It shouldn’t come as any great surprise to anybody at this point, but audio gear comes in two flavors: MI (musical instrument) and Pro Audio, with the later being more expensive.  Audio-Technica System 10 digital wireless in priced MI, but its pristine signal is what one would expect with Pro Audio.

 

On top of that, it plays well with Pro Audio gear as it operates in an entirely different realm of frequencies: 2.4 GHz to be more specific, as opposed to the 550-700 MHz of

UHF Pro Audio gear.

 

The System 10 consists of the ATW-R1100 receiver and either the ATW-T1002 Microphone with built-in transmitter or the ATW-T1001 UniPak transmitter.  This transmitter is equipped with A-T’s mini 4-pin connector which allows the use of various headset or lapel microphones, other mic options, or a 14/” phone plug to 4-pin connector for musical instruments such as guitar or bass (each available as a package deal).

 

ATW-R1100 receiver 060513

The ATW-R1100 receiver.

 

For the purpose of our review, we used the UniPak with the Audio-Technica ATM-350 microphone (not included), which is a small condenser mic with a short clip-on gooseneck perfect for exactly our purpose: micing the saxophone.

 

The ATW-R1100 receiver’s front panel houses a pair of antennas, a button for selecting the system ID, a numeric LED system ID indicator, a button for pairing to the transmitter, a peak LED indicator and a signal indicator (which A-T calls the pair indicator).

 

The System 10 comes paired at the factory, so unless multiple System 10 units are being used the units are ready to fire.  The numeric ID used by the System 10 is for merely keeping track of which pack is transmitting to which receiver, rather than frequency selection.  The System 10 automatically selects a clear frequency when powered up which could be different each time and does not correlate (nor effect) the ID number.

 

The rear panel is home to the wall-wart power input jack, a ¼” unbalanced phone output jack, a balanced XLR output jack and a volume control each controls both of these outputs.

 

The UniPak uses a pair of AA batteries for an estimated 7 hours of life.  Sliding the cover of the battery compartment also reveals a miniature screw driver that can be unclipped from its harness to adjust the trim pot.  Cool!

 

Interestingly, the peak indicator on the receiver is used when adjusting the gain on the transmitter; however, it functioned well…so there’s no complaint here.  Also hidden beneath the battery compartment cover is a paring switch.

 

The top of the unit has the mini 4-pin input jack, the power/mute button and power mute LED indicator.  The ID LED indicator is on the side of the unit.  Powering the unit on (and off) is achieved by pressing and holding down the power switch.  After the unit is powered up, the switch can be used to toggle between being muting the output or letting the signal through.  The LED glows red for muted output and green for go!  Again, cool.

 

ATW-T1002 wireless mic 060513

Singers will opt for the ATW-T1002 wireless mic.

 

With everything set up and powered up, the end result was amazing.  The System 10 features a 20 Hz to 20k Hz frequency response bests Pro Audio UHF systems and is a good match for a condenser microphone such as the ATM350 which captures frequencies as high 18K Hz.  Since it also can hand low lows, bass players might find the System 10 a good choice.

 

And, as nice as what it is to hear what is coming out of the System 10, what might be even nicer is what you don’t hear: radio noise.

 

When the transmitter is muted, it is still sending signal to the receiver…it’s just sending a signal of no sound…so there’s no RF noise.  However, even turning the transmitter off, there’s no noise.  This is because what is coming through the sound system isn’t radio signals as with conventional wireless units, but rather a digital code which was merely transmitted over the radio waves.  Think of this as satellite radio as opposed to terrestrial radio.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym4TDgFGeuM

 

And this is part of the reason the System 10 plays well with conventional wireless; it can broadcast its digital signal at frequencies less friendly to audio signals.  So the System 10 stays out of their way…and in many ways the Audio-Technica’s System 10 ($489.00 list and $299 street for a transmitter/receiver system) bests some UHF systems that can cost up to ten times more.

 

 

– James D’arrigo with Jake Kelly

Originally posted 2013-06-05 22:04:35.