Best digital wireless- Line 6, Sony, AT, ???
Looking at getting a digital wireless.
The Line 6 G30/G50/G90's have had the field to themselves for quite a while, but there appear to be some new guys on the block.
Looking for any user comments on competing systems.
I'm fairly familiar with the pluses and minuses for the G30 vs G50, and both put me off a little vis-a-vis durability.
Subscribed. Let me know if you run across any objective reviews; having performed a recent search here on TB and Google all I can find are subjective, anecdotal comments from users and not any detailed comparisons.
In reality I'll probably try to pick up an X2 xdr95 unit that is available local to me. An older unit but it will work for my needs, and I'm familiar with them. The Stageclix was another one I'd like to consider but one review said it was slightly noisy and it's dynamic and audio frequency range was not as wide as the X2 (not to mention the much higher cost).
Best of luck,
I'm currently looking at:
Audio-Technica ATW 1101/G
AKG DMS70 D
EDIT: Added entries for the Joyo JW-01, Lectrosonics IS400, Line 6 G55, Shure GLXD.
The Shure works on the old 900MHz band, the Lectrosonics uses a proprietary UHF digital encoding, and the others are all 2.4GHz, just like the Line 6 Relay series. Most are 24-bit/48KHz on the digital side...
I haven't had any problems with my G50 and it's in heavy use. As in I never play with a cable now.
At NAMM Shure announced the GLXD. It's going to be available in a stomp box format like the Line 6, is digital and has the same freq. response and range of the G50.
The price hasn't been announced but I bet this is going to be about the same price as a G50 because everything else is a direct attack on the market L6 has had locked up for years.
This new Shure is the ONLY unit that has made me consider getting something other than a Line 6 for my bass.
Had a few minutes to do a little more research.
Link to product page:
Link to manual:
Interesting info from the manual:
- Appears to be plastic
- Trim pot adjustment to match gain to instrument level
- Alkaline or rechargeable batteries
- Minimum distance between transmitter and receiver is 6' (2 m)
- For instruments w/noise-sensitive pickups, transmitter at least 1 foot away from pickups.
- Connector for the instrument cable appears to be a metal TA-4 jack
- 7 hr battery life
- Up to 8 channels
- ID number on receiver and transmitter is just for convenience
- Xmitter frequencies are dynamic, no audible interruption when frequency changes in response to interference.
- Receivers can be stacked, but they should be kept away from other wireless systems, as much as 30 feet away from some routers, etc.
- Desktop style, dual external antennas, not sized to sit on a pedalboard
- No remote indicator for the transmitter battery
The AT rig is priced to compete with the G30, and specs and range are similar.
Advantage G30: standard 1/4" cable.
Advantage AT: rechargeable-friendly, metal locking connector.
Sony looks interesting as well. Has switchable RF modes, one is supposedly more compatible with areas where WI-FI is present. This could be a concern if you've got iPads, etc., on stage.
link to manual:
- belt clip rotates, so you can turn the pack 90 degrees.
- lock switch, prevents accidental muting
- double duty- can be switched for use with a mic.
- 3-position pad on the input, 0, 10, 20dB
- Designed for alkaline, Lithium or NiMH rechargeables.
- minimum distance between transmitter and receiver is about 12" (compares to AT at 6 feet).
- 10hr battery life.
- 6 channels, manually set, led lights if there's interference on a channel.
- variable "cable tone" compensation
- tuner, 1/4" guitar and XLR DI outputs
- RF mode switch
- Pedalboard sized
- Runs on standard 9V pedal supply, or 12V adapter.
- Receiver has an indicator for the transmitter battery.
- No external antennae
I just picked up a G50. From my research it's the best, smallest, inexpensive, etc. Lots of pros use the Line 6 stuff too.
Check out the live sound forum for a bunch of topics on wireless.
2.4GHz wifi just like the Line 6, Sony, and AT units. Shure claims that they're doing something clever with duplicate copies of the signal for "true digital diversity", rather than simple space diversity.
Metal transmitter, and the instrument receiver is a compact metal guitar pedal, with a stomp switch for the built-in tuner. Could save some board space for effects fans.
Locking TA-4, using the cable that people get as an upgrade for their G50...
Lithium rechargeable battery for the transmitter, so no more wasted alkalines.
Due out mid-year.
I've been using the G50 for over a year and a half. I couldn't be more satisfied with it. Well made, no problem with Wi-fi. I found no difference in tone between wired or wireless. I use duracell rechargables with no issues.
I love my g30 i highly recommend it!
I've been using the G50 for six months with no major issues after replacing the cable. The plastic T4A jack is not ideal but it does take a bit of force to pull the cable out. No accidents so far. I have heard a rumour that line 6 is now shipping with a metal T4A jack.
i have a G50. it gets abused every weekend for about 6-8 hours. never had an issue with it at all. the battery life monitor is my favorite part. i wish my sennheiser in-ear pack had that feature.
Update: been reading Line 6 manuals and forum posts, and found some interesting stuff.
1. The new G55 has a bunch of useful upgrades- a new RF mode that's less likely to impact, or be impacted by, other wi-fi devices in the area, BNC connectors for use with external antennae, just like the big-boy G90, etc.
EDIT: Forgot to mention that the G55 transmitter is confirmed compatible with up to 2800mAh rechargeable cells. They still tell you to try before you buy though, as rechargeable sizes vary so much from published specs, not just for diameter, but length as well. Screws up the battery meter calibration, but oh well...
2. The G55's new RF2 mode is incompatible with the older gear. There's a v2.0 firmware upgrade for the old G30's and G50's that makes them compatible with the G55, but it requires access to a specific model of Line 6 receiver, or a trip back to the factory. Alternatively, the G55 can be dumbed down to the old RF1 mode, so that they can play better together.
3. They've also come clean about causes of interference and dropouts and ways of avoiding them, instead of simply claiming that their gear is bulletproof. The manual is much longer, and includes advice about issues like maintaining a minimum 6' distance between receiver and transmitter, a suggestion to get the receiver up above head height, the admission that only 6 to 8 out of twelve channels are likely to be usable in the presence of other wifi systems, etc.
I expect that this would be a good read for users of older Line 6 devices, like the G30 and G50.
4. As an old Line 6 user, I was amused to see that their customer support is as slow as ever. They first started promising an advanced user guide for the Relay systems in 2010 or earlier. It's now 2013, and it's still not available. Looks like the G55 manual is the long-promised advanced guide, but who knows how much of the content is/isn't applicable to the old gear?
5. The flimsy plastic internals in the TA-4 jacks on the older G50's have been replaced by metal ones, but it's not clear when they made the change. There's a warranty replacement program as well. Of course, this doesn't help if yours is out of warranty, and Line 6 repair service is backed up again.
The 6-foot limitation could be an issue on crowded stages, as could the tendency of the old G50 to interfere with Bluetooth and other wi-fi devices.
This could be an advantage for the new Sony system with its 1-foot minimum receiver/transmitter distance, and low-interference RF2 mode. Of course, that could also just be marketing smoke and mirrors...
I can't personally recommend this unit as I've never used it. However, I know several people who use them and love them. If the time ever comes for me to get a wireless system, this is what I'm purchasing.
The Sennheiser G3 is an old-school UHF wireless. It's still got a compander, and is subject to the same interference issues as other FM systems. I use their IEM system, and it's good gear, but it's far from "hard wired" performance.
If you want the best, this is what I would recommend. I have one and it's flawless. It's the broadcast standard for a reason. Check it out. :)
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