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MBHO microphones
Old 2nd July 2010
  #1
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Talking MBHO microphones

Question - MB microphones seem to be very rarely spoken about - but when they are, they always seem to be regarded very highly.

So - have you used them? And, what do you think about them?



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Old 2nd July 2010
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Question - MB microphones seem to be very rarely spoken about - but when they are, they always seem to be regarded very highly.

So - have you used them? And, what do you think about them?
Excellent mics, accessible price, 'expensive' sound!

I've got the new 604 bodies (transformerless) x4 [you can google about them althought they are not listed yet on their official site!?!], and a pair of linear omni (KA100LK), a pair of cardioid (KA200N) and a fig-8 (KA800N-more expensive like the special lolipop/side-oriented cardio/omni).

I just love them, my assistant too, the engineers and technicians that work with me too... but they are quite rare, I admit. I believe that mine are the only ones here in my country.

For my taste they are much better than KM18x, more natural, with a 'darker' (but great!) quality. Very fast response (that's the body, I believe). I would dare to draw some similarities with KM14x, but my experience was limited with such Neumanns.

Do their capsules look just like the modulars from Schoeps? Yes. Do their capsules are the same Schoeps uses? Maybe... I believe the bodies are MB-unique, but I can't say about the capsules, neither if they sound the same (not much experience with Schoeps here yet).

The MB omnis-604 are my first choice for room sound. For solos, they're great too for piano and were *amazing* for cello.

The cardioids are 'go-to' for almost anything incl. harpsichord, lute, cello (spot), vl-vla (spot), ... even stereo pair for voice. The cardio+fig8 is an excellent MS setup, very small and easy to setup with Schoeps stereobar/ms - great to put low, in front of conductors (on those situations that mics can't appear), so you may get some 'dry spot feeling' of strings and woods...

They match very well with pres Millennia (m2b, hv3), Benchmark, but exceed with Grace (201/801). These MBs mix very weel with other expensiver mics (like MKH40, MKH800, C617S).

Drawbacks? Hard to find and to buy. And just one time my MBs picked a huge interference from a motor of a door that opened behind the stage on a concert hall here (so people outside can see too) - but lowline AKGs and Neumann didn't pick it. Later my technician explained that it's because of the 604's small-path/transformerless pure (?) I don't know, but it was an extreme/unique situation.

If I may be of any help, feel free to ask. thumbsup


all the best,
ave.
Old 2nd July 2010
  #3
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Sonic Lush's Avatar
hey John,

I scored an older MBHO Stereo boundary OSS II Jecklin Disc from
Nobtwiddler several years back and I love it!

I've said on here more than once it's a bit noisy, and thus not
great for quiet/critical stuff--

but as an ambient room pickup, drum OH, distant vocal (ala Tina Turner)

really excellent piece of kit.

sincerely,
Walter

Last edited by Sonic Lush; 2nd July 2010 at 09:51 PM.. Reason: we can't all have the same closing "all the best!"
Old 3rd July 2010
  #4
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Teddy Ray's Avatar
 

I had the cardiods in 2004 or so(I forget the model number, the SDC) and I could use them interchangeably with my Schoeps at the time(the mk4). They are very high quality microphones.
Old 3rd July 2010
  #5
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Matti's Avatar
If I remember right mr. Haun worked for Schoeps before starting his own company

Matti
Old 3rd July 2010
  #6
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avebr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy Ray View Post
I had the cardiods in 2004 or so(I forget the model number, the SDC) and I could use them interchangeably with my Schoeps at the time(the mk4). They are very high quality microphones.
WOW! This information is really precious! Thank you so much!

If you give a look both at Schoeps's and MBHO's, you'll find how similar (if not equal!?) they are!
But Schoeps have more variations/types of capsules.

The "MBHO Stereo boundary OSS II Jecklin Disc" that Sonic Lush said is probably MBNM 622 E PZ - electrect condenser, very different design from the modular series - but not bad at all, as he said.

Here's the company profile, but it's very discreet.
The story I know is that they started designing/building capsules for other companies (and they still do that), and sometime they decided to also have their own line of products.

I leave this question: are MBHO capsules the same of Schoeps (Colette)?
And bodies (at least those pre-MBP 604)?


all the best,
ave
Old 3rd July 2010
  #7
Lives for gear
I was a fan of the MBHO... before I really compared them to the big names.
I had the cardio, sub cardio and omni diffuse field capsules with the transformer ourput body.
I discovered with them the Jecklin disk arrangement.
I made some great recordings with them... but had some problems.
The built quality is not the same as Schoeps. The capsule fixing is not marvellous.
Then I had several matching problems which appeared with time. The very good point is that they have a lifetime garantee. So I had 4 capsules exchanged for nothing after several years of use.
Other problem : the quality of the capsules was not very stable. Some were noiser than others (pariculary the sub card).
I made a direct comparison of the cardio with MK4. The sound was very similar in the direct field... but very different in the diffuse field.
So yes they are great, but the competition is hard today and the prices increased in Europe also.
Today, I think that in this middle price range there are better competitors.

John if you have more specific questions, I will try to give you more specific answers
Old 3rd July 2010
  #8
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zoom's Avatar
I wouldn't like to compare MBHO and Schoeps, although the capsules look like brothers and sisters. The reason is: both have just the classical design of a condenser microphone capsule, that's all.
When Mr. Haun (or was it an other developer?) worked for Schoeps, this might be nearly 40yrs ago.

All what I know is: MBHO builds capsules for Brauner Microphones and probably also Audix. Consequently there is no discussion about MBHO's highest quality standard. On the other hand MBHO seems not so be advanced in miniaturizing their circuits and it looks like they are not interested in building up DSP knowledge. So you can't expect a MBHO mic which beats the Schoeps CCM series or the superCMIT, PolarFlex, etc.

If you need a 'classical' small diaphragm condenser mic - the choice between Schoeps and MBHO is first a question of your budget, which requirements do you have reg. flexibility and accessories and last but not least: a it is (like always) matter of taste of course.
Old 3rd July 2010
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoom View Post
If you need a 'classical' small diaphragm condenser mic - the choice between Schoeps and MBHO is first a question of your budget, which requirements do you have reg. flexibility and accessories and last but not least: a it is (like always) matter of taste of course.

I didn't "expect" anything, however, I found them to be, for all intents and purposes, equals. (at least the Mk4 and the MBHO Cardiods)

Both very high quality mics. I would not hesitate to use them.
Old 4th July 2010
  #10
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MBHO (Haun) is a great company and Mr. Haun a great person. The company is known for its capsule design and for custom capsule work. Soundfield, Brauner,
and others contract Haun to make their capsules.

I like the mics and use them regularly here. The ones I use are the transformer amplifier and the rising treble omni. I use them in the Jecklin disk or at distance. The sound is outstanding.

To clear confusion, there is a man in the MBHO organization who used to work with Schoeps. It is not Mr. Haun who used to work with Schoeps. Schoeps makes their own capsules and Haun makes their own (different design) capsules.

I like the fact that they offer both transformer and transformerless mic bodies and they have beautiful large capsule options that also go on these mic bodies.

The USA distributor is Marcus DeMuth in Brooklyn. He can get you anything you need--even internationally. Get in touch with him for a catalog of MBHO mics.

The sound of the mics is excellent.
Old 4th July 2010
  #11
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avebr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
(...)
I like the mics and use them regularly here. The ones I use are the transformer amplifier and the rising treble omni. I use them in the Jecklin disk or at distance. The sound is outstanding.
Is the transformer amplifier MBP 648 (+ KA 100 DK omni)?

Quote:
To clear confusion, there is a man in the MBHO organization who used to work with Schoeps. It is not Mr. Haun who used to work with Schoeps. Schoeps makes their own capsules and Haun makes their own (different design) capsules.
At the official site:

“The personal background of Herbert Haun is more than impressive. His education was done at Bayer years ago, since then he was always involved in the production of microphones.
MBHO's chief engineer, Manfred Schneider, was involved for a long time with the famous Dr. Schoeps.
This background should give you confidence regarding the products and their quality.”


Quote:
(...) The USA distributor is Marcus DeMuth in Brooklyn. He can get you anything you need--even internationally. Get in touch with him for a catalog of MBHO mics.
Indeed - I got all my matched pairs of bodies and capsules thru him, custom ordered directly from Germany (it took a while but it was worth it!).


Quote:
Originally Posted by zoom View Post
On the other hand MBHO seems not so be advanced in miniaturizing their circuits and it looks like they are not interested in building up DSP knowledge. So you can't expect a MBHO mic which beats the Schoeps CCM series or the superCMIT, PolarFlex, etc.(...)
I'm not going to discuss DSP, but you can see MBHO 'miniaturizing circuits' on their evolution from the 603 (130mm) to the 'much-smaller-almost-MKH8xxx-size' 604 (80mm).


But... it's really strange that MBP 604 body is not listed on MBHO.de, but had a field test on mix, appears on a korean and japanese seler... and on this almost-hidden section of amptec.de

The sound of the mics is *really* excellent.


all the best,
ave.
Old 5th July 2010
  #12
Yeah, i can't find any information on the 604's either. Strange they do not have anything on their website.
Old 5th July 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
Yeah, i can't find any information on the 604's either. Strange they do not have anything on their website.
Some informations here
MBHO preamps

JMM
Old 5th July 2010
  #14
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pkautzsch's Avatar
 

Used MBHOs a few times. And yes, they are not bad at all. Though in direct comparison to Schoeps and Neumann SDCs I found them to have a certain sharpness around 4...6 KHz, and their output polarity was reversed. Don't know the exact model number, but I think it was the 603.
I'm sure with different placement one can get as great a result as with a Neumann or Schoeps.
Old 8th July 2010
  #15
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thumbs up

Thanks for all your replies folks - this is all very interesting and just what I wanted - thanks.
Old 8th July 2010
  #16
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trompetfreak's Avatar
 

I love putting the LDC Side-adress cardioid inside the bridge of double basses or close to the soundboard of a grand piano. Aspecially in the studio, it sounds marvellous.
The SDC's are not my favourites for live use. I haven't heard them as OH's or Mains, but as spotmics on woodwinds they were not my favourites.
Old 22nd July 2010
  #17
Gear nut
 

Use MBHOs frequently for classical recordings, but also as Overhead mics an on various other occasions and in my opinion they are really good, especially in this price range.
Old 12th August 2010
  #18
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chibichazoo's Avatar
 

I own a pair of 604 bodies with KA2000 (cardioid) capsules as my mains for classical recording, and have been very pleased with them. Other engineers with much more experience than I have been impressed that they hold up so well to the well-known brands in the States but have never heard of MBHO.
Old 14th December 2010
  #19
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Nobilmente's Avatar
 

I'm considering buying either a pair of Fig8, or omni MBHO mics, but would like to ask if anyone has experience with the transformer and transformerless versions of the amplifier body.

I really would like to know how folks have found both versions in practice - I hope this thread is not too old for a response.

I'm recording in New York in March, and would hope to order and pick up a pair in Brooklyn.
Old 15th December 2010
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avebr View Post

“The personal background of Herbert Haun is more than impressive. His education was done at Bayer years ago, since then he was always involved in the production of microphones.
MBHO's chief engineer, Manfred Schneider, was involved for a long time with the famous Dr. Schoeps.
This background should give you confidence regarding the products and their quality.”
First, if I have the quote format mixed up, I apologize.

When I read things like this I often wonder if it's just better to get the referenced stuff rather than the "want to be associated with" products.
Old 19th December 2010
  #21
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobilmente View Post
I'm considering buying either a pair of Fig8, or omni MBHO mics, but would like to ask if anyone has experience with the transformer and transformerless versions of the amplifier body.

I really would like to know how folks have found both versions in practice - I hope this thread is not too old for a response.

I'm recording in New York in March, and would hope to order and pick up a pair in Brooklyn.
IMHO, the 'Remote Possibilities...' threads are never too old, just like a good book or great song;-)

Hey, please look me up when you're in NYC next year...

I'd love to connect with you, perhaps if you have a moment show you the field shop and such.
Old 20th December 2010
  #22
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Thanks Steve, that would be great, I'll try and get there to see you, it would be nice to put a face to the name.

I think the arranger gentleman I'm making the recording for would be interested too, he used to operate a studio in Manhattan quite some time ago I believe.

I think I'm staying in New Jersey, but I'm not exactly sure where yet.

Thanks for your invitation.
Old 31st December 2010
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobilmente View Post
I'm considering buying either a pair of Fig8, or omni MBHO mics, but would like to ask if anyone has experience with the transformer and transformerless versions of the amplifier body.
I am also keen to know how the 648, the 603 and the 604 perform against each other in cardioid and omni. There is a big price difference between these mic bodies in UK ( list prices: 648 is £192, 603 is £263 and 604 is a rather pricey £324. All +VAT), they all seem to take the same capsules but there is hardly anything to help me make a decision as to whether I should spend nearly double the money of a 648.....anybody know how they compare? ......analysing blindly here. They have such a poor public profile...yet apparently their mics are up there with the best. Help!!
Old 14th October 2011
  #24
Gear interested
 

Hello Richgilb. I'm picking up this thread almost a year after your post - but hey! I am a fan of MBHO mics, having had a long conversation about 10 years ago with their Belgian distributor. He said that the 648 preamp was in widespread use by European broadcasters - that is to say mainland Europe, outside of the UK - but the 603 was what I should have because he knew I recorded choirs and relatively quiet sources. This was long before the 604 pre came out.

I ended up with pairs of 603's and diffuse omni capsules (the KA-100 DK) mounted on a Jecklin Schneider Disk - which apparently was designed for this mic combination, or perhaps even the caps were designed for the Disk?

I was pretty blown away by the sound, particularly as this was the first matched pair of mics I had owned. I still like them a lot, often using them without the disc as outriggers or in less than ideal places when doing live recording (which I do a lot of). They are not fussy where you put them and can often contribute an interesting and quality sound to what would otherwise be a drab recording. The enhanced top end helps in that respect, of course. But I also like the bass extension of the KA-100 DK capsule, which is gorgeous on cellos and double basses.

I too long held the view that MBHO made caps for Schoeps, as the specs were almost identical in some cases and the look was similar (although the fittings are different), but have since been told by someone who knows Schoeps well, that I was wrong. Whatever, MBHO does seem better at selling to OEM's than under its own name - or just better at engineering than selling. Their website does them no favours and their presence in the UK marketplace is very low-key, not to say barely in existence. The news about the 604 preamp seems almost to have leaked out by accident! I think what we can say, though, is MBHO is well engineered and good value for money - but in the UK at least you just have to buy them because nobody's got any demo stock, and many people still haven't heard of them. I've sometimes wondered what price they would carry if they were branded/marketed as, say, Schoeps.

Over the years I've collected a few more preamps and capsules, as listed on my Microphone page at Chorum Records - Choir, orchestra and brass band CD recording - ABOUT CHORUM. The hyper-cardioids are useful, I find, but I don't use the fig.8 cap much. Perhaps I should.
Old 14th October 2011
  #25
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We should all use 8's more
Old 15th October 2011
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chorum Records View Post
Over the years I've collected a few more preamps and capsules, as listed on my Microphone page at Chorum Records - Choir, orchestra and brass band CD recording - ABOUT CHORUM. The hyper-cardioids are useful, I find, but I don't use the fig.8 cap much. Perhaps I should.
I see that you have a great mics list. As the KM84 seems to be here a reference as good sdc, how do you compare the MBHO KA200 with the KM84, KM184 and the DPA 4011 ?
Thanks
JMM
Old 15th October 2011
  #27
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richgilb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chorum Records View Post
Hello Richgilb. I'm picking up this thread almost a year after your post - but hey! I am a fan of MBHO mics, having had a long conversation about 10 years ago with their Belgian distributor. He said that the 648 preamp was in widespread use by European broadcasters - that is to say mainland Europe, outside of the UK - but the 603 was what I should have because he knew I recorded choirs and relatively quiet sources. This was long before the 604 pre came out.

I ended up with pairs of 603's and diffuse omni capsules (the KA-100 DK) mounted on a Jecklin Schneider Disk - which apparently was designed for this mic combination, or perhaps even the caps were designed for the Disk?

I was pretty blown away by the sound, particularly as this was the first matched pair of mics I had owned. I still like them a lot, often using them without the disc as outriggers or in less than ideal places when doing live recording (which I do a lot of). They are not fussy where you put them and can often contribute an interesting and quality sound to what would otherwise be a drab recording. The enhanced top end helps in that respect, of course. But I also like the bass extension of the KA-100 DK capsule, which is gorgeous on cellos and double basses.

I too long held the view that MBHO made caps for Schoeps, as the specs were almost identical in some cases and the look was similar (although the fittings are different), but have since been told by someone who knows Schoeps well, that I was wrong. Whatever, MBHO does seem better at selling to OEM's than under its own name - or just better at engineering than selling. Their website does them no favours and their presence in the UK marketplace is very low-key, not to say barely in existence. The news about the 604 preamp seems almost to have leaked out by accident! I think what we can say, though, is MBHO is well engineered and good value for money - but in the UK at least you just have to buy them because nobody's got any demo stock, and many people still haven't heard of them. I've sometimes wondered what price they would carry if they were branded/marketed as, say, Schoeps.

Over the years I've collected a few more preamps and capsules, as listed on my Microphone page at Chorum Records - Choir, orchestra and brass band CD recording - ABOUT CHORUM. The hyper-cardioids are useful, I find, but I don't use the fig.8 cap much. Perhaps I should.
Well thanks for the reply, and because it was impossible to get an idea of these mics, I bought 3 used Audix SCX-1 mics with cardioid and hypercardioid MBHO caps that I believe fit onto the 604 preamps. They were only about £100 each used and seem very good. So one day I might get the omni caps for them and upgrade like this. But I won't be buying the 604 preamps unless I can get to hear them first.
Old 16th October 2011
  #28
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathieujm View Post
I see that you have a great mics list. As the KM84 seems to be here a reference as good sdc, how do you compare the MBHO KA200 with the KM84, KM184 and the DPA 4011 ?
Thanks
JMM
My 184s are a little brighter than the 84s, but there is quite an age difference of course, quite apart from design changes. The 4011s are very 'true' but sometimes too true - a little harsh, like a tough music examiner perhaps - certainly unflattering. They also sound narrower in pickup, towards a hyper-cardioid, but I haven't done proper A/B comparisons. And the DPAs are long and heavy, which restricts their applications a little. The KA200s I have never used as a pair because they are not matched but one day I should do a stake-out between sdc's.
Old 2nd July 2012
  #29
Gear Head
 

Because no one's ever talked about them:

The MBHO MBNM 410 (omnis) are quite a good pair, but not to be used carelessly. They do not sound flat: obviously they have a peak in the highs, like the km183, but even more stressed on. It gives a lot of air and clarity, so these mics are good for "ambiance" takes, when you're really far from the sound source.

Here's an example of one of my recordings, in a really fine church with a jecklin disc: http://sd-5.archive-host.com/membres...de_Dijon_2.mp3

I have ordered two new mics from MBHO, MBP648 with KA100 LK capsules (linear omni). These seem to be a number one-choice for recording engineers in classical music, and I will woon try them on an opera and symphonic orchestra. Can't wait!
Old 2nd July 2012
  #30
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexJansen View Post
I have ordered two new mics from MBHO, MBP648 with KA100 LK capsules (linear omni).
Hello Alex. I tried them... and sent back them. Because they are really for free field use. At a distance in a concert hall or a church they are dull. There is a reason why MBHO recommand the 100DK for diffuse field use, especially with the Jecklin disk.
With the 100DK you can eq them if you find them too bright but you will keep the accentuated directivity in the high which is very useful in reverberant halls.
It's not the same thing than adding highs to the 100LK.
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