McCune Audio Video Lighting Switches to Sennheiser Wireless
McCune Audio Video Lighting has begun replacing its entire stock of wireless audio equipment with Sennheiser wireless.
Having recently celebrated its 75th year in business, McCune Audio Video Lighting is one of the oldest and largest rental and sound service companies in the country. With locations in San Francisco, San Jose, Anaheim, and Monterey, McCune AVL provides services for everything from Little League openers to arena rock concerts to Presidential political events. The company provided sound for Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles tour, and the Monterey Pop Festival.
"With more and more devices taking up bandwidth, not the least of which will be HDTV, frequency problems for wireless audio are looming," says Allan McCune, the company's third-generation president. "Right now, on the West Coast, we're still OK, but we wanted to make any necessary changes before we encountered problems. Of course, the sound engineers who work with us live or die by the reliability of the wireless equipment they use. So we asked ten of our engineers to extensively test all of the wireless equipment out there to ensure that we will have the systems that will allow them to be successful going forward."
The tests were conducted with each manufacturer's flagship high-end equipment in the same place under controlled conditions. The engineers compared sound quality, usability, and the apparent durability of construction. In addition, they determined the distances that the transmitters would reliably work and challenged their RF integrity by removing antennas and crowding bands.
The results were unambiguous. "All of them independently agreed that Sennheiser's technology was several steps ahead of everything else," McCune says. "First and foremost, Sennheiser had an obvious edge in sound quality. But just as importantly, Sennheiser navigated the crowded RF band with greater agility and reliability than the competition, and their software and firmware was more intuitive and easier to use."
McCune's initial order includes four 8-channel packages. Each package contains four Sennheiser EM 550 G2 dual receivers; eight SK 500 G2 body-pack transmitters with MKE 2 lavalier heads; four SKM 935 G2 dynamic cardioid handheld transmitters; and a single NET 1 system organizer. Over the next several years, the company plans to completely replace all of its 200 wireless channels with Sennheiser equipment thanks to the great support and product education of Sennheiser's San Francisco sales manager, Marke Burgstahler.
"Everybody wants to use the newest, prettiest stuff," laughs McCune, "so the new Sennheiser equipment has been quite busy." Notably, McCune AVL's Sennheiser equipment was used at the Playboy Jazz Fest and will be used at the TED Conference in Monterey, which means it will likely transmit the words of tech gurus Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.