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Sony-ECM 999 Condenser Microphones
Old 20th April 2014
  #1
Gear Addict
 
SidneySheldon's Avatar
 

Sony-ECM 999

Never heard of this one before and yesterday I had a chance to listen to this mic in a studio.

And it's just-WOW!!!

I mean WTF??It just sounds better than some of my Neumans and most mics I ever heard.

It shines on everything - vocals, live instruments...

So, anyone has experience with these mics?? What are these? Couldn't find any info on the web. Are they still in production?
Old 20th April 2014
  #2
Lives for gear
 
ddageek's Avatar
 

Your talking about the $300 when new Sony Stereo mic ?
Because while for the price it was a cool easy to use stereo field mic, a U47 killer it never was.
Old 20th April 2014
  #3
Gear Addict
 
SidneySheldon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek View Post
Your talking about the $300 when new Sony Stereo mic ?
Because while for the price it was a cool easy to use stereo field mic, a U47 killer it never was.

So,Have you ever heard and used this mic? it was 1000$ new as far as I found out.
For 300$ I'd grab a couple for me. Can't find them for sale.
This is it.

Old 21st April 2014
  #4
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ddageek's Avatar
 

Yes hence my comments, I try to only speak of gear I know.
I sold a ton of these with every portable recorder, it was my go to simple stereo mic priced between the AT and the Shure VP88 and at most was $350 street.
I love Sony condensers of my 70 some mics 8 are Sony, My first stereo pair were ECM22s, the C535 in The massive TapeOp SDC shoot out was one of mine. So you could say I'm a Sony Mic Fan.
While I'm glad your wowed, this thing I have to state this thing is what it is and The ECM 9-- series is well known for the capsules loosening output level over time, in fact that's why I passed on one a 959 at a Pawnshop last month.
Again glad you like it but try a C37, C47 C38 C48 C500 any of the C35-36 c535-536 or C8000 and you will see, the F series Dynamics were ho-hum though.
Old 24th February 2018
  #5
Gear Head
 

I record a lot of interviews in stereo for my podcast, I recently obtained one a Sony ECM-999pr to round out my stereo mic options.

My conclusion:

I agree it has an overall great sound. I can't compare it to Neumanns or Schoeps mics, but I can say it fits into my collection nicely. I'm comparing it to Audio Technica BP-4025, Shure VP-88, AKG C-522, Superlux 502 ortf, Avantone CK-40 (not a good field option due to size/weight) or a pair of AKG C-414xls mics. All these mics have their strengths and limitations. I wouldn't hesitate to edit segments together using any or all of these mics.

Specifics of the Sony ECM-999pr in my opinion:

Great center image. The main mic sounds excellent on voices, which is particularly important for me. I could easily see interviewing someone using it. The surrounding natural sounds would offer a nice texture and it folds down well.

The dial-in imaging setting the balance between mid and side mics is easy to use and monitor. While I would prefer to save this for post in some situations, I accept it as a real-world simplified workflow and, for the majority of my work, it probably makes sense.

The foam pop screen is noteworthy. The mic itself is rather thick non-standard diameter. I had no other handy Rycote or other wind filter handy. I took it outdoors to test it using just its pop filter and was happily surprised that I had no wind sound on a moderately windy day. On a variety of voices I got crystal clear results and could not easily tell otherwise that a wind screen was in place.

Imaging was quite good at a variety of its settings. I ended up staying around 90 for most of my recording so far, but 120 may also prove useful. It is easy to dial in anywhere on its range. Although I can't imagine going as far as 150, it's nice that they offer it, as well as mono.

The mic was dead quiet. This does not match the numbers specified. I expected it to be as noisy or more so than the Shure VP-88, but it is not, at least not my sample. I could hear no noise on almost anything I recorded, although I admit I have yet to do natural-sound ambient textures with it.

I have phantom power on most of my gear, so would prefer to have this option and default, but AA batteries are plentiful and I can even envision using rechargeable AAs for most of my recording.

For man-in-the-street (mos) interviews I would use it in preference to all but perhaps my AKG C-522, which is perhaps my favorite mic. But it would be a tough call given my early impressions. I really like the sound of voices with this mic. For two-person conversations, rather than solo interviews where the interviewer may be deleted for plays a lesser role, I would still favor an x-y, but that's because each mic fires directly at the source, not because of the mic/mics per se. In other words, I still prefer XY (or even ORTF) over MS for two person conversation capture.

As far as losing volume over time, time will tell. I understand this is a predicted side effect of all electret condenser mics, but I own quite a few and it seems rare. I even have a few ancient Sony electret condenser mics from the early 1980s that still give out subjectively equal volume to their youth. I can only say I noticed no need to boost volume record levels using my Sound Devices 722.

I would say overall, having seen this entire thread before I purchased the one I bought, I was cautiously optimistic, tempered with some followup comments. While I again can't compare this mic to very costly mics (above the AKG C414) I can say I overall agree with the op's initial enthusiasm.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Lives for gear
Just got one of these for £72 inc postage. Hoping it’s really good. I have another stereo condenser that does not do MS, so this will be good to have around in any case.
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