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Has Prosumer Digital caught up to Old Pro Analog


frankaudio

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It has alway been recommended that your better off buying older used analog i.e. Lectrosonics instead of new prosumer analog but now that  prosumer has gone digital and other features like wide band, BT and low cost is that still the case? 

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I think this comes down to available bandwidth and your own skillset to manage said bandwidth, especially in crowded areas and the troubleshooting, than it does the technology. Sure, having more options and spread will help, but a master in current UHF/VHF will outperform a novice with the newest equipment.

 

Old lectros are going for some of the lowest I've seen...ever. I'll continue to pick up what I need and slowly upgrade/swap my old-old for old Lectro.

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I've been using SM 400 series Lectros for over a decade.  Still sound great to me?  It would be nice to have digital transmitters so I could stack more frequencies on top of one another but I've just learned the witchcraft that is proper frequency coordination and all is fine and well over here.  Can't beat the price of them on the secondhand market either given single block stuff seems to be around $800ish USD a transmitter these days.

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Yeah, and those are digital hybrid, meaning the sound is digital, but the RF is on an analog transmission. Personally, I very much prefer them over any prosumer gear.


The new digital Lectro gear may not be cheap, but it is proving to be amazing in my experience.

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I would definitely advocate for used older Lectros over new prosumer. Even Lectro 200 series is still a step up from the latest Sennheiser G4's, for example. Although these are both analog transmission. Definitely stay away from bluetooth. Older Lectros will still be very reliable, rugged and perform well - and if they don't, a trip to the mothership will have them back in like-new condition and ready to rock & roll for another 10 years. Not to mention the backwards & forwards compatibility with Lectro products.

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33 minutes ago, Conor said:

I would definitely advocate for used older Lectros over new prosumer. Even Lectro 200 series is still a step up from the latest Sennheiser G4's, for example. Although these are both analog transmission. Definitely stay away from bluetooth. Older Lectros will still be very reliable, rugged and perform well - and if they don't, a trip to the mothership will have them back in like-new condition and ready to rock & roll for another 10 years. Not to mention the backwards & forwards compatibility with Lectro products.

Lectro also doesn't like to orphan its products.  For example, I bought a DSR4 receiver last year and its backwards compatible with 2+ decades worth of transmitters from them (I think digital 400 hybrid series stuff came out in 2003ish???)

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"Caught up" isn't really specific enough.  I think there's a wide range of equipment that can do the job these days, including some of the prosumer stuff (Deity Theos looks quite competitive and fully featured ... I was able to see it in person, but I haven't used it in production).

And, as others are pointing out, 20-year-old Lectro kit is viable too.  So, for me, it comes down to ecosystem, support, reliability, brand trust, and perhaps some of the odd-ball features that set them apart.  Want recording and Tx?  Zaxcom.  Wide compatibility and availability of rental stock?  Lectro.  Cheap?  Sennheiser Evolution.  Range & lots of transmitters?  Wisycom.  Integration with Sound Devices?  A20s.  Plus, Sony, Shure, and Sennheiser's "pro" wireless.

Those are the "pro" options ... I don't know the prosumer market as well, but there's no shortage of off-brand sub-$500 options out there.  Audio quality has gotten really good because you can basically buy it in chip form these days.  Wireless is also very close to being a chip you can buy if it isn't already.  And while there are certainly some terrible Chinese knock-offs out there, there's also plenty of Chinese brands with high quality engineering that we've never heard of.  Chinese manufacturers own electronic engineering these days; the only reason we keep buying the same old brands is because they don't own the sales and marketing side, especially in the all-important US market.

I'd be willing to bet there's low-end equipment out there that is perfectly capable ... but I'll keep buying the high end stuff as long as my rental rates can justify it because I know it and trust it. 

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Deity Theos is the only digital wireless at the prosumer level I'd even touch with a 15ft boom pole, as they're quite good indeed for their price. 

 

All other prosumer digital wireless you should quickly run away screaming from rather than use it, as the likes of even old Lectro 200 Series would be 100x preferable. 

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10 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Deity Theos is the only digital wireless at the prosumer level I'd even touch with a 15ft boom pole, as they're quite good indeed for their price. 

 

All other prosumer digital wireless you should quickly run away screaming from rather than use it, as the likes of even old Lectro 200 Series would be 100x preferable. 

I've been on a feature for 21 days and the Theos has been rock solid for me. The ability to change freq on the fly with a system that inexpensive is amazing. Cos11d's have paired nicely and i'm very happy overall. Zero drop outs. Shooting in a concrete warehouse directly across the highway from a naval base. Theos has handled  it all the way.

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2 minutes ago, SDsmixer said:

I've been on a feature for 21 days and the Theos has been rock solid for me. The ability to change freq on the fly with a system that inexpensive is amazing. Cos11d's have paired nicely and i'm very happy overall. Zero drop outs. Shooting in a concrete warehouse directly across the highway from a naval base. Theos has handled  it all the way.

Cos11's cost as much as a whole Theos transmitter which is kind of wild.

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I have heard sound through a very cheap Sennheiser XSW-D and was stunned about the perfect audio quality and the low delay, I have seen the range and heard the audio of a Sennheiser EW-DP being really impressive. I have measured the audio bandwith of Sennheiser AVX and noticed the perfect linearity when it comes to sounds of real life. I have also tested the rich features of the latest Rode Wireless Go system and experienced the stable transmission nonetheless it's 2,4GHz. I haven't tested Deity Theos yet, but read many good things about it.

But I wouldn't trust all these systems if it comes to serious work, requiring reliability - they all don't offer really good build quality, won't cope with sweat and water, won't possibly work after being dropped on the ground. 1/8 inch jack, though with a screw, is not what I would rely on. So, to answer your question: Yes, older analogue equipment makes sense. Digital audio quality is not the only important thing on set.

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On 5/19/2024 at 1:32 PM, Mungo said:

I have heard sound through a very cheap Sennheiser XSW-D and was stunned about the perfect audio quality and the low delay, I have seen the range and heard the audio of a Sennheiser EW-DP being really impressive. I have measured the audio bandwith of Sennheiser AVX and noticed the perfect linearity when it comes to sounds of real life. I have also tested the rich features of the latest Rode Wireless Go system and experienced the stable transmission nonetheless it's 2,4GHz. I haven't tested Deity Theos yet, but read many good things about it.

But I wouldn't trust all these systems if it comes to serious work, requiring reliability - they all don't offer really good build quality, won't cope with sweat and water, won't possibly work after being dropped on the ground. 1/8 inch jack, though with a screw, is not what I would rely on. So, to answer your question: Yes, older analogue equipment makes sense. Digital audio quality is not the only important thing on set.


I had the unfortunate task of being fed audio for a corporate gig recently.. I was not allowed to mic talent. I was allowed to boom them however and I have to say that I beg to differ with you on the sound quality of the AVX. They sound like absolute garbage.. frequency response, artifacts, sync/delay.

Can't say much about XSW-D or the EW altho I had g3's for a while (WAY back in the day) and they sounded ok if you didn't hit the compander.

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22 hours ago, Matt Radlauer said:


I had the unfortunate task of being fed audio for a corporate gig recently.. I was not allowed to mic talent. I was allowed to boom them however and I have to say that I beg to differ with you on the sound quality of the AVX. They sound like absolute garbage.. frequency response, artifacts, sync/delay.

 

AVX: Delay is terrible, that's true and makes it useless for multiple scenarios. I did a lot of testing with gain staging from mixer to cam: if fed with the correct mic level (not hitting the AGC) I got decent results using the - not included - CL2 cable. Artifacts only appear when a 1 kHz tone is engaged. Audio reproduction is good, linear to 20kHz, followed by a very steep filter.

 

The handheld transmitter is crap (noisy, handling noise, not working with condenser capsules only dynamic ones!) and the ME2 also.

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