Installs How much does a ClearCom system cost?

MNicolai

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
For a small but not necessarily barebones system, you're probably looking at $10k parts, plus installation. Installation can vary widely depending upon available pathways. If you have AV panels on stage with some space to add connectors and can pull the cables through existing conduits, closer to $15k installed than $30k. If you need to add conduits and pull boxes and such. Then you're likely closer to $30k than $15k installed cost. The more legwork you can do to plot out a strategy for installation and identify pathways will save you money on installation. A contractor will charge for their time if they have to survey the site and do all the site investigation of available pathways on their own.

Standard disclaimer: This is all rough order of magnitude. Complexity of your venue, available pathways, proximity of an AV installer to your venue, and so on and such forth will vary widely.
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Doing some research on intercom systems. What do theatres pay for a basic ClearCom system? I know it'll vary heavily by venue, but the parts I'm interested in are:
  • Cost of base stations
  • Cost per beltpack / headset
  • Cost for installing plug-ins
  • Cost difference wired vs. wireless
    • (as well as what % of venues use wired vs. wireless)
@weaver You're going to need a power supply as well; the power supply may be included with your base station OR not.
Will your base station be a portable / table-top unit or a rack mount?
How many channels do you need now &/or in the foreseeable future??
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

weaver

Member
For a small but not necessarily barebones system, you're probably looking at $10k parts, plus installation. Installation can vary widely depending upon available pathways. If you have AV panels on stage with some space to add connectors and can pull the cables through existing conduits, closer to $15k installed than $30k. If you need to add conduits and pull boxes and such. Then you're likely closer to $30k than $15k installed cost. The more legwork you can do to plot out a strategy for installation and identify pathways will save you money on installation. A contractor will charge for their time if they have to survey the site and do all the site investigation of available pathways on their own.

Standard disclaimer: This is all rough order of magnitude. Complexity of your venue, available pathways, proximity of an AV installer to your venue, and so on and such forth will vary widely.
Thanks, these ballpark estimates are really helpful!

@weaver You're going to need a power supply as well; the power supply may be included with your base station OR not.
Will your base station be a portable / table-top unit or a rack mount?
How many channels do you need now &/or in the foreseeable future??
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
Really I'm interested in exploring all the permutations of the above... Questions like:
  • How much of a price difference does jumping from 1 -> 2 -> 4 -> 8 -> more channels make?
  • How much are power supply units? Base stations with/without power supplies?
  • Difference between portable and rack mount?
 

macsound

Well-Known Member
My answer is it costs TOO MUCH!
Clear com has been around for so long, I'm amazed that they don't innovate more and give us the same stuff for cheaper, so they can continue to make more expensive stuff and charge more!
Honestly I've been trying to find alternatives in many situations because party line com is too expensive to be so inflexible and IP com is astronomically expensive!
I could give everyone a brand new iPhone (in a lifeproof case) for the cost of ClearCom.
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
My answer is it costs TOO MUCH!
Clear com has been around for so long, I'm amazed that they don't innovate more and give us the same stuff for cheaper, so they can continue to make more expensive stuff and charge more!
Honestly I've been trying to find alternatives in many situations because party line com is too expensive to be so inflexible and IP com is astronomically expensive!
I could give everyone a brand new iPhone (in a lifeproof case) for the cost of ClearCom.

That pretty much all the 'budget' intercom systems demonstrate one or more "gotchas" that renders then difficult to use/unsuitable/unfit in whatever YOUR circumstance is on the *next* show... and companies that made budget intercom systems that sucked less, have tended to go out of business, should say something.

Believe me, I want quality intercom systems that cost 50% or less of what they do. I don't anticipate it happening.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Is Production Intercom still Around? I know they went out of business once, reorganized then came back. LOVE those guys. Super high quality, great customer service, Excellent prices.
 

microstar

Well-Known Member
Is Production Intercom still Around? I know they went out of business once, reorganized then came back. LOVE those guys. Super high quality, great customer service, Excellent prices.
Yes, they are but in what form remains to be seen. They were renamed Pro Intercom after the re-organization. https://prointercomllc.com. They were then purchased by an outfit called McCormick's on Feb. 17, 2021.
In agreement with all of your accolades. Purchased a lot of their stuff e earlier this year and talked to them about 2 months ago, but can't seem to get past their home page now after the McCormick's deal.
 

microstar

Well-Known Member
That pretty much all the 'budget' intercom systems demonstrate one or more "gotchas" that renders then difficult to use/unsuitable/unfit in whatever YOUR circumstance is on the *next* show... and companies that made budget intercom systems that sucked less, have tended to go out of business, should say something.

Believe me, I want quality intercom systems that cost 50% or less of what they do. I don't anticipate it happening.
Where is Uli Beringer when you need him?
Check out the DIY "BlueClone" over on the Blue Room forum: https://www.blue-room.org.uk/topic/57825-blueclone-the-blue-rooms-own-comms-system/.
 

almorton

Well-Known Member
We have a blue clone at our theatre (got it as part of a job lot of spares from the designer) and it interfaces perfectly with our existing tecpro belt packs. I know of a few people who have built them and they seem to be straightforward enough. They have the advantage that the input stage can work with both dynamic and electret mics, so you can use them with cheaper gaming headsets as well as proper theatre/tv gear.
 

ProIntercom

New Member
Hi All,

Pro Intercom (McCormick's) here. Sorry anyone is having difficulty getting in touch with us. We're going to be updating the Pro Intercom website and adding intercom products to the McCormick's website as well. We're investing in some new products too, so stay tuned!

You can reach us at sales(at)mccormicksnet.com or by phone at 815.680.5205.
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
^^^Just coming to say I'm getting lots of "Not Found" errors across websites I frequent. I think the Internet is broken again. @dvsDave ?
 

dvsDave

Benevolent Dictator
Administrator
Senior Team
CB Mods
Fight Leukemia
^^^Just coming to say I'm getting lots of "Not Found" errors across websites I frequent. I think the Internet is broken again. @dvsDave ?
Yeah, there was a new vulnerability disclosed today that is causing some havoc. https://nvd.nist.gov/vuln/detail/CVE-2021-44228 (this one is allegedly the culprit on the apple servers)

Of course, these outtages could be caused by a million different things. No way to be sure unless they publish a post-mortem analysis.
 

dvsDave

Benevolent Dictator
Administrator
Senior Team
CB Mods
Fight Leukemia
Thankfully, CB does not run on Apache and we do not have that logging package installed, so we aren't vulnerable to this particular bug, also we sit behind Cloudflare and they have implemented protections to filter out the log4j malicious code.
 

themuzicman

Well-Known Member
My answer is it costs TOO MUCH!
Clear com has been around for so long, I'm amazed that they don't innovate more and give us the same stuff for cheaper, so they can continue to make more expensive stuff and charge more!
Honestly I've been trying to find alternatives in many situations because party line com is too expensive to be so inflexible and IP com is astronomically expensive!
I could give everyone a brand new iPhone (in a lifeproof case) for the cost of ClearCom.

A few thoughts on this - I'm not defending the price points, but if there was true money to be made in this space you'd see more competition in the low and mid tier to drive costs down. I'm no capitalist, but that to be makes enough sense. There has to be some reason you don't see more competition here - it's an easy enough standard to produce on your own. I know what a low-budget intercom looks like (Pi) but I don't even know what a mid-tier mid-featured Analog Partyline system would look like.

First - The current lineup of 700 Series products has actually innovated quite a bit over the prior generations. They sound a ton better than other generations, and because they are all micro-controlled you can gang power supplies together to expand your system as opposed to just tossing your old PSU when you hit capacity and getting a larger more robust PSU. They trimmed the product lineup and added features in (most notably all 2 channel belt packs now have program, there is no special model of 2-channel pack with program). Once you start popping them open you'll see they have a lot of features hidden behind DIP switches that do an awful lot if you're an advanced user and need features.

Second - On inflexibility, Analog partyline is inherently inflexible and as productions grow I'm always itching for a 5 channel remote station, once folks have touched IP they don't want to go back to Analog or have the same demands they had of Analog. That being said you can do a lot with a Switchboard Station or by simply using a 1 channel PSU and a number of Pin 3 drops into splitters to create more channels. You can work around some of the limitations.

Finally - On IP Intercom. Once you're working at a large enough scale, IP almost makes sense financially compared to Analog. I understand I work on different scales than most, but once you're looking at signal distribution on a large musical for 12 channels of Intercom across 5 departments on a huge show the amount you're spending in copper for analog distribution almost competes on price with Helixnet. You really only have 2 major players in the IP Space right now - you have Helixnet and you have Riedel Artist. You can get a ton more Helixnet for the price of Riedel, however Riedel is a ton more flexible and robust. If there were other players you'd see downward pressure on pricing, but right now you have 2 and one is the high-end player and one is the budget player (never thought I'd say Clearcom is a budget option ever).
 

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