Sennheiser Mic Maintenance

nick_fouts

Member
Joined
May 5, 2018
Location
Vancouver, WA
We have 12 Sennheiser ew300 G3 lapel mic systems that we use twice yearly for high school musical productions. We take generally good care of them, but since I have taken over technical direction a few years ago, we have not really cleaned the mic packs or ME-2 mics much, as nobody ever taught me how. (We also have two countrymen mics that we use for leads). Some actors also use medical tape to affix the mics to the face, especially those who keep the mic for the entire show

Additionally, we have six Shure lapel microphone systems that are only ever clipped onto costumes.

What recommendations do you have for general maintenance and cleaning of these items, and how often should I do the recommended tasks?

Thanks in advance for your advice and knowledge!
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2016
Location
Nebraska
Hi Nick,

I clean my wireless mics after every show. We're currently running 24 channels of Sennheiser with earhook mics from Bodymics.

I use GooGone on a disposable shop type towel. Wipe down the mic (not the element on the end of the boom) and cable. Sometimes it takes a bit of gentle scrubbing to get off all the tape residue. I then wipe with a clean towel and hang the mics to dry. After they air dry, I'll go over the mics again with an antiseptic wipe. Something like a "baby wipe" that come in the dispenser type package.

Hope that helps.

Joel
 

cekren

Active Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Location
Midwest
We've had great luck using standard pink pencil erasers to remove tape residue from cables. Works much faster/cleaner than isopropyl.
 

JD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
Ok, on maintenance, Sennheisers are pretty trouble free. Still, there are some things to do and check:
1) Top of the list- Never store units with the batteries in them!
2) As Josh said above, pick up a spanner driver and a couple of extra lock rings. Those little input connectors get loose and you want to make sure they are snug.
3) Teach your users that there is a delay turning off the packs and receivers. Can't tell you how many people crush the push buttons trying to get them to turn off! Light touch, 2 or 3 seconds.
4) Occasionally, page through your options to make sure nobody has bumped things like "sensitivity." True on both receivers and transmitters.
5) Store the packs in a way that does not crush the antenna or mic wire.
6) Make sure the microphone lock rings stay secure. Since the pack provides a bias voltage to the mic, any movement can cause a LOT of noise!
7) On the subject of mic jacks, I usually feed the mic wire back through the belt clip and then past the jack a second time and put a small piece of plastic sleeving over it. Those cable/mic jack strain reliefs are a high failure area.
8) Occasionally, re-seat the antenna lines on the receivers as well as the audio jacks. The can develop oxide on the connectors that interrupts the signal.
If the ME2 connector does fail, replacements can be found for about $3 provided you have someone skilled enough to solder on a new jack. Beats paying $150 for a new one!
 
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nick_fouts

Member
Joined
May 5, 2018
Location
Vancouver, WA
Ok, on maintenance, Sennheisers are pretty trouble free. Still, there are some things to do and check:
1) Top of the list- Never store units with the batteries in them!
2) As Josh said above, pick up a spanner driver and a couple of extra lock rings. Those little input connectors get loose and you want to make sure they are snug.
3) Teach your users that there is a delay turning off the packs and receivers. Can't tell you how many people crush the push buttons trying to get them to turn off! Light touch, 2 or 3 seconds.
4) Occasionally, page through your options to make sure nobody has bumped things like "sensitivity." True on both receivers and transmitters.
5) Store the packs in a way that does not crush the antenna or mic wire.
6) Make sure the microphone lock rings stay secure. Since the pack provides a bias voltage to the mic, any movement can cause a LOT of noise!
7) On the subject of mic jacks, I usually feed the mic wire back through the belt clip and then past the jack a second time and put a small piece of plastic sleeving over it. Those cable/mic jack strain reliefs are a high failure area.
8) Occasionally, re-seat the antenna lines on the receivers as well as the audio jacks. The can develop oxide on the connectors that interrupts the signal.
If the ME2 connector does fail, replacements can be found for about $3 provided you have someone skilled enough to solder on a new jack. Beats paying $150 for a new one!
Love this list! We already do some of these things, but the rest is very helpful. We use new batteries for each performance and tend to re-use for rehearsals, but never store them with batteries inside. We devised a nice padded case with the foam that comes out of Osram lamp boxes and a crafting storage tub, it has served us pretty well. We tell the actors not to touch anything on their packs at all, and preferably to not disconnect the mic cable after we screw it on. "If you mute your mic pack, there's nothing we can do from the booth so you'd better project!"

I have never considered repairing the ME2's myself, but I'll consider looking into it! It would certainly save some $$$. In the past we have put Sugru on some of the cables that look like they might be near failure and it seems to have extended their life and I think it helps reduce strain, but I think I like your method better--less messy and easier to repair in the future. Now, if I could just get actors to stop snapping the Countryman E6's..... :think::p

But dont by the "Sennheiser" $60 driver for those, just buy a $5 knurled ring driver
Yeah...I noticed that those are ridiculously expensive! Is this similar to what you are referring to?
http://www.fullcompass.com/prod/026125-Philmore-NT500
 

nick_fouts

Member
Joined
May 5, 2018
Location
Vancouver, WA
Hi Nick,

I clean my wireless mics after every show. We're currently running 24 channels of Sennheiser with earhook mics from Bodymics.

I use GooGone on a disposable shop type towel. Wipe down the mic (not the element on the end of the boom) and cable. Sometimes it takes a bit of gentle scrubbing to get off all the tape residue. I then wipe with a clean towel and hang the mics to dry. After they air dry, I'll go over the mics again with an antiseptic wipe. Something like a "baby wipe" that come in the dispenser type package.

Hope that helps.

Joel
I will give GooGone a try! Isn't that stuff orange oil-based? That is probably less likely to do damage than heavy cleaners, I would guess. I tried rubbing alcohol before and it did not do much for me.

We've had great luck using standard pink pencil erasers to remove tape residue from cables. Works much faster/cleaner than isopropyl.
Another thing to try! If that really works then you're a genius!
 

josh88

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baileypl

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May 17, 2017
Location
United States
We have 12 Sennheiser ew300 G3 lapel mic systems that we use twice yearly for high school musical productions. We take generally good care of them, but since I have taken over technical direction a few years ago, we have not really cleaned the mic packs or ME-2 mics much, as nobody ever taught me how. (We also have two countrymen mics that we use for leads). Some actors also use medical tape to affix the mics to the face, especially those who keep the mic for the entire show

Additionally, we have six Shure lapel microphone systems that are only ever clipped onto costumes.

What recommendations do you have for general maintenance and cleaning of these items, and how often should I do the recommended tasks?

Thanks in advance for your advice and knowledge!
During the shows, I use microphone bodypack sheathing (basically unlubed condoms) and that keeps sweat out. Definitely would recommend them for keeping your transmitters nice for years and years.

Regarding the mic cord itself, I would use Goo-Gone if there is residue leftover from mic tape or sweat.

Now here's some general microphone procedures :)

1. Don't store with batteries in them for long periods of time.
2. After shows when collecting mics, use a lapel bag like this to store them in so they can be locked up and be less prone to being walked off with

Frequency of doing these?

1 - Replace the sheathing with new every time.. Keeping them on the pack multiple times defeats the purpose of keeping sweat and other residue out of the bodypack

2- Replace batteries every performance

3 - Clean the mic wires bi-weekly to monthly (we just use a microfiber cloth with some cleaner. Does the trick)

Hope this helps!
 

JD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
Regarding batteries, I seem to get a solid 8 hours on the G2 and G3 units. I use them during rehearsals on our director and intentionally drain them all the way down to see what I can get. (Using the Duracell Quantum batteries.) For shows, I change them after 4 hours of use. It's always important to measure them before a show because you can get a bum battery at any age.
One last thing- If the pack is dropped and lands face first down on the ground, the up/down buttons can fail. The first symptom may be that the display doesn't dim out after a few seconds. Basically, the little flexible foil switch ends up stuck on. Problem can also show up as an intermittent problem of the pack eating batteries and may work fine half the time. I've replaced about 3 of them over the years. Switch is cheap, but changing it requires some talent and a VERY steady hand.
 
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