Crowley & Tripp - Naked Eye
Old 4th April 2006
  #1
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Thread Starter
Crowley & Tripp - Naked Eye

Anyone here who have tried the: Crowley & Tripp doubled voiced Naked Eye (http://www.soundwaveresearch.com/nakedeye.html)?

I was thinking of buying (or modifying a Nad in the same way) a pair of ShinyBox 23L (http://www.shinybox.com/) but this maybe is worth the extra dollars?
I want a great great guitar amp mic and maybe a Nice vocal mic.

Any thoughts ?
Old 4th April 2006
  #2
Head of Bumping Security (B.S)
 

I haven't tried the Naked Eye, but I like my Proscenium on just about everything. The AEA R92 might be another mic to consider, or of course a Royer. I really like the Crowley & Tripp mics myself.
Old 4th April 2006
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdunn
I haven't tried the Naked Eye, but I like my Proscenium on just about everything.
Jason,

I had far too limited time with the Proscenium when I had it here for the Ribbon Roundup recordings. Can you elaborate on how it sounds and what places it excels. Also what other ribbons do you have to compare it with? Beside the 92s you mentioned.
Old 4th April 2006
  #4
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The Procenium is voiced like a traditional ribbon (with top rolloff and mids-forward). So it works on the things you'd use those for--all around studio use: electric and coustic instruments, drums, even vocals. Use it where you'd use an AEA R84 or a Coles 4038.

The C and T I've spent the most time with and really like is the Studio Vocalist, which sort of combines the best of both the ribbon and condenser worlds. Not that it is active or uses 48V like the Royer 122, for instance, but it's voiced to have a rise in the top-end, giving it a prescence and detail for vocals that classic ribbons traditionally lack.

I really like it on male voice (have not tried it yet on female) because it has that creamy ribbony mid-range and an almost U87-ish high-end. And by that I don't mean like a modern "Sizzle-heizer" U87, but a good 1980's one. I can imagine that the Studio Vocalist at its worst could be a tad honkey on some singers or sibilant on some, but I've used it on two soulful male vocalists with an API 512, and it has worked great.
Old 5th April 2006
  #5
Head of Bumping Security (B.S)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston
Jason,

I had far too limited time with the Proscenium when I had it here for the Ribbon Roundup recordings. Can you elaborate on how it sounds and what places it excels. Also what other ribbons do you have to compare it with? Beside the 92s you mentioned.
I haven't done any comparisons as such, though I've used the SF-12, R122, and R44 in similar applications. I thought the Proscenium was really nice on soprano sax for one thing. It captured the instrument perfectly, with just enough breath noise but no irritating high end at all. The track needed no eq. If I had more of them, I wouldn't hesitate to try them on any horn instument.

I tried using the Proscenium for some reamp'd guitar tracks. The tracks sounded good, a little dark maybe, but there was something going on with the converter clocking, so I didn't end up using those tracks.

I'll try micing a guitar amp w/ live guitar and report back.
Old 18th April 2006
  #6
Gear Head
 

The Naked Eye is a real killer!
It doesn't have as much bass as it's big brothers, but the sound is just wonderful!
My favourite is still Studio Vocalist, which is out of budet for me, but the Naked Eye is really among the best I've tried so far. At the top of my list, there are the three Crowley and Tripp's I've tested (Studio Vocalist, Proscenium and Naked Eye - in that order) - and following them are AEA R-84 and Royer R-121 IHMO.
Old 18th April 2006
  #7
C/G
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How is the Naked Eye on loud amps compared to the R121 or R84? I've used the R84 but not the Royer or C&T.
Old 18th April 2006
  #8
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Slogun's Avatar
I have the Naked Eye here on test and my first impression is that it's bang for the buck. Unfortunatelly I'm not a singer myself so I haven't been able to try it out extensively (yet). A big plus is the tie needle that comes with the box
I can also recommend a listen at the Sontronics Sigma ribbon mic, that one's also very impressive and a bit cheaper as well.
Old 18th April 2006
  #9
C/G
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The Sonotronics ribbon mic is that wacky looking thing with a weird shockmount right? I think both the Sonotronics and the C&T are priced about the same as well. $750ish or in that neighbourhood I think.
Old 18th April 2006
  #10
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I really dig the C&T's I've heard.
Haven't had a chance to use them in a
session yet though (and that's a big "if").
Old 18th April 2006
  #11
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Slogun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Gaucher
The Sonotronics ribbon mic is that wacky looking thing with a weird shockmount right?
Yup, sounds like it anyway. The sales rep for sontronics here in sweden told me that he was caught in the customs with that mic in the luggage. They thought it looked like an old east german razor machine
Old 18th April 2006
  #12
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robmix's Avatar
I've been really curious about the Sonotronics. Anyone have a review ?
Old 3rd May 2006
  #13
C/G
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Any one have more info on the Naked Eye? Users?
Old 3rd May 2006
  #14
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vocomotion's Avatar
 

I've got a Sontronics SIGMA on order...backordered 3-4 weeks. I'll try to post some samples when it comes in...

--> freddie
Old 3rd May 2006
  #15
C/G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vocomotion
I've got a Sontronics SIGMA on order...backordered 3-4 weeks. I'll try to post some samples when it comes in...

--> freddie
That would be great. I'm kind of torn between those two. I can get them locally but the shop has neither at the moment, and probably won't for a short while. Do you have other ribbons to campare it to? Thanks for the offer, and I'm sure I'm not the only one wanting to hear a sample. to you sir.
Old 27th October 2006
  #16
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Thread resurrection.... threadsurection...?

Anyone else have any more Naked Eye experiences to share? Especially when used for any acoustic instruments?

Regards,
-0.9
Old 27th October 2006
  #17
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I like it on acoustic guitars. It sounds balanced and natural.
Old 27th October 2006
  #18
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Omicron_9's Avatar
 

Drew,

Thanks for the reply and info; I appreciate it.

Regards,
-0.9
Old 27th October 2006
  #19
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Man, I've been preachin' the gospel about the C&T mics since I heard them in a quiet environment two years ago. And I don't even own one!
Seriously, I was very impressed with the flat response mic (can't remember the name right now.....it was very similar to a Coles sound) and less so with the Vocalist but that's if I only had dough for one mic. If I was looking for a ribbon mic suitable for only vocals the Vocalist (or whatever the model is called-sorry) be probably be terrific. Very sturdily built too as I remember.

I remember not being so crazy about the cheaper model ribbon they had but that's 'cause the others I heard were so killer. I need to check them out again.
Old 27th October 2006
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackHand View Post
Anyone here who have tried the: Crowley & Tripp doubled voiced Naked Eye.
I was thinking of buying (or modifying a Nad in the same way) a pair of ShinyBox 23L (http://www.shinybox.com/) but this maybe is worth the extra dollars?
The Shinybox, and any other Chinese ribbon I've heard so far, is in nowhere near the same class as the C&Ts. IMO.

I heard the newest, the Recordist, at AES. It's a great sounding mic. And the Naked Eye, which I heard for the first time at AES, really impressed me. This from someone with 15 ribbons in my collection.

Skip the Chinese ribbons, which are good introductions but not fabulous tools, and go straight for a tool that you can own and enjoy the rest of your life.
Old 27th October 2006
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
The Shinybox, and any other Chinese ribbon I've heard so far, is in nowhere near the same class as the C&Ts. IMO.

Skip the Chinese ribbons, which are good introductions but not fabulous tools, and go straight for a tool that you can own and enjoy the rest of your life.
Since the issue of quality has come up, and Lynn, you seem to have alot more experience on this than the average joe. I'd like to get into some fact on these matters...

The Shinybox with either the Lundahl transformer and the extra gunk removed + other mods is generally regarded to be a bit better sounding than the original Nady.

I'm wondering where this Mic now stands in regards to the C&T Naked Eye? In your opinion of course... Comparing parts used? The ribbon itself? Tension, magnets, body, placement? Construction?

On construction you would probably think that a C&T would be put together better which is very important to the sound of a microphone. However, is the Nady/Shinybox created with such fatal flaws that it can never be a quality professional tool? Or is there something inherent in its design that makes it a temporary toy?

I certainly understand the arguement of business practise. Where you have a factory of politically supressed workers methodically and coldly churning out one mic (Nady/Shinybox). While a company of intelligent and relatively free people concieve and produce another microphone (C&T) - pricing the microphone so that its employees can comfortably support their families in modern America.

I'm wondering where the Shinybox falls short and where the Naked Eye shines outside of the business practise / good audio karma argument.??

Thanks!
Old 27th October 2006
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danasti View Post
Since the issue of quality has come up, and Lynn, you seem to have alot more experience on this than the average joe. I'd like to get into some fact on these matters...

The Shinybox with either the Lundahl transformer and the extra gunk removed + other mods is generally regarded to be a bit better sounding than the original Nady.
I'll offer what facts I have. I have an original unbranded Chinese ribbon, the same body style as the Nady, direct from China. I have another of the same mic that was modified by ShinyBox with the Cinemag transformer and extra pop filtering removed. I have two of the Nady RM-2 mics.

The ShinyBox is better sounding, no doubt. The ShinyBox transformers are better, no doubt. Also, the ShinyBox actually puts out a signal that has the correct polarity, something I can't say for any of the other Chinese mics I have.

I don't have a problem with the ShinyBox mods or mics or the company. I was very pleased with the mods. But you have to remember that it is a cheap mic modified. Good for the price? Yes. Great regardless of price? Not in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danasti View Post
I'm wondering where this Mic now stands in regards to the C&T Naked Eye? In your opinion of course... Comparing parts used? The ribbon itself? Tension, magnets, body, placement? Construction?
Comparing construction quality between a Chinese ribbon and a C&T is like comparing a Yugo to a Mercedes. The Chinese ribbons just feel cheaper in your hand. The bodies (talking strictly about the RSM-2 mic here) have audible resonances. The ribbons themselves have holes in them. (No joke. ShinyBox was the first one to call this to my attention.) Does that compromise the sound of the mic? I'm not sure. Does it instill confidence in the buyer concerning quality control? Not hardly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danasti View Post
On construction you would probably think that a C&T would be put together better which is very important to the sound of a microphone. However, is the Nady/Shinybox created with such fatal flaws that it can never be a quality professional tool? Or is there something inherent in its design that makes it a temporary toy?
Fatal flaws? I'm not sure I would say that. The body cavity can be dampened and rubber mat applied to the resonant parts. The ribbon can be replaced. The transformer can be replaced. The severe padding in the acoustic head (layered in there to make sure no one can damage the mic and insure that they don't come back for reribboning) can be removed. The yoke can be remade so that the male XLR output connection won't keep the mic from swivelling for positioning. (If you have the mic with the captive cable, it will already move through the full arc, but you may have to replace [upgrade] the cable to a better cable).

Once you have done all those, then you will have remedied what I consider the problems. But two big questions remain.

1) How much time and money will you have spent accomplishing all those improvements?

2) Will you end up with a mic that is better than the Naked Eye? Or even as good?

I can't answer the first question because I honestly don't know. I do know that the Shinybox mods on my Chinese mic (transformer swapped and screening removed) cost me more than the mic itself (I did get a great deal direct from China, but I bought 12 of them). When it was all said and done, did I end up with a mic that I preferred over my R84s, R92s, R122s, or 74B or 77DX? Nope.

Would I reach for the modded Chinese mic before I would reach for the Naked Eye? Well, I've not used the Naked Eye in the studio, but based on my experience with the other three preceding models (Proscenium, Soundstage Image, and Vocalist) and my brief listening at AES, I would have to say no. I don't own any C&T's yet, but they are fine mics. I was very impressed with the range of the C&T Naked Eye, with the drastically different sounds front and back. I was even more impressed with the upcoming Recordist mic they were showing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danasti View Post
I certainly understand the arguement of business practise. Where you have a factory of politically supressed workers methodically and coldly churning out one mic (Nady/Shinybox). While a company of intelligent and relatively free people concieve and produce another microphone (C&T) - pricing the microphone so that its employees can comfortably support their families in modern America.

I'm wondering where the Shinybox falls short and where the Naked Eye shines outside of the business practise / good audio karma argument.??
I won't comment on the "country of origin" argument, because I honestly don't care. German, Japanese, Chinese, Austrian, Australian, American. I just don't care who put it together. I care whether or not it sounds good and is useful in a particular application. The same way that I judge whether gear sounds good before I ask if has tubes or transformers in it. I don't care what's inside. I care about the difference (or similarity) of what goes in and what comes out.

Get both mics and listen to them side by side. That's the only way you can answer the question for yourself.
Old 27th October 2006
  #23
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chrisso's Avatar
 

Advice.......
Would the Naked Eye be a contender for a drum set up (ambience or overheads ala Coles or R84), or would the more expensive C&T's be a more sensible option?
Old 27th October 2006
  #24
Lives for gear
 

If you are interested in my post above, then you would definitely find this thread interesting. It's the one where I decided to do the mod to my Chinese ribbon and has input from Mr. Shinybox himself. It's a record and documentation of my findings and listenings (including recorded examples) of the pre-mod and modded mics. There are also charts and graphs and photos of the before and after versions.

http://www.3daudioinc.com/3db/showthread.php?t=8009
Old 27th October 2006
  #25
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Crowley and Tripp make mics that stand with the best ever...remember these guys also make medical instruments, so the build quality is A++. The thing about the C+T is that they sound a bit more level in frequency curve and more hi-fi than some of the other ribbon offerings. It would be like if Buzz Audio or Pendulum made a ribbon mic, where Royer and AEA would be Manley and Tube Tech.
Old 27th October 2006
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
Crowley and Tripp make mics that stand with the best ever...remember these guys also make medical instruments, so the build quality is A++. The thing about the C+T is that they sound a bit more level in frequency curve and more hi-fi than some of the other ribbon offerings. It would be like if Buzz Audio or Pendulum made a ribbon mic, where Royer and AEA would be Manley and Tube Tech.
Does that go for the Naked Eye also? (being more hi-fi and good build quality) I just want a great dirty guitar cab mic, thats all I truly care about with the ribbons right now, until I discover other things they are great at, at least.
It seems like the ribbon is in wide open on the Naked Eye. Seems a bit dangerously open without any wind stoppage at all. Scares me. Is it a bang for the buck mic though? Stand up to the 121?
I kind of like the SHinybox I have so far, and Wagener seemed to think it was decent too, but we chose the Royer 122v and the Royer 121 over it each time. Go figure.
Old 27th October 2006
  #27
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pan60's Avatar
 

as per the email.
Quote:
hi Lynn
my i ask?
i see on gearslutz you have offered what i would say was more then sound advice on the subject of ribbon mic's.
you have mentioned have a few of the china made ( nady ) mic's one of which you mention being the shiny box.
i have very little knowledge as to ribbon mic's.
i do have a B&O that Clarence Kane did the so called RCA-44 mod to, ( which i understand to simply be the RCA ribbon ) and a Oktava.
a friend of mine is into ribbons and has a few he also has the B&O that he also sent to Clarence for the same mod, he say's it is now among his favorite ribbon mic's.
so to the question.
have you thought about sending Clarence one of the Nady ribbon mic's to have the trany swapped out and the RCA ribbon put in?
as you have so many ribbon and are your opinion is so trusted i would like to know if it was worth the effort.
i have thought about getting some of the other ribbons such as the sure's , ev's, reslo's and who knows what, just not sure if it is worth it in the end.
any way just some thoughts.
Old 28th October 2006
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubedude View Post
Does that go for the Naked Eye also? (being more hi-fi and good build quality) I just want a great dirty guitar cab mic, thats all I truly care about with the ribbons right now, until I discover other things they are great at, at least.
It seems like the ribbon is in wide open on the Naked Eye. Seems a bit dangerously open without any wind stoppage at all. Scares me. Is it a bang for the buck mic though? Stand up to the 121?
I kind of like the SHinybox I have so far, and Wagener seemed to think it was decent too, but we chose the Royer 122v and the Royer 121 over it each time. Go figure.
And I seem to be choosing the ShinyBox 46 over my R121 on distorted electric guitar these days...go figure.

When I did hear the Naked Eye at TapeOpCon during one of the Potluck Studio sessions I was really impressed when it was compared to an R121. Plus they just look so damn cute.

Brad
Old 28th October 2006
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
And I seem to be choosing the ShinyBox 46 over my R121 on distorted electric guitar these days...go figure.

When I did hear the Naked Eye at TapeOpCon during one of the Potluck Studio sessions I was really impressed when it was compared to an R121. Plus they just look so damn cute.

Brad
Compared on what? Guitar cab? I'm kind of digging my Shinybox too. I'm just wondering if, as cool as this thing sounds, if there is something else that will kill it on cabs. The Royers didnt kill it, they just sounded a little better, and the SB sounded WAY better than SM57, Beyer 500, E609 on the same source. Just wasnt QUITE as good as the Royers. The 122v was mega nice though.
Old 28th October 2006
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
hi Lynn
may i ask?
i see on gearslutz you have offered what i would say was more then sound advice on the subject of ribbon mic's.
you have mentioned have a few of the china made ( nady ) mic's one of which you mention being the shiny box.
i have very little knowledge as to ribbon mic's.
i do have a B&O that Clarence Kane did the so called RCA-44 mod to, ( which i understand to simply be the RCA ribbon ) and a Oktava.
a friend of mine is into ribbons and has a few he also has the B&O that he also sent to Clarence for the same mod, he say's it is now among his favorite ribbon mic's.
so to the question.
have you thought about sending Clarence one of the Nady ribbon mic's to have the trany swapped out and the RCA ribbon put in?
as you have so many ribbon and are your opinion is so trusted i would like to know if it was worth the effort.
i have thought about getting some of the other ribbons such as the sure's , ev's, reslo's and who knows what, just not sure if it is worth it in the end.
any way just some thoughts.
In my opinion, I have spent more than I should modding an average mic to make it above average. I'm just not interested in spending any more on these Chinese mics (again specifically referring to the RSM-2 style). If I buy the mic and keep only the magnet and the shell, I would have spent $500+ on a mic that would still probably be my fourth or fifth choice. To me, it's not worth it.

If the mods had netted me a mic that I liked better than my other ribbons, I'd be singing a different tune. They didn't. In the other thread I referenced, I mention that it's sort of like dropping a Corvette engine into a Yugo. Sure you can do it, but why? You don't end up with Corvette performance, just a hyped up hybrid that's a little cheaper than a real performer.

I'd go for the Naked Eye in a heartbeat over a Chinese ribbon "project" mic. Don't forget that support is part of the equation. Who's gonna fix your pet project mic if it breaks?

For me, it wasn't worth the effort as I now have several Chinese mics that I'll use if I've run out of my other better-performing ribbons. What's more important-saving money or getting great sound?
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