Reviews

Strother Bullins on CAD Audio CADLive WX3000

5/16/2017 12:56 AM Eastern
CAD Audio CADLive WX3000
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PRODUCT SUMMARY

COMPANY: CAD Audio

PROS: Well-built, intuitive/easy-to-use, superb vocal/spoken word translation

CONS: None noted

PRICE (STREET): $599

SPECIFICATIONS

WIRELESS FREQUENCY RANGE: (R Band) 580-600 MHz, (S Band) 655-679 MHz

FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 40Hz – 15kHz

DYNAMIC RANGE: >110dB

TRANSMITTER POWER, SWITCHABLE: 10, 30, 50mW

BATTERY LIFE: Up to 15 hrs (dual AA batteries)

WEIGHT (KIT IN TOTAL): 5 lbs.

SHIPPING DIMENSIONS: 17” x 12” x 4”

Having previously reviewed CAD Audio’s CADLive D90 supercardioid dynamic handheld microphone, I was eager to audition the CADLive 3000 UHF Wireless Series. It benefits from having a handheld transmitter with the rugged, carefully frequency-sculpted, and high SPL-handling D90 capsule paired with a new generation CAD receiver offering attractive, cost-effective features.

The system reviewed here features the aforementioned D90 capsule paired with its handheld transmitter and body pack transmitter for Hi-Z guitar and Lo-Z microphone input, all within a handy polypropylene carrying case. The included CADTone body pack includes Equitek E19 earworn and E29 lavalier microphones.

Other system features include 10, 30, and 50 mW transmitter power flexibility and a dynamic range of up to 110 dB. Clear, easy-to-read LCD displays on both the transmitter and receiver offer details such as battery life, mic sensitivity and RF power metering specs. Up to 15 systems per frequency band can be simultaneously used.

The receiver provides XLR and quarter-inch analog outputs and is housed in a half-rack, 1U chassis; it ships with rack ears and the necessary hardware to rack dual receivers side-by-side or individually.

CAD includes a number of proprietary technologies in the system. These include CADLock Automatic Tone Encoded Squelch to battle interference and ScanLink auto-channel configuration, among others.

In use, I found the WX3000 to be an intuitive and superb-sounding UHF wireless rig, especially considering its $599 street price. Its metal-clad handheld transmitter feels especially well-made to the touch and resembles handheld transmitters from systems costing hundreds more; its recessed SoftTouch multifunction on/off/mute switch is a great example of its confidence-bolstering component level quality.

In house-of-worship and club-level live performance applications, the system performed as touted, providing high-quality lead vocal and spoken word input with little to no frequency adjustment in each setting, respectively. Both users and house engineers commented on its sibilance-friendly, vocal complimentary response, thanks to the finesounding D90 capsule. Both the HOW and club-based engineers also expressed their confidence in the WX3000 Series system’s build quality; believing it would surely meet their needs even with a constantly revolving door of users, both experienced and near-novice.

As CAD Audio has proven over the years—and especially as of late in their CADLive product development initiatives—its products are affordably priced yet universally competitive in their respective categories. I feel confident in recommending the WX3000 Series UHF Wireless System, which is the best CAD wireless product I’ve used to date.

Strother Bullins is Technology Editor for NewBay Media’s AV/Pro Audio Group. sbullins@nbmedia.com

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