Lectrosonics SRb vs SRc vs UCR411a Battle Royale
Lectrosonics has a wide range of state of the art wireless units (pun intended) and I figured I'd A/B/C compare two of their most popular receivers, the SRb and UCR411a with the newer SRc. The Lectrosonics SRb is a great dual channel receiver, much improved from the SRa but is still lacking the front end filter that makes the UCR411a such a beast. The 411a has been considered the top of the line wireless receiver for some years and the biggest most demanding reality TV shows haven filled their audio bags with tons of these monsters; and when I say "tons" I mean in terms of weight. I weighed my bag from a show and it was slightly over 1 metric ton, I believe, largely due in part from the weight of the 411a's ;)
For some time, you either had to choose between the convenience of the slightly smaller (About double the efficiency) SR series or the reliability of the UCR411a. In 2016, Lectrosonics has released a newer version of the SR series, the SRc, which also features the front end filter that makes the 411a so great and add on the fact that the SRc is also wideband (about 76 mHz tuning range or 3 blocks).
"The combination of the wide tuning range and tracking filters makes these products ideal for today's challenging RF environment, while the convenience features like SmartTune and the IR port make it really quick to get up and running. It's really a lot of technology in a very small package.” ~ Karl Winkler, Vice President of Sales/Service, Lectrosonics
I currently own each of the 3 so I decided to A/B/C compare them at my home in Brooklyn, NY. Below is the recording. You can download this, however, it will only be a 2 track stereo mix down. In this recording, the SRb is panned LEFT, the SRc is panned RIGHT and the UCR411a is center panned.
I did not notice huge differences between the 3 units. The SRc and UCR411a did seem to consistently produce a slightly cleaner signal than the SRb though. It's hard for me to say the SRc was better than the 411a, especially since it is my understanding that they should perform the same, but the worst RF hit came on the 411a and during the worst RF moment of this recording, the SRc seemed noticeably cleaner than the other 2 receivers, albeit, not perfect.
Technically speaking, the UCR411a still should outperform the SRc as it "still has a narrower front-end passband (11 MHz) vs. 20 MHz in the SRc and the 411A has a higher IP3 of +8 dBM while it is 0 dBM for the SRc. So no, I wouldn't say the 411A is obsolete, other than in size and weight." ~ Karl Winkler, Lectrosonics
Make your own judgements, but in my limited time using the SRc WITH the SRb and UCR411a, I am not worried about the wider front-end passband in the SRc especially since it's wideband and being able to find a clear open frequency is much more important than powering through a busy frequency.