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I'm currently using the PGX 14 / Beta 98 combo from Shure. Great product but as a doubler, I'd like a second unit for ease of use. The Samson Airline 77 is both a self-contained mic / transmitter and less expensive - both of which I like. Have any of you compared the two for audio quality?
 

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I've used the AMT Wi5s, the Shures, the Sennheisers and the Airlines. In recorded concert performances it was hard to tell any difference. I like the Airline for it's sheer simplicity.
 

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I've used the AMT Wi5s, the Shures, the Sennheisers and the Airlines. In recorded concert performances it was hard to tell any difference. I like the Airline for it's sheer simplicity.
I kinda figured that. So many variables in live sound. Think I'm gonna get a couple and put away my beta as a backup.
 

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I kinda figured that. So many variables in live sound. Think I'm gonna get a couple and put away my beta as a backup.
I don't think you'll be disappointed. I've used my Sampson Airline for over ten years. Flawless. I recently went to a concert featuring 3 name sax players using the Shure Beta. They brought out a local guest artist using a Samson Airline wireless. To my ears, the Samson sounded better. I hope this helps.
 

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I found a copy of the Samson Airline 77 manual here:
http://www.americanmusical.com/ItemFiles/Manual/sam_Airline77_headset_manual.pdf
The CR77 receiver has two output jacks on the back, one balanced and the other unbalanced, and according to the manual, both can be used simultaneously.
This would allow me to do two things:
1. follow my current practice of putting my sax mic signal thru my keyboard amp, to act as a stage monitor for my sax. In the typical setup for our covers band, it is from the line out jack of my keyboard amp that my sax sound gets into our mixing board.
2. optionally, use the other output of the receiver to feed the 12th track of my 12-track (at once) recorder/mixing-board that I use for our covers band, to get a sax-only signal (without the keyboard), for cases when the 12th track is not used for a guest artist, like my teenage son on trumpet.

I have looking for a replacement for my ATM35 which recently died after many years of good service (it died due to my mistreatment of it), so this Samson 77 is looking good to me.
 

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Are there any good models of wireless receiver out there that will accept two transmitters, or allow you to add on an additional transmitter? The cheapo stuff from Pyle has multiple mics but a single line out, which is actually OK with me, but I worry about the signal quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are there any good models of wireless receiver out there that will accept two transmitters, or allow you to add on an additional transmitter? The cheapo stuff from Pyle has multiple mics but a single line out, which is actually OK with me, but I worry about the signal quality.
Several but pricy. The airlines are cheap and come in several frequencies. They can be rack mounted in pairs too. I've got one on order and can give you a good comparison between both that and the beta...

The fact that the samson has the transmitter built into the mic is a big selling point for me. I was thinking about getting two but one may do.
 

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Before you buy the Airline 77, you may want to check your local TV stations here: http://www.tvfool.com/

The available Samson channels are all within the range of UHF channel 42 (the N1 and N2) and channel 43 (the N3 through N6). To minimize the possibility of interference, if you have a local TV channel on 42, buy the channel 43 models, or vice versa. If you have programming on both, pick the model that corresponds to the station that is farther away or has a weaker signal.

Interference is not as common with the new digital transmission methods, but there are still a few analog stations out there broadcasting, although they are typically very low power.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Before you buy the Airline 77, you may want to check your local TV stations here: http://www.tvfool.com/

The available Samson channels are all within the range of UHF channel 42 (the N1 and N2) and channel 43 (the N3 through N6). To minimize the possibility of interference, if you have a local TV channel on 42, buy the channel 43 models, or vice versa. If you have programming on both, pick the model that corresponds to the station that is farther away or has a weaker signal.

Interference is not as common with the new digital transmission methods, but there are still a few analog stations out there broadcasting, although they are typically very low power.
Good advice. Way too late. I play all over though so that's not too practical. I've got a wired mic and a PGX / beta, Shure system as well so something's bound to work pretty much anywhere.
 

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I'm the same way. I always have at least a Sennheiser 421 and a Beta 58 in the bag in case of problems. I really miss my AMT Roam Elite (now illegal) with no belt pack. I'm thinking hard about one of these.
 

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been looking and looking at a new wireless system, and you guys are making me feel better about the samson. I was just worried about having one channel option where getting interference with another band members wireless
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The airline arrived yesterday afternoon just in time for last nights gig. I will post a comparison / review later....
 

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I used the Samson Airline 77 for the first time last night in a club I have played before with gear I am familiar with. I have played this room maybe a dozen time with the same band and PA using my PGX/Beta98 Shure system. Here are my observations:

Unpacking the unit I noticed it seemed a bit lighter and flimsier than the Shure. The clip is not as robust as the clip on the Beta 98, but it seemed to hold OK.

The PGX has a higher output so I had to turn up the Samsom some on my amp to give me a comparable volume. The Beta 98 also delivers a brighter sound, so I tweaked the EQ a bit on the high end. Once those adjustments were made, the sound was close enough to satisfy me. I think the Beta might be a bit better mic overall, but the Samson delivered the goods.

The effective range of the Samson is not as great as with the PGX, but more than sufficient for ranges up to 50 feet. (The room I played has a back wall about 60 feet from the stage and it worked fine all the way back. It did not work on the outdoor patio about 20 feet further away and separated by a wall. The PGX however, does.)

I do not like the mute and power button on the Samson transmitter - they seem a bit cheap to me compared to the Beta. I also play a Bari on a stand (with a stationary mic) while holding my alto, and as I brushed against the Bari, it toggled the power switch on the Samson causing some noise. (and confusion) User error to be sure, but vexing none the less.

All those minor negatives were more than compensated for by the fact that there is no belt-pack on the Samson. For those of you who ever have to play wireless with a jacket or suit-coat on, this is a huge plus. I also have caught the cable from my belt-pack on chairs, people, stands, guitars, etc. As I suspected - the freedom of movement more than makes up for any shortcomings the Samson may have.

In the upcoming weeks I will be using it in a variety of venues, both large and small, including a couple of amphitheater gigs where everyone is wireless on some expansive stages. If I encounter any issues I'll post 'em up. The first impression is good though. While I'm not 100% sold on the durability of the Samson, I'm pretty happy with the sound and ease of use. I'll keep the PGX/Beta 98 in my kit for a while longer just in case, but I'm giving the Samson Airline 77 four stars.
 

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Thanks for the comparison. Since it appears the street prices are about $200 apart (PGX/Beta 98 the more costly) I'll be interested to see how the Samson holds up for you after a few months of regular use. I don't play with a mic very much now but the funk band I started playing with a few months back has designs on playing some bigger clubs and the festival/ summer fair circuit here in CO. I suspect I'll be in the market for some sort of mic setup within the next few months.

One last question - given a situation where you need a mic but won't be moving around much do you believe the extra expense involved in a wireless system is worth-while??

Thanks.
 

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Update: The Samson failed to pick up an interference free signal at any setting in last nights venue. I was really glad I had my trusty Shure system handy. The unit purchased was "B" stock and I am seeking an exchange with the seller for a new unit in another frequency. Assuming I work that out, I will post results as I get them. It's rather disappointing. While my Shure PGX system works on multiple frequencies - I have never had to change it from the one it first paired with.
 

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wow . i am really glad you are posting these findings. I am now really up in the air on what new wireless system to get...
 

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Fader,
I've read your posts since you got your unit, my experiences with the 77 have been different, I prefer the smaller clip and whole size over my AMT Wi5 (I do not like it's big rod and clip), I've not had quality sound issues, I've never had distance issues (stadium stages, jazz fests, large venues) and never experienced interference. I think my two 77's are ch.3 and ch.5. They have also worked just fine as normal in Europe (where I'm at right now, in Italy) and in Asia using the "Walkabout" brand adapters for the power plug in.
As far as longevity they have held up great for the last four/five years.

Maybe you do have a messed up unit, hope it works out.

JR
 

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ordered a samson airline 77 today. (n3) hoping for the best. I also ordered the rackmount add on so that I can mount in a portable rack.
 
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