Controversial !! : Affordable Wireless Systems........HHB was Right !!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Rock Fella, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    I bought a Samson ST55 true diversity , twin aerial wireless system for using in a gig, at first I was very impressed with it.

    HHB a forumite here on TGP slammed affordable wireless systems and more or less said its Pro or nothing when it comes to wireless and that affordables stink.

    I admit I thought , what a prophet of doom , and I dismissed his words.

    Then I had a chance to play my rig at full output in band practice and I was using the Samson Wireless system.

    A while back we did a gig and after that gig the soundman gushed over my tone excitedly and said he wanted me for session work, I was very flatterred. That pre - wireless system was organic, it was sweet, it had unending sustain,it was fat and juicy and it sounded "Right"

    The tone at the practice using the wireless just didnt sound "right" no matter what I adjusted. Top end had a brittleness I did not like , the depth of tone seemed lighter, cleans became harsh and that fat juicy prime steak fillet juicyness was nowhere to be heard.

    HHB called it right , I have to say Im in total agreeance with the guy. If I splash out a Pro wireless system ,its got to sound just like going straight into the amp , only wireless, any tonal deficiencies and rest assured I will hear them , it may be my ears are just more tuned to the good ole cable .

    Well done HHB , good call dude.:dude

    jimmy
     
  2. Frank B

    Frank B Supporting Member

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    HHB rocks. Great player, great tone.
     
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Told you :).





    It's that lack of 'organic' tone that bothered me too. Something odd and artificial about it, both in the tone and the feel. It was the same on several different systems I've tried.

    (Seriously though, you do have to try this sort of thing for yourself. Some people hear the difference - some even like it - others don't. Whatever works for you is right.)

    Personally I'd just spend a bit more money on a really decent cable that doesn't tangle up as badly. I don't really see the point in introducing extra stuff like that which messes up the tone if you're never going to be more than 20 feet from your amp at any time (or 40 if you put your pedalboard halfway... ;)).
     
  4. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    ok john, I hear you, suggest to me a 20 ft cable easiliy sourced in the uk, that shows a £5.99 music shop cable a clean pair of heels, sweet sweet highs with definition and good tight bass low end , and provide a link to where it can be bought pal please. nothing priced extraordinarily , good value for money is essential, think fat cornford tones, paf laden R9, gary moore , john sykes .......lets see what you come up with dude.

    jimmy
     
  5. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    oh yes, and the tangling issue, bear that in mind too.:p
     
  6. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Like I've been saying all along, Horizon Vintage II.

    :)

    (Although, I hear they may not be easily available here at the moment - I got all mine several years ago now.)

    Fat, full tone; clear and detailed but not over-bright or the most hi-fi. Not too expensive - I think the 20-footers were around £22. The cloth coverings resist dirt far better than plain ones, don't tangle, and look as cool as anything (you can get dozens of different colour combinations). They're totally reliable - I haven't had a single failure in seven or eight years of using them exclusively.

    I've heard that DiMarzios may be a close substitute, but I don't know. I think part of the secret is in the cloth covering (it seems to let the inner part untwist and relieve stress) but there are cheap and nasty cloth-covered cables too, so its not the whole story.

    If you can find genuine rubber (not neoprene) cable, it's very tangle-resistant too - it doesn't have the same 'memory' as neoprene and is more flexible, so when you move about it just seems to lie flat on the floor.


    Another thing to remember (this sounds boring and trainspotter-like, but it's true) is to look after your cables properly. Coil them up correctly when you put them away (gently twist the cord between your fingers as you make a circle with it, so it naturally wants to form a coil) and it will be much less prone to tangling next time than if you just stuff it into a sports bag with all the twist stresses still in it :).
     
  7. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    ok

    please suggest an easy to find cable and a sourcing outlet john
     
  8. Baba

    Baba Supporting Member

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    Hey Rock Fella, just a friendly opposing view, and I probably don't hear some of the things you guys do (thank gawd), but my Sennheiser G2 is the closest thing I've found to a cable in it's price range.

    When I play at home (at band levels) I'll use a cable, and live, it's the wireless, so I go back and forth, sometimes within a minute or two, and I can't hear any difference, much less enough of a difference to care.

    I can't speak for other units, I did have a Samson Airline bug system that DID alter signal strength and tone, but not my Sennheiser.

    I think they go for around $450.00

    Anyway, I guess we all have to prioritize what's important to each of us, being free is one of them to me, but not at the expense of extra noise, less than stellar tone, and bad performance, none of which I get with my wireless.
     
  9. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Why not just put a cable after your receiver (all 20ft of one) and before your amp?

    Just a thought.

    And no, I no longer run a wireless, but I have. I believe the issues are in the compression it does (companding I think they call it) and not so much in the cable. But I'd like someone to try that out and post their thoughts (adding a cable that is!)
     
  10. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

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    Jimmy, I know this isn't easy to find, but I'll tell you this, my amp tech Jeff Olinger, makes the best guitar cables on the planet, bar none. They aren't cheap, but its like adding a boost pedal to your chain. The details that I was missing before using his cables were nothing short of amazing. Only way to order them though is to call him, 515-255-9555, name of the business is Tri-Point Audio.

    I'm not affiliated with Jeff other than a customer, but his cables are nothing short of amazing. 20 ft. cable was $70, I believe, but worth every damn penny, and if it was stolen, I'd go buy another in a New York second.:dude
     
  11. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Yup...
     
  12. Geetarpicker

    Geetarpicker Member

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    Another vote for the Sennhieser G2. I tried wireless units in the 80s and gave up.

    Skip ahead 20 years...

    Then I tried a new mid line Shure, and it had bad companding issues. Then I swapped it out for the G2. Wow, it really is an impressive system, especially for the price.

    I can be VERY picky about gear (I have an original '59 burst, '68 Plexi 100 stack, AND a Trainwreck Express, blah blah blah...) but the G2 system has become very usuable for me. I use it both in my guitar and bass rig.

    I thought I'd never find an acceptable wireless at an affordable price, but the G2 has become a regular part of my live rig.
     
  13. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I said this in the other thread, but worth repeating... (caution, technical stuff ahead ;))

    It's the other end that will make the most difference - between the guitar and the transmitter. The cable loading on the guitar pickups is an important part of the tone of the guitar (electrically, it is part of the guitar). Without that, the pickups' frequency peak moves upwards and you lose the softening effect of the slight treble roll-off of the cable as well; result - shrill, harsh tone - the same as plugging into the amp with the shortest cable you can find (which some people like, they'd call it clear and bright :p).

    Allegedly the PRS 'Sweet Switch' (designed to simulate a long cable, using a capacitive-inductive network) was developed by Paul Smith after he saw Carlos Santana performing with a wireless and a 20' cable coiled up and taped to his guitar strap :).

    You could get very close to the same result by wiring a small cap (you'll need to experiment with values, but somewhere in the 250pF - 1000pF range will be about right depending on your favorite cable) into either the guitar or the transmitter, but probably best and easiest in the jack plug on the end of the transmitter cable. It won't be absolutely identical to a cable, but it will be close.

    Secondly, yes, the low output impedance of the receiver will affect the amp, and more especially any vintage-style wah or fuzz pedals. A long cable won't help, since the receiver output is buffered and will drive it with ease, but an extra series resistance might. Again, you could probably wire this into either the receiver or a cable for convenience. I don't know what the right value would be at all though.

    I should say that when I tried (and didn't like, for the same reasons as Jimmy) various wireless systems, I didn't try either of these fixes - I was only testing them for a short time. Also, neither of them will do anything about the odd dynamics and feel I noticed, which I'm pretty sure is caused by the companding (which all analog wireless systems use AFAIK) not tracking 100% perfectly. Digital systems don't use companding AFAIK, but equally they digitize the signal, which is another thing I don't want.

    But, if you need or want to use wireless for other reasons, and aren't happy with the tone change, you might want to experiment with caps and/or resistors - they're cheap and easy to try.
     
  14. HHB

    HHB Member

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    just reporting MY experiences w/ under a grand wireless , and I have officially given up on em ( hell I'm using a curly cord LOL )
     
  15. Mike Hansen

    Mike Hansen Member

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    Jimmy, my Cornfords came with Van Damme cables/Neutrik jacks which I love. Very flexible, great sound, and they've held up extremely well.
     
  16. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Believe it or not, my main cable (curly) is one of two I originally purchased in the mid 60's :eek: . I even have a spare! The plugs have been replaced numerous times over the years but my curly cables just sound so right to me. Maybe these are the same one's Jimi used to buy ;) .
     
  17. deeval

    deeval Supporting Member

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    I use the Shure UT 14 with a Valvuelator on my pedal board with great results.
     
  18. DavidE

    DavidE Member

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    I get some killer tone running my PRS McCarty (or my lace sensored strat) with an AKG guitar bug (with the tiny receiver) running at line level into a Naylor Electroverb 38. I don't miss the cable at all with this one.

    I've had others that to me ended up being unuseable despite the online kudos I relied on for my purchase.
     
  19. ExtraStrength

    ExtraStrength Member

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    +1 on the Sennheiser G2 UHF wireless. relatively transparent. easy to set up.
     
  20. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    I like those curly cords too - they knock just the right amount of top end off Plexis and the like.
    I wish someone would make them now but with better connectors/plugs.
    As you may have guessed I have none of the old ones left.......

    Best, Pete.
     

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