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Spare No Expense SDC? Condenser Microphones
Old 18th October 2018
  #1
Spare No Expense SDC?

Hey,

New or vintage small diaphragm condensers... what's the best you've heard for depth, speed, and clarity... without sounding harsh or sterile?

My applications will not be rock drum OH's. Mostly it'll be used for piano, orchestral percussion, guitar, woodwinds, etc.

Schoeps? The new Telefunken Elam 260s? Soyuz? Neumann?
Old 18th October 2018
  #2
Gear Nut
 

DPA, Schoeps, Neumann M50.
Old 18th October 2018
  #3
Maybe neumann km54, km56. Expensive and beutiful sounding. They did cost more then a u47 back in the days

I would probably reach for LDCs for the those applications you just listed.
Old 18th October 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 
matucha's Avatar
"piano, orchestral percussion, guitar, woodwinds, etc."

Schoeps (MK4, MK22, MK21, MK2) and Sennheiser MKH (20, 30, 40, 800, 8020, 8040) are great and different enough to favour one against the other on certain apps.

DPAs famous for being very neutral (never used one), metal diaphragm Gefells are special (I know only the vintage ones) and Neumann KM54, KM53, KM56 are legendary (never used one).
Old 19th October 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
 

For speed, clarity and ultra neutral tonal accuracy the improved Earthworks QTC40 is great without being harsh or sterile sounding. When I first heard a pair on piano, I was blown away by the realism they can capture [maybe to realistic]. They have a newer capsule and the electronics have been changed so they're a couple of db quieter. Other choices would be the Sennheiser MKH20 for a accurate detailed mic and also the Gefell M296. Many of the other choices have a little more personality built into them. For figure 8's the Sennheiser MKH30 are great with a flat accurate response and outstanding detail with a good bass response for this type of pattern.
Old 19th October 2018
  #6
Schoeps is my personal preference. Capsule choice is dependent on application and how you are using it.
Old 19th October 2018
  #7
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whippoorwill's Avatar
Sonodore microphones and Rens Heijnis modified stuff is the fastest, most accurate SDC's I've ever heard.
Schoeps MK2 and MK22 are fairly slow, but beautiful. MK21/41 are much faster microphones. I don't care for the MK4.
I am really enjoying my Sennheiser MKH30 pair, super detailed (potentially the most detailed non-sonodore, stock electronics SDC I've heard) and extended and Blumlein with that in front of a kit would be probably a great choice, and you could use it in M/S with an LDC for a different sound.
Old 19th October 2018
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

I second the km54. Not the quietest choice but beautiful sounding mics on acoustic instruments.
Old 19th October 2018
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Neumann KM-53/253
Schoeps with MK 22.

Last edited by Rec_Eng; 19th October 2018 at 07:07 PM.. Reason: Additional Info
Old 19th October 2018
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

To me the greatest EVER is the schoeps 221b but good luck finding a pair.

The Neumann km54 is pretty excellent as well.
Old 19th October 2018
  #11
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voodoo4u's Avatar
Absolutely love my KM-56, it's big and lush sounding with a clarity and detail in the top end that's rare to find, but sometimes, in some applications a KM-84 is just right.
Old 19th October 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Haven't heard/used any truly well-kept Neuman KM-54 or KM-56 in a long time. Noise becomes an issue compared to modern DPA or Schoeps.
So if you get/find the Neumanns, have a great mic tech.
Old 20th October 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
 

+1 on DPA, Schoeps, and Earthworks. A slightly different format mic that was mentioned in passing is the Sennheiser MKH800. Little bit bigger capsule, side address but same flat response characteristic as the smaller end address mics. Very extended top end without brittleness. Not cheap but a very nice mic.
There’s also a DPA combo tube/solid state SDC but they’re so rare it’s almost not worth talking about. But, oh my.......
Old 20th October 2018
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by burp182 View Post
There’s also a DPA combo tube/solid state SDC but they’re so rare it’s almost not worth talking about. But, oh my.......
I think you're referring to the 4041T (only mic that fits the bill from DPA) but it is an LDC not SDC (one of the only they made)
You can buy the 4041 non-tube mic body still (still LDC)
Old 20th October 2018
  #15
Lives for gear
 

It’s actually more a mid-size capsule. I have one. Sized much like the MKH800 I mentioned. But it acts, like the 800, more like a SDC in its response in both.
Old 20th October 2018
  #16
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DigitMus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by burp182 View Post
It’s actually more a mid-size capsule. I have one. Sized much like the MKH800 I mentioned. But it acts, like the 800, more like a SDC in its response in both.
It's a 25mm diaphragm, which is LDC in common parlance. It's definitely one of (if not THE) most quiet true omni mics ever made. While this may be thought of as an advantage, it's almost TOO much. Any negative aspects of the environment or positioning of the mic(s) is exaggerated - so make damn sure you love the sound of the room, position of the instrument/voice in the room, and position of the mic before you commit.
Old 20th October 2018
  #17
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KIDBILL's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanBarley View Post
To me the greatest EVER is the schoeps 221b but good luck finding a pair.

The Neumann km54 is pretty excellent as well.
yep! fan of the M221 over the km54
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