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Where are MKH 8000 capsules sold?
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Head
 
Where are MKH 8000 capsules sold?

Looking at the MKH 8050 over the MKH 50 and a major benefit of the 8000 series seems to be modularity (other than being compact).

While good in theory, where do you find capsules for this series? All I can find online is capsule + amp in the $1200 range. If the MZX XLR module is ~$300, shouldn't there be capsules available for $800-$900?

Compare this to the Schoeps Colette you can easily find capsules for $855 (Gray) and the amp for $849/$779 (CMC 1/CMC 6). Not to mention you can use the same capsules with the older or new amp design. Larger upfront cost though.

The MKH 8000 series seems attractive with the 8040 and 8060 capsules. But if I can't buy them standalone, is there much of a point?

(Does Schoeps have a capsule comparable to 8060?)

I primarily am looking to buy a decent supercardioid. The modular ones are attractive for adding cardioid or shotgun capsules later. The MKH 50 is mostly attractive for price and built-in low cut filter. However, with my primary use being fixed, I have a live mixer that provides EQ.

Sadly there aren't any local shops that rent these mics. Closest place is 6 hours away.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
The capsule and preamp are united....the part that unscrews is the xlr connector
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Tri-lobal design might have something to do with it.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #4
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
The capsule and preamp are united....the part that unscrews is the xlr connector
Are you thinking of the MKH 50 where everything is integrated? The "Sennheiser MZX 8000 XLR Module" is a "output stage and preamplifier for all MKHC (MKH-8000 series) microphone capsules" -- The capsule does not contain a preamp.

All listings of the MHZ 8000 mics come with the "MZX 8000 XLR Module" and can be physically separated. The question I'm asking is why can't I buy the capsule without the preamp like I can with a Schoeps. The whole point of the MHZ 8000 series is to be modular and to compete with Schoeps and other modular boom mics.

Here is a product listing of the MHZ 8000 module that you can buy for $300:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...LR_Module.html

But all capsules seem to be sold as a set with the MHZ 8000 module. No listings of the capsules being sold separately that I can find.

Here's an 8050 set:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...Condenser.html

And the only thing close to resembling a capsule listing is this:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ....html/overview

Which shows "No Longer Available" -- But a history shows this as being $1200 and the product description also says "In The Box" contains the "MZX-8000 XLR Module". (So it looks more like a rebranding from MKHC 8050 to MKH 8050).

Can't help but be super confused by this. And somewhat concerned about the product in general. Has it always been this way, or is this a COVID supply chain issue?

Am I better off investing in a Schoeps? Or going with the less expensive MKH 50 if I have to buy an MKH 80xx set anyway?
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Take a deep breath LS...

From Sound On Sound magazine...

“The complete MKH8040 microphone as supplied in the case measures 75mm long by 19mm in diameter, and weighs 55 grams. However, this microphone is actually two modules screwed together: the 'active' MKH8040 microphone itself, and the MZX8000 connector section that provides the XLR interface. The microphone element comprises the symmetrical capsule, all the miniaturised RF electronics and a balanced output driver, and it measures just 41mm long and weighs 25g. The connecting screw thread at the base of the module is pretty fine, but mating the mic and XLR module together is very precise and positive, so I don't think there's any risk of cross-threading

Modularity:
Although Sennheiser refer to their new 8000 series as 'modular,' I think it is important to make clear that this is not in the same sense that Schoeps describe their Colette modular range or, indeed, Neumann's KM100 range or even Sennheiser's own K6 range. In all of these the capsule is just that — a traditional microphone capsule — and it must be connected to a separate 'head amp' module, via extension tubes or cables, as required. This configurable modularity enables the user to acquire a number of different (and relatively cheap) capsules, and use them as necessary with a smaller number of (relatively expensive) head amps, providing maximum flexibility at minimum cost.

By contrast, the 'capsules' in the MKH8000 range are actually complete microphones, as I have described, and the system's modularity is simply in the way the 'capsule' connects to the outside world. Since the capsule is now the expensive bit, this has a big influence on the pricing structure and, as a result, the 8000 series may appear expensive in comparison to other 'true' modular systems. On the plus side, a complete 8000-series mic is about 35 percent cheaper than its larger MKH equivalent, which will appeal to anyone hankering after the MKH sound but without the budget!
Reconfiguring the 8000-series elements is as simple as unscrewing the active microphone capsule from the supplied XLR connector, and then inserting the appropriate cable or extension tube between them. At the time of writing there are two remote cables (three and 10 metres) and four extension tubes (from 15 to 120cm), as well as various purpose-designed desk stands and other mounting”

Clearer now ?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #6
Gear Head
 
Thank you for your patience. What you say makes sense. Where my confusion starts is the B&H listing the "MHZ 8000 module" as a "preamp". Is that an incorrect description in their website?

So essentially, the MKH 8050's benefit over a MKH 50 is smaller footprint. Both sound pretty close to each other. MKH 50 gives you a filter for less money.

If I'm looking for true modularity, is Schoeps the way to go? (Other things I've considered is Schoeps is more neutral, lower noise floor, and more forgiving with on/off axis transitions).

Is the $500 price difference for the Schoeps worth it in the long run?

Any other mics to consider?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSct ➡️
If I'm looking for true modularity, is Schoeps the way to go? (Other things I've considered is Schoeps is more neutral, lower noise floor, and more forgiving with on/off axis transitions).
There's some modularity with the MKH 8000 series in the sense that you have the choice of using the XLR connector or the digital connector (which is now listed as "discontinued" on Sennheiser's website, at least in my country), and you can also add Sennheiser's expensive HP filter. The RF technology in the Sennheisers is useful if you record in very humid environments, which is one reason why these mics are popular for location sound in cinema and video productions.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
The real reason for MKH8000 not being a modular system in a traditional sense is because every capsule of different pattern needs a very different EQ curve. Every MKH80xx internal basic electronic circuit is very similar, yet their EQ feedback circuit is different.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo ➡️
The real reason for MKH8000 not being a modular system in a traditional sense is because every capsule of different pattern needs a very different EQ curve. Every MKH80xx internal basic electronic circuit is very similar, yet their EQ feedback circuit is different.
The mixed blessing/curse of being an RF microphone !
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
The mixed blessing/curse of being an RF microphone !
Not necessarily so. Actually, it has nothing to do with it being RF microphone. It all has to do with the capsule design principle.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo ➡️
Not necessarily so. Actually, it has nothing to do with it being RF microphone. It all has to do with the capsule design principle.
I was meaning more that the RF principle requires a modular design tying the capsule, preamp and EQ together...so for MKH mics you can't just unscrew a capsule by itself, like Schoeps, for example ?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
I was meaning more that the RF principle requires a modular design tying the capsule, preamp and EQ together...so for MKH mics you can't just unscrew a capsule by itself, like Schoeps, for example ?
I think you misunderstood it. The capsules from MKHXX mechanically all can be interchanged and the mic would still function, except the frequency response will be un-flat.

MKH capsule designer ignored the frequency response aspect, knowing they would correct FR using EQ. Capsule designated to RF microphone can also be designed so they wouldn’t need EQ, like that of the Schoeps.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
king2070lplaya's Avatar
Da-Hong, what do you see as the practical impacts of this design choice? Would the Eq curves result in inconsistent phase response between different mics in the lineup, when used in something like a Straus Paket, or MS pair?

One thing I remember from using the 8000 mics a lot was that the 8020 seemed 6-8dB louder than the rest of the lineup. Not a difficult thing to account for, but definitely noticeable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo ➡️
I think you misunderstood it. The capsules from MKHXX mechanically all can be interchanged and the mic would still function, except the frequency response will be un-flat.

MKH capsule designer ignored the frequency response aspect, knowing they would correct FR using EQ. Capsule designated to RF microphone can also be designed so they wouldn’t need EQ, like that of the Schoeps.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya ➡️
Da-Hong, what do you see as the practical impacts of this design choice? Would the Eq curves result in inconsistent phase response between different mics in the lineup, when used in something like a Straus Paket, or MS pair?

One thing I remember from using the 8000 mics a lot was that the 8020 seemed 6-8dB louder than the rest of the lineup. Not a difficult thing to account for, but definitely noticeable.


Hi Kevin,


There are two ways of designing a flat frequency response microphones. One is to mechanically/acoustically manipulate the capsule so it outputs flat frequency response within a certain range. The other one is to do it through electronic EQ, like the MKH microphones. The EQ circuit in MKH microphones are all analog in nature, thus the effect it has on the phase response of the capsule more or less follows that of the mechanical means used by conventional capsule design. Technically, one can remove the EQ implementation in MKH microphone and leave the frequency response to the native capsule’s, then correct the response in digital domain using linear phase filters to preserve the native phase response of the MKH capsule. The amount of EQ required is easily doable post ADC in digital domain. In terms of sonic merits of this approach, I can’t comment on it since I have not tried it myself. Two problems to this approach; one is the poorer S/N ratio since the EQ is done post mic pre and ADC, and the other one is, of course, the pre-ringing in the bass frequency associated with linear phase filter. Still, worth trying I think.

To answer your question in regard to using MKH mics as a part of Straus Paket setup, I think the phase shift between an omni and a cardioid will be far greater than the phase shift caused by any EQ circuit. Besides, the phase shift in Strause Paket setup at higher frequency is completely out of the ball park. Think about this for one second; How closely can you possibly bundle two microphones together vs. the wavelength of higher audio frequency still within our audible range? As a reference, the wavelength at 10,000Hz is 33mm. Initially, one might think Strause Paket setup is a good idea until you think more carefully about the physical limitation of bundling two microphones together and hoping they would function as one, coherently. I just can’t see that from happening, can you? I know a lot of people think highly about this setup but it was invented before good sounding wide cardioid SDC became available. If you must use Struse/Paket setup, I wouldn’t worry too much about the EQ induced phase issue of any MKH microphones. By the way, they do make a wide cardioid now; MKH8090.


Best,

Da-Hong
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