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Mic Pair Choice - Josephson C42 or Beyer M160
Old 27th December 2003
  #1
Talking Mic Pair Choice - Josephson C42 or Beyer M160

Hello fellow gearslutz...I have a mic purchase question! I only want to spend 1000.00 a pair of mics...

I record in a small room, with low ceilings (8ft). I need a pair of overheads for recording my drums, acoustic guitar, piano etc. I record rock and acoustic music. I have a pair of banjo-mart oktava mc012's , but a screw has unscrewed itself to the inside. Thus making my mic useless, because it is very difficult to open one of these mics. Plus they are not really that great.

I think the Beyer m160's would be the best choice, because the can pull double duty on electric guitar when not on the drums, and are hypercardoid so as not to pick up too much of my cruddy room sound. I really don't like overly bright mics in my room, because I am recording to digital, and it is already harsh enough..I have no experince with ribbon mics but it would be great to smooth out the high end.

I have a Lawson L47mp which has worked well as a mono overhead, and then using stereo toms, and a ride mic, to get a pseudo-stereo effect. I would really like the stereo thing again. Soon I will upgrade from the delta 1010 to a lynx two, but I will only have 6 inputs. So I would like the drums to sound as full as possible, and the toms to sound punchy, without tom mics. I can make parallel overhead tracks if need be to pull some more tomminess out of 'em.

I have read that the Josehpson C42 make great drums sounds (full toms) with just the two overheads and the bass drum mic. The Beyers are supposed to smooth out the high end. I want to record lifelike drums, piano, and acoustic..in the future maybe strings, etc.

The Beyers I could get 'Sanktified in the future..
The josephsons wont get screwed up like ribbons.
If I could find some series six Josephsons used, would this be a better idea? I am not sure of their price, and if you can change capsules.

I really want a pair of versatile mics that will complete my Gearslut Quest (for now) for achieving great recordings of all my instruments.

My preamps are only vintech 1272's, RNP, and allen & heath board pres. I just sold my api 3124+ to some lucky gearslut here, (costs too much) so, Soon I will build an api, hamtone tube pre, or get an peavey vmp2. What I am saying is that I dont know if these preamps have enough gain for the beyers....Thanks for all your help.

This really is the BEST Forum!

----------------
Todd Seibel
Old 27th December 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
robmix's Avatar
I can't praise the C42mp's highly enough. Amazing on overheads, absolutely amazing on acoustic guitar and percussion. I use them with an Aphex 1100 on overheads and a Great River MP2nv on acoustics. Bright and detailed but not harsh at all.



Rob
Old 27th December 2003
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
You've already brought up the point I was going to make about Preamp gain.

If I were you I'd find a dealer (not a retailer...) who has a good return policy. Mercenary has great customer service and sell the Josephson mics. I don't believe they carry Beyer. I know Stankwater does, but I'm not sure how they deal with "these mics don't work in my room." They could be great, but I don't know. Try to get them at the same time and record the same drummer and drum set with each pair.
Old 27th December 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 

I kinda think you need to fish or cut bait here. Do you want something great for OHs, or something great for guitar? I'd start there and probably get the Josephson C42s(or maybe even wait for the E22S) for overheads, and save up for the M160 for guitar later.
Old 27th December 2003
  #5
Lives for gear
 
heinz's Avatar
 

C42mp's are completely dope as drum overheads in a low-ceiling room, I can attest to this.

Get a royer 121 for guitar.
Old 27th December 2003
  #6
Looks like what I figured. Buy three mics. Get the Josephsons and a ribbon. So what is the good points of the e22S's mentioned by ecue?

No one has chimed in on how well the josephsons are on other instuments...Do any of you gearslutz used them as your only quality small D. pair for piano...acoustic?

Are the series six josephsons, that much better?

Thanks

---------------
Todd Seibel
Old 27th December 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by iflyinmymind
Looks like what I figured. Buy three mics. Get the Josephsons and a ribbon. So what is the good points of the e22S's mentioned by ecue?

No one has chimed in on how well the josephsons are on other instuments...Do any of you gearslutz used them as your only quality small D. pair for piano...acoustic?

Are the series six josephsons, that much better?

Thanks

---------------
Todd Seibel
The main reason I mentioned the E22's was that Steve Albini mentioned that they were perfect on drums. My local gear dealer mentioned them to me, but apperently they will be much more expensive. Sorry for jumping the gun.
Old 28th December 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 

My instinct would be to buy the Josephsons for the overheads. They are amazing as drum overheads and the low ceiling factor could possibly make the ribbons less useful. Plus, your Lawson L47 can handle your guitar amp chores wonderfully.
Old 28th December 2003
  #9
Gear Head
 

Get one Josephson C42 and one Beyer M160. You can always grab a 2nd C42 down the line. FWIW, I've been doing a lot of mono overhead lately with great results. Anyway, then you'll know firsthand which mic, if either, is worth doubling up on.
Old 28th December 2003
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Curious G's Avatar
 

ditto!

I use the c42's overhead in a small room and love 'em. The Beyer is such a completely different animal... get both!
Old 30th December 2003
  #11
Here for the gear
 

I am not the worlds most reliable person to ask about mic's...but I found this site that is in acrobat...I believe...anyway it is a LONG theory on mic's...talks about placement, recording, everything from start to finish. On page 45 of the page 84 document it talks about the drums and mic's. Maybe it will help...if not...I'm sorry.....

www.kset.org/music/pub/ChatWithHarvey.pdf
Old 30th December 2003
  #12
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Re: Mic Pair Choice - Josephson C42 or Beyer M160

Quote:
Originally posted by iflyinmymind
I think the Beyer m160's would be the best choice, because the can pull double duty on electric guitar when not on the drums...

...The Beyers I could get 'Sanktified in the future..
Sure if you don't cake the 160's on guitar amps. Also, I've never heard about anyone giving a 160 to Sank, they're pretty cool on their own.
Old 30th December 2003
  #13
Gear Addict
 
mdbeh's Avatar
 

Re: Re: Mic Pair Choice - Josephson C42 or Beyer M160

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Also, I've never heard about anyone giving a 160 to Sank, they're pretty cool on their own.
I've got a Sank-modded 160 (got it used off his site) and I love it. You're right, though--an unmodified 160 is still a cool mic.
Old 30th December 2003
  #14
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

To be honest, the M-160 has always been a disappointment to me. A 57 has beat it in shootouts 90% of the time and I've tried it almost every time one has been available to me over the past 25 years. I used one for live vocals briefly until a Beyer M-88 completely trounced both it and the Sennheiser 441. An M-88 virtually always sounds better to me and in many cases a 57 beats that.

David Josephson's mikes are simply extraordinary. I've known David for 30 years but I'm saying this because it's true. I'm amazed that Fletcher is even offering a discount. It was a no-brainer bargain when you paid full price and waited months for it to be delivered.
Old 31st December 2003
  #15
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Wink

It seems then that scoring a Beyer M160 with a damaged ribbon,
and sending it in to be "DX'd" (RCA 77DX ribbon) by Sank is a smart way to go.

Chris
Old 31st December 2003
  #16
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by chessparov
It seems then that scoring a Beyer M160 with a damaged ribbon, and sending it in to be "DX'd" (RCA 77DX ribbon) by Sank is a smart way to go.
That's actually why he started doing them. Stephen was charging way less then Beyer for a re-ribbon. Mike Rivers told me about him after someone gave me a dead M260. I think mine was the 2nd or third 260 that he modded but I know that my old M500 was the first one of those he had touched. I just don't see the sense in buying a new mic and sending it off to be modded.
Old 31st December 2003
  #17
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Jay, how "close" does your M160dx come to sounding like a RCA 77 as a frame of reference IYO?

Also, any set preferences between the M500dx and M160dx regarding the applications mentioned in this thread?

Thanks
Chris
Old 1st January 2004
  #18
Gear Head
 
heylow's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by littledog
My instinct would be to buy the Josephsons for the overheads. They are amazing as drum overheads and the low ceiling factor could possibly make the ribbons less useful.

Hey Dog.....

I'm not doubting you here, but I have to ask....what are you basing this on?

I would think that the Josephsons (or the like) might be less useful in a low ceiling situation. The M160s are VERY forgiving in bad room type scenarios....much more so than any other mic I have tried (even if that's only a good handful at best).

I'm especially curious because I was JUST considering ways to raise the dough for a pair of Josephsons myself.


That said....I have heard in many places that these mics are pretty colored.....how colored are they? What type of color is it? Darkish? Bright-ish? Do they do away with that ringy "glasses thrown against the wall" cymbal sound?



heylow
Old 2nd January 2004
  #19
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by chessparov
Jay, how "close" does your M160dx come to sounding like a RCA 77 as a frame of reference IYO?

Also, any set preferences between the M500dx and M160dx regarding the applications mentioned in this thread?
I have a 260DX. I've never heard or even seen mention of any kind of 160DX.

The way the whole 260 thing came about was because the ribbon was the same width and thickness as the 77DX. Given that Stephen thought it would be easy to put in there as a replacement and had some NOS laying around so he gave it a go. That's where the 77DX comparison came originaly came from. Now it actually does sound a bit similar to a 77, but it's not totally there. Maybe 70%, but you can tell that they're related to each other.

I bought the M500 on a whim and never really liked it that much on anything besides rough vocals so I traded it for an Orban compressor that I've used a lot more often. I'm sure I lost money on the deal but I'm getting a hell of a lot more use out of the compressor. Some people love the M500 stock. I didn't and I didn't like the modded one that much either. It sounded nothing like the M260DX and they both had the same NOS ribbon material.

Hope that helps,
Old 2nd January 2004
  #20
Gear Head
 
heylow's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
I've never heard or even seen mention of any kind of 160DX.

Try here

He does em. I've read a bit here and there on them as well and the consensus seems to be about the same as any of Sank's work.....as far as I can tell, all positive. I've always figured I'd check it out if either of my M160s bit it. God forbid.



heylow
Old 3rd January 2004
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 

The 160DX has been around for several years IIRC... I grabbed a 160DX from Stephen about a year ago and love it. I use mine on dirt guitars as well as cleaner electric stuff, some percussion also (Bodhran in particular), but my favorite use for it is acoustic gtrs. It can be a bit tricky getting useable levels on acoustic sources but once you do it sounds gorgeous!
Old 8th January 2004
  #22
Lives for gear
not that difficult

i purchased my pair of flawless m160s for about $300 in german ebay one year ago. considering that i think the decison should not be too difficult. spend little money buy the beyer, spend some money buy the josephson, spend a little more get both.

cheers
istvan
Old 12th January 2004
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
Henrik's Avatar
 

I've tried emailing Stephen Sank regarding pricing to mod my M260 pair. I use the email address on his web site, and the mails keep bouncing back. Has anyone got an email address that actually works?

Calling on the phone is often difficult due to the time difference.

Thanks,
Henrik
Old 13th January 2004
  #24
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
To be honest, the M-160 has always been a disappointment to me. A 57 has beat it in shootouts 90% of the time and I've tried it almost every time one has been available to me over the past 25 years.
Curious...what were the sources for the M-160 vs. SM57 shootouts?
Old 13th January 2004
  #25
I am also interested in how the SM57 beat the beyer. Jimmy Hendrix's guitar was recorded with a beyer m160 and I think it sounds more realistic and smooth than a 57. Just my opinion? Anyone else? I've also read posts from some people that say the 160 is better than the 260. And that the 260 was like a smoother 57..

In reguard to stephen sank not answering emails...I emailed him a bunch from an email with numbers in it and he did not respond until I use my hotmail account with no numbers in the name. He said his email kicked those out as spam. He said he would change that but who knows?

I really like the Lawson l47 for guitar, but I don't have any ribbon mics, and everybody seems to think ribbon mics are essential for guitar. I dont think a royer is very affordable. One could get almost three ribbon mics for the price of his mic.

Does anyone think that the results from the josephsons are going to be substantially better the the oktava mc012's? Like i will be very glad I spent a thousand bucks!!


Thanks

______________
Todd Seibel
Old 13th January 2004
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
Henrik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by iflyinmymind
I am also interested in how the SM57 beat the beyer. Jimmy Hendrix's guitar was recorded with a beyer m160 and I think it sounds more realistic and smooth than a 57. Just my opinion? Anyone else?
Yup, me too. The M160 is rounder and fatter, which I more often than not find pleasing when recording distorted guitars. I think the 57 may be good for '80s metal guitars, like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and such. But I don't really like that. Still I think the MD421 is even better than the M160 - speaking in very general terms, of course.

Quote:
Originally posted by iflyinmymind
In reguard to stephen sank not answering emails...I emailed him a bunch from an email with numbers in it and he did not respond until I use my hotmail account with no numbers in the name. He said his email kicked those out as spam. He said he would change that but who knows?
The tought struck me that maybe my email was bounced back by a spam filter. I'll try my Hotmail address.

Thanks
/Henrik
Old 20th January 2004
  #27
Here for the gear
 

Hi Henrik,

Just a quick question on the M160 versus the MD421. Are you using an older 421 model or the newer MD421-II to compare against the Beyer M160 microphone? I have a new 421-II that sounds really great on guitar cabinets. I saw the frequency plot on my particular 421-II was the same as an older 421 mic that I borrowed from a friend. FWIW his old 421 sounded extremely dark and had no high end detail to it at all. Mine left his for dead! I wonder whether his capsule was shot?
Old 20th January 2004
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
Henrik's Avatar
 

Hey Pink,
I have the older version of the MD421. I haven't tried the newer ones. From what I understand from those who have compared the two versions, the mk II is a lot brighter which obviously may be good for some things, and bad for others. So I think your impression of the comparison goes much in line with what I've heard others say. Of course, your friend's 421 is older than yours, so it's not unlikely that it's been subjected to tobacco smoke and what not, making it duller than when it left the manufacturer.

I often find myself preferring a quite rolled off top end when recording guitar cabs...but different strokes and all that.

Best,
Henrik
Old 23rd January 2004
  #29
Here for the gear
 
VagrantSt's Avatar
 

I had picked up a couple new M260's a couple years ago that were OK, not as uniquely cool as I had hoped. I sent them to Sank recently for the mod and I use them much more now. Haven't tried the overheads thing since the mod but on guitar cabs the low-mid is much richer/fuller. This mod also includes some other tweaking besides the ribbon which cost a little extra. It was cool on a squeaky harmonica the other day too, though I had the pre (GRMP2NV) maxed out to the point of a little noise. The player wasn't exactly an experienced pro. I spoke to Steve on the phone so I don't know about the e-mail problems. His turnover time was quick and he put a cool little DX decal on the mikes. I'm happy!

www.vagrantsaints.com
Old 23rd January 2004
  #30
Lives for gear
 
jazzius II's Avatar
 

this seems to be where all the mic-sluts are hangin'

sooooo.......

....if one were to purchase a pair of C42's for percussion duty, how important is it to get a matched pair?........how much could an unmatched pair differ?.....are we talking about fractions of a dB somewhere in the spectrum or could/would it be more noticable/problematic?
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