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Wireless, who needs it?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by FreeBassJunky, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Ever since I was aware of wireless systems, as opposed to regular instrument cables, I have been curious of their quality, convenience factor, and the cons of going wireless. Do these things ever crap out in the middle of a gig? Is there a delay? If another band member onstage has one too, do they ever interfere? Why are they do expensive? And most importantly, unless you're Steve Harris, who really needs one? I would appreciate any input on this subject because this is pretty virgin territory to me!
  2. ericg3


    Jan 14, 2013
    i have a line 6 G30. I have had no problems with it and i love not dragging a wire around. the batteries do die without warning so you should always start a gig with a fresh set. Not a bi deal in practice - 30 seconds to swap them. I don't think anyone "needs" one - just like you don't "need" electric windows in your car
  3. ericg3


    Jan 14, 2013
    the line 6 has i think 6 channels - so just make sure you and your band mate are on different channels
  4. If you play small clubs, or always just stand in front of your amp - not necessary.

    If you play large stages, move around from one end of the stage to the other, and have multiple other musicians doing the same - it can be a lifesaver vs. all the tanged cables.
  5. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    The transmitters eat batteries and alkalines tend to deliver full power right up to the end, so, yes, they can crap out mid-gig if you don't put fresh ones in every gig. Delay (latency) isn't a problem. If you use more than one, make sure they are on different frequencies so they won't interfere. The good ones are expensive because quality costs. As to whether you need one, that's a personal choice; if cables don't bug you, you don't need one.
  6. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin
    I use a Shure wireless. It's been a reliable workhorse for me for the past three years. I use rechargeable AA batteries that usually last for two gigs.
  7. tbirdsp


    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    I got my G30 mainly because I run sound from the stage and need to go out and check the mix.
  8. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Twice I have ruined the pickguard on my Fender and many more times I've worked the jack loose inside from stepping on or pulling the cable out. I've tried looping it through my belt and in the back pocket and all sorts. I finally decided that the wireless would be cheaper than replacing pickguards. And cooler. And more fun. And useful.
    Geri O likes this.
  9. Already In Use

    Already In Use

    Jan 3, 2010
    I have a Shure wireless device. I put the body pack on my bass strap with the batt cover facing me down by the output jack..sort of dead space on my strap.. I can turn it on and off with ease...see the low batt warning lite..change a batt in seconds..the unit stays with the bass when I take it on and off. Works well for me.
  10. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    There are more than enough testimonials as to the reliability and quality of the Line 6 Relay units, so I won't waste more time here, just do a search.

    As to who needs them, well, I don't need an AR15 or F-350 dually either, but............
    Riseinside1892 and Geri O like this.
  11. 45acp


    Feb 5, 2013
    Texarkana TX
    We play small-medium sized clubs and run our own FOH for all but one gig which we only do 4-5 times a year. Wireless for me went from being trivial and pointless to "cant start the gig without it" the second our band voted me in as the soundman.

    Even if we had a dedicated soundman, i couldnt see ever going back to a cord.
  12. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Making sure you're not getting hosed by the sound guy is definitely a legitimate reason to go wireless. ;)
  13. The batteries die without warning?
    Only if you don't ever look at the battery status lights that are placed on both transmitter and receiver! ;-)

    Batteries last about 8h or more, just like the manual says, and from the time you get the red light until the batteries die you have about 1h still. Once the red light start flashing, change them before the next song starts... but I never let them go that far. I only did it at first when I was testing its limits.
    3 years of service without problems.

    I like having no cables around me, and the freedom to move wherever, hear the band at soundcheck from the floor, etc.
  14. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    I have a line 6 g50 wireless. Best gear purchase ever. It's not just for being a wacko and running all over the stage, it's so

    you don't pull out your cable accidentally
    you can go over to the mixer to make an adjustment
    you can swap instruments more easily -- you can turn the wireless off and on
    without any popping noise from the amp!
    you can go over and rock out with the guitarist without cables getting tangled
    go over and sing harmonies with someone else on their mic
    the g50 really is brighter than using an instrument cable (without extra noise), with a "cable tone" adjustment if it's too much

    I have never once gone out in front of the stage into the audience while playing, and it's still super useful and convenient.
  15. 45acp


    Feb 5, 2013
    Texarkana TX
    Exactly. A 20 second walk around is all it takes.
  16. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I have been using a Sennheiser wireless for over 10 years. The only problem I have had is when the battery in the body pack died.
  17. im using a Sennheiser EW100 G3 series wireless. i can get approx 3 gigs out of my batteries (or a 5 weeks of practice). and it is build like a tank. i couldn't recommend it more!

    most people that only get about a gig out of their unit with a sudden die off are probably using re-chargeables. im using Duracell Procells, and i have had great success, i know that if i have 2(of 3) bars of battery showing on my display i would still be good for another gig...usually seen after 2 gigs...

    IMO the people that want a wireless systems are those that don't want to be tangled up in their cable if they are movers/shakers/rockers on stage, and don't want to worry about where their cable is.
  18. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Good posts. The battery life is a non-issue for me. I put in new ones every gig and then after the gig switch them to my IEM body pack for rehearsals until they die. I use a cord during rehearsals. I also use the G-50 and agree that it is one of the best purchases I have made. The cost is what it is. You have to decide if it is worth it to you.
  19. masterFlash


    Jul 6, 2009
    I only play bars, small clubs, and occasional festivals. The wireless thing is almost a must have.
    The biggest advantage is not having to worry about tangling my cable. I can walk freely around the stage (provided the stage is big enough).

    Fresh batteries are a must, a battery tester is highly recommended.

    Also because of the wireless, the fiddle player and I are able to join the audience on the dance floor during the jigs or reel sets (my group is a celtic rock band).
  20. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sure, but so do cords.

    None that's ever been the least bit noticeable in 30 years of using one.

    Only if they're tuned to the same channels accidentally. Otherwise no.

    Stuff costs money, and the people making and selling them want to make a profit on selling them.

    If you stand in front of your amp all night, you don't need one. And some people just plain don't like them. But I need one because I'm all over the stage and audience at various times during the show, and I hate tripping over my cable.

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