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Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!
Old 24th December 2010
  #1
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Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!

please refer to the tags at the bottom for other similar threads - moderator

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Stellar CM-6 EF86/EF806 Tube Condensor Microphone - eBay (item 130461480943 end time Jan-01-11 12:33:12 PST)

Last thread was derailed. Let's try again, and perhaps do our best to keep it as civil as our tiny little hearts can muster.

I believe we left off with a pending microphone comparison studio session. Looking forward to it!!!
Old 24th December 2010
  #2
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slaphappy View Post
Stellar CM-6 EF86/EF806 Tube Condensor Microphone - eBay (item 130461480943 end time Jan-01-11 12:33:12 PST)

Last thread was derailed. Let's try again, and perhaps do our best to keep it as civil as our tiny little hearts can muster.

I believe we left off with a pending microphone comparison studio session. Looking forward to it!!!

hows it stand against the stock the aphex 460?
Old 24th December 2010
  #3
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcimple View Post
hows it stand against the stock the aphex 460?
...unlike the Apex 460, the CM-6 is not a "stock" mic...it has an upgraded capsule, transformer, and a modified EF86 tube circuit with a premium TungSol EF806 tube...so it's very similar to the Apex 460 or Nady 1050, BUT, all the preferred mods/upgrades have already been implemented...

...more info here:https://www.gearslutz.com/board/low-e...end-watch.html
and here:
Wanna Tube Mic To Go With Your PRE-73?...
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/new-p...icrophone.html
Attached Thumbnails
Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!-stellarcm6jpeg.jpg   Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!-stellarcm-6case.jpg  
Old 24th December 2010
  #4
Gear Head
 

Hey kid, I noticed you mentioned the Lundahl trans and capsule upgrade on the Stellar in the other thread.
Are you saying that's an option that HE has, or the manufacturer he buys from?
Did you get any prices BTW?
Old 24th December 2010
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the vault View Post
Hey kid, I noticed you mentioned the Lundahl trans and capsule upgrade on the Stellar in the other thread.
Are you saying that's an option that HE has, or the manufacturer he buys from?
Did you get any prices BTW?
...no, what I said is that the Chinese manufacturer is now offering those options to their clients...whether Peter at Stellar implements these options down the road is of course, his call...
...but it must be understood, that when considering "cost to performance" ratios, the CM-6 is firmly "in the zone" at $350...

...on a similar note, Jim at JJ Audio is putting together some premium upgrades specifically chosen for the CM-6 which will elevate this mic to serious "boutique" status, while still keeping the total cost well within a reasonable range...
Old 24th December 2010
  #6
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Patterns & Speaking

Don't know if this was the best way to do this. I tried maintaining an equal meter and timbre, but I found my self a couple of times focusing on something else and getting out of whack a bit. But, it'll give those who are wondering and idea anyway, I hope. They really do sound close if anyone is wanting a pair.

Cheers Fellers!
Mitchell
Attached Files

CM-6 Mic #1 Pattern Test.mp3 (6.55 MB, 4554 views)

CM-6 Mic #2 Pattern Test.mp3 (6.55 MB, 3655 views)

Old 24th December 2010
  #7
Gear Head
 

Quote:
...on a similar note, Jim at JJ Audio is putting together some premium upgrades specifically chosen for the CM-6 which will elevate this mic to serious "boutique" status, while still keeping the total cost well within a reasonable range...
thats interesting...does he have one yet to analyze and hear? I'm curious what he plans for it.
I thought the capsule in the Stellar was considered one of the good ones China churns out, as is, the same that the modders are using as upgrades?

I'm also wondering when we'll reach a point when the schematic tweaker in China has utilized all the upgrade mods the US guys are doing, and there won't BE anything more to upgrade.
Seems like it gets a little closer each day.
Old 24th December 2010
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the vault View Post
I'm also wondering when we'll reach a point when the schematic tweaker in China has utilized all the upgrade mods the US guys are doing, and there won't BE anything more to upgrade.
Seems like it gets a little closer each day.
That's what we were discussing in another thread, and maybe they will for a small number of mics at first. Once the market catches on and the pricing equilibrium is reached, the mics with the better compononents should win out demand wise (at least that's the theory). As long as they don't get greedy and start overcharging. Then it's be back to cheaper mics and mods. We shall see, but I'm with you, it won't be too far away.

Cheers!
Mitchell
Old 24th December 2010
  #9
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by the vault View Post
thats interesting...does he have one yet to analyze and hear? I'm curious what he plans for it.
I thought the capsule in the Stellar was considered one of the good ones China churns out, as is, the same that the modders are using as upgrades?
...yes, the stock 35mm 6-micron mylar K-67 capsule in the CM-6 is very good and a big step up from the stock Nady and Apex capsules...what Jim is considering is a capsule and transformer swap of the absolute highest quality...I'll wait for him to be more specific, but we're talking serious "boutique" level components...

...here is the quick raw vocal snippet I did the other day, along with the riddim track...the vocal was tracked very close to take advantage of the CM-6's great proximity effect...as you get closer to the mic, the mic really warms up and sibilance is reduced (remember, the capsule is mounted high, so that the top crossbar of the headbasket intersects the capsule's exposure, reducing essi-ness)...you can download the 2 MP3 tracks, import them into your DAW and create your own mix treatment...

...the third track is illacov's "qwik-mix" for the tracks...

...I hope to have some female vocals up after the holiday!...

...and the riddim track is the work of another truly talented GS member, Funny Cat, who is working with me on Adam's (the singer) project...Musical Blessings!...
Attached Files

CM6vocalMP3.mp3 (1.41 MB, 4636 views)

CM6riddimMP3.mp3 (1.41 MB, 3751 views)

QwikMix.mp3 (1.93 MB, 4164 views)

Old 25th December 2010
  #10
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illacov's Avatar
 

Talking

Thanks for the airplay kidvybes! LOL

As far as the boutique upgrades, I'm talking best possible parts on a great starter platform.

What we're proposing (still brainstorming) is:


New K67/K47 capsule from the best house on the planet.

Sick transformer from one of the best sources around.

Circuit tweaks/improvements and then some.

And make it Crazy Eddie affordable.

BTW I highly highly highly recommend a NOS EF86. They are definitely worth the coin.

Peace
Illumination
Old 25th December 2010
  #11
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mhs2xs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
As far as the boutique upgrades, I'm talking best possible parts on a great starter platform.

What we're proposing (still brainstorming) is:

New K67/K47 capsule from the best house on the planet.

Sick transformer from one of the best sources around.

Circuit tweaks/improvements and then some.

And make it Crazy Eddie affordable.

BTW I highly highly highly recommend a NOS EF86. They are definitely worth the coin.

Peace
Illumination
Kidvybes has the Valvo and the Amperex I believe, which are also the tubes that BOWIE suggested to me (early Amperex he said). Is there anything else we maybe should be looking at? Tesla?

Let us know what the final verdict is on what y'all want to do and I'll consider it....TWICE. Hope Eddie does show up, I'm about tapped out....

Cheers!
Mitchell
Old 26th December 2010
  #12
Gear Addict
 

love the asr-10 drums. sounds like the old gal anyway. ha!
Old 26th December 2010
  #13
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Respect!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...

...here is the quick raw vocal snippet I did the other day, along with the riddim track...the vocal was tracked very close to take advantage of the CM-6's great proximity effect...as you get closer to the mic, the mic really warms up and sibilance is reduced (remember, the capsule is mounted high, so that the top crossbar of the headbasket intersects the capsule's exposure, reducing essi-ness)...you can download the 2 MP3 tracks, import them into your DAW and create your own mix treatment...

...the third track is illacov's "qwik-mix" for the tracks...

...I hope to have some female vocals up after the holiday!...


@ Kidvybes...hehthumbsup
Old 26th December 2010
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs2xs View Post
Don't know if this was the best way to do this. I tried maintaining an equal meter and timbre, but I found my self a couple of times focusing on something else and getting out of whack a bit. But, it'll give those who are wondering and idea anyway, I hope. They really do sound close if anyone is wanting a pair.

Cheers Fellers!
Mitchell

It's a pitty, I won't be able to hear these till I get back home next week... vacation is so good my friends... I love the peace and tranquility!

MUCH LOVE AND A VERY MERRY 2nd DAY OF CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!!
min
Old 26th December 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
As far as the boutique upgrades ... New K67/K47 capsule from the best house on the planet ... Sick transformer from one of the best sources around ... Circuit tweaks/improvements and then some ... And make it Crazy Eddie affordable ... BTW I highly highly highly recommend a NOS EF86.
Langston, you sure know how to get Slutz excited !!

Which REALLY begs the Question ... How affordable is Crazy Eddie affordable?

$200-400? $400-600? $600-800?

Whatever price it is, it Sounds like a Freaking Incredible Description.
Old 26th December 2010
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
@ Kidvybes...hehthumbsup
...Giving Thanks for your hard work and musical inspirations!...also nuff thanks to Gearslutz for making these bi-coastal musical collaborations possible...
Old 26th December 2010
  #17
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

...yesterday I had the pleasure of a Christmas visit from one of the premier reggae artists in S.FL, and so, I took the liberty of asking him to "touch the mic", to give another example of the Stellar CM-6's tonal quality...this artist's voice has a timbre very common in reggae music (think Shaggy, Shabba, etc)...

...again, these are raw, untreated vocal clips, this time backing off the mic and delivering a more laid-back vocal (so less proximity, and more gain from the preamp...same chain: CM-6 > GR ME1-NV > Echo Audiofire 4 > PC Cubase)...
...riddim track (Germany's premier reggae band, "Seeed") is also provided, so anyone interested in downloading the files and making their own test mix...

...third track is a Quik-Mix from my partner...
Attached Files

BradleyCM6.mp3 (688.9 KB, 4158 views)

Bradleyriddim.mp3 (1.47 MB, 3703 views)

Bradley CM-6 vox and music mix mp3.mp3 (1.02 MB, 4020 views)

Old 26th December 2010
  #18
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post

...again, these are raw, untreated vocal clips, this time backing off the mic and delivering a more laid-back vocal (so less proximity, and more gain from the preamp...same chain: CM-6 > GR ME1-NV > Echo Audiofire 4 > PC Cubase)...
...riddim track (Germany's premier reggae band, "Seeed") is also provided, so anyone interested in downloading the files and making their own test mix...

Played with it for about ten minutes at the table while snacking & surfing on GS on my Dell Mini Inspiron laptop, listening on very, very cheap headphones . Mixed it using REAPER and all REAPER stock plugs.

I have to say...the mic is smooth for sure!
Attached Files

Bradley_CM-6_Test mix.mp3 (828.4 KB, 3665 views)

Old 26th December 2010
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

The Stellar CM-6 is killer on male vocals. I will post some female vocals in a few days. Great post Kidvybes keep up the great work.
Old 26th December 2010
  #20
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

...here's a couple of examples of those same two vocal snippets with very simple treatment (a touch of compression and some very typical vocal reverb that might be used in a mix track like this)...no major tweaks necessary...
Attached Files

Adamtreated.mp3 (1.00 MB, 3869 views)

Bradleytreated.mp3 (815.3 KB, 3790 views)

Old 27th December 2010
  #21
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs2xs View Post
That's what we were discussing in another thread, and maybe they will for a small number of mics at first. Once the market catches on and the pricing equilibrium is reached, the mics with the better compononents should win out demand wise (at least that's the theory). As long as they don't get greedy and start overcharging. Then it's be back to cheaper mics and mods. We shall see, but I'm with you, it won't be too far away.

Cheers!
Mitchell
To be honest for some reason that is depressing to me. It seems like a great thing - good quality mics for less money. But I have been having so much fun getting into electronics and modding my own gear!!!

Maybe people should put copyright their modifications somehow so the chinese companies can't snap them up from us. Haha.

(this entire post is half-serious by the way. )
Old 27th December 2010
  #22
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illacov's Avatar
 

Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by stupid_life View Post
To be honest for some reason that is depressing to me. It seems like a great thing - good quality mics for less money. But I have been having so much fun getting into electronics and modding my own gear!!!

Maybe people should put copyright their modifications somehow so the chinese companies can't snap them up from us. Haha.

(this entire post is half-serious by the way. )
Trust me these mics are a worthwhile improvement over the standard fare from China, however, it still gets better from there.

Peace
Illumination
Old 27th December 2010
  #23
Registered User
 

Edit: I'm still thinking about this one...
Old 27th December 2010
  #24
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
Trust me these mics are a worthwhile improvement over the standard fare from China, however, it still gets better from there.

Peace
Illumination
...and better is still affordable too!...
Old 27th December 2010
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

I have to agree with kidvybes. The top end and the mid on the CM-6 is as smooth as it get. I have to question your monitoring system if i may? I've demo the vocals on headphones, and on my dynaudio monitors in a treated room all sound great. AAAAA+++++ for the Stellar CM-6
Old 27th December 2010
  #26
Gear Nut
 

CM47SE

We have been using this body for a 2-3 years now for our CM47 and CM47SE microphones. The CM-6 has a 1.07" /35mm OD capsule with 6 micron diaphragms and it was designed by John Peluso with the help of Verner Ruvalds who was a physicist for Georg Neuman.

It was Peter at Stellar that turned me onto the Chinese factory that made these bodies and I was able to get the factory to make all the other changes I required to build our modernized CM47 version and the more vintage CM47SE version of the original Neumann 47.

Incidently, the Chinese factory asked me to do a bit of consulting on the CM-6 for Peter which I was glad to do.

We use selected version of the same 1.07" capsule in our CM47 but we use a exact replication of the original K47 capsule used in the original U47 and M49 in our CM47SE.

Our CM47SE was recently used by Jacquire King to record background vocals on the new Kings of Leon CD and also in front of the bass amp.

In the CM47 and CM47SE we deviate from the original Neumann circuit easily emulated by the EF86/EF806 tube circuit by using a two stage circuit which allows us to optimize the LF response, tube linearity and headroom. We are able to get AT LEAST 6db more headroom from the dual stage circuit allowing it to be used in front of the bass amp.

I am not a big fan of the single pentode (wired as a triode) Neumann circuit as the two stage circuit is much more HiFi but China can easily build the older more Vintage sounding circuit or our circuit with the extended headroom.

The bottom line here is that these Chinese made microphones are getting better all the time and the Chinese builders are now listening to experienced recording engineers and techs. I still have to send them tubes for our microphone builds but they are able to source everything else including better capacitors and transformers.

The CM-6 at $350 is probably the best entry level LDC microphone available. The tube is easy to change and the capsule has proven very reliable, consistent and smooth in response. It has a 9 pattern supply like our CM47 which I find invaluable over the original U47 OMNI/CARD only option.

Now, you still have to stay on top of China as we were just shipped some power supplies for our CM47 and CM12 microphones that had a fuse substitution that blew when using the microphones at 120v operation.

However, I caught this pretty quickly and only about 6 power supplies got out with the under-fused supplies but they are covered by our warrantee.

All our microphones are re-tested here in our shop in Canada but the fuse did not blow in every supply. The supply worked perfectly unless there was an access of in-rush current at turn on.

However, I can remember buying a $65,000 Trident Series 80 console back in the 80's that was also under fused for 120v operation. China runs on 220v operation the the power supply would only draw half the a/c current there.

The tube is easily replaced in these microphones and the circuit boards are also easily accessible for repairs of further upgrades.

Our CM47 currently sells for $735 and our CM47SE for $935 but we are out of stock until early February and we are currently on holiday until the middle of January. When we will be working on a new CM67 version for Jacquire King.

We can easily upgrade the CM-6 for folks with our custom K47 capsule for $149 installed which will give it the same response as an original U47 made after 1958. With the stock capsule it is more similar to the U67.


THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR SUPPORTING OUR MICROPHONES OVER THE LAST YEAR AND ALL THE BEST FOR THE NEW YEAR.

Dave Thomas.
Advanced Audio Microphones


Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...unlike the Apex 460, the CM-6 is not a "stock" mic...it has an upgraded capsule, transformer, and a modified EF86 tube circuit with a premium TungSol EF806 tube...so it's very similar to the Apex 460 or Nady 1050, BUT, all the preferred mods/upgrades have already been implemented...

...more info here:https://www.gearslutz.com/board/low-e...end-watch.html
and here:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/new-p...icrophone.html
Old 27th December 2010
  #27
Registered User
 

Hmmm...maybe I was a tad quick on my judgement. I've been knee deep in ribbon mics lately, so I think my ears have been temporarily acclimated to a very tamed high-end.

I guess I just need to get one in hand to really tell- I'll drop Peter a line...
Old 27th December 2010
  #28
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drtaudio View Post
The CM-6 has a 1.07" /35mm OD capsule with 6 micron diaphragms and it was designed by John Peluso with the help of Verner Ruvalds who was a physicist for Georg Neuman.

Incidently, the Chinese factory asked me to do a bit of consulting on the CM-6 for Peter which I was glad to do.

The bottom line here is that these Chinese made microphones are getting better all the time and the Chinese builders are now listening to experienced recording engineers and techs. I still have to send them tubes for our microphone builds but they are able to source everything else including better capacitors and transformers.

The CM-6 at $350 is probably the best entry level LDC microphone available. The tube is easy to change and the capsule has proven very reliable, consistent and smooth in response. It has a 9 pattern supply like our CM47 which I find invaluable over the original U47 OMNI/CARD only option.

Dave Thomas.
Advanced Audio Microphones
...Dave, thank you so much for chiming in here...your input is invaluable, and your support for Peter's product exemplifies your class and integrity...it's not every manufacturer who will recommend a competitor's product (even a "friendly" competitor)...

...I have your CM-47, which I love, and it was the similarity to your product that first drew my attention to Stellar's CM-6...the mics compliment each other and it's products like these that are bringing much greater value to those of us unable to spend thousands for quality gear...thanks for your knowledgeable input!...and sincere wishes for your continued success with Advanced Audio and your "pre-modded" high-quality offerings in the coming New Year!...
Old 27th December 2010
  #29
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs2xs View Post
Kidvybes has the Valvo and the Amperex I believe, which are also the tubes that BOWIE suggested to me (early Amperex he said). Is there anything else we maybe should be looking at? Tesla?

Let us know what the final verdict is on what y'all want to do and I'll consider it....TWICE. Hope Eddie does show up, I'm about tapped out....

Cheers!
Mitchell
...I'm currently running an NOS Valvo E80F in my CM-6...the E80F is a bit taller than the stock EF86 (6267), but it fits nicely inside the mic's cavity...other EF86 brands that seem to get positive reviews (besides Valvo and Amperex) on the Tube Asylum site are of course the Telefunkens (but way overpriced), the Mullards, and the Philips (Miniwatt)...NOS tubes of a 1950's-60's vintage are preferred...here's a link to a vendor with more info:
https://www.tubeworld.com/6267.htm

...more info on the use of the EF86 in tube mics here:
Archive - Tube Choices for U67

...be wary of some of the newer reissue tubes from Tesla/JJ, Electro Harmonix, and the Russian (Svetlana) military version 6J32P tubes that pop up on eBay...also there are alot of Russian made EF86 tubes being re-labelled with the better brand logos (being sold on eBay)...

...Peter has supplied the CM-6 with the new Tung-Sol EF806s re-issue which is the best of the newly manufactured EF86 variants...the tube works fine and sounds good...but if you're interested in trying other tubes, chosr carefully...
Attached Thumbnails
Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!-ef86bug62.jpg   Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!-ef86tel.jpg   Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!-aaa0486.jpg   Stellar cm-6 : best budget tube mic!-6j32p_tube.jpg  
Old 28th December 2010
  #30
Registered User
 

Well, I've asked Stellar twice now if they (Peter) would allow a 3-day satisfaction return period.

No answer both times.

Oh well...
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