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Possible to switch the same Sanken COS-11D between wireless and direct line-in applications?


stephen Piscura
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Hi there,

This is my first post so thanks in advance for being gracious with me. I'm beginning to build my audio kit and, because i'd like to buy a COS-11D lavalier mic, i reached out to Sanken with a question. But, after their reply, it seems clear to me it simply wasn't understood. Here's what i asked:

I'm beginning to build an audio kit and my goal is, as much as i can, to future proof my investments. Review after review declares the COS-11D to be the best, so i'm starting here. My question concerns the connector i should be choosing. Please let me explain…

Ultimately, i plan to purchase a couple of Lectrosonics transmitters and receivers. These primarily take a TA5F input. But in the meantime, since i won't be purchasing the Lectrosonics system until finances allow, i'll be plugging the lavalier directly into the XLR input of my recorder. If possible, i'd like to buy a COS-11D with a TA5F connector, which i can run directly into my recorder via some kind of TA5F-to-XLR adapter. Moreover, even when i acquire my wireless system, there are nevertheless many recording situations wherein a wireless transmitter just isn't necessary, in which case running a direct line would still be my preferred choice.

So my question is: Is this something i can do? And, if so, what TA5F-to-XLR adapter or equipment do you recommend? Also, is phantom power possible in this kind of configuration?

When i first found Lectrosonics' MCA5X (http://www.lectrosonics.com/US/Categories-listing/product/437-mca5x.html), i thought i'd discovered what i needed. But then i read the data sheet where it says "Note: The MCA5X ONLY works with lectrosonics UH and HM transmitters. It DOES NOT work when connected to a microphone input on a mixer or a recorder." So that option is out.

I've since come across the Tram TR79:

http://www.trammicrophones.com/sale/detail.asp?partno=TR-TR79ML%2B
http://www.trammicrophones.com/sale/detail.asp?partno=TR-TR79ML

Is this a viable option?

Forgive me if these are questions with obvious answers. I'm new at this and still trying to get my audio sea legs. I will say that i do NOT want to try my hand at cutting/attaching new connectors to my equipment. As i mentioned, i'd like to keep the option of easily switching between a wireless configuration or a direct line-in.

Thank you so much for any help you can provide in clarifying this question. I look forward to picking up my first COS-11D soon!

And here was the response from Sanken:

Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for your close and kind attention to Sanken products.

We have COS-11D with TA5F connector version which is described as COS-11DR-**-TA5FX. (** 4 colors available: BK=Black/BE=Beige/GY=Gray/WH=White).

This model allows to connect to Lectrosonics's transmitter directly alone. You can see details through website (http://www.sanken-mic.com/en/product/spec.cfm/5.1107400).

As to 48V phantom power, we have a version which calls COS-11D-**(again, 4 colors can be choosen as same as mentioned above), allowing general phantom connection.

Concerning TRAM, as we have no idea and information, we can hardly make any advice. We are sorry about it.

Sincerely,
Sanken CS

Am i missing something obvious? Was this their way of saying, "No, what you want to do is simply not possible." Or were they instead just saying, "We'd really prefer you buy two microphones. That always works out better for us."

Any advice and nudges in the right direction would be deeply appreciated. Many thanks.

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Wow i'm really impressed with (and grateful for!) the responsiveness of so many on this board! Glad i signed on...

So i'm trying to get the options in order. There's...

  1. Ambient EMP (“The Eumel”) http://ambient.de/en/product_custom_cat/eumel-en/
  2. PSC Universal Lavalier Power Supply http://professionalsound.com/specs/univ_lav_ps_barrels.html
  3. Oscar Sound Tech (OST) Power Supply-XLR http://www.oscarsoundtech.com/services.html

Are these the three crowd-pleasers? Any other options that others would recommend? Seems like the most votes so far have been for the Ambient Eumel.

Last of all, i'm not sure i've totally understood the breakaway modification option. Is it something whereby an XLR-connected lavalier is modified to include a TA5 connector as well, thus making for two connectors attached to the same cable? Or do i have that wrong?

Thanks again, everyone. Your insights are all much appreciated.

 

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Great suggestions here. Yes buy the lavs with a TA5 and also buy an adapter or two. The other idea of a XLR breakaway makes no sense. I have a feeling you'll be using them mostly with wireless transmitters sooner than later as using lavs hardwired is a pain in the ass for everyone involved.

May be important to note that there are different wiring schemes available for the TA5 connector. Which scheme you choose depends on which model transmitter you want to, eventually, be using. "Servo" or "simple-SM-only" wiring is the best for SM transmitters and UM400a / LMa transmsitters but if you'll be using older transmitters like the UM400 (non-A), UM200 etc, you'll want them wired "universal" which requires a resistor inside the TA5. Using servo wired mic on an older transmitter will result in distortion and higher noise floor.

You might want to study this page (link below). Even if you plan to buy the COS-11Ds pre-wired by the dealer or factory it's important to understand the differences.

http://www.lectrosonics.com/Support/Microphone-Wiring/uhf-transmitter-5-pin-input-jack-wiring.html

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  1. Ambient EMP (“The Eumel”) http://ambient.de/en/product_custom_cat/eumel-en/
  2. PSC Universal Lavalier Power Supply http://professionalsound.com/specs/univ_lav_ps_barrels.html
  3. Oscar Sound Tech (OST) Power Supply-XLR http://www.oscarsoundtech.com/services.html

sombody correct me if I'm wrong but I beleive only the ambient will work with both servo and nonservo wired mics

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If your Sankens are wired TA5F, either for old UM400's / UM200's, the Ambient EMP5S will work backward compatible, not sure about the others.  Small neat elegant solution, all you need is P48.  I think you can't just chop a hardwired COS-11 and put TA5F / TA5M in the middle due to different impedance issues.  Anyway, if you were to buy a COS11D pigtail, add a TA5F (preferably backward-compatible wiring so they'll work with any of your tx's) and get an Ambient EMP5S, it's quite a bit cheaper than buying a hard-wired version.

 

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When using a hard wired COS-11D, impedance is not an issue -- it's just a matter of getting the wiring correct.

I still recommend the Eumel, however.

Note to the O.P.:  It's one thing to get recommendations as you have here, but purchasing decisions should not be based on a vote talley.  It's important for a professional to learn their tools well enough to acquire them based on their own specific needs and not just those of other users.

 

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John B

Thanks for the correction issue re impedance / wiring. If somebody does want to chop a hard wired COS11D (or CUB-01) and put in a TA5F and TA5M, do you know what the wiring would be to make it SM backward-compatible?

I couldn't agree more about the "vote tally" recommendation. There's a whole lot of really smart and experienced people on this forum, then there's a couple of complete fruitcakes that might try to convince you the moon is made of green cheese, also some people with less experience that are able to get answers from others with a tremendous amount of experience. That's the beauty of this democratic forum. At the end of the day though it is your bucks and reputation on the line. 

John Rowley

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I don't know the wiring right off.  If someone was interested in doing it, they should chart out how the original XLR is wired from the COS-11D, then diagram how they wish the connector to be wired for the transmitter they're using, and then wire the connector going into the XLR end to adapt from the transmitter wiring to the original XLR wiring.  Pretty basic stuff once the homework is done.

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...also some people with less experience that are able to get answers from others with a tremendous amount of experience.

Much appreciated @Soundequip and @John Blankenship. And your notes of caution are duly noted! After more time spent Googling for adapters than i care to admit (without success) and after reaching out to Sanken directly (and getting a really unimpressive sales reply), it seemed this board was the next place to turn. I've already benefited from the store of experience you mentioned (but will beware of the fruitcakes). :-) Thanks again, i'm much obliged.

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I have a question related to this thread for folks who have used multiple brands of hardwired lavalier adapters; have you noticed differences in the noise floor between different brands? I tried out the Remote Audio adapter on several lavs (COS-11, TR-50, B6), but the noise I heard was unacceptable. The adapters mention use with universally wired lavs, whereas my Sankens are wired servo, so I'm assuming this was the issue. However, the Remote Audio adapters were only half the price of an Ambient Eumel, and I wasn't sure if it was just lower quality circuitry. I didn't get any clear answer from the dealer, so I've returned them, but I wanted to research this a little more before buying a few Eumels. From what I've read here, the Eumel will work with either lav wiring, but can anyone verify whether it sounds clean either way?

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