Sound Devices is expanding its Astral line up of wireless microphone components with two new offerings aimed squarely at filmmakers, professional videographers, and serious content creators who demand outstanding sound quality and mission-critical reliability: the A20-Nexus Go Receiver and A20-TX transmitter.
A20-Nexus Go Receiver
If you’ve been considering stepping up to an A20-Nexus but don’t really need all its top-tier bells and whistles, the A20-Nexus Go has the same core electronic architecture, but streamlines things a bit for use in bags, desktops, and small carts. The A20-Nexus Go ships as a 4-channel receiver but can be expanded to a maximum of 8 channels by purchasing additional 2-channel licenses from Sound Devices; the licenses can also be rented for 7- or 30-day periods. This makes it a more attractive entry point for creators who won’t need more than 8 wireless channels or require an Ethernet or SFP port for digital networking capabilities, but still want access to the Nexus system’s proven on-set dependability and broadcast-quality sonic performance.
The terrific news is that the main feature set is designed specifically to speed up your on-set workflow and deliver outstanding, full 10 Hz–20 kHz bandwidth audio, powered by SD’s SpectraBand RF technology, which allows the A20-Nexus Go to cover an ultrawide frequency spectrum ranging from 169 to 1525 MHz. This means that, in addition to a wide UHF band, the receiver will also operate in the VHF band, with the appropriate antenna. Having that additional flexibility could prove valuable in situations where the UHF band is extremely crowded, or you need to take advantage of the larger VHF wave to transmit around an obstacle on location.
Of course, the Nexus Go offers true-diversity reception and integrated real-time spectrum analysis (RTSA) to take the guesswork out of setting up channels and ensure you’re operating on the cleanest available frequencies through visual monitoring of the changing RF environment. The 100% digital long-range modulation delivers the longest transmission distance of any digital system on the market, with RF SAW filters for excellent rejection of interference from nearby IFB or camera-hop transmitters. In addition, NexLink functionality provides long distance control over the transmitters from the convenience of the receiver, while GainForward technology lets you control transmitter parameters from your 8-series mixer/recorder.
Flexible powering options include DC input, 8-Series, or AC mains (with an optional adapter).
The A20-Nexus Go ships with side-mounted antenna brackets for bag use and the rear antenna ports can be set to cascade. On the rear of the unit is an 8-channel DB-25 connector that supports mic, line, and AES digital signals.
Sound Devices has thoughtfully provided a well-matched playmate for the Nexus Go in the form of the A20-TX transmitter with digital recording and the same SpectraBand technology of the A20-Nexus Go receiver, providing an ultrawide frequency spectrum ranging from 169 to 1525 MHz; so yes, it will also operate in the VHF band if you use the appropriate antennas. This full-sized, yet still relatively discreet unit is made from durable aluminum to endure the hazards of daily production use and offers an adjustable, daylight-readable e-ink display.
The A20-TX features the full, true-balanced, ultra-low-noise, high-headroom microphone preamp from Sound Devices’ vaunted 8-Series mixers and represents a major improvement over the excellent mic preamp built into the original A10-TX transmitter in terms of noise, headroom, and sonic purity, providing a dynamic range up to 140 dB. The A20-TX accommodates an enormous range of mic options via its 3-pin LEMO connector that will accept both 2- and 3-wire lavaliers. In addition, it offers selectable 12 or 48V phantom power and, with adapter cables, accommodates boom mics, AES42 digital microphones, AES3 digital signals, and guitars.
Power is supplied by three AA batteries for a maximum operating time of 12 hours, and the unit supports alkaline, lithium, and even lithium phosphate batteries, if you want to extend those battery cycles and help protect the environment. The USB-C port allows you to recharge batteries in the transmitter and can also power the unit. Of course, the A20-TX communicates wirelessly with the receiver via NexLink and supports timecode input for automatic sync and a faster editing set up. Plus, you can use GainForward functionality to set the transmitter’s gain, low-cut filter, and limiter directly and easily from your 8-series mixer/recorder.
Encryption is provided to protect your data, and there’s an on-board 32-bit float digital recorder that you can engage as a backup, in the unlikely event that you can’t get a working transmission channel with the receiver. The recorder supports microSD cards up to 512 GB, and it should be noted that as of this announcement, you can’t record audio and transmit wirelessly at the same time when you’re using the transmitter’s lavalier input.
Thinking about trying the A20-Nexus Go Receiver and/or the A20-TX Transmitter on your next video shoot, film production, or performance event? Do you have any questions about how Sound Devices wireless systems could help your workflow? Let us know in the Comments section, below, give us a call, or chat with one of our online representatives for more information.