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Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Whit Townsend, Mar 30, 2017.
Anybody tried it?
I use the G30 myself, does a great job. I believe Marty in the Upright Bass Players Union on Facebook has the G10 and raves about it. There was just a nice thread over there about wireless systems a couple weeks ago.
I have it. Works great, IMO. A minor detail: the mute/connection switch on the sender is really sensitive, so make sure the jack on the bass is angled upwards. Or else the sender may slide out a mm or two, making it lose the connection.
I just wrote up a review at GC for the Line 6 G10 wireless system after having tested it pretty thoroughly over the last two weeks, so I'll do the same here.
SUMMARY (TL/DR version): I like it. A lot.
I knew I was going to be playing in 3 different places in the following week and I REALLY wanted to go wireless, so I took the plunge and dropped $190 on the Line 6 G10. It's far from their top of the line, but I couldn't afford much more (I don't get paid to play - mostly just for fun). Here's what I liked best about it, before I go into my 5 situations.
1. - No battery. Rechargable. Lasts through a gig easily. I also know that, like cell phones, builtin rechargeables don't last forever. But I'm willing to give it a shot for the convenience of never having to worry about batteries.
2. - Plugs directly into my bass without needing any weird mounting or to connect to my strap. If I switch basses, I just unplug and replug.
3. - *Auto-jack cutoff (no POP when pulling or inserting)
* (see Fredrick E. Nilsen's post above. It is absolutely true and a caveat to this feature for me too.)
A) - First impression and experience with trying it out at home:
My first impressions were almost all positive. The latest versions come with a 90degree adapter should your instrument have a funky jack where it won't plug directly in. Of course, you could also use a short adapter cable too. My primary instrument is a Squier Jazz-style bass. (that's another review I need to write) and it has a very straightforward faceplate jack so no problem there. I did find the first 'flaw' though. When I first plugged it in, my instrument jack is apparently just a bit shallow. The 'mute' switch didn't disengage. However, I rotated the transmitter to face downward and it worked fine. Did not have a problem with it as long as I did that. The indicator light makes it obvious. Sound was indistinguishable from a cable. I couldn't exceed the range in my (rather small) downstairs area where I practice.
B) - Band practice.
Played practice sessions with the band. Again, flawless. I'd already known I had to have it facing 'down' for lack of a better term to disengage the auto mute, but it never had a problem - never 'muted' accidentally. No drop outs. Range was as far as I could go.
C) - Outdoor gig.
Large outdoor stage (really a park pavillion). Again, flawless. I checked the range and managed to get pretty far out into the audience area before any issues came up too. Completely covered the large stage. At break, I did plug the transmitter into the receiver station just for charging safety, but I'm convinced I didn't need to really. One thing though - you should turn the amp off before plugging it into the receiver. I got a weird periodic thump when I did that. But once you know NOT to do it, it's no big deal. And really, I could easily have just left it in the bass all night. It has an auto-sleep that wakes up on plucking a string if silent for > 4 minutes so it doesn't waste battery when idle too.
D) - Indoor practice with 2nd band.
This is the first time I had ANY issues with it. I THINK it dropped out for a split second a couple of times. I'm not 100% sure of that, but I do think that happened. It was a smallish space in a warehouse with a lot of other (non-music) equipment in it. In both cases, it was momentary and could have been some other reason, but due to what happened the next time, I think it did drop out.
E) - Living room with about 15 people.
Again, for the most part it performed very very well. However, it undoubtedly did drop out a few times. We were playing for a smallish group of friends in someone's living room at moderate volume. Interestingly, his WiFi also died. Had it been a more 'public' situation I'd have switched to cable as I really had no need for wireless there. However, it only happened maybe 3 times and even then only for a second (though in music, a second of dead bass is forever and obvious!) Those 15 people left in stages and after one particular couple left, not only did my G10 no longer have any trouble, but the WiFi came back and worked fine after that.
Conclusion - one of those two people had a cell phone that was hosing up the radio frequencies that the G10 and the WiFi use. It makes good sense too. Our proximity to the audience was much closer there than anywhere else. The outdoor 'concert' had many more people in the audience, but they were physically farther away. Even if there was a noisy cell phone, it was too far away to bother the G10.
Another thing I discovered. Almost EVERY guitar player has a wireless system. And almost NONE of them use it regularly. I am convinced the main reason for that is the battery / strap (guitar switching) issues that the G10 design solves.
I also believe that NO Wireless is 100% reliable. Or at least, not any within my budget. The G10 isn't 100% reliable, though the cause was a 'noisy' cell phone or 'noisy' equipment. A cable is more reliable, there just is no disputing that. However, I am going to bring this thing with me and USE it for EVERY occasion from now on, with a standby cable available of course. The freedom (and, with my clumsy feet, the safety) of cutting the cord is more than worth the possible dropout should the environment not be favorable. If I hear a single dropout, I switch to cable at the next song. But I'm convinced that won't happen in most situations, and I do love the G10 design sooooo much! I wouldn't switch to any other wireless that required batteries or having to mount the transmitter to a strap.
Other downsides I've heard - a lot of people don't like that the receiver requires an android-type USB for power and that it's not 9 volt. Others say the USB power connector is flimsy and prone to failure. I can only say that I've not had any problem with either yet. But then, I don't have a pedalboard with 9v power either so it makes little difference to me as long as the USB works.
Well I just ordered a G30. Will report back.
I'm a G30 devotee, even though I've owned Line 6' high end systems, I keep coming back to the G30 (you just gotta be careful with the battery door).
That being said, my guitarist has had the G10 for about 6 months now with no issues.
I tried a G30 and the transmitter pack bugged me.... where do I put it, it's ugly, the battery door is fragile. I sold it. Bought a G10 and never looked back. Although the specs state a range of 10 or 15 metres, I have been 25 metres from the stage in an outdoor concert to 2000 people and had no dropout. It does not colour the sound at all, and there is no latency that I can hear.
Had mine since Christmas. When I got it, I turned my amp up loud in my basement and walked to the neighbor behind me's yard, maybe 100 yards away from amp. No drop out. Used it at a gig with all sorts of wireless PA stuff going onF around me, no dropout. Did not recharge it for a couple of weeks, including maybe ten hours of use. It started to drop out.
I love this thing!
Yeah, I had a similar thing happen at practice last Thu. For the first time ever I noticed some dropouts and had to switch to (gasp!) cable. But the LED was flashing that the battery was low. (Not surprising given I hadn't plugged it in since the previous week). I found myself tripping all over that damn cable. Sure get used to it! Charging it this week ahead of time. Love it too! But all that being said, WTH is that picture? I've looked at it every way I can imagine and still can't figure out what I'm looking at!
The lower part of the fingerboard on a double bass, with an electro-magnetic pickup beneath.
I wound up with the G30. Works great but the battery life sucks. Needs new batteries before every gig. You get about 4 hrs out of a set and that's it.
Well hell. I played out last weekend and on two different occasions my G10 cut out on me for a few seconds. It was not a situation where I could really do a lot of analysis of what happened, but I think I know anyway. There's a little microswitch at the base of the jack that primarily prevents the "pop" when you remove it from the instrument. Since day 1 I noticed that when I plug it into my jack, it doesn't go QUITE deep enough to trigger it. However, if I rotate it 90 degrees from vertical, it works fine. So it's millimeters close, just at a certain angle it doesn't trigger, but that angle is the default.
My bass has a face side straight in jack - Jazz bass style just FYI.
Here's the thing. My LAST gig we shot a video and I was way too blah. No stage presence. So I worked on that and was moving around a lot more this time. I think because of that the G10 rotated back to it's default position and the microswitch un-triggered. In both cases when it happened, I rotated it back to 90 deg off default and it came back on.
If that is indeed the problem, I think I have a good solution. I'm going to see if I can tape down that microswitch. I only play 1 bass at a show and have no real need for it. At the very least, doing so may prove whether the problem is in the wireless or in that microswitch.
Another thought I had was to put my cell phone in the bass case rather than keep it in my pocket - just if the problem actually is the wireless losing signal. However, I do think that microswitch is the issue since I can easily reproduce it manually by rotating the G10.
To the good, the whole audience now knows how bad we sound without bass! "You'll miss me when I'm gone!"
(The other possible fix I thought of would be to add a small washer under the jack nut on the bass to slightly deepen the jack depth and thus keep the switch triggered regardless of it's orientation. That would look better than tape surely!)
Though it might hurt my chances of reselling it, after my rather optimistic review of the Line 6 G10, last night was also the last straw. I won't be using it again and will be selling it asap to save up for a better wireless unit.
(I also will have to edit my review on GC website.)
After having used my G10 onstage a few weeks ago, being able to stroll about with no cord apparently fired up the guitar player who broke out his wireless finally at last night's practice. His amp literally sits right next to mine and his wireless base station was on his amp. He had no problems. My Line 6 G10 was toast. And I DID go through the reset process to get it to find a better channel but to no avail. Got a good line on a G80.
It's really too bad. There are MANY things I love about the G10. Granted sitting literally a couple of feet away from another wireless base is not optimal, but I just can't assume pristine airwaves. During cutout the LED turned amber - wasn't a problem with the microswitch I'd mentioned before. I'm now, however, of the opinion that the G10 just isn't robust enough for live situations where the band may be cluttered. A better wireless I know gives you some control over the frequency (channel?) it uses. The G10 in it's simplicity doesn't and it either couldn't find a decent band to use or the other wireless was just blowing it out of the air so to speak.
That's it - for my own integrity, I felt it important to share my thoughts on it honestly. In the right situation (pristine or at home), it worked fine - but throw in real-life and it just isn't workable.
Odd, as my guitarist uses the G10. I use the G30 plus another wireless unit for my in ears and we often play corporate events with several wireless mics being used. We've never had an issue.
It may be that line 6 plays well with other line 6 stuff. I REALLY liked the concept and the sound is fantastic. But both guitarists have older systems that may kill the airwaves more - I dunno. (One's a Yamaha rack mount system fwiw. Don't recall the other guy's.) Believe me, I WANT it to work - but I can't expect the other guys to sell theirs so mine can work either. And both of theirs worked perfectly at a gig on Friday too. I'll most likely go with another Line 6 as, when it did work, mine sounded great! It just doesn't seem to play well with others.
I've done a lot of gigs with my G10 and love it. To be fair, no-one else I play with uses a wireless, so I have no issues with interference. I have nothing but praise for my G10.
How do these units work with piezo's and their impedance? Do you need a preamp in between? Or can you plug the piezo right into the G10? (or G30).
I have a G10 and no preamp. It does affect the sound a bit, ideally a buffer like an Fdeck on the bass would be the best solution. Either that or check the input impedance of different wireless units. I checked the G10 but couldn't find input specs anywhere.
I was able to find a spec sheet somewhere; the G10's nput impedance appears to be 1.3 megohms.
Thanks for looking that up
That might be enough for some piezo elements.