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DPA omni choice (4090 vs. 2006a)
Old 20th October 2020
  #1
DPA omni choice (4090 vs. 2006a)

Hello, all!

I'm looking to invest in a few omni mics for close-to-medium miking, and have settled on getting one of two different DPA models. Budget is ~1500 USD. As the title says, I'm looking at either the 4090 or the 2006A. Does anyone have concrete experience with both of those mics? From what I've seen online, the pros of the 4090 are smaller size and lower cost, while the 2006A has the advantage of being able to use 4000-series capsules (I think?) and a lower noise floor. I'm not really interested in the C-model preamp right now, so I'm keeping it to just the A-series amp. It does seem like the 4090 has a better low end, but that's just from initial research. I'd be using these primarily for close miking--things like a grand piano, string instruments, and so on. I use my Neumann KM183s for distance omni pickup, and have some Schoeps and AKG mics, so I'd like something a little more..."surgical" and flat, for lack of a better term.

Due to the pandemic, I'm likely not to get a hands-on demo with these mics, so I'm looking for any feedback that people might have. Opinions welcome!
Old 20th October 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 

stick to the 2k* series or even better, bump up to the 'old' 4k series: by comparison, the mini mics** pale - a lot!
their raised self noise makes them (close to) unusuable in some situations; same for max. spl capacity (which seems to be exaggerated in the specs).

* i got to use about two dozens on one occasion and if it would have been after me (i did monitors), i would have replaced them with pretty much anything else - kinda ok-ish but for this, they are too expensive imo!

** i get to use dozens of dpa clip mics regularly (and own a dozen myself): as much as i like them for being 'universally' available, i feel i'm forced to use rather aggressive filters to tame them and to use expanders on the way in to prevent my subgroups/mix buses turning into a waterfall?!

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 20th October 2020 at 10:42 PM.. Reason: edited for clarification
Old 20th October 2020
  #3
Lives for gear
 
jnorman's Avatar
I have owned pairs of 4090s and 4091s, as well as 4011s and 4006s, but none of the newer 2xxx series. I found the 4090s to be be quite useable.
Since you have Schoeps, why not a pair of mk2 caps?
Since you have akg (maybe c480 or c460?), consider the ck62 caps - they are very nice.
I am also very fond of my km183s and they are my primary piano spots.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Don S's Avatar
 

I've heard comparisons of the 2006 to 4006 and it's not worth it IMHO. The 2006 was not nearly as accurate or musical. If you have Schoeps preamps (CMC5 or CMC6), then a different capsule may serve you better and be within your budget such as the MK2. My preference is the 2H or 2S, but the original MK2 is made for close miking out of the 3 patterns.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
The secret and lineage of DPA's 2000 series mics

DPA's 2000 series mics look like something they are not. DPA's original 4000 series "pencil" mics are based on capsule technology inherited from B&K measurement mics. The main change in the 4006 is the replacement of metal diaphragms with pre-polarized Mylar and phantom-powered electronics. The basic acoustical design remained unchanged. In the "TL" generation, DPA replaced the transformer with a balanced output and higher-gain electronics. These are exceptional microphones, closely approaching the performance of the 130V polarized 4003. The 4011 modified the capsule design with an acoustic labyrinth on the back side, to achieve a cardioid pattern.

The 4060 introduced an in-house miniature omni capsule. It was noteworthy for good performance in a tiny package, if not for its noise floor. There's no issue when using them as lavalier or instrument mics, but using them at a distance reveals the noise floor inherent in such a small capsule. The electronics also suffered from limited headroom, hence the 4061 variant with a built-in pad and further noise floor sacrifice. 4080 cardioid versions of this mic avoided a space-hungry acoustic labyrinth by simply connecting two adjacent capsules in anti-phase. It's acoustically similar to a dual-diaphragm LDC capsule and has the same 3 dB noise floor penalty. Still no problem in close pickup use. To achieve greater directionality on loud stages, the 4099 fitted the same basic miniature capsule with an interference tube. The result is a lot of coloration, but finally enough gain to amplify a string section for a rock concert.

The price point of the original 4000 pencil mics is dictated by the cost to manufacture the original B&K-inspired capsule. When DPA decided to produce a more cost-effective line of pencil mics, that expensive capsule was the first thing thrown overboard. Instead, they reused their in-house dual-capsule miniature technology. The main difference is the use of better electronics, permitted by the larger body size. But the compromises inherent in the miniature capsule design remain. To be fair, budget challenged location recordists were already using DPA miniature lavalier mics "off label", often with good success; The 2000 series is serving that demand in a more convenient and durable package. But they are certainly not the mics they appear to be at first glance.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
DPA's 2000 series mics look like something they are not. DPA's original 4000 series "pencil" mics are based on capsule technology inherited from B&K measurement mics. The main change in the 4006 is the replacement of metal diaphragms with pre-polarized Mylar and phantom-powered electronics. The basic acoustical design remained unchanged. In the "TL" generation, DPA replaced the transformer with a balanced output and higher-gain electronics. These are exceptional microphones, closely approaching the performance of the 130V polarized 4003. The 4011 modified the capsule design with an acoustic labyrinth on the back side, to achieve a cardioid pattern...

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Mr Rick, this summary of the evolution of the 4006 (from B&K days to the current 4006A) mentions that "The diaphragm was, and still is made of 2 micron thick nickel foil (German silver) with an ultra-thin anti-corrosive polymer layer." Is it the polymer layer that you're describing as "Mylar" in the above? Sound Network (now part of DPA): https://www.soundnetwork.co.uk/produ...ng-microphone/

I don't mean to split hairs here. Rather, the different constitutions of the diaphragm in the high-end omnis (DPA, Schoeps, Gefell, Neumann etc) has always seemed to lend certain subtle characteristics to the sound, and I'd had the 4006 mentally filed under 'nickel'.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
@ John Pk, I don't know the exact construction of the diaphragms, only that they are pre-polarized in contrast to the metal diaphragms in the measurement mics. This means that they require either an insulating or dielectric layer to trap charge. The measurement mics use high-voltage DC polarization and can be destroyed if the capsule ever bottoms out against the back plate -- not something you want in a studio environment where people put expensive mics inside kick drums.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
(...)The measurement mics use high-voltage DC polarization and can be destroyed if the capsule ever bottoms out against the back plate -- not something you want in a studio environment where people put expensive mics inside kick drums.
lol - well, i'm one of those weirdos...

...but i can confirm that in ca. 30 years, the 4007 didn't get damaged and still measures very good - pretty stark contrast to the much less expensive beyer m88 which i also like a lot on bass drums but i've gone through too many that i would recall...

(putting a pop filter in front of them to minimize the air blast helps a lot though).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
Haigbabe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuba_noise View Post
Hello, all!

I'm looking to invest in a few omni mics for close-to-medium miking, and have settled on getting one of two different DPA models. Budget is ~1500 USD. As the title says, I'm looking at either the 4090 or the 2006A. Does anyone have concrete experience with both of those mics? From what I've seen online, the pros of the 4090 are smaller size and lower cost, while the 2006A has the advantage of being able to use 4000-series capsules (I think?) and a lower noise floor. I'm not really interested in the C-model preamp right now, so I'm keeping it to just the A-series amp. It does seem like the 4090 has a better low end, but that's just from initial research. I'd be using these primarily for close miking--things like a grand piano, string instruments, and so on. I use my Neumann KM183s for distance omni pickup, and have some Schoeps and AKG mics, so I'd like something a little more..."surgical" and flat, for lack of a better term.

Due to the pandemic, I'm likely not to get a hands-on demo with these mics, so I'm looking for any feedback that people might have. Opinions welcome!
FWIW, I might be inclined to go in the direction of Line Audio omnis. If you are looking for a bargain price ratio, they would be better bang for buck IMHO.

Either go big or keep your money in your pocket. The DPA 2000 series are good if you want a sort of glossed-over, kinder, not-too-revealing story of your event. If you buy those mics and expect them to be 4006/4007 equals, you’d be better off keeping your $$$. Going to the budget 406x and 409x line will get you the results of what you’ve paid. So, what do you want?

If you look at your mic locker one day and realise that you have a lot of mics, but that they are all second rate so to say, what happiness has been had?

It sounds as if you have *some* money, why not go the whole way?

H
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