New Mexico-based Lectrosonics introduced the IS400 Digital Hybrid Wireless Instrument System at the 2005 Winter NAMM Show, January 20-23 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The Lectrosonics IS400, designed for use with both electric and acoustic instruments in live performance environments, utilizes a proprietary digital algorithm to encode the audio signal into an analog format for transmission along an FM wireless carrier. The IS400's receiver captures this signal and converts it back into digital audio via DSP. The result is that the IS400 offers a matchless balance of digital audio quality and the immense operational range of consummate FM wireless systems. Further, the IS400's means of operation effectively eliminates the need for an analog compander circuit along with the normally corresponding signal artifacts, and provides superior audio dynamic and frequency response when compared to analog systems.

"Companded audio normally associated with analog wireless systems has been a well-documented problem for performing musicians, particularly acoustic guitarists and bassists. These musicians have [been looking] for a system that would compete with a standard cable for sound quality, but allow the freedom of movement given by a wireless system. Our Digital Hybrid system provides the best of those two worlds," says Karl Winkler, Lectrosonics' director of business development.

The IS400's 50mW IM transmitter and R400 diversity receiver are both housed within rugged, all-metal casings. On its front panel, the R400 receiver features a graphic display for simple selection of transmission frequencies, an adjustment knob, and power switch. On the unit's rear, a balanced XLR and unbalanced quarter-inch jack are provided with independent volume control via the front panel menu for simultaneous connection to a balanced input and a guitar amplifier. Also rear side is a locking power input jack and two right angle BNC input jacks.

The IS400 will be available, in March 2005, both as a stand-alone system (including the IM transmitter, R400 receiver, cables, antennas and watertight case) and as a rack-mount system (with IM transmitter, R400-RM rack-mount receiver, cables and antennas).

The new wireless instrument system was used by guest artists at the premier of the new Taylor T5 Thinline Guitar Series in the Taylor Guitar performance space at NAMM. The Lectrosonics IS400 Digital Hybrid Wireless System was chosen by Taylor to compliment their award-winning Expression System guitar pickup systems.