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Matched mic pairs - fake voodoo Condenser Microphones
Old 20th November 2006
  #31
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Chris Nighman's Avatar
 

Cheers pegleg! Didn't La Chunky start this whole thing? That's who I was referring to.
Old 20th November 2006
  #32
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The ATM450 simply rules for me right now. I know Warren put up some clips up, it's definitely comparable. The nice thing about the AT4051a was the interchangeable elements which the ATM450 doesn't have. No swivel adapter in the works but it sounds interesting.
Old 20th November 2006
  #33
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beardhead View Post
Because it's making things better overall?
Why should I buy a good preamp or a good microphone? The average listener won't give a dfegad probably.
What about people using a dedicated stereo preamp, no EQ and stuff at all?

Also, let's stop making new cars, the current ones can drive, that's enough. And /exaggeration on/ I sh*t my pants yesterday, but I won't change them, because my trousers are totally clean /exaggeration off/.

Getting a tiny bit better demands a lot of effort at that quality stage. But there is no compromise, either you do it or you don't.

Claus
You're confusing matching with quality. Better quality I agree with. Matching, not as much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg View Post

If you use classical recording as an example (which is, I believe, the true market for stereo matching), the chain isn't 'very long' - it's usually mic to pre to converter or tape. High end pres, high end converters, which presumedly would be replaced if they were found to be 'unmatched'. Also, classical music buyers make up a large percentage of the audiophile home listening market; so their playback systems ARE often up to the task.
I won't pretend to know how to record classical music (because I don't) but as soon as that audiophile listener walks across the room, the matching is compromised. He/she would have to stand at the perfect listening position at all times for it to be worthwhile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg View Post
Just because it isn't important to you doesn't make it anything less that a critical element of someone else's work...
Absolutely. My only point was that unless you are anal about the entire chain then you're probably wasting your money. YMMV.
Old 20th November 2006
  #34
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg View Post
Why be angry and indignant about something you have not made any effort to research? Why post such a question, referring to something as 'bull****, crap, voodo', before even looking at a manufacturer's website that offers such a service?

because!


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 20th November 2006
  #35
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
That's not even going into the fact that the instrument isn't perfectly matched on both sides
Quote:
A matched pair of mics will show you that exactly. A non-matched "pair" will distort it even further. Argument does not compute.
So I should pay extra to still have an imperfect image?

In some instances the imperfect pair may be even closer. No?

Quote:
And my ears are by no means matched.
Quote:
Irrelevant.
How could this be irrelevant? I use my ears to balance signals and EQ. I don't just do the exact same thing to both signals regardless of what I'm hearing. No?

Quote:
So why would someone spend so much time perfecting only one step in a very long chain?
Quote:
Because it can be done, doesn't take "so much time" and will help keep the signal chain as even as possible. And because it is a very important step in this chain.
YMMV
Old 20th November 2006
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher View Post
So I should pay extra to still have an imperfect image?
In some instances the imperfect pair may be even closer. No?


Quote:
How could this be irrelevant? I use my ears to balance signals and EQ. I don't just do the exact same thing to both signals regardless of what I'm hearing. No?
I don't know what you do... I don't usually apply any EQ to what I record with matched pairs (almost exclusively classical stuff). And my recordings are not only for my own ears.

Quote:
YMMV
For me (and many others) matched pairs are a must. If you don't need them, fine. But don't say it's BS because you don't understand why others need them.
Old 21st November 2006
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg View Post
Well, sure, I suppose some classical recordists look for mismatched mics, or deliberately used two different mics, or just run them both through 1176s on 'nuke' setting to get that 'grunge classical' tone...
Boy, are you ever barking up the wrong tree.

I realize that I may be accidentially projecting a more contrarian view than I really have. You mentioned your mismatched KM84's earlier in the thread. Any of my pairs that I would use for stereo recording, I purchased as pairs. DPA, Earthworks, AKG, Neumann, A-T.

I have no idea how well matched they are, but they came as two-mic kits, and they're all fine microphones made by reputable firms. And I am confident that to whatever extent they are not perfectly matched, it's at some sub-atomic level that I just am not concerned about. We certainly are not talking about 4 db level differences here.

I also have a pair of AT4050's that were purchased separately from one another -- I might use them as a pair, but only in a pinch -- I don't think it's come up. I actually have no idea how well matched they are, but we haven't noticed one to sound significantly different from the other (so far).

So all we're really talking about here is the EXTRA matching that Schoeps or Gefell would offer over Neumann, who at the other extreme, state outright that they make no real effort to create matched pairs.

Certainly I think any true stereo recording requires mics that are very well matched! The question really just comes down to how subatomic the process can be before it's just impressing the customer with bigger specs ... for example ...

Quote:
You can be contradictory all you want; classical recordists are the root of mic matching - it goes back to the days of searching for M50s (or u47s, or whatever) which sounded 'the same' so they could be used in this way. Why do you think Schoeps and DPA offer so many matching options? Because THEY think it's cool?
... as many others have said, they offer them because their customers want it and are willing to pay for it. That puts it squarely in the same category as 192 KHz sample rates. And just like 192 KHz sample rates, it comes back to the same thing: That a company is selling it just means people are willing to buy it. That people are buying it doesn't make it better.

Maybe it is better -- hell, maybe it's MUCH better -- but the fact it's being sold doesn't make it so. And that ultimately is the only point I've been trying to make here.

JSL
Old 21st November 2006
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher View Post
You're confusing matching with quality. Better quality I agree with. Matching, not as much.
Alright, I refer to the quality of stereo recordings then.
Old 21st November 2006
  #39
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A representative from one manufacturer (can't recall which) mentioned that the company he worked for clearly labelled their pairs "stereo pairs" instead of "matched pairs" because their tolerances were tight enough that they didn't feel the need to actually match frequency response charts. He did say that their stereo pairs all had sequential serial numbers and that was more for collectors' value than anything else...although having sequential serial numbers is apparently a big deal in the Japanese market.

I would almost assume that, if you get a stereo pair of microphones with sequential serial numbers they were not factory matched...although I know that microphones can be tweaked to match each other as well, although I imagine you'd only see that with higher-end manufacturers.

I have (non factory matched) pairs of both Earthworks and Royer microphones (and, for that matter I suppose I have pairs of a few dynamic microphones as well) and have never had any problems using them in stereo situations.

-Duardo
Old 22nd November 2006
  #40
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
Bullsht, crap, voodoo, jackass, smartass----Just another day in the music business.

I have two AT4041 ser #1003 and 5076, bought years apart, and they work just fine as a pair. It will take better ears than mine to discern any differences.

Still, I've always wanted seq. serial numbers, just to be cool.
Old 22nd November 2006
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg View Post
If they came as 'two mic kits', then you're talking in most cases about buying what that manufacturer considers a 'matched pair'.
It varies. Earthworks says the pair is carefully selected. AKG doesn't say how they're matched. Neumann says, outright, that they're just a "stereo set" and aren't any more matched than any other two pieces out of the same batch -- and they say that's good enough, and it's been more than good enough for me. One could argue that Neumann's policy suggests a better, more consistent manufacturing process -- but it only suggests it, it doesn't prove anything.

If someone is paying a $100 premium on $1000-plus mics as a matching fee, I think that's entirely reasonable and in fact fair -- though if I were the manufacturer, I think I might offer it for free, purely for business reasons. As I already said, I got a little ahead of myself on this -- I honestly thought we were talking about matching fees well beyond $100.

Quote:
As for 192k sample rates; now you're talking apples and oranges; engineers have DEMANDED of digital audio manufacturers, over the years, to make digital sound 'as good as analog'. Pushing the envelope of sample rates is one area they have explored to improve the sound. AFTER the fact, many professionals have decided (for many reasons) that 96k is probably good enough, and 192 goes to the point of diminishing returns (especially vs. storage space and destination formats). I honestly don't see the connection at all.
You honestly don't see the connection? The connection is that sometimes, obsessed customers can push manufacturers to achieve specifications that are utterly pointless. Matching mics could -- could -- fall into that trap. Companies could be conducting mic-matching in their plants, and charging for it, to a degree that is pointless.

And again, this was my original point. Just saying that Schoeps has an unbelievably delicate and exquisite mic matching process doesn't mean that that process has any real value, as compared to Neumann, which has no process whatsoever and claims essentially that each complete run of mics they make is entirely matched. When I made my original statement, you hadn't yet talked about all the real-world testing you've done, and again, I thought we were talking about significantly higher surcharges.

Quote:
And I certainly have heard individual mics (of the same make and model) that sound too different to work as pairs, unless you want that 'deliberately unmatched' sound. (duh.) So, AGAIN, if it's not what you need, then forget about it. But don't say it's BS, crap or whatever, because you're wrong.
I never said it was BS, or crap, I don't even know what a "deliberately unmatched sound" means. And now that we've established that we actually agree about most of this, would it be too much to ask for you to stop misquoting and berating me?

JSL
Old 25th July 2017
  #42
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Reviving an older thread here. I am currently selling a like new pair of Schoeps MK2 capsules with sequential serial numbers, and have a number of inquiries. However, every single person only seems to care about one thing - "is this a factory matched pair?". We are talking about perhaps the premiere microphone company in the world, with some of the thightest quality control specifications in the industry, and a pair of brand new pair of capsules from the same manufacturing batch with sequential serial numbers, and they are apparently not good enough for a single buyer. I have bought literally hundreds of high end mics, and never even thought about factory matching. What is going on here?
Old 25th July 2017
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Reviving an older thread here. I am currently selling a like new pair of Schoeps MK2 capsules with sequential serial numbers, and have a number of inquiries. However, every single person only seems to care about one thing - "is this a factory matched pair?". We are talking about perhaps the premiere microphone company in the world, with some of the thightest quality control specifications in the industry, and a pair of brand new pair of capsules from the same manufacturing batch with sequential serial numbers, and they are apparently not good enough for a single buyer. I have bought literally hundreds of high end mics, and never even thought about factory matching. What is going on here?
This old thread SHOULD die. However, your current experience is interesting. It demonstrates that one good reason to buy matched pairs is that matched pairs will sell easier and probably for more money than unmatched pairs. That's a point that has nothing to do with the real or imagined sonic advantages of matched pairs.
Old 25th July 2017
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
We are talking about perhaps the premiere microphone company in the world, with some of the thightest quality control specifications in the industry, and a pair of brand new pair of capsules from the same manufacturing batch with sequential serial numbers, and they are apparently not good enough for a single buyer.
The humourous thing to me is you are blaming the buyer when you should be blaming the original seller (Schoeps) as they do offer matched pairs which immediately makes that more valuable -- tightest quality controls or not. By offering matched pairs, they are suggesting that there are indeed tolerances they can match better at the factory. It pretty much invalidates your argument.

The fault for reduced demand for your sale lies squarely on them and not prospective buyers.Current text from Schoeps:
"Each wooden case contains two complete microphones with selected, matched capsules, SG 20 stand adapters, B 5 D windscreens and the CMC 6 analog microphone amplifiers."
There is one company (at least) who does not offer "matched pairs" and their text says that they don't do it because their tolerances are so good it doesn't matter. They will offer to sell you sequential serial numbered mics but make it clear that they are not "matched" in anyway. (Strangely I can't remember which manufacturer this is but it is one of the larger makers)
Old 25th July 2017
  #45
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
...
There is one company (at least) who does not offer "matched pairs" and their text says that they don't do it because their tolerances are so good it doesn't matter. They will offer to sell you sequential serial numbered mics but make it clear that they are not "matched" in anyway. (Strangely I can't remember which manufacturer this is but it is one of the larger makers)
I think Neumann is who you have in mind.

Other than laboratory measurement mics, a wildly different breed of beasts, I don't bother with the hype around "matched pairs" - if the production tolerance is poor enough that that extra step is needed, I'm just not that interested, and besides, I've yet to meet anyone with a "matched pair" of ears...
Old 25th July 2017
  #46
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esldude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Reviving an older thread here. I am currently selling a like new pair of Schoeps MK2 capsules with sequential serial numbers, and have a number of inquiries. However, every single person only seems to care about one thing - "is this a factory matched pair?". We are talking about perhaps the premiere microphone company in the world, with some of the thightest quality control specifications in the industry, and a pair of brand new pair of capsules from the same manufacturing batch with sequential serial numbers, and they are apparently not good enough for a single buyer. I have bought literally hundreds of high end mics, and never even thought about factory matching. What is going on here?

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remo...crophones.html

I posted some measurements of mics I had on hand in the above thread. As you can see they pretty much match very well even when made years apart. Don't worry about the uneven response as the source was a speaker.

Most matched very well on frequency response. Most matched well on sensitivity though a few were off enough to matter (a decibel or so). You could measure like I did and see if two had slightly different sensitivities to compensate. I don't think the frequency response being the same is surprising. That is mostly down to the physics of the how the capsule and mike are constructed. Having good quality control over that isn't an issue very often with quality mikes or even chinese ones lately. I would think the level of mics you use this is even less of an issue.

As others have said, the issue is in people's minds when you get ready to resale something.
Old 25th July 2017
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
This old thread SHOULD die. However, your current experience is interesting. It demonstrates that one good reason to buy matched pairs is that matched pairs will sell easier and probably for more money than unmatched pairs. That's a point that has nothing to do with the real or imagined sonic advantages of matched pairs.
The point of matched pairs, such as it is, is the elimination of one possible variable in controlled situations.

One illustration being, if you put up two mics to capture a performance, you should be able to get an equivalent result on another occasion by putting the same two mics up in the same configuration, regardless whether the mics were swapped. If the pair differ by a few dB in FR, sensitivity etc., the result might be audibly different if they were swapped.

For most applications, as others have said, it won't make a difference and many mics of recent manufacture have tight tolerances that render it mostly moot. But not all and not always.

Last edited by DarkSky Media; 26th July 2017 at 02:55 AM..
Old 25th July 2017
  #48
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Do they null? Then they are matched. End of story.
Old 25th July 2017
  #49
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BTW, did you know that our ears are not matched? I like a pair of mics to be as close as possible, but it really doesn't matter at a certain point. And if you measured your hearing, your ears don't have have matched frequency response anyway!
Old 28th July 2017
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
BTW, did you know that our ears are not matched? I like a pair of mics to be as close as possible, but it really doesn't matter at a certain point. And if you measured your hearing, your ears don't have have matched frequency response anyway!
Our brain has compensated for those differences, as far as stereo cues go, but sending a different version of the original sound to each ear will mess up that natural calibration. The hearing system should be fed with the best possible symmetrical signal, no matter how different the two ears are.

Having said that, I should note that I have an officially matched pair of Schoeps MK4 cardioid capsules next to a number of simply sequential numbered pairs. It is the only pair where I can tell which one is which, because of the differences I can hear between them. So much for factory matching...
Old 28th July 2017
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
There is one company (at least) who does not offer "matched pairs" and their text says that they don't do it because their tolerances are so good it doesn't matter. They will offer to sell you sequential serial numbered mics but make it clear that they are not "matched" in anyway. (Strangely I can't remember which manufacturer this is but it is one of the larger makers)
This is Sennheiser and it sucks because I have sequential numbers of their mics and they are audibly clearly different, as also shown by the included frequency plots. The human hearing system can perceive the smallest differences in frequency response in a direct comparison. Not so much when there is some time between hearing the two though. Unfortunately a stereo recording shows parallel frequency response at the same time, which can make the stereo imaging going unstable. Of course, who cares in a situation where all is mangled in the mix anyway, but for critical stereo recording of acoustic/classical stuff it does make a difference.

One of the reasons that the stereo imaging of M/S can be so extremely stable is because the left/right information is perfectly "matched", due to the use of one single microphone for that information.
Old 28th July 2017
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
This is Sennheiser and it sucks because I have sequential numbers of their mics and they are audibly clearly different, as also shown by the included frequency plots. The human hearing system can perceive the smallest differences in frequency response in a direct comparison. Not so much when there is some time between hearing the two though. Unfortunately a stereo recording shows parallel frequency response at the same time, which can make the stereo imaging going unstable. Of course, who cares in a situation where all is mangled in the mix anyway, but for critical stereo recording of acoustic/classical stuff it does make a difference.

One of the reasons that the stereo imaging of M/S can be so extremely stable is because the left/right information is perfectly "matched", due to the use of one single microphone for that information.
Sennheiser *does* offer matched pairs of the MKH 8000 series and a matched pair do *not* normally have sequential serial numbers as they are numbered before matching.

Neumann, on the other hand, do have sequential numbers as they are numbered *after* matching.

Sennheiser MKH 20/30/40 series are manufactured close enough to be matched at random - but I think that Sennheiser will supply a matched pair on request.
Old 28th July 2017
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
... if you measured your hearing, your ears don't have have matched frequency response anyway!
And your input chains probably aren't exactly alike, either. Especially if your stuff isn't brand new.
Old 28th July 2017
  #54
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It's probably time to mention the importance of keeping earwax levels equal in both ears. Also, counting the ear hairs in each ear and plucking judiciously to ensure equality shouldn't be overlooked, especially if you are over fifty. You may need a significant other to help with this... it can be a bonding activity.
Old 28th July 2017
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Sennheiser MKH 20/30/40 series are manufactured close enough to be matched at random - but I think that Sennheiser will supply a matched pair on request.
No, I specifically asked for that and their answer was that their tolerances were so close that all MKH's should be considered matched. This came from the factory, not the distributor.
Old 29th July 2017
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
It's probably time to mention the importance of keeping earwax levels equal in both ears. Also, counting the ear hairs in each ear and plucking judiciously to ensure equality shouldn't be overlooked, especially if you are over fifty. You may need a significant other to help with this... it can be a bonding activity.
Heh....

But, all joking aside, it's worth noting that except in the case of headphone and earbud listening, both ears are hearing both channels of a stereo recording. So both ears (even if they hear differently) will be hearing an altered stereo image if it was captured with significantly different mics.
Old 29th July 2017
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
No, I specifically asked for that and their answer was that their tolerances were so close that all MKH's should be considered matched. This came from the factory, not the distributor.
I would say this is true of the MKH 40 series, but not the MKH 8000.

If you have bought a new pair of MKH 40 series and the supplied graphs are not close enough to be a matched pair, then I would ask the distributor to. Hand check and send you a pair that match.

But Sennheiser has changed - it is now run by the late Professor's grandsons, his son now having stepped aside.
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