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How do you like your Neumann KM56 ?
Old 14th May 2011
  #31
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toneguru's Avatar
The thing with KM54's is that they all sound different.

The first one I procured was magic but then I had heard some that I had to pass on but I was hooked and at one point I had seven KM54's. I still have five. When they are right they are hard to beat.

I am still skeptical of recommending one as a vocal mic but as they say on GS.. YMMV.
Old 14th May 2011
  #32
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i really hate to be sounding like a broken record. but why is everybody insisting that vintage neumanns sound different even when using the same model. thats just wrong. if you use badly maintained ones yes. so maintain them! neumann had extremely strickt quality standards that all their mics stick too. these were way higher than today. if your km mics all sound different they need a good tech. they are not magical items with little fairies living in them but extremely well build mics to the highest specs. and they do sound the same if the work as they should.
most dont...i have to agree. which is a shame.


Quote:
Originally Posted by toneguru View Post
The thing with KM54's is that they all sound different.

The first one I procured was magic but then I had heard some that I had to pass on but I was hooked and at one point I had seven KM54's. I still have five. When they are right they are hard to beat.

I am still skeptical of recommending one as a vocal mic but as they say on GS.. YMMV.
Old 14th May 2011
  #33
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
.. they are not magical items with little fairies living in them but extremely well build mics to the highest specs....
That's not true. I found a little fairy in one of mine once- saw it with my own eyes. I was about to take a photo, but it flew off.
Old 15th May 2011
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
That's not true. I found a little fairy in one of mine once- saw it with my own eyes. I was about to take a photo, but it flew off.
If you properly clean your microphones, faeries will not get the chance to move in and take up shop.
Old 15th May 2011
  #35
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
why is everybody insisting that vintage neumanns sound different even when using the same model. thats just wrong. if you use badly maintained ones yes. so maintain them!
Time and usage can have a great affect on microphones, particularly the diaphragm, which is the key ingredient in these mics. And don't forget that some of these are approaching 60-years-old -- they've been through a lot. In addition, AC701 tubes aren't identical in sound. Some have been re-skinned. Many factors make them sound different, regardless of how well maintained they are today.

I've been through many 54s and not a single one sounded identical to the others. The two I've decided to hang onto are very similar, but not identical, though both have been maintained by the same person and are as close to mint as any I've seen/heard.
Old 15th May 2011
  #36
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toneguru's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
i really hate to be sounding like a broken record. but why is everybody insisting that vintage neumanns sound different even when using the same model. thats just wrong. if you use badly maintained ones yes. so maintain them! neumann had extremely strickt quality standards that all their mics stick too. these were way higher than today. if your km mics all sound different they need a good tech. they are not magical items with little fairies living in them but extremely well build mics to the highest specs. and they do sound the same if the work as they should.
most dont...i have to agree. which is a shame.
All five of my KM54's were maintained by Tony at Stephen Paul Audio. They are all either originally C spec or brought up to C spec and yes they all sound different. Not vastly different but there are nuances.

I could say the same about 1176's and EQP1A's and even Shure SM58's.

I ran FOH at the same venue for ten straight years and I got to know the five SM58's so well that I could tell you the characteristics of each one that was different from the rest. I even marked them with my key so I could grab them quickly when setting up.

But that's just me. I'm one of those goofs that thinks rarely do two things sound identical.
Old 16th May 2011
  #37
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KIDBILL's Avatar
 

I just sent one defective k56 head to mr Thiersch. Did you try his nickel work and are you happy with it?
Old 16th May 2011
  #38
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
i really hate to be sounding like a broken record. but why is everybody insisting that vintage neumanns sound different even when using the same model. thats just wrong. if you use badly maintained ones yes. so maintain them!
Nobody would debate that Neumann mics old or new are made to very tight standards but the devil is in the details as the saying goes.

This reminds me of a story I read where some folks tried to clone a recording room down to the very tinest detail (I think it was the original Bill Putnam room in Chicago but I may be wrong). The 'cloned' room just didn't sound the same even though the dimensions/materials used/etc were exactly the same.

I would bet though that the new room sounded pretty good, maybe just not as magical as the original one. It's the same with mics. The KM 54 I had was perfectly maintained, maybe somebody else who uses it now loves it. I still am pretty sure that I would hear differences with another example - I hadn't had a chance to do so yet.

We're talking about VERY subtle differences here but they may make all the difference to us. With any gear, just like with any recording room, there remains a 'mystery' factor where you just can't pin it down exactly why X is better than Y to your ear.
Old 16th May 2011
  #39
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KIDBILL View Post
I just sent one defective k56 head to mr Thiersch. Did you try his nickel work and are you happy with it?
At one point I auditioned a 54 that needed to be re-skinned. It seemed unanimous among those I asked that if anyone was going to make it sound like an original again it would be Siegfried Thiersch. You're in good hands.
Old 16th May 2011
  #40
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

I would also throw a nod towards Doug Walker (Walker Microphones) who has serviced a vast number of high-end mics through the years, and is one of the foremost experts in this area. A little while ago a pal of mine had his SM2 redone and he cannot hear the difference between the reskinned and orig. capsule. Total pro...
Old 16th May 2011
  #41
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KIDBILL's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
At one point I auditioned a 54 that needed to be re-skinned. It seemed unanimous among those I asked that if anyone was going to make it sound like an original again it would be Siegfried Thiersch. You're in good hands.
Cool! Thank you
Old 17th May 2011
  #42
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KIDBILL's Avatar
 

I like SDC more and more, especially like this.heh
Old 17th May 2011
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugHead View Post
I would also throw a nod towards Doug Walker (Walker Microphones) who has serviced a vast number of high-end mics through the years, and is one of the foremost experts in this area. A little while ago a pal of mine had his SM2 redone and he cannot hear the difference between the reskinned and orig. capsule. Total pro...
Make sure he can do nickel diaphragms. I know Thiersch does but few do.
Old 17th May 2011
  #44
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluejbill View Post
Make sure he can do nickel diaphragms. I know Thiersch does but few do.
An important point. Some guys reskin with gold making it a different mic. The 9µ nickel diaphragm is crucial.
Old 10th June 2011
  #45
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KIDBILL's Avatar
 

Any idea about how to bring them to "c" spec? thanks
Old 10th June 2011
  #46
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toneguru's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Pike View Post
I'm convinced. I'm buying one now. You all have seriously been collectively ruining my plans to retire in 25 years from now.

Damn you all for infecting me with a more serious viral strain of this GAS you all suffer from.
Collecting KM54 mics will enhance your retirement.

I got my first one 17 years ago. Its tripled in price since.

If you can find em in pairs its a good way to go cause besides being premier on acoustic guitars they are also considered among the finest of mics for any and all acoustic instruments. Thousands of albums have been made with these mics on everything from drum OH to violin.

Just make sure they are not lemons.
Old 11th June 2011
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
This is only my personal opinion but I owned a KM 54 a few years ago and didn't really like it on acoustic guitar. Yes, the mic is VERY 3Dish and has an amazing hi-end clarity. But for my work I just prefer the KM 84. The KM 54 worked best as a room mic for me but I found it hard justifying ownership just for that application - financially speaking.

BTW, I just recently bought a sequential # pair of KM 84s and I absolutely love them. Strangely enough, I owned two individual KM 84s earlier (both in top condition) but didn't like them as much. The transient response and hi-end response of the KM 84 is just about perfect IMO because it isn't exagerrated at all and the mic takes EQ very well if needed.

So maybe my taste and ear have changed over the last few years but more likely, you just need to find an example that you really like. My KM 54 was tested and serviced by Andreas Grosser but others have pointed out that you really need to find a 'magical' one.


for the km84 love !!!!!!!!!!

Been working on a tune lately where we used a pair of NICE vintage matched 84s as drum overs as well as on the grand piano.

Man, they just completely floor me ! The way they take EQ is just absolutely amazing. The piano sounds HUGE, clear, lush, and warm all at the same time. And the overs just absolutely RULE with some paralell compression via an 1178 in "all buttons in" mode.

Tried a pair of 54s (well kept) in the past and they just didn't work as well as the 84s.

If you have great players and great instruments in a great room then if you cant get something great with 84s you probably need to quit
Old 22nd June 2011
  #48
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KIDBILL's Avatar
 

Up!
Old 22nd June 2011
  #49
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jomo1234's Avatar
 

FYI...Doug Walker does not re-skin nickel capsules. If Doug reskinned your buddy's SM2, then it certainly would not have sounded like it did originally. SM2's only came with nickel capsules, so perhaps that SM2 had already been modified to use a mylar or pvc based diaphragms. AFAIK, Siegfried Theirsch is the only one who is reskinning nickel capsules.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugHead View Post
I would also throw a nod towards Doug Walker (Walker Microphones) who has serviced a vast number of high-end mics through the years, and is one of the foremost experts in this area. A little while ago a pal of mine had his SM2 redone and he cannot hear the difference between the reskinned and orig. capsule. Total pro...
Old 13th July 2011
  #50
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KIDBILL's Avatar
 

What windshield do you use with your km56?
it seem that the original Z118 is hard to find, any suggestions?
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How do you like your Neumann KM56 ?-let-f-k-.jpg  
Old 14th July 2011
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by KIDBILL View Post
What windshield do you use with your km56?
it seem that the original Z118 is hard to find, any suggestions?
And the inline pad even harder to find...
Old 20th June 2012
  #52
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On the ebay equivalent in my country, there's a like new KM56 in original case that has been at 760 euros for three days now.
Is that what they go for, if at all?

BTW, it doesn't say whether or not it includes a PSU. Prolly not then.



Henk
Old 21st June 2012
  #53
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toneguru's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
i really hate to be sounding like a broken record. but why is everybody insisting that vintage neumanns sound different even when using the same model. thats just wrong. if you use badly maintained ones yes. so maintain them! neumann had extremely strickt quality standards that all their mics stick too. these were way higher than today. if your km mics all sound different they need a good tech. they are not magical items with little fairies living in them but extremely well build mics to the highest specs. and they do sound the same if the work as they should.
most dont...i have to agree. which is a shame.
I am not insisting on anything.

I am simply saying that all 5 of my KM54's sound different from each other. In slightly nuanced ways.

I had Tony at Stephen Paul Audio bring three of em up to c spec and up to snuff. He did a good job. They all sound great but they most assuredly do not all sound exactly alike. I'm okay with that.

In my experience, practically everything sounds different. I've come to expect it and actually enjoy deciphering the minute distinctions between identical models of musical equipment.

note: I am not a tech and I am sure you know much more about tech stuff than me (most people do).
Old 21st June 2012
  #54
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Hey, there's a new bid. Someone with "gear" in his or her handle.
Did I wake up a slut?




Henk
Old 21st June 2012
  #55
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by toneguru View Post
I am simply saying that all 5 of my KM54's sound different from each other. In slightly nuanced ways.
Absolutely. I've never heard two exactly alike. The differences aren't drastic however.
Old 24th October 2014
  #56
Gear Maniac
 
Remy Leloup's Avatar
Hi Gentlemen ,

Reactivating this great and awesome thread here

I have a KM 54 I LOVE it !! "bright and clear" is my opinion on it , the KM 56 is a little bit warmer to my ears but both are really great tools...

I tried this combo 54/56 on ac guitars and it was jaw dropping ..

That said , what would be your first choice for overheads : 2 KM 54 or 56 's ?? or something like a SM 69 tube ?? just curious ...

If I had to keep one , it would be the KM 54 , I adore it ...especially through a NPNG preamp ...
Old 25th October 2014
  #57
I use a pair of 56c or a SM23c on OH a fair amount, the 23c for jazz and some folkish/bleugrassian stuff. For rock I often prefer C12's or C12a's, but i'd grab the 56's over 54's and certainly over SM69 Tube [unless maybe some jazz]. The 56c's in omni make spanking room mic's as well.

Best-
Jonathan
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