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Mix and match mics and transmitter?

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Mix and match mics and transmitter?

Postby pauljanssen » Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:21 pm

Apologies for being a total non-tech before I say anything else. This is what I’m asking. I’m a pastor of a local church. We have sennheiser belt-worn battery pack/transmitter devices into which we are plugging sennheiser lapel mics. Sorry, I don’t have model numbers at hand at the moment. We are thinking of going to headworn mics for the sake of better sound quality. Question: is it possible to use headworn mics manufactured by other companies? What do we we need to look out for, if we do use another microphone? What technically, I mean? Or is it in general just a bad idea to use another brand? Thank you for indulging my non-technical nature.
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Re: Mix and match mics and transmitter?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:32 pm

Welcome to the SOS forums.

In general, yes you can mix and match mics and transmitters. Obviously, they need compatible connectors. Technically, you need to ensure compatible mic sensitivity and bias voltage, too, but if the connectors match the chances are all will be well -- although you may need to adjust the transmitter gain control to suit the closer mic placement.

If you can let us know the details of what you currently have and the new mic you'd like to use we should be able to provide further reassurance/advice.
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Re: Mix and match mics and transmitter?

Postby RMCL » Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:15 am

I assuming that you have Sennheiser bodypack transmitters into which are plugged 3.5mm mini jacks (with threaded locking mechanism) so if you search on Amazon for Headset Mic Compatible with Sennheiser Wireless System or Headset Mic 3.5mm Screw Lock you will find them.

While many of these are considerably cheaper (£15 upwards) than the likes of a Sennheiser SL Headmic 1 (£400+) (the one I have experience of using) I do not know how they perform. However, the price difference does raise doubts in my mine, but I am tempted to buy one for comparison purposes.
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Re: Mix and match mics and transmitter?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:19 am

I have used cheaper headset mics with Sennheiser body packs and they performed pretty well. Thew were omni's not cardioid FWIW and I suspect cheap cardioids may not be so good.
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Re: Mix and match mics and transmitter?

Postby pauljanssen » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:49 pm

OP here. Thank you for your responses so far! So, this is what we have at the moment. The Bodypack Transmitter is SK100G3. Frequency Range-B: 626-668MHz. There are other numbers, etc. on the back, but I doubt if they are relevant. The lapel mic itself has no identifying marks on it. Now that I look at the front of it, that says ew100G3. And there is a big CE0682 on the back.
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Re: Mix and match mics and transmitter?

Postby RMCL » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:31 pm

Using a cheap headset mic which is omni-directional will not be an issue as the expensive Sennheiser SL Headmic 1 is omni-directional anyway.

In use the mic capsule of the headset should be positioned 2 to 3 cm from the edge of the mouth, so everything else the mic picks because it is omni-directional (rather than cardioid) will be considerably further away and hence at a lower level.

What I do not like about Sennheiser SL Headmic 1 is that mic boom, which is a fine metal tube containing the mic wiring, tends to be bent by the users at the point where the mic boon is attached to the neckband. rather that by bending the mic boom over a length. Repeated bending at a point ultimately results in the boom breaking and being written off. Ideally to prevent this problem occurring the sound engineer should have sole responsibility for putting the headset on, adjusting it and taking it off.

Hence, evaluating a cheap headset mic as a low cost option is a good approach.
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Re: Mix and match mics and transmitter?

Postby RMCL » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:44 pm

The connector interface for a Sennheiser bodypack transmitter SK100G3 is 3.5mm mini jack with screw lock, so look for a low cost omni-directional headset mic with this type of connector (specification may also say Sennheiser compatible).

The manual for the SK100G3, incase it has been misplaced, can be downloaded at https://assets.sennheiser.com/global-downloads/file/8949/SK_100_G3_Manual_12_2016_EN.pdf

For completeness (and is something that you do not need to take into account when selecting a headset mic) CE0682 is not a part/item number but a CE mark (Conformité Européenne - French for European Conformity) which was Sennheiser's declaration that the bodypack transmitter met the requirements of the applicable (at the time) EC (European Community) directives, which in this case would probably have been EU 99/5/EC the radio and telecommunications terminal equipment directive. The four-digit number is the code for the notified body (organisation) that assessed the device for conformity with the EU directive and 0682 is the code for CTC advanced GmbH (formerly CETECOM ICT Services GmbH) in Germany.
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Re: Mix and match mics and transmitter?

Postby MarkOne » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:52 am

We've tried a couple of the sennheiser compatible mics from Amazon at our church - we just searched for sennheiser compatible, and a number of options come up

Both of the ones we bought work OK (A lavalier clip mic and a headworn mic), but this is definitely a case of you get what you pay for.

In both cases, both the high and low frequency response is limited compared to the sennheiser OEM version, and the headworn mic needs some serious EQ to correct a really nasty nasal presence peak/ Both are usable and got us out of a hole when one of our lavs went down and we needed something fast. But in terms of quality, I'd go with a Sennheiser replacement or something from a more recognised brand like Rode.
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Re: Mix and match mics and transmitter?

Postby MarkOne » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:01 am

I'd also say, I really wish Sennheiser would do the ME2 and ME4 with a detachable cord. Over the years I've had 2 of these go down and on both occasions the point of failure is the moulded 3.5mm jack connection.

A replacement cord would be so much nicer than replacing out a perfectly good transducer (and cheaper they're both around £100)

Last time that happened I got hold of a replacement after-market sennheiser-style locking 3.5mm jack and that was an absolute nightmare to solder due to the lacquered/plated copper cores they use in the cable.
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Re: Mix and match mics and transmitter?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:23 am

The problem is that a replaceable cord would require another connector at the capsule, making the capsule itself rather bulkier, and it would both add significantly to the initial cost and also introduce another point of unreliability.

It is inevitably that the cord will eventually fail where the cable gets bent and stressed most as it leaves the 3.5mm plug. Stopping people winding the cable around the TX pack when not in use helps a lot. As does adding some heatshrink sleeving over the plug and extending an inch or two along the cable to act as a strain relief. I also think mounting the pack on a belt when in use so the plug points down instead of up reduces the strain on the wire...

And trying to resolder the cable to a new plug is a total nightmare for all the reasons you say! Most originals are crimped...

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