Total posts : 45366
As someone who has owned everything tested but the AMT5000 (and I now have one, I just haven’t done anything with it yet), I was extremely interested in the results of this transmitter shootout.
The results (again, excluding the AMT5000) mirrored my experiences.
The Rangemaster, at least for me, achieved the greatest range and sounded the best (but hey, hearing your signal more than a mile out sounds pretty good period, even if there’s static).
The ProCaster sounds great (not as good as the Rangemaster with outboard audio processing, including an Inovonics 222 and Symetrix compressor), but definitely had less range. Admittedly, I have an older model.
The Talking House with ATU sounds OK and got less range than the ProCaster. Without the ATU, even less range.
I can add another transmitter to my personal shootout list – The Talking Sign (precursor to the ProCaster) was superior to the Talking House, in both sound and range. In fact, with it’s wire antenna strung vertically outside, it rivaled the ProCaster in range (although not in sound quality).
From what I’ve read, I don’t believe there were any ulterior motives to the testing. And it may not have been the best way to test, but the results were at least interesting. And if you don’t measure Field Strength, then how exactly do you measure range? Until there’s no sound at all? Just how much static do you allow in your measurement? How do you define sounding good? The bottom line is that range is subjective, and dependant on the programming (talk or music), what your tolerance for static and dropouts is, etc.
SSTran chose not to participate in the shootout. That was their right. But then, they have to take the consequences as well (i.e., questions as to why they didn’t participate). I personally have nothing against them or PhilB (although he has been rather snarky to me and others upon occasion in this Forum, not a good strategy if you’re attempting to sell transmitters).
I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these transmitters, provided you understand what you are getting and the tradeoffs. And at the end of the day, you have to try things out yourself, regardless of others’ shootouts and test results. If something works for you and gives you what you want, including what you define as sound quality, then it’s the best for you.
It would be nice to leave religious fervor out of the equation (because what you consider the ‘best’ transmitter didn’t fare as well as others).