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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Virtual Soundman vs. iCue2 vs. MP3Tech/ShowTech (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Marvello
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Virtual Soundman or iCue2 or MP3Tech/ShowTech

Which one should I get and why? Which one should I avoid and why?
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
Michael Messing
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It all depends on your needs and preferences.

The MP3Tech and the iCue2 are very similar in features. The MP3Tech has its MP3 player built-in, so you don't have to carry an additional player. The iCue2 uses a separate iPod or MiniDisc player.

The MP3Tech and the iCue2 both start/stop, pause/unpause, cue forward, cue back, auto pause, and auto fade, plus have volume control. The iCue2 has a built-in LED display to see what track you're on. The MP3Tech has an optional track display. (The track display shows the actual track name, while the iCue's display only shows the track number.)

I have used an iCue Duo, the predecessor to the iCue2, for about a year and it works very well. I also have a Virtual Soundman 7.5 that still works very well.
(Virtual Soundman Corp. manufactures the iCue2. Earlier models went under the name of Virtual Soundman, like the VSM 7.5.)

I have no experience with the MP3Tech, but have no doubt that it is very reliable and works very well also. (Kerry Pollock is a great guy, and he puts out terrific units.)

The remotes are different. The MP3Tech remote is smaller and can be finger-palmed. (Ken Scott likes to use it that way.) The iCue2 remote is a little bit larger, but it has a belt clip, so you can wear it on your waist and not have to hold it at all.

The ShowTech is in a league of its own. It is a programmable music system. It is also capable of controlling lights, fog units, and flash pots. It's a really sophisticated system and more than I need.

If you're only interested in controlling your music, the iCue2 and the MP3Tech are probably better choices.


Michael
Marvello
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Thanks for the info, Michael - very helpful.

Let me add to the options above the "StageCue" - is there anyone with any more info on this unit as compared to the iCue2 and MP3tech?
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
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Along with mentioning the ShowTech (the full bells and whistles version), there's also the MiniTech, which is the same as the ST without the capability of the running of the lights. I wish I'd waited until it was available, but I've had my ShowTech almost 15 years now. I think I may go with the iCue2...we'll see in a couple weeks. LOVE my ShowTech, and couldn't get along without it, don't get me wrong...it's just that I want something I can use in a smaller situation. One speaker, self-powered with something small to handle the music. I wish the remote on the iCue2 were smaller, though.

Steve
kenscott
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I think the MiniTech is being faded out, and the MP3 is one that Kerry is selling now.

I too have used the ShowTech for a long time, but just recently got the MP3Tech and now, I am using it more. I do like the fact that everything is built in. The display is great, and it is wireless, so you can put it anywhere. The display will tell you what track you are on and what track is up next. Again, like Michael said, it will tell you the track name or whatever you name it. And the smaller remote is a big deal for me.

Ken
Creative Coach
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I have an iCue2 and love it. Easy to set up. Takes me less than 2 minutes. I've used mine in dozens of situations, and found it fantastic!

I think it all comes down to personal choice. Ken likes his MP3Tech, and I like my iCue2. Someone else will like something else. All depends on what you like.... We seem to go round & round the same mulberry bush over this issue on the Café. Truth be, it all boils down to what works best for your needs. They all control your music!

All The Best!
John
kenscott
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John,

Got a point. Whatever fits you better. I am used to the smaller remotes, and that is why I stick with the ShowTech and Mp3tech.

But, it is a personal choice.

ken
Doug Arden
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I had a ShowTech, which, by the way, was great, but just recently went to the MP3Tech, and I love it. It's very easy to set up and use, and because Kerry makes it, extremely reliable.

Like Ken, I prefer the smaller remotes as well, and the flexibility they afford. I use both the hand held and the ankle switch remotes during my show.

As has been said many times, use whatever is reliable and fits your specific needs.

Doug
Marvello
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Obviously, it is a personal choice, but with so many products doing the same type of things, I was hoping to get some input about them from people who use them, which I greatly appreciate.
I had seen several magicians use sound management systems before, however, once I saw Ken Scott at Kidabra, I was sold on the necessity of owning one myself. Once I started looking into the various options, I became quickly overwhelmed with the advertising pitch from each product, so I just wanted to remove the hype, and instead, seriously look into what each one offers, and in which ways they are different, as well as reliability. From what I hear, the iCue2 is not very well supported, whereas the MP3Tech and Stagecue systems have better support from the manufacturer - do you think that is a fair assessment?
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
kenscott
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I cannot speak for the iCue2. Some of friends own them, and if something went wrong with theirs, they got a replacement, which I think is good business.

Kerry and his team are very easy to work with. In most cases, if something is wrong, you can overnight your unit, and they get it in and out the very same day.

In my library show you saw at Kidabra, I used the MP3Tech. I don't think there is that much hype. What is written and advertised is what the units will do.

I really like the MP3Tech for the smaller remotes and the fact everything is built in to it. The mp3 is built in. In most cases, the unit has to talk with the mini disk or iPod. In the mp3 case, there is no talking to another machine because it is all built in.

Kerry has the program that you can see and what you will be using on his web site. http://www.wirelesswizardry.com under the MP3Tech. You can simply download it.

Hope this helps.

Ken
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Hi Marvello:

I own the Showtech, the Minitech, and recently purchased the iCue2. Here are my feelings on all three of them:

The Showtech, I have owned for years. It is a great system, but I never used all of the features. I never had any problems with it, as some people say. It always worked flawlessly from day one.

I next went to the Minitech because I wanted a smaller, more compact system. It had all of the features that I needed. Again, it works flawlessly, and as Ken stated, I loved the smaller remote, and dealing with Kerry is very easy. Anytime you have a problem or anything (for instance, I once lost a remote and he shipped me another one overnight), he's there for you. I use the ankle remote with my Minitech and Showtech, which is a great feature.

I recently purchased the iCue2 and used it in my summer library shows. Now, a lot of people say bad things about Kelly. He was a gentlemen to deal with, and any questions I asked, he was more than helpful. So, I think the stories about him not being there for the customers are totally unfounded. (However, I think Kelly is going for a bigger market, and I know he is now marketing to the National Speakers Association. So, magicians are just a small portion of his business)

The iCue2 works as it's supposed to, but several times, I had trouble with the iCue2 communicating with the initial start-up with the iPod. It always rights itself after a quick unplug, but this can be a little frustrating at times. I do like the ability to have the auto-pause at the end of the track, or to turn the auto-pause off. (When I am doing my pre-show music, I like all of the tracks to play without a pause between them). A couple of disadvantages is you can't pause a song while it is playing without having to press an additional button. When you use the pause/play feature, you don't have the ability to auto-fade and cue up to the next song. However, this is just an easy one button press to activate or deactivate this feature. So, just imagine you have the ability and full control with this little belt transmitter. It's kind of like just playing with everything on the fly. I also like Kelly's battery pack, and being able to not plug anything in when I use this battery operated sound system, I'm totally wireless.

(Now recently, I talked to Kerry at Wireless about the MP3Tech, and he said that he is even using that in his shows now over the ShowTech. I really like the idea, as Ken stated, of having the music built right into the machine, so there is no separate player for the controller to communicate with. I also like the fact that Kerry has come up with a separate display that tells you the track you are on and the upcoming track. It's wireless, so you can just set it on your table in front of you without looking over to the side to see a number. I think it is definitely worth the extra $350.00 for this display. And Ken using this now, probably will back this up 100%.

I am probably going to purchase the MP3Tech, as I just feel comfortable with Kerry Pollack and his service. But don't get me wrong, Kelly Duro makes a great product. So I hope my post is not too confusing for you, and you found it helpful. Good Luck in your purchase.

P.S. Kelly's little battery pack, which he sells separately, is great! I bought a few extra (you load it with 8 AA rechargeable batteries), it will run the MiniTech also, and I know it will run the MP3Tech. It just Velcro's on.
Marvello
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Quote:
On 2006-09-02 10:47, kenscott wrote:
I don't think there is that much hype. What is written and advertised is what the units will do.

Thanks, Ken and gmindmagic - great info there in your posts. I was not implying that the ads for the units were hyped. I was actually mainly referring to places like this forum, where everyone who owns something obviously thinks theirs is better than the rest (that is why they bought it). Most people don't have the luxury of being able to see or have their hands on every type of device that is offered, so that is why honest, unbiased advice from you guys is very valuable to me. Thanks again.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
Marvello
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Here is a quick rundown of the mentioned units and their prices:

MP3Tech: $995 (optional track display: $350)
Total w/ Track Display: $1345
http://www.wirelesswizardry.com/mp3tech.html

iCue2: $799 ($150 more for iPod, $225 more for Minidisk) (includes LED track indicator)
Total cost w/ iPod: $949
Total cost with MiniDisk: $1024
http://www.virtualsoundman.com/order.html

StageCue: $639 (iPod not included) or $599 (MiniDisk not included) (optional LED track indicator: $189)
Total cost w/ LED (and cost of your iPod nano @$150): $978 ($828 plus cost of iPod)
http://www.stagecue.com/intropro.htm
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
Creative Coach
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Personally, I can tell you Kelly has always been very helpful. He really stands behind and believes in his product. I like the battery pack, also. Kelly has always been quick to respond when I had a questions, even dumb ones. For me, the iCue2 fits my needs.


All The Best!
John Cooper
Marvello
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Quote:
On 2006-09-03 10:23, Creative Coach wrote:
I like the battery pack, also.

Looking at the manual, it seems that the iCue2 only runs on batteries and there is no ac adapter - is this correct?

Also, Ken - were you using the MP3Tech track display at Kidabra? If so, where do you keep it onstage?
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
gmindmagic
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My iCue2 came with the AC adapter, but I've rarely used it. The batteries will run it for several shows, and it will read the battery power level.
Micheal Leath
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Don't forget that you can also get the iCue2 with a keychain-sized remote.
kenscott
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I did use the display. It was right behind my box on stage.

Ken
donsmagic
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I own the ICUE2 and love it!
Creative Coach
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Yes, iCue2 comes with an AC Adapter, but I also rarely use it. The battery pak lasts several (20+) shows by my count. iCue2 reads out the battery level of the pak. I really like it!

All The Best!
John Cooper
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