In case you're not currently aware, if you are using wireless microphones or IEMs that are operating in the 700 MHz range (698-806 MHz), you're going to have to power them off permanently sometime after Feb. 17, 2009. How soon is still up in the air, but they're going to have to go away. For more information, you can read this post and this post.
Well, either Shure feels our pain, or they figured out that they could sell some more wireless equipment by offering some pretty substantial rebates for those of us stuck getting rid of our perfectly working and soon to be perfectly obsolete 700 MHz wireless gear. The church I work at currently has 16 channels of Shure UHF wireless mics and 9 channels of PSM600 and PSM700 IEMs. Of those, let's see, 16 of the UHF and 7 of the IEMs are in the 700 MHz band.
To replace the UHF mics with comparable current equipment, we'd need to go with UHF-R, which runs at least $1,500 a channel (with just a pair of bodypacks--handhelds are more expensive depending on the capsule). Since we have the dual receivers, that means spending at least $3K on a rack space. With Shure's rebate of $1,000 on a UHF-R Dual system with the return of our old UHF units, that suddenly makes the transition $8,000 more affordable.
And they'd spot us $300 on each new PSM700, making that $2,100 more affordable. They'll even give you a rebate if you trade in a competitor's gear. The rebate is about 1/2 of what it would be if you currently own Shure, but it's a nice incentive nonetheless.
The rebates vary depending on what you're buying. Obviously, big ticket items like the UHF-R series get a bigger rebate than the less expensive SLX series. Still it's a pretty fair percentage off.
You can get all the details of the rebate, and download the form at Shure's website.
I had heard that Sennheiser was doing something similar, but I can't find anything on their website that might give any details. It would be worth checking with your Sennheiser dealer (or call them directly and ask for your local rep) if you're going that route.
Given the fact that many churches are feeling the pinch right now in their budgets, it's a welcome bit of relief for the church sound engineer who has to explain to the board why we need to replace our wireless mics that seem to still work fine.