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IronFilm

B&H Flash Sale on the Sony UWP-D11 Wireless for US$399

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Are you thinking about getting another wireless? Then boy do I have a deal for you! These (which are in my view *the best* low budget wireless! Is why I own FIVE sets of them) are having a cracking good sale deal on right now (limited time flash sale at B&H):

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1025750-REG/sony_uwp_d11_14_bodypack_lavalier_mic_eng_package.html

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9 hours ago, EthanAlexander said:

I agree these are great. Better than the Senny's in the price range for sure.


Broadly speaking there won't be a massive night and day difference in sound quality between G3 or UWP-D11, but in terms of little refinements that just make them nicer to work with and your life easier on set, I easily prefer the Sonys. 

You basically need to triple (or even more! Especially at that sale price) your budget to find anything else new worth upgrading to over a Sony UWP-D11. 

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The difference is huge for me, we have talked about it before, but the hybrid tech of the Sony's have saved me a lot of stress and difficulties on the field. With the Senny's I had to search for frequencies in between takes, all the time.

They are not even close, and the new G4 are one and the same https://nofilmschool.com/2018/02/sennheiser-updates-evolution-wireless-next-generation-g4 (so glad about this, I just purchased another 3 sets of Sony, together with the others we have in the company, we have 9 sets!). For us in the low-middle budget, that we may need 5-7 kits on some jobs, the Sony's are saviours. They do not have the distance though.

The sound difference is non existent.

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@IronFilm  So I've been investigating getting a new wireless mic setup lately myself. I was wondering, as an audio guy, what is your opinion of the 2.4 ghz style setups, such as the Rode link or the Audio Technica System 10, in comparison to the older radio/frequency style tech of the Sennheisers and Sony's you mentioned? 

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6 hours ago, Kisaha said:

The difference is huge for me, we have talked about it before, but the hybrid tech of the Sony's have saved me a lot of stress and difficulties on the field. With the Senny's I had to search for frequencies in between takes, all the time.


Maybe it is so long since I last used G3 regularly, and because don't want to dare risk annoying the old guard who always recommend G3 as the starting option rather than newer UWP-D11, I have thus become too reserved in my recommendation of UWP-D11??

But when you think about all the technological benefits (not just the design/ergonomics of the Sonys, such as the battery trays, external buttons, top lights, smart shoe, etc) of Sony: actual dual antennas (not faking it like the G3 does in using the output cable as the 2nd one, which is of course not tuned to the right length for the frequency), having dedicated RF tuner circuity for both antennas (so the Sony is constantly switching between the two for the best possible signal, vs the G3 which only jumps to change antennas if the current one completely fails), having a compander in the digital domain (vs the analogue one of the G3, which doesn't perform as well), and more.

Well, maybe the Sony is more advanced than I give it credit for? (when I write it all out like that! Is quite a bit, maybe I need to further expand on why Sonys are better in a full on blog post. But I don't want to promote this too much.... I like being able to pick up my Sony wireless on the cheap from eBay :glasses: And I fear I might end up putting a spike in their prices! :astonished:  Then again I do already have FIVE Sony wireless, at what point do I say "enough is enough"? Ha!)

Anyway, sounds like a tough head to head shoot out is needed! ;) I've never seen a really well down head to head comparison in the field done between Sony vs Sennheiser 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Kisaha said:

They are not even close, and the new G4 are one and the same https://nofilmschool.com/2018/02/sennheiser-updates-evolution-wireless-next-generation-g4 (so glad about this, I just purchased another 3 sets of Sony, together with the others we have in the company, we have 9 sets!). For us in the low-middle budget, that we may need 5-7 kits on some jobs, the Sony's are saviours. They do not have the distance though.


Nine sets of Sonys? Thanks, you're making me feel a lot better! :-D

Although I have some sixteen wireless in total..... 


Anyway, the G4 looks almost pointless for most lowbudget filmmakers, as there are basically close enough to zero improvements from the EW100 G3 to the newer models for the bodypack transmitters and receivers. 

 

7 hours ago, Kisaha said:

the Sony's are saviours. They do not have the distance though.

Wonder if anyone has used shark fin antennas with Sony UWP-D11 kits? (you'd need to do the SMA mod first of course)

Would improve range, and I've even seen people use shark fin antennas with a bag set up! 

But realistically speaking you should never have serious range issues with Sonys and a bag set up. As you'll always be close enough to talent with ease. (and if they're so far away you can't reach them, then the camera certainly can't see their lips moving!! ha)

The issues arise with say a cart set up, where you might be located just off set slightly in another room downstairs or such, or on a reality tv show where you might get separated from some cast if shooting with multiple cameras and one camera slips away from you to go elsewhere (but then they really should have hired multiple soundies).

 

1 hour ago, Parker said:

in comparison to the older radio/frequency style tech of the Sennheisers and Sony's you mentioned? 

"Older"?!

UHF is still the ubiquitous standard everywhere all the way up to the highest end productions.

 

1 hour ago, Parker said:

@IronFilm  So I've been investigating getting a new wireless mic setup lately myself. I was wondering, as an audio guy, what is your opinion of the 2.4 ghz style setups, such as the Rode link or the Audio Technica System 10


Do you care about hiding bodypacks? (some people don't, such as on a few docos, or very very low budget productions) 
If so then avoid the hell out of RodeLinks! They just cross the line for being "too big"

 

Audio Technica System 10 has their own dealbreakers (such as no user replaceable battery during a shoot?! WTF???). 

Plus in general 2.4GHz is a very congested space with tonnes of other users,

 

I don't think there is any 2.4GHz set I'd recommend. 


In the low budget arena, then Sony UWP-D11 is the clear choice. With the only competitor to taking its throne being maybe maaaaaaaaybe Senal AWS200, but need to hear more about them. Don't hold your breath. I'll give an honorable mention to Sennheiser G3 if you find a crazy good deal on them secondhand.  Older Lectrosonics 200 series are also worthwhile investigating if going secondhand, but you'll need to either be patient looking for deals or spend quite a bit more (still very affordable though). 

What is your other options? Either stepping waaaaaay down and not going wireless at all, with a Tascam DR10L on the dirt cheap, or going up market but needing to spend perhaps three or four times more before it really becomes worth it over just getting a Sony UWP-D11.




 

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Yes, you are shy with your Sony recommendations! 

If I could summarize the above post (about the extra tech of Sonys) is that they are true diversity, which is a feature that you can find on a lot more expensive sets and it is very difficult to loose signal (if you are in range). 

Another think that I love, is when you have drop outs, you just loose signal altogether (or periodically, depends), which is far better than the extreme digital noise of the Sennheisers! Maybe some will be usable, or drops out for just a sec, or you are moving closer to your Tx and you can save the rest of the take (we are talking about documentary, road show stuff, not feature films of course!), but with the Sennheisers, I usually have to cut the scene (or whatever we shoot), and that is worst!

Yes, I am talking about bag use, but sometimes on some very wide shots on a TV show recently, I was starting to have issues (they were using an Olympus fish eye lens), but anyway, you can walk closer to your subject! we are talking about dead cheap sets, I am surprised they work that good!

The price on Β&Η is a completely steel. 

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2 hours ago, Kisaha said:

The price on Β&Η is a completely steel. 

Ah, I'm sorry I missed such a good deal then! The price shows up as $529 for me, bummer. $399 seems great! 

@IronFilmthanks for your insight! I actually own one set of the Audio Technica system 10 already, I got it on a killer Christmas deal a few years back for like $250 so it was a no-brainer at the time. The receiver's internal battery lasts up to 12 hours and can run on USB power in a pinch so it hasn't bugged me too much for my needs, but like I said I'm looking for an additional setup soon.

 I've been looking at different options,  debating on just buying the System 10 again so I can mix and match gear. When it comes to Sennheiser I definitely don't want any G3's, that's what I use at work and keep having more and more problems with them, annoying interference issues and wierd distortion blips in the recordings all the time. 

But I'll definitely keep the Sony's on my radar! Hopefully another deal like that comes around again! 

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59 minutes ago, Parker said:

@IronFilmthanks for your insight! I actually own one set of the Audio Technica system 10 already, I got it on a killer Christmas deal a few years back for like $250 so it was a no-brainer at the time. The receiver's internal battery lasts up to 12 hours and can run on USB power in a pinch so it hasn't bugged me too much for my needs, but like I said I'm looking for an additional setup soon.


I'd be more worried about the transmitter lifespan on batteries?  At least the receive you can top up with USB in your bag, when needed without interfering with the talent. 
Still is a flaw in the system. 

But yes, at US$250 it finally falls down into that "too good to say no to?" pricing. 

 

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I've been using the senny avx due to it's convenience and haven't had any drop outs yet. Really convenient for one man band with the working auto gain.

 

I thought the 19ms delay would be more of an issue than it turned out to be since I rarely mix the track with ambient.

 

I have a set of the g3s but have never used it yet.  Avx isn't bad at all! I think someone did a bunch of comaprisons outdoor and the senny g3 had stronger signal than the Sony but I guess in crowded environments the Sony might fare better.

 

Battery life on receiver isn't great but you can power through microusb.

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@Parker I paid 30% more (of the normal price) in Euro money, and I said "thank you very much"! Be glad you have the lowest prices in most goods, over there!

It seems that you have the same experiences with the G3's, when I started doing sound professionally 20 years ago (19, to be precise!) all you needed were a few G3s, I saw that change a lot through the years, and the population density. Now, for me, the G3' s are almost unusable.

What is your experience with the Audio Technica? The price was tempting here as well (nowhere close the 250$ price tag though!), and I do consider a couple of sets of fully digital ones, the others are the AVX, which brings us to...

@scotchtape

the AVX works on a completely different frequency range (unlike the rest that work in the too busy 2.4GHz one), so that makes them unique, also has a similar to "neverclip" technology (just paid 5c to Zaxcom!), which is not good for us -dedicated sound men- but perfect for cameramen and one man band shows! It is not exactly auto gain, which is a good thing!

The high price (10-20% more than a set of Sony's) and proprietary batterys make me skeptical.

When you edit, do you have to compensate for the 19ms dealy? Do you have to "synch", even this little bit?

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@Kisaha Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful to enjoy my US-based prices, the European VAT tax alone would drive me insane and seems unjustly high, on top of already higher prices.

But my experience with my Audio Technica system has been great, actually. It has been just fine for talking heads, as well as mic'ing up grooms at weddings. The range is impressive, and I've never had any of the dreaded blips and audio bugs of the Sennheisers. Initially I worried there might be some kind of interference with things like wifi and that, since the 2.4 ghz band is pretty crowded, but I have had it for...  at least two or three years now... and never had any problems.

Like @IronFilm said, it's a minor drawback that the receiver doesn't have user-replaceable batteries, but it lasts a long time and I always have USB battery packs with my gear just in case. The transmitter just runs on standard double AA batteries, so I just keep some eneloops charged all the time and throw them in when I go shoot. The receiver also has a little display with battery, channel and signal strength information, so you can see the battery levels of both at a glance, which is pretty cool. I would say the build quality is not as robust as mics like the G3's. No metal to speak of, the transmitter is a touch bigger, and pretty plasticky, but still easy enough to hide. The receiver is also larger than the competition with the dual antennas attached. But like I said, I got it for a song, and haven't had any issues. 

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