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Author Topic: Shure ULX, SLX, PGX ???  (Read 32313 times)

Charles Wick

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Shure ULX, SLX, PGX ???
« on: March 17, 2010, 02:40:00 am »

Ok, so here is my question. I am looking at the Shure wireless mic systems. I know that there are the PG, PGX, SLX, ULX, etc. Pertaining to the PGX, SLX, and ULX systems only, assuming that they all had the SM58 mic, and if I wanted only 6 systems max to use at one time, is there any really big need to purchase a ULX or SLX over the PGX? (This is for installed sound at a church, used 3 times a week.) Thanks.
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Peter Etheredge

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Re: Shure ULX, SLX, PGX ???
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2010, 09:50:26 am »

Sound quality is the biggest reason - SLX and PGX sound very... strained?  Not quite sure how to put it but it's horribly audible and you'll find yourself trying to EQ all day and never being happy with it.

SLX and PGX also have these horrible rubbery buttons and you'll find yourself replacing on a regular basis - really irritating.

If you are looking at spending more in the SLX price range check out the Sennheiser EW 100 G3 stuff - not only can it accommodate many, many, more systems in the long run the audio quality is superb and they are built like tanks.
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Peter Etheredge
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Joseph Dixon

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Re: Shure ULX, SLX, PGX ???
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2010, 10:16:47 am »

Peter Etheredge wrote on Wed, 17 March 2010 09:50

Sound quality is the biggest reason - SLX and PGX sound very... strained?  Not quite sure how to put it but it's horribly audible and you'll find yourself trying to EQ all day and never being happy with it.

SLX and PGX also have these horrible rubbery buttons and you'll find yourself replacing on a regular basis - really irritating.

If you are looking at spending more in the SLX price range check out the Sennheiser EW 100 G3 stuff - not only can it accommodate many, many, more systems in the long run the audio quality is superb and they are built like tanks.



I totally agree with everything said there. I just mixed a very popular cover band this past Saturday. The two lead singers had had SLX Beta 87's - AND IT WAS IN A TENT! It sounded like a dookie stick! Midas Venice, good gear, good PA, the other wired SM58's (although not my favorite mic) were much easier to work with.


I wish I had a second Line 6 X2 XDR955 digital wireless with me. I would have switched those two SLX's right on out. The only time I didn't totally dislike them was just a speech only situation.


If money is an issue, man - I', telling you, you can't go wrong with the Line 6 wireless mic.

I hope this helps...
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Tim A Perry

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Re: Shure ULX, SLX, PGX ???
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2010, 10:34:23 pm »

I really don't like bad mouthing products but... I had the experience of using some PGX for theater recently. These were new outta the box units coupled with a mish-mash of other stuff. They dropped out when the actor got 10 paces away from the receivers.

I supplied a ULX for the lead actor to get then through but i was pretty surprised at how poorly the PGX performed.

Now to be fair there wasn't time to do any debugging or checking so it is possible there was some problem outside the PGX units. nevertheless I an not eager to meet up with these again.


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Gerry Seymour

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Re: Shure ULX, SLX, PGX ???
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2010, 11:20:44 pm »

I had a similar experience when we first got our SLX bodypack. Turned out to be a simple matter of interference. I'm far from an expert, but I've never seen interference with any system (that one, our backup bodypack, or either handheld, or any rentals we've used) that caused such abrupt drop-outs. It would literally go from "fantastic" to "no signal" in a few steps, about 15-20 feet from the receiver. I'm sure this is theoretically possible, but it just seemed odd.
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Gerry Seymour

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Sean Chen

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Re: Shure ULX, SLX, PGX ???
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2010, 12:02:29 am »

Hello,

Sound quality is the same between PGX and SLX. The difference between these 2 are the LCD display, # of simultaneous wireless devices, and antenna options. SLX/PGX is really not geared toward sound quality, but rather for basic speaking purpose. I would use them for announcement, but not for the pastor. The only good thing I can say about them is they have diversity RF, so they won't be interfered as easily if receivers are close to the mics. Put the receivers on the stage next to the stage snake, or hide them inside the pulpit.

ULX sounds better, but still not like a wired mic. I ended up pulling the trigger for a UHF-R system because the sound quality of that is close enough to a wired counterpart as far as my ears can tell.

For a little less money than ULX, Sennheiser EW-135/145/165 will give a better sound quality and rock solid reliability. Our church has a EW-165 for lead singer.

So you need 6 systems? If you are up to divide & conquer, get 2 high quality sounding systems, and 4 budget systems. For lead singer(s) get 2 ULX or 2 Sennheiser EW1xx, or the dual UR4D. For the rest, get 4 PGX's for back-up singers and announcements.
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Sean Chen

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Re: Shure ULX, SLX, PGX ???
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2010, 12:09:35 am »

Another thing about mic capsules. SM58 are great sounding, until you hear the SM-86. And don't bother with the Beta 87A capsule unless you go to UHF-R. For some reason the Beta 87A capsule sounds horrible with SLX/PGX. The SM-86 is a well kept secret, which is used by Hillsong Church (see Darlene Czech on CD covers) and also Hillsong Church in London.
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Tom Manchester

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Re: Shure ULX, SLX, PGX ???
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2010, 12:13:57 am »

Skip the PGX, it's for Karaoke and wedding DJ's. I have 4 SLX SM58 handhelds in a rack with stock whip antennas that I use for just about anything up to C level nationals (amateur rap acts, small college shows, etc.) if the better wireless gear is not available. I basically got the systems for free, and have no complaints about sound or RF quality, no major issues with dropout even in hostile RF environments or artists running around on stage. The ULX stuff works well, but I don't like the fact that it runs on 9 volt batteries. Regardless of brand, you are not going to get anything that I would consider bulletproof for under $1-2k / channel. Consider looking for the older Shure U series on the used market. Very popular on the festival and tour scene until the UHF-R and newer sennheiser stuff came out.
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John Neil

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Re: Shure ULX, SLX, PGX ???
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2010, 01:09:21 am »

If it were me, in a church setting...

I wouldn't consider 6 channels without a proper antenna combiner, antenna solution, and frequency coordination effort.  A pre-purchase coordination effort can yield insight into proper bandsplits.

Fortunately, ebay seems to be a good source for such Shure accessories.

I refuse to put my reputation as a provider on anything less than ULX, but I understand church budgets are what they are.  Also consider the FCC's apparent inability to make up their mind about designated frequency space.  Churches tend to have rather longterm relationships with their equipment, so this has the potential to become an issue (again.)

I've been impressed with the sennheiser products.  They have a reputation for having additional bang for buck over the shure lines.  I'd need a long-term hands on to verify before budgeting funds of a client for them.  Their antenna distribution products seem to be less available through the usual outlets.
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Shure ULX, SLX, PGX ???
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2010, 03:54:56 am »

I don't know if I've worked with ULX, but I've worked with a number of the SLX and PGX, and I have hated them all.  They fail to pick up the nuances of the voice as well as a wired mic with the same capsule, they are more mushy and indistinct when the singer is in his/her low & quiet range, and they are more bright and irritating when the singer is in his/her loud & high range.

I recently worked with an EW100/835, and although not as good as a wired mic, I think I'm safe in saying that it sounded better than the SLX/PGX.  Once I was able to monitor some AT4000 series via headphones and they sounded quite good (although I don't know how tight their pattern is, as it was a pretty quiet stage).

I'm not a big fan of the wired SM or Beta 58 - I'd prefer to use even an E835 or E935. I won't gripe if an artist wants to use his/her wired Beta 87, as they seem to sound pretty good (so long as the band is not too loud).


Edit: typo. (I used to be a great proof reader Sad )
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