Jump to content
Karri

Opinions on the Audio Ltd En2 series?

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I've been running with Sennheiser G3's so far, and I'm thinking of upgrade possibilities. I've formerly used rented Lectros, which are always nice (except that one time they were popping all the time, this apparently had something to do with incompatible DPA lavs), and also have a Nomad so if I had a lot of money, Lectro or Zax would obviously be a sensible choice (then again I hear about people in Finland having trouble with Zax wireless, I wonder if that's already sorted out). However, two Audio Ltd Tx's and their dual channel diversity receiver would cost me around 2000€ less than a pair of Zax or Lectro channels so I'm trying to gauge whether to try and save up or go with the Audio Ltd's.

I came across a pair of En2 tx's and non-diversity rx's once. I actually had quite a lot of dropouts while in a supermarket, though I think it might've just been the environment, and I suppose if I were to get their dual channel receiver with diversity the situation would be better anyways. Or have people experienced range issues with these? How do you perceive the sound quality on the En2 system? On the G3's I notice some noise in quieter environments, is the noise floor on En2's significantly lower? I Can't really tell from my earlier brush with the En2's since the gig was in louder environments. Also, the En2's have locking TRS connectors for the mics, are these with the same wiring as the G3 connectors? This would sort of be a bonus towards just getting a pair of Audio Ltd channels for now, since I have a pile of OST and Rode mics with Senn connectors.

Thanks for any experience you might be able to share!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a single channel EN2 system. I've been quite happy with it, although it is not the diversity version. The only time I had a real problem with it was at an eucalyptus plantation while shooting close to a forest harvester machine. I'm not sure if it was the heat, the humidity, the range, low batteries, bad connection to the camera or what, but there simply was no usable audio.

I'm looking to upgrade to Zaxcom, Lectrosonics or Sony DWX series myself.

If you want to have a look at it, drop me a line. I'd like to get a closer look at a Nomad myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I regularly work in a show which uses Audio En2's for their contestant wireless mics (chosen by the sound supervisor as a compromise between quality and budget).

They work fine for the show as the contestants are always within vision (under 30 yards away) and you can use 10 channels alongside each other intermod free as they are only 35mW.

We have experienced as soon as they are out of view such as in a different part of the set (which can be no more than 50-60 yards) reception drops away very quickly!

They sound ok. "Thinner" than my Lectro's or Audio Ltd 2020's (which we use alongside the En2's on this shoot) but better than a Sennheiser G3 in my opinion assuming they all have Sanken Cos-11 mics.

Build quality wise I think the G3's are probably a little more rugged than the En2's but in respect to usability the En2's win hands down! I was shown a pre-production model and suggested to Audio at the time they should make a 2040 with such as interface but it sadly fell on deaf ears.

These are the pro diversity versions. I don't know how different the non-pro version is but they won't be better!

I'm sure they do as a stop gap until you can afford to upgrade again to Lectro or Zax wireless - unless you need lots of range for the type of work you do!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently worked withe some En2s, they sound fine, not as good as my Lectros, but the big drawback was the battery door. I can't believe Audio Ltd haven't upgraded these doors and worse still, the even inferior 2020 RX battery door has now moved over to the En2s TX side. Incompetence like that doesn't deserve sales. If you do decide to buy them be prepared to scan the floor for dropped batteries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work with a Steadicam guy who insists on using them as a hop, as his rig is balanced for them, and they sound fine, range isn't great as Matt says, but keep that in mind and they might work out for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe check into whats happening to the old ch69 freqs in your country, you can pick up 2020's for absolute peanuts now and even if they'll only last you a few years, they would make an excellent and very cost effective stop-gap until you can afford Lectro or 2040's or whatever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They sound ok. "Thinner" than my Lectro's or Audio Ltd 2020's (which we use alongside the En2's on this shoot) but better than a Sennheiser G3 in my opinion assuming they all have Sanken Cos-11 mics.

By the way, I know that there is also a little known separate pro version of the transmitter which offers the ability to switch low cut filter off. It also the ability to be externally powered and has a multipin connector for the mic.

EDIT: oops, I misread.. it's only the receiver that has the external power option.

I recently worked withe some En2s, they sound fine, not as good as my Lectros, but the big drawback was the battery door. I can't believe Audio Ltd haven't upgraded these doors and worse still, the even inferior 2020 RX battery door has now moved over to the En2s TX side. Incompetence like that doesn't deserve sales. If you do decide to buy them be prepared to scan the floor for dropped batteries.

I agree. The battery door on my receiver just fell to pieces at the most unfortunate moment. Luckily I was able to find all the parts and tape it together. The dealer supplied a spare part for free. He said he has a boxful of them.

Maybe check into whats happening to the old ch69 freqs in your country, you can pick up 2020's for absolute peanuts now and even if they'll only last you a few years, they would make an excellent and very cost effective stop-gap until you can afford Lectro or 2040's or whatever.

CH69 is a no go here in Finland. I've been looking at options to upgrade myself. I'd like to get something with AES outputs on the receiver so that cuts down my options quite a bit. It's pretty much Zaxcom or Sony DWX.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They work fine for the show as the contestants are always within vision (under 30 yards away) and you can use 10 channels alongside each other intermod free as they are only 35mW.

Were your En2s a special build for low intermod? They are usually supplied at 50mW - the early 2040 MiniTx were 35mW, now available at 50mW. En2Pro transmitter has variable roll off and in territories where permitted can be switchable between 50mW and 100mW.

I have tried them and had no trouble with range: at 50mW was comparable with a 2040. Certainly the diversity version is a big step up from Sennheiser G3s.

2020s on 850mHz may be cheap to buy in the UK but Europe and presumably a lot of the world will soon be using that spectrum for 4G mobiles. Not exactly a blue chip investment.

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Were your En2s a special build for low intermod? They are usually supplied at 50mW - the early 2040 MiniTx were 35mW, now available at 50mW. En2Pro transmitter has variable roll off and in territories where permitted can be switchable between 50mW and 100mW.

The TX's we use were an early production run. The sound super has talked about upgrading them to 50mW but hasn't done so yet - I wasn't aware they were now 50mW as standard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2020s on 850mHz may be cheap to buy in the UK but Europe and presumably a lot of the world will soon be using that spectrum for 4G mobiles. Not exactly a blue chip investment.

The 2020's have several frequencies which will still be legal and usable on channel 70 from January 2013 here on the UK. Not sure if it is the same in Finland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

" On the G3's I notice some noise in quieter environments, is the noise floor on En2's significantly lower? "

it is more than that...

try the "dreaded key test".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The battery doors are well and truly fixed now. I currently work with about 19 EN2 battery doors, and have not had a single failure since the new doors were supplied to me. I takes less than a minute to swop them out, and the new ones are perfect.

Audio Ltd supplied me direct, but I live about 15 mins drive from Kish's house!! They will supply you or their dealer will.

To check... open your battery door, if you can see two screws holding the battery springy plate thing on then you have new style. Old style was heat welded on, and was not a great success!!!!!

Kindest regards,

Simon B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, I know that there is also a little known separate pro version of the transmitter which offers the ability to switch low cut filter off. It also the ability to be externally powered and has a multipin connector for the mic.

EDIT: oops, I misread.. it's only the receiver that has the external power option.

http://www.soundkit.co.uk/acatalog/Audio_Envoy_En2.html <- these guys are listing a kit with En2 Pro transmitters and they say it's possible to power the transmitters externally.

Thanks to everyone for the input! Can anyone clarify my question about the mic connectors/wiring? Is it compatible with mics wired for G3's?

I haven't done the jangling keys test with the G3's... I guess I have some free time today. ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at the price of those, for another grand (tops) you could get 2 channels of 2040 or a lectro SR system. Which would last you for years to come.

As the old saying goes, buy cheap, buy twice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The En2 has a 3.5mm jack and is compatible with mics wired for the G3. The En2 Pro has a Binder multi-pin plug.

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having listened to everything out there, I still think the Audio LTD's sound the best.

I have two 2000 quads, a 2020 rk2, and bought an rk6 2040 last year.

They sound amazing.

I also have 2 vdb 48v wireless adaptors that work great.

Kish just sent me a pair of the new Yagis that I fly from an old vdb pole and the range is amazing.

With the rk6, the freq scan and walk test functions are a big asset.

Expensive, yes, but worth every penny.

I have my units serviced by Evan Mater at Vark, and he is amazing.

He even arranged for a personal tour by Kish of the factory last time I was in Old Blighty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was recently watching a film with my boom op that we did about 10 years ago. There was a crane shot where we used Audio 2020 or maybe 2000 can't remember. We both looked at each other and said "shit those radios sound great" I used to be all Audio Ltd. but when the frequency situation got bad I bailed in favor of agility,range and convenience. Plus they cost a bunch to tune and repair. But they are by far the best radios I ever heard including every Lectro, Sennys, Sony, micron (I'm dating myself ha) ..and as far as the key test....absolutely perfect response.

I wonder if they ever got their frequency agility act together. And I had to laugh about the post above concerning the battery doors ridiculous design. They always ended up with tape holding them on. I really do miss he sound though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, I know that there is also a little known separate pro version of the transmitter which offers the ability to switch low cut filter off. It also the ability to be externally powered and has a multipin connector for the mic.

EDIT: oops, I misread.. it's only the receiver that has the external power option.

I agree. The battery door on my receiver just fell to pieces at the most unfortunate moment. Luckily I was able to find all the parts and tape it together. The dealer supplied a spare part for free. He said he has a boxful of them.

CH69 is a no go here in Finland. I've been looking at options to upgrade myself. I'd like to get something with AES outputs on the receiver so that cuts down my options quite a bit. It's pretty much Zaxcom or Sony DWX.

Wisycom dual receiver MCR42 has AES & analog out, compander emulation for Sennheiser, Audio. Massive bandwidth, fits in the slot of Sony /Panasonic cameras and has a stand-alone adapter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wisycom dual receiver MCR42 has AES & analog out, compander emulation for Sennheiser, Audio. Massive bandwidth, fits in the slot of Sony /Panasonic cameras and has a stand-alone adapter.

Although, although it's expensive, it's cheaper (and lighter) than 2x 2040 RX. I use mine with Sennheiser HiDyn+ transmitters. You'll need a sample rate converter on the AES in if running multiple units (only the sony dwx has word clock in)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Counting in swedish, it's $4500 (off the top of my head). The Txs are $3700 each.

At least that's what they cost excluding VAT in Sweden, and our prices tend to be a lot higher due to I dunno.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

try the "dreaded key test".

I have done it. Not so bad and really better than the G3. You can hear it on my blog.

IMO the EN2's principal problem is the lack of available frequencies. Only 32.

A good scanner and a high frequency agility is essential today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO the EN2's principal problem is the lack of available frequencies. Only 32.

Not quite correct, as the Audio Ltd. website tells us:

Number of factory pre-set frequencies: 32

Number of user selectable frequencies: 32 (selectable in 25kHz steps)

That's to me at least 64, and if they used the term "user selectable" as I think they do, the EN-2 could save and edit up to 32 "user preset" freqs (in the specified range) in addition to the "factory preset" freqs. Similar to the G3 "U" bank. This would be a GREAT advantage over the 2040 series.

Can anybody confirm this?

BTW audioltd.com seems a little outdated and incomplete: I can't find any mention of TXP, MTX, or the plug-on TX that was announced a while ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×