PWS Conjures for Penn and Teller

Las Vegas (April 1, 2010)--The Penn & Teller Theater in the Las Vegas Rio Hotel recently served as the beta site for the PWS DB-16, a new filtered receive/multi-coupler for wireless systems.
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Las Vegas (April 1, 2010)--The Penn & Teller Theater in the Las Vegas Rio Hotel recently served as the beta site for the PWS DB-16, a new filtered receive/multi-coupler for wireless systems.

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Penn & Teller FOH Engineer/A-1, Wayne Willard, explained, “Even though we have only two cast members, one of whom (Teller) never speaks, we engage 20 mic/receiver sets over three band splits. Penn Jillette is double-mic’d with one transmitter in a low band split and one transmitter in a high band split. Penn plays a double mic’d upright bass and Teller plays a set of vibes outfitted with a wireless transmitter. The show also uses five handheld wireless mics for audience interaction, and a handheld mic for the pianist, Mike Jones.”

Having worked with PWS Las Vegas-based associate Stephen Copeman on a large project at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Willard consulted him on the P&T wireless upgrade late last year. Speaking with Copeman, he learned that PWS Project Manager Brooks Schroeder, Director of Manufactured Products Dave Shoman and RF Special Projects Designer John Garrido, were collaborating on a new filtered receive/multi-coupler to reduce noise and eliminate cascading. The Penn & Teller install was deemed a good beta site for the new DB-16 filtered receiver/multi-coupler.

PWS incorporated its DB-16 into the equipment package that included eight Shure UR4D receivers, 16 UR2 hand held transmitters with SM58 Capsules, 14 Shure UR1 wireless bodypack transmitters, a pair of Shure UR1M Lemos, and 18 VT-500 TA4F miniature Lavalier mics.

“We were immediately impressed with the PWS DB-16,” says Willard, who also serves as a Projects Coordinator for the MGM Grand’s Entertainment Projects department. “It’s made a huge difference in the security of our transmissions. The internal filters protect us from undesirable signals from other sources within our spectrum. We’ve experienced no frequency interruption and zero intermods by other sources even when we had political conventions next door. The box worked and continues to work flawlessly since Day One. We feel totally protected.”

“We were pretty much delighted with the field reports,” Brooks Schroeder says. “The DB-16 performed flawlessly, and needed virtually no fine tuning on the operational side.” In fact, the only major change inspired by the P&T install was ergonomic rather than electronic. “Both Wayne and Stephen reported that they found it unwieldy to unplug the unit when they had to pack it up for road shows,” Schroeder explains. “We originally positioned the IEC power input on the (left) side of the box. We thought this innovative position would make it easier to reach. Unfortunately, the consensus of opinion was that it belonged in the traditional position on the back of the box. We made the adjustment and added a lock button to make sure it wouldn’t accidentally unplug. An easy fix,” he concludes. “Abracadabra: everyone is happy.”

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