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Gefell 296 mics - opinions? Condenser Microphones
Old 18th November 2006
  #1
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Gefell 296 mics - opinions?

Anyone compare Gefell 296 mics to anything else, like Schoeps or DPAs?

Thouhts?

Thanks!

Jim
Old 19th November 2006
  #2
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Jim, I posted some samples here of M296, CMC621, CMC62S, plus a bunch of other mics -- large and small diaphragm condensers, dynamics, ribbons:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-shoot-outs-sound-file-comparisons-audio-tests/92519-samples-19-various-mics-sm7-elux-m149-r84-etc.html

They are male vocal only, in a fairly small room. So the small omnis may not always "compete" against the large directional mics. Maybe will give a rough idea of the Gefell in that application anyway.

I also did some comparisons of the small omnis on acoustic guitar and female singer in the same room, but don't have clips available for those.

Overall here was my take on all those sources: I much preferred the Schoeps Mk21 over the M296 and all the other small omnis. And for those others I usually liked the MK2S, Avenson, AT4049, etc. over 296. The Gefell was clean and open, but just seemed not very musical to me. Somehow emphasized the midrange into some edge or honk, did not always offer the pretty bass I wanted.

Of course I was using these diffuse field mics in the near field, so I expect the colorations I heard could even out in a large auditorium at a distance. And I know others have fine success with those particular Gefells.

I will say the Schoeps MK21 were nice to my ears. Very flowing tone, easy to hear. Flattering even at times. I decided not to get more small omnis at this time, but am possibly going to consider trying a pair of MK4V at some point. I liked that organic Schoeps sound, even though it is not the most brutally honest presentation.

Steve
Old 19th November 2006
  #3
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Jamz's Avatar
Now you gotta believe that as soon as Teddy unpacks his bags he'll be all over this

Steve, I really think the Avensons are an amazing deal and sound very good regardless of price. Many classical/choral engineers seem to write off the Avensons because of their self noise. What is it about the Avensons that you prefer to the Gefells?

I have yet to try Schoeps, DPA or the 296s. However, I was able to use QTC-1s and the Avensons during a remote of Mozart's Requim. I also have a pair of Gefell M295s...cardiod.

Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegybug View Post
Jim, I posted some samples here of M296, CMC621, CMC62S, plus a bunch of other mics -- large and small diaphragm condensers, dynamics, ribbons:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-shoot-outs-sound-file-comparisons-audio-tests/92519-samples-19-various-mics-sm7-elux-m149-r84-etc.html

They are male vocal only, in a fairly small room. So the small omnis may not always "compete" against the large directional mics. Maybe will give a rough idea of the Gefell in that application anyway.

I did also did some comparisons of the small omnis on acoustic guitar and female singer in the same room, but don't have clips available for those.

Overall here was my take on all those sources: I much preferred the Schoeps Mk21 over the M296 and all the other small omnis. And for those others I usually liked the MK2S, Avenson, AT4049, etc. over 296. The Gefell was clean and open, but just seemed not very musical to me. Somehow emphasized the midrange into some edge or honk, did not always offer the pretty bass I wanted.

Of course I was using these diffuse field mics in the near field, so I expect the colorations I heard could even out in a large auditorium at a distance. And I know others have fine success with those particular Gefells.

I will say the Schoeps MK21 were nice to my ears. Very flowing tone, easy to hear. Flattering even at times. I decided not to get more small omnis at this time, but am possibly going to consider trying a pair of MK4V at some point. I liked that organic Schoeps sound, even though it is not the most brutally honest presentation.

Steve
Old 19th November 2006
  #4
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Thanks guys for the thoughts!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz View Post
Many classical/choral engineers seem to write off the Avensons because of their self noise.
Interesting! I have found many people don't like the Earthworks for the same reason, yet it's rare, even on a solo classical recording, that the NOISIEST of mics is noticeable. It's gotta be a really darn quiet passage or a really quiet performance or instrument to notice the self noise, even with great preamps, on a bunch of the recordings.

That Requiem- was it Mozart K626? I adore that piece!!!
Old 19th November 2006
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz View Post
I was able to use QTC-1s and the Avensons during a remote of Mozart's Requim. I
And no problem or issue with the Avenson self-noise for you with
the Mozart remote?
Old 19th November 2006
  #6
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On Steve's samples I rated the 296 in the middle of the pack.
In my listening notes I made the comment "something
unpleasant about it similar to EV635a, not veiled".

Some mic's I rated above the 296 are the At4049, the
Avensons, and the Schoeps.
Old 19th November 2006
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz View Post
Steve, I really think the Avensons are an amazing deal and sound very good regardless of price. Many classical/choral engineers seem to write off the Avensons because of their self noise. What is it about the Avensons that you prefer to the Gefells?
Avensons do sound good. From many comparisons to other mics, I've come to think they offer a somewhat rounded, or puffy, midrange. They tend to hide some rough edges and so are not really as "accurate" as some other mics, yet that pleasant smoothing can be similar to the effect of the Schoeps mics -- the ear often just likes it.

I do think the hiss from the Avensons can often be heard. And sometimes would prefer not to have that detract from (or add to) the overall sound if I'm going for some especially pure recording. But in other cases it seems like some kind of natural dither that helps blend in the tones, if that makes any sense. For my recordings, a little hiss can sometimes not be too big of a deal. Hey I still play cassettes and LPs once in a while....

Gefells can be excellent I'm sure, but so far I've tried M300, M930, and M296, and chosen not to keep any of them when up against certain other similar mics. So MMV.


Quote:
I have yet to try Schoeps, DPA or the 296s. However, I was able to use QTC-1s and the Avensons during a remote of Mozart's Requim.
Now I've not used QTC-1/40. I've been told they might spec as a little quieter than the Avensons, do they sound that way in your experience? AFAIK they both use the same or similar Panasonic capsule.


Thanks for your comments Brackish. That is a fair observation, I also heard some "metallic" similarity between those particular mics. Although placement is everything as always, the sounds could change for other situations.


Steve
Old 19th November 2006
  #8
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Jamz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim vanBergen View Post
Interesting! I have found many people don't like the Earthworks for the same reason, yet it's rare, even on a solo classical recording, that the NOISIEST of mics is noticeable. It's gotta be a really darn quiet passage or a really quiet performance or instrument to notice the self noise, even with great preamps, on a bunch of the recordings.

That Requiem- was it Mozart K626? I adore that piece!!!
Yeah Jim, I do read similar comments about the EWs as well. However, for my purposes the QTC-1s have proven to be a solid performer with a nice flat response. Actually, for me it's the noise created by the audience that poses more of a problem. Coughs, sneezes, paper rattling etc.
Steve mentioned he preferred several of the omnis including the Avensons over the 296s. The Gefells seem to get a lot of respect. While I don't have the 296s I do have the cardioid M295s and I like the Gefell sound. I was curious what Steve preferred in the Avensons over the 296s.
One day I want to try out Schoeps. For now it's the QTC-1s.
Old 19th November 2006
  #9
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Jamz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brackish View Post
And no problem or issue with the Avenson self-noise for you with
the Mozart remote?
Not really a problem. Actually, I was surprised at how good they sounded. They were on loan from a fellow gearslut for me to check out. The QTC-1s were the main pair of omnis on a jecklin disc and I had the Avenson's spread wide. Really just so I could hear them. When I solo'd them up in post I could hear a little hiss but within the mix they were fine. Keep in mind I'm recording local choral groups not critical recordings for Deutsche Grammophon.
The Avenson's are so reasonably priced I'm tempted to pick a pair up. Then there are times I wonder if I should sell the EWs, forget the Avensons and purchase a more "high end" pair of omnis such as the Schoeps. Especially, since you can purchase different capsules for the Schoeps. When someone mentions they prefer the Avensons over the Gefells it just gives me more to think about. It never ends.
Old 19th November 2006
  #10
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Jamz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegybug View Post
Now I've not used QTC-1/40. I've been told they might spec as a little quieter than the Avensons, do they sound that way in your experience? AFAIK they both use the same or similar Panasonic capsule.Steve
Noisier than the EWs...perhaps a little but I wouldn't call the Avenson a horrendously noisy mic. I own and use the EWs. I used the Avensons once.
I felt the QTC-1s were more 3d and had more depth than the Avensons. The QTC-1s held a consistent frequency response even 25' back from the orchestra. More bottom and more mid range than the Avensons. The Avensons did not have the same amount of bottom nor did they exhibit a strong midrange. They did however, have a nice smooth top which sounded really nice. I know the Avensons use the Panasonic capsule. I'm not sure about the EWs. They certainly do not sound that similar.
I like them both for different reasons. This may be why I continue to think about having one mic with various capsules that can be configured according to the situation i.e. Schoeps.
Old 19th November 2006
  #11
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mr.gefell's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim vanBergen View Post
Anyone compare Gefell 296 mics to anything else, like Schoeps or DPAs?

Thouhts?

Thanks!

Jim

depends on what you want to know? it's kind of hard to compare it the above mentioned mics

as i have said before; the mic is based on a modified version of the class 1 standard Mk102 capule( 200 volt polarization..check my avatar), I think this one has 80 volts
polarization and add a soft boost for flat-frequency response in diffuse field.

If you want to hear all the details in the room and big bass response , these are your mics. I much prefer the real mk102 capsule with c606b josephson body ( David posted on GS the other day)

My favourite current sdc mic now is a unknown russian microphone, with dual diaphram. Just awesome.
Old 19th November 2006
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegybug View Post
Thanks for your comments Brackish. That is a fair observation, I also heard some "metallic" similarity between those particular mics. Although placement is everything as always, the sounds could change for other situations.


Steve

Yes, Steve, that is a very good way to describe what
I heard in common with the Gefell 296 and the
EV635: "metallic".

You mentioned that "placement" is important.
Yes ... but I have used the 635 live for my
own vocals and also heard a couple other
vocalist's recordings and every single time the mic
displays this same unpleasant metallic characteristic.
Old 31st December 2008
  #13
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mlutthans's Avatar
 

I bought three M296 very early on when they debuted. I think mine start with serial #147. I've been using them for over 10 years, and love them. I've used MKH 20 and KM 130 and prefer the Gefells over both, but it's always a matter of taste. Here's a snippet of a Beethoven 9 I recorded with three M296 in July:
Attached Files

1 Beethoven Scherzo.mp3 (4.55 MB, 1246 views)

Old 31st December 2008
  #14
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

I think the fact that the little Avensons are being mentioned in the same breath as microphones costing up to 6x the price speaks volumes about just how great they are for the money! The self-noise is practically a non-issue at this price-point until someone can point us towards a substantially quieter and equally reliable alternative that sounds as flat and natural for a new price of just $250!
Old 3rd March 2019
  #15
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Mats H's Avatar
I have four. Two are underperforming and are being sent back to Mictotech Gefell due to failing components. When they work they are amazing. This is a 2-track recording using my Zoom F8:

Old 5th March 2019
  #16
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John Willett's Avatar
 

As someone has resurected this thread ......

The 296 are excellent omnis, but my favourires, so far, are the M221 (and I'm in the process of getting my own pair now) - and Gefell have just released the new M102 omni.

The 221 has a ½" nickel diaphragm measurement capsule and the new 102 has a 1" nickel diaphragm measurement capsule - both use the same body and both have a capsule bias voltage of 200V (derived from the standard 48V phantom power).

As the Gefell website is currently only in German while they rebuild it - info in English is here:- M 290 seriesM 221M 102
Old 6th March 2019
  #17
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sdelsolray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
As someone has resurected this thread ......

The 296 are excellent omnis, but my favourires, so far, are the M221 (and I'm in the process of getting my own pair now) - and Gefell have just released the new M102 omni.

The 221 has a ½" nickel diaphragm measurement capsule and the new 102 has a 1" nickel diaphragm measurement capsule - both use the same body and both have a capsule bias voltage of 200V (derived from the standard 48V phantom power).

As the Gefell website is currently only in German while they rebuild it - info in English is here:- M 290 seriesM 221M 102
The M 102 is quite interesting. I note that the omni capsule is threaded. Do you know whether Gefell is planning on developing other capsules with different polar patterns or frequency responses to mate with the new M 10x mic amp?
Old 6th March 2019
  #18
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdelsolray View Post
The M 102 is quite interesting. I note that the omni capsule is threaded. Do you know whether Gefell is planning on developing other capsules with different polar patterns or frequency responses to mate with the new M 10x mic amp?
The MV 225 mic. amp is not new - it's the same one that is used for the M221 and it delivers 200V for the capsule polarisation voltage.

Other capsules, I don't know - both the MK221 and MK102 are both measurement microphone capsules that have been found to be superb recording capsules as well.
Old 6th March 2019
  #19
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I'll just (re)chime in and say that when I first posted in this thread 11 years ago I didn't think I'd ever actually own a pair of M296 but... a matched pair popped up last year in the GS Classifieds at a great price and I was all over them.

Meaning now I do have a (much better informed) opinion on the M296 mics and I can say without hesitation... I love them!

So since this thread has been bumped and just in case anyone is referencing it, here's a recording I made of a solo piano performance with the M296s (with thanks to John W. for his kind advice too):



Interestingly I note that earlier in the thread there's chat about comparison with the little Avenson STO-2s which I did own back in 2008; so as I still have my pair, as soon as I can get access to my friend's Steinway again (and the pianist!) I am fully planning to record some pieces simultaneously with both mics through the same (DAV) preamps for comparison, even if it is of interest to no-one except myself and a few veterans of this thread!

Last edited by James Lehmann; 6th March 2019 at 10:09 PM..
Old 7th March 2019
  #20
Gear Head
 

Mr Willett, this is a very interesting new microphone that is in a sense a hybrid - a transducer that is intended to be used in the same sort of applications as a SDC omni, except that it has instead been fitted with the 1" sibling of the 0.5" capsule in the M221.

We can infer that Gefell would only have produced this unusual new product if they had themselves perceived of applications where it would be superior to the M221, or where it would be different in ways that an engineer might find useful.

From physics we know that

- the 1" capsule will mean lower self noise

- although very good, the off-axis response of the 1" will not be as exceptional as the 0.5"

From the frequency graph, we can see that the 1" is ruler flat down to 20Hz, but has a modest dip at very high frequencies.

If, let's say, a recording engineer experienced in using the M221 asked the Gefell team responsible for developing this new model "Aside from instances where I need the lower noise floor of the new 1" mic, in what kind of situations should I use the 1" instead of the 0.5" M221 and what will the new mic bring me in those applications?", what would be the Gefell response? Fascinated to know what Gefell themselves see as its raison d'etre!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
The MV 225 mic. amp is not new - it's the same one that is used for the M221 and it delivers 200V for the capsule polarisation voltage.

Other capsules, I don't know - both the MK221 and MK102 are both measurement microphone capsules that have been found to be superb recording capsules as well.
Old 7th March 2019
  #21
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How would you compare Sony 55P vs any of these?
Old 7th March 2019
  #22
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pk View Post
Mr Willett, this is a very interesting new microphone that is in a sense a hybrid - a transducer that is intended to be used in the same sort of applications as a SDC omni, except that it has instead been fitted with the 1" sibling of the 0.5" capsule in the M221.

We can infer that Gefell would only have produced this unusual new product if they had themselves perceived of applications where it would be superior to the M221, or where it would be different in ways that an engineer might find useful.

From physics we know that

- the 1" capsule will mean lower self noise

- although very good, the off-axis response of the 1" will not be as exceptional as the 0.5"

From the frequency graph, we can see that the 1" is ruler flat down to 20Hz, but has a modest dip at very high frequencies.

If, let's say, a recording engineer experienced in using the M221 asked the Gefell team responsible for developing this new model "Aside from instances where I need the lower noise floor of the new 1" mic, in what kind of situations should I use the 1" instead of the 0.5" M221 and what will the new mic bring me in those applications?", what would be the Gefell response? Fascinated to know what Gefell themselves see as its raison d'etre!
The M102 came about through a University doing experiments in 3D recording and came up with a rig of 9 microphones - five M 102 on the lower level and four M 221 on the upper level.

They were actually using the measurement versions for their experiments, but when a Gefell realised that the MK102 was also an excellent capsule for recording, they decided to also release it as a recording mic.

A pair of M 102 will be going to Sound On Sound for Review after AES Dublin later this month and the M 221 will go with them so the reviewer can do a direct comparison.
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