[Callers] opinions on sound equipment

P. Campbell countrydancecaller at gmail.com
Wed May 23 15:07:56 PDT 2012

Coming out of the shadows here to respond to Peter & Will & others -

My husband Bill spent a long time researching and looking and asking all
kinds of people, including sound equipment sellers (with experience), and
he got a Mackie SRM-150 which is usually used as a monitor (that's what he
uses it for).


He uses it for a sound system by itself for small groups. It's only 7
pounds (MUCH lighter than the Roland), loud, and has  2 multi-use XLR/1/4"
plugs and 1 RCA plug).  We mount it on top of a sturdy Hercules microphone
stand, which is much more portable than speaker stands. It mounts
upside-down when mounting it on a microphone stand, but that was not too

I've used it in a big multi-purpose room at a town hall where I lead a
weekly traditional country dancing session (mostly trad squares) for
seniors, and it worked wonderfully well.

I wanted something that I could take with my laptop (I'm not at iPod mode
yet, but my music is all in iTunes) and microphone and go.

On a completely different note, take a look at the Yamaha Stagepass 300.
It's not a powered speaker. It's a 2 speaker powered mixer, the PA mixer
module fits right into the back of one of the speakers, and it has 4 XLR
inputs and more....see it here. I often use it with just one speaker. The
detachable PA mixer part is also the amplifier. The speakers weigh just
under 20 pounds each - the mixer/amplifier weighs almost nothing. We use
this for medium-sized gigs where we don't need the full power of the Mackie
and we need more than the SRM 150.

Regarding microphones - I used to have an airline 77 wireless headset mic
that I LOVED (and Bill HATED because he always had to tweak the sound
system - usually had to cut off the high end and boost the low). Then it
died and I couldn't even try to get it fixed because of that frequency
ruling - it was one of the ones that became illegal.

I then switched to one that has a belt pack (I do not like belt packs
because I don't wear belts and I'm always having to figure out another
solution), and it was okay (again, had to tweak the sound a lot). I just
recently switched to a Countryman E6 *Directional *and I LOVE it and Bill
LOVES it because he doesn't have to use the whole PA system equalizer to
adjust the low and high ends for all sound - he can just adjust the treble
and bass for that channel (before, he had to use the main equalizer for the
whole system - a Mackie PA/Mixer 800 watts). The sound is great, the mic is
weightless and easy and wonderful.....I just still don't like the belt
pack, but that's the price you pay....speaking of which - it took me a very
long time to decide to spend that much money on a microphone, but as
someone else pointed out, the caller's mic is like the musician's
instrument, and I needed something that would sound really good. I do all
kinds of different types of gigs, from family & community dances to 18th
century balls to school programs to May Fairs, etc. and I can count on it
working well in all kinds of places.

One more thing about wired vs wireless handheld vs wireless headset. I
started out using a wired mic. Then I got a handheld  mic. Then a wireless
headset mic without belt pack, then with belt pack. Now the Countryman E6.
I love having the freedom of a wireless mic for the times I need to either
be dancing with the people or demonstrating things. The handheld mic
sounded good but was too much of a hassle to either move from hand to hand
or have someone hold my elbow instead of my hand. Whether I'm staying up in
front of the band or I'm out on the floor (I'm always visible to the
dancers), I like the freedom of being able to turn or move my head or
whatever and not have to worry about either holding the wired mic or having
my voice drop out because I moved my head away from it.


*Patricia Campbell*
*Newtown, CT*

> Today's Topics:
>   1. wireless mics - headsets or handhelds? (Emily Addison)
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: "Emily Addison" <eaddison at trentu.ca>
> To: callers at sharedweight.net
> Cc:
> Date: Wed, 23 May 2012 13:01:25 -0400
> Subject: [Callers] wireless mics - headsets or handhelds?
> Hi Folks!
> I have a microphone question for this awesome community that I'm hoping
> you can help us out with. Our contra dance committee (Ottawa) would like to
> purchase a wireless mic to use for introductory lessons as well as family
> dances.  However, we don't have major sound expertise on our committee and
> were wondering a few things.
> (1) do callers prefer a handheld or headset (thinking of family dances as
> part of this as we want to add 3-4 a year to our regular contra schedule)???
> (2) suggestion for particular models of handhelds and headsets???
> I know that microphones have been discussed previously on the list (I
> pulled some of the discussion from previous years and put it below).
>  However, more people may now have more experience, maybe there are more
> current models... ...
> Will (L) - did you ever do your microphone survey that your mentioned back
> a few years ago?
> For those who have headsets, why did you go that way and do you like your
> model?
> For those who have handhels, similar questions! :)
> Help would be most appreciated as we would like to invest in something
> that will be great for various callers to use.
> Much thanks!
> Emily from Ottawa
> >From peter at amidonmusic.com  Tue Jul 31 17:19:02 2007
> From: peter at amidonmusic.com (Peter Amidon)
> Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 17:19:02 -0400
> Subject: [Callers] Opinions on Sound Equipment Needed
> In-Reply-To: <000001c7d3b1$3712a770$020fa8c0 at maxx>
> References: <000001c7d3b1$3712a770$020fa8c0 at maxx>
> Message-ID: <p0623090dc2d5571b2a99@[]>
> Hi,
> I am adding to the request.
> I need advice on what self-powered speaker with
> at least an XLR and a quarter inch input in the
> back.  I would love a speaker big enough for
> dancing with groups of children; right now I use
> my amplifier with an EV X300 (I'm spoiled).
> I would be using it with my wireless headset
> system (the XLR connection) and my iPod
> (I have an adaptor into a quarter inch input).
> Of course I would love it if it were not too heavy.
> It needs to be able to go on a stand.
> Any suggestions?
> Many thanks.
> Peter Amidon
> peter at amidonmusic.com
> 802-257-1006
> cell 917-922-5462
> >From will at dedicationtechnologies.com  Tue Apr 21 17:54:15 2009
> From: will at dedicationtechnologies.com (Will Loving)
> Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 17:54:15 -0400
> Subject: [Callers] Earset microphone recommendations
> In-Reply-To: <49EA7E52.1040700 at gmail.com>
> Message-ID: <C613B8C7.32064%will at dedicationtechnologies.com>
> I am in the process of buying a Shure PGX1/PGX4 transmitter/receiver system
> with the intention of using it with an earset microphone, the small, nearly
> invisible 'rice grain' style.
> A friend of mine is singer and I borrowed her Countryman E6 earset (the
> omni-directional model) to use at a dance the other night. I really liked
> it
> though I did deal with some feedback getting too close to one of the
> speakers, so I'm thinking about the directional model. The E6 is however
> $310
> http://www.ccisolutions.com/StoreFront/product/COU-E6IO5TSL-SL.prod?Origin=C
> ategory
> and so I'm interested to know what else people like and find durable.
> So, I'm looking for experience and recommendations on any of the following:
> Countryman E6/E6i (omni)
> Countryman E6/E6i (directional)
> OSP HS-09 (omni)
> These next three all the same rig sold under different companies
> MM-PSM Pro Series Earset
> Electovoice RE97Tx
> Point-Source Audio CO-7
> In particular, I'm interested in knowing about the OSP HS-09 and the
> directional E6. Has anyone using the directional E6 had problem with the
> mike staying in proper position or being too sensitive? The directional
> aspect should make feedback a non-issue but I've been told that positioning
> can be a problem....
> Thanks,
> Will
> --
> Will Loving
> Amherst, MA 01002

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