Which cards: KSM 141 or MC930?
dgpretzel
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#1
7th January 2013
Old 7th January 2013
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Which cards: KSM 141 or MC930?

Folks,

I am an amateur, and do location recording of local classical events such as wind ensembles, choirs, and student orchestras, etc.

I have been using wide cards (CM3) and omnis (various Naiant models) and would like to start expanding my personal mic resources.

Most of the spaces I record in are not the greatest, acoustically. Usually, I use the CM3's in a (pseudo) ORTF config, with a pair of omnis on the same bar, and placed somewhere within a few feet of the conductor, and about 10' to 12' high. If there are soloists, I may use spots. Usually, there is insufficient time for a good sound check.

I would like to acquire a pair of cards so I can have a true, good, ORTF configuration, which I plan to pretty much use everywhere. Then, I'll also have the ability to put up other kinds of pairs, knowing that I always have the ORTF as a safety net.

I have in mind either the KSM141 or Beyer Dynamics MC930. I think there is a 80% chance I will buy one of these.

There is also a 10% chance I will buy a pair of Sennheiser MKH8040's on the theory that I can "grow" into these, and can keep them forever.

I guess the last 10% of my purchase decision is reserved for the inevitable GS property that, when asked to "Pick one from these two choices", inevitably results in the, "Choose something else" suggestion.

Might anyone have any guiding comments?

Please, for purposes of commenting, COMPLETELY DISREGARD the price difference between KSM141 and MC930. I'm more concerned with which might be more suitable, without regard to price, for ORTF for classical, location, distant recording, for winds, strings, and choirs.

I admit that I am mildly attracted to having both a true omni and a card in the same mic, but that is not a prime concern because I am also planning on buying two pairs of omnis in the near future: DPA 4060's and some other pair, still to be determined.

Thank you for any thoughts.

Regards,

DG
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7th January 2013
Old 7th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgpretzel View Post
Folks,

I am an amateur, and do location recording of local classical events such as wind ensembles, choirs, and student orchestras, etc.

I have been using wide cards (CM3) and omnis (various Naiant models) and would like to start expanding my personal mic resources.

Most of the spaces I record in are not the greatest, acoustically. Usually, I use the CM3's in a (pseudo) ORTF config, with a pair of omnis on the same bar, and placed somewhere within a few feet of the conductor, and about 10' to 12' high. If there are soloists, I may use spots. Usually, there is insufficient time for a good sound check.

I would like to acquire a pair of cards so I can have a true, good, ORTF configuration, which I plan to pretty much use everywhere. Then, I'll also have the ability to put up other kinds of pairs, knowing that I always have the ORTF as a safety net.

I have in mind either the KSM141 or Beyer Dynamics MC930. I think there is a 80% chance I will buy one of these.

There is also a 10% chance I will buy a pair of Sennheiser MKH8040's on the theory that I can "grow" into these, and can keep them forever.

I guess the last 10% of my purchase decision is reserved for the inevitable GS property that, when asked to "Pick one from these two choices", inevitably results in the, "Choose something else" suggestion.

Might anyone have any guiding comments?

Please, for purposes of commenting, COMPLETELY DISREGARD the price difference between KSM141 and MC930. I'm more concerned with which might be more suitable, without regard to price, for ORTF for classical, location, distant recording, for winds, strings, and choirs.

I admit that I am mildly attracted to having both a true omni and a card in the same mic, but that is not a prime concern because I am also planning on buying two pairs of omnis in the near future: DPA 4060's and some other pair, still to be determined.

Thank you for any thoughts.

Regards,

DG
I'm in similar boat as yours and I've decided to save for a pair of KSM 141 or KSM 137.
#3
7th January 2013
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Only buy mics you intend to keep for the long haul. Both the Beyers and Shures are in the keeper range IMO-Both are really good. Sennheisers are top of the heap, I am not regretting the purchase of my 8040's. Though if you get the 141's you have the omni option also, and also a good utility or spot mic you can use when you decide to splurge on something "high end".
#4
7th January 2013
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Haven't used the Beyers, but the Shure 141's are very good. A bit "dry" sounding, but otherwise very good sounding mics for classical.
#5
8th January 2013
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I have both and plan to keep them both alongside some finer mics in the kit.

The MC930 is a meaty sounding microphone with a nice top end that reaches deeply into an ensemble. When you can only use cardioids but still want low-mid weight in your mix, these are the mics to use. They sound more expensive.

I use KSM141 for flanker (omni) and spot duties (omni and cardioid), sometimes even in favor of more expensive mics, because they do everything pretty well. Calling them "utility" mics is a complement because you don't have to apologize for their sound.

The MC930 holds its own against Schoeps, DPA, Sennheiser. The KSM141 always gives me useful tracks. You can't go wrong with either, and having both is nice!
#6
8th January 2013
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I have Shure PG81, Sony C55FET, Audio Technica 4041 and Sennheiser MKH 8040 pairs. While each has its uses, the only ones I'm truly satisfied with are the 8040s. If you can immediately swing the 930s or 141s and save for the 8040s, do that. It's better to record than not to, for lack of a decent pair, and neither will let you down over the long haul. But they (8040s) and my DPA 4061s get the lions' share of work out of my collection.

HB
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8th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
I have Shure PG81, Sony C55FET, Audio Technica 4041 and Sennheiser MKH 8040 pairs. While each has its uses, the only ones I'm truly satisfied with are the 8040s. If you can immediately swing the 930s or 141s and save for the 8040s, do that. It's better to record than not to, for lack of a decent pair, and neither will let you down over the long haul. But they (8040s) and my DPA 4061s get the lions' share of work out of my collection.

HB
At the price range of the 8040, there seem to be a number of good choices as well (Gefell M300 being one). What are the advantages of the 8040 over the KSM 141 or Beyerdynamic MC930?
#8
8th January 2013
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I use both quite extensively and find that for distant mics the Mc930 just comes out sounding "nicer" , i think it must be because of the more prominent low/low-mids and what feels like a slightly more extended top end. I find that the 141 is a better close mic and I really like the omni pattern option. However if your goal is to have a cardioid mic I would go with the MC930 more times than not.
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8th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by packupthekids View Post
I use both quite extensively and find that for distant mics the Mc930 just comes out sounding "nicer" , i think it must be because of the more prominent low/low-mids and what feels like a slightly more extended top end. I find that the 141 is a better close mic and I really like the omni pattern option. However if your goal is to have a cardioid mic I would go with the MC930 more times than not.
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8th January 2013
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8th January 2013
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I will vote in the last 10%

Dear DG : If you are already considering the 8040s, I would highly suggest that you have a listen to a pair of Schoeps with the MK22 capsule. The 22 has a magic sound capture ability that I cannot quite describe other than to say it is pretty awesome. But if you choose to stay in the lower budget, I would probably go with the Beyers.

Baithak
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8th January 2013
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I have a pair of MC930 for 4 years now and I use it mostly for what you want to use it.
Look at this thread where I was asking a similar question than yours.
Beyer MC930 for classical distant miking
You may find some interesting samples.
In this price range and for this use, I am sure they are very good as very universal main pair.
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8th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathieujm View Post
I have a pair of MC930 for 4 years now and I use it mostly for what you want to use it.
Look at this thread where I was asking a similar question than yours.
Beyer MC930 for classical distant miking
You may find some interesting samples.
In this price range and for this use, I am sure they are very good as very universal main pair.
Would the MKH 8040 be quite a step up from the Beyer? This is starting to get very high-end, specially with the Schoeps recommendation.
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8th January 2013
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poly - inre: "Would the MKH 8040 be quite a step up from the Beyer?"

IMO, yes.

as would DPA 4011s, neumann km140/184s, schoeps CMC64s, gefell M300s and M295s, senn MKH 40s, and AKG C481s. i think the best mid-range SDC cards are perhaps the AT4051s.
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8th January 2013
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The MKH 8040 are a good pair (and I do have a stereoset of these in my kit).

The Gefell M300 stereo set are also good at a lower price (I used these on a session recently).

Schoeps are also well regarded, but the price is high.

For omnis, my favourites are the Gefell M221, Sennheiser MKH 20 and 8020) though the 8020 do not have a diffuse field switch) and Neumann KM133-A/D
dgpretzel
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9th January 2013
Old 9th January 2013
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Thank you, all, for your helpful comments. I will digest them.

Here's another thing... I'm thinking "size matters". Twice now, I have gotten comments on the size of microphones. First time, a local director commented (very favorably) on the (small) size of the CM3's I was using on his project. Then, a few months later, one of the soloists (who had sung opera professionally for several years) noticed the small size of mics I was using on his project (they were a pair of Naiant omnis-- sort of look like the OM-1), and remarked, again, very favorably.

It seems that small mics are appreciated.

So, how do I achieve smallness? Is that were the Senn and Schoeps compact models come in?

Thank you, again.

DG
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9th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgpretzel View Post
Thank you, all, for your helpful comments. I will digest them.

Here's another thing... I'm thinking "size matters". Twice now, I have gotten comments on the size of microphones. First time, a local director commented (very favorably) on the (small) size of the CM3's I was using on his project. Then, a few months later, one of the soloists (who had sung opera professionally for several years) noticed the small size of mics I was using on his project (they were a pair of Naiant omnis-- sort of look like the OM-1), and remarked, again, very favorably.

It seems that small mics are appreciated.

So, how do I achieve smallness? Is that were the Senn and Schoeps compact models come in?

Thank you, again.

DG
This small size is not important when it comes to the sound.

It was probably because they were surprised that a small mic. can have a good sound.

I would go for the sound quality you want, rather than concentrating on the size.
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9th January 2013
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I have a friend who's very fond of him MC930's (As he states above: Matheujm)... And having used them once or twice, I was really impressed with them.
Low end, off-axis response most.

Then, if size matters, and pennies less, well, get them 8040's...

P.
dgpretzel
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9th January 2013
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Thank you, John and Bibster.

I didn't express myself accurately enough, regarding size.

I didn't mean to imply any particular relation between a mic's size and its quality-- only the cosmetic factor. The two episodes to which I referred were in the context of folks who dislike microphones, microphone stands, cables, etc. They tolerate them only because that's what it takes to get a recording, which they want. They do not like to see the gear. (All the stuff I record are live concerts.) Hence, "smaller is better" because it is less noticeable. That's all I was trying to get at.

I now became aware of the CK930. Functionally, is that the same mic as the MC930?

Thank you.

DG
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9th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polytope View Post
At the price range of the 8040, there seem to be a number of good choices as well (Gefell M300 being one). What are the advantages of the 8040 over the KSM 141 or Beyerdynamic MC930?
The main advantage is that, compared to the other cardioid mics in my kit (and those I've actually used in the past... AKG C451, Shure SM81, Equation CMI 103, AudioTechnica PRO 37, Shure KSM137, AKG GN30E/CK31, Audix SCX1 and F15) I like them best (as I ought). The Sony C55FETs and the AT4041s are also nice, but not in the same league as "go-to" main-array pairs. I was considering the KSM141s at the time I made the move to the Sennheisers... I already had great omni pairs (Gefell M296 and DPA 4061) so the switchable pattern was not so attractive as it would have been at one time. Were I busier in the recordings arena (I also do PA, video recording and editing, audio/visual support for meetings, and still photography for money) I'd likely still be interested. For now... I am satisfied.

I'd love to try the 930s, as there are so many folks who recommend them. I've just not ever had the opportunity.

If you'll toggle over to the following link, you can hear results of my first major outing with the 8040s at St Pauls Outside the Walls in Rome.

St. Paul's (Rome) recordings

HB
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9th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgpretzel View Post
The two episo]des to which I referred were in the context of folks who dislike microphones, microphone stands, cables, etc. They tolerate them only because that's what it takes to get a recording, which they want. They do not like to see the gear. (All the stuff I record are live concerts.) Hence, "smaller is better" because it is less noticeable. That's all I was trying to get at.
When recording a concert, the main pair is often high and there is not any real difference for the public and the musicians between sdc because of their size. The stand is the biggest problem.

Quote:
I now became aware of the CK930. Functionally, is that the same mic as the MC930?
Same capsule and same preamp but higher price...
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9th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathieujm View Post
Same capsule and same preamp but higher price...
In that case, who would buy CK930? Those who like to brag?
#23
9th January 2013
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Ksm141 is a very sophisticated modern mic. It is a copy of the Schoeps cmc65. The thinnest diaphragm means best transient response among all small mics.
Two mics in one means flexible use. Beyer is an older design without the benefit of the research done in the design of the #141 mics.

So it's the 141 mics all the way. Why spend more? Made in Chicago, made right.

If you must, go 4 times the price and only get a cardioid--Senn. Mkh8040.



Atelier HudSonic, Chicago
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9th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Ksm141 is a very sophisticated modern mic. It is a copy of the Schoeps cmc65. The thinnest diaphragm means best transient response among all small mics.
Two mics in one means flexible use. Beyer is an older design without the benefit of the research done in the design of the #141 mics.

So it's the 141 mics all the way. Why spend more? Made in Chicago, made right.

If you must, go 4 times the price and only get a cardioid--Senn. Mkh8040.

Atelier HudSonic, Chicago
B&H is selling the stereo MKH 8040 at $2399.95 and the KSM141 pair at $870. So not quite 4 times the price but still quite a lot more money. Has the price for the Shure pair gone up or has the Senn pair come down (or both)?

Anyway, I've pretty much decided on getting the Shure so my questions about the MKH8040 are more to satisfy my curiosity.
dgpretzel
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10th January 2013
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I play the tuba; like good low end.

In the real world, as opposed to reading specs, I would ask if there is significant difference in LF response of the two mics?

DG
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10th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgpretzel View Post
I play the tuba; like good low end.

In the real world, as opposed to reading specs, I would ask if there is significant difference in LF response of the two mics?

DG
The 141 omni has excellent lows. In cardioid mode the 930 lows and low-mids are bigger.
#27
11th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelPatrick View Post
In cardioid mode the 930 lows and low-mids are bigger.
That's really the deal-maker for the Beyers: The low end.
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14th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgpretzel View Post
I play the tuba; like good low end.

In the real world, as opposed to reading specs, I would ask if there is significant difference in LF response of the two mics?

DG
To me, the lower end of the 930's is bloated and significantly colors room and source.

As a brass player, you want the Shures over the 930's. And it's not just for the lower end of the cardioid-but I'll stop there, as that is what you asked.

Good luck with your decision.

Enjoy the Shures........

Unless you go with the Senny's, and then I'd suggest you might prefer the MKH40 over the MKH8040. The 40's have a linear low end (and high end), the 8040's do not, and it is obvious (the low end). Your Senny prices are a little high for the US.

BTW-not saying linear is where mic's should be.....
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14th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgpretzel View Post
The two episodes to which I referred were in the context of folks who dislike microphones, microphone stands, cables, etc. They tolerate them only because that's what it takes to get a recording, which they want.
How can they bear the sight of all those music stands?
dgpretzel
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#30
14th January 2013
Old 14th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
How can they bear the sight of all those music stands?
Great bon mot. I am going to use that... without attribution!

DG
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