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Author Topic: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!  (Read 5818 times)

J.J. Blair

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1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« on: January 24, 2016, 05:01:37 pm »

Ugh.  I just spent a couple days at the NAMM show.  A buddy asked me to check out some mics that I believe the company he works for is repping.  I spoke to the owner of the company, and he was telling about his capsules, and was exclaiming how the diaphragms were all 1µ thick.  I immediately asked if he had trouble with them collapsing onto the backplate, or 'Stephen Paul Syndrome', and he said "no."  The grill of the mics had that Deco-looking horizontally cut metal thing, with no mesh, which I suspected was not the best at protecting from 'plosives.  And guess what?  Just in regular talking voice, each time there was a 'plosive, the mic cut out for a second, until the diaphragm unstuck from the backplate, and recharged. 

Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.  And, hey ... if you're going to go that route, some mesh or something that might deflect wind might be in order.
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klaus

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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2016, 08:30:53 pm »

Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

One of the regrets I have after all these years in the business is the concern for secrecy of my colleagues. Everybody does his own private thing, takes not the mildest suggestions from his peers without feeling offended, will not divulge even minor tricks learned which could contribute to the field at large, and will never, ever, ever admit of having made any mistakes.

With rare exceptions, inscrutable curmudgeons and asocial loners rule our business. This job would be so much more fun if we all shared a bit more of what we have learned, and once in a while admit for not being infallible.

That makes the field of microphone design and service seem quite different from that of applied or theoretical sciences, where peer work and review is the norm- actually, the condition for progress.


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Klaus Heyne
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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2016, 05:47:43 am »

It seems to me you can always add something when plosives are present, but you can't take away something that is perminently attached when they aren't.

I'm playing with a mic with one of his 67-type capsules and his X751 mic right now. I had that problem at first with the 67-type capsule... Problem instantly solved with a filter; not a single problem on other sources. I also have a pair of capsules with Flea F47 backplates and his diaphragms that will put into mics in the next few weeks... We'll see how those turn out.
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klaus

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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2016, 02:26:00 pm »

Aside of popping, 1µ large diaphragms have a shortcoming which defies the logic of: thinner = faster = better. I wrote before about that aspect of scientific inquiry*. Super-thin LD capsule diaphragms literally thin out the sound, reduce some of the musical texture, render it super transparent, but anorexic in Gestalt.


*"A central tenet of the scientific method is observation, even if it seemingly contradicts prevailing theory, or cannot initially be explained."
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Klaus Heyne
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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2016, 07:09:17 pm »

As a general statement or with all other things equivelent, that all very well may be the case; for all I know... But as I've seen you say many times before in regards to vintage mics and parts, it's the sum of all the parts, the way they all interact with each other, is what results in the magic.
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klaus

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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2016, 11:55:30 pm »

Well, then let's continue on this logic: if the "Greats" all used 6µ diaphragms or thicker, using 1µ diaphragms would arrive at a different sum of all parts. And that sum, in my experience, does not add up.
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Klaus Heyne
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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2016, 07:44:00 pm »

I don't know how far your experience is with less-than 6-micron diaphragms... I'm sure far more than mine, regardless, but can I assume most of it is with the "Greats'" vintage parts and newer parts trying to mimic them?

Of course, this all is really just about opinion here and how we all hear differently. I just think it's ridiculous how people still have this attitude about it being "wrong"... And this isn't helping: "Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it." What? Come on... Talk about starting a post with a very negative cogitation; pretty negative attitude when it comes to engineering as a whole and the whole point to forums in the first place. How is that suppose to encourage sharing of "even the most minor tricks learned which could contribute to the field at large"? It's probably those attitudes that contributed to the secrecy in the first place... That kind of response rubs people to say FU and do their own thing by themselves. I'm just saying... I'm really just playing devil's advocate I suppose.
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Kai

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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2016, 07:58:20 pm »

  Just in regular talking voice, each time there was a 'plosive, the mic cut out for a second, until the diaphragm unstuck from the backplate, and recharged.
Could you comment on the sound quality that was audible inbetween the cut out's? Anything special or remarkable?

What's the name of the mic?
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Recording Engineer

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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2016, 09:58:28 pm »

Luke Audio is the manufacturer.
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Kai

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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2016, 05:10:28 pm »

Luke Audio is the manufacturer.
I had a look at their homepage. Going with their own description it's a bit controversal:
On the one hand they claim to render the sound of the vintage classic's, on the other they want to do it all better.

 Might be it's just good sounding microphones on their own.
Maybe more suited to instrumental then vocal recordings, but that's just a guess.

 If I had the chance I would give it a try, but here in Germany it's very unlikely I get one of those for testing.
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klaus

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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2016, 07:33:06 pm »

The AL-X747 is a large diaphragm "hybrid" condenser microphone hand-built in Nashville, TN that was designed to emulate the tonal characteristics of the legendary, vintage, Telefunken U47, and take those characteristics a few steps higher with our revolutionary LA-4 capsule design.

The AL-X751is a large diaphragm "hybrid" condenser microphone hand-built in Nashville, TN that was designed to emulate the tonal characteristics of the infamous, vintage, Telefunken ELAM 251, and take those characteristics a few steps higher with our revolutionary LA-1e capsule design.

The AL-X767 is a large diaphragm "hybrid" condenser microphone hand-built in Nashville, TN that was designed to emulate the tonal characteristics of the legendary, vintage, Neumann U67, and take those characteristics a few steps higher with our revolutionary LA-6 capsule design

The AL-X712 is a large diaphragm "hybrid" condenser microphone hand-built in Nashville, TN that was designed to emulate the tonal characteristics of the legendary, vintage, AKG C12, and take those characteristics a few steps higher with our revolutionary LA-1 capsule design.


Where is the love? Nothing but copy and paste?


P.S.: There is nothing "hybrid" in an all-solid state design, not even with quotation marks around it. Honda's Prius and Porsche's 918 are hybrids: combining two types of energy generation to propel the car. Neumann's M149 and M147 are hybrids- combining tube and solid state processing to transport the audio.)

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Klaus Heyne
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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2016, 10:14:24 pm »

I completely agree... It's its own thing... Inspired by tradition (the "greats") and innovation (Stephen); and yet still doing his own thing.

I personally like them and will be exploring the line further and more in depth in 6-9 months (next to a bunch of others) when I'm actually in the market to really beef up my mic selection.
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klaus

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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2016, 10:24:42 pm »

Do I understand correctly that you don't own one of these mics yet? How did you evaluate their sound quality, then?
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Klaus Heyne
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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2016, 08:06:59 am »

That is correct, don't own any... But as mentioned in my first comment-

I'm playing with (demoing direct from the manufacturer) a mic with one of his 67-style capsules (though the mic is not in the product line) and his X751 mic right now. I've had them for about a month and am about to send them back. I haven't had the time to try them out on various sources like I'd hoped... Just a few sessions. I also have a pair of capsules (actually own) with Flea F47 backplates (with mods) and his diaphragms that will be put into mics in the next few weeks... We'll see how those turn out.

But I'll really be giving them and a whole bunch of other mics a true-shot once finished building this new studio; just started framing the inner-walls).
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klaus

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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2016, 04:18:05 pm »

Thanks for your reply.
I want to make sure you understand the rules on this forum: if you get any kind of promotional consideration-financial or otherwise- from the manufacturer for sharing your user experience, this forum would not be a good fit to share that.

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Klaus Heyne
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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2016, 01:11:41 pm »

Thanks for the reminder... Unfortunately, I'm just some poor chap who pays the same as most everyone else on everything...
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J.J. Blair

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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2016, 05:02:56 pm »

I didn't wan to mention the name of the company, but you guys seemed to figure it out.  As far as the sound in between the drop outs, it's hard to say.  I was at NAMM, and using unfamiliar headphones.  All I could tell was that it was not too spitty on the dual backplate capsules.

I was a little annoyed with the owner of the company, though.  If there's anything that drives me nuts, it's people who don't know about their product.  I found out that the mic was solid state, so I asked him if its transformer less.  He said yes.  I followed up with asking which FET he's using.  "Trade secret."  OK, then can you tell me how you're converting the capsule impedance?  Is it an emitter follower?  "That's a trade secret, but if you want to buy one and open it up, you're welcome to."

"Trade secret" is usually trade show speak for "I have no idea what I'm talking about."  I went through this with the Inner Tube folks a few years back, and they became hostile when I started asking technical questions they couldn't answer.  Just say, "Somebody else designed the circuit for me, and he's not here to answer your questions."
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duskb

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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2016, 12:32:43 pm »

I didn't wan to mention the name of the company, but you guys seemed to figure it out.  As far as the sound in between the drop outs, it's hard to say.  I was at NAMM, and using unfamiliar headphones.  All I could tell was that it was not too spitty on the dual backplate capsules.

I don't know how you could hear anything there. I stopped by a booth and looked over a new mic made in England that looked like it could survive a nuclear blast and to be honest I couldn't hear squat it was so damned loud. The trade show circuit seem to be much louder than I recall in the 90's.

What somewhat annoys me about these '47' inspired remakes is that they seem to miss the influence of the most important part of that mic, the amplifier. Switching the skins is just a mod, changing the amp turns it into a totally different beast. Even the EF equipped Flea 47, which is not a bad sounding mic at all, sounds different than an original. I really can't see how switching the amplifier and expecting near or similar results is very fair to the end user. It almost seems like fraud. I know they're hard to get these days but still.

I haven't heard a UF equipped mic yet so I can't speak to how different that sounds. Maybe it's shades of grey at that point.
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klaus

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Re: 1µ diaphragms are back!!!!
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2016, 01:49:45 pm »

Maybe shades of gray, but shades that are markedly off from the original can be had at a heavy discount.

I think though, the color analogy would be imperfect unless you also attached the level of emotional satisfaction to the hue.
And in that sense, a UF14 is as far off from a VF14 as an EF14 is.

The old rule applies: achieving the last few bits towards perfection takes a disproportional amount of effort (and money).
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Klaus Heyne
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