Review: Alesis GuitarLink Wireless

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Good wireless technology is getting less expensive and more reliable and the new GuitarLink Wireless from Alesis is a good example. Besides being affordable, it’s light, compact, simple to use, and operates reliably in the 2.4GHz frequency range. Plus, both the transmitter and receiver can be battery powered with the receiver small enough to fit on a pedal board or slip into a gig bag or even your pocket. That makes this wireless very portable.

Why go wireless? It’s true that a good quality guitar cable gives you solid performance and great sound quality, but you are tethered to your amp. The longer the guitar cable, the more noise it invites and the more it gets tangled, stepped on and abused. If you have to move on stage or just like to be unencumbered for your songwriting sessions or rehearsals, wireless is the way to go.

Here is how wireless works: every wireless system has two components: a transmitter, that’s typically held by the performer. and a receiver, which listens for the radio signal from the transmitter, converting it to audio, and sending the audio through a cable to your mixer or amp.

The transmitter you wear allows you to move about freely with your guitar or bass. Powered by two AAA batteries, the GuitarLink Wireless transmitter is light, compact and doesn’t get in the way of your playing. It can attach to either your strap, or to your belt and the attached cable plugs directly into your guitar or bass. The attached cable makes sense, as some other wireless systems use a proprietary cable that can be easily misplaced or lost.

The Alesis receiver is unique in both its size and design. Being battery powered, this unit is small enough to sit anywhere—on top of an amp, velcroed in a rack or even installed in your pedalboard on stage. You can power it with the AC adapter, too, for a more permanent installation.

What’s really unique about the GuitarLink Wireless system is that it is priced low, but still operates in the reliable 2.4 GHz frequency spectrum used by the (much) more expensive competitors. Wireless mics and instrument systems are typically VHF, UHF or 2.4 GHz. Most wireless systems operate in the Very High Frequency or Ultra High Frequency bands. Due to their shorter wavelengths (300 – 3000 MHz), UHF systems are less susceptible to drop-outs or dead spots, even over distances of 200+ feet. Digital systems typically sound better and use frequencies in the 2.4 GHz band to avoid interference from TV stations and cell phone towers.

Operation of GuitarLink is pretty simple. After turning both units on, just press the pairing buttons on both units to make the connection and adjust the output volume on the receiver to match the input of your guitar amp or mixer. That’s it. The advertised usable range for this system is 60 feet and we experienced good reception with no loss of tone even when we added some obstructions. While some other 2.4 GHz systems advertise 100-foot range or more, you’ll pay quite a bit more for them. GuitarLink is affordable, light and has the digital reliability of 2.4 GHz electronics—that’s pretty hard to beat.

List Price: $149.99
Street Price: $99.99

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