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Anyone got the new Stellar CM5 yet?
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#31
25th November 2011
Old 25th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioallstar View Post
Can anyone compare this to a modded Apex 460? I've been looking into a "mini-mod" of a 460...existing capsule and transformer, but changing tube and some caps.
But if the CM-5 is as good or better...I'd rather save myself the trouble!
...you would have to upgrade the capsule to an edge-terminated C12-type, upgrade the transformer to a dual-bobbin T14-type, revise/improve and upgrade the circuit with higher quality capacitors, and upgrade the tube to a 6072A-type (not to mention obvious cosmetic upgrades and the inclusion of a much higher quality Neumann-style shockmount)...

...so to answer your question, even by upgrading the tube and some caps, the "mini-mod" 460 would have little in common with the Stellar CM-5...(it would have more in common with the Avantone CV-12 by making those particular changes)...circuit revisions, capsule and transformer upgrades offer substantial sonic improvements to the stock 460...while, "as good or better" can be a be a personal judgement call, I'd venture to say, IMHO, decidedly better...
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#32
26th November 2011
Old 26th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdemesmin1 View Post
Hey D-Fyant,
This maybe the perfect mic for your voice. I recall you wanted a mic with less detail on the top end.
Yes I was thinking the same thing. Hopefully I will be able to put an order in within the next few days so I can get it before the end of the year.

I will definitely post a few clips as well.
#33
27th November 2011
Old 27th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioallstar View Post
This has been great info. Thanks everybody.

Kidvybes...
I have heard samples of the CM-6 and it sounds great. But I'm wondering if you could chime in about which mic as a pair would be more fitting for piano/drums/acoustic sources. I know this is completely subjective, but I'm sure you'd have a great opinion!

Thanks.
had a great write up for this and lost it....I'm tired now, so this one will be short.
check the post of the September cover I recorded with my son. All tracks done in x/y, except for drums. Did not care the the CM-6's as room mics for my kit. That was done with the Tungsols though.

Stellar cm6 clips!!

Peter does a good job of matching the mics, as close as you can get tube mics I would imagine. I really like what I get with them on acoustic instruments and even guitar cabs. Very honest and takes eq well. I have no piano, but from the mono piano tracks that were posted, I can't imagine them not being good. I have 60's era Amperex BB's in mine and have not yet experimented with the other matched pairs of tubes I have yet. Maybe one day I'll have the time.

I hope this helps, I'll try to check more often if you have any further questions.

Regards,
Mitchell
#34
29th November 2011
Old 29th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Fyant View Post
Yes I was thinking the same thing. Hopefully I will be able to put an order in within the next few days so I can get it before the end of the year.

I will definitely post a few clips as well.
Cool I can't wait to hear some clips.

good luck.
#35
28th December 2011
Old 28th December 2011
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They are so shiny and look like stainless steel hopefully my girlfriend won't get confused.
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#36
29th December 2011
Old 29th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs2xs View Post
had a great write up for this and lost it....I'm tired now, so this one will be short.
check the post of the September cover I recorded with my son. All tracks done in x/y, except for drums. Did not care the the CM-6's as room mics for my kit. That was done with the Tungsols though.

Stellar cm6 clips!!

Peter does a good job of matching the mics, as close as you can get tube mics I would imagine. I really like what I get with them on acoustic instruments and even guitar cabs. Very honest and takes eq well. I have no piano, but from the mono piano tracks that were posted, I can't imagine them not being good. I have 60's era Amperex BB's in mine and have not yet experimented with the other matched pairs of tubes I have yet. Maybe one day I'll have the time.

I hope this helps, I'll try to check more often if you have any further questions.

Regards,
Mitchell
Hi Mitchell!

Just to let you know, I went through the following tubes in my CM6:

Stock Tungsol EF806
Mullard EF86
Telefunken EF86
Valvo E80F

Mullard sounded peaky to me. Stock Tungsol OK, but not exciting. Telefunken very nice, but Valvo E80F was a huge surprise. Top stayed beautifully open without peakiness and bottom was extended. The sound seemed more present and smoother at the same time, if that makes any sense.

The Valvo E80F is tough to find, and pricey, but the mic seems to hit its full potential with it.

Mucho props to kidvybes who told me about the Valvo. Kid you were right again!!!
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#37
3rd January 2012
Old 3rd January 2012
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I've been looking to add some more low end to my Cm6 too. I actually was thinking of getting rid of the Cm6 to get a cm5.

Would you say the valvo made a big difference (ie cm5) or just a little?

I'm in NYC and have a session Saturday so looking to do something quick. I don't know if there is a local tube reseller

Thanks
#38
3rd January 2012
Old 3rd January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsoura View Post
I've been looking to add some more low end to my Cm6 too. I actually was thinking of getting rid of the Cm6 to get a cm5.

Would you say the valvo made a big difference (ie cm5) or just a little?

I'm in NYC and have a session Saturday so looking to do something quick. I don't know if there is a local tube reseller

Thanks
...the Valvo E80F will make a noticeable improvement over the stock Tungsol...both the bottom-end and top-end will improve, but another way to get more low-end response with the CM-6 is to make use of it's excellent proximity effect...when tracking vocals, try working the mic more closely, on and slightly off-axis...by trying varying close mic positioning you will notice a definitive boost in low-end response...the CM-6's proximity effect is very useable...since a new tube requires a burn-in period for the best results, I would suggest concentrating on mastering proximity technique for saturday's session and keep an eye out for a good deal on a tube for now...

***great deal on a pair of tubes (Amperex 6084/Valvo E80F are the very same tube) here:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-X-Amperex-...item53ea99a17a
#39
3rd January 2012
Old 3rd January 2012
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Thanks for the quick response... The singer is really loud and I've got him standing right on the mic for that very reason. I'll see about the off axis...

How long do think the tube should burn in? I've heard 24-48 he's should do it...
#40
3rd January 2012
Old 3rd January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsoura View Post
Thanks for the quick response... The singer is really loud and I've got him standing right on the mic for that very reason. I'll see about the off axis...

How long do think the tube should burn in? I've heard 24-48 he's should do it...
...try tilting the mic more towards the singers neck/chest (minimizes nasal frequencies) to get more low-end response...

...and I usually burn in for 36-48 hours on new tubes...the advantage of buying two, allows you test out each and chose your favorite from the pair (my process)...and you'll have a backup too!...happy tracking!
#41
3rd January 2012
Old 3rd January 2012
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kidvybes, how would you say the CM-5 compares to JJ Audio's Dutch (both 251 and C12 configuration)?



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#42
3rd January 2012
Old 3rd January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legato View Post
kidvybes, how would you say the CM-5 compares to JJ Audio's Dutch (both 251 and C12 configuration)?
...Henk, I can't honestly evaluate that comparison, as I don't have first hand experience with the 2 different JJ Audio "Dutch" variations...I have used an Avantone CV-12 that was modded by Jim Jacobs (which included an upgraded 34mm edge-terminated capsule), and it sounded wonderful!...all of these mics share the edge-terminated C12 type capsule (the base-level Dutch retains the stock 32mm center-terminated capsule) and asst. transformers of the BV11/T14 range, but I woudn't say anymore than they all fall into the C12/ELA M251 family of voicings...Jim at JJ offers so many capsule/transformer options, headbasket options, as well as specific circuit EQ'ing tweaks, that it would be unfair to compare...suffice to say, at it's pricepoint, the CM-5 will get you in the ballpark of that sound (more similar to the Advanced Audio CM-12), but the JJ Audio options are another level (and more) depending on how you detail the component options...and of course, if your pocketbook is currently limited to the CM-5's pricepoint, you always have the JJ Audio upgrade options available down the road...
#43
3rd January 2012
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Yeah, I figured it wouldn't be so easy to answer, with all the options etc.
But thanks for the reply. It is appreciated!
Perhaps Jim will chime in on a later date (when more of those are circulating).



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#44
3rd January 2012
Old 3rd January 2012
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I have not seen or heard the CM5. I have seen and modded several CM6 mics and have seen the build quality. The components that are used are better than the Apex counterpart, and the transformer coupling capacitor is a stacked film capacitor. I am not sure of the origin of this capacitor. I use some Seimens stacked film capacitors in my MK012 mod. The Seimens caps do sound quite good.

The circuits that I use in the Dutch microphones are plate follower circuits. These circuits let you hear the sound of the tube and transformer better than the cathode follower circuit that is in the other renditions (Apex, Advanced Audio, Avantone, Carvin, Nady, ETC).

The components that I use in my microphones are some of the best available. All of the electrolytic capacitors are high grade NIchicon,Panasonic, Elna,and Rubycon. The Film capacitors I use are high quality Wima, Phillips mustard caps, Paper in oil capacitors, Seimans, Elco and many other brands. I use the polystyrene and Silver Mica in critical locations.

I use two transformers in the Dutch, Jensen and Tab Funkenwerk. The Jensen is clean and transparent with lots of headroom. The Tab is a recreation of the Hiller transformer and has nice warm accurate sound. The Tab is the most popular choice for that vintage sound.

The stock capsule that I use are similar to the CM5 and the CM12 mics. The upgrades that I offer are the ADK CK12 and the Tim Campbell CT12. I am currently auditioning a new capsule that I may be offering as the stock capsule.

I also rebuild the power supplies so that they provide the proper voltages and the very best filtering for the tube mic.

All of the mics and power supplies are rewired with Teflon Belden or Alpha Mil Spec Silver plated copper stranded wire.


As you can see this is a custom microphone. Lots of options. It takes time to change the circuit, capacitors, wires, capsule, and transformer.










.
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#45
3rd January 2012
Old 3rd January 2012
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Thanks Kidvybes,

I managed to find a valvo NOS just 2 towns over...I'm picking it up tonight

I Hope that helps with my Bass issue...if not I guess I'll go with a
cm5 I had used an Elam years ago and liked it quite a bit....
#46
4th January 2012
Old 4th January 2012
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Thanks for chiming in already, Jim!
Yes, I've been following your mic mod comments over the last years. The Dutch, in particular, intrigues me. And that's not because I'm Dutch and happen to have a Dutch Shepherd Dog.
I do realize the custom mods can take it some steps further and I personally would go the extra mile, with Campbell capsule and all. But if you ever get a CM-5 in your hands, I'd be interested in your opinion regarding components, design and value. Despite the competition, I believe you're microphone lover enough to make a reasonably objective judgement.



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#47
5th January 2012
Old 5th January 2012
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[QUOTE)transformer coupling capacitor is a stacked film capacitor. I am not sure of the origin of this capacitor.

They are EPCOS polypropylene. Made by TDK. Like these ones:

[/IMG]
#48
5th January 2012
Old 5th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...yes, I'm currently using one of the final CM-5 prototypes and the retail-ready version should be available in a few days as per the recently updated web page:
Stellar Mic Design - Home

...nice companion piece to the CM-6...a bit more low-end and low-mids (from the edge-terminated 34mm C12-type capsule) and a very smooth top-end with slightly less high-frequency detail than the CM-6...IMHO, not as bright as a true C-12 type mic, but possibly closer to the classic ELA M 251 in voicing...I haven't any tracks to post yet, but hopefully soon...
Are the CM5 and CM6 multipattern or just cardioid? There is isn't a lot of information on their website.
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#49
5th January 2012
Old 5th January 2012
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CM-6 Power supply has 9 position switch from omni to card to fig 8 with 3 stops in between each.
#50
5th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackinthebox View Post
Are the CM5 and CM6 multipattern or just cardioid?
...yes, both the CM-5 and CM-6 offer 9 polar-patterns...
...also, it should be noted that the circuits in both mics were custom designs, not stock OEM product...for the CM-6, Peter Bloch took the stock mic and redesigned the circuit, removing the stock cathode-follower circuit, converting from a dual-triode 6072A tube design to a plate-follower with an EF806A pentode tube wired as a triode...Peter ships his required componentry to the Chinese factory (select Tungsol EEF806A tubes, and asst. capacitors) for the manufacturing process...no other company shares that design...both mics are configurated to exclusive requirements and incorporate the larger 34mm edge-terminated capsule (CM-5) and 35mm center-terminated capsule (CM-6)...prioritized transformers are the T14-type (CM-5) and BV8-type (CM-6)...neither microphone design is OEM from the manufacturer...also, Peter burns-in and pre-tests each mic prior to shipping...at the current pricepoints, the CM-5 and CM-6 are exceptional value, performing well in shootouts with much more costly and reputable microphones...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackinthebox View Post
There is isn't a lot of information on their website.
...agreed, Peter is a much more talented audio engineer than he is a web designer...the site is currently being updated...
#51
5th January 2012
Old 5th January 2012
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Being a Gearslut has been an adventure. I've bought and sold alot of stuff, especially microphones. You try to find something that people's descriptions make it sound like what you're after, only to find that it isn't what you needed.

As such, I've arrived at the position that buying gear requires faith - faith in the manufacturer, faith in the people recommending the item and faith in your own abilities to use the item and get similar results.

For me, when it came to buying the Stellar CM-6 and CM-5 "Faith came by hearing!" kidvybes and mdemesmin1 brought a dozen or so mics over to my little studio and after hearing them side by side on my speakers in my room on 3 voices I am extremely familiar with, I immediately ordered the two Stellars.

The Stellar mics have a 3 day return policy. Get it, listen, return if you hate it. I can't imagine it will be going back. But only you can tell if it's going to fit your needs.

They ate my Soundelux U99 that I had for years (and just sold for $1500).

Hearing is believing.
#52
5th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screws View Post
The Stellar mics have a 3 day return policy. Get it, listen, return if you hate it.
Not according to Peter- no returns for refunds. I've asked twice and he was explicit each time. Until he creates a written, consistent and reasonable return policy, then I would not risk the purchase.

No matter the hype.
#53
5th January 2012
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So what is the truth behind the return's policy? It is a difficult one. I've been having trouble with warranty policy and returns myself. It is easily abused in a way but it's part of the problem of selling a brand new product. Guarantee against faulty parts or workmanship or the buyers rights on ebay are something to take into account but could put a small company out of business.
#54
6th January 2012
Old 6th January 2012
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My apologies, slaphappy. When I bought my mics there was a stated "3 day return" policy. It appears that has since changed to a "3 day exchange" policy.

For anyone interested there is someone selling what they purport to being a brand new CM5 on ebay right now. $375 with a return policy.
#55
6th January 2012
Old 6th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackinthebox View Post
So what is the truth behind the return's policy? It is a difficult one. I've been having trouble with warranty policy and returns myself. It is easily abused in a way but it's part of the problem of selling a brand new product. Guarantee against faulty parts or workmanship or the buyers rights on ebay are something to take into account but could put a small company out of business.
It's tough, no doubt. But unless you open up a dealer network (expensive and time consuming) so that people can actually TRY the product and hear it themselves, then a generous RETURN policy should be in order. Or you will sacrifice sales until there are enough of your mics out there so that everybody has a good feel for them. (That in and of itself will be a difficult chore.) Bottom line - if your mics are as good or better than the hype, offer a return policy. If they truly are "as good as the hype", NOBODY will be returning them. If they are not as purported, then a safer "exchange" policy will hedge your bets. But unfortunately, that's much safer for users who bought through dealers who - if you do find you don't get on with the mic - have a variety of other product lines you can exchange for.

Many of the mic manufacturers/modders I know are happy to send out a demo mic before purchase. That's as it should be IMO.
#56
6th January 2012
Old 6th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screws View Post
For anyone interested there is someone selling what they purport to being a brand new CM5 on ebay right now. $375 with a return policy.
...that's the guy from the "Tube Tests" videos...he buys mics, shoots a video demo'ing the mic, and then sells them "as new" on eBay...he sold a killer mic a couple of weeks ago that I thought about buying myself (U47 repro body, Mojave MA-200 circuit and a custom M7 capsule):
Neumann U47 style Tube Microphone M7 Equinox 47 Kit Royer Mojave Audio Mic | eBay

...sweet!

http://www.youtube.com/user/TubeTestsShow
#57
6th January 2012
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[QUOTE converting from a dual-triode 6072A tube design to a plate-follower with an EF806A pentode tube wired as a triode...Peter ships his required componentry to the Chinese factory (select Tungsol EEF806A tubes, and asst. capacitors) for the manufacturing process...

And does the CM5 use the 6072a as a single triode too?
#58
6th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackinthebox View Post
And does the CM5 use the 6072a as a single triode too?
...no, the CM-5's dual-triode 6072A tube circuit, utilizes the 2nd triode of the tube as a cathode-follower feeding into a dual-bobbin T14-type transformer...where the simple plate-follower circuit of the CM-6 gives it a very natural, detailed, clear and airy quality, the CM-5's cathode-follower circuit generates a more vintage tonality, with bigger low-end/low-mids and a smooth top-end with a bit less sheen than the CM-6...
#59
6th January 2012
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Many of the mic manufacturers/modders I know are happy to send out a demo mic before purchase. That's as it should be IMO.[/QUOTE]

I totally agree. I have a number of loan mics available at any one time. The trouble i've had is the shipping costs involved, who should pay the postage cost? Selling brand new items and being beholden to the standard 14 day return policy which is within the legal rights of any buyer in the UK could end up you up with a lot of no longer brand new mics. Also ebay policy is on the side of the buyer in this regard.
Do you think the buyer covering the shipping charges to try out a loan mic is reasonable? It's a bit of a grey area for me at the moment.
A customer buying an unknown product on hearsay is a hard one to get around. I have thought about the distribution route but the customer ends up paying double or more the cost.
#60
6th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...no, the CM-5's dual-triode 6072A tube circuit, utilizes the 2nd triode of the tube as a cathode-follower feeding into a dual-bobbin T14-type transformer...where the simple plate-follower circuit of the CM-6 gives it a very natural, detailed, clear and airy quality, the CM-5's cathode-follower circuit generates a more vintage tonality, with bigger low-end/low-mids and a smooth top-end with a bit less sheen than the CM-6...
i see. more like the original C12 circuit. thanks for the info.

you seem very well informed in all things Stellar.
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