While we were testing out a variety of budget-friendly wireless systems, we first and foremost had to discard a load of garbage, but also, we stumbled upon a few actual hidden gems.
Most of those hidden gems had some sort of flaws that rendered them useless for certain types of guitarists, but the System 8 from Audio Technica actually managed to seemingly overcome most of the hurdles others have fallen at. Is this the best cheap guitar wireless system. Well, it could be, yes, for short distances definitely. Read on for the meaty bit!
Alright, this is a VHF receiver, meaning it relies on the old-school frequencies of radio and TV devices. And yes, these frequencies can become unreliable as soon as you cross their operation range – which is short – so make sure that you only buy this device if you're playing smaller and medium-sized venues, and you don't jump and run around on stage too much.
Specifically, the device offers a set of three various frequencies, and can operate in handheld, head-worn, lavalier, guitar, and body-pack configurations. It works equally well with a wide range of frequencies, going from the low notes of a bass guitar all the way to screeching guitar solos.
To secure a slightly extended range, the manufacturer added a dipole antenna. The package includes an ATW-R800 receiver, as well as a ATW-T801 UniPak transmitter with a AT-GcW input cable. The receiver runs on a pair of standard AA batteries, and can offer up to 8 hours of operation through a single charge.
Basic and simple, just as they should be. The device allows you to adjust the frequencies you want to utilize, but does pretty much the entire job all on its own. A string of trim controllers is primarily used for operating with different types of instrument and vocal signal levels.
To make you aware of its status, the gizmo features three LED indicators – for Power, RF, and AF peak. Those antennas are movable, but we certainly haven't noticed much difference in tweaking 'em to different settings.
Not bad, not bad at all! One of the top handicaps of cheap wireless systems – compressed sound and sonic interference – is very much absent here, which is a great start for Audio Technica.
Additionally, the device is light, durable, easy to use and reliable, all of which are great features. It can cover just about any sonic frequency and work with a vast array of instruments, which is another great plus. On the down side, high quality is limited by short range. Once you venture off too much , you will start experiencing all the bad stuff, so just stay close to the transmitter. Apart form that, it's smooth sailing!
For the listed price, we are quite tempted to award this fella with the title of the best cheap wireless system for guitars, but we'll leave that one up to you. If you want a stellar, loud and clear system and you don't mind a short range – which is something most club and medium-sized venue players are absolutely fine with – this is a bonafide hidden gem and bargain for you!