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Sennheiser MKH 80 vs. MKH 800
Old 1st November 2003
  #1
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Talking Sennheiser MKH 80 vs. MKH 800

I had used MKH 800 on two occasions and I am very impressed with the sound captured on acoustic instruments with this mic. I heard several people raving about MKH 80 in here. I am wondering what are the main differences between these two? Well, I know they are in different colour/finish, but are the capsules or components inside any different? Huge price differences between the two? Has anyone compared the two mics in real life recording sessions? What are your thought on them?

If I can come up with the money, I sure will go for a pair of MKH 800.

Simon
Old 1st November 2003
  #2
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I've got 3 MKH-80s and I think they're amazing.

I've tried the MKH-800 once, but it was in another studio, and did not have any of my 80s to compare it to. FWIW, It sounded exactly like I would have expected one of my MKH-80s to sound. .. Very nice.

I'm under the impression that it's almost the same mic, but tweaked for greater marketability as a high-sample-rate-recording companion: the same capsule in the same body (new paintjob), but with some modifications to the circuit to extend the HF response a little (they claim it to extend to 50kHz).

50kHz or not, I probably won't be selling my 80s anytime soon to upgrade (think cold, dead fingers). Rather, if the bug gets me, I'll probably add a pair of 800s some time down the line and expand the family.

IMHO, this is perhaps the best microphone coming out of Sennheiser/Neumann these days.

Full Compass still has one MKH-80 at B-Stock price
http://64.213.162.194/specials/categ...001/index.fcml
I'd probably get it myself, but I'm blowing my $$ on that sexy Eclair LA-LA that wandered into the classifieds forum last week

-dave
Old 1st November 2003
  #3
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Hi Dave-G,

So MKH 800 is the new model? Has MKH 80 been discontinued?

Yeah, that LA-LA compressor sure looks nice...if you pass this one up, let me know...I want that baby too.

Simon
Old 1st November 2003
  #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by nOiz
Hi Dave-G,

So MKH 800 is the new model? Has MKH 80 been discontinued?
I believe that's correct. They sold them both at the same time for a while, but I can't find the MKH-80 on the US website anymore.

Quote:
Yeah, that LA-LA compressor sure looks nice...if you pass this one up, let me know...I want that baby too.


-dave
Old 1st November 2003
  #5
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do anyone use MKH405 or similar? I bought one some time ago and I really like it, didn't expect so fat sound out of that small mic ;-). Had anyone tried MKH405 together with new pieces? Is it the same technology?
Old 21st January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matucha View Post
do anyone use MKH405 or similar? I bought one some time ago and I really like it, didn't expect so fat sound out of that small mic ;-). Had anyone tried MKH405 together with new pieces? Is it the same technology?
bump


MKH405's ? anyone?
Old 24th October 2007
  #7
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The 80 sounds a lot better than the 800.
Old 24th October 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quagga View Post
The 80 sounds a lot better than the 800.
Interesting. Care to elaborate? You've compared them side-by-side? What was different/preferable to you about the 80?

-dave (owns 80s)
Old 24th October 2007
  #9
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I have a pair of MKH800 and love them to death. The only other SDC I own are a pair of the Schoeps CMC6 bodies and assorted caps. Having never heard the MKH80, I couldn't attest to differences, but I have read that the changes were made in the electronics to attain improved response. I guess those recording bats have been lobbying Sennheiser. It is a great mic for strings and drums/percussion. The guy I bought one of mine from was a flautist (hate that word) and he did indicate that it was his go-to mic for recording and that financial circumstances were driving the sale. I suspect most using them are classical recordists, but that isn't my use. Acoustic guitar and drums/percussion sound great on them IMHO.
Old 29th October 2007
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The MKH80 does not sound better than MKH800, it just sounds MORE.

The MKH800 gets closer to our SF12's smoothness. It is less metallic on piano, and smoother/ more natural on a big soprano or tenor (doing classical here).

So in all aspects I find the MKH800 a superior microphone, but they are quite close too each other. I won't sell my three MKH80 just to get more MKH800 mics, although I desperatly need a second one.

If there's someone here who ownes a MKH800 but honestly prefers the MKH80, I do not mind to trade. To each his own thumbsup
Quote
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Old 10th July 2009
  #11
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To my ear, the 80 is slightly less bright and harsh than the 800. Similarly, the CM6 is less harsh than the CMC6XT. I'm sure that is subjective, but I also think one has to be careful with designs that are modified to add extended frequency response. Some of these work quite well--earthworks, for example--but some seem to change the fundamental sound. I've been told that this is due to the expanded use of surface mount technology, but I have no way to test this.
Old 10th July 2009
  #12
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Smile

The MKH 800 is basically the same as the MKH 80 but with a top end extended to 50kHz (instead of rolling off at 20kHz).

The MKH 80 was discontinued quite a few years ago, it was kept going for a while after the 800 came out because German TV were using it in-vision and waned the dark colour of the 80.

I do have a pair of MKH 800 myself and love them.

But don't forget the new MKH 800 TWIN - this has a 5-pin XLR with the two capsules available seperately so you have an infinitely variable polar-pattern which you can even adjust at the editing stage - or - can use it as part of a double-MS rig as the front and rear cardioids are as co-incident as you can get.
Old 15th July 2009
  #13
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No, not subjective

Quote:
Originally Posted by quagga View Post
To my ear, the 80 is slightly less bright and harsh than the 800. Similarly, the CM6 is less harsh than the CMC6XT. I'm sure that is subjective, but I also think one has to be careful with designs that are modified to add extended frequency response. Some of these work quite well--earthworks, for example--but some seem to
No, this is not subjective at all. The Sennheiser and Schoeps documentation demonstrates this very clearly. Take a look.

Actually, the documentation clearly demonstrates the "brighter" quality of the later mic's, "harshness" is a judgement call.
Old 23rd September 2009
  #14
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I guess the word I would use then is slightly more metallic. I didn't think they sounded that different, I just thought the 80 was a bit more refined and slightly less metallic.
I think it really depends on the room as well. I did a show in a big hall with a big orchestra with three 800s in a Decca tree, and they sounded spot on. But there were no reflections to speak of for the mic to deal with. I certainly don't think the 800 is just the extra frequency, but perhaps in a way it is the just the different electronics that impart the different color. I know with the Schoeps, I really do not like the XT body, and I would believe that it was more than just the electronics if I heard it without knowing, but since I used the same capsules, the difference was all electronics.
I'm curious if the twin is bit smoother than the 800--I also think they should sell a switching XLR add-on for the twin to change it into a hardware multipattern mic.
Old 6th February 2010
  #15
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Would these Sennheiser MKH 800s have a warmer, less bright sound than my DPA 4011s for close micing my D (for Jazz) ?

How do the Senn 8020s or 8040s also compare to my 4011s and also to the MKH 800s ?

I like my DPA 4011s but listening lately, things sound maybe a bit bright for me. I don't think it's the piano, while I'm playing it doesn't sound has bright has the recorded sound I'm getting. I usually stay up on the voicing at least once a year.

Thanks
Old 6th February 2010
  #16
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ferris View Post
Would these Sennheiser MKH 800s have a warmer, less bright sound than my DPA 4011s for close micing my D (for Jazz) ?

How do the Senn 8020s or 8040s also compare to my 4011s and also to the MKH 800s ?

I like my DPA 4011s but listening lately, things sound maybe a bit bright for me. I don't think it's the piano, while I'm playing it doesn't sound has bright has the recorded sound I'm getting. I usually stay up on the voicing at least once a year.
For a model D my first choice would be the MKH 8020 as their bass response is flat down to 10Hz.

I don't like using directional mics on a grand piano as they lose the bass end - an omni is obviously better in this respect.
Old 7th February 2010
  #17
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Dave-

What style of music are you recording? I've never been a huge fan of the 4011 on piano, but my favorites depend on the style of music that I'm recording.

For jazz/pop, I usually reach for Microtech Geffel M930 or on the rare chance that they have them, a Sony C48. For classical, omnis- Sennheiser 8020, 800, Schoeps MK2 (or perhaps an MK21), or DPA 4006. I've gotten great results with all of them at different times.

Given a choice between Senn 8000 series and the 800, I'd probably reach for the 800- it really is a great mic. It is, unfortunately, out of my price range- so I have a pair of 8040's and a pair of 8020's.

--Ben
Old 7th February 2010
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
Dave-

What style of music are you recording? I've never been a huge fan of the 4011 on piano, but my favorites depend on the style of music that I'm recording.

For jazz/pop, I usually reach for Microtech Geffel M930 or on the rare chance that they have them, a Sony C48. For classical, omnis- Sennheiser 8020, 800, Schoeps MK2 (or perhaps an MK21), or DPA 4006. I've gotten great results with all of them at different times.

Given a choice between Senn 8000 series and the 800, I'd probably reach for the 800- it really is a great mic. It is, unfortunately, out of my price range- so I have a pair of 8040's and a pair of 8020's.

--Ben
Thanks John Willet for your 2 cents, appreciated.

Ben--

I do mostly Jazz solo piano in my 20 X 20 studio. The ceilings are fairly high . An A frame design with the height starting at around 8 ' and peaking in the middle at around 15'. The only problem is the dreaded parallel surfaces, I get a funky slap back echo thing going on. After I explained my room to engineer extraordinaire, Rich Breen, he suggested the DPA 4011s, probably thinking to play it safe as to avoid weird reflections.

Thanks for your thoughts too.
Old 7th February 2010
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I'm not into bright, metallic or harsh sounding mics....

I love my 3 MKH800s, would like to have at least more 2.

What I can tell you from my personal experience with them is that they are extremly detailed on mid, mid-hi and hi. Not bright, metallic or harsh, but the most detailed.

This detail can bring up good or bad things, depending on the source.

That's why it's not my first choice for an unknow piano - MKH800s are great to expose even minimal intonation deviations and other issues). But au contrair the MKH40s are much more 'smooth' in this aspect, they don't have that extreme detail, so they 'sound' better on not-so-great pianos than the MKH800s.

And you can get more or less of those 'details', depending on the preamps you choose (not much about the figure) - like MKH800 on PRE420 you get even more extreme details; on HV3C a bit less deailed but still there... I still didn't fully understand it on valve (M2b), but it's at the same time violent, sexy, clean, and with just the right amount of (good) detailing... ok, enough of expeculation.

The story I've heard was that the MKH80 was criticised after use by some respectable engineers that were starting/doing (?) SACD in Europe; so the MKH800 would be their 'dream com thru' thing. Sorry for no-names, but I read it somewhere... So the differences may be mostly to frequency-range response?

I would really like to know if there are any other differences.

To conclude, I have an 'hybrid' MKH800 that was going to be an MKH80. It started on the factory as an 80, but was changed to 800 - but... they forgot to change the backpart/connector - so it's white with MKH80 written and an MKH80 serial - but all the rest is MKH800 (black connector). I never worried because they all sounded the same! (just to be sure, Mr. G√ľnter Hitz from Sennheiser [great guy] confirmed it to me, by getting each mics' log/history up to leaving the factory - this is really slutty!)

Great mic, aside from price I don't understand why it's not so widespread.

What about if someone could post samples comparing 80 x 800 ??

all the best,
ave.
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Old 23rd February 2010
  #20
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I`m working from beginning of the year on new studio in my city and we have this mic MKH 800. And I cant`t understand is it suitable for recording lead vox?? I have a lot of problems with this mic. To much mid hi and hi in male vokals. Even massive popfilter didin`t helpes. There is everything ok for instruments, but vokals...
We are using VoxBox as pre. But I feel that something is wrong. Maybe someone has some tips for recording vokals with this mic?? I will be very grateful )
Old 6th August 2010
  #21
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alternative shock mount for the 800 and 80

I need to get three shock mounts for our 3 MKH80s.
Any suggestions on a good mount for it?
It is 26,7mm in diameter.
Would the Rycote INV-8 work? It is sized for 30, has anyone tried it?
Old 7th August 2010
  #22
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm View Post
I need to get three shock mounts for our 3 MKH80s.
Any suggestions on a good mount for it?
It is 26,7mm in diameter.
Would the Rycote INV-8 work? It is sized for 30, has anyone tried it?
The MKH 80 and 800 are side-fire mics.

I use the Rycote USM-L with mine.

You can actually get one free with a subscription to Sound On Sound at the moment.
Old 7th August 2010
  #23
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John, how does that one behave when you have the mic in a horizontal position?
I find the dual grip of the inv type (and original 800 mount) to be nice and stable.

Has anyone here opened an 800 and compared the electronics to an 80?
I am tempted to do so myself as I have a strong feeling that there is very little difference aside from a filter or two
Old 7th August 2010
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm View Post
John, how does that one behave when you have the mic in a horizontal position?
I find the dual grip of the inv type (and original 800 mount) to be nice and stable.
Give Rycote a ring - the MKH 80/800 is 27mm in diameter which seems too large for the INV-7 and too small for the 30mm one.

It may *just* squeeze into the INV-7, but I'm not sure.

It works fine in the USM-L - but I use it upside-down and grip just below the switches. This puts the centre-of-gravity in the correct place (as advised to me by Rycote).


Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm View Post
Has anyone here opened an 800 and compared the electronics to an 80?
I am tempted to do so myself as I have a strong feeling that there is very little difference aside from a filter or two
The two are very similar - the 800 was designed later and designed to extend the top end up to 50kHz with the same sound.

But I hear the sound is that little bit better on the 800.

I have spoken to the designer many times.
Old 7th August 2010
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When I have time, I will try to have my 800 next to one of my 80s,
Somehow I have a feeling the age of the capsule may play a bigger role than opening up the 800 to the bat range.
Old 23rd March 2011
  #26
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Apologies for resurrecting a very old thread but the Rycote InVision 7 is a perfect fit for my MKH 80, and therefore presumably an 800. And you can still get to the switches on the body without a problem.
Old 23rd March 2011
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Don't apologize, that's a great tip !

Thanks !!!
Old 23rd March 2011
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chorum Records View Post
Apologies for resurrecting a very old thread but the Rycote InVision 7 is a perfect fit for my MKH 80, and therefore presumably an 800. And you can still get to the switches on the body without a problem.
Actually I use the Rycote USM-L with mine as the MKH 80/800 are side-fire.

I turn the USM upside-down and hold the mic. underneath the switches - this way keeps it in balance.

Works very well.

Posted via the Gearslutz iPhone app
Old 6th May 2011
  #29
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I just got back from a Warner Bros session, we recorded strings(I'm a cellist and engineer) and they used only mkh-800 mics and neumann tubes.
The sound was really great.
Old 9th May 2011
  #30
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I have done extensive comparisons between the 80 and the 800... and in some ways they are very close, but in some ways (mostly the top end) they are quite different (in subtle ways).

however you'd need to do a level matched test with simultaneous recordings to really hear the differences.

I love them both. Great mics that can be used on a wide range of sources.

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