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Sanken CU-44X MkII verses TLM170R
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666666
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#1
10th September 2010
Old 10th September 2010
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Sanken CU-44X MkII verses TLM170R

Sorry for the "this verses that" post, but just trying to get a better idea of what the CU-44X is all about, sonically.

I already own and use TLM-170R mics and like them very much. But the concept of the CU-44X is extremely interesting to me, the dual diaphragm set-up that makes for nearly perfect consistency in terms of frequency response across the entire pick-up pattern.

Yes, I know, the only way to figure this out is to audition the mics first hand, but in the meantime, I'd love to get a little discussion going here, would be interesting.

I have read all past threads regarding the CU-44X, even participated in some, but it's been a while, I'd like to think that there are more CU-44X users out there now, plus regulars who may have newer CU-44X experiences etc.

The concept and specs of the CU-44X are incredible, but of course, the bottom line, how does it sound?

Is the CU-44X anything like a 170 in terms of overall character (or lack thereof)? Or... I think one past post had suggested that the CU-44X had a bit of "Schoeps character" to it...? Or... DPA character? I am familiar with Schoeps and DPAs too, so any comparisons would be welcomed.

#2
11th September 2010
Old 11th September 2010
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Looking forward to see some interesting comments and info in this thread.

I have an eye on the CU44 as well.

The nice polar pattern makes me curious on this mic as mains instead of my workhorses MKH8040.


/Peter
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11th September 2010
Old 11th September 2010
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Get one already ...

For the past six months I have been using the CU44 MkII extensively and in parallel with Schoeps / DPA mics. I have been so thrilled with this mic that I have for the most part put away the DPAs and use it as the center mono mic in a variety of setups. It is indeed superb sounding and off-axis response is the best I have heard; for me it is easily the best omni like cardiod mic that I have heard. I had heard the mic when it had a dedicated 100V supply and chose to wait to get the 48V version when it was released last year.

My short of list of pros :
1. Excellent transient response
2. Very natural on axis and off-axis response.
3. Very little proximity effect is used about 2 feet
from source.
4. Clean open sounding like an omni
5. Excellent shockmount that is standard with the
mic.
6. Very low noise.

Don't try it if you don't have the budget to buy it. It will really spoil your other mics for you.

Good luck,
Baithak

PS: After raving about it for a while and realizing that nobody else has picked up on my comments with other reviews, it seems to me that not many Slutz have experienced this mic. Too bad.
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11th September 2010
Old 11th September 2010
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Quote:
6. Very low noise.
15 dBA. Good but rather usual figure.

Interesting discussion about the CU-44X here.
666666
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11th September 2010
Old 11th September 2010
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Thanks Baithak! I was hoping you'd chime in. I know we've discussed the CU-44X briefly in other threads and I appreciate and respect your comments and opinions.

Glad that you are still loving the CU-44X mics now that you've had more time to work with them. I think when we discussed them last time, you had just one and hadn't put too much time in on it yet. And I think you were either going to get or just got a second one.

How do you feel the mic behaves for distant miking verses close miking? Any pros or cons with close or distant applications? I know the mic does have a very high SPL so I'd imagine it can handle intense close miking situations in any case.

I noted that you've been using the CU-44X for center mono use.... and this makes good sense considering it's polar pattern. Have you put time in experimenting with stereo configurations (with two CU-44Xs)? I realize that the polar pattern of this mic is fairly wide, maybe not ideal for stereo use. (?) Then again, considering the excellent response off-axis, I would imagine they'd be somewhat forgiving in say a very wide XY pattern etc... unlike many other cardioid condensers where the polar pattern of the high frequency is very tight compared to the rest of the frequencies.

I've had my eye on the CU-44(x) for a long time now, it's one of those mics that one way or another I'll inevitably need to get at some point. So in the meantime I'd love to read more about them!
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11th September 2010
Old 11th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
Looking forward to see some interesting comments and info in this thread.

I have an eye on the CU44 as well.

The nice polar pattern makes me curious on this mic as mains instead of my workhorses MKH8040.


/Peter
Funny, we've had the CU-41 and the CU-44 in the mic locker for many years and it always seems to be a second choice microphone for virtually everything. We use it as a French Horn spot mic and the guys from Sony (Sean Murphy and Richard King) used to use it on the Woodwinds for the CBS/Sony Boston Pops recordings. I can't see using it for a main microphone, but I have a very strong bias toward omni's. The multiple diaphragm capsule causes a little "Smear" to the pickup that is a little wonky when compared to a good single capsule microphone. To my estimation it is flat frequency response at the cost of some impulse clarity. I've never really cared about perfectly flat frequently response. In my estimation the impulse response is far more important.
As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark
#7
12th September 2010
Old 12th September 2010
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Thanks for input Mark. I guess I have to try a pair myself to see what they can bring.

I've heard plenty of nice recordings with both omnis and cardioids as main mic's as well as wide cardioids and one of the most realistic recordings (organ) I have heard used a pair of CU44 as mains which adds to my interest.

The two capsule design can give excellent impulse response on axis (depending on the order of the filters) but the physical separation will always give some combfiltering of axis. This is not necessarily a big problem in the diffuse field though since the average pick up can still be flat.



/Peter
#8
14th September 2010
Old 14th September 2010
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A bit about the use of the CU-44 in my work

Dear 66666:
Sorry for not responding earlier to your questions; I was caught up in a project. For my response to your question to make any sense, you will have to bear with me as I explain my work and micing techniques a bit;

I record mostly small Indian Classical ensembles in fairly live rooms. For this use, I find that the standard stereo pickups yield an unnaturally wide image. Plus, the nature of the performances, proximity of the audience, type of rooms and relative balance of the instruments leads to a much smaller critical distance (3-5 feet) than is normal in western ensemble music. The movement of the performers' head and body (for a singer) also causes distracting movement in the stereo image.

After much experimentation, I have settled on techniques that have a well placed center mic to capture most of the image. The Schoeps MK21 capsule served this role in my setup for several years. I add an ambient pair - either a Royer 122 stereo pair about 14 inches apart or a small ORTF Schoeps MK41 pair for - this ambient pair I pan and mix with the main mic to yield an image that is believable / realistic. While, I mix live to 2 track DSD, I also retain the three tracks so I can mix it later if the original recording is not satisfactory or (gasp!) if I have to use eq.

For the past year, the CU44 has replaced the MK21 Schoeps in my setup entirely and I am most satisfied with the results.

[QUOTE=666666;5777824
How do you feel the mic behaves for distant miking verses close miking? Any pros or cons with close or distant applications? I know the mic does have a very high SPL so I'd imagine it can handle intense close miking situations in any case.

I noted that you've been using the CU-44X for center mono use.... and this makes good sense considering it's polar pattern. Have you put time in experimenting with stereo configurations (with two CU-44Xs)? (?)
[/QUOTE]

The 44 can handle the SPLs easily. I don't usually mic closer-in than about 3 ft but on the one occasion that I had to, the mic performed with no problems.

Regarding a stereo setup, I am getting such good results with my current setup that I don't have the incentive to get another mic. I have always wanted to try a Soundfield mic so that is going to be my next purchase mic-wise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
Funny, we've had the CU-41 and the CU-44 in the mic locker for many years and it always seems to be a second choice microphone for virtually everything. ...
-mark
Mark : Thank you for your comment. I take your statement as validation of my use of the CU-44 : it is so damn versatile that I can make it sound good on a variety of instruments and only have to carry one mic as opposed to a bunch of specialist mics. Much of the work I do is in the field with sometimes multiple acts in a day, many of whom I have never heard before, using instruments that seem to have been invented that very day :-)

My field mic-kit today is comprised of versatile mics : a pair of Senn MD 441, a Royer 122 pair, a Schoeps MK41/21 pair and MS setup, a DPA 4003 pair for the few occasions where I have the luxury of a larger ensemble in a super sounding room, a single EV 635A for spoken interviews, a single DPA 4011 / EV RE-16 for spot duties and of course, the fairest of them all, the Sanken CU 44.

Thanks for listening,
Baithak
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