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Author Topic: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?  (Read 13596 times)

BobSchwenkler

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Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« on: May 22, 2011, 10:31:51 pm »

Hi All,

I'm looking for a couple different kinds of advice. The basic story is that I have a pair of Colette Schoeps with the MK41 caps. These are great sounding mics, but at the same time there is a quality to their sound that I'm not all the way into. They're too lean sounding (bass shy), and there's a quality to the high end that oftentimes doesn't quite agree with me. The high end thing is particularly audible with vocals... Most every condenser mic has some quality of tizz in the high end, perhaps this particular variety of high end resonance doesn't work for me.

As I get to know these mics better and better they see less and less use. I've been mulling this over for quite some time now, and I'm at the point where I'm comfortable in making a change of some sort.

Two possibilities I'm considering: Sell the MK41s and get a pair of MK4s. Or sell the Schoeps and get a different pair altogether. SD mics that seem interesting to me include the Gefell M294 or M295 and the Josephson E22s. The Gefell M930 has also previously caught my attention.

I'm looking for a more or less 1:1 price ratio. I don't have too much extra money to input a significant amount of money into this change. I'm also happy to purchase on the used market, so please take into consideration used prices.

What I use them for and qualities in a mic that I'm looking for: The work I do ranges from acoustic folk type to indie-ish rock type stuff. Check out my personal website if you have any interest in getting a more specific feel. I'm not into the super clean production modern production style nor am I looking to get as close to the source as possible. I want a mic with relatively less or no high end emphasis, moderate to good detail, and a nice character. In relation to my Schoeps, a fuller and/or bigger sound, a different quality of high end, and perhaps a bit more mojo or character.

Thanks for your input!

klaus

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2011, 02:49:10 am »

Bob,
I agree with you about the upper ranges of the MK41 super-cardioid capsule on the CMC-4/5 series of Schoeps mics: Too pointy for close-up work. Quite popular as a location sound mic for medium shots of TV shows- for that specific reason.

 I have found the MK4 to be noticeably less hard sounding in the 4-8K range, and quite a bit more (subjectively) "musical".

So, before you open a new can of worms, see to what extent the specific characteristic of what you object to can be eliminated by borrowing an MK4 (or, maybe even an MK22?). If you find that the tizz remains, move on.
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Kai

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2011, 02:59:13 am »

The Schoeps MK4, opposed to the MK41, are the warmest sounding Schoeps I know.
You can get them as separate capsules to be mounted on the body (collette series) or, very interesting, as CCM4, where the complete mic is smaller then an XLR plug.
Schoeps in general has a special, very appealing, high end sound.
It's hard to describe, as it's not any kind of coloration.

If you go for small diaphrag mics the Neumann KM 184 might be an alternative.
The high frequency range is a bit pronounced, but more rounded, silky sounding.

The Gefell M930 is a large diaphrag mic.
All of the LDs have their special sound, quite different to the small diaphag mic's.
The coloration might be suitable for some instruments/vocals, and less for others.

The most neutral LD I know is the AKG C414 (I prefer the BTL version out of the long history of models).
They have a very strong and tight bass (in cardiod) and smooth, quite neutral top.

Whatever you do - listen to the mic before you buy.
And don't forget: mic placement can make a bigger difference then switching between mic's.

Regards
Kai
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BobSchwenkler

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2011, 03:40:47 am »

Thanks for the input on the MK4. I have a friend who has a pair, as well as an M294, and who has made the offer of loaning them to me to try out. I'm going to take him up on that offer. Based on what I'm hearing here about the MK4 compared to the MK41, I have hopes that the MK4 may work out for me.

Kai, I'm not stuck on finding a small diaphragm replacement, only something that works well for me. As far as the KM184 suggestion goes, I already have a KM84 and a pair of KM86s. In relation to these, what I've heard about the KM184 doesn't sound too appealing.

Does anyone have much experience with the Sony C48? I owned one for a while and sold it. I liked it pretty well except for a certain low mids-ish murkiness that it possessed, but I'm still not sure if it was just the shape that particular mic was in or if it was characteristic of any given unit.

gkippola

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2011, 07:36:37 am »

Buy some MK21 caps, you'll be so glad you did
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skaberlakestudio

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2011, 06:39:39 pm »

Hello.
I often use DPA 4006 and find them very good sounding. I just bought a pair of Earthworks QTC50 and they are also very good. A bit more mid. I can recommend the earthworks. Very good for drums.
Regards
Tobbe
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Kai

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2011, 07:07:04 am »

Kai, I'm not stuck on finding a small diaphragm replacement, only something that works well for me.
Seems you already have some choices.
So I would look for some diversification, depending on the type of work you do LDC's could be the way to go.

If you don't have a Neumann U87, have a look at it.

Personally I prefer the older type, the one with the lower sensitivity, not the Ai.
It's a must have for speach and works well on most instruments too.

Do the breath-test before you buy.

As I do not own a complete Gefell built mic I can't comment on them except that their M7 capsule did sound quite good to say the least.
I've build two completely different mics around their M7s (older type, built about 8 years ago).

Beautiful on voices and lots of instruments and can take quite a lot of top boost without sounding harsh.
They do not have an "in the face"-characteristic, mids are more on the mellow side.
LF amount is quite right, very controlled.
Can be used from extremly close to quite a distance.

As far as the KM184 suggestion goes, I already have a KM84 and a pair of KM86s. In relation to these, what I've heard about the KM184 doesn't sound too appealing.
For the record: I have both, KM84 and KM184, put side by side I don't hear much difference.

Anyway, you already have it.

Regards
Kai
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Piedpiper

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2011, 06:51:44 pm »

For the record: I have both, KM84 and KM184, put side by side I don't hear much difference.

The 184 is about 3dB hotter than the 84 between about 7-12kHz and 3dB leaner below about 100Hz, exactly the opposite of what the OP wants. And personally I'd take the CMC6 mk4 over a KM84, or almost anything else, given what he's saying he's after. The DPA may be cleaner and more neutral but I'm guessing that he would prefer the Schoeps for his purposes.
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Barry Hufker

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2011, 11:48:24 pm »

I believe the 184 to be grainier and harsher in the mids especially than an 84.  IMO, an 84 can sound wonderful or neutral to the point of being bland.  I own a pair of 84s, 86s and Schoeps MK2S.  They all have their strengths and weaknesses.  I wouldn't get rid of any of them.  And there are several Schoeps capsules I think are wonderful.
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David Satz

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2011, 09:07:54 am »

Piedpiper, where did you get the figures that you posted for the frequency response of the KM 84 vs. the KM 184? Are those your subjective estimates? I think you've overstated the difference at high frequencies, while at low frequencies there's really no notable difference at all between the two models.

On the other hand if you were simply giving your subjective impression of how the microphones sound, I could understand your estimates quite well. The treble balance is very sensitive, and the KM 84 (contrary to most published graphs) already had a slight boost. When that was sharpened and increased, it became a distinct coloration as I hear it. That in turn could very well lead to the impression of having less bass--though so far as I know nothing was changed in that aspect of the capsule, and the electronics of both microphones have very flat response at low frequencies.

--best regards
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John Willett

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2011, 11:29:10 am »

Hi All,

I'm looking for a couple different kinds of advice. The basic story is that I have a pair of Colette Schoeps with the MK41 caps. These are great sounding mics, but at the same time there is a quality to their sound that I'm not all the way into. They're too lean sounding (bass shy), and there's a quality to the high end that oftentimes doesn't quite agree with me. The high end thing is particularly audible with vocals... Most every condenser mic has some quality of tizz in the high end, perhaps this particular variety of high end resonance doesn't work for me.

If you want a more fuller bass end, the Sennheiser MKH 8040 do go lower than most directional mics.

But there are not a lot in the same quality ball-park as the Schoeps.  I would include the Sennheiser MKH series, Neumann, Gefell, DPA and MBHO - I would say all pretty equal in quality, but each with a different sound character.

Piedpiper

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2011, 10:45:47 am »

Piedpiper, where did you get the figures that you posted for the frequency response of the KM 84 vs. the KM 184? Are those your subjective estimates? I think you've overstated the difference at high frequencies, while at low frequencies there's really no notable difference at all between the two models.

On the other hand if you were simply giving your subjective impression of how the microphones sound, I could understand your estimates quite well. The treble balance is very sensitive, and the KM 84 (contrary to most published graphs) already had a slight boost. When that was sharpened and increased, it became a distinct coloration as I hear it. That in turn could very well lead to the impression of having less bass--though so far as I know nothing was changed in that aspect of the capsule, and the electronics of both microphones have very flat response at low frequencies.

--best regards

Thanks for the correction, David. My comments were based on memory of various graphs I've seen, that confirmed subjective impressions. It occurs to me that I'm on shaky ground here and may be in violation of forum rules. My apologies...

How would you quantify the difference in the high frequency response between average samples of the two, given sample to sample variation?

edit: I just did a search and came up with article on recording hacks that discusses this:

http://recordinghacks.com/microphones/Neumann/KM-184

I also was referencing discussions with Michael Joly, including graphs he had made, regarding the effects of the venting on high frequency response of the two.

Not sure where the line is regarding forum protocol, since I didn't do the measurements myself.
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Jim Williams

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2011, 11:40:20 am »

The bass shy response for the Schoeps circuit is caused by 2 interstage Wima mylar capacitors, they are .22 uf. Change those to .47 or 1 uf and that problem is solved. Digi-Key has some very small stacked mylar film caps that fit nicely.

The strident top end is exasperated by the BC transistors they use to drive the outputs. Change those to Toshiba 2SA1316BL or Renesas 2SA1084 and that problem goes away. The noise floor also drops.
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BobSchwenkler

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2011, 01:05:52 pm »

That's interesting to hear. I'll see how the MK4 sounds on my amps soon. As far as the low end goes, the MK41 has a pretty significant published low end rolloff, starts at about 150 hz.

BobSchwenkler

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Re: Opinions on other mic options... Sell my Schoeps?
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2011, 10:51:04 pm »

So here's a report back with a conclusion. I borrowed an M294 and a pair of MK4 caps from a friend, and also bought a pair of Josephsons (C606A/KA22(cardioid)) that were on eBay to throw in the mix.

The MK4 hands down beats everything else for me. I sort of assumed that all the flat response Schoeps caps would have pretty similar timbres, and I can hear the relation between the two I've got, but man, the MK4s do sound significantly better. The MK4 against the MK41 is much more natural particularly from the mids on upward and much more open and not pinched sounding.

The Josephsons were my second place favorite, I'd be into them if I were looking for a more present sounding mic. The M294 was disappointing. Relatively thin and nasally, to my ear. I'm sure others can make them work well, but I don't want to have to try...

In looking for a natural, unhyped, smooth sounding mic the CMC6/MK4 is totally it out of this batch of mics for me.

Thanks again everyone for the input, and if anyone is interested in a pair of Josephson mics I'll be reselling them for what I bought them for.
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