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EvanMagic
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Winnipeg, MB
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Hey everyone,

I am looking for a headset that will suit me in my show. I have a shure headset, but I found it to be too much of a "backstreet boys" type look. Just something small coming down from my cheek. If anyone has any ideas on where to get these please let me know!!

Thanks
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Welcome, Evan!
There's been a LOT of discussion on theses mics. Here's how to find all the info you can eat:

- Read the article at my free website, MagicRoadie.com, http://www.magicroadie.com/pickamic.html . It's all about mic selection, including the differences between full-size headsets and tiny headsets.
- Try searches in this forum for "DPA" & "Coutryman".
- Check a new thread in this forum called "Make-Shift Tiny Headset/Earset".

After ask that, if you still have any questions at all, just let us know! Lot's of helpful folks here.
Cheers from Toronto!
Dan.
Dan McLean Jr
EvanMagic
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In a similar post that I brought up, I was talking about where David C's mic was located. One of the members got back to me saying it was a small skin colored piece in his ear, virtually invisible by up to 5 feet. Do you know anything about these things Dan?

Thanks!

Evan
Regan
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Dan, Thanks for that link.

I am really interested in the Countryman headset, but it seems I remember reading somewhere that there were some problems with it breaking. Is this true?

Also, I hear that Shure is coming out with a new model wireless system. Does anyone have any information on it?

Thanks,

Regan
Mister Mystery
Tony S
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New York
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I purchased a DPA microphone with a sennheiser tranmitter not too long ago. It is a great mic, very small, and comes down along your cheek. It is not very noticable from more than 10 or 15 feet away. It does a fantastic job of reproducing your voice. I very highly recommend it.

Dan-
I just wanted to say a quick thank you for the information you put up here on the Café and on your website. I've found your site to be extremely helpful in figuring out some of the technical issues with performing. Please keep up the good work!!
We are all about as successful as we choose to be.



www.anthonysisti.com
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2005-01-16 10:55, EvanMagic wrote:
In a similar post that I brought up, I was talking about where David C's mic was located. One of the members got back to me saying it was a small skin colored piece in his ear, virtually invisible by up to 5 feet. Do you know anything about these things Dan?

Hi, Evan!
Mics that are completely located inside the ear (only as far inside as a hearing aid is) do exist, but their audio quality isn't sufficient for what we do. Well, I guess something MIGHT exist, but I can't imagine it, because I've never heard one, and I run in professional audio circles for a living.
I think some piolts still use this type, but the sound quality is quite crude.

The low-visibility choices are lavs placed on the chest, lavs hidden on the head, and tiny headsets/earsets.

By the way, Evan, I'd be pretty sure that DC must use a HEARING piece like the one you described, to hear cues from his crew.

Quote:
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Dan, Thanks for that link.

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You're very welcome, Regan! I'm still trying to make time to try the floral wire thing today.

Quote:
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I am really interested in the Countryman headset, but it seems I remember reading somewhere that there were some problems with it breaking. Is this true?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


See my comments here;
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/searc......=3905501

Quote:
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Also, I hear that Shure is coming out with a new model wireless system. Does anyone have any information on it?

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Yep. Some are available here in Canada right now.

There are three new lines. All will scan for available frequencies. With all three systems, you can use virtually any lav, full-size headset or tiny headset mic, as long as it has the right connector and is wired properly. You can also use any of the Shure wireless handhled elements with the handheld transmitter (SM-58, B-58A, B-87, B-87A, B-87C).

The PGX is the most basic, and it's what I'm recommending for most magicians, unless they are full-time, using their mic system virtually every day. It programs so easily that ... Well, it's really easy.
1) Plug in the receiver and turn the transmitter off.
2) Press & release the CHANNEL button on the receiver (this finds & locks-in a good freq).
3) Turn on the transmitter, open its battery door, and hold it close to the receiver.
4) Press & release SYNC on the receiver (this programs the transmitter to match the receiver).
5) Have a nice day.
http://www.shure.com/wireless/pgx/default.asp

The SLX is almost as easy to program, and allows you to access a few more features. I honestly can't imagine that most of us could ever take advantage of these other programming features. If you're doing many shows in union venues (IATSE), then you'll want this one or the next one.
http://www.shure.com/wireless/slx/default.asp

Their new top-of-the-line system will be the UHFR, and will allow full access to features as well as laptop-based monitoring & control. It's for the REAL high-end market.

By the way, other manufacturers have also introduced systems which will "scan' for good freqs, but no-one else has made the process so easy. As far as I know, no-one else is even close.

Quote:
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On 2005-01-16 12:17, Tony S wrote:
Dan-
I just wanted to say a quick thank you for the information you put up here on the Café and on your website. I've found your site to be extremely helpful in figuring out some of the technical issues with performing. Please keep up the good work!!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



As always, you're very welcome, Tony! I have a lot of experience in audio & RF --- About about 25 years. I help magicians with tech stuff whenever I can, and some very talented magicians have seen fit to help me with my magic. Their help is VERY much appreciated, especially since I didn't get into magic until my mid/late 30's, so I have a lot of catching up to do! Input & guidance from pro's has made all the difference in the world to my learn-at-a-slow-pace, part-time magic hobby, and I'm glad to be able to help other magicians as I can.

Cheers, and thanks for your cordial comments, Tony!


Dan.
Dan McLean Jr
Regan
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Thanks a bunch Dan! You have been most helpful.

I am also a singer. What headset mic would you recommend that would have comparable sound quality to Shure SM-58's for vocals? Since the Countryman mics that I know of are earset, I am assuming they would not be the best choice for vocals for a singer. Am I wrong?
Mister Mystery
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2005-01-16 17:01, Regan wrote:
I am also a singer. What headset mic would you recommend that would have comparable sound quality to Shure SM-58's for vocals? Since the Countryman mics that I know of are earset, I am assuming they would not be the best choice for vocals for a singer. Am I wrong?


You are very correct, Regan. Since singers usually work with stage monitors which are facing the performer, and which are CRANKED, there's no way you'd be able to get a tiny earset mic loud enough. The best full-size headsets for use with stage monitors are the Crown CM-311A and the AKG C 420

The CM-311 is the one used by Britney, Janet Jackson and Garth Brooks. It has the best gain-before-feedback.
http://www.crownaudio.com/mic_web/index.htm

The C 420 is the one Peter Gabriel and some others use. This one's lighter, and most people find it more comfortable.
http://www.akgusa.com/product.aspx
Click on "Lavalier & Headset Microphones" and you'll find it.

I know there are less-expensive ones, but I haven't used them. These two are "the cat's ***"!
Dan.
Dan McLean Jr
Regan
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Thank you Dan!

My, what a wealth of information you are! You don't know how much I appreciate it.

I am going to check out these links and don't be surprised if I come back with some more questions.

Regan
Mister Mystery
Andy Leviss
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FWIW, the CM-311A/E is what we use on the Sesame Street tours, too! They sound pretty darn good, even if they are a bit big :o)

As for Shure, it's just a pity they don't put more common sense into the physical design of the products. I've found Sennheiser's transmitters to, in general, be built a lot more solidly, from the overall feel of the thing to little things like not having circuit-board mounted switches that protrude from the casing in such a way that they can be easily pressed by the casing itself as things shift and flex (which, in itself, is a problem, even if it doesn't press any buttons!).

I've had to repair a Shure transmitter whose plastic battery holder (inside the metal case) had developed a small crack such that, while the actor wearing it danced, occasionally one of the battery contacts would move away from the battery and cause the thing to turn off! I can't speak to the Evolutions from Sennheiser, but I know that the SK50 and 5012 transmitters are all metal and wouldn't have that problem (which is not to say that I haven't had contact problems with those, too, as any spring contact is going to eventually get bent, but those problems are a LOT easier to fix than having to disassemble a transmitter, unscrew a battery holder, desolder said holder, and then solder and remount a new one in its place, something which you'd generally need to send back to an authorized service center for, since it most surely voids the warranty).
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
Regan
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I like the AKG C 420 headset, but I can't find anywhere that offers it with a reciever and transmitter as a package? Could you guys recommend a source? Also what type/brand reciever would you recommend I get?

AKG has the SR80, SR40, SR 400, and the SR400 reciever. I have seen some of these offered as a package, but with the C 444 or C 444L headset. Am I going to have to buy the C 420 headset mic, a reciever and a transmitter seprately? Speaking of tramsmitters, AKG has several models of those also. Do I need to make sure the transmitter is compatible with the reciever?

Also is the AKG C420 headset mic compatible with recievers made by other manufacturers?

Sorry, I have so many questions. I used to actually own a wireless system for my guitar, but things have changed a lot. I really need some help before I buy so I can make a wise decision.

Thanks for any information you can offer.

Regan
Mister Mystery
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
... what type/brand receiver would you recommend I get?

Everyone has an opinion, but Andy Leviss & I both usually recommend Sennheiser or Shure. My first choice is usually Shure, and Andy's is usually Sennheiser.

Quote:
Do I need to make sure the transmitter is compatible with the reciever?

Buy transmitter & receiver as a package, and they'll work together. Buying these two separately is only necessary if you already own one of the pieces. Real high-end users (a few grand per system) will also sometimes "cherry pick" a system.

Quote:
Also is the AKG C420 headset mic compatible with receivers made by other manufacturers?

Yes. Almost every headset or earset or lav is compatible with almost every RF system. You just have to be sure that the vendor of the mic is able to to the correct wiring to the necessary connector.

When choosing an RF system, I personally think you should stick to Shure or Sennheiser because they're easy to find, easy to get serviced, and their reputation is based on a VERY long record of excellence. Depending upon your budget, I suggest the Shure SLX w/ a lav (as a spare) for about $660 USD. If that's too pricey, I suggest the Shure PGX w/ lav (as a spare) for about $400 USD. The Sennheiser Evolution system can be had for about $500 USD.

Primarily due to the ever-growing number of TV stations, it's increasingly important to make sure your wireless system(s) is free of interference from other RF signals. Lots of newer wireless systems (also known as "RF" or "radio" systems) will "scan" the environment for interference, and will offer you suggested "clear" frequencies which you can select. Keep in mind that this scan takes a snapshot of a brief moment, so it's probably safest to do a scan before soundcheck, and another pretty close to show time. Many folks who only use one system NEVER need to change frequencies, but "better safe than sorry"!

What I like about the new Shure systems is how easy it is to do a scan, and to program the system appropriately.
For the PGX, it works like this (almost the same for the SLX, and the soon-to-be-released UHFR):
1- Turn the receiver on, and the transmitter off.
2- Press & release the receiver's CHANNEL button. (The receiver quickly finds a "clear" frequency, and automatically accepts it.)
3- Turn the transmitter on, open its battery door, hold it close to the receiver, and press the receiver's SYNC button. (This programs the transmitter to match the receiver.)
You're done.

By the way, the Sennheiser Evolution "G2" systems also do a scan, but its scanning & programming procedure is nowhere NEAR as simple as Shure's.
Cheers from Toronto!
Dan McLean Jr
Regan
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Thanks again Dan. I am looking into your suggestions. You have been a great help to me.

Regan

Dan,

After doing a little research, I am leaning towards the Shure PGX system. I was just curious why you suggested getting a lav for a spare. Is the headset that comes with the PGX no good? Is it ok for speech at a magic show?

Also, I have heard that shure is offering the Countryman earset as an option for their systems. Do they make this offer with the PGX? If it is an available option, which would you get?

I most likely will get an AKG C 420 later on, if it is compatble with the PGX. But since I have to purchase a mic with the shure system, which would you suggest getting to start out with?
1. Headset/earset that comes standard with the PGX system.
2. Lav that comes with the PGX system.
3. Countryman earset if it is an available option.

I really appreciate your help and value your opinion. That is why I am bugging you so much for advice on this purchasing decision.

Thanks.

Regan
Mister Mystery
Decomposed
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Regan,

Im going through all this confusing mess also....I only need a wireless headset that doesn't give me fadeout.....
Regan
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Candini,

What type are you using now? Is it a true diversity system?
Mister Mystery
Decomposed
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Hisonics single antenna and I didn't have the antenna up on base when I was trying it out for tomorrow's show...duh! Tech called me and also said to have the wireless pack wire looped around your torso for better recepetion...I tried it again and much better....antenna is defintely needed!!!!!
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
I was just curious why you suggested getting a lav for a spare. Is the headset that comes with the PGX no good? Is it ok for speech at a magic show?

Hi, Regan!
Actually, choose whichever you think you'd be able to use. The WH20 headset that comes with the Shure system is fine for a back-up, but a handheld might be better for MC or for any time you want a volunteer to be heard. Whatever you think you can use.

Quote:
Also, I have heard that shure is offering the Countryman earset as an option for their systems. Do they make this offer with the PGX? If it is an available option, which would you get?

Yes, Shure does offer the E6, but only in black or beige, and only in omni-directional. As far as I know, it's compatible with the PGX system, but I don't see a definite answer on either company's Web site. According to Countryman's site, the E6 seems to be compatible with every other Shure, so it might just be that Countryman hasn't had time to update for such a new system.

Quote:
I most likely will get an AKG C 420 later on, if it is compatble with the PGX

I can't see why this wouldn't work with PGX, but AKG should be able to tell you. I know that my AKG C 420 works with my Shure beltpacks, but they're not PGX.

Quote:
... since I have to purchase a mic with the shure system, which would you suggest getting to start out with?
1. Headset/earset that comes standard with the PGX system.
2. Lav that comes with the PGX system.
3. Countryman earset if it is an available option.

Ah, there I can't help you. That's your decision, because only you know what will work best for you, and only you know how long you'll need it before you get the AKG.

Quote:
I really appreciate your help and value your opinion. That is why I am bugging you so much for advice on this purchasing decision.

My pleasure, Regan.
Dan McLean Jr
Regan
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Dan,

Your answer to my post above created another question or two. I hadn't even thought of a handheld wireless. If I were to get the handheld wireless, would I not have to get an extra beltpak transmitter to work with a headset. I have lots of handheld mics, but no wireless system, so I don't know much about them either. I was thinking that a handheld transmitter was in the mic itself, and that you did not get a beltpak transmitter with a handheld wireless system.

Is omni-directional ok for the earset? Is the WH20 an omni or a uni?

I am not sure of anything, I was just wondering.

Thanks again for your helpful answers to my questions.

Regan
Mister Mystery
kenscott
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I love the countryman E6 I use Directional I have found that they sound better than the omni.

The mic is really good for me and the sound is great. I would suggest buying a couple extra cords that plug into the trans pack & to the mic itself. The cords are around 40.00 each. I have had mine now for 2 years and the cord did go bad on me. I too plug into a shure system.

Enjoy!
Ken
Regan
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Thanks Ken. It's good to hear what others are using and what works best. I appreciate your advice.

Regan
Mister Mystery
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