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Manley Gold vs Brauner Valvet - Piano Condenser Microphones
Old 6th February 2010
  #1
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

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Manley Gold vs Brauner Valvet - Piano

Manley Reference Gold Stereo ----> DAV BG1 -----> FF400

2 Brauner Valvet ------> Fearn VT-2 -------> FF400

Mics set in cardioid XY.
Audio files in post #4
Attached Thumbnails
Manley Gold  vs Brauner Valvet - Piano-dscf0758.jpg  

Last edited by didier.brest; 6th April 2010 at 09:52 AM.. Reason: Initial upload issue solved.
Old 6th February 2010
  #2
We need to know if its an earlier or newer modell of the manley. Totally different mics..
Old 6th February 2010
  #3
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It was delivered by Manley a few weeks ago. It has a transformer on each channel.

Last edited by didier.brest; 6th April 2010 at 09:54 AM.. Reason: Initial upload issue solved.
Old 8th February 2010
  #4
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Finally the audio! (I had to upload from an URL because it did not work from my PC.)

There are two takes, one as described in the first post, the other one made after swapping the preamps.

There is no processing. There sould be some at least for taming the noise from the dampers.
Attached Files

Manley+XY+cardio+Fearn.mp3 (5.33 MB, 7888 views)

Valvet+XY+cardio+DAV.mp3 (5.43 MB, 12934 views)

Manley+XY+cardio+DAV.mp3 (5.51 MB, 10754 views)

Valvet+XY+cardio+Fearn.mp3 (5.27 MB, 11012 views)

Old 8th February 2010
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Absolutely no contest here, as far as I can hear.
The Brauner Valvet is significantly quieter and clearer. I actually couldn't believe how noisy the Manley was (hiss).
Also, I liked both mics through the Fearn preamp better. I heard more definition and fundamentals.
Thanks for continuing to post these comparisons!

Brian
Old 8th February 2010
  #6
the manley has a bit too much self amplification (overloading the curcuit). you can fix that easily. also using another tube lowers the noisefloor by 10dB+

cheers
G
Old 8th February 2010
  #7
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I dunno, to me thats a lot of self-noise for a new and not inexpencive microphone...
Old 8th February 2010
  #8
Well.. You can fix that easily..

And yes, its a lot..
Old 8th February 2010
  #9
Gear addict
 

Wow, it's crazy how noisy the Manley is! It also sounds like it's quite a bit brighter than the Brauners, thereby accentuating the damper noise.

You might want to have your piano technician work on the dampers. They definitely shouldn't be making that much sound.
Old 9th February 2010
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianHanke View Post
You might want to have your piano technician work on the dampers.
I don't think that there is something to do. The damper noise is no so loud but because of their placement the mics catch it very well.

Yes the noise level from the Manley is rather high with respect to most condenser mics. But the quality from a mic is not only determined by its noise level; the signal is important also.

Another take from the Manley with some processing for making its frequency response match the one from the Brauner and for decreasing the noise:
Attached Files
Old 9th February 2010
  #11
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest
I don't think that there is something to do. The damper noise is no so loud but because of their placement the mics catch it very well.
I was just talking with my technician about this very issue a few weeks ago. I don't recall exactly what he said the solution is, but the noise is definitely something that can be lessened if not totally eliminated. It's true though that a mic with a high-frequency lift will accentuate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest
Yes the noise level from the Manley is rather high with respect to most condensers mics. But the quality from a mic is not only determined by its noise level; the signal is important also.
I agree, it's just that the signal was a bit hard to hear over the noise in this case!
Old 9th February 2010
  #12
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
Another take from the Manley with some processing for making its frequency response match the one from the Brauner and for decreasing the noise:
Dehiss?
Old 9th February 2010
  #13
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World Studios's Avatar
The Manley sounds a lot more clear. Brauner sounds wooly by comparison.

My Manley Ref C is noisy as hell. My friend has one too. With the exact same tube (I swapped the between the mics), his mic had much less noise, so it is not all about the tube.
Old 9th February 2010
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by World Studios View Post
The Manley sounds a lot more clear. Brauner sounds wooly by comparison.

My Manley Ref C is noisy as hell. My friend has one too. With the exact same tube (I swapped the between the mics), his mic had much less noise, so it is not all about the tube.
well.. it is about the tube and 2 other small mods.. and we can bring it down by 10dB or more.. without compromising the headroom..
Old 9th February 2010
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by World Studios View Post
The Manley sounds a lot more clear. Brauner sounds wooly by comparison.

My Manley Ref C is noisy as hell. My friend has one too. With the exact same tube (I swapped the between the mics), his mic had much less noise, so it is not all about the tube.
it depends also on the serial numnber.. there were 3 very different revisions..
Old 9th February 2010
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Necola View Post
it depends also on the serial numnber.. there were 3 very different revisions..
I know. He has a serial far from mine, whereas my other buddy had the serial just after or before mine, and it was as noisy as mine. Are the current ones (new one) less noisy?
Old 9th February 2010
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by World Studios View Post
I know. He has a serial far from mine, whereas my other buddy had the serial just after or before mine, and it was as noisy as mine. Are the current ones (new one) less noisy?
I don't know. we succesfully did a mod (thanx to a friend of mine who is a microphone specialist).

cheers
G
Old 24th March 2010
  #18
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Necola View Post
I don't know. we succesfully did a mod (thanx to a friend of mine who is a microphone specialist).

cheers
G
Did you inform Manley of this, and if so, what did they say?

And I also prefer the Brauner.
Old 27th March 2010
  #19
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I just sold a pair of VM1s and I'm about to sell a pair of Valvets, I have to sell a trio of PhantomVs (best mics I've ever used) and I can only say that if my life turns around for the better, I will be looking to buy only Brauner mics. As real as it gets. Sometimes you need to fake something, but when you don't...
Old 30th April 2010
  #20
Gear nut
 

My Manley Gold Refs sound much better than this.

I own a pair of Gold Refs circa 2004. They are unquestionably the best sounding mics I've ever used on Grand Piano, many voices, strings, and several other uses as well. I can only assume that they are making these differently now, or that something is wrong in the signal chain. I get no discernable noise using mind with several different pre's. i just recorded a string quartet and solo violinist recently and the results with the Manleys smoked the other mics I tried out. totally quiet, too. Hope that information helps. I did hear from someone that if you have your Gold Ref serviced, you should make sure they don't switch out the tubes. Don't know the difference between the tubes in mine and what they use now, but the mics I own are my absolute favs.
Old 30th April 2010
  #21
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Both chains in the mic have the same noise level. Here they are tested with two different preamps and in comparison with another mic. So its very unlikely that if the noise level of the Manley takes is too high with respect to what it should be, the cause would not be from the mic itself. The specifications from Manley, 120 dB EIN for the preamp noise and 17 mv/Pa for the sensitivity, do not allow to derive the self-noise of the mic because one would need to know also what is the gain between the point where the EIN level refers to and the mic output. This way of specifying self-noise of a mic is quite unusual. All other manufacturers give an equivalent acoustic noise level. My owm measurement of the Manley showed that the noise above 10 kHz at 26 dB gain (minimum gain from the DAV BG1) is 7 dB above the noise from a Schoeps CMC6-MK21 at 35 dB gain (3 gain steps higher on the DAV BG1). Since the sensitivity of the Schoeps is 4 dB lower at 13 mV/Pa and its noise level is 14 dBa, both figures from Schoeps specifications, it would mean than the noise level from the Manley could be on the order of 26 dBA. Of course, this is a too simple derivation because the exact computation requires the measurement of the noise in the whole frequency range, which I cannot do reliably in my room, and shall take into account the A weighting for noise level. But I am quite confident that the noise level is higher than 20 dBA. Modern valve mic can have a noise level as low as 10 dBA (Brauner) but most ones are above 15 dBA.
Manley did not tell me that these measurement were not normal nor what is the equivalent acoustic self-noise figure. So I can assume that my mic is OK.
Old 7th November 2010
  #22
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tampa's Avatar
 

The Brauner mops the floor once again, The Manley does sound nice as well.
Old 16th February 2011
  #23
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although i prefer the brauners, i wouldn't mind hearing some more damper noise there too.
Old 18th February 2011
  #24
Gear interested
 

Hi all,

didier.brest, may I ask you what causes the vibrating noise (could be a snare stamp) we can hear after every note ? Is it the damper noise you're talking about ?
Old 18th February 2011
  #25
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Yes, it is the noise of the rubbing of the dampers lowering on the strings when the pianist puts the pedal off.
Old 18th February 2011
  #26
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Thanks for the answer, it was really disturbing when listening to the sound samples. I'm not really involved in piano recording, first time I hear that, glad I learnt something today. )
Old 22nd May 2011
  #27
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Alex Niedt's Avatar
 

Brauner for sure. Hard to really judge which preamp I like best as the performances are different.
Old 4th October 2011
  #28
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radicalron's Avatar
 

I own an older pair of Manley Gold's #50 and #51. = They are extremely quiet. I have not used them on Grand Piano, but use them on many Acoustic instruments. I prefer them to my AKG C12 because they are much quieter, and have more upper detail. You should consider sending the Mic's back to Manley for a checkup. Manley has been very helpful with me over the years. I have a lot of there gear.

I have not used the Brauners yet, but am seriously considering a pair.
Old 4th October 2011
  #29
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I have been in touch with Manley about the noise from this microphone (see my post above). Mine is new. I estimate the self noise level to about 25 dBA (no official figure given by Manley, see my previous post). I believe that this figure is normal for this microphone. Note that the tube used in Manley microphone is no longer the one used previously:

The all-tube electronics in the MANLEY REFERENCE SERIES MICROPHONES are built around two triodes in cascade forming an entire gain-block. We have recently switched to a dual-triode 12AT7 tube, easily obtainable and replaceable, mounted in a ceramic socket. (We originally used 6072A until it became impossible to find quiet ones out of the NOS dreck left on the market, then we used 12AX7 for awhile.)
Old 30th June 2013
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

I have a very early (SN 0025) and it's dead quiet. The only noise we ever had was using it with extremely poor power once. Other wise excels on female vox, many acoustic instruments, and mono piano.
Not sure of the revisions.
Daryn
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