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Author Topic: Line6 XD-V70 wireless mic road test  (Read 32369 times)

Daniel Cash

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Line6 XD-V70 wireless mic road test
« on: March 16, 2011, 02:43:59 am »

A few months ago I received, a pair of the new Line6 XD-V70 wireless mics; one lapel system and one handheld system. At the time I was working full time at a church, and had extensive opportunities to give these guys a test up against some other comparable wireless systems. Let me break up my review into 3 parts; lapel transmitter system, handheld transmitter, and receiver.

The Lapel Transmitter System
In a church environment, lapel systems are used constantly, so I am familiar with other brand’s products. First off, the build quality of the Lne6 is the sturdiest body pack transmitter I have ever used.  Its made of all metal, the antenna is firmly built into the body, and it just feels like a rock.  Its about the same size as a sennheiser g2 transmitter, with a little better build quality.

The unfortunate downfall of this system is the included lapel mic.  The lapel is a proprietary cardioid condenser mic and suffers terribly from mechanical noise from the cable. When held still it sound fine, but the booms and other noise making it up the cable was bad even with a high pass filter and significant eq applied.  For the majority of my time using this mic, I switched over to a WL93, which sounded a lot better.

Similar products I have used included Sennheiser G2 and Shure  PGX and SLX lapel systems. I found the transmitter to be superior quality and the mic element to be inferior quality to these products.

The Handheld system.
The handheld transmitter, comes with 7 different built in EQ curves, to simulate the frequency response to other popular mics, such as the OM5, SM58, EV N/D767, etc. The problem with this feature, is that you have to change the settings on handheld transmitter, and thus once an artist is using the mic, its difficult to test out other settings. This really seems like a major oversight by Line6, but I assume it was to could keep the menu system on the receivers standardized for all systems. Thus, I didn’t play around too much with these options, and simply went with the “Line 6 optimized model”.  Yet, I was not disappointed. In my opinion it sounded fantastic.

I used this mic through the Christmas season at the church on some very talented female soloists, and this really is my new favorite sounding wireless handheld. It sounded more open and transparent than both my Sennehiser G2 systems and the Shure PGX handheld systems.  Another thing I noticed was a complete lack of compounding, which I always bother by, when using a shure PGX system.

The build quality of the Line6 handheld feels a lot like the Shure mic; mostly plastic, but solid quality. I personally didn’t like the feel of the buttons, but they are similar to what you find on Shure wireless products.

Outside of the church setting, I had the chance to use this mic with a very loud 80’s cover band. The lead singer, owns his own Shure SLX system with a beta 87a head, and is very picky about his sound… so I was hesitant to even try the Line6 mic with him. However on the second night of a weekend stint, we put the Line6 through its paces. Right away, I liked it… it sounded just as good as his B87a, and worked well with his voice. We found the gain before feedback to be very comparable to the b87a and had a great night using the Line6.  For a mic costing approximately half that of the Shure SLX system, the Line6 gives it a run for the money.

The Receiver
Each receiver has an RF in and RF out, and the system includes BNC cables to daisy chain the revivers together. This is the first the first time I have seen this on a product at this price point, and worked great in my usage.

Also included with the receivers is rack mount kit, which allows you to put 2 receivers side by side in one rack space. I did not rack mount them during my test, so I can’t comment on the quality of this accessory… but either way, another nice feature.

On the receiver the menu system is easy and intuitive with a push-dial button running the navigation.  On the main display of the receiver there is a timer countdown for estimated battery life remaining.  Starting with a fresh pair of AA procels the display would estimate 8 hours reaming. I found this to be very close to accurate.

Overall the build quality and design of the receiver is fantastic.  The all metal casing, the buttons, and antenna all a very solid design that I readily endorse as road worthy.

The RF performance was great. At the church we have 3 wireless networks running (public, staff, and production) all in the 2.4ghz range near the stage, so I had my concerns about adding the Line6 systems into this environment. However, throughout this test I never experienced a single dropout. The receivers were located about 75 ft from the stage, and I didn’t even have them setup correctly at first; (you are supposed to use the include BNC terminator on the antennae out jacks) and I didn’t install them till about 3 weeks into the road test.)

Conclusion
I fully recommend giving these mics a look and listen, if you are in the market. In my opinion, the features and build quality represent an excellent value.

Please let me know if you have any questions about features I might have overlooked or omitted.
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Frederik Rosenkjær

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Re: Line6 XD-V70 wireless mic road test
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 07:37:29 am »

The lead singer, owns his own Shure SLX system

, and is very picky about his sound

How, on God's green Earth, do these two statements fit together?  :o

Anyway:

For a mic costing approximately half that of the Shure SLX system, the Line6 gives it a run for the money.

For a system costing half of an SLX, it beats the living crap out of it. SLX is unusable in my opinion, and I'm forced to work with SLX systems on a regular basis.

In my opinion the XD-V70 gives the UR4-system a run for it's money.
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Don Boomer

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Re: Line6 XD-V70 wireless mic road test
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2011, 01:57:10 pm »

Hey Daniel

If you singer really loves his 87 capsule you should try just screwing it on to the V70. 
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Don Boomer
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Line6 XD-V70 wireless mic road test
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2011, 05:06:27 pm »

Hey Daniel

If you singer really loves his 87 capsule you should try just screwing it on to the V70.

Don, if you are going to post in topics about products you are involved with, please create a sig that shows your affiliation.

Mac
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Daniel Cash

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Re: Line6 XD-V70 wireless mic road test
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 05:15:35 pm »

Hey Daniel

If you singer really loves his 87 capsule you should try just screwing it on to the V70.

Honestly, we both felt that the Line6 capsule compared favorably, and the additional cost of a Shure capsule wouldst be necessary. (That is, if he was in the market to buy a new wireless system.)


However, if we were to try this, what "modeling" setting would you use on the hand-held transmitter?  Is the "Line 6 optimized model" a flat EQ?
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Michael Gazdziak

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Re: Line6 XD-V70 wireless mic road test
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2011, 01:49:30 am »

However, if we were to try this, what "modeling" setting would you use on the hand-held transmitter?  Is the "Line 6 optimized model" a flat EQ?

It seems like the handheld transmitter can tell if you are using the Line6 capsule, or a third party capsule. When I put a 58 head on a handheld, the modeling was disabled.


btw Don, we haven't had the opportunity to take the Line6 wireless out on a gig yet, but Captain Dick walked down the street with a handheld and was impressed by the wireless range, and the features of these units.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 01:57:36 am by Michael Gazdziak »
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Craig Leerman

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Re: Line6 XD-V70 wireless mic road test
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2011, 02:29:28 am »

Is the "Line 6 optimized model" a flat EQ?


From their website

Quote
XD-V70 includes a seventh microphone model, L6-DC7. Nicknamed the “super” model, this original mic model combines the sought-after sparkle of top condenser mics, the ruggedness and high dynamic range of dynamic mics, and plenty of responsiveness to cut through the mix.

So, no, its not flat, but they took what they thought was some of the "best" features of other mics and combined them into one.

Craig
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Craig Leerman

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Original Review reposted from the old LAB forums (with pics)
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2011, 02:32:06 am »

Hi All,

Don Boomer from Line 6 was kind enough to send a few wireless units to the Road Test. I received a pair of handheld mics, and a pair of lavalier mics.

First, a bit about the systems. They work on the 2.4GHz band, so they can be used all over the world. The systems have 12 channels to pick from, but in some instances, more than 12 can be used in the same building. (more on that later)

Don told me that they are looking at using some different frequency ranges so more than 12 systems can be used on the same stage.

The mics have a stated 300 feet / 100 meter range. I did an experiment with a lav unit and found it will transmit a lot farther than that, but for my uses, a few hundred feet is more than enough.

These use 24 bit digital conversion , so there is no companding, transmit 10Hz-20kHz, and the dynamic range is stated as 115dB.

There are also some remote antenna options available from Line 6.

The mics come well packed in a box with foam. Sorry about the pics, they are from my phone.

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e97/soundguyCraig/line%206/Line6boxinside.jpg

Inside the box are the transmitter in case, the receiver, 2 antennas, the power supply, the rack mounting hardware, a plastic joiner bar (for hooking up 2 units in 1 rack space), remote antenna jacks for the rack panel, and the instructions.

A quick bit about the instructions. There are only a FEW pages to read! Very simple units to use.

Lets start with the receiver. The unit is well built with a solid felling metal body. The front has a power switch, a button for setup, and a button to exit the setup screen. There is a select knob that you can turn and access the various options. The center of the front has a screen that shows what channel you are on, and the transmitter name, antenna diversity strength, as well as the menus.,

3 bar graphs are on the left side, one for audio, one for battery power, and one for RF.There is also a MUTE light.

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e97/soundguyCraig/line%206/Line6rackmount.jpg

The picture shows the 2 rack ears for mounting as single unit.

The rear of the receiver has 2 antenna inputs, 2 antenna OUTPUTS for loopthrough, XLR balanced and 1/4" unbalanced outputs and the DC power jack for the wall wart.

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e97/soundguyCraig/line%206/Line6receiverrear.jpg

The slots on the tops and sides of the unit allows you to use the plastic joiner bar and couple the units together. 2 units can fit in 1 rack space, and they can also be joined top to bottom.

The mics come in a nice padded case. They would offer good protection if you store the mics in a rack drawer or mic box.

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e97/soundguyCraig/line%206/Line6miccase.jpg

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e97/soundguyCraig/line%206/Line6miccaseinside.jpg

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e97/soundguyCraig/line%206/Line6lavcase.jpg

The handheld mic is well build and feels good in my hand. It comes with a nice mic clip. The mic head can be removed and any Shure style head can be screwed on, (including the ones from Heil). The mic uses 2 AA batteries, and has a nice secure battery compartment in the base. On the side of the mic there is a small screen that can display the mic name, and chan number. Recessed mute (also power) and select switches are under the screen. There is a lock button inside the mic by the battery compartment that will lock out the menus as well as the power switch. A great feature as I hate people flipping the power and mute switches on wireless after I hand it to them.

The handheld (and the lav) can run in 2 power modes. The lo mode helps conserve battery life, and can help when using multiple systems near each other (more on that later)

The handheld mic features MIC MODELING technology. The mics are based on an SM58, Beta58, Senn E835, AT4100, Audix 0M5, and one called the L6 which they based on a few favorite features of different mics.

The lav transmitter is built like a tank! It uses the same TA4F connector that Shure uses on its lav systems. The body has a screen, select and value buttons. Pressing both buttons acts as the lock. On the end of the transmitter are a power switch and mute button, as well as battery and power lights.

The belt clip can be loosened and turned in any direction for ease of mounting. This is a nice feature! Also, the battery compartment has a great secure lock.

The lav mic has a sturdy tie clip and a small windscreen.

First impressions: The receivers are well built and I like the fact that the company designed them so you don't have to buy additional parts to mount them together. I also love the antenna looping feature.

The handheld mic has a great battery compartment. The lav transmitter is the most rugged belt pack I have ever seen, and I love the lockout feature on both mics.

Now the fun part! I tested the gear at my shop and had it up and running in no time. The units are very easy to program.

The handheld sounds good and the mic modeling definitely changes the sound, but not having most of the models of mics at my disposal, I cannot say one way or another if they all sound like the models they were based on. Handling noise is minimal, and the sound quality is excellent.

The beltpack was just as easy to program and I noticed that when you turned the pack on or off there were no thumps through the system.

The lav microphone that is included in the set is not in the same league as the rest of the components. Its an OK mic, but not one I would pick on its own. Like many tiny lav mics, it has handling noise, but this mic seems to have more than I would like.

No problem, as I already have a large supply of lav mics with TA4s, so I just swapped the mic out and used some Shures to test the lav transmitter. With the new mics, audio quality was excellent.

I took the mics out to a few gigs. The first was a small speech gig outdoors with a local politician. I used a handheld on her, and used one as the podium mic. With the receivers at FOH, I turned the transmitters on HI Power and had no problems.

The next gig was a standard corporate general session with breakouts. I used the mics in the breakout rooms that were next to each other. Here is where these mics shine. In one room I had a lav on LO power, and the receiver placed next to stage right on chan 1. In the NEXT ROOM, I set up a lav on LO power with the receiver placed stage left (furthest point away from the receiver next door) and also placed that on CHAN 1.

They both worked! With only about 100' and an airwall between the receivers, I could have used them both on the same channel if I wanted to. So, yes, there are only 12 channels available, but in some situations like on a second festival stage a few hundred feet away, or breakout rooms, you can use more than 12 units on the gig if you put the transmitters on LO power.

Pros:
* Easy To Use
* Receivers very sturdy and can be joined together
* Antenna Loop Through feature
* Rack mounting hardware included
* Mic modeling can come in handy
* Lav Transmitter built like a tank!
* Uses TA4 connectors for lavs

Cons:
* On one stage, no more than 12 units an be used
* Lavalier mic has handling noise
* I dislike wall warts

Overall, I think these mics are a winner. Even though I hate wall warts, the ones included are small and lightweight. These mics have made my "BUY LIST"!

Craig


To read the replies to the above post on the archived forum, click this link

http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/586054/47/#msg_586054
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 02:44:19 am by Craig Leerman »
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Daniel Cash

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Re: Line6 XD-V70 wireless mic road test
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2011, 01:48:03 pm »

It seems like the handheld transmitter can tell if you are using the Line6 capsule, or a third party capsule. When I put a 58 head on a handheld, the modeling was disabled.


That actually makes sense. I should have given it a try at the time, when I had the 2 wireless systems side by side, but didn't even realize that it was a feature.

One other question I have, for Line6... I was at a gig where a guitarist pulled out a Line6 G30 wireless system, and It only has 6 user selectable channels. Are those compatible with the V70 systems?  For example if the G30 system is set to channel 1, can the V70 system use the remaining 11 channels? 
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Don Boomer

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Re: Line6 XD-V70 wireless mic road test
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2011, 04:52:52 pm »

There are 12 user channels available for simultaneous use by the Line 6 2.4G digital systems.  So if you use an XD-V30 on channel one then yes you can use 11 XD-V70's on the others.  You can also mix in the Relay instrument systems as well ... for a total of twelve.

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