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Author Topic: Studer SKM5 vs Schoeps CMC5  (Read 4882 times)

Rich Mays

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Studer SKM5 vs Schoeps CMC5
« on: September 29, 2004, 02:11:00 am »

Could someone please explain the diference between the Studer SKM5 and the Schoeps CMC5?

And while we're at it, what's the difference between the CMC5 and the CMT5?

Sonare Recordings

Bernhard Vollmer

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Re: Studer SKM5 vs Schoeps CMC5
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2004, 07:52:31 am »

The SKM is in most cases a CMC made by SCHOEPS for Studer. A smaller quantity only corresponds to the older CMT series.

The CMT has been the ancestor of the CMC. The capsule is fixed with three tiny screws and no Colette accessories can be used. But apart from that the CMT has the same quality as the current CMC series. For example the capsules only show differencies in the way they contact to the amplifier part (plus some evolutionary enhancements since then).

David Satz

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Re: Studer SKM5 vs Schoeps CMC5
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2004, 04:32:26 pm »

Rich, by any chance is your question motivated by the auction currently running on eBay for a set of three "Studer SKM 52" microphones? Judging by the photos, those must be CMC-series microphones. CMT-series capsules were held onto the microphone bodies by three miniature screws spaced equally around the lower edge of the capsule. In any photo showing one side of such a microphone, at least one and possibly two of those screws would be visible--but no such screws are visible in either of the photos in that auction ad. Ergo, CMC.

As to the differences between CMT and CMC ("Colette") microphones, I seem to see things a little differently from what Bernhard Vollmer wrote in his reply above, though of course his information is completely correct. I made the transition from CMT to CMC microphones myself in the 1970s, and prior to that had been using CMT 5-series microphones specifically, along with Neumann fet 80-series microphones and others. From my viewpoint there were several major differences, the most important one being that the capsules and amplifiers of the two Schoeps series weren't "interoperable"--they really are separate types.

It wasn't just the different method of mechanical attachment between the capsules and amplifiers; that probably could have been overcome with an adapter of some kind, particularly for capsules of the CMT 3 and 4 series which were designed for the 60-Volt capsule polarization which is also used in the Colette series. But the CMT 5 amplifiers had output transformers and drew very low current--about 0.65 mA--from a 48-Volt phantom power supply. The capsules of that series could thus be polarized only from that (filtered) supply voltage directly, so they were built for that lower polarization voltage specifically, and couldn't be adapted or converted to 60-Volt operation without altering their basic characteristics.

In the CMC series all amplifiers are transformerless and the current required for a 48-Volt phantom powered microphone is 4 - 5 mA. The maximum SPL is about 10 dB greater for this type of microphone, and by now there are maybe 20 (!) different capsule types available for it--as well as many kinds of "active accessories"--extension cables, "Three Tenors"-style extension tubes, etc. that are placed between the amplifier and capsule with a FET circuit at the capsule end--an approach which most manufacturers offer today in one form or another, but which was introduced and patented by Schoeps.

About half a dozen different CMT-series capsule types used to be available--for details see the attached picture file, which contains three pages from an early-1970s Schoeps catalog. But the whole idea of active accessories simply doesn't apply, since the CMT-series amplifiers don't have the electrical contacts to support them.

--best regards
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