Featuring truly pro-grade build and design quality, a superbly quiet digital RF path and unique Talk Back feature, the HH/VR rig is a premium wireless microphone system, compatible with a wide range of third-party/rider-mandated capsules.
Lectrosonics’ HH Digital Hybrid Wireless Transmitter is a handheld microphone module designed to host a comparatively wide range of thread-on capsules — their own HHC Cardioid Condenser plus others using a 1.25-inch/28 thread pitch design from manufacturers such as Blue, Earthworks, Electro-Voice, Heil Sound, Shure and Telefunken Elektroakustik.
We received the HH Series rig with Heil PR35, Earthworks WL40 and proprietary Lectrosonics HHC capsules, plus the company’s own Venue Wireless Microphone Receiver.
The handheld transmitter incorporates an internal keypad menu that is used to adjust channels and frequencies, input gain of the transmitter, selectable transmitter power settings, and on/off/standby modes. Standby allows settings of the HH unit to be configured without actually transmitting, by turning off the radio transmitter while still leaving the menu functions available for adjustment.
On the outside of the HH, just below the lower rim of the capsule is a separate multi-function button that can be used as an audio mute while keeping the RF carrier on. An additional function of the HH allows this button to be used as a toggle between the regular output of the receiver and a private communication channel to a different receiver channel; this is achieved in concert with a receiver menu setting—very nice for concert vocals so that separate communications can be established to the monitor engineer, separate from the actual concert program of the microphone. This feature is referred to as “Talk Back” in the HH manual. The button can also be bypassed completely.
The VR, or Venue Receiver, was supplied with the HH transmitter for our tests. The VR allows for up to six different frequency modules to be interconnected to a single rack space tray—three on each side of the central electronics of the receiver. Its modules pop in place, held by a plastic spring-loaded tab, making a very solid connection. Six different frequency modules for the receiver station are available, built to accompany up to six individual wireless transmitters. Monitoring and adjustment of the varying receiver frequency modules is attained either through supplied PC software or through micro-pushbuttons on the front of the receiver center section. Individual adjustment is achieved via clicking through menu options; the same push button is used in rotary mode to scroll through the various options.
This Lectrosonics rig’s appearance is streamlined and simple—perhaps best described as workmanlike—with no frills to complicate operation of the system. The VR Receiver also came with a pair of tunable dipole antennas; adjusting the wings on the antenna allows for proper tuning of RF reception.
We received the Lectrosonics rig just days before my company, Atlantis Audio & Lighting, loaded in full production for an Oldies festival at a casino in Northern Arizona. It was an outdoor show where we provided full audio, lighting, stage and roof. The first act on the bill was Chubby Checker, a.k.a. King of “The Twist.” We employed the HH and the VR together, using the HH with a Shure SM58 capsule, per the artist’s request. The threads mated perfectly to the SM58 capsule; for a spare, we mated the supplied Lectrosonics HHC capsule to the remaining Shure handheld transmitter portion (from the separated SM58-based transmitter).
Two AA batteries were loaded via the same seamless access door as the set up panel for the HH. Literally, within 10 seconds, we had the HH/VR rig up and running. It took only a few minutes for the initial set up of the receiver, using the supplied RF cables and the user adjustable dipole antenna.
The audio quality of the RF path was notably, exceedingly clean, and never once did we experience an RF disturbance, a hit, a fritz, a dead spot, or any such issue for the entire day.
To check HH battery usage, we loaded it with brand new Energizer AAs at soundcheck, using them through the entire day with Chubby and the entire second day as well. The HH proved to not only be highly reliable, but miserly in power consumption, too.
On the second day of the festival, we had the 5th Dimension as the headliner, featuring the smooth vocal tones of Florence LaRue, the original and founding member/lead vocalist. On this occasion, we paired the HHC capsule with its HH wireless transmitter for the full Lectrosonics experience. The HHC is a fine sounding capsule, rivaling the SM58 capsule nicely. We found it to have a pleasant frequency response, taking SPL very well, and never flattened or distorted. We were quite happy with the HH/HHC’s overall sound; it provided a nice amount of dexterity with Ms. LaRue’s vocal, while handling noise was nonexistent.
We found the Lectrosonics HH and VR rigs to be a wonderful addition to our arsenal of wireless microphone systems. Lectrosonics’ design and build quality is first rate; I believe that we will get many years of fine use out of this system, as we have decided to purchase the HH/VR system after this review.
Prior to this review, I was not overly familiar with Lectrosonics. After this encounter, I am sure I will acquire more of their wireless products. I give the HH/VR wireless system my wholehearted recommendation.
Prices: $1,545, $1,920 and $498 (HH transmitter, VR receiver master frame and VR receiver modules, respectively)
Contact: Lectrosonics | lectrosonics.com