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Author Topic: UHF Antenna Options - Musical Theatre  (Read 2749 times)

Ben Anderson

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UHF Antenna Options - Musical Theatre
« on: July 05, 2014, 10:08:36 pm »

Hi All, i am looking at getting some mic stand mountable antenna's for use in musical theatre and at the moment i am continually going around in circles as to which option is best.

First of all, when i hire 16 units of sennheiser ew500g3 they come in racks of four, each with an ASA1/NT with front mounted 1/4 wave antennas that are spaced too close together for optimal performance, furthermore they may have an incorrect grounding plane? Also, they sit on a table at just above waist height so when there are 40 people on stage this would also significantly reduce their performance.

These are usually located on the wings of a proscenium arch theatre, and my logic and understanding says that by having a couple of correctly spaced antennas other than the 1/4 wave's high on mic stands i should see significant improvement.

I have purchased a shure ua221 passive split kit so that i can feed 2 sets of 2 linked ASA1/NT active splitters to make up 16 channels. I believe this can also be achieved by having a 5th ASA1/NT however this is not apart of the sennheiser documentation as far as i can see, but i have read of others doing this.

Also, i would like to have some sort of directional antenna's as the venue does not wish to entertain me on ensuring properly co-ordinated frequencies between its neighbouring theatres and lobby area. Last show i was forced to move 4 or 5 frequencies as they were using wireless units in the lobby during sound check that correlated in direct hits, despite me bringing this up as an issue a week before hand they were unwilling to shift so i am forced to take steps to further isolate my system from interference. 

So the choices seem as such:

Sennheiser A 1031-U Passive omni-directional ~ 300 for pair
Sennheiser A 2003 UHF Antenna ~ 600 for pair
RF venue Dfin ~ 400
Lectrosonics Dipole ~ 300 pair
RF Venue spotlight ~ 500 - not sure how diversity would work using only 1 of these?
Cheaper paddles?
Audio-Technica ATW-A49 UHF LPDA ~ 255 pair
or PSC?

I keep leaning towards the dfin for some isolation, not as much as with paddles, good performance with a large amount of movement onstage and ease of setup as using 2 paddles would require running cable across traffic areas, but of course if the performance increase warrants this it would be OK.

In my efforts to read about this antenna i see it being the go to for location sound due to its ease of use and used on some tours, however i am unsure wether it would suite musical theatre?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Ben Anderson
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Doug Hammel

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Re: UHF Antenna Options - Musical Theatre
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2014, 01:12:38 am »

Hi All, i am looking at getting some mic stand mountable antenna's for use in musical theatre and at the moment i am continually going around in circles as to which option is best.

First of all, when i hire 16 units of sennheiser ew500g3 they come in racks of four, each with an ASA1/NT with front mounted 1/4 wave antennas that are spaced too close together for optimal performance, furthermore they may have an incorrect grounding plane? Also, they sit on a table at just above waist height so when there are 40 people on stage this would also significantly reduce their performance.

These are usually located on the wings of a proscenium arch theatre, and my logic and understanding says that by having a couple of correctly spaced antennas other than the 1/4 wave's high on mic stands i should see significant improvement.

I have purchased a shure ua221 passive split kit so that i can feed 2 sets of 2 linked ASA1/NT active splitters to make up 16 channels. I believe this can also be achieved by having a 5th ASA1/NT however this is not apart of the sennheiser documentation as far as i can see, but i have read of others doing this.

Also, i would like to have some sort of directional antenna's as the venue does not wish to entertain me on ensuring properly co-ordinated frequencies between its neighbouring theatres and lobby area. Last show i was forced to move 4 or 5 frequencies as they were using wireless units in the lobby during sound check that correlated in direct hits, despite me bringing this up as an issue a week before hand they were unwilling to shift so i am forced to take steps to further isolate my system from interference. 

So the choices seem as such:

Sennheiser A 1031-U Passive omni-directional ~ 300 for pair
Sennheiser A 2003 UHF Antenna ~ 600 for pair
RF venue Dfin ~ 400
Lectrosonics Dipole ~ 300 pair
RF Venue spotlight ~ 500 - not sure how diversity would work using only 1 of these?
Cheaper paddles?
Audio-Technica ATW-A49 UHF LPDA ~ 255 pair
or PSC?

I keep leaning towards the dfin for some isolation, not as much as with paddles, good performance with a large amount of movement onstage and ease of setup as using 2 paddles would require running cable across traffic areas, but of course if the performance increase warrants this it would be OK.

In my efforts to read about this antenna i see it being the go to for location sound due to its ease of use and used on some tours, however i am unsure wether it would suite musical theatre?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Ben Anderson

Ben, you said you hire these wireless units in. Can the company you rent them from put them all in one rack with a antennae distribution system and one pair of remote antennae's. This would be the best way to do it.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 11:37:34 am by Mac Kerr »
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Doug Hammel

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Chris White

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Re: UHF Antenna Options - Musical Theatre
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2014, 10:44:17 am »

I would recommend the Dfin. I had a show on the 4th using 12 channels of wireless and I was able to get cleaner channels with the Dfin than with any other antenna options I had. Which included Sennheiser omni paddles and shure directional paddles.


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Chris White
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Jivemind Productions

Jerome Malsack

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Re: UHF Antenna Options - Musical Theatre
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2014, 11:44:44 am »

deploying the antennae is crucial also.  where are they on stage.  The body (water bag) can block the transmission from the wireless to the antennae.   I would review your area for what sources of interference and there locations. 

Try to position the antennae in opposite corners giving you front and back of body coverage.  Example front of stage right and rear of stage left. 

You will need to know the cable distance between the receivers and the antennae positions.  Will this require an RF amp from each of the antennae? 
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Ben Anderson

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Re: UHF Antenna Options - Musical Theatre
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2014, 04:19:17 am »

Thanks for the reply's, great to hear a positive review for the Dfin.

I think for the price i get the hire units for, rearranging the setup is not really an option and the company only has helical antenna's available for hire. If i asked for an extra ASA1/NT so everything could be linked they would probably be happy to do this but i don't expect this at all, and i think a 2db loss from using a shure passive split is OK anyway. We own one rack of 4 sennheisers plus antenna distro anyway, so they can go with this and it is an investment in quality, so to me it is a no brainer.

Thanks Jerome for your insight on antenna positioning. Remotely positioning the paddles is an option like you describe, infact its interesting as i also run line 6 2.4ghz (8 in total) with paddles along side the sennheisers, so i could use a stereo mic bar and place the 1 paddle from each system together in different locations. I also invision having this mounted high on lighting stands facing down to further minimise the blocking of bodies on a busy stage. Of course, this all depends a great deal on how the set changes work, are heavy sets rolling on and off the stage on the wings etc., and this is where the dfin becomes enticing. Theoretically though, better and more consistent performance should be seen from using the set up Jerome has mentioned, especially as i have read that the 'water bag' can attenuate the signal by up to 50db. Is this correct?

Thanks again for the input

Ben Anderson
     
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: UHF Antenna Options - Musical Theatre
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2014, 04:19:17 am »


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