A10 System Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I have a Sound Devices 688 with SL-6. Does the A10-RX-SL work with that?
Yes. Sound Devices 688 firmware revision 4.52 and later offers support for the A10-RX-SL. Some of the features include audio over AES, viewing and control of A10-RX frequency, viewing RF levels, and viewing transmitter battery level. Additionally the A10-RX firmware can be updated through the 688.
Is the 1010 System discontinued?
Yes. The 1010 system has been replaced with the A10 system.
If I purchase the slot version of the receiver (A10-RX-SL) can I change it to the connector version (A10-RX-XLR), and vice-versa?
Yes, each model of the receiver can be converted to the other. With an A-XLR the slot version of the receiver (A10-RX-SL) can be converted to the connector version (A10-RX-XLR). With an A-SL the connector version of the receiver (A10-RX-XLR) can be converted to the slot version (A10-RX-SL).
Can I use TX1010 transmitters with the new A10-RX receiver?
Yes. The digital modulation of the 1010 system and the new A10 system is compatible and transmitters and receivers can be used interchangeably.
Does the A10 system work with other manufacturers transmitters and receivers?
No. The digital audio and digital RF modulation topology on the A10 system is proprietary to Audio Ltd. It is our bespoke design, for our application.
I am in the U.S. and the 600 MHz range is now largely unavailable for wireless systems. Is the A10 a legal system and will it continue to be?
In short, yes. The A10 System was designed from the ground up for today’s RF regulatory environments. U.S.-specific models of transmitters and receivers are available for the U.S. market. They meet the upcoming, and more stringent, transmission mask requirements of the FCC and their frequency plan accommodates the changes in the 600 MHz band. U.S. receivers cover from 470 MHz to 608 MHz. U.S. transmitters are offered as the A10-TX-AU (470-548 MHz) and A10-TX-BU (518-608 MHz). U.S. transmitters have a slightly different feature set.
What is the A10-TX-US?
The A10-TX-US is the U.S.-specific model of the A10-TX transmitter. A10-TX-US models do not include an integrated recorder or timecode generator. Their channel and sub channel frequency assignments are based on 6 MHz channel spacing. All other features are identical to the world model, A10-TX.
What does a “wideband” system mean, and is this wideband?
Wireless manufacturers use the term “wideband” to indicate that their system can tune and operate over a wide frequency range. The A10 system is a wideband system. The A10-RX receiver can tune over the entire operating range of the system.
There are three models of transmitter which cover the following bands: A (470–548 MHz), B (518–608 MHz), and C (594–694 MHz). Not all transmitter models are available in all geographic markets. For instance, the C band systems are not available in the U.S. since the C band includes frequencies that are soon unavailable for use in the U.S. Additionally, a U.S.-specific receiver is available that limits its operating range to frequencies legally usable in the U.S.
Why are different antenna lengths included with the A10?
The wideband A10-RX receiver can tune across the UHF range from 470 MHz to 694 MHz (up to 608 MHz for U.S. models). The ¼ wave monopole antennas provided with the transmitter and receiver operate efficiently over a relatively narrow frequency band. For best RF performance several lengths of antenna are included with the transmitter and receiver. Use the length that corresponds to the frequency used.
Why does the A10-RX receiver get warm during operation?
The A10-RX chassis is effectively the heat sink for the internal electronics of the receiver. The chassis gets warm during normal operation. In addition to receiving and demodulating two separate digital wireless channels, each channel of the A10-RX employs two receivers, for a total of four complete RF receivers. Once RF signals are received they are extensively processed to generate two-channel digital audio. For analog, the digital signal goes through a digital-to-analog converter. This is all done in 1 ms.
When possible allow for airflow to reach the A10-RX. It is not recommended to put the receiver in a tightly enclosed, insulated container.
I see that the AES-3 output on the A10-RX is at 44.1 kHz. Why?
The A10 transmits digital data between transmitter and receiver. To "fit" audio in the allowed spectrum and have the extreme low latency of 2 ms, the data rate needed to be carefully considered. Data rate is a product of sampling rate and bit depth. A sampling rate of 44.1 kHz was chosen to save precious samples while continuing to allow for full 20 to 20 kHz audio bandwidth.
Because the A10 system operates at 44.1 kHz, the A10-RX outputs 44.1 kHz at its AES digital output. When connected to devices running at 48 kHz with SRCs (sampling rate converters) at their inputs, such as Sound Devices 633, 688, and 788T or the Aaton Cantar, the connection is directly compatible. However when connected to devices without SRC's, such as a Sound Devices 744T, or when connecting multiple A10-RX receivers to a mixer without SRCs (the A10-TX does not accept external word clock) connect using the analog balanced line-level setting.
What is special about the transmitter’s microphone preamp?
The A10-TX audio input is unique. It includes a standard unbalanced lavalier-type input like most wireless transmitters, but it also includes a low-noise, studio-grade, balanced, mic preamp, just like the preamps on high-performance mixers and recorders. Full-spec phantom power, either 12 or 48 V, is available. Because the first preamp a microphone is connected is so critical to overall sound quality, this preamp is most important. A great microphone preamp on a mixer or recorder is meaningless if the preamp at the wireless transmitter isn’t. This topology is altogether unique from older designs of transmitters which accept balanced mics on their unbalanced inputs.
Why do I need a balanced input on a transmitter?
The balanced, phantom-powered input is great for boom-mounted microphones. The best RF transmission, mixers, and recorders are not as effective if a microphone is connected to an inferior preamp. A balanced mic should be commended to a proper balanced preamp with phantom power.
Does the balanced input help with RF noise pickup on the mic cable?
Yes. Microphone cables, especially unbalanced connections, are good at picking RF energy from a transmitter’s antenna and creating “hissing” and “spitting” noises. A major benefit of a balanced input is that it rejects common-mode (interference) signals. The A10-TX balanced input utilizes a large, internal common-mode choke (in addition to other RF filtering) to further block interference.
Do I need a special cable to use the balanced preamp?
There is nothing special about the cable, but it does need to be wired correctly. Wiring diagrams are in the A10-TX user guide. No additional resistors or capacitors etc. are required. If you can wire a 3-pin LEMO connector, you can make your own.
Audio Limited offers a cable, the AC-BALXLR, with a right-angle female XLR at the microphone end and a LEMO-3 at the transmitter end. An added benefit of the AC-BALXLR is its RF-filter network built into the XLR in case the microphone is not RF-proof.
Is the range of the Bluetooth remote control of the A10-TX similar to range of the wireless audio transmission?
No. Bluetooth remote control from Android and iOS devices is designed for close range setup and control of the A10-TX and A10-TX-US. Also keep in mind that once a transmitter is connected to an Android or iOS device no other Android or iOS device can connect to it.
Do I have to worry about 48 V phantom being applied to my lavalier mic?
No. A triple-redundant lockout (software and double-hardware) ensures that no phantom voltage is applied to a lavalier microphone, even if you attempt to change input types in the selection menu. Use the lavalier input without concern.
Is a digital wireless system better than an analog system?
That question encompasses quite a bit, but yes. We believe the A10 digital system is indeed preferable to analog wireless for two main reasons, audio quality and spectral efficiency.
Wireless microphone systems essentially replace cables. They shouldn’t impart any artifacts (distortions) into the audio. Analog systems can introduce artifacts in the amplitude, frequency, and noise domains. The A10 digital wireless system, however, just as when digital data is sent over a cable, sends digital data from the transmitter to the receiver. Data retrieved at the digital receiver is identical to what is transmitted. If the audio connected to the transmitter is superb, low-noise, low-distortion audio, it will be identical to that at the receiver. The quality of the microphone preamplifier and the quality of its conversion to digital data are critical to the A10 system's audio performance. The preamp is discussed above. The development of the converter and its associated codec was a multi-year project. The result of that development is the A10’s low-latency, sonically transparent, data-efficient digital conversion algorithm.
Because the A10 digital wireless system transmit digital bits, not audio, as long as the transmitted bits are received, audio is identical from the transmitter to the receiver. Just as with hardwired digital interconnection protocols, error correction and parity data is included in the transmitted bitstream. Even in high RF interference environments the A10 system continues to operate. Because a digital system can work in high interference environments, multiple systems can operate together with less spacing between their frequencies. The A10 system can reliably operate with other A10 systems as long as their frequencies are at least 400 kHz apart. As spectrum continues to be scarce, this adjacent operation is an advantage for digital RF systems.
Can the A10-TX be used as a timecode generator?
The A10-TX has a built-in, high-precision timecode clock. Its clock can be set from either its own time-of-day clock or jammed from an external LTC timecode source via the 3-pin LEMO connector. After the A10-TX is jammed, it maintains precise timecode.
The A10-TX can also output its timecode. While the A10-TX can be used for periodic jamming of external devices from its timecode clock it is not designed for continuous timecode output. The A10-TX is not a substitute for dedicated sync boxes. Timecode input and output is active only when the timecode menu is displayed.