For those who cannot afford Cat5 cables and expensive preamped stage boxes. Purchased a sssnake M1604 30M multicore in 2007 which has given good service over the years but now one return channel has gone down so rather than fix chose renew with MTS 164 SB, MTS 164 MS and MTS 164 30M multicore. I have to say for the price I am not disappointed. The channel / return sockets seem to be of the same quality as the original but tighter fit being new. The outer body seems smaller, but except for the newer paint work cannot see any lowering of standards. The best part is the Harting style connector, (reason for choosing) possibly a Wain, but male and female ends connect with ease plus the reassuring solid click as the locking arms snap into place gives confidence. The surprise bonus is the plastic dust cap that comes with the SB, (and also on the MTS 164 MS) just change the thin plastic loop that retains it for a stronger one. Also comes with travel bag, but would recommend some other way to protect the channel release buttons. So again for the price .... lets see in a years time, if it give the service of our old snake then... but at the moment 5 star.
I use this system in both an education and live band setting, and both benefit from the modular system in different ways.
In a school, the ability to remove installation elements (like the stagebox) which are generally prone to damage, vandalism, dirt and dust is a godsend. Previous installations have, over the years, acquired a thick layer of dirt, paint specks, congealed dust and the occasional bug - all of which affects both the form and function of the signal lines in each channel.
Therefore, now being able to just unclip and remove the stagebox, put it back in the supplied bag/case, and put it in the cupboard for safekeeping is brilliantly useful.
Re-attaching is simple - plug it onto the end and fold over the two clips - 10 seconds does it.
With a live wedding band, the modular system is a great time-saving device, considering setups need to be quick and simple. We can leave the MTS MS-164 plugged into the desk, detached from the 30m loom, and it lives in the desk case, ready to simply clip back on. Storage and transport of the whole system is then also very simple.
Performance wise, all channels seem clean and noiseless thus far (after a few months heavy use), though the only issue is the returns - more would be nice! A 16/8 option would allow us to include the main FOH and monitor feeds, whereas now we need to send the FOH separately.
Otherwise, an effective solution for both installs and touring - just add more return sends please!
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