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Author Topic: Uhfr vs Ulxd  (Read 13238 times)

Dan Currie

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Uhfr vs Ulxd
« on: September 07, 2016, 09:41:20 pm »

I had a moment to do a small comparison of 4 uhfr and 4 ulxd belt packs transmitting at 10mw on the same frequencies.  All graphs are taken with the belt packs lumped together. 


UHFR


ULXD

The uhfr's are as I expected.  Noticeable intermods with quite a bit of unusable bandwidth.  What surprised me was how the well ulxd's interacted with their intermods most likely appearing below the noise floor.   
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 09:48:28 pm by Dan Currie »
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Uhfr vs Ulxd
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2016, 10:06:11 am »

Nice test!

I did do something like it with just two packs each, and I recall noticing that the overall noise floor went up a bit when I was testing the ULX-D packs.
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Dave Stevens

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Re: Uhfr vs Ulxd
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2016, 01:48:13 am »

The spectral efficiency is outstanding on the ULXD.  We replaced 8 ch of aging series 3000 Sennheiser for the live band leaving about a dozen character mics on the 3k series.  They sounded good but the diversity method compared to the Sennheiser or the UHFR didn't work for the show.  There were too many dropouts.  Shure helped sort it out and our dealer worked it out so we could replace them with UHFRs.  It's a very large room, lots of steel, lots of other freqs (from DC to light...) and the predictive algorithm didn't work for the show.

We also do themed events in the room a few times a month.  These include the press conferences for most of the big boxing and combat sports events in town.  We use 8 or 10 units set up on the stage area, instead of through our packs, antenna system and radio shack on the 8th floor.  The big pressers can have 80-100 media outlets (a big boxing match last year had more than 100).  Lectro blocks get used pretty quickly and the clients aren't good at policing the freqs.  We reserve a portion of the space for the event and broadcast RF and that's where the ULXD shines.  We can cram everything in a narrow space and as an added bonus, re freq basically on the fly without firing up the IFR and IAS (or even WWB) for the times when some knucklehead doesn't follow the freq guide.  When used in this app the ULXD performance is exceptional. 
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drew gandy

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Re: Uhfr vs Ulxd
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 12:06:08 am »

The spectral efficiency is outstanding on the ULXD.  We replaced 8 ch of aging series 3000 Sennheiser for the live band leaving about a dozen character mics on the 3k series.  They sounded good but the diversity method compared to the Sennheiser or the UHFR didn't work for the show.  There were too many dropouts. 

You've got me curious.  Can you describe this issue a bit more?  It sounds like we might win on intermod performance but fail on account of the predictive algorithm?   
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Dave Stevens

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Re: Uhfr vs Ulxd
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2016, 02:07:20 pm »

You've got me curious.  Can you describe this issue a bit more?  It sounds like we might win on intermod performance but fail on account of the predictive algorithm?

The D series method is such that when the device senses the performance of an antenna dropping, it switches to the the other antenna. It's a single receiver device that uses predictive switching baked into the chip.  The caveat is that the other antenna isn't monitored or polled prior to the switch.  That can lead to being switched to an antenna that has worse performance.  That is a contrast to the dual receiver diversity where the signals are actively polled where in theory the active circuit is the strongest.

If your app is a traditional side of stage or backstage set up, even with an antenna remote, it will likely work well for you.  For our primary show, it wasn't the right solution.  My understanding is that while our situation is not unheard of, others have experienced it, it's not common either.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Uhfr vs Ulxd
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2016, 08:58:37 pm »

The D series method is such that when the device senses the performance of an antenna dropping, it switches to the the other antenna. It's a single receiver device that uses predictive switching baked into the chip.  The caveat is that the other antenna isn't monitored or polled prior to the switch.  That can lead to being switched to an antenna that has worse performance.  That is a contrast to the dual receiver diversity where the signals are actively polled where in theory the active circuit is the strongest.

If your app is a traditional side of stage or backstage set up, even with an antenna remote, it will likely work well for you.  For our primary show, it wasn't the right solution.  My understanding is that while our situation is not unheard of, others have experienced it, it's not common either.

From an audio standpoint the ULX-D is significantly better than the UHF-R.  The dual diversity antenna system of the UHF-R is where that model shines.  Certain RF challenges require a dual diversity system.  The correct tool to solve the problem at hand is often the tool that keeps working rather than the one that works better, but not all the time.

Lee
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Dave Stevens

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Re: Uhfr vs Ulxd
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2016, 02:55:45 am »

The audio quality is subjective.  Once you get it into the desk and out into the room it's difficult to tell and in a good set of ears six/half dozen of the other.  I've been using UHFR as a handheld since they came out way back when.  These UHFRs are packs using DPA 4088s and 1/4" for the instruments.  While they're good, the radio performance isn't quite as solid as the Sennheiser is, which is what we still use for the character mics.   

The switching on the D has a gigantic caveat of having a switching system that can throw to an antenna that's got worse reception.  That's one of the trade offs for this design in order to get the spectral density.  Shure engineering is outstanding, I'm surprised they let this one by unless it was the tradeoff for the price point and frequency agility/spacing.  Then again, even at the top levels marketing and accounting often overrule engineering.
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Diogo Nunes Pereira

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Re: Uhfr vs Ulxd
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2016, 06:12:41 am »

The switching on the D has a gigantic caveat of having a switching system that can throw to an antenna that's got worse reception.  That's one of the trade offs for this design in order to get the spectral density.  Shure engineering is outstanding, I'm surprised they let this one by unless it was the tradeoff for the price point and frequency agility/spacing.  Then again, even at the top levels marketing and accounting often overrule engineering.

Well, ULX-D price is almost half the UHF-R. I guess it's more expensive to produce a dual-receiver "true-diversity" unit such as the UHF-R, among other design considerations I'm sure.

The spectral efficiency is great though, and Having Dante output, CL/QL monitoring and a quad-receiver in 1RU are also neat features but there are some things in the ULX-D that i either miss or don't like:

. No power cascading is one. UHF-R racks lock a lot better from the behind.
. RF cascade limited to 2 units.
. No headphone jack for monitoring in the front panel... my last big show as RF Coord I actually took a QL1 to monitor the talent after installing the packs/before going on-stage.
. The tiny screen/menu structure is a pain. Now that I know my way around it I'm able to go fast with the weel, but whoever changed network/ID/dante setting knows what I mean.
. AES out would be cool

 It actually feels like the ULX-D is more a install unit then for the touring/rental world. I imagine Shure has to be cooking up a top-tier digital system. Someting that shows up in their webpage between the Axient and the UHF-R.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Uhfr vs Ulxd
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2016, 06:46:44 am »

The audio quality is subjective. 

I am talking about both measured and listening.  The first quantitative, the second qualitative. 
In recording and broadcast use it is not hard at all to tell the difference for musical applications (orchestra with vocal soloist, opera, etc).  ULX-D does not just sound subjectively better, in fact it was the first Shure wireless system that rivals Sennheiser for sound quality.  ULX-D also sounds better than Axient.  Yes, I have had them side by side. 

But, like I said, sound quality is not the only performance issue to be considered, often it's not the first to be considered. 
I would think for most users both the difference in cost and the more robust RF performance vs. the superior spectral efficiency/density are the bigger factors because both systems sound good enough for most uses.

Lee
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John Halliburton

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Re: Uhfr vs Ulxd
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2016, 08:59:42 am »

The spectral efficiency is outstanding on the ULXD. 
We can cram everything in a narrow space and as an added bonus, re freq basically on the fly without firing up the IFR and IAS (or even WWB) for the times when some knucklehead doesn't follow the freq guide.  When used in this app the ULXD performance is exceptional.

This is what I understand is the real shining light of the ULXD gear. 

A very informative thread, thanks to the OP and for starting it.

Can't someone in admin change Dave's status, please? ;>)

Best regards,

John
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Re: Uhfr vs Ulxd
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2016, 08:59:42 am »


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