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

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
Lives for gear
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
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
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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