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Topic: 500 dollars to spend on Wireless Mic System
Message: Posted by: magikev (Apr 10, 2005 03:27PM)
Hi everybody. I have been reading all the topics here that I could find on wireless microphones, and thought I would simply ask my own question to clarify matters for myself. I just bought a Fender PD-150 (very happy with it), and am looking for a good wireless microphone to use with it. A lapel microphone would be ideal, but an earset would work fine for me as well. I am trying to stay away from the bulkier full headsets. I am leaning towards the Shure PGX14, as I have heard good things about it on the boards here. I was just curious how the sound is from the lav mike that it comes with. What would be everybody's recommendation for a 500 dollar microphone system that would have the best sound?

Sincerely,

Kevin Viner
http://www.kevinvinermagic.com
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Apr 10, 2005 04:39PM)
I love the countryman E6 has worked out very well for me along with the Fender 150.

Ken
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Apr 10, 2005 07:59PM)
We have had excellent luck with the Fender executive wireless module designed for the PD150/250. It mounts inside the Passport so no external wires and the bodypack comes with Both a lav(lapel) and a nice headset mic. We have used a countryman E6 with the bodypack before on it but due to carelessles I broke that when shutting a case and pinching it.
Even if you decide to buy an external receiver mic I still suggest the built in Passport module as a backup. When I plug in the Fender batterypack, eveything is powered and there are few wires to manage.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (May 29, 2005 11:39PM)
You might want to check out the Audio-Technica Freeway 600 Series.
It is very small and you won't look like Madonna.

I don't think that look is a problem. It just wasn't for me so I looked around
and bought one of those. I am getting a PD-150 and will hopefully be putting the two to good use next weekend.
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (May 30, 2005 06:09AM)
There certainly are lots of possibilities, Kevin! I prefer the Shure PGX series, and as you've pointd out, the lav model is the PGX14. With the PGX, Shure has made finding an intereference-free frequency [b]incredibly[/b] easy, and they've eliminated all the features that are never used by peple who aren't professional-audio-types. Finding an interfernce-free frequency will become more & more important until about 2010 (I [b]think[/b] that date's right).

I can't deirectly compare the sound of the PGX's lav to the other brands, because I haven't heard them side-by-side, apple-to-apples. I do know that, on its own, the PGX lav sounds very good. If you decide to go for a headset, any given model will sound pretty-well the same no matter which wireless system its attached to. There will be a small difference, but nowhere [b]near[/b] as much as if you changed to a different mic.
Message: Posted by: John C (May 30, 2005 11:01AM)
I've not had any luck with hand held or lapel mics while they are in position. I mean the output is not very bright when using my sound system. I use a 50 watt Crate amp. If I use a lapel or a handheld wireless with a heavy duty power amp in a church the sound is great. Is that the problem with lapel mics? Do they reauire a hardy power amp to really pick up the voice?

John
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (May 30, 2005 11:46AM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-30 12:01, johncesta wrote:

I've not had any luck with hand held or lapel mics while they are in position. I mean the output is not very bright when using my sound system. I use a 50 watt Crate amp. If I use a lapel or a handheld wireless with a heavy duty power amp in a church the sound is great. Is that the problem with lapel mics? Do they reauire a hardy power amp to really pick up the voice?

John
[/quote]
I use a Crate Limo amp, it's probably what you're using. I don't have trouble getting decent output from my mike, but that's because I use a hyper-cardoid, handheld, wired mike (Sennheiser e845s) with a Gimcrack holder. Be sure to check online reviews of any mike you plan to purchase - it can save you from wasting money.

Part of the reason that it may sound better in a church is because speakers are throughout the room. There's less feedback to get back to the mike. Lapel mikes tend not to be in the best spot to avoid feedback and to pickup your voice - headset mikes are better for that. I won't use anything but a cardoid or hyper-cardoid (preferred) in my show.
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (May 30, 2005 11:55AM)
Often "house systems" or in your case a church high end equalized system has been balanced properly for the room, the speakers are usually away from you high on the wall, and there is an anti-feedback system in place. With all that you can bring up the gain much higher without issues but most importantly "a lapel mic is not a lapel mic". They are definitely Not created equal in quality. We have hooked up a high quality lav (lapel) to a crappy system and it worked great. Conversely we have used a low end lapel mic with a sophisicated equalized house system where the audio tech balanced us perfectly.
In an Ideal world you would first have the best mic you can afford and a quality equalized amplification system.
Message: Posted by: g0thike (May 30, 2005 03:55PM)
Personally I use a DPA 4088-F microphone. It sounds amazing and it is really small, the Countryman mic will break on you since they are poorly made. Search for the countryman microphones on the forums and you'll read why.

Here is a review by some sound tech people on the DPA I use:
http://svconline.com/mag/avinstall_dpa_microphones/

A picture can be seen at:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/4088F

Additionally I don't work for DPA or Sweetwater.

G0THIKE
Message: Posted by: John C (May 30, 2005 07:43PM)
Alan,

When I use my Wireless handheld and hold it close to my mouth I get great output. But when I place it in the holder (Doug Malloy's mic holder) it's not so great. I like my Wireless AT Freewayatw-t602a mic but I'm not entirely happy with the way it sounds while it's hanging. Should the amp be up higher maybe on a stand?

John
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (May 30, 2005 07:58PM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-30 20:43, johncesta wrote:
Should the amp be up higher maybe on a stand?[/quote]
John,
The speakers should always above the height of the heads of the audience. That's a minimum height.

Here's an excerpt from MagicRoadie.com:
[i]• Place your speakers such that everyone in the audience is within the speakers’ coverage area. In a smaller venue, if the people in the front would be able to hear you just fine without speakers, you don’t need to worry about their being within the speakers’ coverage area.
• Since the intelligibility-contributing high frequencies do a poor job at go through things, make sure the speakers are placed such that everyone in the audience can see the speakers’ horns/tweeters. If their eyes can see them, then so can their ears! Since having the speakers up high makes it easier for the folks at the back to hear, it means you can turn things down, making it less painful for the folks in the front and reducing the likelihood of feedback! This is one of the reasons that speakers at most large concerts are now ‘flown’ high above the stage.
• In order to achieve this, you’ll likely need to place the speakers on tripod stands. Be sure to use speaker stands safely! Place sandbags on the inside support bars of the stand to lower the stand’s centre of gravity, thereby making it less likely to tip over if bumped. (By the way, the horn/tweeter is the top component in the speaker, usually round & relatively small, or rectangular and flared.)
• Don’t expect your speakers to ‘throw’ 100 metres (100 yards).
• Place your speakers such that, when you’re using your mic, you can’t see any portion of the front of the speakers. This will ensure that you’re well outside the speaker’s coverage area.[/i]

[quote]What would be everybody's recommendation for a 500 dollar microphone system that would have the best sound?[/quote]
Back to the topic at hand, Kevin, you won't get any RF system with a DPA or Countryman E6 headset for $50. Not unless it's used. A DPA is probably at least $500US, and a Countryman is a little less, but still far too expensive to allow you to come under the $500 mark. If $500 is firm, stick to lav or a full-size headset. The good news is that the headsets that come with the less-expensive Shure & Sennheiser systems sound pretty good, and long as you place the mic just behind the corner of your mouth, and not in [b]front[/b] of your mouth. A full-size headset will also offer excellent gain-before-feedback.

Anyway, Kevin, there's a lot of info for you to chew on in this thread, but the bottom line is up to you!
Cheers!
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (May 31, 2005 08:10AM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-30 20:43, johncesta wrote:
Alan,

When I use my Wireless handheld and hold it close to my mouth I get great output. But when I place it in the holder (Doug Malloy's mic holder) it's not so great. I like my Wireless AT Freewayatw-t602a mic but I'm not entirely happy with the way it sounds while it's hanging. Should the amp be up higher maybe on a stand?

John
[/quote]
I use a different holder, a Gimcrack, which holds the mike out from the body, slightly. I have it cinched-up to my throat and it works great! I have the amp up on a speaker stand, for almost every performance - I don't want the sound to bounce right back to my mike. The hyper-cardoid characteristics of my mike make a great deal of difference. I hear that the AT Freeway system is omnidirectional, so I would never consider such a mike for anything but broadcast or recording work - definitely not for a live performance for a crowd.
Message: Posted by: John C (May 31, 2005 08:46AM)
My AT Mic is a ATW-T602 handheld microphone/transmitter features a dynamic unidirectional element with superior internal shock mounting

I think my problem may be the fact that the amp is on a chair. I will place it on a tripod stand and see how that goes.

Thanks,

John
Message: Posted by: g0thike (Jun 1, 2005 03:50AM)
You might look into this system:

Sennheiser ew152 G2 UHF Wireless Microphone System

Its a body pack transmitter, a receiver and a headset for $499.00 at http://www.sweetwater.com

G0THIKE
Message: Posted by: Alym Amlani (Jun 19, 2005 03:30AM)
G0thike: it's funny, I was JUST about to post about the EW152 microphone as it is the one I just bought used here in Vancouver. Got it for a smokin deal!

It's the first generation (9V) as opposed to the 2 AA batteries, but the price was right!!

:D Btw, it sounds fantastic.
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Jan 1, 2008 08:51PM)
I just purchased a Shure PGX wireless headset for well under $500 and it sounds great with the Carvin Stagemate (thanks for the tip Michael Messing). Finding an open channel and syncing it to the transmitter couldn't be easier. Great product for a great price.

Ken
Message: Posted by: Magic Enhancer (Jan 2, 2008 09:41AM)
I'm partial to the Sure brand microphones as well. They've always been the best for me. If you have the extra money, a countryman is also very very good. Gene Anderson turned me on to those! Here's the link for the countryman series:

http://www.countryman.com/store/?catid=10

Robert Haas
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Jan 2, 2008 05:23PM)
Robert,

I followed Magic Roadie's advice and went with the full headset for maximum gain before feedback. Eventually, I'm sure I'll end up with a Countryman....Thanks for the link....

Ken
Message: Posted by: magicman812 (Jan 2, 2008 07:30PM)
Ken, where did you get the Carvin Stagemate? I tried to google this but just got a bunch of magic Café hits. Also, any how would you say this compares to the PD-150.

Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Jan 3, 2008 07:53AM)
Magicman812,

Here's the link to the Carvin site:

https://www.carvin20.com/products/single.php?product=S400D

I've never owned a PD150, so I can't compare the two. I love the Stagemate, even though it's a bit heavy with it's batteries. With the extension speaker, it has incredible coverage, and you can't beat the price.....

Ken
Message: Posted by: Magic Enhancer (Jan 3, 2008 08:09AM)
Good choice Ken. Looks very nice and reliable :)

Robert Haas
Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Jan 3, 2008 10:04AM)
[quote]
On 2008-01-02 20:30, magicman812 wrote:
Ken, where did you get the Carvin Stagemate? I tried to google this but just got a bunch of magic Café hits. Also, any how would you say this compares to the PD-150.

Thanks!
[/quote]

I had a Fender P-150 before I went with the Carvin StageMate so I can compare it to that. (The P-150 was the predecessor to the PD-150 and it didn't sound as good as the PD-150.)

The Fender P-150 had more volume as it has twin 75-watt amplifiers built-in (same as the PD-150) while the Carvin has a 60-watt amplifier. (When used with the extension speaker, the Carvin StageMate is rated at 100 watts.)

While the Fender was more powerful, it didn't fill a room nearly as well as the StageMate because of the larger speaker in the cabinet. The Passport PD-150 speaker has a single 5.5" woofer and two 2.75" tweeters while the StageMate has a 10" woofer and a larger horn tweeter.

Because of the larger woofer, the StageMate can reproduce bass better and bass is what fills a room with sound. If you are just using the PA system for voice reproduction, it won't make much difference but with music, it will be noticeable. (That's why DJ's and bands use those monstrous sub-woofers so you can "feel" the music.)

Although the Fender is more powerful, I think the StageMate with the extension speaker will cover pretty much the same area. I've used mine in a large gym with more than 700 kids in attendance and I had plenty of power.

Although comparable in many ways, the big difference is when you need to go without access to electricity. Sure, Fender makes an a battery converter kit and sells a battery to use with the Passport series but it's reasonably expensive and it's more to transport. The StageMate has the battery (or batteries as I opted to add an extra one for longer life) built-in.

Also, the StageMate is less complicated to set up. For many of my shows, I just use the StageMate without the extension speaker. I don't need to plug into an electrical outlet. I just plug in my wireless mic receiver, plug in my iCue Duo music system, turn on the StageMate and I'm ready to sound check. Even adding the extension speaker isn't complicated. Just plug in a speaker cable from that goes from the StageMate to the extension speaker.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the Passport PD-150. If you don't need the battery option and you don't mind setting up both speakers, the Passport PD-150 is a great system. The complete PD-150 weighs a lot less than the StageMate by itself. (My StageMate with both batteries installed weighs approximately 40lbs whereas the Passport PD-150 weighs only 28lbs.) Plus, the Passport sounds great for it's compact size.

I chose to go with the StageMate for the battery convenience, the all-in-one amplifier/speaker convenience and the excellent sound quality. I do quite a few outdoor shows and many times have no access to an electrical outlet. On top of that, I find it much more convenient to set up for medium size shows where I don't use the extension speaker.

Finally, Carvin has great customer service. They make their equipment in the U.S. so parts are not a problem. (I needed a replacement air filter for my Fender P-150 when I had it. I waited more than three months to get it and when I received the package, they had sent the wrong part! I didn't ever get that filter. The music store I bought it from gave me one from their demo model.)

Hope this helps.

Michael
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Jan 3, 2008 10:50AM)
The only issue I've had with the Stagemate, (and it's a small one), if your volume needs to be adjusted throughout the show, the controls are up on the tripod. It's a bit awkward if you have the tripod extended to it's fullest, and it's difficult to reach the volumes, which are the top of each row of the panel....

Very small issue, just a bit awkward at times...


Ken
Message: Posted by: Amazing Magic Co (Jan 3, 2008 11:25AM)
I've been very happy with my AT-892 earset mike on my PD-150. It's hardly visible and the pick up works fine for me.

Dan.
Message: Posted by: magicman812 (Jan 3, 2008 07:48PM)
Thanks Ken and Mike for your responses. Very helpful!!
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Jan 3, 2008 09:05PM)
Anytime...
Message: Posted by: disneywld (Jan 5, 2008 11:29AM)
I'm a Countryman E6 fan. Lapel mikes are great for studio work, but bad for live work. To much feedback since you need to turn up the gain to pick up your voice.

People really get stuck with the concept of the tiny lav - it is not effective for live performances.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jan 7, 2008 12:53AM)
I was forced to use a lapel mic (didn't know I was doing a standup show. They told me it was a strolling event) for an audience of about 500.

It ended up being just fine. I'm not sure which brand it was but it ended up being just fine. I still would not choose one but I was happy that it worked out.