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Matched pair... half dozen of one, 6.000000001 of the other?
Old 17th October 2013
Gear Addict
kirkbross's Avatar
Matched pair... half dozen of one, 6.000000001 of the other?

So I was looking at a pair of C214s online and they are $400 individually and $900 for a factory matched pair. I suppose the extra cost for the matched pair might be for the case and extra accessories it comes with, but I would like to understand the concept of matched mics better.

Is there a single human on earth who can tell if a source was recorded with an "unmatched" pair of mics vs. a matched pair? (and guess correctly repeatedly). I consider myself an audio geek, having owned a lot of high end outboard, but matched pairs seems like the height of audio geekery(?)
Old 17th October 2013
Lives for gear

It depends on what you're doing with the pair. Spaced pair of overheads? Won't matter. M-S? Won't matter. Blumlein, xy, etc.? It will matter.

The extra cost in a factory matched pair has more to do with the time and extra testing all of the components and the mics went through.

On something like a pair of C214's with a fixed cardiod pattern, I don't see the benefit.
Old 18th October 2013
Here for the gear

I'm still an amateur, and even that might be generous. But at the studio I work at, we have plenty of individual mics as well as stereo matched ones. We have a stereo pair of KM100's. We also have individual KM100's. I asked myself the same thing and mic'd a few things, exactly the same way, with matched and unmatched mics. I could absolutely hear it. It just sounds more "in" and "together" to me. It sounds stereo instead of two mono tracks being panned. I don't consider it to be "the height of audio-geekery" really. I've had clients lecture me about stereo matched mics. I don't even want to know what experienced engineers would say.

I found some articles that I read when I first made the mistakes.
Q. Is a matched pair of mics necessary for stereo recording?

"With two dissimilar (or poorly matched) mics, what you will hear instead is the image wander or flick about, often with different frequency components appearing to come from different places — sibilants from the left and fundamentals from the right, for example. The image will sound unstable and poorly defined." - From the article.
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