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Onboard Wireless Transmitter


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OK, I was inspired by Wyldbil's success with his wireless installation inside the guitar (here). I would like to do something similar, to wire the guts of ...something... into the control cavity of the guitar, and dispense with the output jack. But I couldn't help thinking that wireless transmission has come a long way since the Nady 201 (and presumably gotten smaller).

So after searching PG (the DIY stompbox forum is down just now), I found some suggestions to use clip-on mic systems (just clip off the mic and wire the transmitter into the guitar), or even to use the guts of a wireless mic (like the Shure SM87). Has anyone actually tried this? I would not want stuff like in-line compression etc etc.

Then I went Googling and found tons of tiny stuff for video. But I found much less for audio, and most of what I did find seemed a bit large for stuffing inside a guitar body. Also, most of the audio transmitters were coupled with video transmission systems which made me suspicious of the sound quality (and who wants to see the inside of the guitar anyway? :D ).

The Shure ULX-1 beltpack looks nice and gets good reviews (Shure ULX-1) but it has all kinds of bells & whistles I could do without (LCD screen w/ buttons, etc), and all I really need is the guts of the transmitter (i.e. the OEM version...). And I want it inside the guitar, not outside.

Does anyone have any leads to tiny wireless audio transmitters?

Would such a system work equally well for passive & active circuits?

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I tried this years ago with a cheap wireless microphone. (Mr. Microphone... "Hey good lookin' I'll be back to pick you up later!") It was a little more complicated than just snipping off the mic and cramming it into the guitar. The issue there was that the microphone was a condensor and required power to work. In other words, the mic part wasn't just passive like a guitar is. Trying to force feed a guitar signal to where an active condensor mic is expected won't work.

Fast forward to present day, yes things have gotten a lot smaller. I recently saw an advertisement for a wireless guitar "thingy" that plugged into the output jack of the guitar. No belt pack, no cords, just plug in this lipsitck tube sized transmitter and you're active. Something like that could easily be torn up and fit inside your guitar.

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My other guitar player has one of those Guitar Bug things. Runs on a AA battery. Cuts out all over the place. Piece of crap, IMO.

Hmmm....it does seem like the Guitar Bug is about the smallest thing available that is specifically designed for high-fidelity audio. The transmitter is about 50% battery compartment (AAA), so I've got a feeling that if I stripped the guts of the transmitter out of the little plastic case, and wired it up to the 2 9v batteries that run my preamp (stepping down the voltage of course...), it would not take up much space at all.

Unlike a lot of systems (I think...), the transmitter & receiver are both matched to a specific frequency. So I'd need to get the same freq transmitter in each guitar if I wanted to buy only one receiver.

Unless it really IS a piece of crap that is....Marksound, maybe your guy is getting interference from wireless mics or something....??? Is he trying to transmit over a long distance?

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the wireless lapel mic actually works nicely. i put the whole thing in acoustic guitar once. quite nice. needed a little work but all in all i was quite pleased.

as far as the little wireless bugs go man. I used them when i was giggin. freakin great only bad part was breaking them occasionaly due to the plasic shell sticking out of your guitar jack depends on how you have it mounted.

i had to remove it from its shell and put it in a radioshack box with a 9v to use it with my other guitar. [jem style with a recessed strat plate on the bottom of the guitar where the strap button is.] so it worked out fine.

1st generation of the bugs had a dc to dc converter in there to get a little more power vs current for the transmitters.

also on a side note. A lot of People on Capitol records use these exclusively 1 because they have a deal with them two becuase they work and sound killer and can be replaced quicker and easier than repaired. i think i can get a couple dead ones. also they have adjustable freq's on them.

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Thanks for the reply Ansil. With the lapel mic, I'd like to put this into a solid-body electric, do you think there'd be any issues with just wiring the output from my pickups straight into the microphone's leads (sans microphone)? Or would I need to splice in somewhere else in the circuit? Would it matter if I was passive vs active?

About the guitar bugs, are you sure the transmitter freqs are adjustable? Is there an internal adjustment or dip switch or something? The AKG ones I've seen are sold with specific UHF frequencies, and my music store rep tells me that even the receiver is freq-matched to the transmitter (IOW, one receiver won't pick up multiple transmitters w/different freqs).

If you can lay hands on some dead ones, I'd love to play around with them. (BTW, looks like your PM Inbox might be full... :D ).

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the akg ones are they the yellow and black ones..

there were two of them a greyish and blueone. and then the yellow and black ones .

the greyish blue i believe it was samson wasn't it. anyway it had a dip switch in it. but then again it was one of the first ones. can't be sure on the newer ones.

yeah my pm does that i will get dead messages for some reason so the last time it got full i stopped checking it. i dont' know what it is but i will get like 20 messages at a time with nothing in the message at all.


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Marksound, maybe your guy is getting interference from wireless mics or something....??? Is he trying to transmit over a long distance?

Not a long distance at all. Probably just interference from bodies and other stuff.

Don't take my opinion on this stuff to heart. I just think most wireless stuff is unnecessary. We don't really need wireless anything, but there's the guitar bug, ear monitors, mics, etc. I don't understand it, but then I never get more than 3 feet away from my mic or amp or floor wedge. :D

Edited by marksound
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