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IFBlue


codyman
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Hey Cody, I recently picked one up to try it out. My impressions after using it on a few jobs -

 

The good:

- Sounds better than R1a, with a quieter noise floor. 

- 2x AA rechargeable (included) lasts a full day.

- It's wide-band A1 or B1 and compatible with any matching Lectro Tx in IFB mode.

 

The potentially not so great:

- The build quality worries me a bit. This may or may not prove to be true with time, but it feels like the plastic is pretty "thin", and therefore might break if dropped (compared to an R1a, which Is built like a little tank). The IFBlue is perhaps more like a Comtek in that sense. The battery door and the belt-clip are offered as replacement parts...

 

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4 hours ago, codyman said:

Interesting that [IFBlue is] marketed as a different company but then shares an address with Lectro?

https://www.ifblue.com/index.php/specifications

 

I found this on the press release:

IFBlue Introduces Value-Priced IFB Receiver & Dock Charging System

New brand of products is designed to reach a broader range of customers in production, film, broadcast, videography, live event, and houses of worship

https://www.lectrosonics.com/press-releases/1302-ifblue-introduces-value-priced-ifb-receiver-dock-charging-system.html

 

=====

About IFBlue

IFBlue is a new professional audio technology brand designed, distributed, supported, and warranted by Lectrosonics, Inc. and manufactured by a Korean firm in ISO9001 certified factories in South Korea and China to the highest standards. The IFBlue value-priced line of products are designed to reach an even broader range of customers in the production, film, broadcast, videography, live event, and house of worship applications. www.ifblue.com

=====

 

Seems like a smart move by Lectro...

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12 hours ago, Johnny Karlsson said:

Hey Cody, I recently picked one up to try it out. My impressions after using it on a few jobs -

 

The good:

- Sounds better than R1a, with a quieter noise floor. 

- 2x AA rechargeable (included) lasts a full day.

- It's wide-band A1 or B1 and compatible with any matching Lectro Tx in IFB mode.

 

The potentially not so great:

- The build quality worries me a bit. This may or may not prove to be true with time, but it feels like the plastic is pretty "thin", and therefore might break if dropped (compared to an R1a, which Is built like a little tank). The IFBlue is perhaps more like a Comtek in that sense. The battery door and the belt-clip are offered as replacement parts...

 

Yeah given it would be $350/each to reblock my client IFB R1a's, at $399 to gain access to all of the A1 blocks, switch to NiMH AA's, that right there would probably be worth it.  It does seem that they are definitely that Comtek-tastic plastic which is "iffy" but at least there's replacement parts that are affordable and I don't mind billing production when the inevitable client/agency that's visiting drops and breaks one.  I'd definitely keep a few R1a's though for my boom op / director / scripty as they are R1a worthy.

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Two comments from a very biased fanatic:

1. There is plastic and there is plastic. Gordon told me, that he bent the clip and battery door until it scared him and he quit. However, the replacement parts are cheap enough and easy enough to install, to keep around as spares, even if it is for years.

2. Lectro is a small volume company building many items in quantities of ten to one hundred at a time. The Korean partner (IFBlue) makes items in the thousands at a time and they build for multiple companies. Their costs are proportionaly lower. If Lectro built $500 smart phones in Rio Rancho, they'd be $10,000 even on a fire sale.

Best Regards,

 Larry Fisher

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4 minutes ago, LarryF said:

Two comments from a very biased fanatic:

1. There is plastic and there is plastic. Gordon told me, that he bent the clip and battery door until it scared him and he quit. However, the replacement parts are cheap enough and easy enough to install, to keep around as spares, even if it is for years.

2. Lectro is a small volume company building many items in quantities of ten to one hundred at a time. The Korean partner (IFBlue) makes items in the thousands at a time and they build for multiple companies. Their costs are proportionaly lower. If Lectro built $500 smart phones in Rio Rancho, they'd be $10,000 even on a fire sale.

Best Regards,

 Larry Fisher

Thanks, Larry!  I have no qualms about the plastic as let's face it, IFB's often are more of a quantity rather than quality item.  I've never had a client say "How come this IFB is plastic" but I sure as hell have had them ask if we have more of them available!  But I'm sure Lectro did their homework per usual and still made this a quality item.

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Since the minijack was also the antenna connector, it had to be isolated, not bolted to, the metal case on the R1a. There was a plastic grommet added but it was still a weak point. The IFBlue case is plastic and the mini can be bolted directly to the case. Better, but it is still a minijack. The minijack is just a weak connector but is the de facto plug type for headphones and ear pieces.

 

Converting to a right angle mini on the headphone cable is a big improvement, since it has much less leverage on the jack and is harder to pull out:

https://www.amazon.com/Seadream-3-Pole-Female-Headset-Extension/dp/B01DCBJ51I3

 

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

 

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4 minutes ago, LarryF said:

Converting to a right angle mini on the headphone cable is a big improvement, since it has much less leverage on the jack and is harder to pull out:

https://www.amazon.com/Seadream-3-Pole-Female-Headset-Extension/dp/B01DCBJ51I3

I've been using Panasonic RP-HT21 $7 headsets (right angle connector) for years for my R1a's and have never had one break off.  But then one time a director insisted on using his straight connector Beats By Dre (oof) and he managed to snap off his connector in less than two days.  That R1a got a production paid vacation to Rio Rancho, NM.

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1 hour ago, codyman said:

But then one time a director insisted on using his straight connector Beats By Dre (oof) and he managed to snap off his connector in less than two days. 

Sounds right. Those adapter cables I linked above would have taken care of the Beats By Dre (oof indeed). 

LEF

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On 10/6/2021 at 10:02 PM, Johnny Karlsson said:

Hey Cody, I recently picked one up to try it out. My impressions after using it on a few jobs -

 

The good:

- Sounds better than R1a, with a quieter noise floor. 

- 2x AA rechargeable (included) lasts a full day.

- It's wide-band A1 or B1 and compatible with any matching Lectro Tx in IFB mode.

 

The potentially not so great:

- The build quality worries me a bit. This may or may not prove to be true with time, but it feels like the plastic is pretty "thin", and therefore might break if dropped (compared to an R1a, which Is built like a little tank). The IFBlue is perhaps more like a Comtek in that sense. The battery door and the belt-clip are offered as replacement parts...

 

I beta tested these and gave the unit a few good slams on the concrete floor of my basement.  Didn't break anything.

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I just got 3 ifblue in 900mhz to go with my 2 r1a's. my producer and host that wear them for my show really like the ifblue's. said they feel lighter, they like the clip and think they sound better. range has been hard to judge as I haven't felt like walking that far from set (so far). I've not dropped them but the plastic doesn't feel like the brittle plastic that explodes on an impact, more kind of the soft'sh. I also like not having to deal with the dials of the r1a's. that was always kind of a pain. but I'm on week 3 with them and very stoked on the purchase.

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20 hours ago, Derek H said:

Larry, any plans to offer these for the 941 band?

We've shipped about 40 in the 941 band. More units are waiting on parts. Lectro, like a lot of electronic manufacturers, is having to work around irregular parts shipments.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

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