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Sabine SWM-6000?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Brian200967, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Brian200967

    Brian200967 Member

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    Hello everyone,
    I have been lurking these forums for a while now, and recently I came up with a good reason to post. I am the TD for a professional theater in Ohio, and they have recently decided to update their wireless microphones systems.

    I know the Sabine SWM-7000 series had some issues, being in the Wifi 2.4GHz range and all, but a "new?" system recently came to my attention from Sabine. The SWM-6000.

    Apparently, it uses the 915MHz US license free band. I went to the Sabine website, and could not find anything on the system. A Google search brought up not many results for it.

    I had been following the Sabine systems for a while now, and I had never heard anything about the new 6000 series. Recently, I went to the Northern Sound website (where I make all my sound and lighting purchases), and noticed that they added the system to their online inventory.

    I guess my question is: does anyone know anything about this system? Is it newer than the 7000 or older (the 6000 would suggest the 7000 is newer?). Most of all, does it cure some of the problems with the 2.4GHz band?

    Thanks,
    Brian

    PS) Links to the NSL website containing the device:
    Northern Sound & Light - Shop by Category > Wireless Mic > Sabine.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  2. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator Premium Member

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    Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Sabine. For the same cost, you could go with very reliable Sennheiser Evolution-series mics, Shure ULX series, or possibly Lectrosonics on the higher end. Also, while technically speaking Part 15 devices do have special privileges in the 902-928 MHz band, the band also has (legal) amateur radio operations and other uses as well, which may cause you headaches. UHF TV is still a very good option (as long as you stay below 698 MHz).
     
  3. Brian200967

    Brian200967 Member

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    The problem is that they want to install a system capable of 42 channels (They often do large musicals). There are plenty of good UHF systems, but in my area not many open channels.

    I have explored both Shure and Sennheiser, and the price's are not really on-par with the Sabine systems. The cheapest Sennheiser I can find that may serve our needs is the G2 wireless, which is still $600 per channel. The Sabine at Northern Sound & Light runs $1,200 for a dual channel system with transmitters.

    On the Shure end, The 5000 series seems good, and should work, but is well over $2,300 for each dual system.

    I'm unaware of any UHF system that can give us that many channels for the same price, although I have always been more of a "wired" sound guy.

    Also, I did a frequency check from the documentation on both Shure and Sennheiser and on the Sennheiser end can find no more than 24 available channels that can be used together. Shure had a few more available, but again we are looking at $500+ per channel more than the Sabine.

    This is why I was looking into the Sabine, and hoping that it fared better than the 2.4GHz version. Even though, many reviews I have read about the system were good, the actual field user experience seemed to suffer.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    If you look into the big dollar UHF-R systems from Shure (which seems logical if you need 40+ systems...), you could always get them in all three bands, and only need to run <15 in each band. The UHF-R systems and the ULX systems are very excellent quality systems, and well known for their quality.

    I am not familiar with the Shure 5000 series? I know Shure gear very well, and have never heard of these? Please clarify.
     
  5. Brian200967

    Brian200967 Member

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    Sorry, I meant the Audio-Technica 5000 series. As for the Shure systems, the UHF-R are way out of our price range. At nearly $4,000 for each dual channel system, there is no way we can afford these.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
  6. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    I believe the SWM6000 is new, so new that Sabine apparently doesn't know they have it and don't offer any information on it! Based on past experience with new products from Sabine, I would wait until it is clearly in production and available, it wouldn't be the first time they announced a product and then had troubles getting it into production. I did find it interesting that the press releases for the SWM6000 state "The new Sabine SWM6000 Smart Spectrum wireless microphone system operates in the license-free 915 MHz ISM band that is free of WiFi interference." So is that saying that their 2.4GHz systems are noticeably subject to interference?

    You might also want to look at Lectrosonics, especially the Venue as that can be a cost and space efficient option for high channel counts. Some of their information is a bit technical, but if you call them they are usually very helpful.
     
  7. rwhealey

    rwhealey Active Member

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    We don't have a problem running 16 receivers in one band with Shure ULX, and they offer three bands, which is 48 receivers.

    They're excellent wireless - we have had no issues (except one unit that didn't work out of the box, but Shure and Full Compass got us a new one quick).
     
  8. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator Premium Member

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    First off, forget about the Sabine. I know the page says 70 users, but that's for the 2.4 GHz version. There's NO way it's going to give you 70 channels, or even 42 channels, at 900 MHz. At that band, 42 channels means spacing of 600 kHz between channels, which is hard for even the best UHF systems! And this is 600 kHz spacing from 902 to 928 MHz packed wall to wall. Not gonna work...trust me on that.

    Basically, my professional opinion is: in this range, you should be able to afford somewhere around $1500 PER channel (at the minimum) for wireless if you want to run this many systems. You also need a professional consultant who can coordinate your frequencies, because with 42 systems you can't afford to skip this. This isn't something you can just order and get some volunteers to come in, unpack, and wire up either. You need someone with RF test gear and a working knowledge of wireless to get it working for you.

    If I were spec'ing your system, I would be spec'ing Lectrosonics VENUE receivers and LM transmitters. Excluding mic elements (you get these separately, about $150 for a Countryman B3) you're looking at $1400/channel. Add to this antennas (+$500 or so), coax cable ($150 or so), antenna distribution ($1000), and frequency coordination ($500), and you're at a total of $67,000. If you cannot afford this, you cannot afford that much wireless. :)

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news here, but I would rather tell you this up front and have you disappointed now, than answer your question once you have some gear in hand and are totally screwed. Please feel free to ask more questions though (here and via PM, if you'd like).
     
  9. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator Premium Member

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    ++1. For tight RF environments, you can't beat Lectrosonics (I'd argue for Lectro over even Sennheiser 5k).
     
  10. Brian200967

    Brian200967 Member

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    Actually, I just read where the SWM 6000 is only capable of 32 channels (according to Sabine). Lactrosonics is starting to sound like the best route to take, so I'll have to make some phone calls and get a firm price for the system. They had a budget of $50k, but $70k may be doable. I'll have to bring it up and see what they say.

    Myself, I suggested installing the Sabine SWM 7000 over a year ago, we even did some test's with a 7000 unit. Our System Processors and Feedback exterminators are from Sabine (which I installed 3 years ago when I came into the position), and I have always liked the sound from the Sabine equipment.

    When we did the test with a SWM7000 unit, the sound was great, and as far as available channels, we were pretty good. However, the board of directors did their own "exploring" and found that the Sabine systems had less than favorable reviews from some actual users...

    I'll have to see what they are willing to spend, and if they can't go that high, I'm going to start looking at either A) SWM7000 units or B) Going with less than 42 channels, and looking into the SWM6000 series.

    Really, I don't understand why they want 42 channels of wireless. Not only is it going to be a big headache, but you don't need to mic EVERY actor in your show, and in my opinion, 24 channels is more than enough for what they need.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  11. Brian200967

    Brian200967 Member

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    I just wanted to update everyone on our progress. After being unable to approve a budget large enough to go with Lectrosonics, I went head-first and ordered 21 dual channel receivers from Sabine (the SWM-7000). I also ordered an antenna distribution system.

    We have been using them now for a week, and so far everything works fine. Receivers are mounted in the orchestra pit, center stage.

    So far, we have not had any drop-outs, sound issues or the inability to find enough frequencies. Right now I have the channels set on 1-42, and we have no issues with that.

    I was somewhat concerned because we have a wireless network, as does the neighbor next door. However, I am seeing interference from those at all.

    So far, I am very happy with the system. And the good part, we got in under $1,000 a channel! The sound quality is also Amazing! You really can't tell the difference between our wireless and wired systems.

    Brian
     

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