R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: How Good Are Capsules From Boutique Manufacturers?  (Read 1865 times)

Krackle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8
  • Real Full Name: Peter Mharf
How Good Are Capsules From Boutique Manufacturers?
« on: February 24, 2021, 12:29:31 PM »

G'morning,

Having read quite a bit on this incredible sub forum..Thanks to Klaus for taking the time
to be an active provider of info..this is an invaluable educational and informational resource.

I finally have a question..I, recently, read the evaluation on BeesNeez capsules, all very interesting..I've heard an Arabella that a friend of mine has and it's pretty impressive -upper mids through the top end,, as well as having a low and lower mid stature that feels appropriate...and i think what im hearing
is a very good capsule before a good circuit..

Im wondering about capsule quality on ADK mics and other microphones in this market slot

..I have no first hand experience with any of these mics, I've listened on the ADK site and a few other places..very hard to know what's happening in mixing or post production on any of this stuff..

So I'm wondering if the capsules these companies are sourcing/then tweaking, building,etc are up to
the quality the Klaus found in his rundown of BN capsules or, even other respected capsules makers Gefell, Josephson, Neumann..as a comparison. Thanks.





Logged

klaus

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1949
Re: Boutique Capsules Vs Well Known Capsule Manufacturers..
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2021, 03:50:25 PM »

I'd separate the answer by Country Of Origin, and limit my comments to large diameter capsules. I'll leave aside products from Neumann "reskinners". They are uniformly amateurish, and devalue any original Neumann capsules considerably.

Chinese capsules are still stuck in the "Project Studio" quality class, no matter the label on the mic: coarse, no fine points rendered, usually way too bright (as bright sells, at least upon initial listening, but don't ask me why: since the plague-like proliferation of MP3s, we are back in low-res audio land, like we were during the first generation of digital processors in the late 1980s. The irritating rendition of high frequencies was and is a hallmark for bad digital processing)

European capsules (aside of Neumann) are generally quite good in resolution but not so good in musicality (don't ask me what that means: like porn, you know it when you hear it).

I have posted at length about the disappointing turn MG's formerly exceptional M7 took after the PVC re-formulation in the early 2000s, to the point that MG's polyester version of the M7 beats the PVC version with better frequency balance and appeal.

Herbert Haun has consistently made his capsules with tight tolerances and to high manufacturing standards, but, aside of the one-off capsules he made for the KHE, whose design, especially the diaphragm surface treatment, was specified by Dirk and me, I am not a fan of the sound.

Australia: I keep being asked about the Beez Neez K67/47-copies. But I must admit that, since I tested one that Ben Sneesby had sent me, more than a decade ago, and which sounded very good, I have not kept up with this capsule products.

Denmark: Tim Campbell has offered more than once to send me one of his CK12 copy capsules (I am not aware of any Neumann-style capsules from him). But in the past I've always been "too busy" to test yet another product that will keep me away from serving my clients who've patently waited their turn. So, Tim: send me one, and I'll promise to stick it im my C12 tester, and listen.

The U.S.: David Josephson is a consummate microphone designer and admired AES-theorist to boot. His CK12 copies are widely praised as balanced and pleasing sounding. I do not know whether he makes Neumann-style capsules with center lead-outs comparable to the originals.

Finally: Neumann. It seems that, for me at least, the dust has finally settled on the dreaded "bass starvation" issue. All of Neumann's LD capsules now deliver at minimum a tad less bass in the 100Hz and below region, and sometimes way too little for my taste.

The overall timbre of their capsules that is so enticing, the processing of transients, guttural sounds, the reedy transmission of the rapid movements of the vocal chord - both with male and female voices - that character can be easily recognized and is on par with the best they've made in past decades, which, despite the loss of some foundational bass response, is still far above the competition.
Logged
Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

Krackle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8
  • Real Full Name: Peter Mharf
Re: How Good Are Capsules From Boutique Manufacturers?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2021, 01:11:08 PM »

I've owned a few of the 1500-2500 'boutique' mics (that term annoys me) and have found similar issues across the board re: capsule sound and then eq on the circuit board that never really accomplishes what it set out to do, mitigating harshness- some feel phasey to me when certain instruments, like a steel string guitar, tickle these areas..They all seem to have a dose of that cackling and hashy brittle stuff that you can't effectively kludge away in eq without killing everything.

All through this current mic search for something in my budget, I've been very focused on the Neumann TLM 107. This mic seems to punch higher than its price describes. It sounds like it has a nicely conceived capsule, s's and hard consonants sound very natural and it feels like a perfect step up in top end sparkle from my U89..Which is what im after right now..keeping the U89 but want an option with just  a bit more natural top end.

Not sure if you have any familiarity with this mic, Klaus? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.


Logged

Krackle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8
  • Real Full Name: Peter Mharf
Re: How Good Are Capsules From Boutique Manufacturers?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2021, 08:55:11 AM »

All the reading and scouring the web RE these small manufacturer capsules/mics landed me
at a Gefell UMT 70 S. It's very difficult to shop the independent manufacturers..been through a few of them
over the years and it always seems to come down to the capsule quality for me.

This Gefell has that beautiful safety net in it's capsule sound..very graceful through the modest bright areas in this mic. yes smooth..but not too smooth.
Vocals, acoustic guitars (for me a critical test), clean and moderately distorted guitars..it seems to handle
everything that I'd throw at it.
Not just 'doing the job'..IMO, it does the job with bells on..

And I love diminutive appearance of this mic as it punches very high..Had a huge mile on my face listening to a number of mic positions on a steel string acoustic-which i regard as wild animals to record ( and i do have a decent closet of good mics for this in small diaphragms) ..This UMT 70 is musical and feels perfectly fast for that task.   
And Klaus, thanks for the honest rundown of all those capsules..it slowed me down a bit and helped me to decide on this mic..Very Happy
Logged

Jim Williams

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 593
Re: How Good Are Capsules From Boutique Manufacturers?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2021, 12:16:16 PM »

I have several variations of 1" capsules here from Asia and the EU. Of course they all sound different. What I've found is the circuits that follow can affect them substantially.

Remove all the circuit effects and many of those capsules have a great sound.
Logged

Krackle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8
  • Real Full Name: Peter Mharf
Re: How Good Are Capsules From Boutique Manufacturers?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2021, 04:28:55 PM »

Hi Jim,
What capsules are they? Do these appear in known mic builder's mics?

But yes, there are circuits in most mics..i'd rather hear a good capsule driving a good circuit, not a circuit
that's jumping around trying to cover up a bad capsule.
Logged

Krackle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8
  • Real Full Name: Peter Mharf
Re: How Good Are Capsules From Boutique Manufacturers?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2021, 11:47:24 AM »

Also, Jim..in terms of the independent builders -'boutique' or what ever folks call them, most of them are releasing models, over the course of years, that have capsule changes along the way, circuit changes, transformers..This, while these mics are still carrying the same model number / name through the course of these changes..it's a common problem and seems to be the case with most of these small companies.

I can only imagine that obtaining consistent sounding lots of capsules over the years, or even months is a huge
challenge for those (which are most) who aren't manufacturing their own capsules. Combined with internet only sales structures, the whole thing feels like a giant crap shoot for me..
Logged

Jim Williams

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 593
Re: How Good Are Capsules From Boutique Manufacturers?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2021, 06:59:44 PM »

Some are the usual things and some are not usual, but I can't recall the source of some of them, I got some through 3rd parties. I have some German capsules that appear to be close copies of k87's but they sound different. They do have an elegant sound. The Campbell ck12 does sound pretty darn good.

Some of those better chi-com capsules sound good too, surprising on some sources. I have no issues using those on guitar amps and stuff. Vocals/horns get the better stuff.
Logged

mbrebes

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 65
  • Real Full Name: Michael Brebes
Re: How Good Are Capsules From Boutique Manufacturers?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2021, 11:04:28 AM »

This is my experience with edge terminated (AKG style) capsules in the last 15 years:

The Chinese capsules were my least favorite. 

The Peluso capsules were very good sounding capsules, much better than the Chinese capsules I tested, but didn't sound anything like the brass CK12 capsule that they get compared to. 

Tim Campbell's CT12s are the best capsule of this type I have encountered and sound very close to the one brass CK12 I have encountered.
Logged

klaus

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1949
Re: How Good Are Capsules From Boutique Manufacturers?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2021, 11:44:48 AM »

The Peluso capsules were very good sounding capsules, much better than the Chinese capsules I tested...

Where are these made?
Logged
Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

mbrebes

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 65
  • Real Full Name: Michael Brebes
Re: How Good Are Capsules From Boutique Manufacturers?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2021, 10:48:39 AM »

He doesn't really say, I think I may have read something about the capsules being assembled by him, from parts manufactured for him outside of the US, but I was unable to find that remembered reference. I've also heard a couple of his Neumann style capsules that had a good sound to them, but didn't quite sound like the Neumann capsules either.
Logged

Krackle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8
  • Real Full Name: Peter Mharf
Re: How Good Are Capsules From Boutique Manufacturers?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2021, 01:07:01 PM »

Hi mbrebes,
Plenty of info here and around the web on the many questions and speculations around the actual origin and process behind a Peluso capsule.

My experience with them has been very disappointing and is a part of the history behind the reason for starting this thread. Quite a few other independent mic manufacturers are sourcing capsules and are at the mercy (as we are) of the unknowns in supply and quality variables in the price points they need to hit.

I just want to know which of these companies are obtaining or building consistently good sounding capsules with a mark of integrity and gracefulness - and good sounding capsules that actually sound close to each other, lot to lot.

It would also be nice to know, definitively, where those capsules came from.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 



Site Hosted By Ashdown Technologies, Inc.

Page created in 0.026 seconds with 21 queries.