New here—first post. Any help would be much appreciated.
Is there a wiring/voltage difference between Sony and Rode GO II lav mics?
I’ve been using the same Sony Wireless Lavalier Microphone system bundle for years:
(Sony UTX-B03 TXs, URXP03D RX, Sony ECM-V1BMP Lavalier Microphones)
Sony specs advertise “Compatible with any microphone that features a mini (3.5mm) connection.”
With upcoming projects requiring more than (2) lav mics, I purchased the (2) Rode GO II body packs and receiver for their range, size, weight, built-in mic, 32-bit capability and internal recording capability. Rode GO Lavalier II mic w/ Rode GO II works and sounds as expected. However, the locking 3.5mm fitting would not thread into the Rode GO II TX threading. Incompatible. That was a surprise.
All cables and inputs in
both systems are all 3. 5mm/1/8″ mini TRS mic inputs, stereo
/ RX stereo out.
When I tried plugging the Rode GO Lavalier II mic into the Sony UTX-B03 TX 3.5mm (1/8″) mini-jack, unbalanced, I got a very weak signal. Barely registered at all. And the locking 3.5mm did not thread into the Sony 3-pole locking mini microphone connector (3.5 mm), either. In fact, I had to remove the thread fitting in order to get a solid connection in the recessed TRS port inside the Sony-size threads. I double-checked that Sony UTX-B03 TX was set to max mic input gain (-60 dBV at 0-dB attenuator level) and not line input +4 dBu. There is no option
toggle 5v plugin power on the Sony UTX-B03 TX and the Sony lavs
require 5v power. Plugging in a Sony mic produced a perfect signal.
As a workaround, I plugged the Rode GO Lavalier II mic into the Rode GO II TX and the Rode GO II RX 3.5mm output into the Sony UTX-B03 TX which then transmitted audio to the Sony URXP03D RX. Strong signal. Sounds great on the internal Rode GO II recording and the destination recorder; in this case, a Sony SMAD-P3 into a Sony a7sIII with URXP03D RX at -9 gain.
So why the weak signal?
Is this similiar to a Sennheiser vs Sony issue?
Is that why Rode / Sennheiser locking connectors resemble each other and don’t fit Sony threads?
I just ordered a Countryman B3 wired for Sony. Will that work with Rode GO II TX?
In case anyone has the same question in the future:
No—Sony lav mics are wired differently from Sennheiser and Rode.
Sony uses the ring of a TRS connector for audio & Sennheiser uses the tip. The ring on the Sennheiser is for a line level input. I believe that explains the ultra-low signal I heard when plugging a Sony lav into a Rode TX. (Apparently Rode uses Sennheiser wiring)
If you want an adapter, apparently you just need to wire Tip to Ring and Ring to Tip. Leave the Sleeve on both ends floating. And maybe a resistor, depending on who you ask. And which model. And whether you are adapting Sony to Sennheiser or vice versa. And whether you are using the mic or output of the receiver for a camera return. It gets complicated and a few boutiques do make expensive custom adapters. I ordered one adapter to plug a sony-wired to TA5F Lectrosonics and despite the description advertising “all locking 3.5mm TRS lav mics in including Sony and Rode”, it only works with Sennheiser/Rode wires lav mics due to the tip/ring reversal. The shield/ground and the white wire get tied together at the ground
connection and the black wire goes to the tip for Sennheiser or the ring