Road Test: Reviews Of The CAD Audio CADLive 3000 Wireless System & D89/D90 Microphones

In-depth evaluations of a recently introduced UHF wireless system and two dynamic microphones -- one for vocals and the other for instruments

The handheld transmitter also has the rugged grill of the D90 and the display is nicely sized and easy to read at a glance. A single push button controls the mute function with a short push and the on-off/mute function with a longer push and hold. This button is slightly recessed so it won’t be accidentally pushed. The mic feels very nice in hand and is comfortable to hold.

The receiver’s front panel display is also plenty large and easy to read. Of particular note, it displays both group/channel and frequency in MHz at the same time. The display is flanked by set and scan buttons, up and down select buttons, and a power button. There’s also a link button under a small IR ScanLink window.

The rear of the unit provides two BNC jacks for the antennas, a power jack, and the XLR and 1/4-inch output jacks. The receiver is solid and well built.

CADLive 3000 wireless microphone system product review
The handheld transmitter is headed by a D90 supercardioid dynamic mic capsule and includes a screen providing key parameters.

I set up the system on the bench, plugging it into my test PA, easily finding a free frequency and linking the transmitter with the IR ScanLink function. The transmitter’s gain and transmit strength is set at the receiver, along with frequency. After the parameters have been set, the transmitter’s IR window (located by unscrewing the battery compartment handle section) is held near the IR port on the receiver, and a single press on the receiver’s link button sends all parameters over to the transmitter. It could not get any easier.

The mic sounds as good as the hard-wired D90, and there were no drop-outs at a distance of more than 100 feet, in a space with lots of loaded metal pallet shelving between the transmitter and receiver. Satisfied that the unit was working correctly, we took it out to a few gigs.

In The Real World

Our first application of the system came at the Live Sound Loudspeaker Demo at the WFX convention in Louisville. The receiver was set up next to the front of house console, and I was testing the system when I was informed that it was time to start a demo session. With transmitter already in hand, I used it for the entire session, and then it served as the backup system for the reminder of the event (we also were using a sponsored wireless system).

The 3000 Series system performed flawlessly for the entire demo session (more than two hours of constant use), with no dropouts anywhere throughout the 150- by 150-foot listening area. It also sounded quite good through all 26 of the ground-based and flying loudspeaker systems that were played multiple times.

Next up was a corporate gig at a Las Vegas casino ballroom located right on the strip. It’s an area noted (some might say notorious) for RF congestion, and this property was no exception, particularly with an in-house show using more than 100 wireless frequencies right down the hall.

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