AKG WMS 4000

A peer reviewer offers his analysis of the AKG WMS 4000 wireless microphone system. 8/25/2006 10:52 PM Eastern

AKG WMS 4000

A peer reviewer offers his analysis of the AKG WMS 4000 wireless microphone system.

My Pick: AKG WMS 4000 wireless microphone system, $1,358 to $2,095 MSRP, depending on configuration. (The system includes the SR 4000 receiver with rack-mount kit, PSU 4000 system power supply, PS 4000 antenna distribution amplifier, SRA2B directional antenna, MK PS and MK A 20 antenna cables, HUB 4000 network hub, HT 4000 handheld transmitter with C535WL/1 head, and PT 4000 bodypack transmitter with CK 97L and CK 55L lavalier microphones.)

What I Like About It: I like the fact that the AKG WMS 4000 system can search and find its own best frequencies in unpredictable and hostile RF environments. The units are compact in design, made of real metal, put out a solid line level, and (best of all) get their power through the antenna distribution amplifier and master power supply. I also had the network hub, but other than playing with it on initial setup, I found the front panel controls to be both intuitive and responsive enough to not have to pull out the laptop every time I needed to change anything.

Another neat feature is the front panel control, which glows green when everything is working well and glows red when there is or has been a problem. We left the units on overnight to see what might be a problem (yes, the batteries last that long), and the next day came in and see if any had turned red. This became a great way to determine where we might have problems. This also made for a very quick way to scan the system for possible faults and a very quick “go/no go” on any given channel.

I Would Change:I'd like the system to have an antenna loop-through, so I could put up a two-channel package with full-sized antenna paddles and not have to add in the antenna DA. I also wish there were fewer than 11 line items to order to buy the kit, but that may be the price you pay for a well engineered solution.

Where I Used It: I used the AKG 4000 system for the 2006 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) general session in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.

My Results: I put the AKG WMS 4000 system to the test at the 2006 NAB conference general session using the AKG C535WL/1 head on the HT-4000 handhelds and a CK-97L lavalier capsule with the PT 4000 belt packs. The system worked very well in the extraordinarily difficult circumstances of a very RF-intensive trade show. One of the key challenges for this event was working around all the RF interference while still providing a flexible presentation solution for our high-profile presenters. I'd strongly recommend the AKG WMS 4000 system for any dynamic and uncontrolled RF environment.

The front panel visual indicators were a great help in the split-second “go/no go” situations presented backstage at a major presentation such as this one at NAB. The AKG computer interface through the networking hub was very useful as an indicator as to where trouble spots might be, as well as a great way to see what your system is doing. I used all of these features to ensure that the system was drop-out-free and running at an optimum level for the entire event. The AKG 4000 system has earned its place in my inventory as a high-performance wireless package that's inexpensive to own and operate, while being reliable to use.

Peer Reviewer: Ken Freeman, technical director with Meeting Services Inc. (MSI). MSI is a San Diego-based, full-service AV rental & staging supplier and systems integrator with more than 50 years in the business. More than 120 employees are based in its 70,000-square-foot warehouse and offices.


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