CTW NAMM Coverage: Lectrosonics HH Handheld Transmitter

Lectrosonics is the wireless system of choice for broadcast and film production, but they are relatively unknown in the HOW market. That's too bad, because they make some great products. My first really good wireless set was a Lectrosonics back when I owned my video company, and it was rock-solid and sounded great. 

Lectro makes some fantastic, feature-rich wireless products for installations as well. The Venue line of receivers packs 6 receivers into a single rack space. And while their bodypacks have been well respected, the handhelds have enjoyed a bit more lukewarm reception. With the new HH, that should change. 

Right away, you notice that it feels good in the hand; well-balanced and not too slippery. The mic capsule is the Shure/EV standard, so any other heads with that thread pitch and connections will work (can you say Heil?). The display is clear and bright, and the buttons are actually sized for human fingers. In fact, all the buttons are inside the battery compartment; no on-off switch outside to cause you grief. 

They added a few key features that I think are really smart. First off, they built a clever battery eject lever into the battery bay to make removing the cells a breeze. As I said, the buttons are actually easy to press, and if you look at the picture, those -10 and -20 indicators (the numbers are upside down so you can see them while speaking into it) make it easy to set the sensitivity of the mic. 

Finally, there is a little rubber button on the mic body that can be set up to do three things; 1) nothing, 2) audio mute or 3) talkback. The first two are self-explanatory, but the third is really cool. The Lectro R400a receivers have two audio outputs on them.  Pressing the talkback button (when it's in that mode) sends the audio to the secondary output, meaning that could be routed to FOH, monitors or the musicians ears if it's a worship leader or MD.

UPDATE: From my friend Karl Winkler who works at Lectrosonics, "the R400A receiver does have two outputs with independent level controls, but can not be used with the talk-back feature of the new HH transmitter. The Venue receiver is the one that can be used this way by selecting talkback in the "compatibility mode" setting." My bad, I missed that. END UPDATE

Like all Lectrosonics 400 series products, it's all digital with no companding so it's going to sound fantastic. It will also work with 200 and 100 series receivers if you have any lying around. I didn't get pricing, but from what I understand, it's comparable to or a little less than Shure UHF-R. So it's a premium product with some unique features. Oh, and they're made right here in the USA in New Mexico, and speaking from experience, customer services is top-notch.

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