The Vega U2020 wireless microphone system (from $930) is a combo kit with a handheld mic, a lavalier (or clip-on) mic and a receiver, tunable to the same operating frequency.
Product PointsApplications: Live sound; broadcast
Key Features: Wireless handheld and lavalier mics; 100 selectable frequencies
Contact:Contact: Vega at 800-877-1771; 626-442-0782; www.vegawireless.com
The handheld microphone can be ordered with a variety of different capsules. The rig I received had an Audix OM6 capsule. The controls on the handheld mic are simple and well laid out, featuring the transmitter on/off switch and the microphone on/off switch. The kit contains a miniature screwdriver for channel/frequency adjustment, a power supply and a well-written owner’s manual.
The mic’s 9V batteries are easily replaced by opening the door on the bottom. The channel/frequency selectors and the volume/sensitivity control are located on the middle of the handheld’s body, but recessed well enough to be no problem to the user.
The supplied mini screwdriver provides for a quick and painless change of frequency, and the small numbers on the rotary switches are highly legible. Both rotaries contain numbers zero through nine. In tandem the rotaries provide the channel/frequency assignment. The owner’s manual provides a complete listing of the actual frequency assigned to each channel number. Also provided are low-battery and audio-peak LEDs, located on the lower segment of the handheld’s body.
The lavalier’s wireless belt pack provides the same channel assignment method as the handheld. The transmitter on/off switch and the microphone on/off are located on the very top of the belt-pack, along with the battery and audio-peak LEDs. This provides a clear view of the operational status of the unit.
Also located on the top panel is the miniature four-pin connector for the clip-on style microphone, headset microphone or guitar connection and the four-inch (approximately) flexible antenna. The battery compartment door, located on the lower corner of the belt back, is hinged and captive to its body to avoid loss. It locks securely to avoid opening at inappropriate times.
The Vega U2020 receiver is a single rack-space high, half a rack space wide, and is accompanied by a 12 V DC power supply and two BNC-connected UHF mini antennas. The front panel of the receiver contains the same recessed channel selection method as the handheld and the belt pack. In addition there is a power on/off switch, RF input level meter, antenna/diversity status meter, and audio input signal strength meter.
The back panel of the U2020 receiver has both three-pin XLR style (with a mic/line switch) and TRS 1/4″ output connectors. Also present is the microphone input sensitivity, located next to the squelch control, both recessed but accessible with the mini screwdriver.
I assembled the Vega U2020 at a weekend concert series with the Phoenix Symphony, featuring Pops standards with an internationally renowned tenor vocalist. I placed the receiver about 200 feet from the stage, at the house mix position, and dialed all the components to channel 99 (frequency 748.00 MHz). The channels were very easily adjusted through the use of the mini screwdriver, with the numbers clearly visible on the recessed rotary adjustments. The seven-segment LEDs on the receiver providing excellent visibility of the channels selected.
I had not previously used an Audix OM6 mic and I must admit, I was quite pleasantly surprised at the clarity, transparency and overall quality of the OM6 capsule on the Vega handheld – the tenor’s vocals were crisp and highly intelligible. The RF link provided by the Vega U2020 was extremely clean and quiet, with no hiss, no dropouts and no hits from outside sources.
I connected a lavalier/cardioid microphone from another manufacturer to the Vega RF belt pack and again, the RF path was free of hiss, hits and dropout. The belt pack transmitter was compatible with the two different models of lav mics we tried and interchanged easily via the miniature four-pin XLR.
The Vega U2020 RF system and the Audix OM6 microphone are a formidable pair. The OM6 capsule was very exact in all frequency ranges and was precise in the sibilant range, without being splashy or spitty. Vega’s electronics are incredibly clean and quiet, and highly efficient with battery use.
I left the handheld on for over eight hours, and it still responded with no fuzz or loss of signal (this could be a serious issue – how many times have you forgotten extra batteries?). Vega provides an extremely well-written owner’s manual, explaining everything in detail, and addressing all potential problems related to wireless. The Vega U2020 wireless mic system is a top-of-the-line product, and I highly recommend it!