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Sound Devices, My A20 Mini review. Love it or leave it?


Michael Wynne
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Great write up and it's definitely a nice piece of kit.  The battery life conundrum is sure a bummer but I think I'd rather play the battery management game and have the spectraband/gain forward.  It's a shame they don't have a four channel receiver yet as this would be killer for documentaries or run and gun bags with an 833 / SL2 combo.

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Hi Michael,

Thanks for sharing.

Great review  far more « real world » oriented than many of what can be found on the net.

I am also a A20 mini owner and share all your thoughts. I’ll add that fortunately, firmware updates allow to upgrade the possibilities. Long range modulation and Spectra Band are good examples. I was disappointed by the range at first when I bought it last year, but I am now very satisfied with the Long range option, especially in  the 1350 MHz band available here. 
Regarding the shape and weight, talents love it, but some complaints about the heat. 
 

Codyman, I also have Wisy’s and prefer these for run and gun. The A20 mini battery life is more tricky on fast pace production where talents are always on and one should roll at any time. The Bluetooth app is not always very reactive, especially in stressful situations. 

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Nice write up Michael. Curious your thoughts on how the A20 sounds as compared to “other” brands? I don’t believe you mentioned the sonic quality of the SD modulation. 

 

 I had the opportunity to demo the A20 mini with an A20rx in a superslot a few weeks back. Comparing to lectro D2 wires, to my ear, the lectro had a slightly richer sound.  On the flip side, the SD did a bit better in usable RF range being able to jump away from DTV into those higher bands. 
 

Keep the YouTube vids goin, I always take a peek and enjoy.

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1 minute ago, Jobo said:

I had the opportunity to demo the A20 mini with an A20rx in a superslot a few weeks back. Comparing to lectro D2 wires, to my ear, the lectro had a slightly richer sound.  On the flip side, the SD did a bit better in usable RF range being able to jump away from DTV into those higher bands. 

Hi jobo, thanks for the feedback and also your valuable feedback on the D2 comparison.  My first impression of the A20 mini transmitter audio converter and modulation quality was it was very good.  But first impressions are not very conclusive.  I’ll need to do some more testing with different mics before I really determine what I really think about it.  I want to get some other mics & voices into play to see how things are really translating 

 

7 minutes ago, Jobo said:

Nice write up Michael. Curious your thoughts on how the A20 sounds as compared to “other” brands? I don’t believe you mentioned the sonic quality of the SD modulation. 

 

 I had the opportunity to demo the A20 mini with an A20rx in a superslot a few weeks back. Comparing to lectro D2 wires, to my ear, the lectro had a slightly richer sound.  On the flip side, the SD did a bit better in usable RF range being able to jump away from DTV into those higher bands. 
 

Keep the YouTube vids goin, I always take a peek and enjoy.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
3 minutes ago, codyman said:

Are you finding yourself turning off all the transmitters remotely when you have a lot of downtime between setups?  If so, how much more battery life does that eek out in terms of time?

I haven’t used them on a narrative film set yet, so I don’t have that feedback yet.  But when the TX is off, the user should be able to extend those battery TRT’s by the exact amount of time they are off.

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