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Question about used MKH 416
Old 16th February 2011
  #1
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Question Question about used MKH 416

I'm currently on the lookout for a mkh 416 for a web series (drama)

I need to buy one soon, and I've found a few on ebay that are used and I think a decent price $550.00

But they appears to be atleast 30 years old. Can I expect problems. Is it worth it then?
Old 16th February 2011
  #2
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tourtelot's Avatar
Any mic that old should probably go on vacation to Germany (or at least Connecticut) for a tune up.

Here's the difference between a really old 416 and a newer (probably more expensive) 416.

There are two different means of powering those mics; the old way was known as T-power or A-B power which uses 12vdc over the two signal leads of the mic. There is even a variation on this where Nagra switched the polarity of this scheme in their recorder preamps and so some T-powered mics of that vintage are marked with a little dot of red nail polish on the XLR to notate reversed polarity. Some of these older mics even used Tuchel plugs for connectors so you would need a power supply (the LA soundshops like Coffey and LSC have them still) AND an XLR to Tuchel adapter.

The second and newer method is, of course, phantom power. These mics are called MKH416 P48 and will be newer and more expensive to buy used. I believe that Sennheiser still makes them new but I could be wrong.

All these words to say if you need a 416 and have a tight budget, a T-powered version might do you fine. A couple of extra thingers to hang off your recorder or mixing panel, but a good old 416 will sound fine. If you have more money, and don't want to risk an older mic with a weird powering scheme, get a P48 version.

Of course, it is possible that the old mic will sound fine and a newer, abused mic might sound ****ty so get a return policy in writing before you lay down the green.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.

D.
Old 16th February 2011
  #3
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Thanks, very helpful.

I don't mind getting the power adapter, and the mic I was looking at seems to come with tuchel xlr adapter.

But with all these gizmos, is it better to just get a k6 (or some other mic) and avoid all the hassle. Will the difference in sound quality be that noticeable?

I'm planning on recording into an h4n. Is it still worth investing in a decent mic?
Old 16th February 2011
  #4
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Some slight inaccuracies here.....

The MKH 416 was launched in about 1975 as a phantom powered mic.

The "T" powered version actually came later.

The 416 is still a current mic. and still very popular. The "T" version was produced until very recently.

Early versions used a crystal, later versions are PLL locked.

If the mic. Is clean and works it should not really need sending anywhere to be checked out - it's an RF condenser, not an AF one.

If you get a T-powered version you can get XLR barrels that convert 48V phantom to T-power to avoid getting a special power supply. Though quite a lot of recorders also supply T-power.

A 416 is considerably better than a K6+ME66.

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Old 16th February 2011
  #5
Working with an almost 30 years old 416 with T power I can tell you it's still a great mic. The 48 and T versions are not sounding the same exactly, but who cares; are you ever in a situation where you can compare side by side during work?

Again; Superb mic! The only mic I use instead of it when I only have 48 at a mixer is rode's ntg-3. But I much prefer my 416T
Old 16th February 2011
  #6
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If you're not dead set on the 416, and I can't imagine a good reason why you should be, check out the Røde NTG-3. It is in no way a lesser mic than the 416 and you can get it brand new (with a 10 year warranty) for not much more than a battered old 416.

A classic is a classic, but there's also this thing called progress.
Old 16th February 2011
  #7
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by uosdwis View Post
If you're not dead set on the 416, and I can't imagine a good reason why you should be, check out the Røde NTG-3. It is in no way a lesser mic than the 416 and you can get it brand new (with a 10 year warranty) for not much more than a battered old 416.

A classic is a classic, but there's also this thing called progress.
How is an NTG-3 “progress" over a 416?

The MKH 60 is progress as it uses the latest symmetrical capsule with much lower distortion figures. The 8060 and 8070 are progress as well as these also use the symmetrical capsule. The Røde uses the same old technology as the 416 made at a cheaper price.


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Old 16th February 2011
  #8
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I should have worded that more carefully.

I wasn't saying the NTG-3 is technically superior to the 416, just that in the 30 or so years between the launch of the 416 and the NTG-3, "progress" in various areas have apparently enabled us to acquire an NTG-3 fresh from the factory and with a 10 year warranty at around half the cost of a new 416.

Having said that, no mic is better at being a 416 than a 416. If that's what the OP wants, they are indeed rugged and buying used shouldn't be a problem.

However, if the OP has a budget to adhere to (and it did sort of seem that way) and basically wants a rugged RF shotgun mic with specs that are on par with the 416, the NTG-3 should be a contender. It's a great mic at a good price. And there's no need to make it out to be a cheap copy just because it doesn't carry the Sennheiser label.
Old 16th February 2011
  #9
Here for the gear
 

The only problem with the ntg-3 is that you can't really get it used. Your basically buying it for $650-700 and at that price, it's almost $200 more than the possibly superior used mkh 416.

But I guess you get a certain peace of mind with a warranty and brand new mic.

I've heard that using a power adapter and tuchel adapter lessen the quality of mic.

But it sound like most people have confidence in a 30 year old mic.

I say 30 years old because it has a tuchel connector, and I believe they were discontinued after the 70's.

Thanks again everyone.
Old 16th February 2011
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

To my ears (obligatory disclaimer) the NTG-3 has a slightly wider pickup pattern, but also less colored off-axis response. They are both great mics and you basically can't go wrong with either one; at this level it's mostly a matter of subjective/application-based preference.

Don't let the adapters discourage you if the 416 is in good shape. If the savings of $100 or so (by your estimates) enable you to buy better shock/wind protection or a lighter boom pole or something like that, that's going to have a much bigger impact on the overall results than the difference in sonic quality between the two.

Best of luck!
Old 16th February 2011
  #11
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tourtelot's Avatar
Good point. Do NOT neglect the wind protection! Indoors, a foam pop-screen will help protect the mic from bumps and bruises, but the MKH416 (and most mics that might be used in the same application) is VERY susceptible to wind. There is really no other way to use it outdoors without, at least, a Rycote Softie (or equivalent.) For anything other than a breeze, I highly recommend a full-on zepellin and high wind cover (dead cat, fuzzy or whatever you might call it )

And John. Very interesting about the correction to my post. Sennheiser introduced that mic as a P48? And then, introduced a new version to make itself available to the motion picture industry (able to use the powering from the Nagra.) Very cool to know that.

John. So that I can do some more snooping, can you point me in the direction of that info? I'd appreciate it.

And though I have never heard the Rode, I wonder if, in 30 years, you saw one on eBay, would you have even the remotest interest in buy it? Just sayin'

Oh, and I forgot about the P48-T adapter barrels. I had a few when I had T-power mics and they seemed to work fine.

Also, beware of having T-power on when you plug in other mics. It is much more hazardous to non-T-powered mics than phantom is. I have blown up a mic or two in my day being careless.

D.
Old 16th February 2011
  #12
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huub's Avatar
We use both age old (from the 80ies) and new 416s , they're all fine and basically sound the same..
But we also use new and age old MKE40's now these do vary wildly in tone....

Might be the case with 416s also, but we only use these for sound fx (crowd etc) so I'm not sure if I would recognise slight tone differences..
Old 16th February 2011
  #13
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junior's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAT5 View Post
Working with an almost 30 years old 416 with T power I can tell you it's still a great mic. The 48 and T versions are not sounding the same exactly, but who cares; are you ever in a situation where you can compare side by side during work?
+1 on the T-powered mics. The adapters are cheap and it's easy to make a Tuchel to XLR pigtail if you need one. thumbsup
Old 16th February 2011
  #14
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I have both the 416 and the K6 outfit, and my 416 is a old, very used, T power model. I much prefer the 416. You'll need wind protection for any mic you use outdoors.

phil p
Old 16th February 2011
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Ok, I think I'm sold.

Age be damned, I'm getting a used 416 and some sort of wind cover.

Thanks for all the help
Old 16th February 2011
  #16
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBlueOne View Post
I say 30 years old because it has a tuchel connector, and I believe they were discontinued after the 70's.
Tuchel connectors were available a lot longer than that.

Broadcasters like the BBC preferred them to XLRs because they screwed down and held the connector all round instead of at one point. Also, the pins are self-cleaning.

I'm not sure when the Tuchel was stopped, but it was certainly available well into the '80's and possibly the 90's.


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Old 21st February 2011
  #17
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I am interested in the various comments on this thread regarding Rode v 416. I am generally a fan of Rode mics, but haven't used their shotguns. I have used 416's, though I Currently don't own one. Are the two really in the same ballpark? Preferably I am asking people here that really have used both, and are not just biased Rode mic bashers ( there's a few of 'em on GS).
Old 21st February 2011
  #18
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocksure View Post
I am interested in the various comments on this thread regarding Rode v 416. I am generally a fan of Rode mics, but haven't used their shotguns. I have used 416's, though I Currently don't own one. Are the two really in the same ballpark? Preferably I am asking people here that really have used both, and are not just biased Rode mic bashers ( there's a few of 'em on GS).
The only post I have seen is this one posted by someone who had used both on the same project.
Old 21st February 2011
  #19
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mosrite's Avatar
 

Praise For The MKH416

How can I lavish enough praise on this mic? Solid, dependable, classic.

The thing with the MKH416 is that you know what you are getting and you know it will deliver even in the toughest environments.

A good test for equipment durability is to have a rummage through the film & TV rental house store rooms to see the kit that has survived decades of use and, sometimes, abuse. The MKH416 is always there in numbers.

The MKH60 probably is a better all round mic but, because we know the 416 intimately, it doesn't get as much of a look-in. The transition will slowly occur if and when Sennheiser stop making it I guess. In the meantime you cannot go wrong with a 416 and if there ever was a piece of equipment to buy used then this is it.
Old 18th July 2020
  #20
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBlueOne View Post
Age be damned - I'm getting a used 416 and some sort of wind cover.
I don't like starting new threads when it isn't strictly necessary, even if it means bumping a 10 year-old one!

Almost identically to the OP, I just acquired a used MKH 415-T.

The photo shows the bits & pieces it ships with. I've got the T-power pack and Tuchel adapter sorted. I'm certain I will be needing to replace the elastics on the suspension which is no problem - I have all that ready to go when it gets here, hopefully next week.

Assuming it works as advertised when it arrives(!), I'd like to know what additional accessories I might reasonably need for exterior work to start recording sound-effects like bird-song etc.

I'm not doing movie dialogue, so I don't need bomb-proof pro gear and I don't have much of a budget left for this, so a €500 Rycote rig is going to be total overkill for my needs.

Are there various cheap softies, socks and/or zeppelins for the 415/6 you'd recommend? For examples the Rode NTG3 windscreen at €35 looks appealing?

And what's the right way/gear to hand-hold this mic? I don't think I need or want a massively long boom/fishpole. Can I just use the shockmount?

Anything else essential with the 415/6 for outdoor use?

Many thanks in advance for the advice - shotgun mics are a whole new world to me, and learning about them is one reason I purchased this one!

James


PS And of course being a voice-over artist, I'll be giving this a go in the studio as well on my voice.
Attached Thumbnails
Question about used MKH 416-415.jpg  

Last edited by James Lehmann; 18th July 2020 at 03:18 PM..
Old 18th July 2020
  #21
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tourtelot's Avatar
Some sort of pop screen/plosives filter? You probably have one already.

D.
Old 19th July 2020
  #22
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JamesClark1991's Avatar
If you're going outside you'll *definitely* need a blimp if there's even slight wind. If you're on a budget the Rode Blimp (mkii) is perfect and affordable.
Old 19th July 2020
  #23
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The Senny shock mount is ok
The 415 needs a foam gag at the very least, or a softie
You can pistol grip the shock mount or buy a proper used Rycote blimp on EBay
Well worth it
Roger
Old 22nd July 2020
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
I don't like starting new threads when it isn't strictly necessary, even if it means bumping a 10 year-old one!
Your just doing what you quoted from the OP: "Age be damned"
Old 22nd July 2020
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Assuming it works as advertised when it arrives(!), I'd like to know what additional accessories I might reasonably need for exterior work to start recording sound-effects like bird-song etc.

I'm not doing movie dialogue, so I don't need bomb-proof pro gear and I don't have much of a budget left for this, so a €500 Rycote rig is going to be total overkill for my needs.

Are there various cheap softies, socks and/or zeppelins for the 415/6 you'd recommend? For examples the Rode NTG3 windscreen at €35 looks appealing?

And what's the right way/gear to hand-hold this mic? I don't think I need or want a massively long boom/fishpole. Can I just use the shockmount?

Anything else essential with the 415/6 for outdoor use?
Get at least a pistol grip:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ftie_Lyre.html

For wind protection, get at a minimum a Rode WS7 Windshield. Although you might quickly find that "expensive" €500 Rycote blimp is much more essential than you thought.

You might want to also consider a lightweight light stand, if you don't want to hold the mic for long periods.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ght_stand.html
Old 22nd July 2020
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesClark1991 View Post
If you're going outside you'll *definitely* need a blimp if there's even slight wind. If you're on a budget the Rode Blimp (mkii) is perfect and affordable.
The Marantz blimp looks very similar to the Rode Blimp mk1, and is shockingly cheap:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...indscreen.html
Old 23rd July 2020
  #27
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celticrogues's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

+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
Old 23rd July 2020
  #28
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Do yourself a favor and have the mic converted to P48. I used those 48>T barrels for years with a large flock of old Schoeps and Senn mics, and they end up being a real hassle on the job and an extra possible point of failure in your mic signal path. They are awkward no matter where you decide to plug them in (to the mic or to the stage box or to the pre). There was an old comment above to the effect that "many recorders still supply T mic power"--in 2020 that is no longer true, practically no pro audio equipment has this option any more. Pete Verrando does a great, fast, reasonably priced conversion of T powered mics--I've had him do many Schoeps and Senn mics for me and the conversion made them much more usable in my world. http://www.cmc4upgrade.com/cmc4upgrade.com.html
Old 23rd July 2020
  #29
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My Cooper,and Sonosax still have TPower as does my IV STC!
Ive just sold some BBC TPower battery PSU with pads and bass cut.
Old 23rd July 2020
  #30
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JamesClark1991's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by philper View Post
Do yourself a favor and have the mic converted to P48. I used those 48>T barrels for years with a large flock of old Schoeps and Senn mics, and they end up being a real hassle on the job and an extra possible point of failure in your mic signal path. They are awkward no matter where you decide to plug them in (to the mic or to the stage box or to the pre). There was an old comment above to the effect that "many recorders still supply T mic power"--in 2020 that is no longer true, practically no pro audio equipment has this option any more. Pete Verrando does a great, fast, reasonably priced conversion of T powered mics--I've had him do many Schoeps and Senn mics for me and the conversion made them much more usable in my world. http://www.cmc4upgrade.com/cmc4upgrade.com.html
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.
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