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Users of instrument wireless systems...I need your advice.

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by pbass6811, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    Hey all, this is gonna be a bit long, please bear with me.

    I've been using wireless systems with my basses for years. Never really had any major issues, other than not charging or changing batteries. Had the ability to wander around any given venue we happened to be playing. Forward to about 3 or 4 years ago, started noticing that I was having a few more noticeable issues with dropouts and such. So, I started on my quest to find a good wireless that didn't suck tone and didn't drop out.

    Started with the Line 6 Relay G50. Good sounding unit that seemed to work, for a while. The dropouts started to get more frequent and more pronounced.

    I switched to the Line 6 Relay G90. Mounted it in my rack and thought this would be it. No such luck. Same issues with the same frequency. Well, let's try a different brand...

    Bought a Shure GLX-D. Again, sounded great, when it wasn't dropping out, which was all the time. Now I'm getting frustrated and irritated.

    Thought maybe technology had improved, so I went back to Line 6 with the G70. Had a bunch of cool features which made some of the other pedals on my board redundant. Worked great, for about 3 gigs, then right back to where we were. Now I'm getting pi$$ed. I've spent a zillion dollars on decent wireless units, from multiple manufacturers, and I'm still having the same issues. WTH?!

    As an aside, my guitar player is somewhat grappling with the same issues. He decides to go the opposite way, and buy one of those cheap Xvive U2 units. Seems to work ok, but he still has some dropout issues. Not sure why I thought going to the same unit was a good idea, but that's what I did. It's pretty cheap, so what the heck, right? It didn't sound that great but it worked flawlessly. I thought, "well, at least it works as advertised". It was awesome, for 2 whole gigs. The pinnacle was a few weeks ago, when his wireless and my wireless both dropped out at the exact same time at a gig.

    I was ready to take a hammer to all of my wireless units, until I had, maybe, an epiphany? As I was looking at buying a high quality cord, I realized one of my wireless units HAS been working FLAWLESSLY this entire time...My IEMs. What's the difference between my IEMs and my guitar wireless? All my guitar wireless units, every single one of them, are digital, my IEMs are analog. As I thought more about this, I started to realize my wireless troubles started right about the time our former sound guy got his X32 digital mixer. Our current sound guy uses the QSC digital stuff with a monster router, and he keeps his stuff close to the stage. We asked him to change channels on his PA, I got out my Line 6 G70, and it still sucked. So did my guitar players Xvive.

    I understand that I could just get a decent cord and not hafta worry about it, but it's a matter of convenience. The only analog guitar wireless I seem to find is the Sennheiser stuff, which their IEMs are working great for me so far. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this, what did you do, and do you guys think I'm on the right track?

    TL;DR-My digital guitar wireless units keep dropping out, but my analog wireless IEMs are working great. Should I switch to analog guitar wireless?
    mikewalker likes this.

  2. I only checked a couple of the ones you mentioned, not all of them, but the common factor seems to be that they all use 2.4 GHz, which is the most crowded frequency band on the planet. I expect that any wireless system that uses some other operating frequency will do better.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Ecclesia: Unique Arrangements of Hymns, P&W Standards, and Original Tunes
    Administrator, Pedulla Club #45
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    My Rig: Stage and FOH Friendly
    My Basses

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
    Geri O, el murdoque, bdplaid and 6 others like this.
  3. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    I've used Line 6 G30 and now Shure GLX-D for years with no drop outs. I've used different cables, aftermarket and stock, and never suffered dropouts like you describe. The GLX has been as reliable as any piece of gear I've owned.

    Question - are you always playing the same bass or switching up? Could the bass be the problem? Loose wire or corroded jack? Do you get dropouts using a cord? Do the dropouts only happen at rehearsal and are you guys under a cell tower or something? I'm guessing no, but sometimes looking at the problem from another angle helps find a solution.
    Loring, pbass6811 and Scottkarch like this.
  4. Scottkarch


    Sep 11, 2012
    I've been using a GLX-D for about 2 years and have not had a single dropout. I know 3 other people with it and they say it's the best they have used and I havent heard any issues from them. The only thing I can guess is crowded spectrum. 2.4 GHz is incredibly crowded with wifi and other use. I can see location by location issues. Stay away from any other wifi router used by your digital mixer... unless you know it's using 5GHz ( recommended ) it is competing for the same frequency space. The bar/hall probably has Wifi too.... maybe I've just been lucky that I havent had an issue with the GLX-D but I haven't.
    Loring and pbass6811 like this.
  5. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    If you're sound guy has a router set up to work with his X32, chances are his router and you're 2.4 ghz wireless systems are not agreeing. I've had the same trouble in the past, and occassionally still do, I just have to be really careful about where I put my mixer/wifi router in comparison to my G90 wireless. If possible, see if he can use a 5 ghz router for tablet control. Otherwise, check what channel it's operating on and try changing it to one of those that doesn't overlap with the the wireless. Most manufacturers should have documentation to assist with this. Unfortunately, that doesn't solve for the Wifi being provided in most venues these days...
    pbass6811 likes this.
  6. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I used a Line 6 G50 for YEARS with zero issues. Since cell phones all went to LTE, WiFi is everywhere, and most FOH sound boards and IEM boards are now digital running off of iPads, my G50 no longer works. Just constant dropouts. My IEM unit is a Sennheiser is a UHF system and never ever has issues. Digital stuff just doesn't cut it anymore with all the technology around us.
    mikewalker, pbass6811 and WayneP like this.
  7. Frankiebass59


    Feb 1, 2008
    I had Line 6 G50 and then upgraded to the G70. BOTH had issues with dropouts. It depended on the venue for me. The smaller gigs in bars etc. were fine but when I played in large venues the dropouts were intolerable. I did everything possible to alleviate them even downloading a WIFI Analyzer app on my phone to help find a clear channel. Nothing really helps. I switched to a new Sennheiser G4 Ci1 system and all issues were solved. The only solution as far as I'm concerned is a pro level UHF wireless. The 2.4 systems are not reliable, there is a reason the pros do not use them.
    MCF, MoeTown1986 and pbass6811 like this.
  8. Robb Fesig

    Robb Fesig

    Mar 14, 2015
  9. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    We had THREE guitar/bass wireless units on stage - at one point, all L6. We made sure we each chose a frequency 2 away from the next person, so there was no interference.
    2 * G50 and my G90.
    I upgraded my G90 to a Senn D1 - which auto senses the best 2.4G channel. In 2 yrs.. not one single dropout, even tho the other 2 have upgrade their L6 units.
    We also use an external router, for mixing IEM's etc. and ONLY on 5G.
    No issues.
    It's imperative that we (all) become educated in this space, or you'll be very frustrated and blame the gear, not that you don't know how best to configure it. :)
  10. Frankiebass59


    Feb 1, 2008
    It depends on the circumstances, not always a user error. I'm a tech in the communications industry by trade and understand the "space". Configuring gear is definitely not the issue for me. It's hit and miss with Line 6 gear. Plenty of stories like s0c9's success with 2.4 gear but not universal. Maybe the Senn D1 is more agile keeping the system on a clear channel but the Line 6 stuff is not. My problems varied depending on the venue. I play in an 8 piece R&B/Funk band and we are typically on a large stage and the PA router is more than 30' away from my rig. No one else in the band is on 2.4. I even went so far as putting my cell phone in my gig bag in storage areas as even that will cause dropouts. NADA. Your posts are helpful and informative and you absolutely know what you're talking about and I certainly am not the definitive expert but I also have a clue and can tell you there was no cure for the dropouts. No matter what I did, following all the instructions/suggestions from every source I could find including Line 6 and the techs at Sweetwater. For me UHF was the solution as I can't have dropouts creating holes in a dance tune at large events.
  11. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    I have the Shure. As long as you scan it at each venue before u start, shouldnt have any issues
  12. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    My band consists of 2-G50 and my G75. We setup and turn all units on and each person scans individually to find a open frequency and we've never had issues.
  13. mike o

    mike o

    Jan 3, 2009
    Monroe, GA
    Gluvhand likes this.
  14. lbbc

    lbbc Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Seaford , DE
    I use the Shure GLX D system and have never had any problems with "drop outs" in clubs, restaurants or outside events. It's an expensive unit but worth it!!
    mikewalker likes this.
  15. Bo-Weevil

    Bo-Weevil Supporting Member

    Jun 5, 2006
    SW Ohio, USA
    I just upgraded from L6 to the Shure GLX-D and love it. The scan feature has been very helpful.
    mikewalker likes this.
  16. tedious1


    Feb 14, 2014
    Same here, I've lost signal exactly once, but that wasn't a 'drop-out' that was a drop dead bass player forgetting to check his battery level.
    cchorney, blliB and mohrds like this.
  17. Kevan Campbell

    Kevan Campbell Bergantino Artist, Vibe9 IEM Artist Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I’ve been using a Shure GLXD16 system for the past 18 months and have only experienced dropouts when I’ve accidentally knocked the transmitter on something while running around stage. Other than that it’s been reliable and easy to use.

    My only complaint would be the attachment points on the transmitter, it would be incredibly convenient and cheaper if they could take regular 1/4” cables instead of those mini XLR looking connections.
  18. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    I see I should have got the UHF version of the wireless I am going to try out on Saturday...
  19. I was looking at some wireless products and this below jumped out at me when reading about the Xvive units which I guess would be the case with most 2.4GHz digital stuff.

    To eliminate any possibility of interference from other devices using the 2.4 GHz frequency, we recommend the Xvive U2 wireless system not be placed within 1m of another U2 Wireless system, and more than 3m away from any WI-FI devices such as Internet Routers, Portable Hot Spots etc.

    I don't know about you folks but on most of the stages I play getting my wireless system more than three meters away from my digital mixing desk's router, and more than 3m away from any other hotspot (such as the venue's repeaters for their free customer wi-fi) etc can be pretty difficult, and it's only getting more crowded. I use my tablet on stage connected to the mixer to mix the foldback as well, although it is usually on 5GHz.

    And also, does this mean both the transmitter and reciever? If that's the case then you might want to stay away from your guitarist if they've got a unit as well.
    Jhengsman, Bunk McNulty and pbass6811 like this.
  20. dcbassist5

    dcbassist5 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown, Lakland, Hardwire
    Haven’t read thru this whole thread, but I’ve been using the G70 for years with no issues anywhere. Do you do the scan at each venue and utilize the clearest channel?

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