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Which would you get?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by CowboyDan, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. CowboyDan

    CowboyDan Member

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    I am looking into buying 16 new headworn microphones. I have used the Countrymen E6 isomax earsets and I have had problems with the cables but overall they are good mics. I was wondering if anyone has used the Audio-tech MicroSet or the Isomax B6 Lapel.

    I am using these in an active theater department. We also work with the local community theater. So whatever I do get needs to be rather tough.

    The E6 is good but as I mentioned before it can have a problem with the cables going bad. The Audio-Tech is also okay but I am worried that it will not hold up to the abuse. The B6 is more of a lapel but it is small enough that I could put it on most actors without a problem.

    Anyone that give some input on one or any of these would be very helpful.

    Thanks
    Dan
     
  2. BNBSound

    BNBSound Active Member

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    If I had to pick, I'd probably say the Countryman. But, those spidery thin cables are going to be an issue on any mic when used frequently. Personally, I'd say stick with the tried and true Shure W93. Pinned to the hair or taped to the chin with a band aid it's usually a lot less noticeable than any boom style mic. And at less than a hundred bucks a piece, it's not a tragedy when one goes all scratchy and has to be ditched.
     
  3. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  4. fosstech

    fosstech Active Member

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    We used the B6 elements for our last musical. We had 20 of them going into Shure UHF and UHF-R transmitters. Great sounding, and really tiny! We only had one unexpectedly die on us due to a bad cable. The other one that died, the actor "killed" by snagging the cable on a piece of the set during a rehearsal without costumes. The cable ripped right out of the plug. Not too difficult to fix with a new TA4 connector, a magnifying glass, and a very fine tipped soldering iron. Be careful with the protective caps on the elements, they come off too easily and are impossible to find if they fall off at some point during a show. Make sure you have some spares. Also be sure you order some spares of whatever model you buy. You will need them at some point.

    They're really great sounding mics. We did an audio recording, and the vocal quality was as good as the CD of the original cast.

    The WL93's are big and they don't sound as good as the Countrymans. But you can get three WL93's for the price of one B6. We had a couple WL93's on characters that weren't as critical, and you could tell the difference.

    We used 3M Blenderm tape to attach the elements to the cheek bone of the actors' faces. In places that weren't exposed, like behind the ear and the neck, we used 3M Transpore tape, which holds better but is more visible. For those who had problems with the tape sticking, we used the brown band-aid type tape, which held like skin colored gaff :)
     
  5. CURLS

    CURLS Member

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    Ok, so without hesitation of those who are going to bash me fore saying this and disregard BUDGET. I have to say hand's down MKE2 either red dot or gold, you cannot ask a professional theatre audio guys oppinion w/o mke being said. Ok, so yes it is pricey but, on the other hand it is the industry standard for broadway, and for broadcasting talent, and even inside parabolic dishes.

    Other than that rant i have had the pleasure of using mke platinums with sennheiser recievers. OH yea, I think it's impossible to not say the word BadA.. when talking about those series of lavs. And when i used those it was in a high school, and ya dont wanna know how many!
     
  6. krhodus

    krhodus Member

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    We just bought 6 Countyman B6's. From just using them for the one show, they sound amazing. While we previously haven't had B6's we have had B3's since who knows when. The only problem I've ran in with them is that some of the ones that are 10-12 years old are starting to get shorts right near the connector, which doesn't surprise me considering how much they are used in the high school. Just watch out on the B6's, the cord is super thin, atleast compared to B3's or Shure lav's.
     
  7. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    We use E6 earsets, and they sound great, and work very well. We use them with Shure TX/RX stuff, not sure what model.
     
  8. PhantomD

    PhantomD

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    I've never heard of any of this CountryMan equipment.

    Should that be a shock?
     
  9. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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  10. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    10-12 years? You have gotten some great use out of your B3s.

    I know this is an old post, but ...

    Fyi, Countryman will replace B3 connectors fairly cheaply ... from $25 to 42 depending on the connector. Give them a call 650-364-9988 and they'll tell you where to mail them in for testing and repair. They will test the mic elements for sonic quality, tell you if there are any issues, and if not, cut and resolder the connector, and then ship them back to you. And if the element is bad they will replace the entire cord for $99. It's a great deal.
     
  11. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I rather like the Countryman E6. They make cables for them in two grades, standard 1mm, and rugged 2mm. You might want to try the heavier cables.

    I also try to always store them with the cables in a relaxed position. If you store them wound tightly around a belt pack, that stresses them and they break faster.
     
  12. andrewharper

    andrewharper Member

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    I'd go with the B6 in the hairline. It is generally my favorite sounding option out of the 3 mics you mention.

    The Audio Technica's are good, but I don't like them as much as the Countrymen(mans?). I like the earmount on the E6 more and I personally like the sound of the E6 better. Just my opinion.

    When I use E6's, I use as many 2mm cables as I can. It is a good idea to always have spare cables during tech and run. I've paid way to much to have those cables over-nighted in the past.

    If you have the budget, check out Danish Pro Audio. The DPA 4060 is similar to the B6 and the DPA 4088 (card) and 4066 (omni) is similar to the E6, but the DPA comes standard with a two ear mount. The sound is beautiful and the 4060s are my first choice. The DPA headsets aren't terribly durable, though they do sound great.

    +1 for the Sennheiser MKE's. I owned a pair for a while and I still regret selling them.

    Andrew Harper
     
  13. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Avoid the WL93 if you can. They get the job done, but they're huge, ugly, and overpriced for what else is out there. Shure makes great wireless systems, just terrible elements. Everytime I've ran their wireless I always opt to go with Sennheiser mke elements because they sound pretty good (not the best, but great for the money) and are not distractions when actors where them.

    Obviously countrymen are the lavalier kings. They're hard to beat when money isn't an option. DPA also makes a **** fine element.

    Sony makes some great wireless, but it's extremely expensive and difficult to repair. A lot of shops don't stock sony parts, so when you bring them in, it can take a little longer to repair. Sony are great for installs. I love their elements and they sound very natural, but their very fragile. I don't often opt to use them because not enough people use it or support it or it's not readily available.

    In conclusion, I choose my wireless based on my money....

    Sennheiser mke's: When I need lots of reliable elements for cheap. Small and sound great.

    Countryman: I splurge for it anytime I can. Fabulous products. I kind of play brand favoritism here.

    DPA: When Countryman are sold out or out of stock or I can get the DPA cheaper. They're very similar in quality to countryman. DPA are always over shadowed by the various options. Give them a good look...I know I should more.

    Sony: When you want to try something completely different. Not much advice here. They make good stuff, but it's just very different. It has a unique sound to it.
     
  14. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    I used B3's this summer and they worked great. They're bigger than the B6, but work fine on most actors depending on how picky your director is (and they work fine under wigs, of course). BTW, the E6's can be ordered with 1 or 2 mm cables - we got the 2mm cables,a nd while we haven't used the E6's yet, the cables seemed quite rugged.

    I agree with what has been said about Shure 93's - avoid them. They just sound terrible next to a B3.
     
  15. averyfrix

    averyfrix Member

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    Audio technica is the worst brand
    spend the money it will help in the future get SHURE
    wireless lavaliere around ear
    bhphotovideo.com or musiciansfriend.com or fullcompass.com
    hope this helps
     
  16. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    A bit more of an explanation of the issues that you've had and with what products would be very helpful. I know many people who trust Audio-Technica stuff and recommend it regularly, and I've personally used quite a number of their products and have yet to have any issues. Then again, I've never used their real cheap stuff, which may be what you're referring to. High-end AT wireless is pretty dern good, and the AT4041 is an excellent mic when it comes to SDCs in it's price range. And for the money, the AT PRO37 is a decent low-budget SDC. I've used the PRO37 for overheads on a number of occasions.

    Put quite simply, give us the story, don't just product bash. And of those sites you've listed, I'd only buy from Fullcompass, and there are better dealers out there for most of the products in question here.
     

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