Posts Tagged ‘swiff audio’

Though I’ve already sung the praises of this system and how great it performs and love the fact that it operates in the UHF frequency range. But I wanted to give a gig report on using the unit with my old farts classic rock band.

Last night we played at our regular first Friday gig at a local hotel. This would be the first time that I used this system other than at church. So I really going to put it through its paces.

As far as its signal is concerned, I am SO glad I went with this system rather than one that operates in the 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz range. My bandmate, and the lead guitarist in our band, uses an XVive system that operates in the 2.4 GHz range. During sound check, he was having all sorts of interference problems with that unit and ultimately had to plug it directly into his pedal board. But with the WS-50 in a completely different frequency range, I had no interference problems whatsoever!

The WS-50 battery life is excellent! I was actually using two sets in this gig because I was also playing acoustic guitar. As I write this article, both sets are charging and no unit lost more than half of its charge! In fact, the set I used for acoustic still had 3 out of 4 bars of power as I was shutting the system off when I wasn’t using it to conserve power.

The only irritating thing I experienced with the WS-50 was that it would come loose when I rested my Telecaster on its stand. My Tele has a recessed jack, so the transmitter would come loose if I wasn’t careful about how I placed the guitar on the stand. That’s really more on me, but it did slow things down a bit when I was changing guitars. Though it’s a minor thing and really a factor due to my recessed jack, it is a bit concerning as I don’t want to damage the transmitter. It hasn’t been a problem with my Les Paul or my Taylor T5z as those don’t have recessed jacks.

All in all, though, all I can say is “Wow!” The signal quality is great. My guitars sound great with them!

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A few weeks ago at band rehearsal, our other guitarist was setting up and I noticed he was using a wireless system. I asked him if it was the BOSS wireless, and he replied that he just couldn’t justify spending $200+ for a wireless system. Instead, he did a lot of research on the various budget systems out there and finally decided on an Xvive system.

He sent me a link to it because I thought he sounded great with it. But being a gear guy myself, I couldn’t resist doing my own research. And in my research, I stumbled upon the Swiff Audio WS-50 system. I read and watched several reviews and decided to give this system a try. And why not? At $56.00 on Amazon, it was less than half the price of the Xvive.

But what also sold me was that it operated in the UHF frequency range which was intriguing to me because all the rest of the systems either operated in the 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz range. Even before I saw a video that confirmed my concern about that, I wondered that with both WiFi and cellular operating in these frequency ranges if there might be a problem with those ranges being too crowded at times. It wasn’t a really big concern, but I still had it.

Then when I came across the WS-50, I noticed that it operated in the UFH range. When I was growing up in the days before cable TV was ubiquitous, there were two TV bands: VHF, which had all the major networks on it, and UHF where all the good cartoons like Speed Racer, Simba, and Spiderman played; not to mention Ultraman! Well… UHF has pretty much been supplanted with cable – and I supposed VHF as well – so with the WS-50 operating in the UHF range, my concern for frequency conflict was much lower.

So I pulled the trigger and it arrived a few days ago. It came almost fully-charged, so I just plugged the receiver into my amp and plugged the transmitter into my guitar and… It just worked. Almost ’nuff said. I practiced with it for almost an hour and had no signal drop-off or any interference whatsoever. Granted, I was in my house, so the chance of interference was pretty low. But yesterday, I brought it to my church gig to really run it through its paces. But instead of plugging the receiver directly into my amp, I plugged it into my pedal board. Again, it just worked.

I have to admit that I was a bit concerned about the quality of the unit, considering I only paid $56.00 for it. But wireless technology is so mature now that even low-cost units will be fairly high-quality. And the WS-50 rocked it! I haven’t compared how it sounds to a cable connection, but it plain sounds good, so I don’t really see the point in making the comparison.

And how it sounds is really all that matters to me. And it worked right out of the box! Now during my gig yesterday, during a break I turned both units off to save the batteries and when I went to play again, they both came up real quick.

One thing I do love about the WS-50 and frankly, the new wireless units that have come out on the market is that they just plug right into jacks. I had a Sennheiser remote for a long time and no doubt the quality was super-high with that unit. But it was a bit inconvenient in that the remote unit clipped onto either my strap or onto my belt. If I brought multiple guitars to a gig, I had to duct tape the unit to my strap.

But with the WS-50 and its ilk, I can turn off the transmitter, remove it from my current guitar, place it into my new guitar, then switch the unit back on. And it does it completely noiselessly! Super-convenient!

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