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Stellar CM-6 Vs Mojave MA-200 Condenser Microphones
View Poll Results: What Mic Do You Favor?
#1
36 Votes - 36.73%
#2
62 Votes - 63.27%
Voters: 98. You may not vote on this poll

Old 31st January 2012
  #91
Gear Head
 
nulldevice's Avatar
 

My CM-6 just arrived.

I'm quite fond of it already. One thing I did notice was that it seems to take longer for the tube to warm up than I'm used to - after a half hour it was sort of sibilant, but after about an hour a lot of that had died down.

Also, I discovered that changing the patterns can alter the performance of the mic substantially. About a click-or-two past cardioid over towards fig-8 gave me a much richer sound than at straight cardioid.

A friend of mine has an MA-200 and I've got nothing but great things to say about it. It's really a lovely mic. But it's also out of my pricerange (MA-300 even moreso) and as far as budget tube mics go, I'm very pleased with the CM-6. It holds its own sound-quality-wise against my other mics of higher price classes (all of which I managed to get at cut-rate prices, which is why I have them in the first place) but sounds quite a bit different than any of them, so it's a nice addition to the arsenal.

If I had the cash for a Mojave, I'd have one in a split second. But I'm pretty sure my wife would make me sleep in the car for a month.
Old 31st January 2012
  #92
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nulldevice View Post
My CM-6 just arrived.

I'm quite fond of it already. One thing I did notice was that it seems to take longer for the tube to warm up than I'm used to - after a half hour it was sort of sibilant, but after about an hour a lot of that had died down.
...as you continue to burn in the mic, it will smooth out a bit more, as well as warm up a bit quicker (20-30 minutes usually does the trick)...both the tube and the transformer benefit greatly from ample burn-in...tube swaps can also tweak tonality...
Old 27th May 2012
  #93
Gear Head
 

Threadcromancy, I know.
but, holy crap. I'd been through this thread a while back, am sick in bed, bored and came upon it again in the neverending quest for "the ultimate cheap mike". Listened to the clips again, all the while thinking that I was sure that I remebered #2 was the mojave. and of course, it had to be because it was clearly the better microphone. thinking all cocky, I can always pick out the more expensive mike in these types of polls..... etc. basically I'm pretty excited because I think this is the first time i've liked the less expensive mike in one of these shootouts.
Old 3rd August 2012
  #94
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by nulldevice View Post
My CM-6 just arrived.

I'm quite fond of it already. One thing I did notice was that it seems to take longer for the tube to warm up than I'm used to - after a half hour it was sort of sibilant, but after about an hour a lot of that had died down.

Also, I discovered that changing the patterns can alter the performance of the mic substantially. About a click-or-two past cardioid over towards fig-8 gave me a much richer sound than at straight cardioid.

A friend of mine has an MA-200 and I've got nothing but great things to say about it. It's really a lovely mic. But it's also out of my pricerange (MA-300 even moreso) and as far as budget tube mics go, I'm very pleased with the CM-6. It holds its own sound-quality-wise against my other mics of higher price classes (all of which I managed to get at cut-rate prices, which is why I have them in the first place) but sounds quite a bit different than any of them, so it's a nice addition to the arsenal.

If I had the cash for a Mojave, I'd have one in a split second. But I'm pretty sure my wife would make me sleep in the car for a month.
That is not so bad. You get rid of your wife for a month and you get better mic:O)
Old 26th November 2012
  #95
If anyone has the cm-6 for sale pm me
Old 7th January 2013
  #96
Gear Head
Sorry, I'm late. I listened to both, having already seen the result.
The Stellar is a little harsh, but I liked it on the guitar. Sounds like a good "value" mic, but the Mojave is certainly pro level. I could see the Stellar being a challenge to EQ. Smoother mic's like the Mojave are easier to shape and stick in the mix.
Just my 2 cents
Old 7th January 2013
  #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jray4 View Post
Sorry, I'm late. I listened to both, having already seen the result.
The Stellar is a little harsh, but I liked it on the guitar. Sounds like a good "value" mic, but the Mojave is certainly pro level. I could see the Stellar being a challenge to EQ. Smoother mic's like the Mojave are easier to shape and stick in the mix.
Just my 2 cents
...I own both mics...IMHO, what you are hearing is due primarily to the fact that the CM-6 was unboxed and submitted to this "shootout" before proper burn-in...the Mojave already had been subjected to numerous hours of use...either properly burning in the CM-6 (with the stock TungSol tube) or upgrading the tube to a higher grade NOS EF86 or E80F tube (with burn-in) will assist in resolving audible top-end harshness...this is not uncommon when using tube/transformer based microphones...

...once both mics are properly burned in, IMHO, there is no audible difference of "quality" between the 2 mics...neither is a "value" mic, IMHO...you may want to refer to this shootout as another reference for the Stellar mics:
Hundreds$ to Thousands$ Female Mic Shootout
Old 7th January 2013
  #98
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Does having it plugged into a pre with the gain high help with the burn in time?

This has always been a curiosity of mine. Does the draw from the mic pre push a tube mic?

Or can it just sit there for a few weeks plugged in without a pre connected?
Old 7th January 2013
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camera View Post
Does having it plugged into a pre with the gain high help with the burn in time?

This has always been a curiosity of mine. Does the draw from the mic pre push a tube mic?

Or can it just sit there for a few weeks plugged in without a pre connected?
...it has been explained to me (by Jim Jacobson of JJ Audio) that burning-in is best achieved by driving the mic with the preamp at relatively high gain, in the presence of a constant sound source (like a radio playing) in the room...the burn-in process benefits multiple components, most specifically the mic's tube and output transformer (if applicable, as in the case with the CM-6 and MA-200) and the mic's PSU...
Old 7th January 2013
  #100
Gear Addict
 
Svenarne's Avatar
 

There's something that bugs me with the high mids of the Mojave on the vox clip. Like it's positioned too far off-axis or something. The Stellar is certainly brighter, but not in a bad way.
Old 21st August 2014
  #101
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I was actually dead sold on the CM6, until I heard this! Now having second thoughts!!! Listen to the weird nasally/zingy/phasey sound around 3-4k....especially easy to hear on the strummed guitar and louder vocals. I like the little mid bump to give more "clarity" or character....I agree the MA200 sounds much darker, perhaps "muffled" to some folks. But it also sounds much smoother. Man, that CM6 sounds good, but there is some kinda weird EQ/phase thing going on in the upper mids. Anyone else hear that? Anyone else really think that sounds "pleasant"???? I can only imagine if you tracked multiple instruments/voices with this mic and stacked them up on a multi-track how much that would come through!!! Maybe eq would fix it.....anyway, maybe have to reconsider this Stellar CM6 purchase and look at ADK or Mojave or AA. Thanks to OP for the great clips though!!!!!!!!
Old 21st August 2014
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenarne View Post
There's something that bugs me with the high mids of the Mojave on the vox clip. Like it's positioned too far off-axis or something. The Stellar is certainly brighter, but not in a bad way.
Are you sure you've got the clips right? The Stellar is #2 and I hear a very distinct weird EQ/phase thing (or maybe it's an off axis thing?) in all those clips, especially the strummed guitar and vocals.
Old 21st August 2014
  #103
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Then again, on the Hundred$ to Thousand$ shootout, I definitely prefered the CM6, secondly the CM5! Maybe it's just the voice/guitar in these clips, or standing waves in the room or the pre used or ????
Old 21st August 2014
  #104
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the fxs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
Listen to the weird nasally/zingy/phasey sound around 3-4k....
you are correct.
i didn't listen to the samples, but i have a CM-6 myself.
i have just finished recording a rap album with only this one mic.
it does sound good, and the vocals always cut through in a nice way, once you add a little bit of compression. But,... you are right... there have always been some weird artifacts in the 3k - 5k region. I always had to pull out a few very narrow bands up there before compressing the signal.

But then again,...
I guess you'll have those funny artifacts with any sub 500$ LDC.
Old 21st August 2014
  #105
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...it's funny. I haven't revisited this thread in ages, and now re-reading it again, drBill's relentless campaign against the CM-6 seems even more ridiculous in retrospect...seems he's causing much of the same sort of "noise" over at ******************* too lately...oh well, consistency is a virtue I guess...

...as for female vocals (including stacked harmonies), all lead and background vocals tracked thru CM-6:

Old 21st August 2014
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the fxs View Post
you are correct.
i didn't listen to the samples, but i have a CM-6 myself.
i have just finished recording a rap album with only this one mic.
it does sound good, and the vocals always cut through in a nice way, once you add a little bit of compression. But,... you are right... there have always been some weird artifacts in the 3k - 5k region. I always had to pull out a few very narrow bands up there before compressing the signal.

But then again,...
I guess you'll have those funny artifacts with any sub 500$ LDC.
Looking back at the thread I guess a few people have mentioned that. Kidvybes is saying it's likely the result of not burning in/breaking in the tubes, but it sounds like you would've already done that.

I'm guessing one or more of the mods might be able to correct this issue. Perhaps as simple as switching out the tubes? New xformers? I suppose you'd have to talk to an expert, Mike Jolly or Jim Williams or something about this.
Old 21st August 2014
  #107
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by the fxs View Post
you are correct.
i didn't listen to the samples, but i have a CM-6 myself.
i have just finished recording a rap album with only this one mic.
it does sound good, and the vocals always cut through in a nice way, once you add a little bit of compression. But,... you are right... there have always been some weird artifacts in the 3k - 5k region. I always had to pull out a few very narrow bands up there before compressing the signal.

But then again,...
I guess you'll have those funny artifacts with any sub 500$ LDC.
...feel free to post some sample files of your tracks...


Quote:
Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
I'm guessing one or more of the mods might be able to correct this issue. Perhaps as simple as switching out the tubes? New xformers? I suppose you'd have to talk to an expert, Mike Jolly or Jim Williams or something about this.


...yeah, let "Mike Jolly" fix it...
Old 21st August 2014
  #108
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

...my comment was in regard of the fact that had you researched the CM-6 and it's designer, Peter Bloch's intent, you would be aware of the pre-modded-from-the-factory format of that mic...it already has an upgraded 35mm 6-micron K67 Peluso-designed capsule, replica BV-8-type transformer, metal-film capacitors and premium TungSol EF806s tube...that's more modification than the aforementioned (autocorrected) mic tech provides on the majority of his offerings...the CM-6 started out as an Advanced Audio CM47 ($735), and was modified by mic tech Peter Bloch to it's current state (conversion from a two-stage CCDA-based circuit to a single-stage, plate-follower as used in many of the classic Euro-tube mics)...so, while there's always room for further improvement, at this pricepoint, the CM-6 is well above most mics in the price category...that is what I was being "snipey" about...

...and yes, as you mentioned, a recommended tube-swap that has been posted in many of the CM-6 threads (to an NOS Valvo E80F tube) does IMHO, diminish "zinginess" as some call it, in the CM-6's response...but proper positioning, room treatment and pairing with the right mic pre also play a big part in the mic's performance...

...as far as the fxs' comments, I would sincerely like to hear samples of his tracks using the mic...so many GS posters refer to their work done with a particular piece of gear, yet never offer up soundfiles for reference sake...
Old 21st August 2014
  #109
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Well I appreciate the intelligent response. I'm not knocking this mic at all. In every other clip I've heard it sounds fantastic, smooth, fat and tubey with no weird artifacts whatsoever. But in these clips, I hear a definite EQ/phasey sound in the upper mids that is very unpleasant on all of these recordings. Maybe the mic wasn't broken in? Maybe it's the pre it was paired with? Maybe it was the room? The source? A one-off mic that got past QC? I don't know.

But I think a lot of people who buy this mic will be "budget buyers" who will likely be recording almost everything through their "best mic" (perhaps their only "good" mic). I think people should listen for this characteristic in their mic/situation and be aware of it IF it is present. It's the kind of "artifact" that would be VERY pronounced if layered 50 times in a 70 track mix, and not in a pleasant way!

Fortunately, I've got a lot of decent mic options so this would probably be used for just lead vocals and maybe horns and random drum duty. I still fully intend to buy one (they're currently sold out, looking on eBay, craigslist) and if it exhibits this same issue, I agree, there are about a million ways to fix it short of sending it off to a tech (different room, different position, different pre, a little EQ/comp, etc....or just accept that it may not be a good mic for instrument X)....but if that still doesn't do the trick, you could spend several hundred dollars getting it "modded"/corrected/whatever and you'd STILL be well under what other companies charge for a similar mic.

Anyway, living in Seattle I'm very sensitive to the passive aggressive snipey little remarks that people try to pull in this city....sorry if I jumped the gun on ya....that **** just pisses me off to no end and I always call people on it! I appreciate your knowledge and experience on this subject and will definitely post some audio samples when I get my CM6 and some pre-pro mixes back from tape.
Old 21st August 2014
  #110
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
Anyway, living in Seattle I'm very sensitive to the passive aggressive snipey little remarks that people try to pull in this city....sorry if I jumped the gun on ya....that **** just pisses me off to no end and I always call people on it! I appreciate your knowledge and experience on this subject and will definitely post some audio samples when I get my CM6 and some pre-pro mixes back from tape.
...no worries bro...I can understand your response based upon my brief post (complete with head-in-hand emoticon)...the auto-correct thing just made it easy to respond as such (I couldn't resist, sorry)...

...if you're going to be bouncing off tape, I think you'll find the CM-6 to work well...since I bought my first one, I've revamped just about my entire mic closet, drastically (to all GroupDIY vintage-tube clones options), but my Stellar mics have survived the cuts and continue to hang...

...good luck with your future gear purchases, and I'll keep an eye out for those soundfiles...
Old 22nd August 2014
  #111
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guys guys...
please calm down everyone.

As for my CM-6... I dropped in a VALVO tube before i even tested it with the stock tube.... (thanks to kidvybes!)
I put it up in my mixing room, about two feet away from my Speaker, and burnt it in for 24 hours while i was mixing.
I do love the Sound of this mic, and the aforementioned "Problems" can be fixed with a few very sharp Dips here and there.
These "problems" do not appear with every singer/rapper I've tried it on. I feel like, ... the louder and closer the source, the more I'll have the nastiness inside my vocal tracks.
I have also tried different preamps, and the results were really shocking! I'm using a tube pre at the moment, it gives me really balanced and rather smooth results.

I can't upload any sound clips for now, and i don't want to.
Old 23rd August 2014
  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the fxs View Post
guys guys...
please calm down everyone.

As for my CM-6... I dropped in a VALVO tube before i even tested it with the stock tube.... (thanks to kidvybes!)
I put it up in my mixing room, about two feet away from my Speaker, and burnt it in for 24 hours while i was mixing.
I do love the Sound of this mic, and the aforementioned "Problems" can be fixed with a few very sharp Dips here and there.
These "problems" do not appear with every singer/rapper I've tried it on. I feel like, ... the louder and closer the source, the more I'll have the nastiness inside my vocal tracks.
I have also tried different preamps, and the results were really shocking! I'm using a tube pre at the moment, it gives me really balanced and rather smooth results.

I can't upload any sound clips for now, and i don't want to.
So you've noticed these same "artifacts"/characteristics? Changing the tube and breaking it in didn't help, but different preamps do? Can you provide any preamp suggestions? I'll be recording a lot of loud soul/motown vocals....kinda worried that, if what you're saying is correct, the volume might make this artifact very noticeable.
Old 23rd August 2014
  #113
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I don't know what the CM-6 sounds like with the stock tube inside.
As said above, i swapped it before even testing it with the stock tube.

regarding preamps, i've tested the CM-6 with a RND portico II, an old german RFT pre, the RME fireface UFX's pre, and a sky audio mic shaper.

To my ears, the mic shaper always sounded best. It's a very rare tube preamp, combined with a pultec style equalizer. The RFT sounded good too, while the portico II was a bit too sharp for my taste. The UFX's pre's were just boring.

I'd recommend you'd play around with mic placement. don't let a loud singer get too close to the mic.
Old 23rd August 2014
  #114
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...IMHO, the "artifacts" being discussed have more to do with that particular session in which a brand new mic was essentially unboxed, and setup for the shootout without proper burn-in or warm-up...the CM-6's voicing sits on the brighter side, but is not harsh or eshy...it is very clean and detailed...there are dozens of soundfile samples of the CM-6 both here on GS in multiple threads, and on recordinghacks.com...

Stellar cm6 clips!!

...I have found the CM-6 to pair nicely with transfomer-based preamps rather than very clean, more modern designs like found in most interfaces...Neve-style like the Great River pair nicely, as does the WARM WA12...the CM-6 has a very workable proximity effect, which can add some nice warmth and size to the recording...if I'm tracking a loud singer, I set the mic a bit higher (bridge of the nose) and tilt it down towards the singer's chest, and sometimes turned a touch left or right, so the singer is just slightly off-axis, and not singing directly into the large (35mm) capsule diaphragm...

...I also set up my gain-staging to the lower side of the spectrum, allowing myself enough headroom to boost volume ITB with automated volume riding, compression, etc...I do like to use outboard compression going in when tracking vocals but only for very modest reduction...

...I have tracked a diverse selection of voices with the CM-6 and find it best for more modern vocals with a pop-radio sheen (think Manley Ref. C or Sony C800G)...not really my first choice for louder, Motown-style soul vocals, where a good dynamic like the SM7 might really shine...
Old 18th January 2015
  #115
SEA
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SEA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
trust your ears (and don't waste your time trying to figure out what motivates some people)...
AMEN!

I prefer a mic that brings out the highs in my voice. I tried other tube mics that made my voice sound more "muddy"

Looking forward to ordering the CM-6! heh
Old 19th January 2015
  #116
SEA
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SEA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadGuitrst View Post

I agree with drBill in that zingy/excited/eshy are have nothing to do with present/mid forward, or airy.
Have you tried the CM-6 with the Tube Swap the others recommended? If not then hearing 1 clip from 1 guys vocals doesn't really tell us much at all.

Like what about mic positioning, how far or close was the singer to the mic? What about switching polar patterns? (etc.)

Until one has tried the CM-6, swapped tubes out, tried different settings, mic positions etc., then no one can honestly saw whether it will work for them or not.
Old 19th January 2015
  #117
SEA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...once both mics are properly burned in, IMHO, there is no audible difference of "quality" between the 2 mics...neither is a "value" mic
How long does the CM-6 need to burn it?

I was also reading somewhere (trying to find it) where you or someone mentioned how it should be connected to a pre when burning in with the pre driven hot. Also music (like a radio) should be playing so the mic can pick up on the audio.

I was thinking of perhaps playing music on my monitors but didn't want feed back so maybe like a boom box in the room where the mic is near the speakers but kept low so it doesn't disturb me and "The Misses" while we sleep at night! heh

SEA
Old 19th January 2015
  #118
SEA
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SEA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...with no disrespect to others who have offered up opinions here, IMHO, the majority of negative comments about both mics are due more to the technique and methodology (or the lack thereof) in this impromptu "shootout", than the actual characteristics of either mic...as someone who actually owns and works with both mics, I find both to be quite a bit better than represented in this particular outing...any tool or piece of gear is only as good as the skill of the craftsman who employs it...not a knock on the OP, but just a overview based on my hands-on experience with these particular mics, both "keepers" in my mic closet...as always, YMMV...
FREAL! heh
Old 20th January 2015
  #119
SEA
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SEA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...it has been explained to me (by Jim Jacobson of JJ Audio) that burning-in is best achieved by driving the mic with the preamp at relatively high gain, in the presence of a constant sound source (like a radio playing) in the room...the burn-in process benefits multiple components, most specifically the mic's tube and output transformer (if applicable, as in the case with the CM-6 and MA-200) and the mic's PSU...
Hey KV! How many hours does it take to burn the CM-6 in?

Also, I don't own a radio so what if I had some music playing on YouTube through my studio monitors (without causing feedback from the CM-6 of course) like at a low level. Would that work as well?

If not, I could always move the mic into the bedroom across the hall and stick it up to the TV playing some jazz or classical while I work! heh

SEA
Old 10th August 2015
  #120
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the fxs's Avatar
 

I've managed to accidentally tear my CM-6 to PSU cable apart.
The plug that got ripped off is gone... don't ask what happened.

Could someone please take a few pics of the cable so i can solder me a new one, please?
I need pics from the pinout of the plug that is connected to the PSU, please.

thanks
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