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CM3 - really THAT good?
#31
4th September 2011
Old 4th September 2011
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I don't have them anymore (Sold them as I wrote earlier).

I'll look for files. I'm not sure I still have them on the HD.

I used it once for a baroque music concert in a church. There was 3 places inside the church where musicians played.

2 Schoeps pair and the CM3 pair. Same preamps (DAV 8 channels), same AD (lavry blue 8 ch), same wires (mogami 2549). The CM3 pair was noisy compared with my Schoeps.

Nothing more, nothing less...
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#32
4th September 2011
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Hmmm, noise... some people where not bothered by DPA4061 noise, but I was... It was "noisless" only in close up applications for which they were meant for...

But (A-weighted) self noise for DPA4061 is specified at 26dB(A) !!, while CM3 is at very reasonable 16dB and MK21 is at 14dB... signal to noise for the CM3 is 78dB, for MK21 it's 80dB - not a BIG difference... it certainly shouldn't be audible for even most "silent" applications and the noise floor of churches, concert halls and even studios is MUCH higher than that...

Only if they are not giving out real specifications or your pair was faulty in some way...

Specifications for CM3:

Type: prepolarised cardioid condenser microphone
Frequency response: 20-20000Hz (100-16000Hz+-1.2dB on axis!)
Phantom power: 24 - 48V
current consumption: 3.5 mA
Impedance: <100 Ohm
Sensitivity: 6mV/PA -44dB
S/N ratio (DIN/CCIR): 78dB(A)/68dB
Noise level: 16dB(A)
Max SPL: 130dB

and for MK21 capsule:

Frequency range30 Hz - 20 kHz Sensitivity13 mV/Pa Equivalent noise level (A-weighted)14 dB-A Equivalent noise level (CCIR)24 dB Signal-to-noise ratio (A-weighted)80 dB-A Maximum sound pressure level at 0.5% THD132 dB-SPL Length22 mm Diameter20 mm Weight17 g Surface finishmatte gray (g) or nickel (ni)

Anyway, I decided to try the CM3, I wonder how's with matched pairs - are separate mics close enough not to worry about that? Or should I ask specifically for the matched pair? I intend to use them mostly for stereo applications.


#33
4th September 2011
Old 4th September 2011
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As I understand it. The Line Audio guy (forgot his name) doesn´t sort the mics into various categories. There is no "bad" and "good" box of microphones that he sells. If the mic doesn't live up to his expectations (as freq. curve for example), it is thrown away.
So I would buy separate mics and not be worried about it.

He is a nice chap with passion for sound and music first of all.
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#34
4th September 2011
Old 4th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalachriser View Post
As I understand it. The Line Audio guy (forgot his name) doesn´t sort the mics into various categories. There is no "bad" and "good" box of microphones that he sells. If the mic doesn't live up to his expectations (as freq. curve for example), it is thrown away.
So I would buy separate mics and not be worried about it.

He is a nice chap with passion for sound and music first of all.
It's not about good or bad - but similar enough to be used as a stereo pair...

I guess this means they are made to such high standards that any randomly coupled pair works as a matched stereo pair then.
#35
4th September 2011
Old 4th September 2011
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fwiw when I ordered mine (yesterday) I was told that I'm getting a matched pair.

They have a 2 year warranty.

Jean Pol at no hype audio is a very nice and responsive guy.
#36
5th September 2011
Old 5th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
Hmmm, noise... some people where not bothered by DPA4061 noise, but I was... It was "noisless" only in close up applications for which they were meant for...

But (A-weighted) self noise for DPA4061 is specified at 26dB(A) !!, while CM3 is at very reasonable 16dB and MK21 is at 14dB... signal to noise for the CM3 is 78dB, for MK21 it's 80dB - not a BIG difference... it certainly shouldn't be audible for even most "silent" applications and the noise floor of churches, concert halls and even studios is MUCH higher than that...

Only if they are not giving out real specifications or your pair was faulty in some way...

Specifications for CM3:

Type: prepolarised cardioid condenser microphone
Frequency response: 20-20000Hz (100-16000Hz+-1.2dB on axis!)
Phantom power: 24 - 48V
current consumption: 3.5 mA
Impedance: <100 Ohm
Sensitivity: 6mV/PA -44dB
S/N ratio (DIN/CCIR): 78dB(A)/68dB
Noise level: 16dB(A)
Max SPL: 130dB

and for MK21 capsule:

Frequency range30 Hz - 20 kHz Sensitivity13 mV/Pa Equivalent noise level (A-weighted)14 dB-A Equivalent noise level (CCIR)24 dB Signal-to-noise ratio (A-weighted)80 dB-A Maximum sound pressure level at 0.5% THD132 dB-SPL Length22 mm Diameter20 mm Weight17 g Surface finishmatte gray (g) or nickel (ni)

Anyway, I decided to try the CM3, I wonder how's with matched pairs - are separate mics close enough not to worry about that? Or should I ask specifically for the matched pair? I intend to use them mostly for stereo applications.


The specs of the mics are similar, but the capsules are different. The price
differences have a lot to do with the particular qualities of the capsules.
#37
5th September 2011
Old 5th September 2011
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Hi-
The CM3's might have a lower output than what might be expected relative to other mic's, but Peter or other users might be able to speak to that issue. (I can't, as I don't own the mic's.)

But check the sensitivity spec's above.
#38
5th September 2011
Old 5th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldedpath View Post

I do think a larger company has an advantage in maintaining this type of consistency over the years, compared to a one-man shop, at the cost of much higher overhead for parts production, higher wage costs, maintaining a a service department, and so on. It's why you can buy a MK21 or similar mic with confidence, instead of asking about whether it's "really THAT good?" on Internet forums.
I question such general statements.

Without intending to disparage Neumann or Schoeps or Sennheiser in any way, there have been various problems (along with individual fixes and product design changes) over the recent years (15-20) with various Neumann solid state designs, various problems over some lines of Neumann tube microphones, capsule alignment issues during with the introduction of the TLM103, some expected maintenance issues (whether they are "problems" or maintenance is a semantic issue) with some Schoeps products, and (only) a few problems with some recent Sennheiser mic's, and so on.

Again, all of these are fine mic's and manufacturers, and I own products from two of them, but large, quality oriented manufacturers are not immune from problems.

Line Audio does have an earned reputation, which it maintains.
#39
5th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldedpath View Post
And finally, what's the resale value?
An interesting issue.

With the CM3 under discussion, in absolute dollars (or Euros or whatever), it would be almost certain to "loose" less money in absolute value than with any other mic-because the price is so low to begin with.

Going in another direction, there is a psychology to the availability of the CM3's. Not having them immediately available seems to create more of a need to have them "now!" And there aren't many available, in absolute terms or in numbers for sale. So perhaps they would move very fast and for a decent price if one decided to sell them.
#40
5th September 2011
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Many years ago a software outfit in Silicon Valley started their software off at a certain price and then dropped the price on a regular basis until the found the price they sold the most at. It was not the lowest price they offered it at. FWIW
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#41
5th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
The specs of the mics are similar, but the capsules are different. The price
differences have a lot to do with the particular qualities of the capsules.
Would you care to elaborate on that if you have more information/insight into this?

btw - I am not raising those questions to diss the product. It is clear that Line Audio CM3 is more than a great product for its price and even more, and since I can't afford Schoeps CMC6+MK21 at the moment, I'll get a pair of those.

I just wish to put things in perspective. To see reality. I still can't completely buy those arguments for the tenfold price difference. It could be half the price or something - but such difference must be justified in some other terms than market and production laws. And to make it clear again - it is fine if there is a difference - I don't think it's a scam or anything - it is more than a fair price and the maker of the mics seems to be a nice guy. But I just want to understand how close it is to MK21 and why such a dramatic price difference.

This whole questioning doesn't make much sense for the use of those mics - if it works, it works. If you can't afford something else, you work with what is available and what you can use to get good enough results. That's understood.

This is more for the sake of putting things into real perspective, like - "you pay 250 EUR and you get a pair of workable mics, they sound good, limitations are this and this and this..." and on the other hand "you pay 2500 EUR and you get a pair of no-compromise mics that can do this and this and this and DON'T have this and this and this limitations..." That's all.

Up until now these things were raised:

1. the noise issue (which is not too clear, since it can't be seen from the specs and most users report otherwise)

2. objection about the different quality of the capsules (as compared to Schoeps and the like), which was not explained yet

3. the remark about lesser sensitivity - but it remains to be explained in what way does it influence the quality of sound if you use averagely good preamplifier.
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#42
5th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Many years ago a software outfit in Silicon Valley started their software off at a certain price and then dropped the price on a regular basis until the found the price they sold the most at. It wasnot the lowest price they offered it at. FWIW
I think software is a different question... it is pure "know-how", intellectual work, no hardware costs involved in the product, so you can make up the price almost arbitrary.
You can decide to sell the highest quality software application for very little money... (or very high price, too) Would Reaper have more respect from some professionals if it would cost 1000 EUR, not just a legion of geeky aficionados... Would Lexicon PCM bundle sound any worse if they would sell it for half the current price, which would still be a lot compared to some quality competition?

But would Schoeps sound equally good with lesser quality capsules - less quality materials, lesser circuitry?
#43
5th September 2011
Old 5th September 2011
  #43
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I think it boils down to what sound you prefer. There is a difference in sound between them. I can not justify spending over 2200€ for such small difference, but others do..
I can, on the other hand spend 80k for expanding our living room to hold a grand piano, 2 BIG sofas, 12seat dining area and a big fireplace. But do I really need it? Of course not, but my mental picture of perfection "demands" it for me to be satisfied.

Sincerely David
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#44
5th September 2011
Old 5th September 2011
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I found an interesting site and regarding the question of noise - this might explain it a bit...

Quote from the site:

Pro audio equipment often lists an A-weighted noise spec
– not because it correlates well with our hearing – but because it
can "hide" nasty hum components that make for bad noise specs.


link: Microphone sensitivity ratings and conversions explained acoustics - microphone transfer factor mV/Pa to sensitivity dB re 1 V/Pa or dyne/cm2 microbar pascal pascals mic microphones 0 dB dBm mV mic sensibility calculation microphone rating resistance

So, maybe the real difference in noise would be uncovered if seeing the TU-R 468-weighting / CCIR values also for CM3.

And also, with that low sensitivity the amplification might add just enough noise to make a big difference... I guess I'll just have to hear for myself what this means in real life situations. But this two differences might explain at least one part of the overall quality difference, compared to no compromise high-end SDCs.
#45
5th September 2011
Old 5th September 2011
  #45
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re: matching pairs,

I forwarded this thread to Roger Jönsson, the man who makes these mics. This was his response:

Quote:
Hi,

The idea is that no special pair selection / matching should be needed.
To pass the finally needle eye each CM3 must stay within +-1dB 100-16KHz/1m/23deg C (1/12 oct narrow smoothing), with mid band level within +-1dB, resulting in good matching for ANY CM3 within this span.

They are not only well matched within this span but they are also flat. All of them.

When making the CM3:s, first the capsules are measured and selected, those out of specs are rejected. Then the remaining ones are adjusted, measured, adjusted until passing the first limits. Again, if they do no pass, they are thrown away. Then they are mounted in the CM3 body and measured again and then final adjustment, compensation and measurement is done.

All the best,
Roger
#46
5th September 2011
Old 5th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post

3. the remark about lesser sensitivity - but it remains to be explained in what way does it influence the quality of sound if you use averagely good preamplifier.
OK-if the mic requires substantially more gain from your preamp, and if your application means this is near the upper end of your preamp's range, and if your preamp is less than stellar, then you *might* experience issues with timbre, headroom, and noise. If you can use ribbons, then you can somewhat more easily use the CM3's.

The CM3 is a *relatively* low output mic. That is the main reason I haven't pursued them, but that is probably my loss, and it is likely that I will try them at some point in the future.

I like high output mic's, because they let my sometimes less than stellar analogue stages breathe easier and sound much better.

The best people to address this issue relative to your own application are the users in this thread.
#47
5th September 2011
Old 5th September 2011
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
I question such general statements.

Without intending to disparage Neumann or Schoeps or Sennheiser in any way, there have been various problems (along with individual fixes and product design changes) over the recent years (15-20) with various Neumann solid state designs, various problems over some lines of Neumann tube microphones, capsule alignment issues during with the introduction of the TLM103, some expected maintenance issues (whether they are "problems" or maintenance is a semantic issue) with some Schoeps products, and (only) a few problems with some recent Sennheiser mic's, and so on.

Again, all of these are fine mic's and manufacturers, and I own products from two of them, but large, quality oriented manufacturers are not immune from problems.
I never suggested the large companies were immune to problems. However, problems like those you mentioned are also correlated with sales volume, not just intrinsic quality control.

If hypothetical "Manufacturer A" sells 1,000 microphones in a year, and problems crop up with 1% of the output that require repair under warranty, that's 10 mics being serviced (and griped about on the Internet). If "Manufacturer B" sells only 100 microphones a year and has a higher 5% return rate for service under warranty, that's just 5 microphones. Which mic builder is making a better product? Which mic builder is going to have more people reporting problems on the Internet?

What matters in the end, is the chance that any particular mic will develop problems. Given similar levels of quality control, the statistical risk is spread out over a larger user base with a higher-volume mic builder. Again, this doesn't mean I only buy mics from higher-volume builders. I have a couple of one-man shop mics like my Peluso 2247LE that work very well. I might try one of those CM3's at some point; they look nice for setups with a low visual impact requirement. These are all just general considerations, when I think about what to buy and use.
#48
5th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Many years ago a software outfit in Silicon Valley started their software off at a certain price and then dropped the price on a regular basis until the found the price they sold the most at. It wasnot the lowest price they offered it at. FWIW
I'm sure everyone knows about retail price curves, which apply to everything from products to concert tickets.

However, the maker's aim, as I understand it, is not to sell x million mic's, rather it is to offer quality mic's at prices based on the realities of manufacture, and not based on commodity considerations.

Your point here?
#49
5th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldedpath View Post
Given similar levels of quality control, the statistical risk is spread out over a larger user base with a higher-volume mic builder.
First, 1% is 1%, whether it's a hundred units or a million.

This line of thought has no basis in reality.

If you bought a TLM103 over the first year of manufacture, it would be relatively likely the capsule was pointed in such a way that it would significantly affect intended timbre, not to mention not being pointed to where one thought it was pointed. But if you bought a TLM193 during the same period, your likelyhood of problems-or at least *that* kind of problem- would be quite low. But later TLM103's had no such problems.

If you perform some sort of averaging, that averaging wouldn't even remotely (no pun intended) reflect the reality of either product, nor would it mean anything about the rest of the Neumann line-some other product lines having lots of troubles and others not. You can add this stuff together and you'll get an accurate picture of nothing. These are just a couple of "for instances."

You also don't take into account design "flaws" vs assembly and/or parts failures.

Those are very different kinds of problems. If there is a design problem, then all of the expertly manufactured and "unfailing" units have a problem.

Nor does your reasoning account for the semantic nuances of "problems" or "failures" vs issues "required maintenance." How much "required maintenance" is required before related issues are labeled as reliability problems?

Your reasoning seems to be based on preformed conclusions of certain manufacturers along with the importance of numbers of production units. However, the realities of specific product histories strongly argue against the meaningfulness of predictions based on your criteria.
#50
5th September 2011
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I bet that Line Audio has a lower failure rate than the Big Names.
The Big Names owners doesn´t manufacture these mics. They are assembled by "ordinary" factory people with a 3-day course in "Manufacturing Quality". If you want the highest quality made mic, then do not order a mic in holidays as the regular workers are off to the beach. The engineers behind the mics DOES NOT assemble them. Some mics are even outsourced to other factories which deterioates the quality control dramatically.
I speak as an engineer (not that my opinion as an engineer makes THE truth, but I´ve seen factories manufacturing items from toys to medical equipment).

But Roger does assemble and test each capsule and microphone, as I understand it. Maybe his wife helps out with him leaning over her shoulder.

Soundwise they may differ from Schoeps, but not in quality control.

IMHO, of course.
#51
5th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldedpath View Post
If hypothetical "Manufacturer A" sells 1,000 microphones in a year, and problems crop up with 1% of the output that require repair under warranty, that's 10 mics being serviced (and griped about on the Internet). If "Manufacturer B" sells only 100 microphones a year and has a higher 5% return rate for service under warranty, that's just 5 microphones. Which mic builder is making a better product? Which mic builder is going to have more people reporting problems on the Internet?
Which brand is going to have most glowing positive reports from happy users?

I can't help to wonder what you base your reasoning on.


/Peter
#52
5th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
I'm sure everyone knows about retail price curves, which apply to everything from products to concert tickets.

However, the maker's aim, as I understand it, is not to sell x million mic's, rather it is to offer quality mic's at prices based on the realities of manufacture, and not based on commodity considerations.

Your point here?

My point was that price is not a 100% indicator of quality. And to judge anything as better solely on the basis of its price tag can be a mistake. I am sorry if what I wrote has been misunderstood.
#53
5th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post

I can't help to wonder what you base your reasoning on.
The same reasoning behind any other purchase decision I make, whether it's a new car, audio gear, or anything else. I've made an effort to invest primarily in "name brand," high-quality gear that will serve me for many years, and that I don't have to worry about. I still try to keep my eyes and ears open for new things, but there's a limit to how many microphones I really need, or can afford, to get the job done.

We all have our own reasons and rationales for gear choices. It's interesting to hear how others approach things, but I don't think I'm likely to change my reasoning any time soon. The kit I've built up over the years, based on that reasoning, is working well for me. YMMV, and I'm not questioning how anyone else decides to choose and use their gear.
#54
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Well regardless if it fits into someone's "gear-buying-ethos", these mics are very high quality, low noise, professional-quality flat-response models.

I don't know why people feel they need to talk sh*t about them, especially those who've never had the opportunity to try them?! Maybe he should charge $1000 more and then you all haters would take them more seriously?!
#55
6th September 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldedpath View Post
However, problems like those you mentioned are also correlated with sales volume, not just intrinsic quality control.
You continue to engage in the fictional generalities of some sort of personal statistical ideology rather than real histories of specific products from specific manufacturers which clearly show no such generalization is possible.

If that floats your boat, happy boating!
#56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
Maybe he should charge $1000 more and then you all haters would take them more seriously?!
Sadly, that is probably true.
#57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
My point was that price is not a 100% indicator of quality. And to judge anything as better solely on the basis of its price tag can be a mistake. I am sorry if what I wrote has been misunderstood.
Thanks for the clarification, and I would expect most, but not all, would agree with you. I do.
#58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
I guess I'll just have to hear for myself what this means in real life situations. But this two differences might explain at least one part of the overall quality difference, compared to no compromise high-end SDCs.
I hope you do try them and report your experiences. If you happened not to like them, you could return them, or-I suspect-you'd have no problem selling them!

My ESP (caveat here: I haven't used Line Audio mic's!!) says that the overall tonality will be more like Sennheiser than Schoeps. I await correction!

I'm looking forward to hearing from you, and I'm sure many others are as well.

And, BTW, a low output mic isn't necessarily a compromise, but I'm sure you are already there.....
#59
6th September 2011
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I've got six of them. Yes, lower output but they are good mics, clean and not noisy. Invisible. You can carry 25 of them in a small backpack for the price of one Schoeps pair. Great for location work. I use them for spots only, usually strings.
#60
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HTML Code:
I use them for spots only
Ok, why not as main pair ?
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