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    Sennheiser G4 IEM? Or just stick with Comteks or Lectro IFBs
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    I'm thinking of getting Sennheisser G4 IEMs because I hear the quality is a lot better than Comteks. Plus I can use them as additional hops by just turning off the pilot tone. But I notice that there are some complaints online about extraneous noise on the G4 units when the volume knob is turned down. Anybody have issues? I think this may be an issue that only affects G4s and not the older model G3s or G2s. Thanks.


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    Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    Comteks are pretty common on professional sets. They’re perfectly fine, especially if the client isn’t looking for listening quality that’s close to monitoring straight off the mixer/recorder with cabled headphones. The small M-216 transmitter is only 10mW, though. Not usually a problem since TX and any client RX will be out in the open and generally line-of-sight, but it can limit range especially between rooms/structures. The BST 75-216 can be powered from a BDS and sits in a bag just like any baggable RX, and bumps the output to 100mW.

    Getting a Sennheiser G4 100 TX gives you 30mW output, and it can be used with the G4 IEM RXs. Or, you could get a G4 ew512 system plus three more receivers. Those make excellent camera hops or client IFB with 50mW output and an RX that has both a balanced AF output and a dedicated headphone out. The ew512 is a great multitasker.

    There’s not a huge price difference between purchasing a Comtek system with 4x client RX or purchasing a Sennheiser G4 TX and 4x IEM RXs (or ew512 and three more RXs). A couple hundred dollars, less if you compare price with the Comtek BST. You’ll definitely get a little better sound quality from the Sennheisers, plus more frequency options. (Not sure how many RXs you need, but I’m just using 4 for comparison.)

    Moving up to the Lectro IFBT4 system is a huge price jump. Sound quality difference between this and the Sennheiser system may not be huge, but you do move up to 250mW output with the Lectro system. I’ve used these riding in chase cars and they’ve held up reasonably well.

    If you go the Sennheiser route, I highly recommend modding the antennae to SMA whips.
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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    You're also paying for the build quality of the Lectro's. Most Senn and Comtek boxes are plastic or plasticy(which may not matter in this context), whereas Lectro's are built to go to war.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    You're also paying for the build quality of the Lectro's. Most Senn and Comtek boxes are plastic or plasticy(which may not matter in this context), whereas Lectro's are built to go to war.
    Having used all three, and owning both Sennheiser ew512 systems and a Comtek system, I absolutely agree that Lectros are built like tanks.

    In practical terms, I find that IFB systems aren’t as subject to abuse on set (in my experience) as they aren’t buried in wardrobe or subject to actor movement or stunts. They’re belt-clipped and out in the open. If budget allows for Lectro IFB, you’ll be making a good purchase. If budget doesn’t allow, both of the other options are perfectly useful, with the Sennheisers being excellent multitaskers. If you often work with clients who tend to throw their IFB receivers on the floor, then Lectro may be a best bet.
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    Senior Member Rick R's Avatar
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    In my experience on commercials and movie sets, it is often a scavenger hunt after a shooting day when multible IFB Rx are distributed and loss is pretty much inevitable. It can be a costly if you are the 'production company'. In fact, I will not even work on a set with gear if the production cannot provide a loss and destruction insurance document.


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    Thanks for the reply. I can definitely vouch for how beefy Lectro gear is. I've got a few sets of 411a's and smqv's and they've held up. As for the Lectro IFBs, I ask because I've been seeing them used for decent prices. But I hear the sound quality isn't that much better than Comteks. I already have a couple of G4 sets which are the 50mw versions. I figured the IEM receivers would be a nice match but people online have mentioned they have some noise issues. Maybe I'll just stick with Comteks. I always see big sets of them for sale online.


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    Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DNN View Post
    I already have a couple of G4 sets which are the 50mw versions.
    Then you already have receivers that can function as IEMs. Give ‘em a try. I’ve used those before and they worked perfectly... no complaints at all from producers, and they were able to wander around between two warehouse-type structures without losing transmission.
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    Alex, are you saying you use the wireless mic receiver as an IEM? Do producers have any issue with not having a volume control knob? I'm looking to buy some IEMs and I was thinking why not just get more mic receivers, but was concerned about not having a volume control.


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    Paul, I was talking about buying IEM receivers to use with my G4 transmitters. They're compatible if you turn off the pilot tone and you even get a talkback channel if you use the rack mount transmitter.

    Alex, does the SMA mod really make that much of a difference? Other than having the ability to swap out whips and use a dipole antenna? Do you recommend doing both the transmitter and receivers?
    Last edited by DNN; 08-14-2019 at 10:21 AM.


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    Senior Member Rick R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F View Post
    Alex, are you saying you use the wireless mic receiver as an IEM? Do producers have any issue with not having a volume control knob?
    I have used the EK100 portable receiver in a pinch situation where I needed one additional mix-minus IFB . It certainly was not ideal but it worked. The only volume control is in the software menu (AF out) and it only plays through the left channel on standard stereo HPs.


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