CloudVocal – ISOLO GT-10 Wireless Microphone System for Guitar
See more info or buy at CloudVocal’s Website
The CloudVocal ISOLO GT-10 wireless microphone system for guitar is a beautifully designed solution to a variety of issues when it comes to amplifying the classical guitar. The small discreet profile, fast and easy installation, and wireless technology make it a perfect match for the elegant tradition of classical guitar. In terms of design and concept I think the ISOLO is excellent. Without even having to loosen my strings I installed the mic on my guitar in 10 seconds. The sound itself is pretty good, better than contact and piezo pickups that I’ve tried. Obviously, having the mic inside the guitar is not as natural as a high end mic a few feet back but it does help to isolate the instrument from other sounds, avoid some feedback, and it’s wireless. Classical guitar is big on bass and the mid range and that was still emphasized here during amplification but between the EQ on the preamp/receiver and my amp I was able to get it balanced. Clarity is good in the upper end and the wireless technology worked perfectly. The main issue classical guitarists will have is string and nail noise but experimentation with the mic direction can really help. Also, if you are a professional level player that digs in hard you might want to use a slightly lighter touch. None of these concerns are specific to the ISOLO as this is common with all close mics and contact or piezo pickups. The mic unit itself has an on and off button and a three position-gain switch. The Receiver/Preamp has bass and treble EQ, wireless gain and master gain. It also has eight effects: Room reverb, Hall reverb, Arena reverb, Delay, Delay+Reverb, Shimmer, Chorus, Flanger. Blend controls the balance of dry and wet signal and the EFX PARM rotates to adjust effect detail.
For full tech specs and connectivity see their website. Below is their promo video .
- Unobtrusive – No one wants to drill into their guitar or take off the saddle for a piezo on their expensive classical guitar. Plus it looks discreet, I doubt many would even notice it from the audience a few rows back.
- Freedom from Wires – It was amazing to be amplified and not have a cable attached. I was walking around and forgot it was on the guitar. Plus no cable in the way of my sitting position or hitting the body of the guitar.
- Gentle Materials – I didn’t use a protective cloth as the soft rubber was gentle on my guitar’s finish.
- Easy Install – The install to the guitar took 10 seconds and I didn’t even have to loosen my strings.
- Simple and Clean – Visually the product loots sleek and professional.
- Excellent Accessories – The box came with everything I needed. It comes with a great protective carrying case and I appreciated the variety of sizes for the soundhole holders and soundhole covers as well as extra attachments and plugs for various outlets around the world. I did have to shave off the rubber nubs on the holder but that was easy and only took a few seconds (see video).
- Movable Mic – Although one mic is located on the transmitter, the other moveable mic can help you adjust and define the sound.
- An extra accessory is the mono Recording Receiver (USB Audio Interface)
More Design Comments
- Design-wise I have very little to criticize.
- I might want the receiver close to me during gigs for quick muting or adjustments so a long cable to my amp and a plugin nearby would help.
- The movability/direction of the mic is a bit hard to adjust when in the guitar, but this is mainly laziness on my part. It would be easier if I loosened my strings. For important gigs I’d loosen the strings and get it perfect but for casual gigs I’d just slip it under the strings as best I can.
- Clear and crisp upper range.
- The low end is big and round which is either good or bad depending on your style.
- No buzzing or electronic hum.
- Fairly minimal sounds from the guitar body compared to contact mics.
- Adjusting the placement and direction of the mic makes a big difference so experimentation is recommended to refine your sound.
- Wireless technology worked perfectly the whole time.
- Effects: Classical guitarists will likely only require reverb but I found the reverb really helps give some depth and space to the sound to make it more natural.
- Nail and string noise was somewhat prominent, although not more than other systems. Adjustment to the mic direction and placement and playing with a lighter touch helped quite a bit. It just takes awhile to get used to it if you’ve been a purely acoustic player to this point.
- As with all close mic systems the low and mid range was quite emphasized. That said, between the EQ on the receiver and my amp I was able to get something balanced and the CloudVocal system gave me more adjustability than most systems. Also experiment with the direction the mic is pointing inside the guitar which really helps.
I was worried I’d get frustrated by the technology but was pleasantly surprised at the ease of setup and simplicity of the install. Obviously, a contact mic is more simple but a wireless device is more modern and well designed. The price-to-quality ratio is difficult to compare since this device has so many extra benefits and options and so much more adjustability. Beginners and first-time gig players may still start with an affordable contact or piezo mic which sound pretty good for under a hundred dollars but eventually upgrade to this more sophisticated system if needs require it.
For certain gigs where presentation is required such as classy large stage performances or weddings where the musician is prominent the wireless element would be indispensable. Also, for awkward setups where I need to move around or can’t be near my amp or a plugin it would be super helpful as well. For quick casual gigs where no one is really listening and I’m next to my amp I may or may not use it. Piezo’s can be quite controllable in terms of an isolated sound but they don’t sound very natural so I think I’ll be looking to this technology more and more often.
For comparison I’d be interested in trying out the DPA 4099 mic that clips on the outside of the guitar which might give a more natural sound but also more bleed from other sounds.
The CloudVocal ISOLO GT-10 wireless microphone system for guitar is an elegant and discreet amplification system. The sleek design, adjustability, wireless mobility, and ease of installation make it a system for the modern classical guitarist who doesn’t want to alter their instrument. Although some common sound issues for classical guitar such as string/nail noise and an emphasized mid range are still present, the ISOLO gives you some of the best adjustability to get the sound you want. Top marks for design and once you go wireless it’s hard to go back.