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Lectrosonics LT & SRC vs Wisycom MTP40S & MCR-42S


PJ Rankin
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Hi Everyone,

 

I'm about to embark on my next serious step up from my G3 wireless rig, they're just not cutting it anymore on the gigs I'm getting so I'm looking at the following 2 set up choices; 2 Lectrosonics LT transmitters & SRC Receiver or 2 Wisycom MTP40S transmitters & MCR-42S Receiver. I'm based in Ireland and sadly we have no hands on access to either of these set ups at any stores so i could get a rough idea. I've done extensive research and I just can't come to a conclusion on the significant differentiators between the 2 set ups.

Would anyone like to chime in with their experiences?

 

Thanks!

PJ

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I have a lot of experience with Lectro and I did a brief 3-day demo of the Wisycoms when they were first made available in the US. 

 

Some quick thoughts..

 

Both have excellent build quality. Really it's a tie in build quality which is impressive for Wisy.

 

Lectro SMs seemed like they would be slightly more splash resistant with its screw-on battery door vs the Wisycom latching door. 

 

That said, Wisycom uses Lemo 3pin which is probably a better seal compared to TA5..

 

Lectro are easier to use. The Wisycom gear had many more menu settings to go through and set (or screw up). Can be a good or bad thing I guess.

 

Scanning is more intuitive on Lectro. Wisy you can only choose pre-programmed frequencies vs anything in its range like Lectro. I found this confusing. Changing it requires connection to a PC.

 

Audio quality seemed about on par in my limited testing with lavs only.

 

Wisycom wideband is wider than Lectro's.

 

US mixers use mostly Lectro (or Zax) so if you're in the US and need to rent extras or coordinate with another mixer it may be a consideration.

 

These observations are all from 2+ years ago so I'm sure there have been changes in firmware and hardware since then.

 

 

 

 

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i've used both zaxcom and the lectro. I love zaxcom because i'm always with a backup recording.  Handy also when one batch of actors go with one camera and the other with the other.... although it's only happened once,  it saved their ass and they appreciated that.  
That aside, the backup is great.   Another plus coming from lectro is I never scan...  almost ever anymore. I found lectro problematic with static and dropouts if I didn't scan at every location. YMMV  This is based on Hawaii, Cali, East coast and Australia.    

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I went from G3's to Lectros last year. It was a nice step up in terms of usability with figuring out sound levels and sound quality. That being said, I have a Lectro SRC and LT set and I'm not real impressed with their build quality. The SRC I had to send in due to a bad component and the LT's are a lot like G3's but with some drawbacks. Battery life is far worse, they are quite a bit heavier and get fairly hot. The range is probably a bit better, though. The battery compartment is a sore spot with weird bumpers that fall out and a door that isn't compatible with some types of batteries.  That might have been fixed in newer updates, though. I just had an LT which appears to have fried the internals due to sweat and is going to cost more than a new G3 transmitter/receiver set to repair. I never had a problem with G3's under the same conditions over the years I was using them.  Just personal experience and bad luck maybe. I actually like the SSM's more than the LT's, but they have noticeably worse range than the G3's and their own quirks.

 

I haven't tried the Wisycom's.

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13 hours ago, Casey Preston said:

I went from G3's to Lectros last year. It was a nice step up in terms of usability with figuring out sound levels and sound quality. That being said, I have a Lectro SRC and LT set and I'm not real impressed with their build quality. The SRC I had to send in due to a bad component and the LT's are a lot like G3's but with some drawbacks. Battery life is far worse, they are quite a bit heavier and get fairly hot. The range is probably a bit better, though. The battery compartment is a sore spot with weird bumpers that fall out and a door that isn't compatible with some types of batteries.  That might have been fixed in newer updates, though. I just had an LT which appears to have fried the internals due to sweat and is going to cost more than a new G3 transmitter/receiver set to repair. I never had a problem with G3's under the same conditions over the years I was using them.  Just personal experience and bad luck maybe. I actually like the SSM's more than the LT's, but they have noticeably worse range than the G3's and their own quirks.

 

I haven't tried the Wisycom's.

Thanks for your input Casey, it almost sounds like you've had a very bad experience with that set up, nearly to the point where the units you have sound faulty. Obviously that is from your own experience but I'm surprised to hear that from something of lectros standard. The only current issue I have is the waiting on the elusive B2 block for the Lectro set up that would cover the UK frequency block that's also required here in Ireland. Speaking to a supplier in the UK he mentioned that it's on the way but didn't know roughly when.

And as much as I'm interested in the zax units, here they're just out of my price range for the time being! 

 

Thanks or everyone's input so far, I'm all ears to other experiences also!

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Just wanted to share a positive experience with the Wisy's getting wet. An actress forgot about the transmitter and accidentally dropped it in the toilet. The mixer quickly obtained a hair dryer from makeup and dried it with the battery door open. No problems during the rest of the film and he never had to replace the unit later either. I was impressed with their build quality after being submerged. 

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Lectro has great build quality. I had an actor get pulled off a raft into the Colorado river with an SMQV transmitter on.  I got him out within about 30 seconds and immediately dried off the transmitter, blew out the connector and opened the battery door.  I've never had any problems with the transmitter. The only real weak spot is the audio connector. The rest of the unit is sealed tight. Not sure how much of that sealed design was brought over to the L series. 

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10 hours ago, ryanpeds said:

[snip] Not sure how much of that sealed design was brought over to the L series. 

Here's the water resistance of various transmitters:
The SM is pretty well sealed other than the 5 pin TA5M. We seal the internal openings of that connector  with RTV the best we can but it is more splash proof than watertight. On top of that, it is not tested to be water proof as we do with the MM transmitter. If you think your unit is going to go swimming, i.e., there is a puddle of water within 50 feet of the talent, the MM is the safe choice. 

The SSM is sealed everywhere but the battery compartment but water can't get from the battery compartment into the internals of the SSM. The Lemo audio connector is close to waterproof in that water -may- get into the connector but it won't leak into the vulnerable electronics. Since the battery is external to the guts of the SSM, the unit will withstand a quick dunk.

The other transmitters, such as the L series are not sealed and should never get wet.

Here is a Lectro FAQ #23, though old, is still valid and applies to all electronics that go swimming:
 

This was an email question that I re-posted on the R.A.M.P.S news group since we see quite a few units that are destroyed by water immersion each year. Below is the reply which also talks about salt water immersion. (VERY BAD. Get the battery out immediately)


Hi David,
Some of the following doesn't apply to you now, since it has been a while since the unit fell in the water. What you have done so far is OK.

Get the battery out of the unit as quickly as possible. Turning the unit off is not enough. Wash the unit with clean or distilled water. If it fell in sea water, wash it with any water that has less salt in it than the sea water.(If there is nothing better available, you can even use Diet Coke or a dry martini, shaken not stirred). Vodka or other alcohol that doesn't have lots of additives in it can be used in a pinch also. In fact, an alcohol final rinse is a good bet anyway, both to promote faster drying and to clean off any dirt or oils that may have been in the water. Tilt the boards so that the alcohol runs off and doesn't puddle around the tiny adjustment pots. After the final rinse, shake the boards to remove the alcohol or water. Then warm the boards to drive off the residual water left from the water or alcohol final rinse. Hair dryers, light bulbs, warm oven, engine block, sunlight, heater vents, etc. As far as the maximum temperature, as long as you can firmly touch the components and not quickly feel pain (140 F) you are OK. After several hours or more and the unit is bone dry, put in a battery and try the system.

In fresh water with the battery in the unit, you have a few minutes before serious damage results. In salt water, with the battery in the unit, it is a matter of seconds. Get the battery out of the unit as quickly as possible. If it fell in sea water, don't bother opening the unit to wash it. Plunge the entire unit with the battery door open into water or alcohol. Or pour water or alcohol into the unit and slosh it around. Then do it a second time with a fresh batch of water or alcohol. Then you can open the unit and do a third rinse. Inspect the circuit traces for corrosion. If there is any corrosion, try to rinse it off and/or brush the corrosion away using a stiff brush moistened in alcohol such as a cut down acid brush or a toothbrush. If it has corrosion, it may need to come back to the factory. We usually end up replacing the circuit boards or exchanging the unit completely but there is no harm in cleaning it, drying it and firing it up. Best of Luck

Best Regards,
Larry Fisher

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Just wanted to share a positive experience with the Wisy's getting wet. An actress forgot about the transmitter and accidentally dropped it in the toilet. The mixer quickly obtained a hair dryer from makeup and dried it with the battery door open. No problems during the rest of the film and he never had to replace the unit later either. I was impressed with their build quality after being submerged. 


I actually had the very same experience. Except it was with a Sennheiser SK100G2. Not the first name that pops into my mind when asked about a well build tx. Still, it managed that.
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I appreciate Larry's insight on the relative water resistance of the different units.  Thank you. Based on experience, I can say that the LT's are unlikely to survive any type of water contact as I had one become water damaged while being clipped to the belt of somebody who must have been sweating on it. The top of the LT has a recessed switch and the IR port. I'm guessing that the recessed switch may actually act as a place for sweat to pool and enter the unit if pressed against skin.

 

The LT, however, is good for quick ENG work. It's also currently the best wideband transmitter option for Lectrosonics for a camera hop while using the LR or SRc.

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On ‎9‎/‎18‎/‎2016 at 0:35 PM, r.paterson said:

Hello Larry while we have you on the LT topic do you know if the EU version of LT is switcheable or can be unlocked and be swicheable between 50mw and 100mw?..I haven't been able to source this info elsewhere. But it's a biggie question  in going for some LT eu and SRC eu..Thanks..Richard.

Alas, the EU (and the labs that certify the gear) is getting very picky about changing power capabilities.  We cannot get certification with that capability built in in any form now - 50mW max - We don't make the laws, we just follow 'em....... (damn the bad luck).  They're from the government and they're here to help.........

Could be worse, in some countries the limit is 10mW. 

It all depends on the overall RF noise floor but remember that 100mW is just a 3dB boost over 50mW.  Get that transmitter antenna just a bit away from the sweaty actor skin and you can re-capture that 3dB easily.  Don't tape it down to the skin - if possible, get it outside the first layer of clothing (if they are wearing layers).      

Fortunately the SRC is pretty darn sensitive.   (kind of like me about my receding hairline or expanding waistline....)

Gordon

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15 hours ago, Gordonmoore1 said:

Alas, the EU (and the labs that certify the gear) is getting very picky about changing power capabilities.  We cannot get certification with that capability built in in any form now - 50mW max - We don't make the laws, we just follow 'em....... (damn the bad luck).  They're from the government and they're here to help.........

Could be worse, in some countries the limit is 10mW. 

It all depends on the overall RF noise floor but remember that 100mW is just a 3dB boost over 50mW.  Get that transmitter antenna just a bit away from the sweaty actor skin and you can re-capture that 3dB easily.  Don't tape it down to the skin - if possible, get it outside the first layer of clothing (if they are wearing layers).      

Fortunately the SRC is pretty darn sensitive.   (kind of like me about my receding hairline or expanding waistline....)

Gordon

Hi Gordon thanks for the mw info it's what I was looking for does that mean all future TX sold in UK are 50mw maximum? a couple of other questions if I may does that mean the SRC is more sensitive than the SRB ? And am I right in thinking EU SRC have menu option to change deviation and use US tx with the EU SRC ( I have a couple of US TX)  Many Thanks..Richard

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Regarding the extensive menue settings of the Wisycoms, I was worried first, that they could be confusing in the field, but you actually get used to them quickly. Took me two days in the field.

So far I really like them. Yet I did not get into any challenging situation though.

 

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23 hours ago, Constantin said:

This may eventually turn out to be one of the few advantages of Brexit: in a few years, the UK will be able to set its own, new, rules about this. You should start lobbying for this soon

And then other EU mixers could secretly buy from the UK to take back and use them in their own home countries ;-)

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On 9/20/2016 at 4:55 PM, Constantin said:

This may eventually turn out to be one of the few advantages of Brexit: in a few years, the UK will be able to set its own, new, rules about this. You should start lobbying for this soon

lol, should start lobbying so they don't reduce the maximum tx power.

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On ‎9‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 8:14 AM, r.paterson said:

.........does that mean all future TX sold in UK are 50mw maximum? a couple of other questions if I may does that mean the SRC is more sensitive than the SRB ? And am I right in thinking EU SRC have menu option to change deviation and use US tx with the EU SRC ( I have a couple of US TX)  Many Thanks..Richard

Yes, as things currently stand wireless mic transmitters are limited in the UK and the EU to 50mW, 200Khz spectral mask, 50Khz deviation.  Also known as the ETSI mask. (that's all we can certification for).  SRC has the same rated sensitivity as the SRB but is more selective.  RF relies on signal to noise, the better you reject the noise, the better the performance.  And yes, the SRC is universal and allows operation between the US and the EU versions of transmitters.

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On 21/9/2016 at 8:30 AM, cbsixty said:

Regarding the extensive menue settings of the Wisycoms, I was worried first, that they could be confusing in the field, but you actually get used to them quickly. Took me two days in the field.

So far I really like them. Yet I did not get into any challenging situation though.

 

@cbsixty how do you find the limiters and range with the Wisy's? The sales rep I was speaking to mentioned mentioned his wireless specialist had said that the internals of the units (tech) were so far advanced than the lectros so I'm just wondering whether this stacks up. 

 

@Dutch your wisys seeem to have been through tough conditions! Anything else positive/negative you've found about them?

 

Sorry for not chiming in again recently, been without internet for too long now! Thanks for everyone's input so far

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After using wisycoms for 2 years now. I have to say they are somthing elec. Range is excellent. Running the kit in wisycoms ENC compander mode most of the time for amazing transients response and ENR mode for serious long range applications. Build quality is excellent. Mine have been dropped on concreate many times and filled with sawdust on building sites. Wide band is dope af. But the thing that stands out most to me is the noise floor. And lack off it. You can use somthing like a dpa witch can handle high spl, gain down (-12,-15) and all of the sudden those loud shouty comedy shows start to not sound like a tiny mic and wierless limmiter on the edge of cunching. They start to breath a bit more. Further more with the noise floor being so low I am sure you can imagian how well that goes on quite dramas or short films. There is more to just noise floor that excels the kit beyond lectros. They simply sound so transparent and natural is not funny. The menues are a little complex but personally being a RF tech guy I love that. 

The one drawback I wish they had is some sort of telemetry control for gain and rf channel. 

 

Hope this helps. 

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Just did an small EGame indoor arena shoot. I tried two Wisycom MCR42s in the bag. Range was amazing. It's about 50-100m,  almost covered the whole place. Apart from the players went to toilet. 

The signal strength in the screen were not very good as shown, 3-2 bars signal. But they just maintain stable. 

My friends 411 showing better signal strength I think. But I rather pack my 4 channels in two receivers, rather than 4. 

Hiro

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