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Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by paulbaldock on 2010-11-23 13:02:49

Hi

I have just purchased a Line 6 XD-V70 microphone system.  I was hoping to take my Shure Beta 87A Capsule off my Shure ULX wireless system and put it on the XD-V70 system.  When I tried this the XD-V70 system made the Beta 87A Capsule sound rather thin and not very warm compared to the Capsule when it was on the Shure ULX system.

Please can you tell me if there is anything I can do to help improve the sound when the capsule is installed on the XD-V70.

Regards

Paul



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by dboomer on 2010-11-23 13:13:03

What you are hearing (or more accurately not hearing) that makes it sound different is the compander in your old wireless cutting the transient response.  Most people that have done this comment on how much more open the sound is.  If you compare the 87 head on the XD-V70 to a beta87 on a wire you'll see they sound the same..   An 87 head on an SLX does notsound like it's wired twin.  You will probably notice that it now will cut through in your monitors better than your old system and you won't have to scream to be heard.

Since the SLX has a more limited frequency response you could roll off the top and the bottom on your channel strip to more match it.

Have you tried the L6 model with the factory capsule?  It is very 87-like but because the element is dynamic the transient may be more what you are looking for.  It will also have lower distortion than the 87 capsule will if you sing loudly at all.



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by Xenith on 2011-07-03 01:14:49

I did some tests last week:

My Beta 87-Head also has lack of Bass response on the V70 Transmitter.

I measured with swept sine of 1.5s (to overcome the transient-problem):A/B at the same Position comparde with an Earthworks M23. My measurements with Beta87 on a Shure wireless-System were in fair  agreement with the frequency response spec'd for wired beta 87. The only deviation was an earlier treble-rolloff. On the v70 the capsule had a stronger bass-rollof. The deviation is beginning at 200Hz an reaches -2.5dB at 100Hz. I first thought it could be the environment-filter, but it was turned off.

I also have a wired beta 87 here and it definitely does not sound as thin as the capsule on the wireless transmitter.



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by dboomer on 2011-07-04 19:38:47

You need to switch off the "environment filter"



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by Xenith on 2011-07-06 00:49:11

As stated above, the "Environment-Filter" was turned off. I duble-checked it.

Is there a possibility that the reciever shows "OFF" and the Filter is still on?

I heard the "gating effect" dissapear when i changed the Filter from NORM to OFF, so i assume all signal-processing was turned off?

(I could try to do a Measurement of the Transmitter alone by connecting two crocodile-clamps to the Signal-Pins, if you tell me which pins to use.)



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by dboomer on 2011-07-06 09:36:56

I'd have to see more details of the test.  Seems to me the apples to apples test would be to measure the capsule raw vs the same capsule on a V70.  I don't know what "processing" might be included in it's native system.  As you already mentioned you had to allow the fact that the Shure wireless system won't pass the transients.

If you want to measure the transmitter by itself the center pin is signal and the outtermost pin is ground.  Take a look here ... http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,1373.msg16536.html#msg16536

Thisis independent testing showing nearly flat response down to 10 Hz ... and at different input levels.  You'll see if you measure on the Shure system the frequency response will change with level, which does not happen on the XD-V systems.

While you are at it, take a look at the frequency response of the other systems (which cost 5X plus the price of XD-V) and you'll see how they fall off below 50 or 60 Hz.

If you measure something other than this there could be a hardware issue



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by Xenith on 2011-07-26 00:56:49

I did the tests.

The handheld Transmitter performs as expected, although it has a slight "ripple" above 10kHz (about 1dB)

Shure PGX performs better than in the test you linked, expecially when fed with balanced signals, but it has a rise in bass-response of about 2db from 200 to 80Hz (Pink Noise & sweep)

So the lack of bass response of my Beta 87 capsule used with v70 is no lack of bass, but linear transmittance.

From the measurement-side the V70 stays on top even with the better performance of the Shure-system.

I have to try it with a HEIL PR35. Possibly this combination can even beat my Sennheiser e965 ew500g3 i like so much on female vocals.



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by philipst on 2011-09-18 03:26:11

Hi,

I have also purchased a shure beta 87a capsule to use with my XD-V70. The first thing that I noticed was that the volume level of the beta 87a capsule was much lower than the Line6 capsule and model L6. I also found that when I increased the gain on the mixing desk so that the beta 87a volume was at an acceptable level I could hear the noise floor clearly and the amount of hiss(noise) was unacceptable.

I then built a single transistor pre-amp with 20db (10 times voltage gain) of gain that I built into the beta 87a capsule, this increased the volume level of the beta87a capsule to within approximately 1db of the line6 model when measured with pink noise and a 440Hz test signal. The single transistor pre-amp draws little enough power so that the bias voltage only drops to about 4.98V which is sufficient. The largest input signal that the single transistor pre-amp can accept before clipping is approximately 60mV peak-peak but I have found that it seems to be sufficient and I haven't been able to cause the input to distort. It is possible to increase this at the expense of noise and thd but I have decided not to do so at this time.

With this modification the audibility of the noise floor is no longer a problem. I have measured the line6 model noise floor to be slightly lower still but I suspect there is some specific filtering or gain stages applied when the line6 mic model processing is enabled.

I don't have any problems with the sound being thin as you have described. I can share my notes with you if you also want to try this.



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by philipst on 2011-10-03 11:56:12

I have since increased the gain to 30dB and it is working even better. There was still a small amount of noise which is now basically gone.



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by dboomer on 2011-10-03 15:29:49

So I'm confused.  Didn't your stock capsule already have a preamp built into it?



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by philipst on 2011-10-06 13:52:25

Yes, the Beta 87A has a pre-amp built in, but the signal output is very low, so the signal to noise ratio is very bad. I would guess that the line6 transmitter expects a hotter signal so when using the Beta 87A capsule you have to turn the gain up considerably on the receiver side which lifts the noise floor until it is clearly audible.



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by ttako on 2011-10-19 19:00:49

Hi Philipst,

Could you send me the schematics of your simple gain stage?

Did you install it inside the screw-on mic head? (e.g. did you disassemble the head?)

Thanks,

Tamas



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by philipst on 2011-10-21 03:41:35

Hi,

I installed the pre-amp inside the screw on head, there is enough space.

Here are some pictures of the prototype circuit, I later used surface mount capacitors that are much smaller:

img1.jpg

img2.jpg

I would recommend approximately 20dB gain if you sing loudly and 30dB gain if you have a soft voice.

Here are my schematics for the 20dB and 30dB gain:

Important note for the following schematics, you should add a 100uF capacitor between ground and the 5V supply to the pre-amp, it is not shown on these schematics.

20dB gain:

Philip-shure preamp for Beta 87 - 20dB gain.png

30dB gain:

Philip-shure preamp for Beta 87 - 30dB gain.png

(If you want even less gain of only about 15dB, replace R6 with a 8K2 resistor.)

Here are some notes that I made on the signals in the capsule and current drawn by the pre-amp (the pre-amp does not draw too much current to drop the supply voltage too low, so don't use the "simulate 5V and shure" circuit, it was just for some calculations.):

Latest as built schematic for preamp, 30.6db gain.png



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by Herrguenther on 2011-10-21 06:00:50

Hi everybody,

I used Philip`s schematic (thanks a lot for sharing, Philip!) and installed the preamp in my Beta87a.

Tried 30db gain first, and it distorted slightly when shouting loudly, now I´m down to around 20db gain, everything seems to be safe now. I can`t compare it to a wired 87, but it seems to sound OK so far. Clear sound with VERY low  noise.

The environment filter is OFF for now in order to not overemphasize the proximity effect even more.

I´m off for a week with a female singer on monday, result reports will follow.



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by philipst on 2011-10-21 07:18:45

Hi, I am glad it is working for you. Remember to add the 100uf capacitor to the pre-amp power supply between ground and 5V. Without the capacitor the supply voltage will change as the input signal to the pre-amp changes and this could lead to distortion.



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by dboomer on 2011-10-21 08:09:13

I glad this seems to work for you guys.  Question ... are you removing the original preamp that was included with the capsule?



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by Herrguenther on 2011-10-21 10:43:17

No, this amp stage sits between the original converter/ mic amp output (yellow cable) and the transmitter's input (center contact).

GND (blk) and +5V (red) are connected right through and are just tapped.

All the parts will fit on the back of the contact PCB.

At the top you can see the yellow cable (audio coming from capsule) being disconnected from the contact PCB now feeding the input cap.

beta87.jpg



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by philipst on 2011-10-21 12:24:45

Something that I did notice with the 30dB of gain is that you can sometimes hear a faint noise caused by the RF transmission from the transmitter, but if I switch to low power mode it disappears completely. I couldn't hear it with 20dB of gain which might be another reason to rather go for 20dB of gain if you are unsure whether you really need 30dB of gain (for a soft voice).



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by dboomer on 2011-10-21 13:06:07

Your preamp is probably picking up RF from the transmitter which would explain the absence of it in low power mode.  The power drops by 5 dB ... so I expect any noise would drop by the same..  It is very tricky to add circuitry inside an RF transmitter.  The noise may even change as you rotate the capsule in the threads. 

The noise is not in the signal itself as that is a digital stream and it is untouched by the transmitter power.  Our systems always run at 100% modulation, never more, never less.

Being that you are adding an additional preamp to the one already included (which if I remember is about 16 dB of gain) you are trading headroom for noise floor.  That can be absolutely fine but if use use the mic with a loud singer (that is close to the capsule) you might run into a problem



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by philipst on 2011-10-22 00:12:22

Yes, I agree with the RF being picked up. The "noise" we are referring to is the noise floor. Due to the fact that the output of the standard Beta 87A is very low, it is necessary to boost the gain at the receiving side to compensate, which raises the noise floor to clearly audible levels. It is correct that headroom is traded for noise floor but according to my experience if you add 20dB of gain the level of the Beta 87A is almost the same as that of the Line6 capsule so I don't expect any headroom problems with 20dB gain.



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by ttako on 2011-10-27 14:07:35

Thanks very much! I will give it a try :-)

Just one question: If this is an "add-on" to the original amplifier, isnt it an easier solution just to modify the GAIN of the original built in board from the claimed 16dB to 30-36dB??

Or is it not possible??

Thanks,

Tamas



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by Herrguenther on 2011-10-27 15:21:52

Hello Tamas,

To me it was easier to take philip's little schematic to add another gain stage rather than digging the existing one and mod it.

I soldered this one right onto the back of the contact board. Philip has proposed to use SMD caps as they are much smaller.

It all fits OK but with smaller caps it should be easier.

At the moment I'm touring with a chanson singer using the modded 87 into an SPL ChannelOne and after the first four nights we are VERY happy so far...

Thanks philip!



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by Herrguenther on 2011-11-19 17:07:23

Hello dboomer and who may be interested,

here`s my little tour report with the 20db-modded B87 head:

The two weeks`tour setup was : 300-500-seat theaters, a (female) singer, grand piano , violin and cello. The singer has a very strong and educated voice but a lot of the songs are sung very intimately, almost whispered, think Ricky Lee or Norah Jones.  I always run my main vocal mike through an SPL channel One with Lundahl in- and out- transformers. It`s EQ with an L-C treble section in combination with the de-esser brings up soft vowels very nicely without getting too sharp on the consonants. It´s like having the singer having close at your side, whispering right into your ear. I love it!

http://spl.info/hardware/preamps-channel-strips/channel-one/in-short.html

Now the Line6 system played just great, not a single dropout ever (transmitter set at Lo) and rock solid signal.

We played a major radio gig with a nice collection of vocal mikes to compare with:

a "Neuheiser" (Sennheiser SKM 5200 with  Neumann KMS 105), and a "Rockheiseser"(SKM 5200 with MD 5235 Head).

We´re talking 4000 to 5000€  here ;-)

The Line6 transmitter with Philip`s little`87 preamp was at least as silent as the Sennheiser systems (couldn`t hear anything) and the sound of our modded`87 felt as clear and punchy as the Sennheisers`.

There was -of course- a difference between the capsules and I favoured the Neumann 105. Clear but warm overall , and the 87 sounds a tad sharper to me. And of course it has a very strong proximity effect, as it was a B-87a.

But this was rather a difference of mic heads than a quality difference of the wireless systems.

I had the impression that battery life was not as long as promised by the display. I think the display converts voltage to time, assumed the regular (dynamic) mic head. The additional power drain of the condenser and the preamp seems not to be part of the equation. Now, being back home, I have yet to run a test with  a fresh set of batteries and take notes about calculated and actual reminding battery life.

(Philip already wrote that the 87 with the preamp draws approx 1 mA, so the Condenser wouldn`t have any effect on battery life.)

All in all I was VERY HAPPY with this setup. It definitely is a keeper.

Talking about mic gain, I noticed the following:

If you screw on the regular head onto the running (switched on) transmitter, you`ll notice a strong gain for half a second before the transmitter "realizes" which head is on. This gave me the idea that maybe there IS more internal gain available in the system but it`s "throttled down" to a certain level as soon as  the TX senses which head is screwed on. I´m not sure if the sense thing might be a resistance between bias and GND or what.

Maybe this could be the key to another gain adaption approach?

greetings from Germany

Pit



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by dboomer on 2011-11-21 10:06:02

Hi Pit

Thanks for the report.  It's just what we like to hear

You are correct that the gain is reduced when a third party capsule is detected.  This is because the Shure capsules have about 15 dB of gain built into the head.  We have to compensate for this.



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by garyoliversinger on 2011-12-20 05:36:14

Hi I have been thinking about getting one of these systems.....UNTIL NOW sadly.......I use a wired beta 87 or a shure wireless 87 and agree the wired has a better sound & was hoping by getting this system I would then have a radio mic that sounds as good as the wired mic as promised in the advertising blurb........great work by you guys adding a little pre amp but ts seems a shame you had t do that.......

My question to the Line 6 peeople is ....can anything be done about this in the future......

I am a fussy singer and really want the beta 87 sound.....tho would be interested in hearing the line 6 capsule & emulations for myself......

Another question what do you beta 87 fans think of the line 6 capsule compared th beta 87 ? I guess you preffer beta 87 as you went to a lot of trouble to build your extra pre amps...

PS..... the FET in my wired beta 87 broke & I replaced it with 2SK170BL the BL is low noise FET the mic does seem to seem even better to my humble ears...



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by Herrguenther on 2011-12-29 10:13:16

Hello garyoliversinger,

To me it's rather a lot of fun than a lot of trouble tweaking things.

Though the B87a is not my favorite condenser, I genrally prefer condensers to dynamics for Singer/Songwriter or Jazz, that'ts why....

Now that I have a KSM9, whitch I like much more, I'm trying to make this combination work, with a different approach.

But maybe the V-75 upgrade might leave our attempts obsolete in the future! Whe will see....

Pit



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by erroll1906 on 2012-01-16 03:12:31

Hello Herrguenther'

I was reading your comments about using a ksm9 capsule on a xd-v70 did the combination work.I want to go in this direction as I have a wired ksm9 which I love.But going to the expense of buying the Shure wireless ksm9 system is out of my budget.But buying the ksm9 capsule is the way I would like to go,any help would be much appreciated

regards

erroll



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by bazesax on 2012-03-21 17:36:54

compensate? voila! ?!? it's not mentioned in the manual. so what is the solution for lack of gain? my v30 is working properly only with the kit head. all the other "recomended" are useless. is it from (over)compensation? regards.



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by jsoulville on 2012-04-27 16:06:05

Hi i recently purchased the 75 version line 6, bought the beta 87a capsule, and yes sounds very thin. dont think i would have bought the line 6 if i had of known of this problem. I bought the microphone on the strength that you could change the head, and off you go! the tech guys on here are fantastic, however for someone like me to start adding pre-amps etc wouldnt know where to start, and at what additional cost!

so what to do? someone mentioned try the Heil 35 head, however would this have the same problem?



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by RonMarton on 2012-04-27 19:37:41

I'll try for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, Your Honour...

(If it please the Court, my background's available by clicking on the pink pic at left. I have neither affilliation with, nor particular loyalty to, Line 6.)

In my opinion it's madness to part with bucks for ANY replacement head (like Heil Sound's dynamic RC 35) without having actually tried a wired example (in this case, Heil Sound PR 35) to satisfy yourself that it actually delivers a sound that suits you.

All of this conversation's above "technojiggerypokery" arises from the participants being atttached to (hence being motivated to adapt for) the individual sound of a unique CONDENSER capsule (Beta 87A "head"), whereas THH12's come with (and are primarily designed to also mount other manufacturers') DYNAMIC capsules ("heads").

That said, with a view to "future-proofing" and flexibility, Line 6 have endowed the THH12 with provisions for the more tech-savvy to implement condenser capsules as outlined in this thread. (I dare say they may even have their own condenser model in the pipeline.)

Worthy though they may be, such considerations aren't of much use to most users.

Now, blame-laying's useless, ...but, (F.Y.I. only) your totally understandable and gut-wrenching disappointment stems from whoever advised you that "you could change the head".

They failed to tell you the whole truth. (So help me God...)

So, where to now ?

I guess your screw-on Beta 87A head's best destined for resale.

Then, if (and only if) none of the fabulous models built-in to the THH12 suit you (which, in my experience, is fairly rare, but does accord with some others' experience), ...it's off to try cabled versions of (preferably) DYNAMIC mics (be they Audix, Heil or Shure) that are also available as screw-on wireless capsules (heads).

Once these "wired" tests have made you certain that a given capsule is "the one", it's essential that you either have the ability to return it for a refund or actually try it screwed onto your THH12 mic before handing over the cash, ...as individual examples from some manufacturers have "pogo-stick" connection pins that are fractionally shorter than others.

This can normally be addressed by gentle (very, very gentle) bending of the contact strip in the mic, so that it successfully contacts the "pogo" pin.

Be assured that there are several replacement capsules out there, working really well and provoking large grins from performers wirelessly working into THH12's.



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by dboomer on 2012-04-27 19:58:07

Hi Jsoulville

I would expect the sound of a V75 with a 87 capsule to sound entirely different than a Shure wireless with an 87 capsule ... but what it does sound like is a wired 87 microphone.  The difference in the sound is because of the losses in the Shure system that are not present so the true sound of the capsule comes through.  Look a bit further up the thread to the post from july 26.  The user concluded that the Line 6 wireless did not change the sound of the capsule ... So the lack of bass response of my Beta 87 capsule used with v70 is no lack of bass, but linear transmittance.

The gain structure when using third party capsules is a bit different with  V75 than with a V70, so no preamp is needed ... and ... inside the V2.0 firmware is an output level control if you wanted to boost it even further (which I would NOT recommend)

As Ron mentions above, you should make a decision based on the performance of wired versions of any mic capsule you might want to switch to.

Ron is wrong however ... All models of XD-V handhelds will work just fine with condenser capsules (provided they stay within the current draw the power supply can provide ... most everything except KSM capsules).  They are not restricted to dynamic capsules only.



Re: Problem with the sound quality of a Beta 87A capsule on the XD-V70 microphone
by RonMarton on 2012-04-27 20:12:09

Sorry Don,

I was busy editing my reply to reflect more of what you say at the same time as you were posting the above.

No one should come away thinking that any of your handhelds are restricted to dynamic capsules.

I just reckon that less tech-savvy users may find them more "forgiving" (and usually cheaper) than the thoroughbred condensers.




The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.