4th Gen Audio-Technica 3000 Series and new 5000 series - what happens with my existing microphones?

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With the recent announcement of the 4th Generation Audio-Technica 3000 Series wireless system and the new 5000 series, we've been fielding lots of questions about whether you'll be able to re-use existing earset and lapel microphones.  Today, we have some answers for you. 

The new 4th Generation Audio-Technica 3000 and new 5000 series wireless systems will be shipping in May with a new Hirose screw-down bodypack connector, so if you have existing lavalier, earset or clip-on microphones, your current microphones will not work with the new 3000 and 5000 series.  That said, we've been told by Audio-Technica today that the AT-CWCH adapter cable ($39) will allow you to use current accessory microphones with the new 3000 and new 5000 series in most cases.

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Those of you who own 4000 and 5000 series and use 3rd party microphones from DPA and from Countryman may know that those series require a different value of resistor from microphones that work with all other Audio-Technica series, and that those microphones are not perfectly interchangeable, despite having the same connector. 

News from Audio-Technica today was that the preamp circuitry in 4th generation 3000 and new 5000 series will be as close as possible to the current 3000 series.  Without additional testing, we and the Audio Solutions department at Audio-Technica agree that most current Audio-Technica wireless system users will be able to purchase the AT-CWCH adapter cable in order to continue using existing Audio-Technica, Countryman, DPA, Point Source, Mogan, Microphone Madness and other brand microphones with the new 3000 and 5000 series.  The only problem scenario we can envision is for current 4000 and 5000 series users.

So what does that mean for current 4000 and 5000 users?  Since the current 4000 and 5000 series utilizes a slightly different preamp circuit from the current 2000/3000/System 10/System 10 Pro, you may have to buy a new cable from Countryman, adapter from DPA or have those companies modify your existing microphones with new connectors when the time comes. 

In other words, there are solutions for everyone, and there's no need to throw out existing microphones.  And in time, the new screw-on Hirose connector for the 4th generation 3000 and new 5000 series will become the standard connector offered by Audio-Tecnica for its wireless systems.  Please call us if you have questions and/or need help with the transition to new wireless microphone systems.