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How do you like your Neumann KM56 ?
Old 2nd May 2011
  #1
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KIDBILL's Avatar
 

How do you like your Neumann KM56 ?

Hi, how do you like your km56? Good on voices as well?
Thanks!

Old 2nd May 2011
  #2
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Overdrive's Avatar
 

YES

I love my pair of 1960 KM56. They are very good on the right voice and have won several times over other options.
The KM56 looks small in footprint but sounds big in reality.
I mate it with a MP2MH and a distressor... fwiw
Old 2nd May 2011
  #3
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Nice!
Old 2nd May 2011
  #4
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Got a pair. Love them on acoustic guitar and especially banjo. Used one for female vocals on a folk music album. It was the best sounding mic for her and the other contenders included a beautiful C12.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Great mics.

Although sometimes they can sound a little scratchy depending on certain instruments/source.

When good, I use them a lot on overheads, perc, acoustic guitar, mandolin, jazz snare (if not too high spl!), room, string spot.
Old 3rd May 2011
  #6
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pan60's Avatar
 

have not had my hands on those in some time but i would love to have a set in here!
yep!
Old 3rd May 2011
  #7
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The KM56 is really a great mic. Don't let the small diaphragm throw you, it's got a nice big sound; very functional too!
Old 3rd May 2011
  #8
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Thanks, I saw this voice was done with a km56 on the album, very good!
http://www.deezer.com/en/music/shelb...-crisis-312553

She describe the sound of the mic: "I like it 'cause it's rich. Old, like fine wine." (http://www.acousticguitar.com/issues/ag135/gear135.html)

I feel the highs are something M49 like, maybe due to the ac701 inside?
Old 4th May 2011
  #9
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great on acoustic guitars
electric guitars
percussion
choir
vocals
you can try them on strings
probably on leslie speaker too. i've heard of people using small capsule condensers on leslie's too.
the KM54 mics are great too.
Old 6th May 2011
  #10
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KIDBILL's Avatar
 

versatile mic!
Old 6th May 2011
  #11
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KIDBILL's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
Got a pair. Love them on acoustic guitar and especially banjo. Used one for female vocals on a folk music album. It was the best sounding mic for her and the other contenders included a beautiful C12.
What's the album? Could be nice to hear at your microphone
Old 7th May 2011
  #12
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Any others using the km56?
Old 7th May 2011
  #13
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I don't own them, but used a Klaus Heyne modded pr. over a 10 yr period.

Mando, uke, guitar, kit OH's, sometimes on piano, also as stereo room pr. Nice airy sound, 3D with a rich bottom.

The only bad thing I could say about them is their age and sometimes flakey performance. When they do work hassle-free, IMO, they are one of my 10 'desert island' mic's...
Old 7th May 2011
  #14
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I think a KM5x is great for vocals (and an overall amazing mic). It's intensely articulate, which isn't great for every voice but perfect for many. I have no other mic that sounds quite like it, in a good way.
Old 7th May 2011
  #15
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unit7's Avatar
Own one. Sometimes work in a studio that has a pair. Love it on ac guit, grand piano, dr overheads and string 4tet stereo pair. Tried it on vocal once and won't do it again...
Old 8th May 2011
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unit7 View Post
Tried it on vocal once and won't do it again...
Your opinion is based on only one voice. With some voices it would amaze you.
Old 8th May 2011
  #17
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kennybro's Avatar
My favorite mic of any I've ever used for my voice and for acoustic guitar.
Old 8th May 2011
  #18
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unit7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
Your opinion is based on only one voice. With some voices it would amaze you.
Regarding it's one of the all time greatest mics, I'm sure you're right. But on that session a pair of 56s were the only mics available so I actually used it on three different voices, one duet and then a backing vocal. Of course it didn't sound bad but when my M149 came back from service I remember I was a little relieved as I do a lot of vocal sessions in my studio. Nowadays I have a u67 and a Gefell 563 which are my go to's, even a Bock 241 incoming which I expect to be brighter. But if they all fail sometime I'll remember to try the 56 again...
Old 9th May 2011
  #19
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KIDBILL's Avatar
 

Tried on voice and yes it can be Amazing! funny how BIG is the sound of the SDC!
Old 9th May 2011
  #20
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My desert island SDC
Old 11th May 2011
  #21
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Others opinions?
Old 11th May 2011
  #22
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toneguru's Avatar
Great mic.

For vocals? The proximity effect is pronounced with these mics. Plosives that might be annoying with a C12 or U47 can become nuclear bombs with a 54 or 56.

Consider that a 54 or 56 might capture vocals best from a greater distance away.

For acoustic instruments they are tough to beat, but for vocals? I've yet to grab a 54 or 56 for vocals. Maybe I've been missing out on something good.

- Cheers
Old 12th May 2011
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toneguru View Post
For vocals? The proximity effect is pronounced with these mics. Plosives that might be annoying with a C12 or U47 can become nuclear bombs with a 54 or 56.
That makes me cringe. These mics are a bit delicate and I can just imagine the diaphragm melting from some loud singer who's too close.


Quote:
Originally Posted by toneguru View Post
For acoustic instruments they are tough to beat, but for vocals? I've yet to grab a 54 or 56 for vocals. Maybe I've been missing out on something good.
I think most people would ignore this family of mics for vocals. It's not an obvious choice. They can be great, however.
Old 13th May 2011
  #24
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Don't want to hijack the op's post but I am curious what any of you would say as far as KM56's vs KM84's on acoustic guitar. I've been thinking about getting a set of KM84's but hearing all the love here for the KM56, I'd like to know what experienced folks think.

Thanks!

P
Old 13th May 2011
  #25
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Very different sounding beasts. KM56's are more flattering and forgiving, with a sparkle the KM84's could never have, as well as that tubey rich and juicy low end. KM56's are more 3D and opulent sounding - one of the finest SDC's Neumann ever made. I can't say that of the KM 84's (or worse 184's)

Then again, that's IME...
Old 13th May 2011
  #26
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugHead View Post
Very different sounding beasts. KM56's are more flattering and forgiving, with a sparkle the KM84's could never have, as well as that tubey rich and juicy low end. KM56's are more 3D and opulent sounding - one of the finest SDC's Neumann ever made. I can't say that of the KM 84's (or worse 184's)

Then again, that's IME...
I'd agree with that. KM56 has a sound to it, kinda flattering. KM84's are a little more neutral, a little more 'workmanlike". hard to put into words. I tend to EQ KM84's a little more but don't EQ KM56 as much.
Old 13th May 2011
  #27
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.
Old 13th May 2011
  #28
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TBH, I'd make sure you have money to burn: they are old and often flakey (IME) and with their proprietary nickel capsules, are now 'unobtanium' (impossible to restore/repair), NTM they require the venerable AC701 tubes that run upwards of $750 each. If you do want one (or 2) I'd suggest getting them from a reputable collector/seller, and audition them extensively to make sure they're in perfect condition, as if not you'll be wasting a TON of bread...

my .02 c
Old 13th May 2011
  #29
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PdotDdot View Post
Don't want to hijack the op's post but I am curious what any of you would say as far as KM56's vs KM84's on acoustic guitar. I've been thinking about getting a set of KM84's but hearing all the love here for the KM56, I'd like to know what experienced folks think.
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.
Old 14th May 2011
  #30
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Thank you for the responses re: KM56 vs KM84. Very valuable info for me.

P
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