We’ve had many Schoeps CMC4 owners use our 48 volt phantom upgrade service to free themselves from cumbersome T-Power barrels and power supplies. This led to inquiries as to the possibility of upgrading the venerable Sennheiser 416T shotgun to 48V phantom power. After a more than a few willing 416T owners subjected their mics to our electronic musings, we’ve worked out a solid process for converting 416, 415, 815 and 816 T powered Sennheisers to 48 volt phantom. There’s business/website/details to be worked out, and we are looking to get things up and running by September’s end. As seen in the photo above, the 416T will be branded with a thick aluminum, weather resistant PH48 label to remind users of the 48V phantom upgrade. The cost of the 416T upgrade is still being examined. As with the Schoeps upgrade, the 416T will perform exactly as it did prior to the upgrade. Sennheiser’s proven RF design- providing immunity from RF or humidity- will remain intact.
Obviously, there will be additional circuitry added to the 416T interior that is not a part of a factory-issued 416.
An important consideration is servicing after the upgrade. Service issues that arise on upgraded mics must be handled through us. If the issue does not rest with the phantom upgrade, further service may be required by Sennheiser, which we are prepared to facilitate.
Like the Schoeps upgrade, each 416T will be tested prior to, and after upgrading, with before/after test recordings, serial numbers and condition photos kept on file.
If you are reading this, you already know about hassle of using T-Power barrels in location sound work. They are cumbersome and ill-fitting on the cart or in the bag. Those additional XLRs between mixer, jumpers, boompole and mic invite connection trouble and grounding issues. Accidentally connecting other mics to T-Power inputs invites disaster.
Consider retiring your T-power barrel adaptors and power supplies. We are looking at offering a tag-along service to convert those old T-power adaptors into attenuators…. perhaps very useful when interfacing with the Arri Amira, which has non-standard line level inputs. ( Gawd- not more barrels!)
If you don’t own a 416, now may be the time to scan ebay or your favorite vendors used equipment listings, as 416T’s can be found for very good prices.
By Pete Verrando
Here’s just a few reasons why I love G2/G3 for IFB/scratch track feeds over Lectro or Zaxcom IFB solutions:
– The mini plug input/output is highly compatible without need for custom cables. You can feed a scratch track to a Red Epic with a standard ipod cable. Transmitter Mic/line input selectable thru tip or ring on the cable. You can hook up to anything with a good set of adaptors. Have you sent audio to a Black Magic camera yet? Non-standard, strangely wired 1/4″ jack inputs, but no problem with a Senn and an ipod cable with a headphone adaptor.
– you can feed hops and Ifb with same transmitter. 1 less frequency to coordinate.
-Less weight and RF mess in a sound bag. I’d rather carry around a 2 ounce, 30mw G3, than a 1/2 pound, 250mw flamethrower like the Lectro T4.
– I purchased my first set for scratch track hops in 2005. I now have 6 transmitters, 4 plugs, 6 receivers and 15 IFB’s. All purchased on ebay, and on average, less than half of retail. (Many misguided soundies and one-off project users buy these, then dump ’em. )
I’ve yet to have one break. I’ve replaced many antennas at 5 bucks each, if you can solder well, you’re good.
– huge battery life. 3 days with a pair of lithium AA’s
-audio/rf metering on every unit
-Better range than lectro R1a or zax 2.4 gHz IFB units, owing to external whip antennas
-transmitter won’t RF swamp a sound bag
-some venues now restricting 2.4 gHz devices as they compete with wifi (Zaxcom IFB)
-super wide input/output audio level settings. It’s easier to set the level on the Senn than dig around on the cryptic Red Epic’s audio screen. So why bother?
-instinctively intuitive to use. Big, understandable, backlit display
-great for feeding video assist, pa systems, or pulling feeds from PA or press feeds
–velcro them together for 2 channels, and they are still a very small receiver pkg.
-They’re Great crash wireless for talent- (about the only time I’ll put one on a talent).
-30 mw is low for transmitter power, but as an IFB, the pack is not against somebody’s body.
Instead, it is out in free space on your cart or bag. So no RF absorption from a sweaty cast member’s body.
I’ve have found that the Lectro IFBs are better if your crew needs to change receiver channels frequently to listen to different sound units. WIth Lectro R1a’s, They just push the volume button to cycle thru programmed channels, without needing to look at it. (Don’t know if the ERX can do this).
-Senn’s butt-plug transmitters are also cheap and great for a quickn’dirty wireless handheld for PA or voice-of-god mic for AD’s
On a recent commercial, with one Senny transmitter, I fed scratchtrack to two Alexas, video assist, client-lounge PA speaker and 15 IFB’s. Excellent range, kinda nice.
-iem headphone amp VERY loud. Even the regular receivers can drive a headphone at +6
-easy to coordinate freqs with internal pre-selects/rf metering, or use the freq finder app.
IEMs and beltpack receivers will also receive acceptable audio sent from more powerful lectro IFB transmitters.
-I could go on. I’ve got buckets of these things.
But I never will use them as frontline talent wireless. They breakup a little at high audio frequencies (sibilant sounds) unless you stay well within the headroom, like half-level.