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Author Topic: IEM decision advice  (Read 5704 times)

Guy Morris

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IEM decision advice
« on: October 30, 2012, 03:34:35 pm »

Hi

I have a job coming up featuring two principle artists performing in different sets requiring IEMs. They do not have their own earpieces/ moulds and I have been asked to source the best IEM system. This will mean just using the generic available ear pieces supplied with the hired in systems. I am looking at the Sennheiser G3 or Shure PSM 900. Having used the previous Sennheiser G2  IEM it seemed a bit low level and had less than useful foam ear inserts which offered a fairly lack lustre sound IMO Is the latest offering better or does the Shure offer a better experience ? If you have used either I would appreciate your input. I like Sennheiser and own and use their current G3 radio mics regularly but as far as artist satisfaction is concerned which is the best choice for generic earpieces? (I'm assuming the TX side of things is technically pretty close for both brands).

The other part to this is that at some point I would like to buy in some new IEM stock however different artists may have their own earpieces, how interchangeable are the plug terminations on these systems as Shure and Sennheiser use different connectors.

Thanks
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Phil Hornung

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Re: IEM decision advice
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 04:45:44 pm »

Hi Guy,
I find both systems work well. Certainly both are used by many, many big artists around the world. A huge aspect of the overall sound is the ear driver.

In terms of the plug termination you're talking about, I think both systems are the same XLR and 1/4" TRS inputs. At the pack, both use standard 1/8" headphone jacks. It's not like on the mic transmitter packs. They're both quite universally compatible with everything out there.

For me personally, Westone makes the best universal fit ear buds (UM-2). They aren't my #1 choice for fitted stuff, but especially for the money, their universal fit stuff is great.
Quite true about the sennheiser ear buds that ship with evolution IEM systems. I would consider them for emergency use only. I do actually know a couple of pro musicians that use them every day by preference - but I would say they are the exception to the rule.

Also, depending how much money you have to spend on this show, Sennheiser now makes the 2000 series IEMs, and Shure makes the PSM 1000. In both cases big jump in cost, but better performance.

Cheers.
Phil
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Jens Palm Bacher

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Re: IEM decision advice
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 04:48:36 pm »

Hi

I have a job coming up featuring two principle artists performing in different sets requiring IEMs. They do not have their own earpieces/ moulds and I have been asked to source the best IEM system. This will mean just using the generic available ear pieces supplied with the hired in systems. I am looking at the Sennheiser G3 or Shure PSM 900. Having used the previous Sennheiser G2  IEM it seemed a bit low level and had less than useful foam ear inserts which offered a fairly lack lustre sound IMO Is the latest offering better or does the Shure offer a better experience ? If you have used either I would appreciate your input. I like Sennheiser and own and use their current G3 radio mics regularly but as far as artist satisfaction is concerned which is the best choice for generic earpieces? (I'm assuming the TX side of things is technically pretty close for both brands).

The other part to this is that at some point I would like to buy in some new IEM stock however different artists may have their own earpieces, how interchangeable are the plug terminations on these systems as Shure and Sennheiser use different connectors.

Thanks
Looking at the stock headphones delivered with the systems Shure has the lead with the SE425 compared to the Senn. IE4, but both are really just meant as a starting point. Buy the systems without headphones if possible and get something like the Westone UM3.
All IEM receivers use standard 3,5mm minijack conenctors, so you can mix and match as you like.
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Phil Hornung

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Re: IEM decision advice
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 04:54:49 pm »

get something like the Westone UM3.

+1
I said UM-2 because it's what I've used. didn't realize there was a UM3, but I'm sure it's great.
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David Sumrall

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Re: IEM decision advice
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 05:11:18 pm »

Hey Guy,

I'd break it down a bit more...

Systems & Ear Buds considered separately.

Figure which system works best for you. Demo them learn them, consider features and frequency options, and budget then decide.

I've seen situations where either the G3 or 900 would be fine. But it depends on what you need and where you want to go and preference. My personal leaning would be toward the 900.

On the buds side don't order with the generics and look at your options. Several companies make good non molded stuff. Shure new 425 and 525 are couple i'd check out but there are others.

Your budget will drive some of your decisions here. What ever you get try and get something where the cable is easily replaceable and carry spares.

But i would strongly recommend trying to get the artist on molds. They and you will be much happier with the end result. You could get them into a set of 2 driver Westone ES2 for around $650 per, plus the mold appointment.

And yeah the plug is the same on Shure and Sennheiser receiver packs.

But you have not clarified a couple things. Are you talking about for just a solo artist or for a full band?

Are you talking purchase or rental?

One off? extended show? or Tour?

What other RF items, brands, frequency ranges will be in use to the shows they are performing at?

If you are talking rental then i would at least get try to get them to buy there own ears, preferably molds. If not molds at least having there own ears will go a long way.

Good luck!

David

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David Sumrall
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Gateway Church
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www.SchoolofTechArts.com

Tom Burgess

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Re: IEM decision advice
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2012, 12:25:56 pm »

Looking at the stock headphones delivered with the systems Shure has the lead with the SE425 compared to the Senn. IE4, but both are really just meant as a starting point. Buy the systems without headphones if possible and get something like the Westone UM3.
All IEM receivers use standard 3,5mm minijack conenctors, so you can mix and match as you like.
Thumbs up on the 425's.  I recently outfitted a client with 4 AKG 4500 IEM systems for their 4-piece male vocal gospel group.  Love love love the system, but the buds are terrible.  Hooked them up with the 425's and, judging by their response, you'd have thought that I was the one who walked on water, lol!   ;D
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If the band sounds great, it's because the band IS great, if the band sound like crap, it's the soundman's fault.

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Guy Morris

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Re: IEM decision advice
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 06:40:21 am »

Thanks everyone on the feedback its been very helpful.  In this instance it is a one off event with rental stock hired in hence the query on best generic earbuds,  the house band  are on wedges with just the guest vocalists on the IEMs. Budget is a factor so G3 or PSM900 are the contenders both are good products so it is really which one! in the end the BE given the option has now requested the Shure.  I read a lot of reviews after posting as well and it seems 50/50 between the two products Sennheiser appears to have a slight issue on hiss and gain structure balancing? and the PSM 900 has a slight drop in HF due to a compression circuit in the system? the Shure does get the gold star on being able to monitor up to 20 channels off one RX unit handy for the monitor engineer and a saving on another TX unit also better buds as a generic option.(cheers Jens and Tom)

Good to know the mini jack connector is standard for all bud brands so its just down to which system when it comes to making a purchase look forward to trying out the PSM900s next week.

Thanks


Hi

I have a job coming up featuring two principle artists performing in different sets requiring IEMs. They do not have their own earpieces/ moulds and I have been asked to source the best IEM system. This will mean just using the generic available ear pieces supplied with the hired in systems. I am looking at the Sennheiser G3 or Shure PSM 900. Having used the previous Sennheiser G2  IEM it seemed a bit low level and had less than useful foam ear inserts which offered a fairly lack lustre sound IMO Is the latest offering better or does the Shure offer a better experience ? If you have used either I would appreciate your input. I like Sennheiser and own and use their current G3 radio mics regularly but as far as artist satisfaction is concerned which is the best choice for generic earpieces? (I'm assuming the TX side of things is technically pretty close for both brands).

The other part to this is that at some point I would like to buy in some new IEM stock however different artists may have their own earpieces, how interchangeable are the plug terminations on these systems as Shure and Sennheiser use different connectors.

Thanks
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Jens Palm Bacher

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Re: IEM decision advice
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2012, 07:39:11 am »

the Shure does get the gold star on being able to monitor up to 20 channels off one RX unit handy for the monitor engineer and a saving on another TX unit also better buds as a generic option.(cheers Jens and Tom)
Just FYI the Sennheiser will also do this (they call it engineer mode)
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Tim Padrick

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Re: IEM decision advice
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2012, 01:53:26 pm »

I'd take the Senny over the 900, but might take the 1000 over the Senny.
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Scott Helmke

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Re: IEM decision advice
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2012, 06:19:59 pm »

Seems like you should be able to rent better earbuds to go with the IEM systems, though.  We rent a lot of IEM stuff, and generally send out Shure single-driver (E1, E3, SCL3, SE215) buds with each channel regardless of Shure vs. Sennheiser.  Then we offer an upgrade to SE425 if desired. 

I like the IE4 buds for casual iPod listening, but don't think they are good for IEM use.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: IEM decision advice
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2012, 06:19:59 pm »


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