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Audio Limited A10 System RX+TX, Looking for real world reviews


Ronen
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Hey everyone,
I am looking at the now older A10 TX from Audio Limited/ Sound Devices
Not much info on them anywhere and i'm looking for people's impressions.
Main use would be wireless boom, but i'd like to hear as well how they operate as normal lav transmitters,
How's the battery drain, range, sound, on board limiters, or any other important info i might've left out.
Thanks

 

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Hello Ronen,

 

I’ve been using the A-10’s since they were released. We use them for our booms as well as on actors. They  are my first 8 channels. If we get beyond that, I break out the older 2040 analog systems.

Mainly we use DPA 4060’s, but also Sankens and in certain odd situations, the old Sonotrims.

I’m a big fan of Audio Ltd, and have used their radio mics for many years now.  Sound Devices owns them now, so I can’t comment on whether or not they are still built in England.

The sound is the main factor in my choice. That should be the main consideration, in my opinion.

You ask about battery life. We use 2 lithium AA’s, which get us 11 hours or so on the lowest power setting; 8 hours at medium; 5 to 6 on high.

When powering a 48v Schoeps, at low power we get around 8 hours.

The limiters are either on or off. We use them, and I find them to be virtually transparent.

The mic preamp is excellent, as far as these things go. Obviously, it’s not a hard line into a Sonosax preamp, but for a radio mic, I’ve not heard better.

Now, for the range. Keeping in mind that they are digital, I find for the most part that they compare favorably to most analog systems. Having said that, when used on talent I find that in general they don’t perform as well as my analog 2040’s...for the most part. Occasionally they are better, but not often. Mounted on a boom pole, we get exceptional range. As one would expect. I’ve done a number of antenna tests over the years, and now use the Lectrosonics SNA600 exclusively.

Let me know if you have any specific questions, and I’ll do my best to answer.

 

Regards,

Moe

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Thank you both very much, useful info here for me.
My plan is to start working with these in the beginning with the whip antenna only, but later i might add an antenna distribution system, will that work in combination with Lectro stuff? could i combine my SrB's and UCR and the Audio limited into one antenna system?
Thanks for you answer

 

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HI,

Moe I see you are using Schoeps mikes with your A10.

On my last shoot I had several huge hiss issues with CMC6+MK4 or MK41 on boom that were only solved by changing the specific Audio ltd short cable XLR to lemo tx. I had several spare as I was warned about this issue. But eventually all cables generated some sort of hiss. No problem at all when switching to a sennheiser MKH50... On other thread some users said it is a common issue between A10 and Schoeps CMC6. How did you solve it if it ever appeared to you?

Thanks

 

PS: apart from that issue, I definitely agree about the sound quality for a radio tx!

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Hello Fred,

 

Yes, replacing the original Audio Ltd provided cables was practically the first thing I did. Those were useless. Once we made our own lemo to XLR, the hiss issue was solved...for my Schoeps anyway. For my older Neumann 81’s and 82’s, we still got the hiss. For those, we found that the hiss was present no matter what we did. Until we happened upon a strange solution: by placing electric tape over the release of the female XLR, slightly depressed, the problem was eliminated. We have since made a few new cables that bridge the ground, which we now use with our Neumann mics. Problem solved.

The only suggestions I can make regarding the Schoeps, you probably already know. 1) You want to operate the A-10 on low power. 2) You need to use a late model Schoeps, or one updated to the gold backing. 3) You want to keep the cable as straight and extended as possible (we use a hair tie), and avoid crossing the antenna as much as possible.

 

Warmest regards,

 

Moe

6 hours ago, Ronen said:

Thank you both very much, useful info here for me.
My plan is to start working with these in the beginning with the whip antenna only, but later i might add an antenna distribution system, will that work in combination with Lectro stuff? could i combine my SrB's and UCR and the Audio limited into one antenna system?
Thanks for you answer

 

Hey Ronen,

 

I don’t work out of a traditional “bag”, per se. The vast majority of my work is done off my cart. But I do run both digital and analog radio mics through the same Audio Wireless antenna distribution, with no issues. When I go “remote”, I use my Cantar Mini, 1 A-10 RX and 4 2040 analog RX’s through the same antenna distribution. So in theory, combing systems shouldn’t be an issue.

But I can’t say for certain.

According to another thread recently, some have had issues.

 

Regards,

 

Moe

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Thank you so much Moe for your precious inputs!

 

2 hours ago, Moesound said:

Yes, replacing the original Audio Ltd provided cables was practically the first thing I did. Those were useless. Once we made our own lemo to XLR, the hiss issue was solved...for my Schoeps anyway.

Great! Do you insert the Audio ltd filter mini board (so called RFI filter i think) in the XLR plug? Could I ask you what cable reference are you using?

 

2 hours ago, Moesound said:

We have since made a few new cables that bridge the ground, which we now use with our Neumann mics. Problem solved.

You mean bridging ground to plug shell, right?

 

2 hours ago, Moesound said:

The only suggestions I can make regarding the Schoeps, you probably already know. 1) You want to operate the A-10 on low power. 2) You need to use a late model Schoeps, or one updated to the gold backing. 3) You want to keep the cable as straight and extended as possible (we use a hair tie), and avoid crossing the antenna as much as possible.

 No I did not know all of it: I did not try number 3!! not intentionally at least. Since most of the major hiss problems occurred using the A10tx for planted mics, the mini cables were never straight and extended. Moving the cable position changed the hiss but we never thought of trying to have it straight, which was actually not always possible but anyway, now I'll know, thank you so much Moe !!

Number 2 did not change much, the older CMC6 had more hiss but with the newer still hiss was too much.

 

8 hours ago, Ronen said:

but later i might add an antenna distribution system, will that work in combination with Lectro stuff? could i combine my SrB's and UCR and the Audio limited into one antenna system?

I used the A10 rx within the Sound Devices SL6 in combination with Wysicom mcr42 no pb at all, and also with an external distributor (Broady AS-122) when we had more than 6 radios ch, no pb neither. We did not do comparative test though.

 

Warm regards

PS: one other thing I really like about the A10 receiver, when not in the SL6: you can switch the outputs from analog to AES very quickly and seamlessly.

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9 hours ago, Ronen said:

Thank you both very much, useful info here for me.
My plan is to start working with these in the beginning with the whip antenna only, but later i might add an antenna distribution system, will that work in combination with Lectro stuff? could i combine my SrB's and UCR and the Audio limited into one antenna system?
Thanks for you answer

 

dont bother with whips. get a decent rf distro as soon as you can.

i use an audio wireless DADM226-DT in my bag rig which works great. when i first built my bag rig with whips on the receivers, the range was very unimpressive. swapping the next day to a distro box with dipoles mounted on the bag improved things massively.

an unfiltered distro will work for you as well, but ive been using either the AW powered and filtered fins on my cart rack through an A10 rack, or the 226-DT box in my bag, and it helps cut out a lot of unwanted rf, like walky talkies, and IEM transmitters.

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13 hours ago, rich said:

dont bother with whips. get a decent rf distro as soon as you can.

i use an audio wireless DADM226-DT in my bag rig which works great. when i first built my bag rig with whips on the receivers, the range was very unimpressive. swapping the next day to a distro box with dipoles mounted on the bag improved things massively.

an unfiltered distro will work for you as well, but ive been using either the AW powered and filtered fins on my cart rack through an A10 rack, or the 226-DT box in my bag, and it helps cut out a lot of unwanted rf, like walky talkies, and IEM transmitters.

Thanks, much appreciated, that'll be my next step 

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