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uk_lefty

Bass wireless systems

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For various reasons I'm looking for a wireless system. I can't seem to find anywhere good info on what the relative merits are for wireless systems around now for bassists. I've looked at the likes of Line 6 G30, the Samson bass unit... Then there's things like Xvive and others. I'm looking to spend around £100 and happy with second hand. Any recommendations very welcome. I play both active and passive basses so it needs to be able to take an active bass without creating hiss. I've seen all the very cheap stuff on eBay and I'm guessing they're a waste of money.

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The Xvive works well, our guitarist uses one. I went with the Boss WL20 seeing as it sets the frequency itself, just less things to check/peer at on dark stages.

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1 hour ago, therealting said:

A friend of mine has had two Xvives die on him.

Within the warranty period?

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Thanks everyone. Shortly after making this topic I got a promo email with big discounts on wireless systems. I've reached a bit further in to my pocket and got a Line 6 G75 on the way. My guitarist, who recently bought a G30 full price, is feeling a bit left out, bless him. 

I've got to the point with gear where I want to buy once and (stop laughing at the back) never again. Here's hoping!

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I have the Xvive - I'm not that impressed, they haven't died on me but they drop out a lot, to the point where I won't use them anymore.

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Another shout out for the Smooth Hound unit.

I've had the back panel issue that seems to be common but a quick email saw one come through the post immediately - I'm just more careful now when changing batteries.

I've had one unexplained drop out at a gig but the Guitarist (on a Samsung unit) had exactly the same problem at the same time that rendered us unable to go wireless for the entire gig. We're concluding it was something beyond the laws of physics pertaining to that venue as we'd had no problems before or since.

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I really like my Smooth Hound, but it won't necessarily suit you if you're an energetic, jumping-around-the-stage sort of player. 

If your output jack is side mounted (i.e. on the 'edge' of the bass) then the only thing holding the unit in place is the 1/4" jack plug. I don't do much jumping about, but I've experienced momentary cut-outs when I get too excitable and jerk the bass about.

Not a major problem and nothing I've complained about, but horses for courses and all that ...

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Remember that all the budget digital wireless systems work in the WiFi frequencies, so anything that affects WiFi will also affect your wireless devices. (Including too many people in the audience with mobile phones looking for a WiFi signal).

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I currently use the Smooth Hound too with my upright as I don't use a pedal board at my feet. This is my second unit, the first suffer from repeated dropouts when playing live in a venue that has free WiFi, but the second unit been fine so far. Chris at Smooth Hound is very approachable and helpful too and offered me lots of advice and updated the firmware etc on my unit. I think it was a glitch somewhere with our digital mixing desk muddying the frequency. It was good enough though for me to buy a second unit and just keep the first transmitter as a spare. The Smooth Hound is great for me with the small transmitter to plug into the magnetic pickup on my upright.

I have also used the cheap Alto Radius 200 UHF system from Gear4Music (down to about £80 now). It is not as great a sound but it certainly does the job and doesn't lose frequency. Not sure it goes low enough for some people, particularly active bass, as I think it is probably designed for guitar, but it certainly works fine with my EUB (although I have a more mid oriented sounding pickup than a regular fat bass sound). It is my backup system should the Smooth Hound suffer problems again, but I just don't like having the belt pack to fix onto something (I've stuck a ptach of velcro on the back of the pack and on the back of my EUB).

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On 10/03/2019 at 21:25, fretmeister said:

Smooth Hound. U.K. built.

 

I had a L6 G70 and it has horrible drop out issues. Lots on line about it.

Smoothhound deffo, best I've ever used! my wife uses one on her 12 string guitar and it works great on my Stingray.

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Today I am mostly mortified.

I have sworn by Line6 G30 for many years. Indeed I have NEVER had any drop out. It sigids rigid behind tailpiece and withstands all manner of athletic upright bass antics. And it is so damned convenient: pick up bass, switch on, play ... I even use it at rehearsals.

Its a long time since I had an opportunity to do a really serious AB test with it, but prompted by a recent and very rare gig where I played witha cable and thought my bass sounded particulalry lush ... I spent half an hour at home switching between wireless and cable.

The verdict pains me terribly. Over the G30, there is a distinct loss of warmth and softness, loss of the lush airy tone that makes upright bounce. And there is a distinct boost to the hated upright honk, which is most noticeable when you play anything approaching percussive slap, like what I do.

It is minimal, but apparent. There's still a bloody good tone, it just isn't 100% as good as through cable.

For years I've claimed the diference was imperceptible. But I was wrong. Now what do I do??? I want to run around on stage. I also want two transmitters so I can swap between upright and electric in a flash.

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2 hours ago, PaulKing said:

Today I am mostly mortified.

I have sworn by Line6 G30 for many years. Indeed I have NEVER had any drop out. It sigids rigid behind tailpiece and withstands all manner of athletic upright bass antics. And it is so damned convenient: pick up bass, switch on, play ... I even use it at rehearsals.

Its a long time since I had an opportunity to do a really serious AB test with it, but prompted by a recent and very rare gig where I played witha cable and thought my bass sounded particulalry lush ... I spent half an hour at home switching between wireless and cable.

The verdict pains me terribly. Over the G30, there is a distinct loss of warmth and softness, loss of the lush airy tone that makes upright bounce. And there is a distinct boost to the hated upright honk, which is most noticeable when you play anything approaching percussive slap, like what I do.

It is minimal, but apparent. There's still a bloody good tone, it just isn't 100% as good as through cable.

For years I've claimed the diference was imperceptible. But I was wrong. Now what do I do??? I want to run around on stage. I also want two transmitters so I can swap between upright and electric in a flash.

The Line6 G75 has a mode where it can emulate "cable tone". I had no idea what this meant until I read your post! I haven't used it yet so can't comment. They're going for a song at the moment though so might be worth a try for you?

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I’ve used the G30 for years (same one since they very first came out) and never had any show-stopping issues with it. I bought a spare belt pack for it just in case they were as flimsy as many people suggest, but haven’t needed it yet - the original still has its battery door and belt clip intact. The only issue I’ve had recently was in a venue with a Line6 digital mixing ‘board’ - the sort with the iPad instead of an actual board - which seemed to be taking up 3 out of 6 available channels for its own purposes, and when we took up the other 3 for two guitars and my bass the sound guy started complaining that half his faders went into DFA mode 🙂 it was only a 30min battle of the bands set so we just cracked on and nothing dropped out, but that seems like an odd oversight on their part; you’d think they might like the idea of people using a full set of all their kit.

I bought a ‘hound to have a play with over last Xmas after a lot of people on here seemed to be giving it good press, but sadly it just went straight back in the box and is still there now; nothing wrong with it as such - it works - but it’s not for me.

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I did a heap of reading. Almost unanimous support for the G30.

(Incidentally UK-lefty, the G30 has cable tone switch too. It just seems to limit the top end a bit.)

BUT, I did find a couple of references to exactly what I noticed, a loss of rich depth at the low end from G30 ... and in those references the G50 came out better, more faithful to cable tone.

So, thanks to Basschatter bassfan I'm going to try out a G50 to see if its any better. I find the special cable irritating, but its a small price to pay if it works, I'm also hoping the G30 transmitter will be picked up by the G50 receiver, so I can keep the receiver on my electric bass for when I want to switch between the two.

Update to follow after A/B test.

Edited by PaulKing
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13 hours ago, uk_lefty said:

The Line6 G75 has a mode where it can emulate "cable tone". I had no idea what this meant until I read your post! I haven't used it yet so can't comment. 

Cable tone is just a high frequency cut to emulate running a cable from a passive bass. You can normally select length which takes the cut frequency down.

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I've had a G30 for a few years, not used it a lot but when I have its been fine. The belt clip is crap I put mine in a pouch, not had any problems with the battery cover but I'm always careful with it. 

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Hi All,

Any thoughts on the Line 6 G10 ? heading towards the Sound hound though like the DI out of the G10 as an extra output for in ear monitoring and then not having to use a spliter from DI box...

Thanks

Nick

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On 11/03/2019 at 12:58, martthebass said:

Another shout out for the Smooth Hound unit.

I've had the back panel issue that seems to be common but a quick email saw one come through the post immediately - I'm just more careful now when changing batteries.

Another Smoothhound fan here! 

The back panel issue you refer to - is that the plastic battery cover on the transmitter? 

Edited by Al Krow

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I used to have a G30. Not bad but a little on the frail side - for someone who gigs heavily I'd strongly recommend the G50 or G75, they're far more robust. The G30 receiver died on me during a gig, so I tossed it and got a StageClix V3 - couldn't be happier with it. Super reliable, fast charging, and have never had anything go off.

The new StageClix V5 goes for about 150 quid or so, and follows the same "small jack for both receiver and transmitter" model that the XVive does, but I imagine far more reliably. You can order direct from them, they're in the Netherlands. 

Edited by NeonMig

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Another example of great service from Chris at Smoothhound. I messaged him about a replacement battery cover for my transmitter and he replied within 24 hours offering to replace and post (I presume for free). Amazing. 

I've had mine for a couple of years now and just managed to source a spare / back up from a fellow BCer. So yup, I'm a big fan of the product and happy to recommend to any bass player thinking of going wireless. 

Edited by Al Krow
Now arrived and indeed at no charge from Chris!

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