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Question about used MKH 416
Old 23rd July 2020
  #31
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Many thanks for all the advice folks.

My MKH 415-T is still in transit so it's not here yet. Twiddling thumbs waiting...

I'm going to wait until it gets here before deciding how much I want to spend pimping it out with all the various accessories, but I do have a couple of used blimps in my eBay cart ready to go.

Obviously I have had to order a T-Power pack so I've gone with this one (and a basic foam windshield) just so I can get the mic up and running (hopefully) to test out so I know if I've made a good investment.

I appreciate any extra box on location is generally a hassle and one more thing to forget/fail/lose.

I think I'll mostly be using the 415T in the studio, but if it turns out it inspires me to evolve into a serious outdoor recordist I will consider all the suggestions here, including getting the mic converted to 48V (if that's possible and not too expensive).

After I've tried a couple of voice-overs with it, I'll start by recording some Owls in my back yard...
Attached Thumbnails
Question about used MKH 416-s-l1600.jpg  
Old 24th July 2020
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesClark1991 View Post
Whilst I agree that T12 > P48 adapters are not ideal, PSC produce a short adapter that is cheap, light and can fit inside a Rode Blimp comfortably.
Not for me. I don't want any extra weight on the end of a fishpole, no extra bits that have to be plugged into a stagebox during during the rush to get ready for a sound check and no extra points of failure or mechanical noise sticking out of the back of the pres. I lived with all that for 20+years, and converting the 11 mics I've had done was one of the best equipment moves I've ever made.
Old 24th July 2020
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philper View Post
Not for me. I don't want any extra weight on the end of a fishpole, no extra bits that have to be plugged into a stagebox during during the rush to get ready for a sound check and no extra points of failure or mechanical noise sticking out of the back of the pres. I lived with all that for 20+years, and converting the 11 mics I've had done was one of the best equipment moves I've ever made.
The less weight the better of course. But the PSC T12>P48 adapter I use weighs just 40 grams which is not a bad compromise for those on a budget.
Old 19th August 2020
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by celticrogues View Post
+1 on getting a pistol grip with a good shockmount. You’ll be surprised how much noise your hands transmit to the mic without a good shockmount.

-Mike
Yes, switching over from "cheapest shock mount I could buy" to instead a Rycote shock mount was a game changer for me!
Old 10th September 2020
  #35
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In this thread the OP asks about buying vintage Sennheiser MKH mics on the used market i.e. "Can I expect problems?" and "Is it worth it?"

I purchased a used Sennheiser MKH 415-T on a whim back in July, and perhaps inevitably given the low price I paid, it turned out to have a few issues. However, after a couple of months I've finally got this venerable old mic restored to fully operational status, so I can take a swing at answering the OP's questions from my own limited experience and in case it's useful for others.

The steps I took with my 415-T were:
  1. Firstly, the mic housing and grille was absolutely filthy, and looked and smelled like it had come out of a dingy smoking room in a Macau casino, so my first task was to unscrew the whole outer section and put it in the... gasp!... dishwasher! This absolutely did the trick and it came out looking totally pristine - the only downside was the black 'Sennheiser' logo paint came away, but I really think I had no alternative for a genuinely deep clean. Dishwashers for the win!
  2. Secondly, obviously I had to source a 12v T-power supply to convert from 48v - there's really only one game in town in the UK doing T-power and that's Rockmann - so I made this purchase the same day I bought the mic, but the box was very slow to ship and took an age to arrive, so I still didn't know if my mic even worked for another 10 frustrating days. However, when the 12v supply finally got here it seems like a good product and certainly does what it says on the tin; I ordered a Tuchel adapter from him as well.
  3. Then the moment of truth came and... well, the mic sort of worked in that there was some sound with my preamp maxed out but it was monstrously noisy and had not much LF response. Oh dear, had I purchased a lemon?
  4. Figuring that with some sound the capsule might be OK and maybe there was a problem with the electronics, and having reached the end of my own rather limited technical ability, I sent it to Chris at https://www.grimshawaudio.com – who is on this Forum as @ chris661 – and he totally worked his magic on it! For a very reasonable fee, he has returned it to me in perfect working order. Many thanks Chris!
I estimate this whole project has cost me about 60-70% of the cost of a used MKH 416 (or perhaps a brand new Rode NTG3) including the one-time cost of the 12v T-power (which of course is a spread cost if you have other mics that use it), and a fair amount of time and anxiety - was it ever going to work properly? am I throwing good money after bad? etc. For sure, deploying a T-power mic in action these days isn't going to be convenient for everyone, and many people would no doubt prefer to pay the extra for a newer 48v mic – but there's something very satisfying about rescuing what turned out to be a perfectly serviceable old microphone from the scrapheap and giving it a new 'forever home'.

And I was fortunate to find someone right here on this Forum, in Chris, who could help me achieve that so successfully. As you can hear in the above clip - thanks to him and some clever open-heart surgery the mic now sounds excellent and will be more than good enough to earn it's keep around here, even if it's just on voice-over.

We all love a happy ending, right?

So in the context of this thread where the OP asks about buying vintage Sennheiser shotgun mics on the used market i.e. "Can I expect problems?" and "Is it worth it?", I would have to say that the answers from my recent adventure are "Possibly" and "It depends"!

Of course, now I can't help wondering – not that this was the main aim of my project by any stretch – how the tone of a 50 year-old MKH 415-T would compare with a brand new MKH 416? One would subconsciously think the 415-T would exhibit a mellower, warmer tone, given the tolerances and ageing in components that old – I've read various posts that seem to indicate this would be the case – but I'd really have to hear them closely side-by-side to be sure. In any case, the sound of most 50 year-old mics is probably going to be different from how it originally sounded, and likely subtely different from another one of the same age, but it matters not one whit to me - it is what it is, it sounds great to my ears, and I'm very pleased with my 'new' old mic!

Here's the 'new' baby in action on a short voice-over clip - you can judge for yourself how you think it sounds:


(Clip recorded with the superbly clean Camden preamps of a Cranborne Audio EC-2 into a Metric Halo 2882 3d interface - some moderate post-processing, EQ, comp, etc, applied in Ozone 9.)

The photo below shows the MKH 415-T replete with the original and rather unusual MZS 415 nylon shockmount (Sennheiser of course being famous for their weird and not so wonderful mic clips) that I've placed in a standard spring clip. This set-up is fine for studio use, but now I know the mic is fully operational I will probably invest in a proper shockmount/pistol-grip and a foam windshield that might enable me to usefully use it outdoors, as per previous suggestions in this thread.
EDIT: Both these items now ordered.
Attached Thumbnails
Question about used MKH 416-c30dd744-7c77-4b50-b442-877c58b7c59f_1_201_a.jpg  

Last edited by James Lehmann; 11th September 2020 at 05:56 PM..
Old 12th September 2020
  #36
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post

(Clip recorded with the superbly clean Camden preamps of a Cranborne Audio EC-2 into a Metric Halo 2882 3d interface - some moderate post-processing, EQ, comp, etc, applied in Ozone 9.)

The photo below shows the MKH 415-T replete with the original and rather unusual MZS 415 nylon shockmount (Sennheiser of course being famous for their weird and not so wonderful mic clips) that I've placed in a standard spring clip. This set-up is fine for studio use, but now I know the mic is fully operational I will probably invest in a proper shockmount/pistol-grip and a foam windshield that might enable me to usefully use it outdoors, as per previous suggestions in this thread.
EDIT: Both these items now ordered.
Youre missing a piece of the shock mount

https://www.pro-sound.com/sennheiser...nts-60-oz.html
Old 12th September 2020
  #37
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
Youre missing a piece of the shock mount

https://www.pro-sound.com/sennheiser...nts-60-oz.html
Yeah - thanks, I had clocked that.

I actually had the MZG415-3 in my inbox at Thomann, but when I checked yesterday it had been removed and said 'No longer available". The item seems to be fast disappearing from retailers everywhere.

Interestingly the original MZG415-1 seemed to have some sort of square shape that slotted into a desktop stand (as per photo below).

As my MZS415 is not as snug a fit as I would like around the mic body, in the end I decided to spend the same money on a Rycote softie mount which I think/hope will be more versatile overall for both indoor and outside use.
Attached Thumbnails
Question about used MKH 416-mzg.jpg  
Old 12th September 2020
  #38
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Yeah - thanks, I had clocked that.

I actually had the MZG415-3 in my inbox at Thomann, but when I checked yesterday it had been removed and said 'No longer available". The item seems to be fast disappearing from retailers everywhere.

Interestingly the original MZG415-1 seemed to have some sort of square shape that slotted into a desktop stand (as per photo below).

As my MZS415 is not as snug a fit as I would like around the mic body, in the end I decided to spend the same money on a Rycote softie mount which I think/hope will be more versatile overall for both indoor and outside use.
I use this one for my 416:
https://mymic.rycote.com/products/wi...tie-kit-19_22/

Works just as well on a stand as a does a boom pole.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #39
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With such great advice from y'all in this thread I've now assembled the following starter-kit for portable field-recording to go with my 'impulse buy' used Sennheiser MKH-415T:
  • Sound Devices MM-1 battery-powered preamp
  • Rycote pistol-grip suspension lyre
  • Rycote Super-Softie wind-cover 18cm (19-22mm hole)
  • Zoom H5 Portable field recorder
  • BeyerDynamic DT-770 closed-back headphones
I already had the Zoom H5 and the Beyer cans; grabbed a used Sound Devices MM-1 off eBay, and added the two Rycote products as recommended by @ TVPostSound and others.

The MM-1 preamp really makes this mic sing - not only does it sound fantastic but it also means I no longer need a separate T-Power box with the MKH 415-T as the MM-1 can provide the T-Power directly.

So my impulse buy of a broken vintage mic has cost me dear in terms of extras – probably €500 more than the mic itself – but it seems I've arrived in a good place!

I'm still relatively new to this area of audio but the pic below is of me out in the woods capturing birdsong - I need to learn how to sort my cables out to get a bit less handling noise when operating hand-held, although the Lyre does a great job of practically eliminating them.

Here's some roaring deer I recorded in the hills last night - I added some reverb to 'stereo-ize' it a bit just for fun:

Attached Thumbnails
Question about used MKH 416-f4167937-17a4-4eaf-acef-de1e243408a2.jpg   Question about used MKH 416-a2f2b49c-f959-44fb-8e3b-3b96efe03e42.jpg  

Last edited by James Lehmann; 3 weeks ago at 08:39 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #40
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
With such great advice from y'all in this thread I've now assembled the following starter-kit for portable field-recording to go with my 'impulse buy' used Sennheiser MKH-415T:
  • Sound Devices MM-1 battery-powered preamp
  • Rycote pistol-grip suspension lyre
  • Rycote Super-Softie wind-cover 18cm (19-22mm hole)
  • Zoom H5 Portable field recorder
  • BeyerDynamic DT-770 closed-back headphones
I already had the Zoom H5 and the Beyer cans; grabbed a used Sound Devices MM-1 off eBay, and added the two Rycote products as recommended by @ TVPostSound and others.

The MM-1 preamp really makes this mic sing - not only does it sound fantastic but it also means I no longer need a separate T-Power box with the MKH 415-T as the MM-1 can provide the T-Power directly.

So my impulse buy of a broken vintage mic has cost me dear in terms of extras – probably €500 more than the mic itself – but it seems I've arrived in a good place!

I'm still relatively new to this area of audio but the pic below is of me out in the woods capturing birdsong - I need to learn how to sort my cables out to get a bit less handling noise when operating hand-held, although the Lyre does a great job of practically eliminating them.

Here's some roaring deer I recorded in the hills last night - I added some reverb to 'stereo-ize' it a bit just for fun:

Slow it down!! Makes a great monster sound!!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #41
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JamesClark1991's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
With such great advice from y'all in this thread I've now assembled the following starter-kit for portable field-recording to go with my 'impulse buy' used Sennheiser MKH-415T:
  • Sound Devices MM-1 battery-powered preamp
  • Rycote pistol-grip suspension lyre
  • Rycote Super-Softie wind-cover 18cm (19-22mm hole)
  • Zoom H5 Portable field recorder
  • BeyerDynamic DT-770 closed-back headphones
I already had the Zoom H5 and the Beyer cans; grabbed a used Sound Devices MM-1 off eBay, and added the two Rycote products as recommended by @ TVPostSound and others.

The MM-1 preamp really makes this mic sing - not only does it sound fantastic but it also means I no longer need a separate T-Power box with the MKH 415-T as the MM-1 can provide the T-Power directly.

So my impulse buy of a broken vintage mic has cost me dear in terms of extras – probably €500 more than the mic itself – but it seems I've arrived in a good place!

I'm still relatively new to this area of audio but the pic below is of me out in the woods capturing birdsong - I need to learn how to sort my cables out to get a bit less handling noise when operating hand-held, although the Lyre does a great job of practically eliminating them.

Here's some roaring deer I recorded in the hills last night - I added some reverb to 'stereo-ize' it a bit just for fun:



Super cool sound!! Such a shame about the H5's noisy pre-amps though :-(
Old 3 weeks ago
  #42
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesClark1991 View Post
Super cool sound!! Such a shame about the H5's noisy pre-amps though :-(

Way to piss on his parade!!!

Its a great start, sounds like James is having a blast!!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #43
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesClark1991 View Post
Super cool sound!! Such a shame about the H5's noisy pre-amps though :-(
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
Way to piss on his parade!!!
It's a great start, sounds like James is having a blast!!
I am indeed having a blast - this kind of fieldwork is a new area for me, I'm normally behind a mixing console, or at least a laptop and a bunch of interfaces. The random purchase of an old MKH 415-T has turned into something productive and fun for me.

Aha - yes, the H5 preamps...

I'm still experimenting with the best settings between the MM-1 and the H5 - looks like crank the gain on the MM-1 to the max (+66dB for distant sound gathering) and keep the H5 gains down to around 3-4 with the -20dB pad engaged. But I'm well aware there's only so far you can go with the H5 - it's the limiting factor for this 'starter' battery powered mobile rig (albeit a heck of a lot more convenient than schlepping my Metric Halo ULN-2 + laptop for now). I bought the H5 several years ago for a few non mission-critical projects and it's been very useful for that, so it's a piece of equipment I owned anyway and I know my way around. For sure, it's not a device that meets 'sound-library level' sound gathering, and I daresay it's been surpassed by other similarly-priced units in the time since I bought it.

But all this H5 talk is for another thread specifically about Field Recording with the Zoom H5, which I started a couple of years ago.

Back to the topic, which is used MKH 415-T...

Again I have to say the MM-1 preamp really is a match made in heaven as it removes the need for a separate T-power adapter.

The most urgent thing for me to address is actually the unruly Tuchel-XLR adapter nonsense spewing forth from the back of the mic (see second pic) that's carrying some handling noise. Rest assured that is temporary. I will shortly be re-soldering a much neater adapter cable that fits snugly inside the Rycote Lyre, not forgetting to leave enough slack to allow the head to swivel up/down.

Last edited by James Lehmann; 3 weeks ago at 07:34 PM..
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