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Any comments on going wireless onstage?


LiveMusic

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What's the scoop on wireless transmitters for guitar and wireless headset microphones? Is it appreciable loss of sound quality or no big deal? Any brand recommendations? Do you have to spend a lot to get quality?

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Posted by stanner:

>>>"tonesuckers" in my highly unreguarded opinion.

===================================

 

Stanner, I don't know your opinions well enough to hold them in low regard, but I use the Shure Guitarist Diversity in my live rig and it sounds good to me. I fear my opinion may be highly unregarded as well...

 

Live, IMHUO you should just try one out and let your ears be the judge.

 

This message has been edited by KHAN on 04-08-2001 at 09:15 PM

So Many Drummers. So Little Time...
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Two words: Spinal Tap. http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/eek.gif

 

Seriously, I've never tried wireless. I hear vastly differing things about them. I used to hear that Nady sucked but some other brand was good. Don't know if Nady ever got their act together. Some people say wireless degrades the sound but I also know a lot who say it improves the sound, especially if you're on a large stage where you would have to use long cables. If you're using short, good quality cables it may not be much of an issue. I notice with my '52 Paul that if I use crappy cables or they're too long I start to lose the highs in a hurry, so I've always been curious to see what it sounds like with wireless.

 

Anyway I would just try it. And try different brands too; from what I hear tell the brand really does make a difference. Let us know what you find out 'cause I'll probably still be too lazy to go and try it before you do. http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

 

--Lee

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Many of the players I've worked with prefer the sound of a cable over a wireless system, but have to use wireless during performances because of the large stages and convenience for being able to move around. There are also some players who don't really notice much difference in the sound when they go wireless or they just like the way their guitars sound through the wireless system they select. Some systems seem to add a bit of compression and some players like that. As far as tone goes, everyone has their preferences. I think you really just have to try out different systems based on your needs and budget, then see which ones work out best for you and your gig.

 

Another thing we also find is that wireless systems can sound and function better in certain venues and they may not work too well in others. It really depends on where you are and what system you have. Still, you just have to be prepared and like using any other piece of gear, have a backup system ready, as well as a cable, just in case something happens.

 

There are a lot of systems available these days in various price ranges. One of the systems I checked out not too long ago was by a small company called XWire. I haven't seen them around much in the stores, but I have seen a few artists who are using them, like Dino Cazares of Fear Factory. When I checked it out, I thought the sound was very close to the way the guitar sounded with a cable.

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Hey, Lisa, I was really fired up about the great reviews on the Xwire system... until I saw the price. $700? Good gracious, that seems like a totally outrageous price. Although, I don't know what I'm talking about. But my gosh, that's a helluva lot of money. I think Shure has one for $250, which seems like plenty. I wonder if the Xwire is that superior.

 

And then there's the wireless headset mic... I dunno how much that'll be but geez, this is getting to be a VERY expensive luxury. Freedom to move around is great but... hmmm...

 

Duke

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Duke,

 

Good suggestions above...

 

You've indicated in other posts that you're planning a solo acoustic guitar gig. That means you're probably a few years away from stadium size venues... (no offense).

 

If you feel you need wireless, (I'm envisioning you running through the audience, jumping up on tables, and playing with your teeth and so on)... even the modestly priced wireless systems will probably work well enough for your purposes. You're unlikely to have interference from other player's rigs (...see solo act...), and coffee shops and bookstores usually don't have stages so big that you'll get out of range.

 

My advise would be... try out a low priced wireless setup from a supersore that has a 30 day money back policy... see if you can live with the sound quality... and who knows... maybe you're BORN FREE!

 

guitplayer

I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...

 

http://www.michaelsaulnier.com

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Guitplayer, yep, you're right on. For solo act, yep, I wanna run around and sing to the babes and make them swoon and stuff. Dance on the table, yeah... you got it. Might even dance on the dance floor as I play if she looks good enough.

 

I think what you said is right... buy from a place with a return deal. And no need for 500' range.

 

Do you guys have any comments about wireless headsets?

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LiveMusic wrote:

>> Do you guys have any comments about wireless headsets? >>

 

Hey Duke.

Get some super strong gaffer tape man, you're gonna need it!! http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif

Seriously, though, people I know who have used the cheaper brands have spent the majority of their time holding onto their headsets... They seem to displace themselves real easy...Which is not gonna make the babes swoon now is it? Could make your eyes water though if ya know what I mean...

 

Simon

...remember there is absolutely no point in talking about someone behind their back unless they get to hear about it...
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Originally posted by nrg music:

Seriously, though, people I know who have used the cheaper brands have spent the majority of their time holding onto their headsets... They seem to displace themselves real easy...Which is not gonna make the babes swoon now is it?

Simon

 

So Simon, how does Britney, Backstreet and their ilk keep the headset on during their "dance numbers"? Duct Tape? LOL...

 

... "Tape me baby, one more time"!...

 

guitplayer

I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...

 

http://www.michaelsaulnier.com

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I recently went wireless with a Nady 201 true diversity system. It sucked so bad when I first got it. I lost a lot of signal. Luckily, I had a contact at Nady who helped me out. We tried 2 different recievers and 3 transmitters before we found a combination that was acceptable. If there is a loss in signal, it is very minimal. I don't notice it. I've been using it 3-4 times a week for the past 5 months with no problems. Just be sure to keep a good supply of back up batteries. A typical alkaline battery will last me about 3-4 gigs. The EverReady Titanium lasts 6-7 gigs.

I bought the unit for $75 off of E-Bay. It took a few weeks to get it to work right, but it was worth the wait. You just need to go out there and try a bunch of different units 'till you find one that you like. I've heard great things about the X-Wires. I was told that it was just as good as using a Monster cable. Who know? All I know is that I love the freedom of being wireless. It sure improved my stage presence. And it sure is nice to be able to go out into the room to hear what my band really sounds like........

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Khan wrote:

>>It doesn't really matter, since those are just prop mics anyways... >>>

 

There ya have it, never a truer word spoken...... !!

 

Guitplayer wrote:

>>So Simon, how does Britney, Backstreet and their ilk keep the headset on during their "dance numbers"? Duct Tape? LOL... >>

 

Possibly? But hey they're not gonna be using $250.00 headsets are they????...LOL

 

Simon http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/eek.gif

...remember there is absolutely no point in talking about someone behind their back unless they get to hear about it...
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Ok, Livemusic, here it comes...

 

Ahem..

 

If you pay less than $400 for a wireless, you are ALMOST bound to have reception problems and/or poor quality sound. Yes, if you are a beginner, you can invest your money in cheap gear that will work, but bring a backup cable anyway. (That's good advice no matter how good the system is. Just in case the bass player backs the van over your gig bag..)

 

If you spend $500, you can get one of the best wireless rigs around. Sennheiser used to be known just for their studio mics. The word was, they sound great, but don't play too hard or it's back to Europe with 'em..

 

They introduced a fantastic line of stage mics called the Evoloution series, and last year introduced 3 UHF, wireless systems based on these mics. They sound great, are more durable than anything in their class, and have some fantastic user features. The 100 systems (Their entry level) are half rack units with Large, BACKLIT LCD displays. They can tell you frequency (Of which there are, I'm not joking 1680 available), of which you can create 4 presets. The output is 1/4" only, but it can be used balanced (TRS) into a PA. The best features are the METAL casing (only available on the competition's $2000 UHF models) with INTUITIVE controls.

 

For years every manufacturer ignored ergonomics and function for price. Audio-Techinica makes some good units, but the power off/mute/power on switch is a such a piece of garbage that doesn't belong on Mr. Microphone. They've used the same one for years, and it's almost impossible to NOT accidentally turn the power off when you want to mute. This is a lot more serious than you might think. On the Sennheiser wireless belt pack, the LCD (yes, the pack or mic has a display!), the power switch, and the set buttons for frequency and gain (it has 4 settings, from 0dB or full power decreasing in 10dB increments to -30dB) are protected by a plastic, sliding door. The ONLY button available to you with that door closed is the mute. This keeps you from hitting the power instead of mute and popping your amp or PA system. And that button is set in a large divot (think the indentions on a golf ball) making it easy to find on your strap, behind your back. They seem to have covered every base... except one.

(I won't go over the higher line as they are essentially the same with more freq. presets and a few niceties for engineers.)

 

The one thing missing from every non-digital wireless... uncompressed timbre. The manufacturers do the same thing radio and TV broadcasts do before transmission. They compress the signal for a hot transmission, and decompress (expand) the signal upon reception. The system is not perfect, however, and the sound ends up compressed. Many bass players LOVE this. Electric guitarists are mixed, usually leaning to one side or another based on whether they would compress their guitar signal anyway when using a cable. Acoustic instrumentalists almost universally abhor this and many won't touch a wireless because they think there is no way around it. But digital wireless doesn't need to compress the analog signal. It simply compresses the DATA signal, hence, a more natural sound.

 

This is why everyone LOVES the X-wire. And X-wire goes a step further. Their basic connector cable mimics the electrical properties of a standard, 18' guitar cable. You don't use an 18 footer? They'll custom wire a connector to mimic WHATEVER you use. For acoustic, you can't beat digital wireless. Oh, and instead of a small bar graph, X-wire's receiver tells you battery time left in hours. Sennheiser also makes a digital wireless and it too is expensive. I've never heard theirs, though, so I cannot comment on the sound quality.

 

As for headsets, I haven't had a chance to hear the Sennheiser headset mic for the Evoloution systems. Audio-Technica and Shure have good, low priced systems, and A-T's ATM73 or ATM75 mics sound very good for the money. Do not, under any circumstances, by A-T's cheapest headset mic. (It looks identical to the ATM75.) At least not if you want to actually USE it as a mic. I would be extremely wary of anything with the letters: N A D Y on it, in that order. They seem to rate just a step above that Mr. Microphone. I have a multichannel unit (that was free) with the A-T ATM75 headset wired for N A D Y. If it weren't free... I use it once a year, to scare kiddies on Halloween at my home. It has trouble managing that.

 

If you're rolling in dough, all of a sudden, buy a Crown headset, for one of these systems. (They don't make the wireless, but wire their headset for several of the systems.) It's the one used by most of the big stars, Garth Brooks and, I'm pretty sure all of the dance girls from Madonna to Brittney Spears. It sounds fantastic. The mic alone is $250 - $300, though. Shure has a great mic (I believe it's the WMS16) in this price range as well.

 

Hope this doesn't send you into sensory overload or sticker shock. Please email me if you have more questions. Once I start, I have a hard time stopping!

 

Neil Bergman http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

Soundclick

fntstcsnd

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I RECENTLY GOT THE SHURE "GUITARIST" DIVERSITY. I'VE LOST A TINY BIT OF HIGH END HEARING OVER THE YEARS, WONDER WHY? I NOTICE NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WIRELESS AND MY $25.00 CABLE, EXCEPT THE CABLE.
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I'm laughing too hard to answer this with any sincerity. But, as a soloist, I never wanted to move more than the music... except once. I wrote a song for the bartender in a little town called Wolverine. He had been harrassed by a gal who was well, big enough to take him, and everyone else in the bar. The stage was in a corner, 50 feet from the door through God only knows how many people. So I dedicate the song to Sue(the lumberjill) from Andy the barkeep... Sue is in the front of the bar 25 feet or so, through a sea of bodies as I start the tune. I like pigs and I like frogs, but mostly I like ole sweat hogs, cause I was raised in Wolverine!(Sue turns and glares at the stage, the whole place knows that she knows) I like their big phat googly eyes, I like their big phat celulete covered thighs, come on Sue sweat on me!

 

Now I'm certainly not proud of my politically incorrect behavior or lack of lyrical prowess... But I'd a been damn proud to have been wireless...

 

Kept most of my teeth...

 

In any case the debate on go or no go is really a matter of what makes you happy. The debate on which rig to buy, now thats as big as Sue.

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I never did, because the cable is a fun prop to play with. Sometimes on rockin' tunes you can bang the cable against the face of the guitar to play chords.... but it does limit your ability to run around, which to me is just as well - how does running across the stage relate to playing music? Does a guitarist really need more than a 25ft. radius of movement? After all, that is 50ft. total roaming ability. Unless you're playing arenas, your stage probably isn't much larger than that.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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That'd be my thing. I HATE CABLES. LET ME REPEAT...I HATE CABLES!!!!!!!

 

I'm always tripping on 'em. Even when I first put 'em under the handle on top of my amp and into the input jack, and wrap 'em through my guitar strap...bad things still happen (picture stompboxes wrapped around my legs coming unplugged in the middle of a solo). I've gotta be the clumsiest SOB on the planet, and cables on the floor RISE to TIE THEMSELVES around my feet...

 

(pant...pant...pant)

 

I'd go wireless in a heartbeat if there wasn't so much other apcray I need.

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Originally posted by LiveMusic:

Hey, Ted, ever fallen on your face on stage? I don't think I've ever seen anybody do that.

 

The other guitar player in my first band used to love to run into the crowd during our shows... He had two 50 ft. guitar cords connected together and taped tightly with duct tape. Very sturdy...

 

One night he's running at full speed near the back of the room, the cord catches under the leg of a chair someone's sitting in... and... Whooops, he's caught short, airborne, feet up, head down... SPLAT! He hits the floor... HARD! We keep playing... and after about 30 seconds he recovers and goes back to his solo.

 

He never got more applause from any audience we ever played in front of... we wanted to make it part of the act... but he said NO!

 

guitplayer

I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...

 

http://www.michaelsaulnier.com

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I have been using an Audio Technica rackmount wireless system for years, and it's terrific. I don't get tangles in cables on stage, and I can walk all around the venue without any loss of signal. I always put in a fresh Duracell 9-volt before each performance.
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I got one of the Shure low-end units for my bass and I'd have to say it's my favorite piece of gear, by far.

 

That was for playing in punk and metal bands. I dance around onstage like a funk robot freak, jump off the stage doing big splits, jump on tables, mosh with the crowd, whatever. The kidz love it.

It's the best thing you can do for your showmanship, besides practicing yer BIG ROCK MOVES and figuring out how to play while going nuts at the same time. (do crazy stuff while the music is simple, on hard parts you've gotta hunker down & work).

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