Lectrosonics SMQV: First Impressions
Super Miniature Quarter-Watt Variable Transmitter
Street Price: $1325.00
I’ve been using SMD/a style transmitters from Lectro for a while now and have found them to be a very valuable tool in my sound arsenal. While they aren’t as small as the SMa’s, but they do offer a better balance of size and battery life for the type of jobs I tend to do.
Enter the SMQV
The SMQV is Lectro’s latest offering. A variable power transmitter that is in the same form factor (and in fact replaces) the SMDa, SMQa (as well as replacing the UM450).
Now, most people are now familiar with the SM line of features, so I’m going to point out what is new in this transmitter. I will say that the SMQV performs just like the SMa series except for the following differences:
Variable Power: this transmitter can switch to various output levels. The standard being 100mw, the full output at 250mw and the smallest level at 50mw.
While in 250mw mode, the battery is of course drained much quicker. I’m told you’ll get about a 40+% boost in range along with a much stronger ability to punch through other competing frequencies.
It is important to note that in 50mw, there is no power savings over the 100mw output due to internal circuitry but is offered for those who wish to use that output level.
Removable Antenna: Now sports a standard SM Antenna (UM style).
Auto-on feature: A long requested feature of mine which helps cut down a few seconds of battery change time in the field, the SMQV’s BIOS remembers it’s “on-state”. When a battery is removed while powered on, the unit automatically turns back on when new batteries are put into the unit (similar to the changing batteries on a UM style unit).
SMKIT-TA5: The SMQV ships with a kit for wiring most lavs to the SMa servo bias wiring. It comes with a TA5F, back strain relief, a rubber dust boot, some resistors and an instruction booklet for those of you savvy enough to do your own wiring.
All in all, I really like the new SMQV. While I like the option of variable power settings, in reality, I bet I’ll keep it at 100mw 99% of the time, but it’s nice to know it’s there when I do need it. My favorite features are the auto-on and the removable antenna. I know that will come in handy more often.
Good job Lectro!
For more information visit http://www.lectrosonics.com/hybrid/sm/sm.htm
I just got a follow up email from Larry F about the SMQV.
1) Range: Apparently the real world increase in distance of range in
the 250mw mode is upwards of 40+% in an unobstructed environment and
not 10% as I originally stated above (and has been changed in the review).
2) Regarding the Auto-on feature:
“We still consider it dangerous, since a
unit may come up and step on some other frequency. For instance, on a
stage with 30 units in use, if a working transmitter has had its
frequency changed, a intern could put a battery in a unit and come up
on the other working frequency. That’s why we had it the other way
originally and also why the quick turn does not enable the RF; it
gives you a chance to check the frequency. It was a deliberate design
choice. However, if the user is careful and competent, the new
instant turn on is fine.” – Larry F