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Regan
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Dennis,

You should have no problems with AKG equipment. If you are looking for a dealer check with Sweetwater Music, Musician's Friend, American Musical Supply, and/or Zzounds. These are some of my favotite music mailorder dealers and I have dealt with each of them before.

Regan
Mister Mystery
Dennis Michael
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Regan,

I was Looking at the AKG PT450 Transmitter with the SR450 Receiver with the HC577 Head set and the normal Mail order companies that have AKG equipmant did not display these items.

I might have to look harder into the manual or Specs to see if there is a difference in the 400 vs the 450..

I was alos searching Fleco with the wireless and found a FCC suit against them for frequency violation. This is why I asked the question about AKG.
Dennis Michael
Rodney Palmer
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Dennis, in your opinion whcih is a better wireless headset and receiver. The NADY that is mentioned earlier in this post or The Radio Shack UHF Model. I know many people do not like Radio Shack but this seems to be a good unit. I want to make the right choice. The unit I am talking about retails for around $ 150.00 at a RS near me. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Any Yes to everyone I have read Magic Roadie's full thoughts on the subject but they are not super clear to me.

Rodney
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Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2007-04-23 15:46, First Class Magician wrote:
I have read Magic Roadie's full thoughts on the subject but they are not super clear to me.

Hello, Rodney!
Specifically, what can I help to clarify for you?
Dan.
Dan McLean Jr
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Rodney Palmer
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Dan, I am an experienced performer with over 23-years in Magic. I have a good large sound system and I have the Countryman E6 setup. It is too much to carry around a large system anymore. I have just purchased a Roland CM-30 and the sound is really good with both Music and Voice. What I need now is a wireless mic system for that unit that sounds good but under the $ 200.00 price range. I do not want to keep switcing my wireless mics out and the system will only be used for crowds up to 60 people. I tried my Countryman on the unit and it was Awesome. I just do not want to risk theft, loss, etc. with that mic unless I am at a large show. I do carry insurance, but I would rather buy an inexpensive wireless mic and receiver to use with the Roland.

Question:

What is the best Wireless Headset Mic with Receiver for under $ 200.00?


Rodney
"Creating Memories That Last A Lifetime"



In order to keep "MAGIC ALIVE" Please become a Mentor to a Young Person.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Hello, again, Rodney!
I don't recommend equipment, but lots of other folks here are happy to do so.

I try to help magicians make the best possible use of the equipment they own or rent. In order to do that, what I offer is “application" help with easy-to-understand-and-apply principles that will most certainly reduce your stress and improve the quality of your Magic Show. These principles apply to all systems, regardless of quality or cost.

If I can help to clarify anything in my articles, or if you have any other questions, just post them. I usually check in here pretty regularly.
Bon chance!
Dan McLean Jr
www.MagicRoadie.com
"Taking the mystery out of stage technology!"
Dennis Michael
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Below are some links I found useful related to wireless microphone systems and amplifiers.

Audio and Sound Equipment

Portable PA Amplifiers
Audio Links Dealer
Music Friends Dealer
Pro Sound and Lighting Dealer
ZZSounds Dealer

Amplifiers For Different Venues
Small PA Systems
Mid-Range PA Systems
Large PA Systems

Amplifier Corportions
Fender Amplifiers
Nady Amplifiers
Fleco PortaSound 5

Under 12 Pounds Systems
Mackie SRM-150 Amplifiers
Roland CM-30
Paso WPCS50 Amplifier

Wireless Transmitters/Receivers/Headsets
Audio Technica
Countryman Microphone
DPA Microphones
AKG Wireless
Audio Technica Wireless Both VHF & UHF
Samson Wireless
Sennheiser Wireless
Shure Wireless

Since I read everything that Dan Roadie has written on his web site, I wanted more information to broaden my understanding of wireless microphones systems. In my research I found this resource of useful information about microphones and wireless systems. I read this information from an "eye" of a magician and not that of a musician. My focus was on wireless hands-free headsets.

Understanding Microphones & Wireless Systems: A Study Guide

A Brief Guide to Microphones
What A Microphone Does
What's the Pattern
Important Microphone Characteristics
Two Common Problems
Some Useful Accessories

Wireless Basics
Why Wireless?
Selecting A Wireless System - What Do You Need?
Selecting Frequencies
Selecting Microphones For Wireless
Using Microphones With Wireless
Using Musical Instruments With Wireless

Wireless Quick Tips
Wireless Microphones - The Basics
Success With Wireless
Avoiding Interference
Maximizing Range
Using More Than One Wireless System
Avoiding Feedback
Wearing Wireless
When It Isn't Working

Advanced Wireless
UHF Versus VHF
Diversity Versus Non-diversity
Types Of Interference
Resolving Interference Problems
Frequency Conflicts
Maximizing Range
Squelch Techniques
Companding
Multipath
Using Multiple Systems
Antennas And Cables
Batteries

Updated Previous list


I hope you too can broaden your understanding of these wireless microphones.

Dennis
Dennis Michael
Tod Todson
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Quick question. If headsets are preferred by everyone, why do all the hosts on TV use lapels? Can they really be that unsatisfactory, then? Thanks!
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Michael Messing
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Karol,

Actually, if you watch sports events, you'll notice that more and more of the announcers are using Countryman type mics. On the other hand, the primary reason that lavalier mics are preferred by some is that they are inconspicuous.

Traditional headsets are very noticeable and larger elements block the view of your mouth. The newer, more expensive mics like the Countryman minimize that to the point that they aren't noticeable.

I suspect another reason that TV hosts use lavalier mics is that they don't have the same issues of feedback. Their mics aren't being run through speakers on the set. I make semi-regular appearances on a local TV talk show and they don't turn on the speakers when they are live so they don't have to worry about feedback. They can bring the volume up as much as necessary.

If you use a lavalier mic (and I did for 15 years,) they are very susceptible to feedback. I learned to use a 31-band graphic equalizer to minimize the feedback and I never was able to obtain the clarity I can with a headset mic.

I still own a lavalier mic but I never use it. I have it for other people to use when I run sound for events. (I did the sound for a festival last year and the storytellers all wanted to use a lavalier mic and not a headset.)

Michael
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I think another reason might be that on TV you're always looking at the camera.
I believe lav. mics are sensitive to the turning of one's head.
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Tod Todson
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Thanks, guys. I didn't realize these issues.
Mystifier, Youth Speaker
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Dennis Michael
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Karol,
Excellent question and Mike summed it up pretty good.

I asked this very question when I was watching a Duane Laflin video. He was using a lapel microphone and the sound was quite good.

One major reason to use a lapel (Lavaliere) microphone is because of its cost. Compared to Countryman ($400), and DPA ($600) headsets it is quite a savings. Another major reason, like in Duane's case, a lapel does not look so obvious on the face in a video filming segment, it is easily hidden, and lastly, there were no competing noise factors around Duane. These are all good reasons for the lapel microphone.

Michael Messing, Dan Roadie, and the Microphone Study Guide above explain the reasoning of different microphones, related to feedback. Only through studying this information does the message come clear.

First let’s look at a Street Magician, what kind of noise is around him, and where in relation to the speaker is he. He has a 360 noise factor, cars, other entertainers, and lots of other noise. In selecting a microphone, elimination of outside sounds and minimizing the feedback related to closeness of speakers is the goal.

Second, let’s look at a children's entertainer. His goal in presentation is to have background music to enhance his performance, he is to involve the audience is "calling out", saying the "Magical word", and sometimes going into the audience. Many times, he must deal with parents talking in the back ground, kids talking and yelling, the music playing, the dog barking, the doorbell ringing, outside shows, etc. Not to much difference than the street magician.

Third speaker placement is another issue. In the above examples the speakers are very close to the magician, feedback is a serious issue one must deal with. It interrupts the show and doesn't look professional. We also do not have a stage hand monitoring the sound levels so we must control this feedback ourselves.

Choice of microphones helps us to control our environmental noise levels and feedback potential. Omni directional microphones pick up sound from just about every direction equally. Directional microphones are specially designed to respond best to sound from the front, while tending to reject sound that arrives from other directions. Directional microphones is what a Street Magician and a Children's Entertainer wants. The microphone is to pick up voice of the entertainer and eliminate outside noise.

From a distance of two feet or so, in an absolutely "dead" room, a good Omni and a good directional microphone may sound very similar. But put the pair side-by-side in a "live" room (a large church or auditorium, for instance) and you'll hear an immediate difference. The Omni will pick up all of the reverberation and echoes - the sound will be very "live." The directional microphone will also pick up some reverberation, but a great deal less, so its sound will not change as much compared to the "dead" room sound.

Lapel Microphones are generally Omni directional; however, they can minimize the noise levels by getting one that is a directional lapel microphone.

Omni directional lavaliere microphones work well in situations where movement is minimal and outside noise is not a factor. This type of microphone is easy to use and provides excellent sound quality.

Directional lavaliere microphones are useful where feedback is a potential problem, where the external noise level is high or where reverberation and echo are troublesome such as the environment faced by magicians. However, they tend to change in sound quality and level if the wearer turns his or her head away, which again is common when children entertainers talk to their volunteer assistants.

A head worn microphone can provide excellent rejection of external noise without the drawbacks of ordinary directional microphones such as a directional lapel microphone. A directional element is normally used in head worn microphones, providing good rejection of external noise. The microphone is also close to the mouth, allowing the gain to be turned down, and further reducing outside noise. In addition, because the microphone is attached to the head, instead of some location on the chest, the sound quality does not change as the user's head turns. The disadvantage is the volunteer assistant generally cannot be heard; therefore an additional good wired or wireless handheld microphone comes in handy for these situations where you want the volunteer to be heard.

Unless appearance is of prime concern, the use of foam windscreens is advised for headset microphones. Foam does greatly reduce wind noise and voice "pops" common with directional microphones. The foam also helps protect the microphone element from moisture and keeps the metal grille windscreen clean.

Foam windscreens should be washed frequently and air dried. When it is no longer possible to wash the foam clean, the windscreen should be discarded and a new one installed. Lipstick, makeup and dried saliva tend to clog up metal windscreens. Over time, the output and sound quality of vocal microphones can gradually degrade unless the windscreen is kept clean.
--------------------------------

PS, there is a difference in a children's magician and a family entertainer. A Children's Magician focus on routining around the anticipated responses and involement of the group of children. The children are quite involved and this is common when performing for Birthday Parties, Daycare, Preschool, Elementary age children. The outside noise factor is high. Family Entertainment minimizes this involvement, reducing the outside noise factor coming from the children.

As an example, The "Turn it Around" routines are common for a children's entertainer. The Pro-Viper, Wize-Kote, and Chair Suspension, generally do not involve the audience, yes an assistant, but the noise factor is reduced, except for the laughter factor. A Family Entertainment Show, could mean a directional lapel microphone may work for that performer in that situation.
Dennis Michael
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I am really enjoying this sound system thread and learning a great deal. While I can hold my own in a sound booth, my knowledge is rudimentary compared to a pro.

I love the look of the Countryman mic! I have seen these "small beige mics" before but could never find out the brand of this mic, even when I asked around in pro-sound shops. Thanks for finally revealing the identity of this "mystery mic"!

Currently, I am using the same Shure mic as you, Michael. Great sound and extremely small! With a nice house system, I can tape it next to my ear and it is simply awesome. I also fashioned a headset out of a metal coat hanger, covered it with black shrink wrap, and it works beautifully.

I always work with a headset mic. I have two other headset mics that go with my own PA systems: My heavy-duty suitcase-style Telex PA (I have two: one in Europe and one in America), then there's that small Audio Buddy by Amplivox. My Audio Buddy is lightweight, easy to fly to my shows, but is really good only for smaller shows. Both use battery power or AC.

I have been repeatedly told I do not have "good mic technique", thus the lapel lav is a problem for me. In other words, I do not keep my head perfectly centered above that lav (like a TV reporter, as Frank mentioned) so my sound level is not consistent. Not many magicians do unless we are in a body cast! We are simply too animated a group of performers to hold still for long Smile
Autumn Morning Star
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
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Dennis Michael
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Autumn Morning Star,

I went through all 35 pages in this FX section, and those over 1,000 views, with many in the several thousand views many focus on Sound Systems. Almost par with wanting to know information are the topics on remote music controllers and backdrops.

It is interesting to see the progression from threads in 2002 to this years 2007 section related to Sound Systems.

Fender is the most consistant of the mid-larger Amplifier systems with the newer Fender Passport P80 getting more attention

VSM and Wireless Wizardry are still around each with their newest in remote control high priced packages.

Entered into the Market is the IPod revolution, and a variety of ways to use this gaget and a Small Amplifier.

The Countryman is still around moving from it "B" series to the "E6i"Series.

And, this thread focusing on Small Lightweight Sound Systems and Microphones.

What is evident is the progression of knowledge and new products on the market.
Dennis Michael
Autumn Morning Star
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Dennis Michael,
You really have been compiling that info, Dennis! Well done. The links are so helpful as is bringing forward the information. Thanks.

I, too, am glad we magicians are progressing in our knowledge of quality sound systems. There are so many on the market. I love the Ipod, and I had not heard of the AirClick. Sounds like a great tool. I use either a CD player or Ipod for my sound. So small and easy! I can only imagine the size and quality of equipment 10 years from now!

Autumn Morning Star
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
Tod Todson
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Again, I wish there was a Consumer Reports like review of some of these products. It would help separate the wheat from the chaff.
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Michael Messing
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Well, part of the problem is that it's so subjective. What's great for one performer is not perfect for another. Fortunately, many of the retailers have a 30 - 45 day return policy.

Michael
Dennis Michael
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Also the criteria for each person would be different.

There is a set of criteria for the Amplifier, one for the Wireless receiver & transmitter, and one for the microphone.

There are small systems, mid-range systems, large systems, with/or without wireless, CD Players, Cassette Players, and MP3 players. There is wattage, weight, and price.

I updated my previous list above.

Your choices are going with the basic headset that comes with the wireless or, get the basic wireless of you choice and add, the microphone of your choice.

Your Amplifier can have a limited low-end wireless or without wireless and the choices of Amplifier are based on weight, price, wattage, speaker output for music & sound.

Your control of music can be through an iPod, MP3, ICue2, Soundcue, Laptop, CD Player, or CD Boombox with a variety of Remote controls.
Dennis Michael
Regan
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Michael is right about sound being subjective. Dennis is right about each performer having different needs. Finding the right equipment can be a difficult task. I am a musician and I used to DJ, so I have had other uses for my sound equipment besides magic. I have a large PA system and I call my Fender Passport PD 250 my small system. I had a medium sized system up until a year or so ago, but I sold it because it was rarely getting used.

Regan
Mister Mystery
Dennis Michael
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Regan,
Your post is interesting, because in this whole research for the best small system, being a DJ or singing, or being a musician never entered the equation.

The microphone need only to project the spoken voice well, the Speaker neeeds to sound good with music backgrouns and spoken voice, also with power for a reasonable sized audience, small school, daycare, less then 200 persons.

I rarely use my Fender Passport 250, with a small mixer I have, everything can flow through the Fender Passport 150.

As of this point, my decision, had been to get the following:

  • Amplifier: Mackie SRM 150 (150 W 7.6 lbs) ($300) when Available
  • Wireless: Audio Technica 2110 UHF UniPak Wireless System ($300)
  • Headset: Audio Technica Beige AT892C Headset Microphone ($300)
  • Music Control: MP3 Tech ($1,400)
Dennis Michael
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