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Author Topic: EV R300 lavalier wireless system.  (Read 7919 times)

Mark Chrysostom

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EV R300 lavalier wireless system.
« on: September 27, 2011, 07:46:45 pm »

After several inquiries from potential clients I decided to purchase a wireless lav system for my rental stock. Most of my business is live music, so I wanted to keep the cost down in case this ends up being a little-used item. I looked at most of the sub-$500 options and decided to try EV's new R300 system. MAP is $299, but you can do better if you know a guy.

The system comes in a soft case, very much like a gig bag. The case has semi-rigid dividers to hold the receiver, with the antennae(s? :D), power supply, and body pack / mic. All the pieces fit nicely, but I would not trust the case for any sort of serious impact protection.

The receiver is powered by a wall wart supply, which has a removable 110V plug. I assume that this provides flexibility for non-US users; my unit shipped with a US 110V plug only. The wall wart is pretty small and should not cover adjacent outlets on a power conditioner or strip.

The antennae are huge - almost a foot long. They attach to the receiver with threads, which are a bit fiddly to use. I much prefer the Sennheiser BNC-connector approach.

Both transmitter and receiver are metal. At first glance the construction of the transmitter seems chintzy, but all the pieces fit together well. The display and backlight seem pretty low-tech compared to Sennheiser or AKG products. At this price point you can't expect too much, and the transmitter feels more sturdy than any of Shure's comparable units. Display data includes battery level, mute status, channel, and frequency. There is also a red/green LED to show mute status. There is only one button - holding it powers the transmitter on, holding for 2 or 3 seconds mutes or unmutes, holding for 5 or 6 seconds powers off. There is no way to change the transmitter frequency manually.

The receiver is deeper than others I have used, but should still fit in most aftermarket wireless cases. XLR and 1/4" TS outputs are provided. Display data is surprisingly in-depth: channel, lock status, squelch level, RF and AF meters, and an A/B antenna priority display. Missing is a battery-level display for the transmitter, something you get from Sennheiser and AKG for $450 or so. There is an option to display frequency instead of channel.

Now for the important stuff...

The receiver has a frequency scanning function called ClearScan. The buttons you press to use this feature are not labeled, or very intuitive; you have to hold the < and > arrow buttons for a few seconds. Once the receiver has found a clear channel, you must press the "Sync" button on the front panel and then hold the transmitter up to it for a few seconds. The sync system is very similar to what you find on Shure PG and PGX units; the ClearScan seems to work well.

The microphone has a cardioid pickup pattern and a small ball-type grille. Handling noise is not excessive, but is present when handling the wire while the mic is live. Microphone and bodypack use a TA4 connector. I love the clip provided with the mic - it holds the mic body about 1/4" out from the clip, and uses a spring-steel ring to keep it secured. Much nicer than the crappy little plastic clips most budget lav systems use. Minor beef: there is no foam windscreen included. Way to save 5 cents, EV.

My testing was done with the mic connected to an A&H ZED12FX mixer, channel EQ flat, output to a JBL PRX612M. I was not able to crank the volume for serious feedback testing. I clipped the mic to the collar of my lab rat's shirt with the capsule pointed at his chin.

Sound quality was quite good, providing an accurate representation of the subject's voice. I would have been happy to leave the channel EQ alone in a speaking setting. The subject made some exaggerated movements of his upper body and clothing to check for handling noise, but none was evident unless he actually touched the mic or wire.

I had the subject wander around the building while talking, going as far as 100 feet away with 3 steel-frame walls between us. There was no noticeable change in sound quality, clarity, or level.

So far I am very impressed with the quality and performance of the system. The price is great, and I can't find any serious flaws in design or features. I will reserve my final judgement on performance until I get a chance to use it in the real world.

If the quality of the "PL22" capsule in the handheld is decent, I would definitely consider it over a Shure PG or PGX unit.

That is all.
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Scott Hofmann

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Re: EV R300 lavalier wireless system.
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2011, 05:08:50 pm »

After several inquiries from potential clients I decided to purchase a wireless lav system for my rental stock. Most of my business is live music, so I wanted to keep the cost down in case this ends up being a little-used item. I looked at most of the sub-$500 options and decided to try EV's new R300 system. MAP is $299, but you can do better if you know a guy.

The system comes in a soft case, very much like a gig bag. The case has semi-rigid dividers to hold the receiver, with the antennae(s? :D), power supply, and body pack / mic. All the pieces fit nicely, but I would not trust the case for any sort of serious impact protection.

The receiver is powered by a wall wart supply, which has a removable 110V plug. I assume that this provides flexibility for non-US users; my unit shipped with a US 110V plug only. The wall wart is pretty small and should not cover adjacent outlets on a power conditioner or strip.

The antennae are huge - almost a foot long. They attach to the receiver with threads, which are a bit fiddly to use. I much prefer the Sennheiser BNC-connector approach.

Both transmitter and receiver are metal. At first glance the construction of the transmitter seems chintzy, but all the pieces fit together well. The display and backlight seem pretty low-tech compared to Sennheiser or AKG products. At this price point you can't expect too much, and the transmitter feels more sturdy than any of Shure's comparable units. Display data includes battery level, mute status, channel, and frequency. There is also a red/green LED to show mute status. There is only one button - holding it powers the transmitter on, holding for 2 or 3 seconds mutes or unmutes, holding for 5 or 6 seconds powers off. There is no way to change the transmitter frequency manually.

The receiver is deeper than others I have used, but should still fit in most aftermarket wireless cases. XLR and 1/4" TS outputs are provided. Display data is surprisingly in-depth: channel, lock status, squelch level, RF and AF meters, and an A/B antenna priority display. Missing is a battery-level display for the transmitter, something you get from Sennheiser and AKG for $450 or so. There is an option to display frequency instead of channel.

Now for the important stuff...

The receiver has a frequency scanning function called ClearScan. The buttons you press to use this feature are not labeled, or very intuitive; you have to hold the < and > arrow buttons for a few seconds. Once the receiver has found a clear channel, you must press the "Sync" button on the front panel and then hold the transmitter up to it for a few seconds. The sync system is very similar to what you find on Shure PG and PGX units; the ClearScan seems to work well.

The microphone has a cardioid pickup pattern and a small ball-type grille. Handling noise is not excessive, but is present when handling the wire while the mic is live. Microphone and bodypack use a TA4 connector. I love the clip provided with the mic - it holds the mic body about 1/4" out from the clip, and uses a spring-steel ring to keep it secured. Much nicer than the crappy little plastic clips most budget lav systems use. Minor beef: there is no foam windscreen included. Way to save 5 cents, EV.

My testing was done with the mic connected to an A&H ZED12FX mixer, channel EQ flat, output to a JBL PRX612M. I was not able to crank the volume for serious feedback testing. I clipped the mic to the collar of my lab rat's shirt with the capsule pointed at his chin.

Sound quality was quite good, providing an accurate representation of the subject's voice. I would have been happy to leave the channel EQ alone in a speaking setting. The subject made some exaggerated movements of his upper body and clothing to check for handling noise, but none was evident unless he actually touched the mic or wire.

I had the subject wander around the building while talking, going as far as 100 feet away with 3 steel-frame walls between us. There was no noticeable change in sound quality, clarity, or level.

So far I am very impressed with the quality and performance of the system. The price is great, and I can't find any serious flaws in design or features. I will reserve my final judgement on performance until I get a chance to use it in the real world.

If the quality of the "PL22" capsule in the handheld is decent, I would definitely consider it over a Shure PG or PGX unit.

That is all.

Nice report! What kind of batteries does the transmitter use and how is the construction/ease of use of the battery compartment door?
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Scott Hofmann

Mark Chrysostom

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Re: EV R300 lavalier wireless system.
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2011, 05:50:23 pm »

The transmitter uses 2 AA's, and a crappy pair is included to get you started.

The construction of the battery door is pretty solid, but the mechanism to release it is "fiddly" for lack of a better term. It works, but not a smoothly as a Sennheiser bodypack. The door comes off completely so you would want to make sure you keep an eye on it while changing batteries.
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Stephen Snipes

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Re: EV R300 lavalier wireless system.
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2012, 01:05:59 pm »

I have 2 of the handheld version and I must say that I am pleased with them so far.  My only issue that I have really had is that when there were a bunch of people blocking the path from the transmitter to the receiver I had a few drop outs.  This was a pretty big deal sine this happened at a wedding during the toast.  It says that the batteries should last 10 hours I believe but I have yet to find any that last that long.  I usually get 5 - 6 hours max if I leave it on from time of testing to the end of an event.  If looking for a budget mic for smaller gigs I certainly recommend this one.  I have rented it out enough to have mad my money back so I really can't complain. 
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: EV R300 lavalier wireless system.
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012, 05:42:56 pm »

My only issue that I have really had is that when there were a bunch of people blocking the path from the transmitter to the receiver I had a few drop outs.  This was a pretty big deal sine this happened at a wedding during the toast.
Stephen,

You might try locating the receivers closer to where the transmitters are going to be used - line-of-sight is a key factor, and water bags, er…people are great absorbers of RF.  Of course, if everything's moving all over the place, there's only so much you can do. 

I recommend you zip-tie the mic onto the clip, loc-tite the clip onto the stand, and sandbag the stand base.  A judicious application of barbed/razor wire usually helps get the point across, too...  ::)
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Jordan Wolf
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Stephen Snipes

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Re: EV R300 lavalier wireless system.
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 08:33:16 pm »

Stephen,

You might try locating the receivers closer to where the transmitters are going to be used - line-of-sight is a key factor, and water bags, er…people are great absorbers of RF.  Of course, if everything's moving all over the place, there's only so much you can do. 

I recommend you zip-tie the mic onto the clip, loc-tite the clip onto the stand, and sandbag the stand base.  A judicious application of barbed/razor wire usually helps get the point across, too...  ::)

Yea, for some odd reason everyone in the room literally stood in front of the dance floor in which I was located.  I told them I needed to be able to see but that went right out the window once things started.  I explained it to them later so all was good.
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