Jump to content
Happy Jack

Wireless for DB (and other high impedance gear)

Recommended Posts

The system recommended by Gollihur in the States is the Xvive XU2 Wireless Instrument System, selling for $159. 

Obviously, in the UK that means that it lists at £159.

GAK have them at £99 right now.

https://www.gak.co.uk/en/xvive-xu2-wireless-instrument-system-black/909376?gclid=CjwKCAjwkoz7BRBPEiwAeKw3q8tQfriV9BmIS-A7jtlDqCNi1YS0KmKbH7RLxccZC3B3dAmDQHzO2hoCW4sQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Just saying ...

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They sell those on Ali express for less 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, randythoades said:

I use the Smooth Hound Classic for my DB which works well for me.

I have the same, and I like it too, but I have a couple of issues with the build quality (especially the cover for the battery compartment), plus it has a stand-alone receiver unit which occupies space, is too flimsy to put on a pedal board (IMHO) and is too light to use without velcro-ing it to something heavier! Nothing insurmountable (pun intended) but I fancy the plug & play simplicity of the X-vive.

The Smooth Hound doesn't mention its input impedance, and neither does the X-vive, but I do trust Gollihur and they state that the X-vive has the >1MΩ that you need for piezo pickups. Add to that a rechargeable battery system, and I think it's worth my while to give it a try.

YMMV obviously.

Incidentally, I do like my Smooth Hound and I have no plans to move it on. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a Boss WL-20 on my DB and EUB(Yamaha SLB 200) and have had no problems. Batteries are built in and not replaceable but it is quick and easy to recharge and will last a long time, I have played four hour gigs with lots of power left. A nice feature is a warning light which tells you when you have about 30 minutes left.

I use it to go into my preamp which is mounted on my mic stand and then use a cable to the amp or directly into the PA. I move around a lot when I play and it is nice not to have a cable attached to the DB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

I have the same, and I like it too, but I have a couple of issues with the build quality (especially the cover for the battery compartment), plus it has a stand-alone receiver unit which occupies space, is too flimsy to put on a pedal board (IMHO) and is too light to use without velcro-ing it to something heavier! Nothing insurmountable (pun intended) but I fancy the plug & play simplicity of the X-vive.

The Smooth Hound doesn't mention its input impedance, and neither does the X-vive, but I do trust Gollihur and they state that the X-vive has the >1MΩ that you need for piezo pickups. Add to that a rechargeable battery system, and I think it's worth my while to give it a try.

YMMV obviously.

Incidentally, I do like my Smooth Hound and I have no plans to move it on. 

Yes Jack, I agree, the Smooth hound receiver is a bit of a pain actually, but I did put it on my pedal board as I have a board of always on pedals (preamp etc) that I shove to the side of me when i play, not to stomp on, so it hasn't been a problem. I did have an early base unit which kept picking up interference despite being sent back for repair, but I was impressed enough with the service and product to buy another so now I have 2 transmitters synced to the unit as a backup. I do like the idea of the plug and play though. But with a rechargeable system, what do you do if it goes down mid gig? With the smooth hound you just put in another couple of AAA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, randythoades said:

But with a rechargeable system, what do you do if it goes down mid gig? With the smooth hound you just put in another couple of AAA.

Agreed. The rechargeable batteries apparently have an active 'life' of five hours, which should be more than enough to see me through a gig. When I have a gig. If I ever have another gig.

I'll be interested to see exactly how you recharge the units. The photo of the presentation box shows a cable of some sort, so it may well be possible to have the Receiver on charge while you're playing, and then top up the Transmitter in the breaks between sets.

I'll be sure to let you know. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

Agreed. The rechargeable batteries apparently have an active 'life' of five hours, which should be more than enough to see me through a gig. When I have a gig. If I ever have another gig.

I'll be interested to see exactly how you recharge the units. The photo of the presentation box shows a cable of some sort, so it may well be possible to have the Receiver on charge while you're playing, and then top up the Transmitter in the breaks between sets.

I'll be sure to let you know. 

One of the reasons I went for the Boss is that it is simple to charge. You plug the transmitter into the receiver(both are very small) and use a USB cord to charge both of them...easy, short cord and no extra pieces other than the small cord to haul around. You can use in breaks if you need to as suggested above. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, interesting times. The Xvive units are very neat and attractive (even though I couldn't get the 'wood effect' ones that Gollihur advertise), and very well packaged and presented. They have a USB charging cable that is a standard USB plug at one end but the cable splits into two about 10cm from the other end and each of those ends in a micro-USB; this means that you can recharge the pair simultaneously from any phone charge unit you may have knocking about. Unless you own an Apple, of course.

The units arrived about 50% charged so I was able to plug'n'play and that's exactly what I did. There was no setting up, no configuration, I literally plugged in the two units, switched them on, and started playing. I had a gig that afternoon (20 Sep) in the beer garden of The Oddfellows Arms in Apsley, playing my custom Safran Iris ½-sized DB (played as an acoustic bass guitar), so I took the Xvive with me and played the entire gig through a brand new, largely untested system. Didn't miss a beat.

The next week (26 Sep) I had another gig with the same band, same instrument, in the car park of The Wonder in Enfield - same result.

The following day I finally got to play a doubling gig with DB and Precision (a Mike Lull 54 P) and the Xvive units suddenly stopped working just before showtime. I used an instrument cable for the first set, and then swopped in the Smoothhound wireless for the second set, and it performed impeccably.

The next day I spent an hour testing and reading the manual. Sure enough, and as I suspected, one of the units had accidentally changed channel. The On/Off switch is a small slider on the edge of the unit, and immediately in line with this switch is a tiny button which (if held for a second) will change which of the four available channels you are using. If you have big thumbs and fingers like me, and especially if it's a bloody cold outdoor gig, that's an accident waiting to happen and I didn't have to wait long. Very poor design.

Something else that cropped up as part of the testing - and this applies equally to the Xvive and Smoothhound transmitters - is that a 54 P or a decent copy/pastiche of one will have a concave, countersunk instrument jack. I was already aware that these things make using L-jack instrument cables virtually impossible, but it also turns out they prevent the wireless transmitters from locking into place.

Well this afternoon I finally got around to properly testing the Xvive units with a DB being played like I mean it ... remember, this is why I bought them in the first place!

It turns out that the Xvive apparently struggles to cope with the signal coming from - wait for it - the G string. Seriously. It's fine with the E A D strings no matter how hard I overplay, but makes an unpleasant farting noise over whatever note I play on the G. On this bass, the E and A are Pirastro Evah Slaps while the D and G are Red Mountain guts, so I don't think that this is a string choice issue.

Move to a cable and of course the farting noise disappears. Use the Smoothhound instead and still no farting noise, so it's clearly just the Xvive.

Colour me confused.

So the outcome is that the units I bought specifically to use with DB turn out to be excellent for electric bass, while the unit I was concerned about is flawless for DB. Go figure.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The probleme with the Xvive is that it's very hard to change the battery when after 2 or 3 years it 's dead. Spending more than 100 £ for a 2 or 3 years wireless system is not a good deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

X-Vive appears to be a good system but have now experienced two sets which have just died & not been resurrectable. I have the XU3 microphone one which is built like a tank & have had no issues with at all.

On my pedalboard I've opted for the Shure GLX-D, body pack style but neat & sits on board & has built-in tuner as well. Expensive but works really well & very flexible.

Have also got a Lekato WS-50 which I use for practice & rehearsals & that seems much more robust than the XVive IMO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Aalin said:

The probleme with the Xvive is that it's very hard to change the battery when after 2 or 3 years it 's dead. 

 

5 hours ago, therasonic450 said:

X-Vive appears to be a good system but have now experienced two sets which have just died & not been resurrectable.

 

OK, that's ominous. Is there a known issue with these units only lasting three years?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

 

 

OK, that's ominous. Is there a known issue with these units only lasting three years?

Probably not, the Boss WL 20 that I have is apparently the same according to some reviews. I guess the convenience of having no batteries to change or charge and no AC adapter to deal with is enough to offset the fact that the whole unit has to be replaced. I've only had mine a year or so and given the current situation I haven't used it on a lot of gigs, although I use it at home a lot. I wonder if the batteries "wear out"( I know nothing about electronics) or if they have a number of recharging cycles before they can't be charged any more, like some computer batteries. From reviews I have read this seems to be common with devices like this, some last longer than three years. Most of these wireless systems have not actually been on the market for too long so it will be interesting to see how it all works out.

As I have said in previous posts, the Boss works great for me and I hope it lasts a long time and when it dies I will have the chance check out all the new gear and do some shopping...GAS...more toys...😊

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

OK, that's ominous. Is there a known issue with these units only lasting three years?

Contacted, Xvive in China asks me 100 € transport included to change the battery or offers me to buy a new one.

Luckily there is an internet link from a guy who explains how to change the battery yourself. I did it but you have to be meticulous. The battery can be ordered in China for less than £ 10.

They would have put some screws in it , we could do it easily.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Aalin said:

Contacted, Xvive in China asks me 100 € transport included to change the battery or offers me to buy a new one.

Luckily there is an internet link from a guy who explains how to change the battery yourself. I did it but you have to be meticulous. The battery can be ordered in China for less than £ 10.

They would have put some screws in it , we could do it easily.

 

Interesting video but by half way through he has ruined one unit so he will have to replace it(if he can buy one only), he has the thing apart which is tricky to do without damaging it and he has got to the battery which he warns will explode into flames if punctured. All this needs great care and some tools some people might not have. I am basically a frugal (OK, cheap) person but I would go for a new one, maybe the next generation or another brand, if it lasts 3 to 5 years I would write it off as an expendable like strings or get something that has  batteries that are easy to replace. 

Edit: I just checked the Xvive site and they don't show that only one unit (transmitter or receiver) is available so it looks like if you botch the job you have to buy the whole system so be careful if you try it.

Edited by Staggering on

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well having watched & read though the comments about the XVive, plus my own experience I think I would be tempted to buy a more expensive unit to be sure of long-term usage.

Seems to me it's a situation of 'buy cheap, replace fairly quickly.

Will keep folks up to speed with the vocal side of things

Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did some further testing today, focused on 'noise' on the system.

The Xvive works very well with mag pickups, no noise or interference at all, but with piezo systems it deffo produces more noise when exposed to the usual suspects ... fluorescent lights and computer screens. Hardly a major issue at most gigs, noticeable at rehearsal.

Once again I A/B'd it against the Smoothhound, once again the Smoothhound trumps it - far quieter with the noise.

For myself I'm still very happy with my purchase. At doubling gigs I will use the Smoothhound with the DB and the Xvive with the Precision, so no money has been wasted here, but there's no denying that I'm disappointed with the performance of the Xvive when used with piezo systems.

If my battery explodes in three years, I'll be sure to come and post about it here. :|

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There must be other wireless systems that accept the high impedance of piezo pickups for double basses.
Following my problems with the Xvive I also bought the Smoothhound which I am happy with. It is just bigger than the Xvive. And to power it I bought this battery:
https://www.thomann.de/en/rockboard_lt_xl_power_bank_rg.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Aalin said:

There must be other wireless systems that accept the high impedance of piezo pickups for double basses.
Following my problems with the Xvive I also bought the Smoothhound which I am happy with. It is just bigger than the Xvive. And to power it I bought this battery:
https://www.thomann.de/en/rockboard_lt_xl_power_bank_rg.htm

See my post above re Boss WL20. I have used it straight into my amp and also through a preamp(volume control only) into the PA, no problems yet.

Edited by Staggering on

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Aalin said:

And to power it I bought this battery:
https://www.thomann.de/en/rockboard_lt_xl_power_bank_rg.htm

 

2 hours ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

 

Isn't there a polarity issue to be overcome?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

 

 

Isn't there a polarity issue to be overcome?

 

Smooth hound used to sell a polarity converter for about £2. I needed one to power my receiver unit from my normal pedal board supply. Doesn't appear on the website now though as a separate item, only as an accessory when you purchase a main unit.

Edited by randythoades
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Line 6... Ive used the G30, G75 & G10s

With most of the common piezo pickups.. Underwood, Planet Waves, 

Revolution Solo etc. All the Line 6 systems work faultlessly when plugged straight into the p/up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...