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Line6 XD-V70 wireless mic road test

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Daniel Cash:
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.

Frederik Rosenkjær:

--- Quote from: DanielCash on March 16, 2011, 02:43:59 am ---The lead singer, owns his own Shure SLX system
--- End quote ---


--- Quote from: DanielCash on March 16, 2011, 02:43:59 am ---, and is very picky about his sound
--- End quote ---

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

Anyway:


--- Quote from: DanielCash on March 16, 2011, 02:43:59 am ---For a mic costing approximately half that of the Shure SLX system, the Line6 gives it a run for the money.

--- End quote ---

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.

Don Boomer:
Hey Daniel

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

Mac Kerr:

--- Quote from: Don Boomer 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.

--- End quote ---

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

Mac

Daniel Cash:

--- Quote from: Don Boomer 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.

--- End quote ---

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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