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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wireless Guitar System Review!
Sony DWZ-B30GB Transmitter/Receiver
"Entry-Level Wireless Relays Clean Audio"



Brevis...
Price: $499 Retail
Like: •Exceptional Audio Quality,
•Robust Build-Quality, •Six Channels
Dislike: •No Functional Complaints
More info: DWZ-B30GB 

by John Gatski

  Wireless guitar systems have improved so much in the last few years that plugging-in now means attaching a little box on your belt with a small locking cable and a receiver box placed near your amplifier. No longer is it necessary to run a big, long cable into your amplifier or rack of pedals. Even in the studio, wireless boxes make it much more convenient.**A textbook example of how-to-do-it-right in a high quality wireless transmitter/receiver system is Sony's DWZ-B30GB, a low-cost setup that performs with DW’s that cost twice the price. 

Features
  Contained in a belt clip transmitter/standard-sized receiver set, the Sony DWZ-B30GB Wireless system allows guitar players to relay their precious signal via**a 24-bit/2.4 GHz wireless signal with six user selectable channels. At $499 retail, the package is perfect for onstage players for acoustic or electric guitar who want a more upper-echelon signal delivery at a not over-the-top price.
  The easy-to-attach, belt-clipped, compact ZTX-B01 transmitter (3-inches tall by 2.5 inches wide), connects to a guitar — via 1-meter 1/4-inch-to-1/8-inch locking connector cable. The front panel contains a small channel indicator, channel selector button and a power button. The screw-on belt clip is a sturdy metal design that gripped my belt pretty well.

Belt-attached transmitter

 The transmitter runs on two AA batteries. The transmitter contains a mic/instrument switch to allow use of a dynamic mic, as well as a guitar. An attenuator switch enables three gain schemes: (0 dB, -10 dB and -20 dB). A top-mounted lock/unlock switch enables the user to prevent accidental adjustments during a performance.
**The six frequencies range from 2.4022 GHz to 2.47825 GHz and a narrow/wide switch allows tuning to a slice of the frequencies that is less susceptible to interference from similar wireless signals.

The receiver
  The ZRX-C30 receiver unit features balanced XLR, 1/4-inch instrument level outputs, as well as a handy 1/4-inch tuner output. Onboard controls include cable selector (1a through 1b), which is a cable “tone” generator that simulates the “sound” of a real cable, from 1 meter to 25 meters; the onboard DSP progressively rolls off the high frequency as you select the larger number.
**A USB jack is contained on both the transmitter and receiver, but no explanation in the manual. I figured it is used for software updates, which was confirmed by Sony.


Full-featured receiver

**The ZRX-C30 includes LEDs for the power, transmitter/receiver RF connection and the receiver’s receipt of audio. The receiver is powered by a 9V battery or an included 12V adapter.
  The kit includes the transmitter cable, AC adapter, belt clip and CD and paper manuals. Overall, for an entry-level wireless system, the Sony DWZ-B30GB build is robust — with its metal enclosures and sturdy switches. You can buy cheaper, but not with this quality.

The audition
  I used the wireless in my home studio with my rig of guitar amps, as well as straight into my mixer and into an A/D converter, recording straight at 24-bit. Guitars included a Gibson Les Paul Studio equipped with Seymour Duncan Seth Lover humbucker pickups, a standard Fender Telecaster American Series, a Mark Knopfler Custom Strat with Custom Shop 57/62 single-coil pickups and a Gibson L5CES with Classic ‘57 humbucker pickups. I also hooked up a mono channel output from my Nord Electro-3 (Hammond B3 mode) to wirelessly transmit a signal to a Fender Twin Reverb combo amp.
  To test the robustness around other wireless signals, I also turned on an older wireless mic system at the same frequency, thus, giving me the chance to use the DWB30GB’s narrow frequency mode.
The Sony DWZ-B30GB is a first-rate, digital wireless system for those who need just a single-channel input/output. Its robust digital, 24-bit signal was as clean as the proverbial digital audio whistle.
  As a basic, single-channel wireless system, the Sony DWZ-B30GB worked like a charm. The first thing I noticed was how clean and extended the signal was. My old vintage style 20 ft. cable often picks up room noise from other components, which gets magnified through the tube guitar amps. The Sony wireless was much cleaner, and with more dynamic punch to the audio. The humbucker pickup guitars had much more audible high-end attack, yet without losing their inherent warmness; this wireless sounds great. Driving the overdrive mode in a Line 6 amp with the Les Paul, also sounded more distinct with less mush than with my vintage cord. Only high-end music cords give me this kind of sound.
  Delay was negligible, and any interference from the other wireless was nil when I flipped the Sony DWZ-B30GB to the narrow mode. I never had a drop out in close or when moving into another room.
  My extreme distance test for Sony DWB30GB was playing the guitar from the top level of my five level Cape Cod house. I wanted to record a really loud, distortion track through a Line 6 amp — without blowing out my ears; playing five floors away was an effective way to “play it loud.” I hit record, went to the top floor, played the riff, then went back to the recorder to play it back. The recording was spot-on with no drops out or audible anomalies. Talk about a long distance track.
 As a basic, single-channel wireless system, the Sony DWZ-B30GB worked like a charm. The first thing I noticed was how clean and extended the signal was. My old vintage style 20 ft. cable often picks up room noise from other components, which gets magnified through the tube guitar amps. The Sony wireless was much cleaner.
  If you want to muddy up the sound like a cheap, long cable, the cable tone dial changes the sound, and successive clicks roll off the high frequency. However, because a digital wireless’ virtue is its clean, full bandwidth delivery, I was much more interested in that sound than the dirtied up sound of the cable simulator circuit.
  Using the Nord keyboard in the Wurlitzer electric piano mode and the Sony wireless, through a mono output, I was able to relay the signal across a 20 ft. room with any wires. Yay!. And again, the sound was super clean through the Fender Twin Reverb reissue — with a tighter, more distinct upper midrange and treble than the standard 25 ft. cable I usually use.
  With its mic mode, I did a bit of singing through an Audix I5 dynamic plugged into the ZTX-B01 transmitter. Again, the dynamics, and low noise of the digital system were readily apparent. The sound was extremely tight, versus the 25 ft. Whirlwind cable.
**The Sony DWZ-B30GB ergonomics are first rate, as well, with the included cords and easy access to the battery compartments. The locking, guitar-to-transmitter cord worked perfectly. Battery life was robust as well. In fact, I had no complaints with the Sony DWB30GB. Well, maybe just the yellow legend around the dials. But that has nothing to do with its performance.

The verdict
  The Sony DWZ-B30GB is a first-rate, digital wireless system for those who need just a single-channel input/output. Its robust digital, 24-bit signal was as clean as the proverbial digital audio whistle, even in the narrow mode, and it could transmit from considerable distance. For its mic or instrument transmission capabilities and fine performance, I also gave the Sony DWB30GB an Everything Guitar Network Grade A Award.

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1 comment:

  1. Trying to find out how to add new transmitters to a receiver.

    Had a transmitter stolen so I bought a whole new kit. Under powered the new receiver and fried it. Trying to connect the new transmitter to the old receiver with very little luck. Please help

    ReplyDelete