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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I've had the AKG C419 XLR mic for my saxophone needs for a long time and am now looking into options to make it wireless if possible.
Possible issues: It has a regular XLR plug and requires between 9V and 52V phantom power. I have a battery pack that I could plug between the mic and the wireless system unless that could damage the wireless (does anyone know if this is possible?).
So far, any options I have found either already come with a microphone (and I'm not willing to give this one up) or use different kind of plugs.
Does anyone have any ideas on this or at least knows of any sites that might carry something like this?
I live in the US, by the way.
I already tried Guitarcenter without success.
Thanks!
 

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Transmitters for many wireless systems also supply power to a condenser mic via the transmitter battery. You'll have to change, or have someone else change the XLR to whatever connector the transmitter uses.

You might try http://fullcompass.com or call 800-356-5844

The sales reps there are knowledgeable and glad to help you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your answer!
After your suggestion I immediately emailed the guys there - let's hope for the best :)
I can solder regular XLR cables, so if I have no other choice I should be able to convert the cable.
Thanks again!

I'm also still open to other suggestions if someone else knows another place or a specific product I can look up :)
 

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What is on your mic now. Isn't it a mini XLR type on to the normal XLR adaptor? Anyway, I'm sure you could get that kind of adaptor wired on and use it with a AKG wireless system
 

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My AKG 419 has a full size XLR. Why not just use an XLR to 1/4" adapter? Or is the wireless 1/8"? Get it figured out, I'd like to know what and how you did it, as I would love to go wireless as well!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Same here, full size XLR. The poor thing is over 15 years gold :)
Again, I have no problem finding adapters and stuff or even soldering around to get it to work, but I still haven't found a universal wireless system without the microphone already included and with the option for phantom power...
Most wireless transmitters I have found use in fact 1 or 2 AA and AAA batteries! That ain't gonna fly as phantom power :)
The most useful answer in all my research so far came from SamAsh.com - they offered me a complete wireless system WITH microphone from Shure (which is another of my favorite microphone brands). Most other inquiries so far have not been responded to or simply said "no clue".
Also no answer to my email to AKG USA yet, either... Hm, maybe I should tell them that I was born in Austria (AKG is Austrian if I'm not mistaken), hehe...
I have seen adapters from XLR to mini XLR, both as one-piece plugs and cables.
 

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A thread where I can hopefully add something. :)

Even if there are other options to solve your problem I would do the following.

Choose a wireless system that you like and get the plug needed to connect to the transmitter.
I do not know every transmitter in the world but some are:
AKG: Switchcraft TA-3F
Beyerdynamic: Switchcraft TA-4F
Shure: Switchcraft TA-4F
Sennheiser Series 3000: Lemo FVB.00.303.xxx

The vendors have changed their connectors over the years. So the right connector needs to be checked. (Do not tell that I have not warned you)

You have several options after this step.
If you want to keep the option using the C419 with cable and phantom power you can cut the cable of your C419 a few inches behind the XLR and get the correspondent part of the connector above. As an example for Shure it will be the Switchcraft TA-4M. Whenever you want to use the phantom power option you have an DIY adaptor for that. (Just to mention that getting the Lemo part is harder than finding Polar Bears in the antarctis.)

You need to solder the connectors to the C419 cable. Plug it into the transmitter and you are ready to go.

If you do not want to cut the cable and you do not need the option to use phantom power you can desolder the XLR phantom power adaptor and put it away for later.

If you know what equipment you want to buy you can drop me a PM and I can provide you the information which cable goes to which pin.

Not modifying the C419 will only work if you accept the fact that you will have another piece of equipment on your belt/sax because, as you said, no known transmitter put out enough v
oltage out to drive the phantom power adaptor in the XLR connector. And having another piece of equipment on the sax/belt is maybe not the way to go.

And, BTW: Still a great Microphone. I have done the same operation because I needed to connect it to a Sennheiser transmitter.

Another thing comes to my mind. There are two versions of the C419. One has a cable with two wires and a shield and the other has only one wire and the shield. Both will work.

I hope my description was not too confused.

Have fun
/Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey, that's the most useful information on the topic I have found in over a week of searching :)
Thanks so much!

So, here's what at this time I'd like to do:
My C419's XLR plugs directly into my battery pack for the phantom power.
I'm thinking of plugging a cable with XLR on one end and whatever I need on the other end into a wireless transmitter.
That way I still have my phantom power AND don't have to solder directly on the microphone cable.
I don't mind having more equipment on my belt as long as it works - I've been a computer technician most of my life and carry tons of stuff on the right side of my belt already - would be nice to balance it out by adding something on the left ;-)

I don't know which version my C419 is - it ends in a rather long XLR plug that has the instructions for 9V-52V phantom power printed directly on it.

I'll have a look at some of the options you mentioned - do really three brands use the product title Switchcraft?
(EDIT: Found out that Switchcraft is the PLUG title, hehe...)

I'm a big fan of Shure usually, so I'll look into that one first.

Also, is there any chance that my battery pack in between could damage the wireless transmitter?

Thanks so much for your help and expertise!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Part of my problem has been that I couldn't find a wireless system that didn't already come with a microphone - do you have any suggestions of products and place to buy from for me?
 

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If you REALLY don't want to solder on the microphone cable you can use your battery driven phantom power unit and connect it to the input of the transmitter. It will not harm the input circuit. Even if you have a lousy version of it the input circuit of the transmitter is usually protected against voltage on the input. At least the known brands are.

Since you do not want to modify your C419 don't worry about the number of wires. :) If you do want, we can take care about this problem later.

Yes, Switchcraft is the vendor of the Plug, not of the transmitter name.

If it comes to choosing wireless equipment it all comes down to how much are you willing to spend. Let's take Shure for example:
You can get a transmitter/receiver combo from ~350€ up to 3000€. We can discuss this maybe off thread. I can give you at least my opinion on what to check for.

/Frank
 

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Thanks, I just wrote you an email - hopefully it'll go through (couldn't PM you - not sure why - didn't have enough permissions or something).
 

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So essentially the idea is: C419 ---xlr into power supply---xlr out adapter cable---transmitter beltpack reveiver ---mixer/amp ?
 

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Yes, that's exactly what I'll be likely to do.
We came up with 2 possible systems I could use that are actually guitar systems, but that means they'll have a regular guitar plug which is a lot easier to work with than all these proprietary ones.
So the plan currently is for me to buy such a guitar system, cut the instrument plug of the included cable, solder it to an XLR female, done. The battery pack will be in between - I don't mind carrying tons of stuff on my belt - I'm used to it :)

I'm still open to other ideas, but chances are that I might buy the cheaper of the two systems tonight so I can solder the cable tomorrow and test it - I have a gig tomorrow night :)
 

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Hi DD,

Well, we discussed different options offline.

In summary you have two options:
1st: as you noted: C419 with XLR ---> Battery driven Phantom Power Adaptor --> XLR to Transmitter cable --> tranmitter
Technically not very sophisticated and you have two beltpacks

2nd: Modify the C419 and exchange the XLR with the connector your transmitter has. The 5-7V provided by the transmitter will be enough to drive the condensor in the C419 if used without the phantom power adaptor which is build into the XLR connector.

If you have the L version of the C419 (the one with the Mini XLR) you can directly hook it up to an AKG wireless system or change the connector to use a different wireless system.
 

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Hm, I don't think so - my mic has a regular XLR plug, and this cable seems to work for XLR - L mics.

In any case, last night we had our last rehearsal for a gig today, and the wireless system Frank suggested works like a charm! :)
I'll refine it a bit when I have time - right now, my battery pack for the mic has a 5 inch "tower" of adapters sticking out of it that leads to the wireless transmitter ;-) But it works - I can find a cable to replace that adapter later.

For anyone interested, this is what I ended up getting (partially because it was available in a store nearby):
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Shure-P...i1126855.gc?&source=4WFRWXX&CAWELAID=33091579

All I needed was an adapter from female XLR to female guitar plug, and I was in business.

Thanks again, Frank!
 

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DD,

The short answer to your question is no.

From now, sorry for the verbosity. I would like to add some technical background to this.

The C419 is a condensor mic. It needs a supply power to work. Like a capacitor the diaphragm is charged and the sound hitting it will b
translated by it into a really small current. Way smaller than in a dynamic mic.
Unfortunatelly the sound board (mixer) is 100m away from the mic. So the very small signal created by the actual mic needs to be lifted. In
addition the mic needs to be provided with the current needed to charge the two parts in the condensor mic. This is done via 48V DC from
the sound board. Because we have 100m cable between the mixer and the mic this large voltage is needed. The mic itself will only accept a
maximum of 12V otherwise it will, most likely, be damaged.

This is where the XLR connector attached to the cable of the C419 comes into play. It does two things. First it lifts up the signal coming
from the mic for being transported over a symmetrical 100m line. And it converts the phantom power voltage from the mixer into a voltage
that will not fry the mic.

From the voltage perspective the XLR connector accepts 9-52V and it will be converted into 4-9V (estimated) for driving the mic itself. If
we now want to use the mic with a wireless transmitter we need to exchange the power source that is normally in the mixer by something else.
Wireless transmitters provide power with something between 4-6V. This is not enough to drive the Mic if the XLR connector is in the way.
The XLR connector has active parts in it and if it is driven by only the 5V from the transmitter the real mic will not get enough power
to work.

So, how to work around.

Option 1: You provide the power needed by the XLR and mic by an external source. This is what semmel did. This external source is another
beltpack providing enough power to drive the mic with the XLR attached. The benefit is that no modifications needed to the mic or any other
part in the setup. Which is great. On the downside you have two beltpacks and a skyscraper build out of adapters that can be optimized.

Option 2: The transmitter provide enough power to drive the mic itself if no active parts in the XLR connector are in the way. Detach the
XLR connector from the thin cable and connect a connector that fits your wireless equipment. Advandage here is less batteries and only one
beltpack that can be attached to the sax itself. But, there is mor work to do. Almost all vendors of wireless equipment use there own pinout
and different plugs on the transmitter. Therefore there is no single "do it this way" recipe if someone wants to go this route. And
modifications needs to be done to the mic/cable.

This all applies only to the C419 with attached male XLR connector. There is a version of the C419 with a mini XLR connector. There is no
active alactronic in the mini XLR. Therefore it can be hooked up directly to wireless equipment if the wireless equipment uses the same pi
nout that AKG is using. (Which is AFAIK only AKG itself).

again, sorry for the verbosity.

@semmel: glad that you are happy and that I could help.
 

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Sounds kinda Rube Goldberg to me, and I've found that kluges tend toward failure, but if you're happy, that's great:)

I probably would have soldered an adapter that works with my transmitter onto the mic, and adapted that smaller adapter to an XLR for when I went wired.
 
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