11:28AM)
My new system(that I mentioned on another thread)The Pyle Pro PWMA-120 came with 3 wireless mics(headset,tie-clip and handheld).All 3 work fine for my needs.However,I really like the headset mic.I don't wear it on my head however.I wear it around my neck and adjust the flexible wire so the mic is just below and out from my mouth.If worn under the collar of your shirt the set up is quite inconspicuous,all that is visible is a short wire with a small black ball on the end(and my 'beautiful' hair doesn't get mussed :) ) Best.

Message: Posted by: Doug Arden (Feb 7, 2006 09:59PM)
I used to use a wireless lav mic but there were sometimes feedback issues. I now use a Countryman wireless headset mic and would highly recommend it! Well worth the cost IMHO.
Message: Posted by: James Adamson (Feb 9, 2006 08:37AM)

There is more potential for feedback with the Omni type mic, but the risk is not high sinse the source to mic distance is so close.

The reason why so many people like the Omni versions better is just the pure physical size is larger for an Uni mic. The I do not looking like "Madonna or Garth Brooks" has driven the market to a major extent.

Some of the new Uni types are not as big as the black ball mics that you have seen.

Typically it has always been stated that the Uni type mic is better when it comes to feed-back issues.

James Adamson
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Feb 9, 2006 03:44PM)
The "uni" or cardioid mic nowadays can be just as small as the omni. Of course they are not cheap. The DPA 4088 is the cardioid and is an incredible mic, yet is virutally the same size as their 4066 omni. The 4066 works amazing even around thrust stages, in front of the speaker stack, or out in the house. Also, the omni when touched by body part or other item does not produce the thud of boom sound. that's because the mic drops of at around 100 Hz. The cardioid however will make some noise.

DPA mics are used by CNN, Nascar, CBS, Superbowl, Fox Sports...and many more.

Hope that helps.

Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (Feb 9, 2006 09:15PM)
When it comes to a lav or a tiny headset, I think there's only one reason to select a uni: That being "off-axis rejection", or the ability for it to mostly hear only what's right in front of it. That's a very good reason to select a uni, if your circumstances allow the off-axis rejection to work in your favour.

There are a few reasons to select an omni:
• Omni's have no "proximity affect", so changing the distance between the voice and the mic has virtually no affect on the tonal quality of the voice. This makes mic placement much less critical.
• Omni's have no "off-axis colouration", so they can be pointed a little (or a lot) in the wrong direction with no affect on the tonal quality of the voice. This makes mic placement much less critical.
• The combination of the first two factors means that exact placement & orientation of the mic is of no importance, so as long as you put the mic kinda close to the same distance from your mouth every night, with little regard for direction, your voice will sound almost identical every night.

A uni lav, or uni tiny headset, will only be better for feedback rejection if the interaction between the dispersion pattern of the PA speakers and the pick-up pattern of the mic will never overlap by any significant amount. If there is any possibility that the polar patterns of the speakers & mic will overlap by any significant amount, you may very well be better off with an omni.

If you use side-stage speakers and a uni tiny headset, you can be almost certain that there will be many times during your performance that a speaker will be directly within the pick-up patter of the mic, since the mic points diagonally across the face. The system is more prone to feedback whenever this orientaion occurs. If the PA isn't turned up too loud, then you may not experience the feedback.

Same goes for a uni lav with overhead speakers. The speakers will almost always be directly within the mic's pick-up pattern.

When using a mic that's a few inches from the mouth, and when that mic may face the PA at some time(s), mic selection can be a bit tricky. You may need to comprmise speaker placement, PA loudness, and/or your mobility on/off stage.

The fact is that uni's not better for feedback rejection. A uni may be better, or an omni may be better, depending upon all of the above.

My judgement is that an onmi is a better default choice when it comes to a lav or tiny headset, but that is merely my judgement, and is subject to context & application.

Cheers from Toronto!
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Feb 9, 2006 09:38PM)
Very informative as always. Some cool things there I was unaware of, thanks.

Concerning the placement of an omni...you'r right it really can go most anywhere...was talking with one of the people at DPA, and they have some performers that are very active in their show...they wear the mics around their waistline. Now that's concealed...lol

Message: Posted by: scottdavismagic (Feb 10, 2006 11:15AM)
I do a program in schools. About 350 shows a year. For the last 4 years I've been using a Audio-Technica ATW-601/H. It's a wireless headset mic. Since, I'm in unpacking and packing several times a day, I'm pretty rough on a mic. This mic has served me well.

A few months ago I changed out the headset part. I switched to a flesh-colored audio technica headset.

Anyway, I heartily recommend this mic. It has been a reliable mic for 4 plus years of daily wear and tear.

Scott Davis
Message: Posted by: James Adamson (Feb 10, 2006 08:32PM)
Dan brought up some in-depth points that I think everyone should know.

When Dan talked about the "proximity affect" it reminded me why so many singers use an Uni mic. The "proximity affect" is basically that when Uni mic are used it affects the lower or bass side of the frequency, thus the closer to the source the more bass there is. Singers love the deeper bass sound that is generated by the Uni mic as they feel that it gives them a fuller sound. If you notice mics that singers generally used are as close to the mouth as they can get it. Some seem to want to put it in their mouth.

The original Uni headset mics were meant to be right in front of the mouth or very slightly to the side. Placement of the mic in reference to the mouth effects the voice qualities differently. Some would move it up or lower depending on what the singer wanted.

Also, as you move an Uni farther away from the source the high ends will lower in output to the mixer faster than the lows.

The one draw back in my opinion is that Uni mics will pick up breath sounds easier and also certain letters come out stronger (ie, s) than an Omni.

Many theater performers would rather use an Omni mic.

Again it comes down to what is the best mic for the performer can be just preference.
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (Feb 10, 2006 10:25PM)
Hello, James!
I don't mean to nit-pik, because I'm sure we all do appreciate your help, but just for the sake of clarity, in reference to uni mics, [i]"the closer to the source the more bass there is"[/i], and [i]"as you move an Uni farther away from the source the high ends will lower in output to the mixer faster than the lows"[/i] are opposing statements. The former is correct. As the distance from the mic to the source increases, the low-end decreases.

James also mentioned that uni's pick up more breath sounds than omni's. This is particularly significant outdoors, because uni's are also more likely to pick up wind noise. Adding the mic's factory-supplied foam windsock may provide enough relief.
Message: Posted by: Frank Simpson (Feb 10, 2006 10:59PM)
I have used the Countryman E6 and it is a most impressive microphone. But for regular use I use a sennheiser UHF radio unit with a Sanken COS-11 mic. It's really tiny and flesh colored. I tape it to the side of my cheek just forward of my ear with a breathable medical tape. I put a little makeup on the tape to keep it from shining. I have even worn it out in public between performances and up close 99% of people don't ever notice it since it sits right at the hairline.

I really like this configuration because the mic is always the same distance from my mouth so I'm never inadvertently "out of range". There is also no need to worry about clothes rustling against it. I also run the wire down the back of my collar and I have a neoprene pouch (neotechstraps.com) that holds the transmitter. It is worn around the body with a velcroable elastic. This is very comfortable and protects the transmitter against perspiration. But perhaps the best part is that once it is on I can just forget about it. Quick changes of costumes are a breeze because it is permanently underdressed. I have had as many as 7 costume changes in a show and it's really nice to just forget about the mic rig.
Message: Posted by: James Adamson (Feb 11, 2006 11:44AM)

Oops Typo!

I should have doubled checked my wording.

James Adamson
Message: Posted by: Regan (Feb 11, 2006 04:31PM)
I bought a Shure PGX wireless microphone system about a year ago. I have been very satisfied with it. It is a breeze to set up quickly.

Incidentally, Dan gave me lot's of great info that helped with my purchase decision.

Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (Feb 11, 2006 08:26PM)
I'm glad you like the Shure PGX! I think that, for most magicians who frequent The Café, the PGX is an awesome choice. Scanning for an available receiver frequency, and then programming the transmitter to match, is almost embarrassingly simple.
Cheers from Toronto!
Message: Posted by: James Adamson (Feb 11, 2006 08:50PM)
I agree with Dan the PGX is a great unit, it is our largest seller with the MiPro ACT series next.

James Adamson
Message: Posted by: Regan (Feb 12, 2006 08:31AM)
On 2006-02-11 21:26, Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie wrote:
I'm glad you like the Shure PGX! I think that, for most magicians who frequent The Café, the PGX is an awesome choice. Scanning for an available receiver frequency, and then programming the transmitter to match, is almost embarrassingly simple.
Cheers from Toronto!

I do like the Shure PGX Dan. The simplicity of the matchiing the frequency is one of my favorite things about it. I'm hoping to upgrade to a better mic for vocals since I am a singer, but for my magic shows the PGX is great.

Thanks for the excellent advice!