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Author Topic: Neumann KM133a vs Schoeps (sort of shoot out)  (Read 4422 times)

AlexeiKuznetsoff

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Neumann KM133a vs Schoeps (sort of shoot out)
« on: September 08, 2013, 01:17:28 pm »

Hello everyone,
I have posted here before but totally forgot my login info, had to re register.
I am posting a sort of an AB comparison of the mics that I was hoping someone else posted, but I could never find anything like that and ended up buying mics blind, counting on a pure luck.
Here is how this test happened:
I was counting on running a short video session and came with my ultra portable setup in the hall - Nagra LB, KM133A and Manfrotto 7' stand  with Manfrotto stereo bar. Unfortunately upon arrival to the hall I realized that the stage was tiny, but 4 feet high, and the piano is sitting on it. No place for the stand, and my stand is too low to hit the sound point. Disappointed, but not discouraged I noticed a pair of Schoeps suspended from the ceiling ideally situated (by German Radio) above the piano on a wide stereo bar (slightly narrower then Manfrotto). I have decided to make my life easier and found where the cables lead, simply plugged them into Nagra and went on recording. I can not tell an exact model of the Schoeps, but they looked new, were typical nextel grey color and I saw no side openings - so they must be omnis.
The next morning the hall was available again and I have decided not to be so lazy and  try my new KM133. I managed to find a big speaker stand backstage and a proper sized mic stand that I mounted on top. The result was an awesome, steady must about 10 feet high! I got almost near the Schoeps, maybe just few inches below, but certainly close enough to have a feel of the same. In any case Schoeps was where I would love to be, if I could. The hall is a typical shoebox, 600 seats, perfect size... but has no acustics whatsoever. In fact I was shocked that hall of proper size can have no echo at all. Some funny stuff was on a ceiling - almost looked like sprayed foam that must have killed every reverbing wave in existence there. Perhaps for the mic testing this is even good news.
So, I removed spheres from KM to get as much of un-existing acoustics as possible. Both pairs are about 10 feet away from the piano. If you think the recording level is low, it is only because Valentina has checked the levels for me playing Liszt Sonata, and it touched 0. So, this is a proper level setting in an uncompressed dynamic levels.
I have a storm of reactions of my own (these 2 are similarly priced, but a world of difference!) , but will let everyone else speak first.

Schoeps file 24bit 88khz
https://app.box.com/s/elbrhsc5c971gcai5q6k

Neumann file 24bit 88khz
https://app.box.com/s/ib8ro0iod964l908iozn

So, this is Valentina Lisitsa playing. Both files are not EQed nor reverbed.

Here is the YouTube file from the same session.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVoc48DX_lg
This one is slightly processed for the YouTube's lossy format. Just a bit of reverb and EQ. But here you can all actually see the hall. This is also Neumann sound.
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didier.brest

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Re: Neumann KM133a vs Schoeps (sort of shoot out)
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2013, 06:14:19 pm »

Thank you much for sharing this ! IMO the Neumann sounds much more detailed in your test. (I have applied gain and left-right time delay corrections so that to get about the same levels and the same stereo image from both samples.)
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Didier Brest

Kai

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Re: Neumann KM133a vs Schoeps (sort of shoot out)
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2013, 07:55:22 am »

Per se I prefer the Schoeps sound over the Neumann.
It's more vibrant (typical for Schoeps), the room sound suits better to the program.
The Neumann has a little dry, woody appeal to me.
It's like it was played on a Steinway (Schoeps) compared to a Boesendoerfer (Neumann).
The musical performance, BTW, is much better on the Neumann recording.
But if you like to add reverb, the Neumann setup might work better, because it sounds more defined, "closer" to the piano.

I guess the Schoeps model is the CMC5+MK3 or CCM3, because it's brighter then the Neumann.
The Neumann is channel reversed, BTW.
I boosted the Neumann level by 3.5dB to sense the same loudness.

Regards
Kai

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didier.brest

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Re: Neumann KM133a vs Schoeps (sort of shoot out)
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2013, 04:20:04 pm »

The Neumann is channel reversed, BTW.
Not that obvious to my ears.
Here links to the gain and L-R delay corrected versions from my listening:

Neumann
Schoeps
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Didier Brest

Kai

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Re: Neumann KM133a vs Schoeps (sort of shoot out)
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2013, 05:19:53 am »

Not that obvious to my ears.
Listen to the piano players noise ahead of the music.

Regards
Kai
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