PGXD14 PGX Digital Wireless System review by Shure

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (23 votes)
Shure: PGXD14 PGX Digital Wireless System
7

Sound — 10
Tone and signal loss are the two most commonly heard concerns when discussing wireless kits for instruments or vocals. Some lower-end kits have certainly had issues in these regards, but Shure is known for their professional, road-ready and stage-ready gear around the world, and the PGXD14 does not disappoint. This unit was tested with a Paul Reed Smith 513 guitar, with a POD HD500 modeling unit plugged directly into a JBL EON 515XT powered P.A. speaker, to make sure the full range of tone was being heard. In addition, the signal from the HD500 was also directed to a simple Garage Band setup on an Apple MacBook, for comparison of the guitar tone with and without the wireless kit.

The results were astonishing; no difference was heard, or recorded, when playing through the wireless kit, or when playing direct via instrument cable. Clean or slightly gritty tones from a Fender Blackface style simulation bloomed and sounded deep on single notes or chords, and 80's rock distortion or high-gain Mesa Dual Rectifier-style metal tones sounded full and in your face, with no signal loss even on the most distorted settings.

The unit was tested both up-close, literally standing right next to the receiver, and then walking further away then the length of any average corner pub or bar. Even on the opposite end of the building, the signal came through immediately, with no loss of touch sensitivity, and no change in quality of tone. The test was impressive, and clearly showed a lot of technology and testing must have gone into this system.

Overall Impression — 10
Operating the unit was an incredibly easy exercise. First, power up the receiver, and then put on the transmitter and turn it on. They quickly find each other, and if no signal is heard, the sync button can be pressed to force them to find each other. Once the LED indicates that the two units have been paired, simply turn up the guitar volume and start playing, simple as that! No other changes or maintenance were required, and this is truly a fire-and-forget unit.

Even more importantly, the tone is incredible! The sound was so full and pure, with absolutely nothing lost, it was surprising to discover how far wireless technology has evolved. Shure has come up with a very transparent wireless system, with great sound quality, and great range. While other companies may put out wireless systems for cheaper, Shure's may well be the best.

Reliability & Durability — 7
This was one area of slight disappointment. When first opening the case, it was a let-down to discover the equipment felt entirely made of cheap plastic, very lightweight and thin. Further, the antennas felt very flimsy, and overall the quality seemed to be on par with Wi-Fi routers and similar home computing gear, which is typically one-third the price of this system. However, the bodypack transmitter did fit well and feel invisible once hooked onto clothes, and the antenna never got in the way of playing or walking or sitting.

Once nice touch is that the power supply does not use a bulky wall-wart' plug, just a Standard 2-pin connection. This makes it ideal for those with challenging cabling setups, which includes most pedalboards or rack systems. With pedals, especially, real estate is at a premium, but rest assured the PGXD14 system will plug right in.

Further, the bodypack transmitter uses Standard AA batteries, versus Custom rechargeable packs. While a hard-rechargeable unit sounds like it would be convenient and save money on replacing batteries, the last thing anyone would want is for the battery to wear out prematurely or go dead without any available replacement unit in the middle of a show or tour. Sticking with Standard AA batteries allows quick changes at any time, and makes it easy to always have backups and replacements ready to go.

Features — 10
Shure has introduced the PGX Digital Wireless System, with model PGXD14 geared towards guitar and bass players who want to roam the stage and the audience, or even just their basement practice space, without the hassle of cords getting in their way.

The PGXD14 setup comes in a hard plastic carrying case, with snug-fitting foam inside, making this a good solution for hauling it to gigs or for storage. Inside the case are two major components. First is a wireless receiver, which looks quite similar to common home Wi-Fi routers, with dual antennas and a plug for power. Second is a transmitter with a belt clip, to be worn on your body, and a short instrument cable to connect your instrument to the transmitter.

While the hard case is already a thoughtful and professional touch, the kit also comes with 2 AA batteries to make sure the transmitter can be powered right out of the box, as well as a well-written user's manual.

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

    JWHoinski
    You can pick them up used for a very good price. I got one for $100 on craigslist
    lo0zerkid34
    roaddawg07 wrote: I have used this for bass and it sucked the life out of my tone
    Are you sure it wasn't something else in your setup? I first got this to use for bass and I had no problems with loss of tone at all. I was using a Hartke 3500HA w/ 410 cab, Boss TU-2, and a Musicman SUB. Even if I used it with someone else's rig I had no tone loss. I now use it in my guitar setup and don't have any tone loss there either
    Shoji001
    @Metal Head420 well its not really 'just' a cable, the freedom you get with a wireless is second to none. and its also fun to do the classic 'round the world' without getting tangled in your cable
    Metal Head420
    $309 for one guitar cable!? ill pass and stick to my nice clean quality $20-$30 cables xP
    Ch@rizti
    MarkWakefield wrote: I really want a wireless system and this one looks a beast but I just cannot afford one
    I totally agree, it's too difficult to me have this kind of gears cos I'm not even in the States... I'm in Europe and here, if you find one, its price will be probably too hight to buy it.
    EpiExplorer
    We have these at ACM sometimes, either for live performance or because someones knicked all the cables.
    lo0zerkid34
    I've been using this relentlessly since 2005, whether it be at practice or at a gig. Like the review says, there is absolutely no loss in sound quality. Never had any problems with mine. Honestly the only thing I have to complain about is it's not rack-mountable. Easy solution though, I just used some velcro to fix it to a rack shelf. Shure systems are hands down the only wireless I trust and will ever use.
    shockdoctor92
    ive been using this system for over a year now and i love it. i get complete freedom to move anywhere on stage and i never lose any sound quality. the 10db pad kills all feedback or unwanted noise and you can just turn up your amp and get the same volume you want. amazing product!!
    Zdsguitar
    Definately gonna save up for this system...just wish it was a little bit cheaper lol
    lo0zerkid34
    TST2469 wrote: How much would 1 of these go for? I really need 1!
    Usually about 400 USD. There's a similar model, the PG14, that goes for 300. One of my friends has it and he said he doesn't have any issues with tone loss