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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => Wireless and Communications => Topic started by: Steve Michaels on April 18, 2017, 07:58:22 pm

Title: Help me select a wireless mic out of these 3
Post by: Steve Michaels on April 18, 2017, 07:58:22 pm
I'm not recording, I'm not even singing, but need something that is pretty reliable for people who are speaking.   I realize that the people here might not be likely to choose any of these and might usually spend their money on the best, but I'd like some opinions on what you would choose out of these 3 wireless mics, and why.  I've narrowed my search down to these 3 name brand products, all similarly priced, all working in the low to mid 500 MHz range.  This will be used many times in the suburbs where there would be no interference, but possibly many more times in the middle of Midtown Manhattan NYC, where interference is not only possible, but probable with certain systems.

Sennheiser XSW 1-835 (Band A)
Shure BLX24/SM58 (H9)
Electro-voice R-300HD  (Band C)

As a side note, I've spoken with technical support of each of these companies. 

Electro-voice (and I have many of their speakers, love them as a company) was the most uninformed of the bunch.  They knew nothing of the FCC's auction of the 600 MHz spectrum, and while there are plenty of places in the US selling their BAND C version which is 516 to 532 MHz, they told me they don't sell it in the US and that I should buy their Band B, which is in the higher 600 MHz spectrum. Their Frequency Finder only shows frequencies in Band B that will work in Midtown Manhattan.

Sennheiser told me that the only way to know if their mic would work in that area was to have the device scan and see.

Shure's Frequency Finder gave me at least 6 channels that would (or should) work.  Other musicians that I know routinely use the Shure BLX and it works for them.

Out of these 3, what do you think?


Thanks,

Steve

Title: Re: Help me select a wireless mic out of these 3
Post by: scottstephens on April 19, 2017, 09:49:08 am
Steve,

    I personally am not a fan of the Shure BLX because I don't believe it has a lot of headroom, however, if you are only using it for talking heads it will work fine.  The Sennheiser is a nice mic, but it has A LOT of handling noise and if it will be used by inexperienced mic handlers you will hear lots of booms, clunks, thuds and whatnot.

Avoid the EV. It is built fine and sounds fine, but if they don't know what's coming....it will bite you!!!

In N.Y. city there's a lot going on RF wise, so Get the best you can afford. Think about what you might need a couple years down the road, not just in a few weeks.

Hope this helps.

scott
Title: Re: Help me select a wireless mic out of these 3
Post by: Steve Michaels on April 19, 2017, 02:25:46 pm
Steve,

    I personally am not a fan of the Shure BLX because I don't believe it has a lot of headroom, however, if you are only using it for talking heads it will work fine.  The Sennheiser is a nice mic, but it has A LOT of handling noise and if it will be used by inexperienced mic handlers you will hear lots of booms, clunks, thuds and whatnot.

Avoid the EV. It is built fine and sounds fine, but if they don't know what's coming....it will bite you!!!

In N.Y. city there's a lot going on RF wise, so Get the best you can afford. Think about what you might need a couple years down the road, not just in a few weeks.

Hope this helps.

scott

Scott, thanks for the reply.

I've posted this question on an number of LIVE SOUND-WIRELESS MIC forums, and based on some of the responses I've gotten, it's easy to see who the real pros are as opposed to the others, and I appreciate your insight and opinions.   I'm kind of caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to making this purchase.  Like I mentioned, I don't sing, and if I did and the mic was for me, all my choices would change.  I'm an instrumentalist who on occasion has to bring a small sound system and a mic for speeches.  I always brought a wired mic, but now I need to carry a wireless for certain situations.  No karaoke or anything like that. If anything, it will be a speech at a corporate job, a speech at a testimonial, etc...

I might be overstating it, but I am scared to death of placing a $500 piece of equipment in the hands of someone who doesn't understand what it's value is, who may think that a "Drop the Mic" moment is funny (thanks to Obama's speech and Verizon commercials), someone who doesn't gently place it down on a table after using it, etc...


I'm allergic to cheaply made equipment like Gemini, Pyle, Nady, GTD Audio, Vocopro, and can't bring myself to get any of those for my situation.
Considering everything (including replacing the mic if damaged), I narrowed my choices down the the 3 that I mentioned.  The EV mic that I mentioned is all metal, and the cheapest to replace compared to the others.  It may have been my first choice, but EV's lack of knowledge as to what is going on RF-wise is scary to me. 

The BLX might be my best compromise choice.

I've even been thinking of putting a label on the mic so whoever gets it in their hands can read it:
Do Not Drop.  DETONATES on impact.


Steve
Title: Re: Help me select a wireless mic out of these 3
Post by: Don Boomer on April 19, 2017, 03:35:09 pm
Hi Steve

I'm thinking your best bet would be to make sure whatever you get will tune in the 570-590MHz region.  After the repack that is about the only thing open in NYC.
Title: Re: Help me select a wireless mic out of these 3
Post by: Henry Cohen on April 19, 2017, 04:07:26 pm
I'm thinking your best bet would be to make sure whatever you get will tune in the 570-590MHz region.  After the repack that is about the only thing open in NYC.

Too early to really tell but ch 34 and and 36 in NYC will have full power transmitters, ch's 30, 31 and 33 possibly something. And we still have not seen the repack for LPTV yet.
Title: Re: Help me select a wireless mic out of these 3
Post by: Steve Michaels on April 19, 2017, 09:23:04 pm
Hi Steve

I'm thinking your best bet would be to make sure whatever you get will tune in the 570-590MHz region.  After the repack that is about the only thing open in NYC.

Don,

I know I have to get into the 500MHz spectrum, and with all the reading that I've done on recent FCC announcements, I read somewhere to be looking at bands below 566MHz because of the possibility of the FCC selling bandwidth into the upper 500s. That didn't happen like they thought it might.    So much at this time not set in stone, but the 3 systems that I am considering are all in the 500MHz spectrum.   Would you have a preference of one of those 3?

Steve
Title: Re: Help me select a wireless mic out of these 3
Post by: David Sturzenbecher on April 19, 2017, 10:09:00 pm
Too early to really tell but ch 34 and and 36 in NYC will have full power transmitters, ch's 30, 31 and 33 possibly something. And we still have not seen the repack for LPTV yet.

There might be something in here....

https://data.fcc.gov/download/incentive-auctions/Transition_Files/

See "Post Auction Coverage Baseline"

EDIT: This doesn't include the LPTV you are referencing....
Title: Re: Help me select a wireless mic out of these 3
Post by: Don Boomer on April 20, 2017, 12:57:11 am
Don,

I know I have to get into the 500MHz spectrum, and with all the reading that I've done on recent FCC announcements, I read somewhere to be looking at bands below 566MHz

Steve

That might be good advise for using wireless in the USA in general, but you need to pick system that will operate in your specific geo-location. So what you would pick for NYC be different than for other geo-locations.
Title: Re: Help me select a wireless mic out of these 3
Post by: Don Boomer on April 20, 2017, 01:02:47 am
Too early to really tell but ch 34 and and 36 in NYC will have full power transmitters, ch's 30, 31 and 33 possibly something. And we still have not seen the repack for LPTV yet.

Obviously it's still a bit early to tell for sure. But it looked like 30,31 and 33 were the best bets moving forward.
Title: Re: Help me select a wireless mic out of these 3
Post by: Steve Michaels on April 26, 2017, 03:54:27 pm
As it turned out, I ended up buying a Sennheiser XSW65, in the A Band, which is in the mid 500MHz range.  That fact that it has 960 tunable frequencies pushed it over the end for me.  I didn't want to buy something that might have been $100-150 less to save some money only to find I have more problems finding some clear space, and their 965 capsule (although I haven't used it before) is very highly rated. 

Sennheiser's tech support over the phone was extremely helpful in convincing me that the lesser XSW 1 might not be good enough for me in the New York City area.


Thank you everybody for your posts and responses.

Steve
Title: Re: Help me select a wireless mic out of these 3
Post by: Ray Aberle on April 27, 2017, 10:44:31 am
Hopefully you purchased it through one of the several Sennheiser dealers that are members here on the forums? ;)

-Ray
Title: Re: Help me select a wireless mic out of these 3
Post by: Joseph D. Macry on April 28, 2017, 09:37:20 am
As an installer, I avoid Shure's BLX and PGX series because the antennas cannot be remotely mounted outside of a rack.
EV seems to have no offerings below 600 MHz, so it's not "future-proof".
Since my clients are mostly schools with very tight budgets, my most common choice is Shure SLX series.