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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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kenscott
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By the way, you can run the MP3Tech off a battery. The same battery pack that would run the Icue will run the MP3Tech. I made a battery pack that runs off two 9volt batteries.

I can only speak about Kerry Pollock's system, MP3Tech. It is working great, no problems at all. The wireless display is perfect. I like the fact that it tells me what I named the track, as opposed to the track number. The track number will not help me because I have NO clue what track is which with my 175 songs on my SD card. The neat thing is you can make up to 10 programs on the mp3. So if you know the order of a show, you simply put the tracks in the order you want them to play and it makes a play list and you save it. It will only play that play list every time unless you change it.

Having the MP3 built in means the machine no longer has to communicate with the IPOD or mini disk. The music (MPE files) are all right there. This system cannot get any easier to use. I am long time ShowTech user, and I am no longer using the ShowTech. The MP3 has taken its place.

Ken
Stevethomas
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I'm glad to know it will run off a battery pack! That's a big plus in making a decision. My other concern is...you get to a venue (for instance, a public show that's not arranged very well) and need to change the order of the tracks or delete a track. You're stuck with what's programmed into the MP3 Tech. No changing...I like to be flexible and be able to shift on the fly.
I noticed the WW site says that the controller will also run an Ipod as a source for music. How is that accomplished? At least that way, I'd have a backup and could arrange tracks (having one show that's just tracks 1,2,3,4,5,6, etc.) and use the Ipod.
I'm a huge fan of WW and Kerry Pollack's stuff, too. I own a D'Mug, the ShowTech original system, and had (until I sold it to a guy in Canada) the Ultimate Cassette Prediction from them.

Steve
kenscott
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Well, you can hook an Ipod up, but I don't think Kerry has that chip into the box yet for the iPod. On the back of the box, there is a slot that says IPOD. For me, I carry my laptop everywhere. So, it is not big deal to change up the tracks if need be. However I must say, I had the same thoughts as you, Steve, about changing on the fly the tracks. The more I thought about it, I never really have done that. If I skip a routine, I just forward the track.

Another thing that happened the other night. My friend Robert Baxt came to Atlanta for a show and lecture. He had a wedding band on, but the ring was a magnet. Most of you may know that with Kerry's system, you can use an ankle magnet that will start and stop your music. Well, I hated the ankle thing because I could not get it to work well enough for me. The ring that Robert gave me starts and stops my music. So I simply have the remote in my pocket, and I just go near my pocket from the outside and it starts my music. THIS WAS HUGE for me! I was really excited, and Robert was excited for me. He was using the magnet ring for a trick.

Ken
MAGICBYTIM
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I use the iCue. IMO, the downside to the mp3Tech is the ability to rearrange the tracks when you get to a show. I end up changing the order of music before a show, often. Sometimes I want to take out a routine, and all I have to do is move it with the minidisk. If I were doing the same exact show every time, I would not think it would be a problem. But if you change shows when you get somewhere or while preparing the show, I would go with the iQue. I also do not want to carry my laptop everywhere I go.

I use mine with a minidisc player. I have all my sound system (minidisc, sound board, mic, power strip, etc.) in one case. I do not use this case for anything except magic. This way I know exactly where my system is. I know someone who uses the iCue with his iPod, and he got to a show and his daughter had grabbed his iPod out of his car right before he was leaving. It was on the front seat because he hooks it up to his car stereo. Well, he ended up having to do a show without music.

I have had the VSM 7.5 and the iCue (not squared), and I have not had any problems with the remote. I have used the current battery for the remote for over a year. I like the iCue, and I have looked at the mp3Tech at Kidabra and I would not trade my iCue for the mp3Tech. That is just me, and I am not saying the mp3Tech is a bad unit.

Tim
NealF
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Well, I just bought the new battery for the remote. It made it a little better, but it still gets intermittent further than 6 feet or so. I'm going to have to send it back. That's another $35.
Tech support wrote me that the odds of this happening to 2 remotes is - remote, but I think they just fixed my first remote. So, I'll let you know what happens.

I'm doing a one-man theatrical show, and the music is 85%. So, it MUST be reliable.

BTW, this forum is great. Lots of help and fast, too.
Thanks.
Stevethomas
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Tim,

Met you at the Louisiana Magic Weekend...sounds like we were thinking along the same lines when deciding. I like the Icue Squared operation (I don't have one yet), but I'm also afraid of working an outdoor festival or company picnic and walking away from it, leaving a IPOD staring everybody in the face as I walk by. I'm not saying everybody's a thief, but there's always one chance. Maybe there's a better way to mount it on top of the speaker instead of on the side of the speaker pole...I'm just thinking out loud here...

Still deciding.

Steve
Amazing Magic Co
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I too have been juggling between the various options. I saw the iCue2 demoed at the World Magic Summit and liked it. The MP3 has some nice attributes, but I worry that if the MP3 player goes down, are you SOL? At least with the iCue, you can easily replace the iPod with another unit.

Thanks,
Dan.
NealF
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Just got a call from Patti at VSM. They are sending me a replacement and setting it up to ship the original one back. I have FAITH!! That's good customer service. Now if the new one works, I'll be a believer!
Stevethomas
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Neal,

If you replaced the actual REMOTE and it didn't have any effect on your reception, chances are it's probably the internal antenna on the receiver...just a thought. I'm glad they cleared it up for you. That's just gonna complicate my decision between the Icue Squared and the MP3 Tech.

Steve
MAGICBYTIM
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The ability to "change out" the player is something else I like about the iCue. I am not sure how it would go with the mp3 player, although I am almost sure you can change the minidisc player out on the ShowTech systems. I am sure Ken will be able to answer that. There are no moving parts to the mp3, so I am not sure what the probability would be for it going out. If it did, I am sure that WW would be very helpful in getting that worked out. I am glad to see that Neal is getting a new system. I am sure both companies will have some systems that get out that have problems.

Steve, I am sure you could keep the iPod out of view, but that is a concern of mine also. I try my best to not leave my sound case out when I am not in the same area. When I have my pre-show music player at fairs or festivals, I will sometimes cover my entire case so no one really knows what is inside.

I do not think you will be going wrong with either unit. I do not get any compensation if you buy either one, but I do think that adding one of these systems can greatly improve on the magical experience for the audience.

Tim
NealF
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Hi Steve.
I'm not sure if on the first repair they changed remotes or just tried to fix the old one. Now they're sending me a whole new unit and remote, so this should be the final test.
Stevethomas
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If you can only get 6 feet away...who needs a remote? You're not remote, you're not even MOTE at that point!

Steve
NealF
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Very true. I'm pretty sure the unit is supposed to work, even to the back of the theater, but I'd be happy with 50 feet.
NealF
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Just got the new iCue. So far, it works like a charm. I'm going to put it through the ringer for the next few days, and I'll let you all know if it's still going.
Marvello
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Quote:
On 2006-09-28 20:34, NealF wrote:
Just got the new iCue.
That was quick! Impressive customer service, if you ask me.
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.
Stevethomas
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Let us know something...my shopping decision may depend upon what happens!

Steve
rocky clements
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The technical side of this issue has been well discussed already in this post, but as far as the after the sale customer service, I have owned both the Virtual Soundman and an MP3Tech. Kerry Pollack is the best customer service person I have done business with in all of magic, and the MP3Tech is wonderful.
NealF
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Okay, I used the new iCue Squared for a couple of hours last night, and it worked like a charm. Even put the unit in my garage and went into the house about 30 feet away with the fire door closed and it still worked.
As far as service, in the beginning I was ticked off that I had to pay to ship it back, even though it came broken. But this time, they were fast in shipping me the new one and they paid for all the shipping.

So, unless something new happens, I'm very satisfied with the unit and company.
I'll report back if anything new comes up.

Hope this helps.
Chad C.
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I always like a happy ending...good for you, and kudos to the Icue folks for handling it well.
jlevey
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Any votes for sticking with the older, but very reliable, VSM model 7.5?

Seems to still do the "trick", and purchasing a used system for those with limited budget might not be a bad alternative.

This is what I have recently done.

My VSM 7.5 system just arrived last week. It's been slightly used, but looks to be in brand new condition. Unfortunately, I haven't yet had the time to read the instructions or watch the instructional DVD that comes with it.

Still, I am hopeful that it will meet my current show needs.

I really look forward to making it an integral part of my show.

Jonathan
Jonathan
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Magicians with a touch of comedy!
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