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Has anyone used the Oktava figure of 8 adapter?
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phantompwr
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10th January 2014
Old 10th January 2014
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Has anyone used the Oktava figure of 8 adapter?

Just wondering if anyone has used the figure of eight adapter that oktava sells. It seems that you buy the adapter and screw your own cardioid capsules onto it, but in the picture it looks like it has a giant enclosure around them, is that basically what is going on?
I'm looking for something primarily to do m/s recordings for film/video work so if this thing is huge that is a pretty big downside. Has anyone used it for this?
How does this adapter compare to Oktava's figure 8 capsule for the 012, and how does it compare to the Schoeps figure 8 SDC?
Thanks for any info you can give me.
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10th January 2014
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If you consider the cost of the necessary components: 2 X oct cardioids, 1 adapter (several hundred dollars), and a modified 012 body, you are already over 1/2 cost of a new MKH30.

I'm not sure it makes sense even if you have some of the components already. Consider the quality and users' experience with another Oktava add-on, the right angle connecter.

Reliability, value, and ergonomics-not to mention sound- all point elsewhere, it seems to me.

BTW, I am an Oktava fan, I just don't think this adapter warrants investment.

My opinion only, I have read some good reports from users here or elsewhere.

BTW, I'm not aware that Oktava makes a figure 8 capsule.

(You may or not be confusing the adapter with an accessory that already contains the two cardioid capsules.)
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10th January 2014
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I have several Oktava mics but I don't have the fig 8 adapter. I've seen it. I do have a pair of Neumann KM86's which are two KM84 capsules back to back (switchable patterns), such that there is some distance between the capsules much like you would get with the Oktava adapter. I also have an MKH30.

The KM86's are a thing of beauty in every way, except I don't care for them in fig 8, and I think it has to do with the distance between the capsules and some phase issues with sound arriving from the sides. Something weird happens in the high end that does not happen on the MKH30 or when the KM86's are in other polar patterns.

Maybe someone can sell you the fig 8 adapter with a return allowance if you don't like it. I'd be hesitant to buy one if you can't, but I'd certainly try it if you can.
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10th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leddy View Post
I have several Oktava mics but I don't have the fig 8 adapter. I've seen it. I do have a pair of Neumann KM86's which are two KM84 capsules back to back (switchable patterns), such that there is some distance between the capsules much like you would get with the Oktava adapter. I also have an MKH30.

The KM86's are a thing of beauty in every way, except I don't care for them in fig 8, and I think it has to do with the distance between the capsules and some phase issues with sound arriving from the sides. Something weird happens in the high end that does not happen on the MKH30 or when the KM86's are in other polar patterns.

Maybe someone can sell you the fig 8 adapter with a return allowance if you don't like it. I'd be hesitant to buy one if you can't, but I'd certainly try it if you can.
That is good to know. I guess I'm still interested to hear what others say but that is exactly what I was afraid of. I forgot about the MKH30 also, I use the 012's a lot for film work so I was thinking the adapter would be a good fit, but the Sennheiser would definitely go better with my 416.
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10th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
If you consider the cost of the necessary components: 2 X oct cardioids, 1 adapter (several hundred dollars), and a modified 012 body, you are already over 1/2 cost of a new MKH30.

I'm not sure it makes sense even if you have some of the components already. Consider the quality and users' experience with another Oktava add-on, the right angle connecter.

Reliability, value, and ergonomics-not to mention sound- all point elsewhere, it seems to me.

BTW, I am an Oktava fan, I just don't think this adapter warrants investment.

My opinion only, I have read some good reports from users here or elsewhere.

BTW, I'm not aware that Oktava makes a figure 8 capsule.

(You may or not be confusing the adapter with an accessory that already contains the two cardioid capsules.)
The figure 8 capsule I was referring to is mentioned in this article: Oktava Figure-8 Capsule Review | recording hacks
but I can't find it at the oktava store so maybe it was discontinued.

I do know that the adapter doesn't come with capsules, I already have a modified pair of 012's so the adapter is all I need.
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10th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantompwr View Post
That is good to know. I guess I'm still interested to hear what others say but that is exactly what I was afraid of. I forgot about the MKH30 also, I use the 012's a lot for film work so I was thinking the adapter would be a good fit, but the Sennheiser would definitely go better with my 416.
OK-The Oktava adapters have changed a great deal since I last looked and inquired. These new ones look *far* clunkier, more obtrusive, and pose greater hazards with interference, diffraction, etc. than the old ones did.

I've paired Oktava's with MKH30s many times, and they're very good matches-the best being the Oktava hypercardioid, which is very close to the overall "tone" of the MKH series. (I have pairs of 20s, 30's, and 40's.) It is likely that an MKH30 would be a better match for your Oktavas than this Oktava contraption would be. (sorry, pejorative term!)

As much as I like the Oktava stuff I have, my own evaluation about what is cost effective would stop with this sort of adapter.

If you go for it, let us know what you think-especially if it works well for you.
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10th January 2014
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11th January 2014
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MBHO make a fig-8 capsule (though it seems it's not even on their website). Price-wise similar to other MBHO stuff.
AKG have a fig-8 capsule (CK 94) for the SE300 series.
And there is the Ambient "Emesser" compact fig-8, which is intended to be mounted onto a shotgun or hyper in a Rycote basket.

All three are "proper" fig-8 mics, but considerably cheaper than the usual suspects MKH 30, KM 120, or MK8.

I have not heard (or met in person) the new Kortwich fig-8 mic, which is also T-shaped.

Mics like KM 86, MKH 800, or about any switchable LDC, are two cardioids back to back, but way closer together than the two capsule heads of the Oktava solution.
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11th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkautzsch View Post
And there is the Ambient "Emesser" compact fig-8, which is intended to be mounted onto a shotgun or hyper in a Rycote basket.
.
I like the look and price of that mic. Have you used it yourself?
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11th January 2014
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The Oktava figure-8 adapter appears to be a passive solution and the reason for the over-size enclosure is because the "backside" capsule is connected "out-of-phase" so it requires a Faraday shield around it. It is rather a simplistic approach to making "figure-8", and rather a kludge, IMHO. And not great value for the $$$ which is why it doesn't appear to be very popular. An interesting conceptual experiment, but not practical IMHO.
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11th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantompwr View Post
I like the look and price of that mic. Have you used it yourself?
The mic has a lot going for it, including its easy to use physical size. But it is still a solid 2/3 the price of an MKH30, and the 30 comes with pad, roll off, schockmount, etc.

That doesn't make the 30 a better mic for the OP or any user, of course, as everyone has different operational requirements.
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11th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantompwr View Post
I like the look and price of that mic. Have you used it yourself?
Used it once or twice, sound is ok. A bit bass-light compared to KM 120, but that can actually be desirable on a boom. Some have reported high noise levels, which I did not find in the one I tried. I found results with a MKH 416 better than from a MKH 418S: imaging was more precise, probably due to the S capsule in the 418S located behind the interference tube and therefore a few inches behind the M capsule (which appears to be at about 3/5 of the tube length).

In the end, I decided to save up for a KM 120 because it fits my main boom mics (KMR 81 and KM 185) better.
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11th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkautzsch View Post
Used it once or twice, sound is ok. A bit bass-light compared to KM 120, but that can actually be desirable on a boom. Some have reported high noise levels, which I did not find in the one I tried. I found results with a MKH 416 better than from a MKH 418S: imaging was more precise, probably due to the S capsule in the 418S located behind the interference tube and therefore a few inches behind the M capsule (which appears to be at about 3/5 of the tube length).

In the end, I decided to save up for a KM 120 because it fits my main boom mics (KMR 81 and KM 185) better.
The latest version of the EMESSER is a custom OEM unit made for Ambient by MBHO in Germany - it's a lot better than the earlier version from where the noise complaints came from.

The MKH418S has a fig-8 made from back-to-back cardioids - the EMESSER is a pure single diaphragm fig-8.

When I last checked, the EMESSER was only 1/3 the price of the MKH30, not 2/3 (though may be different in the USA) - though the MKH30 is still my favourite fig-8.

I *do* have the new EMESSER but have not had a chance to use it in anger yet.
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12th January 2014
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Note this quote from the Ambient website:

"The frequency response therefore was custom-tailored to match the acoustic pattern of typical boom mikes at 90° with the characteristic, distinct bass roll-off. " (No actual graph supplied.)

What this means is that there will be reduced stereo separation below 200Hz, down to around 100Hz which is where perception of directionality starts to taper off anyway. So if you are matching this with a hypercardioid, or even cardioid, for music recording, then positioning with say the three lower strings of a guitar or the second bottom octave of the cello will be reduced. Still usuable (the noise appears good) but with not deliver the same imaging in this frequency range compared to the MKH30 or dare I say it, the Schoeps MK8. But in the past there are some (eg., for disc cutting) who reduced the low frequency content of the 'S' signal to enhance 'compatibility' but the only impact was that the lowest frequencies appeared equally in both channels rather than divided between channels according to stereo 'position' - the amount of total energy stayed the same, and below 100-125Hz, it's hard to tell which direction it comes from anyway.
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12th January 2014
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I use the Okava adaptor and am quite impressed by it, it is far less expensive than most any other figure of 8 setup I am aware of here in the US- especially if you already have the mk012s
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5th February 2014
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Thanks for all the responses everyone!
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6th February 2014
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I use mine occasionally. If I want stereo I use XY, but when doing some bits of Foley I'll put the adapter on and use another channel just for a taste of room if need be.
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