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Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!
Old 5th January 2011
  #91
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Audio Child's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
Nah. That mic was "mod'd at the factory" - what could I do? In today's downscaled music business you're right that selling 10 or so units is a hit!
Don't recall myself saying 10 and hit in the same sentence but anyhow the market is changing so rapidly how can everyone keep up ?
Old 5th January 2011
  #92
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Oops. My bad. You said it was a "hit mic" (period). I added the sales figures in from memory - my apologies. I didn't mean to put words in your mouth. Lord knows that's one of my hot buttons! So I really do apologize.
Old 5th January 2011
  #93
Gear Head
 

Jim, then wouldn't it make sense to just purchase some of these mics direct and do your mod from the get go. The end product would be about $250 less.
And as I've asked earlier, what do you do with the upgraded parts that Stellar already put in? I assume those aren't cheap throwaways.

My whole issue is, I thought Stellar was already doing a great mod, and from what everyone is saying, he is. But now there's gonna be an even better mod, for an additional $650, roughly the cost of buying 3 mics total. That's not even close to the same mic, and is actually a new thing all together.
That sorta puts the mic in a whole different price bracket, with a lot of contenders, and at that point, it's pretty much one of JJ Audios mics from his website, all over 1k, is it not?
In other words, what makes it a chinese mic at that point? the body?
Not trying to start an argument, it's just at that point were comparing apples and oranges.

Oh the slippery slope...
Old 5th January 2011
  #94
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Oh my spider sense is tingling!

Tension.......
Old 5th January 2011
  #95
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This whole forum is about gear, right? And for the most part there is a focus on upgrading- the quest to make things 'better.' So why start arguing about it now?

I don't see any difference here. If you want to skip the Stellar, and get a 1050 and get THAT modded instead- go ahead!

The mic mod guys like to tinker! That's their deal. It's their calling. I say let them enjoy what they do and let the market decide on what makes sense or not. But to get all uptight about what these guys should or should not be doing seems immature.

I think Kidvybes has a passion for these 'bang for buck' mics, and has done a real nice job presenting them. BUT...I feel that when he introduced the phrase 'pre-modded,' he inadvertently opened up a can of worms. Because now you're wondering why in the world you'd get something that has been modded, modded again!

Instead, I would say that these Stellar CM6's are a new microphone. And some entrepreneurial engineers will see if they can make a good thing better. I say have at it!

This is just like the 2003a thread. A mic that everyone was cheering was great. Then along comes a modder (in that case, M.Joly) who says he can make it even better. Cool. Make it better.

Isn't that what everyone wants?
Old 5th January 2011
  #96
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For really budget minded folks who don't have the $$$$ for the JJ mod, or maybe not even the $350 for the CM6, the stock 1050 (same mic as the CM6 less kydbybes "premods") sounds pretty dam good for $200-225.

I was actually surprised how good it sounded before sending mine to Michael to do his U48 mod. (I only tried it on my voice, and my voice needs some upper mid push to cut so it is no doubt bright, but certainly not obtrusively so.) I like the modded version much better, but the stock mic was no slouch. (Don't need a vocal mic for ME anyway. That's a total waste. heh) Definitely a good deal IMO. You can always have it upgraded later if you desire.
Old 5th January 2011
  #97
Gear Maniac
 

I think we should wait until the CM-6 upgrade is done by JJ Audio, and judge for ourselves if the upgrade is worth the money. Hopefully they will be Audio files for us to compare the before and after examples.
Old 5th January 2011
  #98
Gear Head
 

So, it's $200 for the basic model,
$350 for the upgraded Stellar model,
$700 for the Joly model, and $900-$1000 for the JJ Audio model?

Wow.
I'd love to hear them side by side in a room.
Old 5th January 2011
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the vault View Post
So, it's $200 for the basic model,
$350 for the upgraded Stellar model,
$700 for the Joly model, and $900-$1000 for the JJ Audio model?

Wow.
I'd love to hear them side by side in a room.
I would no go by those figures but hey lets think of it that way.
Old 5th January 2011
  #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the vault View Post
$700 for the Joly model
I paid $575 all in for my MJ1050. + shipping to Oktavamod.
Old 5th January 2011
  #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the vault View Post
So, it's $200 for the basic model,
$350 for the upgraded Stellar model,
$700 for the Joly model, and $900-$1000 for the JJ Audio model?

Wow.
I'd love to hear them side by side in a room.
I agree, a shootout between those 3 mic's would be a great idea. Do you have a moded 1050?
Old 5th January 2011
  #102
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illacov's Avatar
 

Talking

Here are some recommendations that you can DIY for the Stellar CM6:

The output transformer can be replaced with a transformer of a similar ratio (6.5:1 or 7:1).

So a simple google search pulls up a few noteworthy candidates.

Cinemag CM2461 NiCo

Tab Funkenwerk T47

Lundahl LL1576 (wired backwords in parallel), see the pdf for the wiring diagram.

http://www.lundahl.se/pdfs/datash/1576_77.pdf

All of these transformers offer an improvement over the stock unit. We will be posting clips of the upgraded transformer in the near future, when we demo the stock mic vs the modded mic. Transformers matter.

Jim has also commented that the 2.2 uf (microfarad) transformer coupling capacitor can be easily upgraded with a 1 uf (microfarad) Mundorf film capacitor.

Soldering irons ready? On your marks, get set, GO!hehheh

Peace
Illumination
Old 5th January 2011
  #103
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1ManBand's Avatar
 

im trying to decide between this mic and the avantone cv12
Old 5th January 2011
  #104
Gear Head
 

Ok then, so, it's $200 for the basic model,
$350 for the upgraded Stellar model,
$575 for the Joly model without a transformer upgrade, and $900-$1000 for the JJ Audio model with the transformer upgrade.

Didn't someone else also have an upgrade for this mic, Roxdon, ISK or Advanced Audio?
Old 5th January 2011
  #105
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Audio Child's Avatar
 

Dave from Advanced Audio mentioned some modding options if i recall correct ?
Old 5th January 2011
  #106
Registered User
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by the vault View Post
Ok then, so, it's $200 for the basic model,
$350 for the upgraded Stellar model,
$575 for the Joly model without a transformer upgrade, and $900-$1000 for the JJ Audio model with the transformer upgrade.
Not really. The Stellar is NOT a 1050 with mods. It is simply a new mic.

This idea that mics are 'pre-modded' when they are manufactured is a misnomer. They are not pre-modded. They are new mics with different design components. Perhaps to be modded after production.

What exactly is the point here? Are you chasing components or sound?
Old 5th January 2011
  #107
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by the vault View Post
Ok then, so, it's $200 for the basic model,
$350 for the upgraded Stellar model,
$575 for the Joly model without a transformer upgrade, and $900-$1000 for the JJ Audio model with the transformer upgrade.

Didn't someone else also have an upgrade for this mic, Roxdon, ISK or Advanced Audio?
Our mod offers hand skinned European capsules, hand made transformers from Cinemag and Tab Funkenwerk, audiophile capacitors and NOS tubes. We also do work to the circuit and PSU in the CM6.

Just wanted to clarify that we are doing more than upgrading the transformer.

Each of these parts is a proven component made by some of the best companies on the planet. We utilize them for obvious reasons.

The initial modifications are an arrangement of better Chinese manufactured components and configurations. This is public information.

What we are seeking to do is to offer boutique quality European and American sourced components that are found in the world's finest microphones to the general public.

There are distinct levels of modification - a mod is indeed a broad range of options and cost factor is directly tied to the battle plan and the outcome.


Again we will be posting clips of stock vs modded soon.

Thanks

Peace
Illumination
Old 5th January 2011
  #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slaphappy View Post
Not really. The Stellar is NOT a 1050 with mods. It is simply a new mic.

This idea that mics are 'pre-modded' when they are manufactured is a misnomer. They are not pre-modded.
heh heh That's a whole thread unto itself. And I tend to agree with you. But certainly the "pre-modded" mic frenzy contingent that's off the hook in the Low End forum would not agree.

I mean, what makes a mic a mic? How many parts need to be different? 1, 2, 10? When does it become a "new" or different mic? Does a body change make it different? Different color? Are all dynamic mics really the same mic? Ribbons? I'm getting confused.....

And what about modders who change out components differently on every mic they do? Should they even have model names? Or just do custom orders based on client needs?

It's all so confusing. I think I'll just go USE some mics for awhile.....
Old 5th January 2011
  #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
heh heh That's a whole thread unto itself. And I tend to agree with you. But certainly the "pre-modded" mic frenzy contingent that's off the hook in the Low End forum would not agree.

I mean, what makes a mic a mic? How many parts need to be different? 1, 2, 10? When does it become a "new" or different mic? Does a body change make it different? Different color? Are all dynamic mics really the same mic? Ribbons? I'm getting confused.....

And what about modders who change out components differently on every mic they do? Should they even have model names? Or just do custom orders based on client needs?

It's all so confusing. I think I'll just go USE some mics for awhile.....
This is more for everyone and not just you drBill......

I asked the same question in the other thread that got so heated up

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/6105107-post98.html

So now it's come up again. I guess it's all in how you want to look at it. As Langston said in his reply to me, "Of course there's mods and then there's MODS". Ok, so kidvybes considers this mic to be "pre-modded" due to the superior components offered over the stock one, and I can't disagree. It's his definition. But I think there's either a misunderstanding of what his considerations are for his definition, or skepticism about the mic, or just a downright loathing of it for some reason.

I watched the same thing go on with the 2003A. It wasn't long ago, no one here was talking about it. Now, it's the gotta get, gotta have, gotta own a locker full of em...LOW END MIC OF THE CENTURY. I like em, don't get me wrong, but there was a couple of things I tried with them that didn't take well. Low toms being one. My son's guitar cab being another.

So I ask:
Why should the CM-6 not be shown the same consideration if it's a good mic with superior components?
Is it because it's not produced on a grand scale by a more recognizable manufacturer?
Is it because some of the superior components are not superior enough?
Why was the 2003A not met with this amount of skepticism?

Just curious.

Everybody feel free to chime in with why you feel any thread involving this mic is drawing so much scrutiny from the moderators and ire from the posters.

Cheers drBill!
Mitchell
Old 5th January 2011
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs2xs View Post
Ok, so kidvybes considers this mic to be "pre-modded" due to the superior components offered over the stock one, and I can't disagree. It's his definition. But I think there's either a misunderstanding of what his considerations are for his definition, or skepticism about the mic, or just a downright loathing of it for some reason.
...let me simply re-state where the term "pre-modded" came from:
...mics that were previously aftermarket modded by the modders on their workbenches (for example the AA CM-47 and the Stellar CM-6) are now being manufactured in China with those very same modifications and upgrades already implemented at the factory level...simple enough?...
Old 5th January 2011
  #111
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bash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs2xs View Post

Everybody feel free to chime in with why you feel any thread involving this mic is drawing so much scrutiny from the moderators and ire from the posters.

Mitchell
Simply because the cheerleading/crossposting/redundant threads appeared so fast and from just a few posters to raise an eyebrow from me, and those posts came right on the heels of a falling out of sorts between said posters and Mr. Joly. To me, anyway, it appeared that the CM-6 was being used as a lever of sorts against Mr. Joly.

Add in the sudden intensity of promotion for the CM-6 and a little bell was going off that a hidden agenda/conflict of interest might be involved. That suspicion (coupled with the lack of promotion/introduction from the importer/designer himself) squelched any sort of knee-jerk lust I normally would have felt for the CM-6.

It's probably a fine mic and I'll keep an open mind when more owners post opinions and clips.

Just my read. No clue if there's any substance to that gut feeling but the feeling alone was enough to back me away until further information is available.
Old 5th January 2011
  #112
Registered User
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...let me simply re-state where the term "pre-modded" came from:
...mics that were previously aftermarket modded by the modders on their workbenches (for example the AA CM-47 and the Stellar CM-6) are now being manufactured in China with those very same modifications and upgrades already implemented at the factory level...simple enough?...
The only problem with this is when they start pre-modding these pre-modded mics at the factory. What do we call them then? Second generation pre-mods?

Yep- simple enough.

Just wait until MJ unveils his line of pre-modded Chinese mics. Then we'll really see the tangle when he offers his mods on his pre-mods, and then JJ mods those mods.

The MJ double JJ pre-mod mod.
Old 5th January 2011
  #113
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs2xs View Post
This is more for everyone and not just you drBill......
There are only a handful of "original" mics in existence. All the other mics are just copies and mods off the original designs (ie: "MODS") :

crystal, ribbon, dynamic, condenser, pressure zone, and a few others.

There is very little (if any) original/creative stuff going on these days that is hitting the market. Just a bunch of copying - changes, tweaks, "mods" and "refinement". It's pretty much the general consensus that MOST of the great mics/designs are all 30-50+ years old. (Hence all the recreations that abound) Expensive German labor and corporate buyouts have prohibited great new designs or innovation from that sector while cheap Chinese labor and startup companies copying what came before them have flooded the market with new options on the other end of the scale.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to replace or swap out components. All you really need to know is where to source the replacement parts and which ones to swap out. You can copy someone else, or you can study, learn and design, or you can guess and experiment. Whether said replacements are as good (just different), better or worse than the original design depends on your application, your budget, and mostly on who's doing the replacement. There are scarce few designers that REALLY understand and know how to make microphones from the ground up. We all know who they are.

THEY are the master imitators. Everyone else is just an average imitator. If they disagree with me, then I'd love to see their innovative new microphone design. The most innovative thing I've seen recently is AEA's new supercardiod KU4, and it's not even original. (Copy of a classic lesser known RCA mic of old.)

So really, everything out there for sale today is "pre-modded" if you want to call it that. It's all semantics. Call em what you like. To me, "pre-modded" is nothing more than manufacturers saying "maybe we should build a better product - the market looks like it's shifting upscale a bit. Who should we copy?". End of story.

If they are copying from the guys modding cheap mics or copying from the german masters, they are still just copying. Its all shifting bottom lines vs. perceived value in upscale components. I don't see why all the hoopla. The market is just moving a tad bit upscale. $350 may become the norm instead of 200. Is that good or bad? Depends on your perspective and pocketbook I guess.
Old 5th January 2011
  #114
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illacov's Avatar
 

Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
There are only a handful of "original" mics in existence. All the other mics are just copies and mods off the original designs (ie: "MODS") :

crystal, ribbon, dynamic, condenser, pressure zone, and a few others.

There is very little (if any) original/creative stuff going on these days that is hitting the market. Just a bunch of copying - changes, tweaks, "mods" and "refinement". It's pretty much the general consensus that MOST of the great mics/designs are all 30-50+ years old. (Hence all the recreations that abound) Expensive German labor and corporate buyouts have prohibited great new designs or innovation from that sector while cheap Chinese labor and startup companies copying what came before them have flooded the market with new options on the other end of the scale.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to replace or swap out components. All you really need to know is where to source the replacement parts and which ones to swap out. You can copy someone else, or you can study, learn and design, or you can guess and experiment. Whether said replacements are as good (just different), better or worse than the original design depends on your application, your budget, and mostly on who's doing the replacement. There are scarce few designers that REALLY understand and know how to make microphones from the ground up. We all know who they are.

THEY are the master imitators. Everyone else is just an average imitator. If they disagree with me, then I'd love to see their innovative new microphone design. The most innovative thing I've seen recently is AEA's new supercardiod KU4, and it's not even original. (Copy of a classic lesser known RCA mic of old.)

So really, everything out there for sale today is "pre-modded" if you want to call it that. It's all semantics. Call em what you like. To me, "pre-modded" is nothing more than manufacturers saying "maybe we should build a better product - the market looks like it's shifting upscale a bit. Who should we copy?". End of story.

If they are copying from the guys modding cheap mics or copying from the german masters, they are still just copying. Its all shifting bottom lines vs. perceived value in upscale components. I don't see why all the hoopla. The market is just moving a tad bit upscale. $350 may become the norm instead of 200. Is that good or bad? Depends on your perspective and pocketbook I guess.
I feel like there's still quite a bit of creative engineering going on out there.

You're right it isn't hard to source components and install them, so since its established that its easy, why don't we see more of it? We know there are better transformers, better capsules, better capacitors and better tubes out there if a company is willing to source them and provide them in their product as part of the platform. I don't see where the disconnect is at.

For example, Andreas Grosser mentioned that one of the biggest problems with modern tube mic designs is in the PSU. So far I only know of one other company besides JJ Audio that does any work to the Chinese PSUs. If it is so simple and remedial to do this, then why is it not done more often by more people/companies? The PSU is the engine of a tube mic, why would you put rims and sport suspension on a car with a bad engine? Does anybody remember the thread when one bad Chinese PSU destroyed a guy's recording chain?


Here's what my dad Dr. Masingale taught me a long time ago:

"It takes a lot less effort to dismiss an issue and offer an alternative, than it does to actually solve the original problem."

So I give credit where credit is due.

Scott Dorsey modded the Oktava 219/319 platform with better components and tweaking and started a major trend. The premise was simple enough, but it took his genius to do it.

Jim Jacobsen reintroduced the 6AU6A tube mic platform to the general public at a low pricepoint and now that mic is used by a multiplatinum recording artist. The premise was simple enough, but it took his genius to do it.

Andreas Grosser offers FET and glass tube replacement components for the VF14 (antique and rare tube used in the Neumann U47), the premise is simple enough but it took his genius to do it.

Ben Sneesby introduced his K7 capsule and received an awesome review from the famous Klaus Heynes (no slouch in the mods department himself).

Greg Scott (ubk) is just a genius, his gear, his philosophy, AWESOME.
etc, etc etc

I mean really if you look around guys, there's innovation at every turn, you just have to open your eyes to it.

Peace
Illumination
Old 5th January 2011
  #115
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Dirk Parker's Avatar
Just Saying

I'm just gonna say how great this Mic sounds. I have had it for a few days now, and it has sounded great on everything I've thrown at it. Mostly though, I'm a singer, and most importantly this mic sounds nice on my voice. (I think) haha

I'll post a clip of me singing with the mic really soon (I don't know how to export my stinkin' audio out of Sonar...) ugh...

But this mic sounds good! I OWN one! heh
Old 6th January 2011
  #116
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Well Langston, glad to see you're hitting the books. As someone new to this game its understandable you might have missed some 'ancient history'. In fact, it wasn't long ago you that were picking my brain via email as a "potential client".

As to ancient history - the late Stephen Paul is widely acknowledged as the father of the mic mod movement. His work on microphone design was published in MIX magazine over 20 years ago. He recovered and improved upon, by reverse engineering and his own research and development, techniques and technologies Neumann themselves had forgotten about or had not yet advanced to (3, and 0.9 micron diaphragm are just one example). He was active for at least a decade before publishing those seminal MiX mag articles before revealing his discoveries. Unfortunately, near the end of his life, he pulled his very informative and colorful posts to the most popular gear forum prior to Gearslutz because of the increasing hostility he was subjected to from a less informed audience. So just about all we have left to enjoy are his MIX mag articles. But believe me - he spilled the beans in detail and I'm lucky enough to have saved many of his posts from 10-15 years ago - recognizing in them his true pioneering genius.

You do mention in passing Klaus Heyne ("no slouch" in your words). Rather than being "no slouch", Klaus is another pioneering monster in the field of microphone upgrades. I dare say his A level client list is one that has not been matched yet.

And where is David Josephson and Wes Dooley? I could go on, but you get the point.

In my humble opinion, it is laughable that you include JJ Audio in a list of microphone "geniuses". But then again, your youth and a shortsighted view of the world can't be faulted for what they are.

btw - While Scott Dorsey did publish his work in Recording Magazine in 2002 or so, my own commercial work precedes his publication dates (my first commercial sale of a modified MK-219 was in 1995) and involved solving acoustical and electrical issues with the 219 microphone not covered by Mr. Dorsey when he first published his "plug and play" article much later.
Old 6th January 2011
  #117
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While I deeply respect all of the mic modders and their sympathisants and their efforts in audio world, - inspite all the arguments that have lead to the closing of another Stellar CM-6 thread - I'd like this one to actually go on with sound samples and first hand/ear user comments so I can firmly decide whether or not I should buy it, or buy it then mod it/ have it modded, or choose an altogether different LDC.

To remain on the derailed topic, I would love to have a good read on microphone modding history, from various sources, just maybe in it's own dedicated GS thread.

Thanks guys, but most of all Kidvybes for pointing to this seemingly/likely great product.

SD.
Old 6th January 2011
  #118
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ManBand View Post
im trying to decide between this mic and the avantone cv12
That there is a great comment! And I'd love to know what you guys think!

This is more relevant to the original post then mic modding history...heh
Old 6th January 2011
  #119
Registered User
 

Yep- Let's keep it on topic. If MJ and JJ want to duel it out, then they can start their own (award winning) thread.

So, let's hear some more sound clips from those of you who pulled the trigger on this mic, and less about the mods and the modders making those mods, lest the moderators pull THIS thread as well (isn't that what happened to the last thread?).
Old 6th January 2011
  #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...let me simply re-state where the term "pre-modded" came from:
...mics that were previously aftermarket modded by the modders on their workbenches (for example the AA CM-47 and the Stellar CM-6) are now being manufactured in China with those very same modifications and upgrades already implemented at the factory level...simple enough?...
To me, yes, absolutely. But, as some of the posts indicate, others were apparently misunderstanding your definition.

Cheers!
Mitchell
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