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Author Topic: Replacement repair options for Sennheiser ME 2-II clip-on  (Read 485 times)

Scott Olewiler

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I just got text from a client telling me the ME2 lapel mic I rented to him has a bad cable. Fortunately I sent a spare along (a cheaper JK mic) in the wireless case.

This particular wireless kit has probably only gone out 5-6 times and since the cable always seems to want to twist along with the connector when you screw it into the bodypack, I can see this is going to be a reoccurring issue since these go out as dry rentals almost exclusively. 

I'm sure others have run into this issue. What are you guys doing to prevent this or make the mic cable more robust? Do I just get a serviceable connector and just keep snipping off the the end of the cable?  That'll work until the break happens further up the cable.

I thought about always sending out the bodypacks with the mic already attached but then you're going to have folks breaking the cable wrapping it around the bodypack.

Is there a more robust mic out there with a replaceable cable that anyone can vouch for that isn't going to far exceed the cost of the ME2?

Anyone try using a non-locking plug? Risky, I know; but at least the cable is getting twisted attaching it.

Fix it, sell it, and buy a Shure? 





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Russell Ault

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Re: Replacement repair options for Sennheiser ME 2-II clip-on
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2019, 11:29:47 am »

What are you guys doing to prevent this or make the mic cable more robust?

As far as I'm concerned, this is a known issue with all moulded-on locking 3.5mm connectors, regardless of manufacturer. The cable itself is actually quite durable (to the extent that I've seen mics with shredded outer jackets that, when patched up, continue to work reliably), but the connections inside the moulded-on connector are not, and the provided strain relief is inadequate.

Replacing the connectors with serviceable ones will immediately drop your failure rate substantially because the solder inside the connector will be much more durable that whatever is inside the moulded-on connector (I'm assuming some kind of crimp).

The other solution is to add extra strain relief to the connectors. My SOP with these mics is to tape (or, if you can, Hellermann with a half sleeve) the cable back to the connector, forming a loop about 4 cm long. This means if someone puts strain on the cable, especially a shock load (i.e. drops the pack) this loading will dissipate in the cable and the tape (or sleeve) instead of in the connector. It's been a long time since I've experienced a connector failure on one of these mics since I started doing this (and that includes musical productions with 15+ mics and lots of choreo).

Of course you can do both (and probably will on mics that are already broken), and this is the gold standard for reliability for this connector type, but for most applications strain-reliefing the original moulded-on connector is probably sufficient.

As for replacement, the moulded-on connector is absolutely the single biggest problem with these systems. Once you get that fixed, in my mind what you're left with is a reliable, cost-effective, flexible, and good-sounding wireless microphone system. Try a key test on them sometime, you'll be impressed...

-Russ
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dave briar

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Re: Replacement repair options for Sennheiser ME 2-II clip-on
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2019, 01:17:13 pm »

Iíve used the following moldable glue to reinforce connections and provide strain relief with great results.

Sugru

However, Iím not familiar with the particular connection you are referring to and so not sure of its applicability in your case but it is a pretty cool solution for many applications.
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: Replacement repair options for Sennheiser ME 2-II clip-on
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2019, 11:54:18 am »

Thanks for the suggestions.  Obviously where I really dropped the ball here was not just reinforcing the molded end from the beginning.  Which is odd since I always do that with DC power supplies.
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Replacement repair options for Sennheiser ME 2-II clip-on
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2019, 10:12:17 pm »

It's not super difficult to wire a Shure WL-185 for Evolution.  IMO that's a much better lav, and you can keep reusing the connector if the wire wears out at that end.  But it's also IMO a much better wire than what Sennheiser uses.
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: Replacement repair options for Sennheiser ME 2-II clip-on
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2019, 06:22:53 pm »

It's not super difficult to wire a Shure WL-185 for Evolution.  IMO that's a much better lav, and you can keep reusing the connector if the wire wears out at that end.  But it's also IMO a much better wire than what Sennheiser uses.

That's an idea. I was at a wedding last month where th DJ was using the BLX system with the CVL and I thought it sounded better than the ME 2. Sure the WL-185 would be a lot better.
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Russell Ault

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Re: Replacement repair options for Sennheiser ME 2-II clip-on
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2019, 07:39:46 pm »

That's an idea. I was at a wedding last month where th DJ was using the BLX system with the CVL and I thought it sounded better than the ME 2. Sure the WL-185 would be a lot better.

Just be aware that, while ME2 is omni, the WL-185 is cardioid (and therefore closer to the ME4). Both have their applications, but the two mics aren't necessarily interchangeable. For what it's worth, the ME2 is also physically smaller, which may or may not be a good thing (again depending on application).

-Russ
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Replacement repair options for Sennheiser ME 2-II clip-on
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2019, 09:57:10 am »

Just be aware that, while ME2 is omni, the WL-185 is cardioid (and therefore closer to the ME4). Both have their applications, but the two mics aren't necessarily interchangeable. For what it's worth, the ME2 is also physically smaller, which may or may not be a good thing (again depending on application).

An equivalent omni from Shure might be the WL-93.  Not their latest or priciest, but something solid that's been around for decades and still a passable choice.

To be blunt, I'm not a big fan of the ME lavs that Sennheiser ships with the Evo systems. The construction looks and feels cheap, and the sound is something probably better suited to blasting through a conference room ceiling speaker than for anything where sound quality is a concern.
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Russell Ault

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Re: Replacement repair options for Sennheiser ME 2-II clip-on
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2019, 11:18:10 am »

To be blunt, I'm not a big fan of the ME lavs that Sennheiser ships with the Evo systems. The construction looks and feels cheap, and the sound is something probably better suited to blasting through a conference room ceiling speaker than for anything where sound quality is a concern.

Huh, I don't remember the ME2 being that bad, sound-wise at least (omni lavs should be pretty hard to screw up, frankly), but then again it's been a while since I've used one. My default-option lav these days is a MKE2,  but that's in a different price bracket (although it annoyingly still includes a failure-prone moulded-on connector).

-Russ
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Eric Snodgrass

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Re: Replacement repair options for Sennheiser ME 2-II clip-on
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2019, 01:11:29 pm »

An equivalent omni from Shure might be the WL-93.  Not their latest or priciest, but something solid that's been around for decades and still a passable choice.

To be blunt, I'm not a big fan of the ME lavs that Sennheiser ships with the Evo systems. The construction looks and feels cheap, and the sound is something probably better suited to blasting through a conference room ceiling speaker than for anything where sound quality is a concern.

I'm of the opposite opinion.  I quite like the Sennheiser ME2 lavs a lot better than the Shure WL-93.  I think the WL-93 takes entirely too much EQ work to make sound passable.  Also, even though it is an omni capsule it is a side-address mic, not a top-address mic, and as such it is too easy to put it on someone with the capsule facing towards the person wearing it, giving it a more muffled sound than it already has. 

If the OP is looking for some inexpensive lavalier replacements he should check out Microphone Madness.  They sell inexpensive lavaliers with custom connectors that aren't molded plastic.  You can customize your order for cable length and connector type.  It might be worth purchasing a few of them to put in the rental stock along with the wireless packs.  I'm betting the ROI would be very good. 
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