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Has the SONY C48 a relatively small output level?
Old 4th April 2008
Lives for gear
TobyToby's Avatar

Has the SONY C48 a relatively small output level?

I recently bought a Sony C48. -Thanks to squeegybug for the purchase inspiration by his 19 mic samples > Index of /Mics_Male_Vocal_11-06 - I really like the smooth & relaxed tone of the C48.

BUT the Sony needs much more preamp gain than any other LDC mics I own. For the vocals in my current tune, with a AT4047 or a TLM49 I had to turn the gain control around 1 o’ clock to get the intended recording level, whereas I need to turn the gain to 4:30 (what is close to the stop at 72dB) if I want achieve the same output niveau with the C48.

PreAmp: Pacifica,
Input Impedance: 600 Ohm, 72dB gain

(For all who are able to set this specs in a relation to each other):
Output Impedance: 250 Ohm
Open circuit sensitivity: -35dB (17,7 mV) re 1V at 1 Pascal

Sony C48:
Output Impedance: 150 Ohm
Output level: Open circuit voltage -61.0dB (0,89mV)
Effective output level: -38.8 dBm
Recommended load impedance is more than 3kohms

Scholar question to the C48 Owners: Did you also get a relatively weak output level from your C48. So, did a got a healthy one?

Many thanks in advance

Last edited by TobyToby; 4th April 2008 at 07:24 AM.. Reason: overfatique
Old 4th April 2008
Lives for gear

Yes, the C48 is a bit less sensitive than some other large diaphragm condensers. But, I can see a potential issue right off the bat in your setup -- you say you are using Pacifica at 600 ohms.... that C48 wants to see >3,000 ohms, per the manual. And that is how I have used it successfully, typically into Gordon at 2 Megohm. While this may not affect the sensitivity, it most likely *can* affect the tone, especially treble response.

To compare those specs, the Sony figures have to be converted to an equivalent reference level and units:

The 4047 you mention is measured relative to 1 V/Pa, so that means it had an input of 94 dBSPL. Its sensitivity is
-35 dBV/Pa.

From the C48 manual, -61 dB = 0.89 mV is referenced to 0 dB = 1 V/microbar. This means the mic was measured with an input of 74 dBSPL. To show the equivalent sensitivity at 94 dBSPL (1 Pa) we add 20 dB: -61 dB + 20 =
-41 dBV/Pa

Now, Sony doesn't specify which pattern is being used for this measurement, there is likely some variation between the 3.

For reference, the U87 = -31 dBV/Pa in its cardioid pattern, -34 (omni), and -33 (Fig-8).
Similarly, Shure KSM44 = -31 (cardioid), -37 (omni), -36 (Fig-8).

In any case, you can see that the Sony at -41 dBV is indeed quite a bit less sensititive than these other mics. It doesn't affect my use of it at all, this Gordon has 60 dB max gain and that is more than enough for my needs. Watch out for driving preamps too hard into the converters.... many AD converters will not like high levels. Consider aiming for -12 to -18 dBFS peaks on your digital recorder, that will be closer to the 0 VU where analog equipment does best.

Glad you are liking it, I agree it is a really useful mic. Try on female singers in omni with the low-cut filter on... beautiful sound.

Old 4th April 2008
Lives for gear
TobyToby's Avatar

Hi Steve,

Many thanks for the detailed information . . . and the math lesson, hehe. I really appreciate that.
Tonite, I will check the mic with another preamp with higher input impedance. In case of driving the pre to hard into the converters I can give the SPL Volume2 a try. . . and yes, I will try it on my female singer in omni with the low-cut filter on.

All the best
Old 5th April 2008
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by TobyToby View Post
I will check the mic with another preamp with higher input impedance.
Tobi - Another thing you might try if you want: You might be able to run the C48 from its battery and plug directly into the Pacifica DI (Hi-Z) input, provided it has enough quiet gain. The manual doesn't say about this. You'll need an XLR-TRS adapter or cable of course.

I have done this with other (higher output) mics into various preamps, and it was usually my preferred sound over using heavy transformer inputs. Although that xfmr-in/low-Z combination may be influencing the particular 'warm smooth sound' you are liking -- it will usually reduce the treble response and with some mics can even create some low-mid boost and other frequency anomalies. I used to run the R84 ribbon into my X73i at 300 ohm, and into the A-Designs MP2 at 600 ohm to get some color varieties that way. But both of those units were switchable to higher impedance as needed. Seems strange that Jon/Peter did not include a selectable standard (higher) impedance on the Pacifica.

Overall I can say that even when sending the C48 into the 2 Megohm Gordon I still get a smooth, clean response. Not harsh or bright through the treble at all. That was what was on those posted samples you mentioned.

FWIW I almost always use the battery P48, gives me more flexibility for connecting to whatever chain I choose. Best luck with it.

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