Wireless mics

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,264
You take “issue” with EVERYTHING, so nothing new; no surprise.
That's not fair. Though I have no issue with you taking issue with something with which I have taken issue, I cannot address the issue without appearing to take issue with the matter of issue itself.
 
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IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
1,657
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iceburghdj.com
WOrks as in functions/doesn't fail?
MagicMoments was a big proponent of HK linear speakers - then changed out to bose...when asked he said they failed and he had issues getting them repaired.

So even 'fancy' high end stuff can fail. Spending more doesn't always mean better ..by some definition.

Everyone I know that has owned a mercedes - a brand we all agree is premium in every way - complains about it being the most expensive car to maintain they've ever owned.

As a photographer it's the customers expection for me to get THE shot EVERY time. No excuses. Under ideal conditions even a cheap camera can do that, but under marginal conditions (lighting, weather, etc) you need the best or you can't deliver.

There is a difference in DJ gear as well - harder IMO to determine what that might be. or are there just that many good options that it's easy to choose well? Yamaha, QSC, EV, JBL, Evox, Bose - hard to do all that bad.
Gemini, Behringer...? Mackie?

Sometimes things just seem over priced - like $1300 microphones vs $300 ones..sure, the MIC capsules can be different, but c'mon, radio is radio. If the $100 setup can scan and doesn't drop what really is the 'benefit' from all the extra cost?

Like cords...or spark plugs - lots of hype but little proven differences.

"my milk is better than your milk"...yeah, hum, it's all milk.

It will if the Sennheiser works and the VocoPro/Gtd/Gemini/et al does not. I prefer to think of the extra $$s as sanity insurance ..
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,818
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I think Lavalier Microphones systems are more important to spend at least $300 on compared to hand held systems.

You can get a desent to very good sounding hand held wireless system for $100 to $299.99 and they will perform pretty well in 98% of situations they are put in. You will get the occasional mic signal drop for whatever reason, but it's generally expected to have a signal drop once in a while

However, with Lavalier systems. The sound quality is usually pretty bad to maybe just "OKAY" on the cheaper systems. The sound quality on a $300+ Lavalier system is generally MUCH better than the cheaper Lav systems. However, with a wireless handheld, you can purchase the Shure BLX for $249 to $299, or also a Audio Technica system, and the sound quality is pretty good on those systems.

Also the cheaper Lav Systems have infeirior low grade Transmitters in the lav boxes. They either are easily damaged, OR they just throw out kind of a weak signal where the more expensive lav boxes have upgraded circuitry, and are able to throw a stronger signal in most cases.

Shure QLX, and ULX. ...They are great systems, but are they really NEEDED for Mobile DJ work? I would say no. BUT, a DJ who wants to minimize signal drops, and wants to try to ensure high quality sound for their clients may find value in paying for those systems.

With that said. To clients, they don't know the difference, and if you try to explain it as reasoning why your price is higher than others, they will have that deer in the head lights look. ...If you tell them you are using the BEST equipment to keep it simple...Well, others also say they use "THE BEST" and may be using $100 microphone systems claiming their equipment is "TOP NOTCH" as well.

Guests and clients also take microphones for granted. They will notice a terrible sounding microphone, or one that can't keep a signal. But NOBODY ever says or thinks to themselves "Wow, that microphone had great sound, and the signal never dropped!" ...They just generally take quality results out of the microphone for granted because they assume all mics are suppose to work great anyway.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,086
48
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Of course, had you made these videos the only thing we'd evaluate is the AGC of the camera mic or video recorder.

SOUND QUALITY
I've heard GTD mics and they sound like crap. GTD users don't seem to notice this. I think there's a correlation between a person's need to pay very little for something and their belief it delivers far more than it actually does. If a user is never pressed into situations where the quality of the mic is critical - then of course, the weaknesses of a GTD system will not be apparent to them. If the highest application of the mic is amateur karaoke users then that too, will mask it's comparative performance.

BUILD QUALITY
GTD mics are disposable. In a professional application they are the equivalent of a Red Solo cup. If these work for you in karaoke or DJ gigs than that is great. But, to disagree with a point also raised - there is no limit on what we can charge until we place limits on what we will deliver.
While I fundamentally agree with what you say here as for sound quality the average listener isn't going to notice the difference in a GTD and a high end Sure so long as it works. The average user won't make it sound different either because so many have bad mic technique present company excluded just referring to some I've seen

Sometimes things just seem over priced - like $1300 microphones vs $300 ones..sure, the MIC capsules can be different, but c'mon, radio is radio. If the $100 setup can scan and doesn't drop what really is the 'benefit' from all the extra cost?
.
Not necessarily components in construction can make a huge difference. I've never had a transmitter from a wireless apart so I can't say there is but I suspect the less expensive units use less expensive parts
 
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Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,264
Sometimes things just seem over priced - like $1300 microphones vs $300 ones..sure, the MIC capsules can be different, but c'mon, radio is radio. If the $100 setup can scan and doesn't drop what really is the 'benefit' from all the extra cost?
The extra cost owes to the fidelity and capability of if it's acoustic reproduction, along with advanced audio routing and other features. Additionally, a good microphone has to be connected to quality pre-amps and mixers or you'll lose the benefit of it's better performance.

If you're paying attention note that people who advocate for cheap mics build their argument around the RF lock. Audio professional take stability of the RF section as granted and evaluate the quality of the audio reproduction. A $1300 mic is not even in the same class as a $300 mic. I use some $700 mics that aren't even wireless! The Countryman E6 alone costs more than Ricky is willing to pay for a whole wireless system. No RF involved.

As a DJ I'll agree that you have a lot of choices to get your booming voice over the music without spending a lot of money. But, don't kid yourself about cheap microphones and the chain of cheap equipment it might be connected too. Microphone Intelligibility is the most consistent complaint people make about wedding DJs. Of course, the wedding DJs always blame these issues on "the room." LOL.

Logon to Youtube and start watching videos uploaded by DJs and take note of how consistently crappy the microphones typically sound. These guys would all make the very same arguments made here - but, they've also never heard themselves on these videos using anything better. They just don't know what they don't know.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,264
...the average listener isn't going to notice the difference in a GTD and a high end Sure so long as it works. The average user won't make it sound different either because so many have bad mic technique
I disagree because as I said, the most common complaint people make about wedding DJs is a lack of microphone intelligibility. Cheap mics crumble under bad technique because it always results in massive distortion or feedback. Quality mics perform to a higher benchmark and instead of distortion you get gain or dynamic characteristics that can be adjusted to compensate for the bad technique.

You also have to consider the capsule and pre-amp/mixer quality. An SM58 capsule on a QLXD isn't going to sound any different than a cabled SM58. It's the same microphone and the sound doesn't improve by replacing the wire with a $1400 RF system. Running either through a cheap Rolls mixer is going to sound better than a GTD but, the Rolls pre-amps suck and you can easily get poor performance downstream of the mic itself.

The true test of audio quality is that no one notices that a microphone is even present. A mic that calls attention to itself either through poor frequency response, drop outs, bad technique, low/high sensitivity, noise, or some combination of all - is a mic that needs to be replaced.

There's also a lot of DJs who prefer poor performance because the color of the frequency deficiency happens to align with their personal EQ preference. A squeaky sounding DJ for example might prefer a mic with poor high/mid frequency response. The unnatural sound and poor frequency response however will stand out to the audience, and even more so when a familiar voice uses the mic.
 
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Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,086
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Sydney, Nova Scotia
Think of it from a standpoint of wired mics. I can buy this mic for $7 or I can buy this mic for $700. It's more than obvious which is better. You can make announcements with the first one but if the job is mission critical the second one is the way to go.

For the most part what we do is a pretty controlled environment and the GTD is more than enough. Other times better is just that...Better
 
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Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,264
...NOBODY ever says or thinks to themselves "Wow, that microphone had great sound, and the signal never dropped!"
Not true. I've had plenty of people comment about the complete transparency of the microphones and excellence of audio quality. The thing they notice and appreciate is that their notice is never drawn to the mic itself.

Reality check - if the first thing patrons do when they step up to the mic is say: "is this mic on" or "can everyone hear me okay?" Then this is a clear sign that the audience has not been receiving your audio with the kind of clarity and performance you think they are. It's a statement that characterizes a lack of confidence in your audio quality.
 
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Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
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Sydney, Nova Scotia
I disagree because as I said, the most common complaint people make about wedding DJs is a lack of microphone intelligibility.
Again that could be lack of technique


Cheap mics crumble under bad technique because it always results in massive distortion or feedback. Quality mics perform to a higher benchmark and instead of distortion you get gain or dynamic characteristics that can be adjusted to compensate for the bad technique.
Agreed to a certain extent. The good mic will cover for bad technique to an extent same as the bad mic will be less bad with good technique at least to a point. The technique would matter little in the $7 mic I posted above

You also have to consider the capsule and pre-amp/mixer quality. An SM58 capsule on a QLXD isn't going to sound any different than a cabled SM58. It's the same microphone and the sound doesn't improve by replacing the wire with a $1400 RF system. Running either through a cheap Rolls mixer is going to sound better than a GTD but, the Rolls pre-amps suck and you can easily get poor performance downstream of the mic itself.
Agreed

The true test of audio quality is that no one notices that a microphone is even present. A mic that calls attention to itself either through poor frequency response, drop outs, bad technique, low/high sensitivity, noise, or some combination of all - is a mic that needs to be replaced.
Maybe I've seen worse speakers than you but I've seen some pretty good mics not be that great with some speakers

There's also a lot of DJs who prefer poor performance because the color of the frequency deficiency happens to align with their personal EQ preference. A squeaky sounding DJ for example might prefer a mic with poor high/mid frequency response. The unnatural sound and poor frequency response however will stand out to the audience, and even more so when a familiar voice uses the mic.
Again so long as they can hear the speaker most couldn't or wouldn't pick up on that. It's someone speaking in to a mic not an A/B comparison on stage

Reality check - if the first thing patrons do when they step up to the mic is say: "is this mic on" or "can everyone hear me okay?" Then this is a clear sign that the audience has not been receiving your audio with the kind of clarity and performance you think they are
I've generally seen this from the first speaker of the evening it's more a crutch than a real question. After the first one it may be a concern. It could sometimes be from previous experience
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,264
For the most part what we do is a pretty controlled environment and the GTD is more than enough.
I can't think of any instance in which I would deploy GTD. I'm a firm believer in using cheap mics for basic karaoke but these mics are built like a plastic toy and won't survive in commercial service. At the very minimum a professional handheld mic has to be able to survive being dropped and/or stepped on. You're not going to find that in a cheap wireless.
 
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Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,086
48
Sydney, Nova Scotia
I can't think of any instance in which I would deploy GTD. I'm a firm believer in using cheap mics for basic karaoke but these mics are built like a plastic toy and won't survive in commercial service. At the very minimum a professional handheld mic has to be able to survive being dropped and/or stepped on.
I'm no expert but I think the GTD units would take a drop at least
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,264
Again that could be lack of technique
It's always a lame excuse to blame the user for "bad technique" on our mic. We're the one who is supposed to be certain they are heard clearly.

We all have regular experience with amateurs and cheap mics from our elementary schools, to little league, spaghetti dinners, the VHF hall, etc. and this constancy of poor performance is always present in people's expectation. We also notice when people sound different on the mic than they do face to face (A/B comparison.)

If we claim that people don't notice better quality performance we are really just admitting that we don't care enough to do better.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,829
Oklahoma City
I'm no expert but I think the GTD units would take a drop at least
You are correct, sir. I had a slightly inebriated speaker at one event THROW one of my GTD mics to the floor because he thought he’d be funny doing a “drop the mic”. It survived with absolutely no perceptible damage. I was ready to hand him the bill for the cost of a new one if the mic was damaged.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Jeff Romard

Administrator
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Sep 4, 2006
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Sydney, Nova Scotia
It's always a lame excuse to blame the user for "bad technique" on our mic. We're the one who is supposed to be certain they are heard clearly.

We all have regular experience with amateurs and cheap mics from our elementary schools, to little league, spaghetti dinners, the VHF hall, etc. and this constancy of poor performance is always present in people's expectation. We also notice when people sound different on the mic than they do face to face (A/B comparison.)

If we claim that people don't notice better quality performance we are really just admitting that we don't care enough to do better.
I disagree...When someone is cupping the mic like LL Cool J or whispering or screaming in it it's not being used in the fashion it should be for it's intended purpose

If I give you my truck and you run in to a tree it's not the trucks fault. It's like most things Bob I've heard mediocre speakers sound pretty good and I've heard great systems sound pretty bad and I'm sure you have had the same experience.

There's also something else in play here you and I do many events that most here don't do. Political conventions, rallys, seminars, major fundraisers, etc and in big rooms where performance is a must. Most here are doing private events and the mic is never farther than 25 feet from them. When I do small events I use my SM58 or Sennheiser mics. When it's a larger event I go to the rental department and the better mics come out
 
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Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,264
You are correct, sir. I had a slightly inebriated speaker at one event THROW one of my GTD mics to the floor because he thought he’d be funny doing a “drop the mic”. It survived with absolutely no perceptible damage. I was ready to hand him the bill for the cost of a new one if the mic was damaged.
That's another issue with cheap mics - they have no shock mount - LOTS of handling noise, even from the cable movement.

It's unlikely anyone would pay you for a broken mic - even when someone deliberately drops it to the floor. ( I know I woudln't.) As I said - the professional expectation is that the mic can survive frequent drops and handling abuse. It would also cost you more to pursue a small claims complaint than to replace the handheld.

Still, I expect the mic more likely to get broken by the DJ or his crew during setup, strike, or in transit, etc. It is also likely to just turn up DOA on a gig due to inferior electronics or cold solder joints.

The biggest red flag about this issue is that the same people willing to bank their paycheck on the lowest quality mic they can find - are also the people who consistently complain about how cheap minded their prospects and customers are. Law of Attraction?
 
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IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
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Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
I agree about the lav..the GTD ones are useless IME. I'm not willing to spend a grand for a lav mic. SOMETHING must be available in between.

The last part- BINGO!!! that's why $300 wedding DJs exist and get work - to the avg person there is NO difference. They 'expect' a dj to announce, play music, etc.
they don't seem to realize how many can't announce, pronounce names, schedule/run or keep to a schedule, etc. Until it's too late.

The microphone technique of the people using the mic is to blame as much as anythhing - hold it too far away, too close, turn their heads, etc. A $1000 handheld won't change that.

Feedback is a user thing also - any mic will feedback and cheap ones won't if used properly.

I think Lavalier Microphones systems are more important to spend at least $300 on compared to hand held systems.

You can get a desent to very good sounding hand held wireless system for $100 to $299.99 and they will perform pretty well in 98% of situations they are put in. You will get the occasional mic signal drop for whatever reason, but it's generally expected to have a signal drop once in a while



Guests and clients also take microphones for granted. They will notice a terrible sounding microphone, or one that can't keep a signal. But NOBODY ever says or thinks to themselves "Wow, that microphone had great sound, and the signal never dropped!" ...They just generally take quality results out of the microphone for granted because they assume all mics are suppose to work great anyway.
 
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IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
1,657
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Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
I started with a shure 58, nice mic in many ways, but intelligability? Technique or how one sets up their system. You got subs? Yeah, that may be an issue unless you adjust the eq on the mic. And then it's not hte mic - it's what's downstream , it's user error on the part of the DJ as audio tech. The GTD's have less handling noise than the better shure mic.

Over time I've learned to get the most from the GTD mics. Are there better out there? Sure. And I"m looking - but can't justify $1200 plus - the $1000 bump and ideally have 2 systems to $2k...

Maybe if the FCC has settled and I can foresee getting a decade out of the investment I'll make it...still looking for what I want at the price I'm willing to pay.

It's always a lame excuse to blame the user for "bad technique" on our mic. We're the one who is supposed to be certain they are heard clearly.

We all have regular experience with amateurs and cheap mics from our elementary schools, to little league, spaghetti dinners, the VHF hall, etc. and this constancy of poor performance is always present in people's expectation. We also notice when people sound different on the mic than they do face to face (A/B comparison.)

If we claim that people don't notice better quality performance we are really just admitting that we don't care enough to do better.
 
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steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
32,258
Prospect, CT
I agree about the lav..the GTD ones are useless IME. I'm not willing to spend a grand for a lav mic. SOMETHING must be available in between.

The last part- BINGO!!! that's why $300 wedding DJs exist and get work - to the avg person there is NO difference. They 'expect' a dj to announce, play music, etc.
they don't seem to realize how many can't announce, pronounce names, schedule/run or keep to a schedule, etc. Until it's too late.

The microphone technique of the people using the mic is to blame as much as anythhing - hold it too far away, too close, turn their heads, etc. A $1000 handheld won't change that.

Feedback is a user thing also - any mic will feedback and cheap ones won't if used properly.
I think the average customer "knows" there is a difference .. just might not prioritize it that way. That doesn't mean the guests can't hear one.

To each their own. I have decided that the level of gear that matters (including anything in the sound chain) needs to sound good, reliably operate, and be able to survive being packed up, transported, setup, used, taken down, transported again, and packed away, all the time. I realize it won't every time, but that's the goal. Saving a few dollars is second to saving face.

You don't need to buy the MOST expensive gear to do that, but it's extremely rare that the cheapest stuff will.
 
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IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
1,657
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Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
OK, so looking at good brands that won't break the bank...
For reference - Handheld Microphone Wireless Systems | Sweetwater - (https://www.sweetwater.com/c992--Handheld_Microphone_Wireless_Systems)

All are dual mic (and the only mid range ones I saw - lots of individual choices, but you need, more to setup and wire, etc)

Shure has a BLX288/PG58 for $550.
Sennheiser XSW 1-825 $500
Sennheiser XSW 1-835 $600
Audio Technica ATW-1322 $800

What's the best choice out of these? What makes AT worth 50% more?
 

TES3S

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 18, 2016
165
Los Angeles, CA
I have owned the GLX and BLX from Shure. Both sucked. I had too many dropouts. I have already done the homework for you. I went through 4 mic systems in 1.5 yrs.

I think the ones that swear by cheap mics are still missing the point. I paid a lot of money not to gain sound quality, but to get rock solid RF performance. RADIO IS NOT RADIO, and that is the biggest difference between cheap and expensive systems.

Just buy a slightly used QLXD and be done with it.

Iceburgh, why are you even looking at better mics when you are fine with the lower quality systems????