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Miktek CV4, Bock 195, Beesneez Phelicity, ADK TT251, Telefunken AK47MkII...
Old 8th October 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
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Miktek CV4, Bock 195, Beesneez Phelicity, ADK TT251, Telefunken AK47MkII...

Hey all,
Started a shootout this morning... Here's the contenders:

- Soundelux u195
- Beesneez Phelicity
- Miktek CV4
- Telefuken AK47MkII
- ADK TT251

1st observation: The differences are NOT subtle.

Unfortunately, the Miktek CV4 has a horrible buzz, so I'm currently unable to test it. Sounds like a wire disconnected or something weird with the ground... but it is really prominent. The other mics were whisper quiet. Maybe I got a faulty one? I did get it from audiomidi.com, and they have a "try-before-you-buy" thing... the mic seemed like it might not be BRAND NEW when I opened it up. Anyway, BUZZ KILL!

I'll post samples soon on this thread. In the meantime if anyone knows any tricks to get the CV4 to stop buzzing, LET ME KNOW!

Aaron Sternke
Old 8th October 2011
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
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Wow, that was quick. Just got a very apologetic call from Mike, the owner of Miktek. He's going to FedEx me out a new power supply right away. Miktek gets an A+ for service!!

Stay tuned.
Old 13th October 2011 | Show parent
  #3
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Screws's Avatar
 

Looking forward to this test.
Old 14th October 2011 | Show parent
  #4
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Hey all!
I'm on vacation this week in Disneyland with the fam. (!)

I'll report back early next week... I may throw in a few more mics as well. Thanks for your patience!

Aaron
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #5
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Hey all!
I have some files for you all. So again, the microphones in this test are (in completely unbiased, alphabetical order):

- ADK TT251
- Beesneez Phelicity
- Miktek CV4
- Soundelux u195
- Telefunken AK47 MKII

I'm not naming the mics for now – they'll just be "Mic A", "Mic B", etc. I've uploaded both a track version and a solo version of each vocal take. Take a listen, and pick your favorite! (for my voice, anyway...)

Mic A: wav / mp3
Mic A (solo): wav / mp3

Mic B: wav / mp3
Mic B (solo): wav / mp3

Mic C: wav / mp3
Mic C (solo): wav / mp3

Mic D: wav / mp3
Mic D (solo): wav / mp3

Mic E: wav / mp3
Mic E (solo): wav / mp3
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
I like A .
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #7
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peeweedrummer's Avatar
 

I also like mic A,
mic D seems so out of place!

nice tones Aaron! would love to hear more about the gear and techniques used for the rest of the instruments.
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #8
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It's either A or E for me.

A: very clear, very flattering down low. Slightly too forward when the voice goes up towards the end, you just heard a bit of a loss of support, leaving the voice slightly thinner than the low stuff. Nevertheless, v good overall

B: cloudier down low, not as vibrant and alive sounding. Kind of the opposite of A - mushy down low, but gave weight to the higher pitches.

C: the most consistent so far between low part and high part. But I don’t like the overall sound at all: sounds very “processed”, sounds very “studio”. It definitely has that “mixed pop vocal” edge that everybody seems to love and consider professional, but which I hate.

D: This is like a cross between A and B. Not quite as mushy as B, but not clear enough either

E: Listening after D, this sounds lovely and clear. But if I hadn’t just heard D, this might have sounded a bit thin to me.
Old 17th October 2011
  #9
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Thanks for the responses guys. Others: chime in!!! More on the specifics of the recording later today. Until then, keep picking your faves!!!
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #10
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I'd say either A or E. The beginning of each take sounded very wooly but all of the mics opened up as your voice opened up.

D was flat out awful.

What is the signal chain? Thanks!
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #11
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Signal chain was Mic - Chameleon 7602 Pre (no EQ) - 1176 (mild compression) - 002 converter
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsternke View Post
Signal chain was Mic - Chameleon 7602 Pre (no EQ) - 1176 (mild compression) - 002 converter
Very nice song and performance!



Thanks for the info. Honestly, I wasn't impressed with the fidelity of any of the mics, as they were all fair less clean and clear than I had expected.

I've used the U195 for years with a Vintech x73i and various compressors (FMR PBC 6a, Distressor w/Brit mod, 1176, FMR RNLA) and the sonic footprint was about 5 times as large and clear. I suspect it's the 002 convertors. I'm using Apogee AD/DA16x's but I didn't realize there was such a huge difference in quality.

On a side note, I think you're too close to the mic in the softer section in the beginning because each take had generous doses of low frequency pops and bumps.
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #13
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Hey Mike!
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, my converters are DEFINITELY the weak link in my chain. I have thought about upgrading to either a Mytek ADC96 or Benchmark ADC when I choose which mic to buy... Might help??

Also yeah, I was pretty close... I tend to like the proximity effect, but it may have been too exaggerated.
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsternke View Post
Hey Mike!
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, my converters are DEFINITELY the weak link in my chain. I have thought about upgrading to either a Mytek ADC96 or Benchmark ADC when I choose which mic to buy... Might help??
I think the Mytek's would definitely be a huge upgrade in sound and performance. I owned the Benchmark ADC at one point and sold it, as I didn't find it to be "all that" and actually preferred the Apogees by a wide margin, although YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsternke View Post
Also yeah, I was pretty close... I tend to like the proximity effect, but it may have been too exaggerated.
I think that probably contributed to the "woolyness" of the sound. Is your room treated and are you using something like the Real Traps PVC? The PVC makes an enormous difference in vocal quality, IMHO.
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #15
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I have some homemade room treatment, basically fabric-covered ductboard. Generally I like the sound of my room. Could be better, but great for my budget.

I am thinking the Myteks would be a good choice and a big step forward... Now where to find some more cash....
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsternke View Post
I have some homemade room treatment, basically fabric-covered ductboard. Generally I like the sound of my room. Could be better, but great for my budget.
I think the Real Traps PVC would be a very nice addition. Not only will you not deal with reflections and such, you won't be negatively affecting the sound of the mic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsternke View Post
I am thinking the Myteks would be a good choice and a big step forward... Now where to find some more cash....
IMO, you'll get a better vocal sound with a PVC and a less expensive upgrade in converters, than just the Mytek alone.

Proper treatment is essential in a great recording and mix. Its impact should not be overlooked or marginalized. It can really go much further than most people imagine because it helps to reveal issues immediately.

Good luck!
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #17
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Thanks again Mike! Good input.

Others: chime in!!! Interested to hear your thoughts.
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #18
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BTW here's some info on the track:

Basic tracks done at Crossroads Productions in Vancouver, WA. Pres were a mix of Vintechs, Chandler, SSLs, etc.

Snare was a 1920s Ludwig that looked like this. Kick drum was an Allegra 18x22, toms were Gretsch New Classic maple. Audix D6 on kick, SM57 on snare, 414s on toms, u87s on overheads (I think), Soundelux u95s on rooms. Stellar ribbon for a mono drum mic. A few others.

Bass was a 50's reissue P-bass through an Ashdown head + cab, with a FET 47 on the cab and a dry DI + an "effected" DI (pedal compression / a little overdrive), blending the 3 signals, favoring the mic a bit.

Lead electric was an American Tele through a Gabriel head + cab, on the "bright" channel. Keeley compressor, TC Nova Delay, a few other pedals here and there.

Other (rhythm) electric tracked later was a Gretsch Bluesbird through a 1963 Vox AC30 Top Boost (!!!!!!).

Piano was the amazing 9' Steinway D at Crossroads, mic'd with a couple u95s - Vintech X73i - 1176s.

Engineered by the amazing Dean Baskerville. Dean will most likely be mixing the record as well.

That's all I can think of right now!!
Old 17th October 2011 | Show parent
  #19
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Need more responses!
Old 18th October 2011 | Show parent
  #20
Old 18th October 2011 | Show parent
  #21
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peeweedrummer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsternke View Post
BTW here's some info on the track:

Basic tracks done at Crossroads Productions in Vancouver, WA. Pres were a mix of Vintechs, Chandler, SSLs, etc.

Snare was a 1920s Ludwig that looked like this. Kick drum was an Allegra 18x22, toms were Gretsch New Classic maple. Audix D6 on kick, SM57 on snare, 414s on toms, u87s on overheads (I think), Soundelux u95s on rooms. Stellar ribbon for a mono drum mic. A few others.

Bass was a 50's reissue P-bass through an Ashdown head + cab, with a FET 47 on the cab and a dry DI + an "effected" DI (pedal compression / a little overdrive), blending the 3 signals, favoring the mic a bit.

Lead electric was an American Tele through a Gabriel head + cab, on the "bright" channel. Keeley compressor, TC Nova Delay, a few other pedals here and there.

Other (rhythm) electric tracked later was a Gretsch Bluesbird through a 1963 Vox AC30 Top Boost (!!!!!!).

Piano was the amazing 9' Steinway D at Crossroads, mic'd with a couple u95s - Vintech X73i - 1176s.

Engineered by the amazing Dean Baskerville. Dean will most likely be mixing the record as well.

That's all I can think of right now!!
wicked!

Im looking forward to knowing what mic is what!
Old 18th October 2011 | Show parent
  #22
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Thanks for doing this. A and E at first listen seemed overall best. After second listen A is the mic. Beautiful detailed mids, tight low end with just enough body, a clear and crisp high end without much sibilance. Sits best in the mix too.

Now tell which mic you'll be buying as a result.
Old 18th October 2011 | Show parent
  #23
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Mics revealed

Alright everyone! Thanks for chiming in. Here's what the mics were:

Mic A: Telefunken AK47
Mic B: ADK TT251
Mic C: Miktek CV4
Mic D: Beesneez Phelicity
Mic E: Soundelux u195

Thanks for all your thoughts! My favorite was actually the Miktek, believe it or not!! Seemed the nicest mix of lows and highs, with a nice smooth midrange. Lots of people picked the Tele or the Soundelux, which was very interesting as well. I've always loved my Soundelux. The Tele was really nice, very detailed and pretty, much maybe a TAD too bright for my taste. And it didn't quite have the low end of the Miktek for me either.

I think I am also going to bite the bullet and upgrade my converters to something like a Mytek ADC. I have a friend who has an older Apogee AD8000 that I can borrow for now, as well as a Vintech X73.

I am not 100% sold on the Miktek, but it's the one I'm leaning toward. I may audition a few more mics in the next few days. Possibly the Tele CU-29, Tele AR-51, and maybe 1 or 2 more.

Again thanks for your input! Really helped me.

Aaron
Old 19th October 2011 | Show parent
  #24
Here for the gear
I'm with you aaron. i think the miktek was the most solid for sure. just seemed to be really nice.

tele seemed a little brittle
195 seemed a little mud

makes me want to sell my rode k2 and get a miktek haha
Old 20th October 2011 | Show parent
  #25
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peeweedrummer's Avatar
 

wow i cant believe 4 was the beesneez!
Old 20th October 2011
  #26
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Oldone's Avatar
Mic A: Telefunken AK47

My pick.
Old 20th October 2011 | Show parent
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSky_Case View Post
195 seemed a little mud
Nice first post.



I emailed Aaron already so this will come as no surprise: This was an absolutely AWFUL "shootout".

I've achieved better results on vocals with 57 and i5's. NONE of these mics sounded like they truly sound.

No offense, Aaron, but this was abysmal. Your performance was fine the recordings were far from professional or even prosumer.

And NONE truly represented the sound of each microphone. I'd advise each and everyone person that hears these files to disregard them.

Again, no offense. Just bad vocal recordings.
Old 20th October 2011 | Show parent
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike P View Post
Nice first post.



I emailed Aaron already so this will come as no surprise: This was an absolutely AWFUL "shootout".

I've achieved better results on vocals with 57 and i5's. NONE of these mics sounded like they truly sound.

No offense, Aaron, but this was abysmal. Your performance was fine the recordings were far from professional or even prosumer.

And NONE truly represented the sound of each microphone. I'd advise each and everyone person that hears these files to disregard them.

Again, no offense. Just bad vocal recordings.
Please explain how this shootout was awful?
Old 20th October 2011 | Show parent
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peeweedrummer View Post
Please explain how this shootout was awful?

I don't know about you, but I'm in a tuned and treated room. Every take sounded wooly and had massive "Plops" throughout. He wasn't at the "right" position for each take. Each mic sounded like a cheap dynamic, not a higher end condenser.

Secondly, he's using 002 converters. I can absolutely guarantee that none of the mics he used sound like this in my room, which IS treated. Further, I've got Apogee AD/DA 16x's and the recordings I've made of the U195 are FAR different over the years than Aaron's.

No offense, but his vocals may have been made with a 57. If you can't hear that, I'm not going to draw any conclusions.

That's on you.
Old 20th October 2011 | Show parent
  #30
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peeweedrummer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike P View Post
I don't know about you, but I'm in a tuned and treated room. Every take sounded wooly and had massive "Plops" throughout. He wasn't at the "right" position for each take. Each mic sounded like a cheap dynamic, not a higher end condenser.

Secondly, he's using 002 converters. I can absolutely guarantee that none of the mics he used sound like this in my room, which IS treated. Further, I've got Apogee AD/DA 16x's and the recordings I've made of the U195 are FAR different over the years than Aaron's.

No offense, but his vocals may have been made with a 57. If you can't hear that, I'm not going to draw any conclusions.

That's on you.
to be honest i havent listened to this in a my tuned control room, only my hifi at home which i know well but........ the point of a shootout is to give every mic the same treatment. that way the only variable in the sound comes from the mic, which is what we want to hear.

your also saying that no shootout can ever be done unless using Apogee 16x converters! as far as im concerned the shootout could have been done using a cassette player, as long as ALL the mics had the same treatment.

im not saying that this shootout was perfect, in fact none are! it just give us a basic guide to how each mic is voiced on this particular source.
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