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Schoeps buying advice... Condenser Microphones
Old 22nd August 2007
  #1
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Talking Schoeps buying advice...

Dear forumers,

I have recently tried Schoeps model CMC6 / MK2S and found them great !
I used them as a main pair (A-B) on a small orchestra (20 players) and they produced a very good result.

I plan to buy two of them in a first time, ad maybe a third in a near future to do a Decca Tree (plus sphere ?). But I have seen on Schoeps's website a more recent model called CMC6 xt (a frequency response eXTended to 40kHz).

I know that a piece of gear is not better because it's news, so :
- Has anybody here used this model ?
- Does it offer a valuable advantage compared to CMC6 model ?

Thanks a lot for your answers.
Have a good day.

Vincent

PS : I would be very excited to try the M222 Tube, but in case I will like it a lot, it would be certainly out of my budget. Finally, I won't test it for the moment
Old 22nd August 2007
  #2
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hughesmr's Avatar
I have no personal experience with the xT, but I've NEVER heard good things about them from any source or user of them. Straight CMC5 or CMC6 sound wonderful; no need to get into the xT!
Old 22nd August 2007
  #3
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I didn't try them neither, but I've always heard BAD things about them !

CMC6 does sound great!!!!
Old 22nd August 2007
  #4
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ISedlacek's Avatar
I never tried those xT, but never heard of anyone who would like them or prefer over the standard CMC6 ... (and there were quite few sharings around)
Old 22nd August 2007
  #5
What they said. Apparently the extended HF response of the XT comes at the expense of the sound we've all come to know and love. I've never met anyone who actually liked the sound of the XT.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 22nd August 2007
  #6
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
The xts are not so hot. They are not nearly as flat in the audible range as the 5 and 6, but much flatter in all the inaudible ranges.

The m222's are simply superb. Just got two more of those coming in a week.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #7
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Marlan's Avatar
 

I AB'd them against the standard cmc6 bodies and found nothing worth reporting.
My ear actually preferred the sound of the cmc5 and cmc6.

When I bought my MK2H's I tested them extensively with all three bodies.

There are several collegues of mine in the classical recording world that say the XT's are not worth buying.

My 2Cents.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #8
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boojum's Avatar
I am running CMC6's with the Mk4 caps. It works. No need to fix it. I will get the omnis down the line, or the Josephsons with the MG omni caps. I go with what is tried and true. YMMV
Old 23rd August 2007
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent_p View Post
I plan to buy two of them in a first time, ad maybe a third in a near future to do a Decca Tree (plus sphere ?). But I have seen on Schoeps's website a more recent model called CMC6 xt (a frequency response eXTended to 40kHz).

I know that a piece of gear is not better because it's news, so :
- Has anybody here used this model ?
- Does it offer a valuable advantage compared to CMC6 model ?
Vincent,
Rather than get the CMC-6xt, I would suggest the "CMC-6 linear" for use with the Omni capsules.
The extra couple of octaves of LF extension work great for capturing the size of a space in pure stereo recordings.
All the best,
-mark
Old 23rd August 2007
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
Vincent,
Rather than get the CMC-6xt, I would suggest the "CMC-6 linear" for use with the Omni capsules.
The extra couple of octaves of LF extension work great for capturing the size of a space in pure stereo recordings.
All the best,
-mark
and also huge subsonic rumble from traffic/trains, a/c fans and LF room modes which overload the capsule and microphone electronics (before any low cut on the preamp), to really destroy a recording.

I prefer and use CMC5 for its controlled low end. This is more than enough for home reproduction of sound.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
and also huge subsonic rumble from traffic/trains, a/c fans and LF room modes which overload the capsule and microphone electronics (before any low cut on the preamp), to really destroy a recording.
I prefer and use CMC5 for its controlled low end. This is more than enough for home reproduction of sound.
That's right, who'd want the option of recording an orchestra, organ or anything that generates a frequency lower than 30 hz......not me! ;-) Give me back my CMC-5's!
But seriously, the extended LF performance of a good omni directional mic goes down to single digit frequencies. Why would you use the microphone preamp as a high pass filter? Those frequencies are still acting on the mic capsule and the preamp in the capsule of the microphone.
We've listened to and own all these preamps and find absolutely no reason to roll off the bottom octaves below 30 hz. I'm not the only one with this opinion. Virtually all the balance engineers I've worked with agree that the Linear preamp sounds better with omni capsules. So much so that we sold off all but 2 of our CMC-5's (30 of them at the time) and replace them with the CMC-6 linear. Also, CMC-5's are particularly sensitive to the phantom voltage supplied. They really sound best if you wind the voltage up to 52v, just like the Sennheiser MKH-800's.
And those low frequency room modes are the specific reason you want your microphone to go down to the very lowest frequencies. This is what gives the listener the the spatial cues to recreate the feel of the concert hall.

As always, YMMV....
All the best,
-mark
Old 24th August 2007
  #12
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liuto's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
So much so that we sold off all but 2 of our CMC-5's (30 of them at the time) and replace them with the CMC-6 linear.
Wasn't it possible to simply modify the CMC5s to get linear bass performance? The "linear" option is available with any CMC (see catalog) and should be possible to be retrofitted just by change of a jumper, as I recall.
Regards
Hermann
Old 24th August 2007
  #13
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Hi dear forumers,

Thanks a lot for all your advices.
All your opinions are pointed toward the same conclusion : staying far from CMC 6 xt.
Ok, so I will buy CMC6 . I trust you.

But Mark, I haven't ever heard about the "Linear" version of the CMC6 model.
It's an interesting possibilitie. Can you tell me more about this ? What does it change ?
In wich part of the spectre a CMC6 is affected by the "linear option" ?

I did'nt focus on the MK2S caps in my previous post, but several other engineers told me that is the best combination with M222 or CMC6 + Sphere to do a Decca Tree with Schoeps. What are your experiences ? Anyone using this combination ? Thanks for the infos.

Have a good day.

Vincent
Old 24th August 2007
  #14
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liuto's Avatar
 

Hi vincent,
I'm not Mark but here a quote from the Schoeps page:

Quote:
CMC “linear”

CMC microphone amplifiers normally have a gradual rolloff below 30 Hz (20 Hz in the CMC 6) to guard against infrasonic disturbances from various sources such as air movement and vibration. However, when using pressure (omnidirectional) transducers, particularly with digital recording, it can be desirable to pick up frequencies below 20 Hz without attenuation. The special technology of the CMC microphone amplifiers makes this possible; on request we can deliver microphone amplifiers with response that is flat to as low as 3 Hz.

Caution must be advised with respect to infrasonics, however. Since pressure transducers can pick up very low frequencies, ventilation systems in large spaces (churches, concert halls) can create a problem. With pressure gradient transducers the risk is even greater. They are far less sensitive to very low frequency sound, but respond much more strongly to unwanted low-frequency stimuli such as air currents and solid-borne noise. Although such signals may be below the audible range of frequencies, they can overload electronic circuitry and produce severe distortion.

Included accessory with every CMC microphone amplifier:
polished wood case for two microphones
So when ordering, you simply have to mention you want the linear version. The costs were 20€/CMC a few years ago.
It would be interesting if Schoeps can also offer different roll off frequencies like 10Hz or something.

Best regards
Hermann
Old 24th August 2007
  #15
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If you are in normal city venues you will regret buying the "linear" preamp for the reasons stated above. Beware.
Old 24th August 2007
  #16
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Ok, all is clear now. Thanks a lot Hermann for these explanations.

So the "linear" option extends the bass response to 3Hz. Maybe I will contact my Schoeps importer to manage a test session... I'm not convinced that recording frequencies as low as 3Hz could be very useful and couldn't bring more problems, but sometimes we have surprises in this fabulous audio world.

One more time thanks a lot for all your infos, comments and advices.

All the best.

Vincent
Old 24th August 2007
  #17
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Bonjour Vincent,

I prefer the MK2s for Decca tree and use this exclusively for my main mics in both recording and live. If am splitting microphones with the PA for reinforcement, I may utilize subcardioid (MK21) capsules on the outriggers ONLY to allow for a flat & even pickup and reduce room tone, but this is really for LIVE use and not pure recording.

I think the CMC6 Mk2s is a great combination for this. The only time I really prefer the Mk2 over the 2s is for more intimate chamber scenarios.

That's my experience.

JvB

Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent_p View Post
I did'nt focus on the MK2S caps in my previous post, but several other engineers told me that is the best combination with M222 or CMC6 + Sphere to do a Decca Tree with Schoeps. What are your experiences ? Anyone using this combination ? Thanks for the infos.

Have a good day.

Vincent
Old 24th August 2007
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Anyone here ever tried the Pelusos? If so how would you say the compare to the real deal?
Old 24th August 2007
  #19
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
Anyone here ever tried the Pelusos? If so how would you say the compare to the real deal?
Temporary hijack...

There are many threads if you do a search. The final opinion on all of them is,
"While the Pelusos sound very good, they are still not close to the real thing, but may remind you somewhat of a Schoeps."

Sadly, or maybe not...nothing else is a Schoeps. I found the DPA 4041 comes incredibly close to the MK2s capsule on a CMC5, it was very hard to tell the difference, and on some sources I liked it even better. But it's a different, and more expensive option.

The Peluso is a good and less expensive option that does not sound as stellar. If you want the Schoeps sound, keep saving.

Now back to our original thread...
Old 24th August 2007
  #20
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xt bodies

I have the CMC6xt linear bodies and have no complaints. I do Chamber orchestras, quartets etc. The important thing to examine is the frequency response of different capsules with the xt body. not to mention the CMC6 bodies are slightly quieter than the previous CMC5. the MK4 with an xt body has a 2dB rise starting at around 8khz to 20khz. I find that in the xt bodies work better in the darker hall that I have recently been recording in. not to mention you can compensate in some ways by pulling your mics slightly further back than you might normally to balance the higher frequency loss in transmission. The MK2 capsule has a nice rise with the xt body for midfield reverberant positioning.
Old 24th August 2007
  #21
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xt bodies

oh yeah, "linear" down to 3Hz. anyone ever record Timpani! that surely gets below human hearing. then monitor it back in a calibrated room with excellent subs. WOW. Just as the frequencies above human hearing are harmonically related to those in the human range so are the frequencies below human hearing. Thus, I feel that the effect of extension bellow and beyond human hearing will certainly effect our perception of audible frequencies. I feel this has something to do with the sound of the "xt" body.
Old 25th August 2007
  #22
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Plush's Avatar
I understand the advice to consider CMC linear.

It is true that ANY CMC can be linear by removing the filter. Mark's advice is good for some things like organ but generally these lowest frequencies are not able to be reproduced or even able to be recorded cleanly.
16 Hz. organ notes are felt in situ , but bearishly difficult to capture. Putting up a linear mic somewhere does not capture the 16 Hz. sound. Because of the length of the wavelength, one has to have the mic in just the right place to capture extreme low freq.

I don't buy for one moment that one requires bottom octave capability to resolve the acoustic of a concert hall. I've never heard that assertion before. That's a rumble region in an urban area. (the concert hall resides in an urban area, right?) I do agree that omni mics, placed at the boundaries of a room, are an aural aid in defining the boundaries of a room

Sub 20Hz. material is not reproduced at home. There are only a handfull of studios where it can be played back with accuracy. It is not used in radio broadcast.

I will have to investigate the performance differences with CMC linear and MKH800 with a phantom voltage of 52 volts. Until then, I can have no comment on the assertion of improved performance. Sounds like voltage one ups-manship to me.
Old 25th August 2007
  #23
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sub 20

I would certainly agree that the wavelength of the lowest frequency (of say a timpani) would certainly take quite a distance to fully develop. which, would then obviously effect the entire hall as a whole. moreover, the entire hall would then exibit an even lower extension. I cannot be certain of my thoughts on harmonic relationships and frequency extension both beyond 20khz and below 20khz, I can only use my ears and compare.
Old 25th August 2007
  #24
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Plush's Avatar
Timpani do not have low frequencies of the type we are talking about. We are talking organ, bass drum, certain church tower bells (Zygmunt bell in Krakow--needs 18 people to make it ring.) Please include also the space shuttle.

The Caterpillar tractor D-9 will also generate extreme low frequencies when crushing rock.

However, we are only charged with recording music.
Old 25th August 2007
  #25
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
For me it is less the actual low extension, but rather the filters impact on the few octaves higher than 30hz.

I think you may be able to have the cmc6 made with less rolloff than the standard version, but more than the linear version.
Maybe this is a good compromise for some of you.

As Hudson said Timps do not produce any sound of significance in the sub 40hz range.
If I remember correctly a 32 inch timp goes down to the D below the staff of bassclef. This is about 73 hz.
In other words its low range is roughly that of the cello.

gran cassa, double bass, organ and to some extent tuba are the only instruments of the orchestra to produce significant sound in the sub 40 hz range.
Much of this energy is tactile and IMO more or less impossible to reproduce outside a studio to any great or satisfactory effect.

Live concerts still have the upper hand on recordings in that respect.
Old 26th August 2007
  #26
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liuto's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm View Post
For me it is less the actual low extension, but rather the filters impact on the few octaves higher than 30hz.
Regarding the impact of filters, it is interesting to see that the filter of the CMC5 works at 30Hz but 6dB/octave only whereas the filter of the CMC6 is lower at 20Hz but with a steeper slope at 12dB/octave.
Regards
Hermann Platzer
Old 26th August 2007
  #27
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We as humans do not hear the bass region with the same percieved loudness as the 1-4khz region. It takes quite a bit more bass energy to come close to the loudness perception of higher frequencies. Not to mention sub harmonics which will be generated when the fundemental frequency is played.
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