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CM3 - really THAT good?
Old 2nd September 2011
  #1
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Talking CM3 - really THAT good?

I have a burning question... it would probably be buried into oblivion down there where that topic is...

So here is my question: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/6992782-post37.html

Is it true, and how??

Any more audio examples welcome - especially with percussion or other very dynamic and transient reach sources.

If someone could make A/B recordings of such high quality as ISedlacek used to do with Schoeps mics would be perfect to demonstrate the true differencies or no differencies in quality...
Old 2nd September 2011
  #2
You are in Europe so just buy them directly from the maker and you can return them in 14 days if you are not satisfied, you just pay for shipping both ways then. They are also dirt cheap, I mean around 250 euro for a pair with shipping and taxes so there is no risk and no good reason to NOT TRY IT.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyjanopan View Post
You are in Europe so just buy them directly from the maker and you can return them in 14 days if you are not satisfied, you just pay for shipping both ways then. They are also dirt cheap, I mean around 250 euro for a pair with shipping and taxes so there is no risk and no good reason to NOT TRY IT.
I will try it, but am also interested in some answers... I won't be able to A/B them with Schoeps directly, not in the near future anyway...
Old 2nd September 2011
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post

Is it true, and how??

This is how:

1) Our ears have no dollar-sensitive neurons.

2) We hear spectrum=frequency response, polar pattern, noise and distortion.

3) Mentioned mic's are technically very good.

4) Advertisement costs and overheads are expenisve.

5) Designer have decades of experience in audio engineering and a passion for excellence paired with a "sensible price philosophy".

Line Audio is a one man thing and he has no costs for a workshop or office, no advertisment.

The capsules are specified and bought, then checked and only those that meet the spec ends up in a mic. Mounting of mic's and preamps are made in house.

Even though the products are partly made by hand in Sweden (where taxes are HIGH) the cost is low and that's also an indication of how overpriced many products are.

It doesn't cost very much in general to make audio electronics. The biggest cost is basically R&D for many products.

I've mentioned it before.. I happily use CM3 along with my MKH8000's, Earthworks and Royers.


/Peter
Old 2nd September 2011
  #5
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The biggest negative thing about the CM3´s is the lack of Schoeps printed somewhere on the body (in my opinion). I have not tested them against Schoeps, but there has never been a moment where I´ve felt that Schoeps would be better.
Maybe in the tech.spec there is some advantage to the Schoeps (S/N, SPL etc).

My advice to you is just to buy them. Even if you get Schoeps microphones in the future, I guarantee you that you will have many uses for the CM3's.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #6
I preferred the other mics in the comparisons that have been posted, but not to such an extent that I would say the CM3 was a clear loser to my ears. It has slightly more midrange presence than schoeps and is not as relaxed and detailed, but still better than most mics I have heard in the sub $500 price range. More than worth the $140.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #7
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I have experimented with them a little. My initial impression is that it is a good sounding mic to use close with some proximity effect to bring out the bass. It's a very lightwieght mic, around 30 grams, with low noise for a small diaphragm.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #8
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Anywhere to buy Line Audio in the US?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #9
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HTML Code:
with low noise for a small diaphragm
There IS noise. I used it once along with my shoeps. SOunds good, but definitely noisy (at least on quiet sources).

I sold'em
Old 3rd September 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brackish View Post
Anywhere to buy Line Audio in the US?
You can order them from Europe from nohypeaudio.com .
Old 3rd September 2011
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willi1203 View Post
HTML Code:
with low noise for a small diaphragm
There IS noise. I used it once along with my shoeps. SOunds good, but definitely noisy (at least on quiet sources).

I sold'em
Only once?

Are you sure about noisy? Specs don't look that much different in that regard - if I read correctly there should be only some 2dB difference in self noise, which is way down there really a small difference... or is it?

Sounds good as in - "like Rode NT5, KSM141, sound OK, but not great as Schoeps" or - "good" as in "sounds very similar, but more noisy"...

Anyway, I'll get them soon and post some examples between CM3 and Gefell M70 and UM70 mics and KSM141... in the next months.

Some more good recordings comparing Schoeps MK21 and Line Audio CM3 could shed even a better light on the subject... being good PR for Line Audio or at least putting things into some realistic perspective.

Thanks for the explanations, but it is hard to believe that this can make such a dramatic difference in pricing. And I don't believe all those companies would be corrupt or greedy to make so exaggerated prices...
Well, I'll have to use them to really believe.

Of course there are no "price" sensors in our ears, but there was always some logic - you got what you paid for... I would love to use something like DPA4011 or Schoeps MK21 - because whenever I heard them and also had the opportunity to work with some Schoeps mics on live recordings, they provide GREAT sound with very little fuss... but they cost a fortune.

Or maybe it's just my sound preference for that kind of capture that particularly those two mentioned mics do - a bit darker, large "creamy" sound, a lot of instrument details (you really hear the wood, strings, skins vibrating, etc.) and natural feeling of surrounding space - like you would be standing next to the player, almost seeing the sound waves propagate from the instrument in the room. And pitch dark background (translate that as - "no noise or other artifacts below the actual recorded signal")

If you can get the same user satisfaction with this mic - it is incredible... but hard to believe.

Because even with something like Shure KSM141 which was described as "poor man's Schoeps" once, you don't have that. It is usable, but doesn't provide magic so easily and on so many different occasions.

Among my current mics I get that kind of rewarding feeling only from Gefell UM70 - whatever I point it at it WORKS and captures a good sound with very little hassle. But I search for a stereo SDC pair within reasonable pricing range that would provide that kind of feeling.
I already borrowed and tried some of those that were "pitched" around here - DPA4061, Rode NT5, Shure KSM141, but still no "Schoeps effect" from any of them.

If CM3 is really THAT for such a price, I am really amazed.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #12
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Fair chunks of magic come out of little blondies.......they're no Schoeps, but definitely give you a magic, not just a sound. Check them out perhaps.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
Of course there are no "price" sensors in our ears, but there was always some logic - you got what you paid for...
I don't agree. There have always been gear that is produced in an uneconomical way with poor engineering skills which means the performance/price ratio also becomes poor. Flashy outer apparance with killing adds may sell but don't affect performance.

OTOH there is always individuals and small companies with high skills, low overhead and a great passion for sound and performance/quality which results in high performance products with a relatively low price.

Yes the best performance often come at a price but in general there are often very high performance gear at a low price and the most expensive gear is seldom the best.

Blind tests are used for a reason in medicine, wine testing and other disciplines where there's a risk for expectation bias.


/Peter
Old 3rd September 2011
  #14
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Thread Starter
I understand what you are trying to communicate and I agree... but talking specifically about Schoeps and DPA mics - these are not some flashy gimmicky companies - "great passion for sound and performance/quality" surely applies to them, no?

I am still confused how can someone produce a mic on the same level with 10 times lower price. (if it is indeed on the same level).

It defies logic or there must be some shortcuts made... One user already mentioned noise, although there was none to be heard on the examples we could hear on the forum and the specs don't suggest it...

I'll buy CM3 anyway and see/hear for myself.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
I don't agree. There have always been gear that is produced in an uneconomical way with poor engineering skills which means the performance/price ratio also becomes poor. Flashy outer apparance with killing adds may sell but don't affect performance.

OTOH there is always individuals and small companies with high skills, low overhead and a great passion for sound and performance/quality which results in high performance products with a relatively low price.

Yes the best performance often come at a price but in general there are often very high performance gear at a low price and the most expensive gear is seldom the best.

Blind tests are used for a reason in medicine, wine testing and other disciplines where there's a risk for expectation bias.


/Peter
Old 3rd September 2011
  #15
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Matti's Avatar
I feel CM3 likes to be positioned little closer to the source than most subcarioids but is of good quality

Matti
Old 3rd September 2011
  #16
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It's not about which mic is better, and replacing one for another. It's more that each one sounds different, and can be used to an advantage.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
It's not about which mic is better, and replacing one for another. It's more that each one sounds different, and can be used to an advantage.
Yes, but there are groups of mics that are meant for the same purposes and some do it a bit better... I admit, I am fan of Schoeps from the first time I heard them at one of the bigger local concert halls here, used for additional amplification of jazz concerts, etc. I mixed some jazz recordings that were partly recorded with those mics (usually percussion and drum overheads, piano, etc.). Then I also heard very lovely examples by ISedlacek from this forum, featuring MK21 specifically. And many others online. I heard a great deal of classical recordings that were done with DPA mics (not the miniature ones, though) and absolutely loved the sound.

Actually I want Schoeps MK21 - exactly that kind of sound aesthetic - not something different (I have "different") - THAT - and until I can afford them, I am fishing for cheaper substitutes, but can't find them... CM3 seems close, but I have doubts. That's the whole story behind my reasons for questioning.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
I understand what you are trying to communicate and I agree... but talking specifically about Schoeps and DPA mics - these are not some flashy gimmicky companies - "great passion for sound and performance/quality" surely applies to them, no?
Of course. I have great respect for several manufacturers and I'm of the feeling that some of them generally have very good products. Schoeps, DPA, Sennheiser, AKG with several others.

I use Sennheiser MKH8000 among other mic's and they cost some. What makes those mic's worth it to me is the low noise and small discrete design. I often need to hang or place mic's out of the audience sight-line which means low noise and small size is important.

I feel though that there are cheaper mic's that perform at a similar level but then I would have to sacrifice those two points I've mentioned that I appreciate with Sennheiser MKH8000.

I also believe that several of the named companies charge for their name though and have much bigger overhead costs than some smaller companies and I think that some products are overpriced. Likely some of the mentioned companies have much higher profit as well. Sometimes you need that specific product that has no competition (yet) and have to accept that premium price.

Quote:
I am still confused how can someone produce a mic on the same level with 10 times lower price. (if it is indeed on the same level).
As mentioned, overheads. Basically anyone can work from home and free without advertisement and charge according to that to get out on the market. I mean, what is in a mic? The components and material is dirt cheap, it's mostly down to know-how. An intelligent and passionate technician with a feeling for entrepeneurship should be able to make a world class mic after 30 years or so don't you think?

Quote:
It defies logic or there must be some shortcuts made... One user already mentioned noise, although there was none to be heard on the examples we could hear on the forum and the specs don't suggest it...
CM3 have higher noise than MKH8000 for example but often the noise is still low enough to be inaudible or lower than other noise sources in a practical recording.


/Peter
Old 3rd September 2011
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
Yes, but there are groups of mics that are meant for the same purposes and some do it a bit better... I admit, I am fan of Schoeps from the first time I heard them at one of the bigger local concert halls here, used for additional amplification of jazz concerts, etc. I mixed some jazz recordings that were partly recorded with those mics (usually percussion and drum overheads, piano, etc.). Then I also heard very lovely examples by ISedlacek from this forum, featuring MK21 specifically. And many others online. I heard a great deal of classical recordings that were done with DPA mics (not the miniature ones, though) and absolutely loved the sound.

Actually I want Schoeps MK21 - exactly that kind of sound aesthetic - not something different (I have "different") - THAT - and until I can afford them, I am fishing for cheaper substitutes, but can't find them... CM3 seems close, but I have doubts. That's the whole story behind my reasons for questioning.
If you are wanting the sound of an MK21 you will need a MK21. You can get a good price ordering from Funky Junk in the UK.

The CM3 is not really a substitute... it's an entirely different mic, with a different capsule, electronics, housing etc. It's a good mic with an economical design.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

I think one of the things that justifies a high price for something like Schoeps, the larger DPA's, Gefell, etc. is a consistency in the product, due to small factory production methods, stable parts sourcing, and quality control by someone other than the people assembling the mics. You know what you're getting when you buy something like a MK21, because the Schoeps quality control and production over the years is very consistent.

With a mic produced by a small shop, there is a potential for more variability due to lack of parts availability or substitution, day-to-day financial pressures, and so on. Plus the fact that the person doing final quality control is probably the same person that assembled the mic. There is also the service and parts consideration. What happens in 5 or 10 years if you need it repaired? Will the company still be around? And finally, what's the resale value?

None of this may matter, when the mics are inexpensive enough to be disposable if you get a few years' use out of them. It could matter more, if you bought a mic a year ago, and now suddenly need another one to put in a stereo pair.

P.S. This isn't intended as a slam on one-man shops. I have a Peluso large diaphragm mic that I love, but I wasn't planning on a stereo pair or multiple mic sets when I bought it. As long as that one mic sounded great, that's all I needed.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #21
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Foldedpath,

I don't agree with your comparison between the big company vs. the one man shop. There simply are no such natural connections.

I have measured some of the Line Audio gear and those match manufacturer spec well.

Regarding the microphines and consistency, this are from Line Audio web site for CM3:

Quote:
During manufacturing each capsule is measured, selected and trimmed by us to close tolerances. Out of range capsules are rejected. This in combination with the internal circuitry, results in a response with a unique flatness. These are quality microphones made for demanding situations.


I have no reason to not belive those words.


/Peter

Old 3rd September 2011
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Peter, I'm sure those words describe the assembly of one microphone, at one point in time. I was addressing the ability of larger companies to maintain steady supply chains, or manufacture everything they need in-house to maintain consistency across many years of microphone production.

I do think a larger company has an advantage in maintaining this type of consistency over the years, compared to a one-man shop, at the cost of much higher overhead for parts production, higher wage costs, maintaining a a service department, and so on. It's why you can buy a MK21 or similar mic with confidence, instead of asking about whether it's "really THAT good?" on Internet forums.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #23
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I heartily agree. And, it's good to realize that, for some folks in certain situations, "good enough" is just that. For other folks, it's not, and only "the usual suspects" will provide the results that their clients (and/or their own sense of what result is satisfactory) require. If the recordings you make with what you own make you happy, and make your clients happy as well... it's "good enough", whether it's a CM3 pair or a pair of MK21. If not... the option is not to complain about what you have, but to use what you have well, and to save for what you want and need.

A thing is what it is. I own mics that are "good enough" for their intended uses... and I own mics that always produce the results that I (1) want, (2) appreciate, and (3) can count on. The beauty and fun is the journey of discovering just what "is" is. Some of my mics have more value to me than to the market. Some will hold their value in the market better than others, should their value to me diminish to where I wish to dispose of them. A thing is, after all, what it is. My wishing it were otherwise rarely makes any difference, at all.

One guy's opinion.

HB
Old 3rd September 2011
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldedpath View Post
There is also the service and parts consideration. What happens in 5 or 10 years if you need it repaired? Will the company still be around?
Yet the multipattern capsule in Schoeps 221B is one of few things in history of audio that is impossible to fix and the company still exist. My friend have a pair of them and both stuck in fig. of 8 pattern - you just can`t fix it. I know it`s 50 years old but still...
Old 4th September 2011
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Edit : CM3 are noisy for quiet sources (classical music)
Old 4th September 2011
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willi1203 View Post
Edit : CM3 are noisy for quiet sources (classical music)
I have used CM3 for classical and opera without any audible noise.


/Peter
Old 4th September 2011
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldedpath View Post
Peter, I'm sure those words describe the assembly of one microphone, at one point in time.
No, those words describe the standards that Line Audio follows. AFAIK they don't change the standards to fit poor supply.

Quote:
I was addressing the ability of larger companies to maintain steady supply chains, or manufacture everything they need in-house to maintain consistency across many years of microphone production.
Large company or in house machining does not equal quality or consistency, I don't know why you believe this.

Quote:
It's why you can buy a MK21 or similar mic with confidence, instead of asking about whether it's "really THAT good?" on Internet forums.
I think that you need to inform yourself before any purchase. A known name (or to some people, not so known) is no guarantee for quality.


/Peter
Old 4th September 2011
  #28
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I have used CM3 for classical and opera without any audible noise.
Lucky you !
Old 4th September 2011
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willi1203 View Post
HTML Code:
I have used CM3 for classical and opera without any audible noise.
Lucky you !
Can you please post some clips of your recordings so we can hear the problems you have with these noise of these mic's?


/Peter
Old 4th September 2011
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
Can you please post some clips of your recordings so we can hear the problems you have with these noise of these mic's?


/Peter
Yeah, I´m interested too (seriously).
I have not noticed any disturbing noise from them.
Maybe there is something wrong from the ones you've got?
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