1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

who do you guys like for in-ear monitoring systems?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by sleeplessknight, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    I was thinking of investing in an in-ear monitoring system in the next 6-8 months or so, what are some of the good brands to keep an eye out for? The two things I'd like in a 'hypothetically perfect' setup (besides the usual 'reliability', etc) are:
    * be able to hear both bass/drums and vocals equally well
    * be able to scale out to work with a 4-piece rock group or a 12-piece funk band without a ton of extra setup/cable rejiggering

    I've got some money to throw at this, but it can't break the bank TOO badly. Any thoughts? Oh, it's probably worth mentioning that most gigs will be run via a Mackie 2404 VLZ3 board, with a 24-channel (four return) snake up on stage.
  2. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Wired or wireless? Huge difference in cost.
  3. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Ahhh, that's an excellent question... well, with 10 people on stage, that's going to be a whole lot of wires. Lets say 'wireless', until I see the sticker shock and change my mind :)
  4. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    i have and like the carvin em900. buds that come with are pretty darn descent.... just my .02
  5. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    How many monitor mixes are you looking at?
  6. Keithwah


    Jan 7, 2011
    Milwaukee WI
    The Shure and Sennheiser are the nicest most affordable systems. The Audio Technica is also a very god product. With all three of these, it is important to invest well into custom ear molds or higher end dual driver buds.
    The Carvin, Nady, Galaxy, and so on are OK units, but you can't compare their performance with the AT or the Shure or Sennheiser.
    Again you could buy the Shure PSM200 or the AT M2 system and do fine, but you can't rely on the stock buds.
  7. musicman7722

    musicman7722 Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Hampton, NH US of A
    I have had the shure psm200 and now use the Sennheiser 300 series. The shure is a great entry level unit. I did find that it went into overdrive quite a bit which is the auto compression. I migrated up to the sennheiser for the stereo feature and the quality. As many have said here and in dozens of other threads the real bang for your buck is in the buds. Toss out the ones that come with any unit and get some decent 2 way buds at a minimum. I haven't shopped around much because you can't return buds. i settled on Westone UM2 for myself and the band. We don't have custom molds either. If you can go that route I'm sure it is worth the money.

    In my band we all share one mix so it is important that we all hear the same thing so we all use the same type of bud.

    Finally I invested in a splitter snake and a Presonus 16.0.2 mixer to run the mons from stage. We have one member who uses a wedge and the presonus allows us to run that for him from stage as well. Finally as it is digital I can save the settings for different projects and the settings are always the same.

  8. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    A gig I was working on this week had the complete Roland system. VERY NICE !!!!

    All musician have a remote to control their own mix.

    (all the system must be Roland's)

    Check some bad photos here
  9. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Stupid question (i did check out the manufacturer product page, amazon, etc first): if i went with any of the Sennheiser/AT/Shure systems, would i have to buy a base-station for each bodypack or can one base station supply multiple bodypacks? If the latter, whats the upper limit on the transmitter:bodypack ratio?
  10. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Typically a single transmitter can feed multiple bodypacks. The AT M2/M3 can do something like 16.

    You can find detailed specs at the manufacturers' web sites.
  11. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    I think you are un-limited on the number of body pack / recievers use can use with one transmitter
  12. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    Since it seems you are planning on using only one mix, and 'sharing' it, you might could get by with the Shure PSM200. I tryed the PSM200 system, and had too many drop-outs for my satisfaction. I ended up getting the Shure PSM400 - we run four monitor mixes - and they do okay.

    I can however, without question not reccomend any of the Shure wireless monitors, based on their false advertising, and poor customer service. Their engineer's solution to the problems I exprienced with the PSM200 and PSM400 systems was for me to buy a $3800 antenna combiner / amplifier. right. I was only trying to use the systems to do what they were advertised to be able to do.

    The problem I have exprienced with Sennhieser is repair service. They do not repair wireless units that have been discontinued, which means if you older IEM wireless goes bad, they will not even work on it. I know, because I have two or three of the older 300 systems that quit working, and Sennhieser won't even work on them, so they are just junk, not even scrap metal.
  13. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Yes. I just checked the A/T M2 manual; the number is unlimited.

    I suppose it would have to be, just like an unlimited number of radios tuned to an FM station.
  14. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    carvin pm1001
  15. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Shure PSM200, $750 List, sells for $600 shipped. Reviled by pros, but sound pretty good. Ear protection limiter. Poor frequency agility, no stereo, no more me. Comes with earbuds - quality unknown. I'm told that the antennas cannot be removed so that multiple units can be used with an antenna splitter.

    Audio Technica M2, $800 List, sells for $410.00 shipped. Stereo or "More Me" configurations. Has input for a pocket click track, or a cheap lapel mic for ambient (stage & crowd) noise. Ear protection limiter. Comes with earbuds - quality unknown. It appears that there is no rack mount available for a single unit - only pairs. It could be mounted to a rack mount shelf, which would cost about $20-$25 shipped. Don't know if the antennas can be removed (so multiple units can be used with a combiner and antenna). A much better choice than the PSM200.

    Audio Technica M3, $1100 list, sells for $557.00 shipped. Stereo or "More Me" configurations. Has input for a pocket click track, or a cheap lapel mic for ambient (stage & crowd) noise. Ear protection limiter - adjustable. Automatic scanning to find a clear frequency. More frequencies (more units can be used together). Better display. Detachable antennas (multiple units can be fed by an antenna splitter). Better display and controls. Comes with earbuds - quality unknown. It could be mounted to a rack mount shelf, which would cost about $20-$25 shipped. Definitely worth the extra $147 over the M2. Don't know if the antennas can be removed (so multiple units can be used with a combiner and antenna).

    Ambient mic for either of the above is $61.00 (I'd hold off on that).

    Sennheiser EW300G3 IEM. $1500 list, sells for $$825 shipped including rack mount kit. Stereo or "More Me" configuration. Ear protection limiter. Comes with earbuds that suck (keep them as emergency spares). The antennas can be removed. Pros say that the Sennheisers are better than the M3, but will the differences matter to anyone other than a big rental house? Hard to say.

    For those who don't need to be wireless, there's this: Rock On Audio, and this: Shure P4HW Hardwired Bodypack for PSM 400 Systems: Shop Pro Audio & Other Musical Instruments | Musician's Friend
  16. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I only have experience with the psm200s. We have some 7 kits. We have had no real problems with them over the past 10+ years we have used them. We use 3 to 4 packs at a time, all racked together. Ours came with shure E2s, which were an older single driver unit. We have all upgaded the scl5's a couple of years ago and that made a huge difference. Im intereted in trying another brand, mainly for stereo. From all i read, there is a big difference, but i want to try them with my scl5's. There are lots of ways to go with this...lots depends on the rest of the bands needs, and budget.
  17. Keithwah


    Jan 7, 2011
    Milwaukee WI
    Both AT systems come with the same "top of the line" AT ear buds. They sound OK, but not great. Find a nice dual driver set from somebody else. The M3 is a nicer more pro set-up and the M2 will get you by just fine if you are not planning a world tour.

    Both M3 and M2 systems come with the single rack ear kits. You have to buy the optional "joining plate" to put two of them together. So no worry about the rack kit question.

    The Sennheiser system is the nicest of the low cost systems. Very clean broadcasting and very durable system. But again, the buds blow, invest in some better ones.

    Shure has a nice new high end system just a tad pricier than the sennheiser, but it is really that much nicer. Shure does make nice earbuds, they're just not the ones that ship with their lower costing systems.

    AND YES! It is well worth it to look for nicer ear buds and also invest in custom molds. You will not believe how nice the AT M2 sounds with a good set of dual driver ear buds.
  18. I have never had issues with the shure's cutting out. They can be over driven, but they are plenty loud and the only times it did that is when I was over driving them at the input. In reality don't know why stereo would matter for monitoring, most of the time playing bar gigs I only use one ear anyway. I can hear myself and still interact with the crowd. With both ears in unless someone is talking into a mic I can't hear them. I like the dual input controls on the sure, gives you lots of options, click for a drummer, bass, any two mixes.

    Like everyone is saying, proper fit is key. Even the ones that come with it sound pretty good if they are positioned properly. The good buds are simply amazing sounding. Even the biggest POS earbuds are superior to wedges...
  19. I own several configurations and brands. Used psm200 are a fantastic value. Much of the stereo and more me can be addressed for 80 usd