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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm looking to buy my first wireless clip-on mic system. I've decided to get a dpa 4099s and am now trying to decide on the transmitted and receiver system to go with it. Leaning towards a Sennheiser system.

Anyway, I want to be able to "future proof" my system against further auctioning by the FTC of frequency bands, so I'm thinking of buying a system in the "A-1" frequency band (470-516 mhz). Are there any significant differences between frequency bands in the "A" (516-558) and in the "A-1" range, e.g., one range is more frequently occupied and thus would make it prone to interference, lower frequencies do not transmit as clearly, etc.? Should I get a system with an A-range frequency band instead?

I've done a Google search but could not find any clear answers, so I'm hoping there are seasoned pros here who would know based on experience.

Thanks in advance.
 

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You might PM JCBigler. He stays on top of this stuff. Of course, we are talking about government decisions, so anything is possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I’m actually just assuming that the fed will eventually co-opt and auction out all the frequencies, which is why I’m looking to get a system with a lower frequency range since the govt seems to be moving in a descending order (first, the 700s went, then the 600s). At least if I get one in the 400s to low 500s, it may be years and years before those frequencies get co-opted as well.

Just want to clarify if there will be a drop off in sound quality or ability to transmit and receive over lower frequencies compared to higher ones.

I’ll try your suggestion as well and reach out.
 

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Hey guys, sorry I didn't get to this earlier. I meant to and then got distracted. I've been working on a much more detailed write up for RF stuff to post but have been really busy lately and it got put on the back burner.

***This information and my advice applies ONLY to the United States. Other countries have other RF rules and laws and you need to check them for your country before buying or using wireless mics***

In general, lower frequency ranges will have a longer distance that they can cover. But anything in the UHF band is pretty close to the same reach at any given power output. You should get a solid 50 to 100 feet of range in the UHF range if you are using at least 30mW power output.

Right now, anything in the 500MHz range is a decent bet. The 600MHz band is gone. T-Mobile bought up most of that range nation wide and is already energizing transmitters in different markets across the country.

It's anyone's guess if the FCC will sell of any more spectrum for the UHF range. If Congress tells them to, then they will have to do it. But the 600MHz auction didn't produce nearly as much revenue as they expected, so they may not bother. Anyone who still has any wireless mics or IEMs that transmit in the 600MHz band (614-698MHz) will have to cease operation by July 13, of 2020. But even before that deadline you are going to start getting more and more interference. Best to move as soon as possible.

My advice is to go with the lowest frequency band possible. But, you need to figure out what the best frequency range is for your area. I know alot of people travel and play in different locations, but try to find a band that has the most openings in the area you play in the most.

Both Sennheiser and Sure have tools on their websites to find the open frequencies in your area by address or zip code.

https://sennheiser.us/freqfinder/index2.html

http://www.shure.com/americas/support/tools/wireless-frequency-finder

There are some channels that are reserved in each market for unlicensed wireless microphone usage. These would be the safest bet to use. Buy a transmitter that covers these frequencies and you should have fewer problems. (Note, this only prevents interference from TV stations and cell phone transmitters, etc... It won't alleviate interference from other wireless microphones or IEMs. For that you need to do some real RF coordination).

If you can afford them, I would start looking at the digital wireless systems from Sennheiser and Shure. The QLX-D line from Shure and the Evolution D1 series from Sennheiser (which is 2.4GHz range) are getting good reports, and are in the sub $1,000 range. Although I haven't used them yet. The benefits to the digital stuff is that you get can get many more channels in the same bandwidth and they are set up to help avoid interference from other sources better because they use an encryption algorithm. The downside is there is some processing latency involved. This may or may not pose a problem to you as a player, so testing first would be a good idea. Both the Sennheiser Evolution D1 and Shure GLX-D use an intelligent frequency hoping scheme to automatically change frequencies and power output if they sense interference. But they also operate in the 2.4GHz range, which is wifi central, so they may not work in some venues depending on what other wifi networks they are using. Outside of the 2.4GHz stuff, the Sennheiser digital stuff is WAY to expensive for most of you guys here.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey guys, sorry I didn't get to this earlier. I meant to and then got distracted. I've been working on a much more detailed write up for RF stuff to post but have been really busy lately and it got put on the back burner.

***This information and my advice applies ONLY to the United States. Other countries have other RF rules and laws and you need to check them for your country before buying or using wireless mics***

In general, lower frequency ranges will have a longer distance that they can cover. But anything in the UHF band is pretty close to the same reach at any given power output. You should get a solid 50 to 100 feet of range in the UHF range if you are using at least 30mW power output.

Right now, anything in the 500MHz range is a decent bet. The 600MHz band is gone. T-Mobile bought up most of that range nation wide and is already energizing transmitters in different markets across the country.

It's anyone's guess if the FCC will sell of any more spectrum for the UHF range. If Congress tells them to, then they will have to do it. But the 600MHz auction didn't produce nearly as much revenue as they expected, so they may not bother. Anyone who still has any wireless mics or IEMs that transmit in the 600MHz band (614-698MHz) will have to cease operation by July 13, of 2020. But even before that deadline you are going to start getting more and more interference. Best to move as soon as possible.

My advice is to go with the lowest frequency band possible. But, you need to figure out what the best frequency range is for your area. I know alot of people travel and play in different locations, but try to find a band that has the most openings in the area you play in the most.

Both Sennheiser and Sure have tools on their websites to find the open frequencies in your area by address or zip code.

https://sennheiser.us/freqfinder/index2.html

http://www.shure.com/americas/support/tools/wireless-frequency-finder

There are some channels that are reserved in each market for unlicensed wireless microphone usage. These would be the safest bet to use. Buy a transmitter that covers these frequencies and you should have fewer problems. (Note, this only prevents interference from TV stations and cell phone transmitters, etc... It won't alleviate interference from other wireless microphones or IEMs. For that you need to do some real RF coordination).

If you can afford them, I would start looking at the digital wireless systems from Sennheiser and Shure. The QLX-D line from Shure and the Evolution D1 series from Sennheiser (which is 2.4GHz range) are getting good reports, and are in the sub $1,000 range. Although I haven't used them yet. The benefits to the digital stuff is that you get can get many more channels in the same bandwidth and they are set up to help avoid interference from other sources better because they use an encryption algorithm. The downside is there is some processing latency involved. This may or may not pose a problem to you as a player, so testing first would be a good idea. Both the Sennheiser Evolution D1 and Shure GLX-D use an intelligent frequency hoping scheme to automatically change frequencies and power output if they sense interference. But they also operate in the 2.4GHz range, which is wifi central, so they may not work in some venues depending on what other wifi networks they are using. Outside of the 2.4GHz stuff, the Sennheiser digital stuff is WAY to expensive for most of you guys here.
JC, thank so much for the very thorough and informative post. So looks like the high 400';s frequency won';t pose any significant problems (subject to local availability, which I';ve confirmed in my area).

What are your thoughts on the Sennheiser EW 172 G3 system?
 

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I'm a big fan of Sennheiser systems. That unit should work fine for you given the proper frequency block depending on your location.

Moving up to the 300 or 500 series or the newer G4 line will give you a wider frequency tuning capability and also offer 50mW power output vs the 30mW of the 100 series. The new G4 line has an 88MHz frequency band, iirc.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm a big fan of Sennheiser systems. That unit should work fine for you given the proper frequency block depending on your location.

Moving up to the 300 or 500 series or the newer G4 line will give you a wider frequency tuning capability and also offer 50mW power output vs the 30mW of the 100 series. The new G4 line has an 88MHz frequency band, iirc.
Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll look into those systems.
 

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There goes my Audiotechnica 642.375 Mhz. Oh well, at least it wasn't as expensive as my AMT on UHF 69.

JC, you are truly a fountain of knowledge. Thank you.
 

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There goes my Audiotechnica 642.375 Mhz. Oh well, at least it wasn't as expensive as my AMT on UHF 69.

JC, you are truly a fountain of knowledge. Thank you.
Check the Audio-Technica website. Most manufacturers are running rebate specials if you trade in your 600MHz wireless mic for one in a lower band.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm a big fan of Sennheiser systems. That unit should work fine for you given the proper frequency block depending on your location.

Moving up to the 300 or 500 series or the newer G4 line will give you a wider frequency tuning capability and also offer 50mW power output vs the 30mW of the 100 series. The new G4 line has an 88MHz frequency band, iirc.
JC, is this the G4 system you referred to?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sennheiser...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649
 

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No. That’s meant for video cameras, like news crews or low budget film making, since the receiver mounts to the camera.

You want this one: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...4-wireless-lavalier-microphone-system-a1-band, or the 300 or 500 series (which are more expensive, but have a wider tuning range and higher RF power output).

If you call Sweetwater, they will probably give you a better price than what is listed on their website, and will be able to help you choose the right frequency block.

Or better yet, call Full Compass. I know they will undercut Swetwater’s prices and will definitely make sure you get the right frequency block.

Also, it’s important to make sure you get a transmitter pack with the connector type that matches your microphone (or usually visa versa), as many of these systems are available with several different connector types.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
How is that ME 4 cardioid lav mic for sax and flute? It seems to be designed for voice. I like the idea of analog system rather than digital because I hate latency.
Actually just looking for the transmitter and receiver to go with my dpa 4099s, so that's the context of JC's recommendation. The actual mic that comes with the system (if any) is just a throw-in (although maybe I can find other uses for it). Soybean, what transmitter-receiver system do you currently use/recommend?

JC, I already bought a DPA dad6034 microdot connector (which is designed for dpa 4099-Sennheiser systems connections). Those retail for $100, but I got mine for $30 (brand new) on eBay. I like buying from eBay (I can get 10% eBay bucks back during promo periods) then price matching to lower prices elsewhere through my credit card.
 

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How is that ME 4 cardioid lav mic for sax and flute? It seems to be designed for voice. I like the idea of analog system rather than digital because I hate latency.
The ME4s are just mediocure run of the mill lavalier microphones. Included because they need to include something to make it a turn key system. They're not the best sounding mics, in fact not really even that great. Servicable if you are giving a lecture or presentaiton but not much else. I would just wrap it up and put it away somewhere safe. Maybe you can find a use for it if you have to give a talk or masterclass on playing the saxophone. There are far better mics for flute and saxophone playing out there.
 

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Actually just looking for the transmitter and receiver to go with my dpa 4099s, so that's the context of JC's recommendation. The actual mic that comes with the system (if any) is just a throw-in (although maybe I can find other uses for it). Soybean, what transmitter-receiver system do you currently use/recommend?

JC, I already bought a DPA dad6034 microdot connector (which is designed for dpa 4099-Sennheiser systems connections). Those retail for $100, but I got mine for $30 (brand new) on eBay. I like buying from eBay (I can get 10% eBay bucks back during promo periods) then price matching to lower prices elsewhere through my credit card.
Sounds like you are well on your way to having a great set up. The DPA 4099S is probably the best sound clip on mic out there. I've used them on strings, pianos, brass, woodwinds...they sound great.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Actually just looking for the transmitter and receiver to go with my dpa 4099s, so that's the context of JC's recommendation. The actual mic that comes with the system (if any) is just a throw-in (although maybe I can find other uses for it). Soybean, what transmitter-receiver system do you currently use/recommend?

JC, I already bought a DPA dad6034 microdot connector (which is designed for dpa 4099-Sennheiser systems connections). Those retail for $100, but I got mine for $30 (brand new) on eBay. I like buying from eBay (I can get 10% eBay bucks back during promo periods) then price matching to lower prices elsewhere through my credit card.
Sounds like you are well on your way to having a great set up. The DPA 4099S is probably the best sound clip on mic out there. I've used them on strings, pianos, brass, woodwinds...they sound great.
Yeah, I used it at a performance this past weekend (hardwired since I don';t have a receiver/transmitter yet) and it sounded fantastic. I also loved the fact that I didn';t have to be mindful about not moving too much while playing as I didn';t have to worry about the horn';s position relative to the mic.

I also ran it through a Boss VE-20, which I also just recently bought and am still in the process of learning (just used the preset settings). I can use the receiver in conjunction with the vocal processor, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
By the way, I think it's pretty shady that people are listing their 600 mhz range systems (some are even in the 700 range) on eBay and other places without mentioning that the frequency band has been auctioned off. I know there's the principle of caveat emptor and all, but still...
 

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I also ran it through a Boss VE-20, which I also just recently bought and am still in the process of learning (just used the preset settings). I can use the receiver in conjunction with the vocal processor, right?
Yes, just connect the output of the wireless receiver to the input of the Boss unit. There may be a setting on the Sennheiser wireless receiver to switch the output type to mic level instead of line level. I would use the mic level, and then adjust the input gain on the Boss accordingly. Then the Boss will connect to your speaker or mixing console.

Your signal chain should look like: DPA 4099S > Sennheiser body pack ~ Sennheiser receiver > Boss VE-20 > Mixing console/speaker
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I also ran it through a Boss VE-20, which I also just recently bought and am still in the process of learning (just used the preset settings). I can use the receiver in conjunction with the vocal processor, right?
Yes, just connect the output of the wireless receiver to the input of the Boss unit. There may be a setting on the Sennheiser wireless receiver to switch the output type to mic level instead of line level. I would use the mic level, and then adjust the input gain on the Boss accordingly. Then the Boss will connect to your speaker or mixing console.

Your signal chain should look like: DPA 4099S > Sennheiser body pack ~ Sennheiser receiver > Boss VE-20 > Mixing console/speaker
Thank you very much.
 
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