R/E/P > Klaus Heyne's Mic Lab

CT-12 Capsule?

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Has anyone checked out this Tim Campbell CT-12(Brass CK-12 imitation) capsule? I understand they are quite excellent but haven't heard from anyone with a authoritative position on the matter.


Barry Hufker:

You need to search the forum for all the discussions on this topic.


J.J. Blair:
I recently did a shootout of several CK12s and some CK12 inspired capsules, including Tim's.  The most important thing to note was the tonal differences between real CK12s can be extreme.  I was using three of my own CK12s, two of which I bought NOS, and then one from a 414EB.  I was also using one which a friend had me listen to, which he described as his favorite one.

In all the capsule listenings I've done, I have to say that the tonality of CK12 varies more than any group of K47s or K67s I've heard.  The various revisions are one of the reasons.  Also, even within a revision, I've learned that there's something about the way the delay network in the backplate can be adjusted that causes them to have phase shift variations in the mid range, that I have not heard in the Neumann capsules, where no such tunable network exists.  As well, some CK12s were as much as 5dB different in the 10kHz region, and some were much more robust in the lows.  While some Neumann capsules tend to be brighter or darker than others, or have more or less bass, the mids are far more consistent than I've heard on the CK12s.  

Of my favorite CK12s, I like the ones with the most pronounced highs.  This differed from my friend, I suppose, whose capsule exhibited more muted highs, yet the most full lows.  But when i was looking for a replacement capsule for a friend's mic, the highs were one of the main criteria for me.  

The reason I'm pointing all this out, is just to say there is a lot of variation out there.  Tim's capsules had the pronounced highs that I want out of a CK12.  One of the capsules in my test was the old 3

Klaus Heyne:
I just got off another long phone conversation with Tim Campbell. One thing I can say for sure: He tries very hard to make a good capsule, is humble and pleasant to deal with, and does not mind critical feedback to his efforts.

I do not feel comfortable quite yet in sharing my opinions, because I have only tested two AKG CK12 capsules with defective diaphragms I sent him for re-diaphragming.

Regarding J.J.'s observations about the range of AKG CK12- I agree, these are ALWAYS all over the map.
And yet, once you have heard enough healthy specimens of the original CK12s,  this capsule has something special, despite the wide variations in sound. That something special I have not yet heard from aftermarket copy capsules or re-diaphragmed original ones. It is that magical dance and blend of the frequency ranges- low, mid, high-and all done at fairly high speed.

Put another way: a good CK12 stops your thinking and analyzing right in its track, and gives way to a positive emotional response. And that is what I am still waiting for.

Judging Tim's efforts in regards to the CK12, we might get there sooner rather than later.

J.J. Blair:
I also want to say something about Tim's efforts that I wish all companies would take note of:

Tim has been giving examples of his work to highly competent engineers and designers who have a lot of great information to share, in terms of feedback, and then he is listening to them to try to incorporate their findings towards making his product better.  

As Klaus said, he's very receptive to critical feedback.  I wish I could say the same about other manufacturers.  It seems he will get to his destination sooner than those who don't do this.


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