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FLEA 49 and 50 - Brauner Valvet - Grand piano Condenser Microphones
Old 23rd August 2009
  #1
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
FLEA 49 and 50 - Brauner Valvet - Grand piano

Hello,

FLEA 49 and Valvet are set in omni. Same placement for the 3 pairs: 14cm AB, 1.65m height, in the curve of the piano rim (Steingraeber 205).
What's your mind ?

EQed FLEA 50 take
Attached Files

FLEA 50.mp3 (5.90 MB, 7648 views)

FLEA 49.mp3 (5.51 MB, 7275 views)

Valvet.mp3 (5.50 MB, 7127 views)

Old 1st October 2009
  #2
Gear interested
 

Thumbs up

Wow, all three sound great. The M50 has a huge, warm sound, meanwhile the Valvet the most modern I guess. The M49 strikes a good balance somewhere in between. I can really see how the M50 would be great for orchestra. Can't say I have a clear favorite, I suppose it would depend on what was being recorded, although my personal taste would lean towards the FLEAs. The M50 nicely softens the upper register, but without losing too much definition. It does pick up a lot more room sound though, which can be a good and a bad thing. Still, I have to say I'm pretty happy with my M49s...

I'm curious if it would be possible for the M49 and M50 to approach each other in sound with the right EQ and slightly altering the placements, my guess is that they could be brought pretty close to each other. I suppose the M50 would always remain a little richer though.

Thanks for posting them, and congratulations on the great addition to your cabinet!
Old 7th December 2009
  #3
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Thumbs up

thumbsup They sound nice, but, dont you think that you went a bit to close to the strings (piano)? I hear the pedal a lot. The the piece is so dreamy.

I love the DG recordings of Ivo Pogorelich, and there I have a feeling that they go more further away form the piano with the microphones.

Also, when the pianist is playing a melody it would sound more legato if the sound would have a couple of feet to develop in space.
Old 7th December 2009
  #4
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amfortas2006's Avatar
 

Smile

Btw. wich preamp and recorder were you using
Old 7th December 2009
  #5
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The preamp is a Fearn VT-2. Recorder: Fireface 400 + Wavelab.

Yes, I would have put the mics a bit further away in a nice room. But not in my living room...
Old 10th December 2009
  #6
Gear addict
 

can you do a Vocal Shoot out?

Thanks!

Great Song!
Old 11th December 2009
  #7
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by neon View Post
can you do a Vocal Shoot out?

Thanks!

Great Song!
With my own voice ? It's not great...

I am discussing with some members of a French audio forum about such a microphone shoot-out but nothing planned yet.

This piano piece is no. 2 from Schubert's Moments musicaux.
Old 6th February 2010
  #8
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The Fleas are just awful.

Your room sounds ... well IS suspect - too small with not enough room treatment. It's so phasey you are getting notes sounding out of tune while they may be perfectly in tune. This is a common problem with pianos in the usually home room and recording. Big bass traps will do more for your room - or at least stick them behind the mics.

It's a Steingraeber 205 for gosh sakes - it should sound like heaven when tuned up and miced well!

The Valvet is worlds better - although it's still not up to par for that wonderful piano.

Where are you? Europe of USA?

Thanks for posting AWESOME!
Old 6th February 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
Oh and just to be clear, the Valvet sucks too for that piano.

130V Omni DPA's and some room treatment are what you really desire - as you are spending that kind of cash. Room treatment first.
Old 13th February 2010
  #10
Here for the gear
 

No good deed goes unpunished

Jeepers. The point of a shoot out is to compare two or more things by keeping everything else the same and just varying the shootout objects. The objective is not to obtain the greatest performance/techniques/etc.

And it is only FOR REFERENCE that you give the rest of the chain.

"expert" opinions like this are why more folks don't take the time to upload and show off the diffo between a few pieces of gear.

And the comment that said this great piano should sound better, is just a bunch of boorish crap. this is science not art. What you do with YOUR paintbox is your statement. Go make it on your own thread, Mr. "the Valvet sucks on this piano". Quite frankly the Valvet doesnt suck on croaking frogs - or any other sound source under 100 db's.

but thanks a bunch to the original poster for providing a very worthwile and interesting piece of data for my brain to process. I wish more posters would do similarily.
Old 14th February 2010
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
Hello,

FLEA 49 and Valvet are set in omni. Same placement for the 3 pairs: 14cm AB, 1.65m height, in the curve of the piano rim (Steingraeber 205).
What's your mind ?

I'm not a fan of shoot outs although I can understand the desire.
But please don't use mp3's! You only have a fraction (which is a 11th on a 128 file) of a wav.

You want to show us the difference and use a reduced file?
Old 14th February 2010
  #12
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Thread Starter
Here attached a wav clip from the FLEA 50 take. I cannot hear the difference with respect to the mp3. I've no shame about that because the RMS error from a null test between both files is below -93 dBFS RMS and the peak error is - 69 dBFS. Piano music can afford mp3 compression very well.

NB The mp3s here are 320 kbit/s.
Attached Files

FLEA+50+clip.wav (5.80 MB, 1736 views)

Old 24th April 2010
  #13
Gear interested
 

The music sounds lovely...I thought that's what it's all about. I'd be happy to use all 3 mics - so the test was great for me. Yes, I've heard better recordings (it's not what these recordings are about), but thank God I still get lost in the music (this is NOT a dig at others) Thanks for posting.
Old 24th April 2010
  #14
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Thank you for your kind words. This piece is the second one in the Moments musicaux from Franz Schubert. The quality of these recordings is limited by the pianist being an amateur, the room being a living room (2.7 m = 9' ceiling height) and at a less extent the piano not being a full size concert piano. Nonetheless I think they are informative about the differences between these mics.
Old 25th April 2010
  #15
Gear interested
 

My amateur ear actually prefers the Valvet. It's probably to do with placement rather than the mics (but I have no idea for sure), but the first two seem to pick up a bit too much of the pedal and it is taking away from the melody, almost giving it a 'washed-out' feel. Again...probably placement.

Also, I think the Valvet has a much brighter and more 'accurate' sounding feel to it. It feels more alive to me.
Old 27th April 2010
  #16
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Thread Starter
The placement is the same for the three mic pairs: small AB in the piano rim curve, 1.6 m height. Three different takes.
Old 2nd May 2010
  #17
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OhioGreg's Avatar
 

3 nice recordings!
My personal taste: the velvet a tad more.
Old 13th October 2010
  #18
Gear maniac
 

wow that piano sounds really nice. and i love the piece you are playing.
yes, as Gustav Mahler said: "What's best in music is not to be found in the notes/microphones."

I prefer the valvet too. I like the warmth of the flea 49.
The flea 50 was picking up too much noise?

but overall very nice. dont know about room issues but phasing making something sound out of tune? can anyone explain that to me?
Old 13th October 2010
  #19
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Thread Starter
You may get a full recording of this piece (done with the FLEA 50s) on Pianosociety: Schubert - Moment musicaux, no. 2 - Didier Brest (limited to 192 kbit/s because of the Pianosociety's policy).

The feeling that the FLEA 50 would be more noisy is coming at least partly from the HF lift of this clone of the Neumann M50, primarily intended for orchestral recording in the diffuse field. It was especially used on the famous Decca tree. For close recording like here, it may be compensated by means of EQ.

Quote:
I'm curious if it would be possible for the M49 and M50 to approach each other in sound with the right EQ and slightly altering the placements, my guess is that they could be brought pretty close to each other. I suppose the M50 would always remain a little richer though.
I just tried only by means of a 5 dB dip centered on 6 kHz, Q = 1.9. I think that you are right John.
Attached Files

FLEA 50 EQ.mp3 (5.89 MB, 2278 views)

Old 14th October 2010
  #20
Gear interested
 

Wow, now those are very close. I wouldn't be able to guess which is which now. Interesting! Thanks!
Old 7th November 2010
  #21
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tampa's Avatar
 

Well when you consider the cost of these micrphones, The Brauner is half the price and in my opinion sounds fantastic. That's where I would be putting my money.
Old 7th November 2010
  #22
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Thread Starter
If you are not looking for the superb vintage color delivered by the FLEA mics, the Brauner can undoubtedly make you happy.
Old 22nd May 2011
  #23
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Alex Niedt's Avatar
 

The range from the FLEA 50 to the Valvet is quite large. 50 is very warm. Valvet is very focused and clean. 49 is a bit in between. It would depend on what vibe I was going for to really pick one over another.
Old 26th November 2012
  #24
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
Here attached a wav clip from the FLEA 50 take. I cannot hear the difference with respect to the mp3. I've no shame about that because the RMS error from a null test between both files is below -93 dBFS RMS and the peak error is - 69 dBFS. Piano music can afford mp3 compression very well.

NB The mp3s here are 320 kbit/s.
Sorry for bringing up an old post. But to these old ears - the .wav file is no comparison to the MP3 - MUCH better! (I'm using ATH-AD900 headphones and a music streamer USB DAC on my laptop). There is simply no comparison and I encourage you to change your playback chain!

Again - great piano, and wonderful comparisons.

Wondering - with all of these comparisons (I assume you have the microphones on a trial basis) have you decided on any microphone in particular that you like for the piano? It seems to me that a lot of mikes color the recording, and it is a matter of taste. But of course some just miss the high frequencies or add too much coloration.
Old 26th November 2012
  #25
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Thread Starter
I think that the FLEA 49 exhibits the kind of mood (die Sehnsucht) that suits best this music from Schubert. I do not have yet select the desert island microphone that would not give me any regret from the other ones.
Old 30th October 2013
  #26
songwriter/ post sound
 

Nice!

This is a really nice comparison. I can hear the difference. I really like the M50, it has a really has an almost mixed feel to it. It feels like a soundtrack at the beginning. The other mics also have a world class sound. Bravo for taking the time to record these, awesome recordings and great playing
Old 31st October 2013
  #27
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Thread Starter
Thank you for your kind words.

Here on the French audio forum Audioaddict, there are links to recent takes of the same piece for comparing the FLEA 49 and the Brauner Valvet in cardioid A-B and some other microphones (Neumann M 149, Rode Classic II, Manley Gold Reference Stereo, Prodipe RSL). The clips are longer and include a f passage.
Old 12th November 2013
  #28
Gear interested
 

I like the FLEA 49 here best. However I find it too bright in the french comparison. I liked the Neumann M 149 there, and the Rode Classic II, which also had the nicest stereo positioning in that comparison.

Thanks for posting those comparisons!
Old 10th May 2014
  #29
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
You may get a full recording of this piece (done with the FLEA 50s) on Pianosociety: Schubert - Moment musicaux, no. 2 - Didier Brest (limited to 192 kbit/s because of the Pianosociety's policy).
I recorded again this piece for Pianosociety and used a pair of Neuman M 149 set in cardioid XY. The previous recording done with the FLEA 50s is no longer available.
Old 22nd August 2014
  #30
I prefer Flea 50 thanks for sharing
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