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Time For A Horrible Idea! Permanently Wireless!

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Here's the concept.

Permanently installing an X2 digital wireless transmitter into my bass.


It's such an evil idea, but it's so GOOD!!!

Electronics cavity on the bottom of the bass, transmitter cavity on the top of the bass. No output jack needed, no cables anywhere. All internally wired, and just a single antenna wire sticking out the body. But instead of the wire dangling, I'll route/chisel a very tiny, curved channel into the back of the body, following the contour around to the bottom strap button. Then, lay the antenna wire into the slot and epoxy over it to seal it in.

Gut the X2 transmitter and scrap the plastic housing. Scrap the extra length where the battery pocket is, and just get a guitar body battery compartment. One for my preamp, and one for my wireless system. Without the excess housing size and battery area, I can get that pocket down to about 2" by 3" by only 3/4" deep. I may even test to see if the shape of my body will allow me to make one long cavity, half preamp half transmitter. Then I just drill some LED holes to the cavity cover plate, and power/channel buttons to the front of the body.

I figure, if I'm gonna invest in the X2 in another couple months and am getting the right-angle cables and getting one transmitter per bass on stage, why not cut out the middle man? No need to rip the transmitter off my straps to pack away my axes. No need to unplug the jacks so they don't wear down the preamp circuit battery.

I'm already looking at my CAD mockup, to see if this will all fit. I just gotta go buy the XDS95 and gut one transmitter.

And I'll STILL be 2009 compliant!!! \m/ \m/

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That's what Dremel tools are for! :D

I figure, nobody's gonna make a wireless transmitter that's HUGE. If an upgrade becomes necessary, I'm sure it would fit in. If not, a little routing will be easy enough. The pocket will most likely have an extra 1/4" buffer around just in case, and I'll most likely foam-pad the circuit board inside so it's shock-mounted to a small degree.

Mind you, this is all very dependant on how the actual circuit board is designed. Actual product may differ than shown on packaging. :D

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i had a similar idea a while back take a "strat" and relic it up then yank the pick gaurd off and put a piezo bridge in it then rout the back for a transmiter would make a interesting stage piece imagin walking out on stage with a guitar that has no electronics no cables and start playing. well since im not any kind of player much less one that is good enough to be on stage it stayed an idea.

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I started a thread about something like this maybe 2 years ago. PSW and Ansil both had some good tips, try searching.

Be careful that you don't pick a transmitter freq that is already in use somewhere in your stage/house setup, and also be careful when removing the transmitter brains from their housing, I think all of these units have some good shielding that you will need to replicate in your cavity in order to keep it a "noiseless wireless".

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A reasonable and often touted idea, one has to wonder why there are not such things generally available...

I am not sure of the ultimate reliability, but as bass players are less conservative about active electronic and betteries in guitars, why not... Just make sure that battery case is accessible and you have spare batteries...

In fact, I'd highly recommend a conventional switched socket for a standard lead as required. The sound of a good cable will always be sound better, be more reliable and quieter. While it might be cool on stage, recording you are possibly going to prefer a cable.

I have noticed a lot of budget karaoke wireless mics, I even bought a couple and they seem to work ok, so the cost has come down a bit of the technology. I was going to try one out as a wireless guitar thing at some stage, but I don't think I'd build it in but have it mounted on a strap with the ariel on that. To use it on another guitar, just plug it into a guitar strap and shoulder your weapon :D

Before embarking too far with this, especially the Ariel, I would definitely try it out by taping it in the position you envision on a working instrument and test out the concept...

otherwise, why not...good luck... pete

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You would have to be very mindful to turn the power off on the transmitter since you wouldn't have a jack to activate circuit, a la active instruments using stereo sockets....I can foresee many many dead batteries and silent guitars in your future :-D

I agree with the option of having a jack backup option. That said, I use my wireless between many instruments, so why limit the wireless unit to just one? If you wanted to play two instruments live, you'd need two transmitters....I wouldn't do this personally, although in concept it's an idea which would work, yes. Perhaps a little impractical.

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Well, here's why I'm considering this project.

First off, the X2 systems are completely digital, and are going to be 2009 compliant when the FCC recalls all UHF and VHF middle-frequencies for HD television broadcasts. That will make EVERY wireless system out there obsolete, unless it is a digital system like the early Sennheiser Digital Reference systems or the new X2 systems.

Second, the X2 is inherently designed with the upgrade factor considered. If one guy in the band gets the X2, and the rest of his bandmates want in on the awesome, the system allows for five systems operating on five different channels. Also, multiple transmitters (aka main and backup axes) can be dedicated to one channel per person on stage. That's a LOT of flexibility. The only conflict, would be someone on the side of the stage turning on their X2 and playing along with you. Which would instill massive blunt force trauma upon their faces when they're discovered, and make me have a very bloody and very entertaining stage show that night!

Third, I would MOST CERTAINLY account for easy battery replacements by using the plastic flip-pockets, account for shielding by shield-painting and copper-foiling just like my preamp and pickup cavities, and account for cabled playing cuz a friend just showed me how to parallel-wire the jack. And leaving a large-enough pocket to accept future upgrades or replacement transmitters is easy enough. It can all be planned out before I start to cut my bass' body shape, so if I need more room, just wiggle some measurements.

About the signal quality. Let me emphasize my initial suspicions and doubts about the X2. And also emphasize exactly why I'm committing so much design time to this wonderful little toy. My brother and I are TERRIBLE skeptics. We're pessimists about everything when it comes to our rigs and our gear. He's been through three different wireless systems now, and is quite comfy and happy with his current rig. Mine was a $60 clearance sale Nady and I bought two systems to have two transmitters. I am fully aware of the tone-sucking of my wireless, but who cares onstage?!?! I'm beating the crap outta my bass and bangin my head like I want it to fall off! I ain't concerned with tonal inflections up there, heh heh!

But we still are skeptical about new-fangled ideas. My brother learned that the guys who did the original DR1000 systems are behind the X2 design, so we started our hunt. We found a hole-in-the-wall guitar shop that had two systems in, so we went with blatantly doubtful attitudes towards it.

Alexi Laiho LTD with EMG's, through a Randall RH100 head with the hot solo high gain preamp installed. First, we listened to the guitar and amp with a good cable (think it was a Planet Waves cable?) and tested every possible scenario. Clean channel plugged in, volume off, volume full-on, rolling the knob, playing, silent. High gain channel, plugged in, volume off, volume full-on, hands off the strings, hands on, playing, chunking, chords, pinch squeals, fast riffing, solo-noodling, everything.

Then we set up the X2 system, and did it all over again. Clean and high-gain. Except my brother walked to the other end of the store and sat in their big fluffy leather couch in the lessons-waiting area. He was around 40-50 feet away, lots of other amps and guitars in the way, display stands, stompbox displays, shelves, metal-wire racks, all kinds of stuff that could mess with his signal.


Let me say that again.

FREAKIN GOLDEN. His playing was unhindered, his dead-quiet silence was softer than the cable's, even when he walked back up and stood with his pickups facing the cabinet, his tone was untouched. The amp's inherent high-gain hiss was louder when he unplugged the X2 receiver from the amp's input!

We had absolutely no doubts about the superiority of the X2 digital wireless system after that session.

So... time for bass! We discovered that my local Guitarded Center had them in, and I was talking to one of my buddies who works there. He's a vehement hater of wireless systems and hates their reliability. Plenty of experience convinced him never to try a wireless system again. So, I felt obligated to prove him wrong! So we did the exact same thing we did at the other store. He grabbed a guitar he knew well, plugged into a Marshall combo amp with all those fancy digital effects and blah blah blahs. Cranked it. Went through the clean channel, wireless to cable back and forth. Then high-gain. Same deal. I then made him walk all the way across the store playing. He was behind the accessories desk chunking away, and the manager walks out. He then walks right by him, SQUEALS at him, continues walking. Manager was shocked, and began to pay attention. He comes back and I asked him, "Did you hear yourself over there?" Yup. "Did you hear yourself drop out?" Nope. "Did you hear the Boss pedals display and the kid wanking on it?" Yup. "Did his stuff cause you any static noise or interference?" Nope.

He smiled.

We then did the same thing with an Ampeg SVT-4PRO into a Fridge, and grabbed a Fender Precision and an Ibanez BTB 5-stringer. We bounced back and forth. That was the first time I tested this thing for bass.


I even detuned that B string until it was outright floppy, and we both listened to the lows to hear if it held up. Did so just peachy-keen! Sounded FAR better than my current wireless system does. It hates my low B string and really hates hot preamp electronics with strong signals. A major reason why I want to upgrade.

This was Thursday. I saw him and his band play Friday night. He had an X2 that night. Heh heh heh! I forced him to run off stage and go rush his way through the crowd. He came hustling back with an ear-to-ear grin, and waaay too covered in beer. Heh heh. He told me he bought the X2 as he passed by his work on his way to the gig! "Well, I knew I could use my employee discount, and just return it Monday after the show if it sucked... but hell no! This thing is flawless!" I actually owe him an update visit, to see how he's liked it after quite a few months of constant use. See if he had any issues or reliability problems. I'ma doubt that, he'd most likely call me the moment he had problems!!! "HEY YOU BASTARD this don't work! Come fix my shtick!!!" :D

One of the guitarists from Battlecross now has an X2 system, and is making his bandmates very VERY jealous. They always got so tangled up on stage because of how energetic and active they are, and they started taking steps to improve their rigs and simplify things like my bands have. I bet by the end of the summer, they'll all be wireless, including their singer, heh heh!

You guys gotta understand. I don't believe hype. I don't buy into a lot of marketing shpiel. I don't like it when commercials use a lot of 50 cent words to describe their product. I don't like catalogs that have more fancy blabber than actual statistics. If I'm interested in something, I'ma try it out myself and give it a proper run-through. Also, I don't go around bragging about products unless I'm completely convinced. My endorsement of a product/service only comes after I abuse the hell outta it and prove it to myself beyond the shadow of a doubt. For examples, my love of SKB's new U.S. Roto-Rack cases, my love of Eden Electronics bass amplification, my love of my lead guitarist's Hughes & Kettner TriAmp MkII, and my love of this X2 digital wireless system.

If a product was crap, I'd be shouting it far and wide to convince people to stay far away from it and keep from wasting precious money. This is why I no longer sell computers at Office Depot! They sold crap, and paid me to make a cold crap on a paper plate look like hot s*** on a silver platter! I don't do that! I told many, MANY customers who came in with serious knowledge and real questions, to walk on out and hit my friend's computer shack and get a machine built for them exactly to their needs, instead of all that HP and Compaq crap they love to peddle to the unwary suckers.

Trust me. If you are afraid of going wireless, I will give you my personal endorsement. The X2 kicks ass seven ways to Sunday. And I will be completely converted over before the summer ends.

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Fine - I don't think the X2's quality or reliability was in question, but thanks for A/Bing them so well and posting the results! :-D

I still wouldn't tie the unit down on a per-guitar/bass basis. Keep it as a bodypack transmitter otherwise the day'll come when you have three guitars you want to use, and you get sick of buying and gutting the X2 transmitters.

I love wireless, by the way!

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Hmmm... never even thought of the idea of people thinking I wasn't actually playing.


The A/B routine we went through was cuz so many people doubted how well cordless-phone technology could work for a musical, full-frequency transmission. The best part, is it truly does have tonal integrity all the way down to 10 Hz so bass players will really love their low end with this system. The X2 is my only logical AND practical upgrade for my rig. I don't need anything else, but I definitely WANT a new wireless system!

I've still got my pine-board test body. I can try to route that body for pickups, control cavity, and then wireless pocket and battery holders. We'll see if I can make everything fit in the dummy body first, THEN go nuts on the actual white ash body.

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