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good omnis
Old 12th June 2003
  #1
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🎧 15 years
good omnis

The problem with buying a good piece of gear is that you suddenly feel that you need to upgrade everything else. When I was recording bands "live to 2 track" onto my SV3800, a pair of KM184s and a stereo 1272-type preamp was a perfect front end. But with the DAT replaced by the new Genex GX9000, I'm looking at upgrading both the mics and preamps. (whether or not I need to upgrade, the Genex has 8ch, not 2, so I need to add several channels of preamps and mics anyway.....)

We're leaning towards a Hardy M2 for the mic preamps, but the omni pair is still a toss-up. I would like to rent/borrow both types to evaluate, but until that happens, I'd like to hear from users of either/both mics. I'm considering the DPA 4006 and the Schoeps CMC-5 body with the MK-2 omni capsule (still deciding over which version of the MK-2, flat or high end bump).

So, I'd like comments on either of these mics, but I'm especially interested in hearing from anyone that can offer comparisons of the DPA and Schoeps models. What are the key differences, advantages, disadvantages, etc.

(I'm hoping to apply these mics to a wide variety of recording projects; live bands, classical, choirs, etc. So versatility is important.)

Thanks.

Steve
[email protected]
www.lexington125.com (I finally secured the rights to my URL!)
Old 12th June 2003
  #2
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Jules's Avatar
My classical / remote chums swear by thier Earthworks QTC-1 mic's & Pre Amps..


Old 13th June 2003
  #3
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e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Earthworks all the way. I doubt you'll need to upgrade them anytime soon.

I got some kickass results with them and a GML mic pre. I noticed a couple verb chambers in town used them.
Old 14th June 2003
  #4
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🎧 15 years
thanks for the replies; but I've narrowed down my choice to the DPA 4006 and the Schoep CMC 5 or 6 body w/ the MK-2(x) capsules. These are both "standards" in a certain segment of the industry and I was hoping that some folks have experience with both of these mics and can offer some comments comparing the two. Which are more versatile, is either one obviously better constructed, any reliability problems, etc. So, any DPA vs Schoeps opinions?

Thanks.

Steve
[email protected]
www.lexington125.com
Old 14th June 2003
  #5
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Steve, I tried to PM you last night about the Genex situation but your mailbox was full. Let's talk on the phone about what's going on. Looks like it will be 2-3 more weeks until the analog cards come in and I can get my unit. Here's hoping we have a manual SOON.
As to this thread's topic, I have Schoeps (4) with both cardiod (mk4) and omni (mk2s) capsules. Omnis are smooth as silk but pick up everything within a city block. Usable in only the quietest of rooms or in the studio....but they are definitly sweet. Planning on using them as ambience mics for the folk recording that is currently scheduled (when the genex is finally in hand and operational ). Anyhooooo...stay in touch. Rick
Old 15th June 2003
  #6
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Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i have the same setup as rick... I can't comment on the difference between schoeps and dpa because i've never heard the 4k6, but i do love my schoeps and someone will have to pry them out of my cold dead hands. I do prefer the omni's to the cardiods in most situations, but both sound phenominal

Marsh
Old 15th June 2003
  #7
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by hollywood_steve
thanks for the replies; but I've narrowed down my choice to the DPA 4006 and the Schoep CMC 5 or 6 body w/ the MK-2(x) capsules. These are both "standards" in a certain segment of the industry and I was hoping that some folks have experience with both of these mics and can offer some comments comparing the two. Which are more versatile, is either one obviously better constructed, any reliability problems, etc. So, any DPA vs Schoeps opinions?

Thanks.

Steve
[email protected]
www.lexington125.com
I have Schoeps and DPA's. Also have used MKH20's on more than one occasion.

Its horses for courses, the Schoeps have a little more top end to my ears and are available in free field or diffuse field version (the latter having a treble lift). The slight brightness is kind to strings and as such a popular choice. DPA's are great, maybe a little more particular about the room they are in. MKH 20's are very smooth, but then a lot less common than either of the others.

None of them particularly outshine the others, just different, and I have used all to good effect.

Regards


Roland
Old 15th June 2003
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by hollywood_steve
thanks for the replies; but I've narrowed down my choice to the DPA 4006 and the Schoep CMC 5 or 6 body w/ the MK-2(x) capsules. These are both "standards" in a certain segment of the industry and I was hoping that some folks have experience with both of these mics and can offer some comments comparing the two. Which are more versatile, is either one obviously better constructed, any reliability problems, etc. So, any DPA vs Schoeps opinions?

Hi Steve,

If you're looking at the 4006, you -really- should be looking at the 4003 -- much better microphone. Here's why:

http://www.mil-media.com/docs/products/bk.shtml

We've also used Schoeps CMC6 with a number of capsules for years, along with Sennheiser MKH and Josephson 606 hypers on opera. For large orchestra (Millennia has engineered over 1,000 remote sessions), a minimalist combination could include DPA 4003 / 4012 / 4016, Schoeps CMC6 + MK2 / 2H / 2S / 21, and Sennheiser MKH-20 / 40 / 50. If we're doing a radio runout (read: NPR budgets -- set up two mics and push the red button), on orchestra we've been leaning towards a pair of Schoeps CMC6 / MK2H. The 4003 pair can get a bit "glassy" on a large violin section.

On smaller ensemble or soloist, a 4003 pair can be magic -- especially on grand piano, percussion, pipe organ, and ambience. I’ve heard no better grand piano recording than with a pair of 4003. A pair of Schoeps MK21 in ORTF -- we like to run a modified ORTF which is a little wider and a larger angle -- will almost always give excellent "no time for a sound check" results. For critical small ensemble work (CD project, etc..), a Blumlein arrangement is often best but great care must be taken to get room and placement balance just right. A pair of MKH30 is the most accurate Blumlein technique we've found so far, but I've been experimenting with our new VM1-KHEs and various ribbons, including the Royer SF12. Wes Dooley also has a new ribbon called the R84 which I've ordered a matched pair and can report back later.

A comparison of Schoeps CMC6 and DPA 4003? They're both workhorses and we rarely have trouble with either. The Schoeps are more versatile (removable capsules), but if I could only have one pair, I would chose the 4003. That said, I think you've zero'ed in on two of the world's finest acoustic music recording microphones, and you clearly need both.

As for preamps, you probably know my opinion and I'll write to you privately about that.

Good luck with your search.
John La Grou, Millennia Media, Inc.
http://www.mil-media.com
Old 15th June 2003
  #9
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by johnlagrou
Hi Steve,

If you're looking at the 4006, you -really- should be looking at the 4003 -- much better microphone. Here's why:

http://www.mil-media.com/docs/products/bk.shtml

We've also used Schoeps CMC6 with a number of capsules for years, along with Sennheiser MKH and Josephson 606 hypers on opera. For large orchestra (Millennia has engineered over 1,000 remote sessions), a minimalist combination could include DPA 4003 / 4012 / 4016, Schoeps CMC6 + MK2 / 2H / 2S / 21, and Sennheiser MKH-20 / 40 / 50. If we're doing a radio runout (read: NPR budgets -- set up two mics and push the red button), on orchestra we've been leaning towards a pair of Schoeps CMC6 / MK2H. The 4003 pair can get a bit "glassy" on a large violin section.

On smaller ensemble or soloist, a 4003 pair can be magic -- especially on grand piano, percussion, pipe organ, and ambience. I’ve heard no better grand piano recording than with a pair of 4003. A pair of Schoeps MK21 in ORTF -- we like to run a modified ORTF which is a little wider and a larger angle -- will almost always give excellent "no time for a sound check" results. For critical small ensemble work (CD project, etc..), a Blumlein arrangement is often best but great care must be taken to get room and placement balance just right. A pair of MKH30 is the most accurate Blumlein technique we've found so far, but I've been experimenting with our new VM1-KHEs and various ribbons, including the Royer SF12. Wes Dooley also has a new ribbon called the R84 which I've ordered a matched pair and can report back later.

A comparison of Schoeps CMC6 and DPA 4003? They're both workhorses and we rarely have trouble with either. The Schoeps are more versatile (removable capsules), but if I could only have one pair, I would chose the 4003. That said, I think you've zero'ed in on two of the world's finest acoustic music recording microphones, and you clearly need both.

As for preamps, you probably know my opinion and I'll write to you privately about that.

Good luck with your search.
John La Grou, Millennia Media, Inc.
http://www.mil-media.com
Dear John,

I personally have to disagree with you.

Technically the spec is better using the 130 volt powered DPA 4003, but I have also found them to be much more "clinical" in sound than the transformered 4006. That coupled with the fact that 4003's work out a lot more money to purchase because of the need to have the dedicated DPA pre-amp, or maybe you are suggesting that they should be used with the Millennia pre-amp with its dedicated 130 volt supply?

DPA's are great mics, however they are room fussy. If the acoustics are great and not too wet they are a wonderful choice. In less than ideal enviroments the Schoeps might well work better as possibly will the Sennheiser MKH20's. Also don't discount mics from the Neuman range (though these do seem to be at a premium price these days).

One word of warning about Schoeps. Some of the mics in the range have a curtailed low frequency response and when using several of them for a session it is important that you have decent current supply on your phantom power.

Regards


Roland
Old 15th June 2003
  #10
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🎧 15 years
I'm operating several economic levels below many of the other guys in this group. I need to purchase a pair of omnis and a multi-channel mic preamp, and they will be the ONLY multi-channel preamp and omni pair that I own for the forseeable future. In that situation, versatility is just as important as pure audio performance, and a mic that requires a 130v power supply just doesn't fit into the plan. When you are a one-man show, every additional piece of gear means another trip out to the car.

I'm looking for a multi-channel mic preamp that will sound great with every mic in my small collection. And the rooms where I typically work are filled with potential problems for anyone trying to record there. From the beer company neon signs hanging over the stage, to the ac outlets that also power the beer cooler, to the guaranteed ground loop hum, these types of rooms will do everything possible to screw you up. A transformer coupled mic preamp is just one tool I can use to fight back, and I can't afford to give that up.

Thanks for all of the great replies, they have been very informative.

Steve
[email protected]
www.lexington125.com
Old 15th June 2003
  #11
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Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
for a multichannel pre that will be used with everything, i'd reccommend staying on the clean side of things. In that case, on the high end you'd be looking at millennia and grace. in the middle class, you'd be looking at the pure systems, and the earthworks pres. low end you'd prolly be best with either a sytek or several RNP units


Marsh
Old 15th June 2003
  #12
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
One word of warning about Schoeps. Some of the mics in the range have a curtailed low frequency response and when using several of them for a session it is important that you have decent current supply on your phantom power.


are most phantom power supplys insufficent to get the best performance from the schoeps? are there specialty external phantom power units that are better?

what do you mean by curtailed low freq response? attenuated lows? I know that all of their bodies, unless specified are highpassed around 20-30 hz. You can order a specific body that is flat to DC but it isn't standard

marsh
Old 16th June 2003
  #13
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Marshall Simmon
are most phantom power supplys insufficent to get the best performance from the schoeps? are there specialty external phantom power units that are better?

what do you mean by curtailed low freq response? attenuated lows? I know that all of their bodies, unless specified are highpassed around 20-30 hz. You can order a specific body that is flat to DC but it isn't standard

marsh
Many of there mics have roll offs starting around 80-100hz! The information is available on the Rycote microphone data CD-Rom. As you point out there are others that are flat response too, you just have to be careful which models you are specifying.

In an individual pre-amp situation you should have no problem, however Schoeps are considerably higher current users than almost any other phantom mic available. Enough that when using several of them with some consoles it can be an issue. How much current supply is available to multichannel mic amps like the ones mentioned above I couldn't tell you, but it would be something I would want to know if I planned to use 8 channels of Schoeps. My point is that its not something that engineers normally think they may have to consider.

Regards


Roland
Old 16th June 2003
  #14
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Roland
Dear John,

I personally have to disagree with you.

Technically the spec is better using the 130 volt powered DPA 4003, but I have also found them to be much more "clinical" in sound than the transformered 4006. That coupled with the fact that 4003's work out a lot more money to purchase because of the need to have the dedicated DPA pre-amp, or maybe you are suggesting that they should be used with the Millennia pre-amp with its dedicated 130 volt supply?

Hi Roland,

I believe you're the first person I've met who prefers the 4006 (sonically) to the 4003. When I first compared the 3 against the 6 on orchestra, it was like cotton out of the ears. I would agree that both the 4006 and 4003 lean towards the "clinical" side of reality, but that's another story, and is the reason why a 4003 -or- 4006 can sound a bit strident on certain sources, and like magic on others.

I know that my experience is shared by just about every engineer I can think of that uses DPA 4000-series omnis, from George Massenburg to Jack Renner and Michael Bishop (this year's symphonic Grammy winners) from David Smith at Sony Classical to Shawn Murphy (#1 film scoring engineer). That said, I'm not doubting that you you don't -prefer- the sound of a 4006 to a 4003. That's why this is art -- everyone's opinion is valid for their work and artisitic goals.

Wait, did you compare the 3 and 6 using DPA's original powering unit? That could be a problem -- the old power supply's audio path didn't sound so hot. That's one of the reasons I developed my own powering system. If that's the case, when you get a chance again try an HV-3 with 130V inputs and do another 3/6 comparison.

Best wishes,
Old 16th June 2003
  #15
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by johnlagrou
Hi Roland,

I believe you're the first person I've met who prefers the 4006 (sonically) to the 4003. When I first compared the 3 against the 6 on orchestra, it was like cotton out of the ears. I would agree that both the 4006 and 4003 lean towards the "clinical" side of reality, but that's another story, and is the reason why a 4003 -or- 4006 can sound a bit strident on certain sources, and like magic on others.

I know that my experience is shared by just about every engineer I can think of that uses DPA 4000-series omnis, from George Massenburg to Jack Renner and Michael Bishop (this year's symphonic Grammy winners) from David Smith at Sony Classical to Shawn Murphy (#1 film scoring engineer). That said, I'm not doubting that you you don't -prefer- the sound of a 4006 to a 4003. That's why this is art -- everyone's opinion is valid for their work and artisitic goals.

Wait, did you compare the 3 and 6 using DPA's original powering unit? That could be a problem -- the old power supply's audio path didn't sound so hot. That's one of the reasons I developed my own powering system. If that's the case, when you get a chance again try an HV-3 with 130V inputs and do another 3/6 comparison.

Best wishes,
Dear John,

You are perfectly right, I did try the 4003 with the BK power unit, perhaps my ears aren't as cloth as I thought they were, though I'm sure it is fair to say should you have thought your unit wasn't an improvement over the DPA I'm sure you wouldn't have bought it to the market place!

My only point, and please don't take this the wrong way, but most of the pre-amps out there are grossly over priced, particularly bearing in mind what they contain electronically.

I am a great believer in class "A" circuits as I believe are you, but as the recent mic and pre shootout that was carried out by several esteemed member of this forum they commented that the differences between the mic-amps was subjectively less than they expected.

Personally speaking I am interested to see what Mathias from RME has done with his class A mic amps.

Regards


Roland
Old 16th June 2003
  #16
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Roland
Dear John,
My only point, and please don't take this the wrong way, but most of the pre-amps out there are grossly over priced, particularly bearing in mind what they contain electronically.

Roland,

Funny you should bring that up -- I was just on a panel at the TapeOp Conference in Portland entitled "What's the Difference Between and $100 and $1000 mic preamplifier?" Lynn Fuston did a great job as moderator.

Six botique preamp makers were on the panel discussing (e.g., "justifying") the cost of their respective micamps. If you've never run a small, nichey manufacturing business, please cut us some slack before branding our gear "grossly overpriced." Each person on that panel shared a passion for audio and, to a person, builds unique & uncompromised gear we are all incredibly proud of. This is the kind of gear that will probably still be commonly used in studios 30, 40, 50 years from now.

Keep in mind the key differences between "mass merchandisers" and boutique makers. Boutiques design to a self-defined audio (sonic) criteria, calculate the cost-to-produce, then price the gear accordingly. Everyone on the panel had a personal story of this nature. Mine is here:

http://www.mil-media.com/docs/articles/design.shtml

In mass merchandising (no need to name names -- we all know who they are), marketing establishes a product price point and engineering is charged with creating a product within marketing's cost restrictions. This means tradeoffs, often severe. Heck, I just saw a 12AX7 vacuum tube mic preamp with phantom power for a street price of $40. Can you imagine what's in that thing? I can!

Ultimately, if a product seems overpriced, the "market" will simply not buy it. And if an engineer can't hear the difference between a certain $100 preamp and $1000 preamp, there is no reason for that engineer to buy the expensive machine. Geoff Daking presented an interesting chart showing the cost-per-channel of many high-end micamps. Millennia, as I recall, was somewhere in the middle. I do remember that Martech was the most expensive on the chart (though, the most expensive micamp I’ve ever used is Didrik de’Geers “Manibus” @ $15,000 per channel).

The sonic differences between many high dollar micamps, especially those tending towards "accurate," can be subtle. Many engineers do not work in the realm of "subtle" (e.g., classical and critical acoustic music) and can't hear a difference, or simply don't care about the subtleties they do hear. There are other engineers who make their living with subtlety; who select their gear because of the subtle improvements they hear.

Are subtle improvements worth extra cost? You know, only you can answer that question for yourself. Is an extra 1 HP worth $25,000 in engine refinements to an Indy driver? Is the 30X price difference between a Zeiss and Pentax lens important to a critical photogrpher? It depends on the application, in photography, audio, and any field where art and science work hand in hand.

Best wishes,
Old 16th June 2003
  #17
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
John,

Well said!

Thank you for your comments and perception on this matter.

I totally agree with where you're coming from.

With that said, "A mic pre is only as good as the engineer it keeps".

If you cannot hear the difference between the price range, do not bother investing in it.
Old 16th June 2003
  #18
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Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by johnlagrou
Roland,

Funny you should bring that up -- I was just on a panel at the TapeOp Conference in Portland entitled "What's the Difference Between and $100 and $1000 mic preamplifier?" Lynn Fuston did a great job as moderator.

Six botique preamp makers were on the panel discussing (e.g., "justifying") the cost of their respective micamps. If you've never run a small, nichey manufacturing business, please cut us some slack before branding our gear "grossly overpriced." Each person on that panel shared a passion for audio and, to a person, builds unique & uncompromised gear we are all incredibly proud of. This is the kind of gear that will probably still be commonly used in studios 30, 40, 50 years from now.

Keep in mind the key differences between "mass merchandisers" and boutique makers. Boutiques design to a self-defined audio (sonic) criteria, calculate the cost-to-produce, then price the gear accordingly. Everyone on the panel had a personal story of this nature. Mine is here:

http://www.mil-media.com/docs/articles/design.shtml

In mass merchandising (no need to name names -- we all know who they are), marketing establishes a product price point and engineering is charged with creating a product within marketing's cost restrictions. This means tradeoffs, often severe. Heck, I just saw a 12AX7 vacuum tube mic preamp with phantom power for a street price of $40. Can you imagine what's in that thing? I can!

Ultimately, if a product seems overpriced, the "market" will simply not buy it. And if an engineer can't hear the difference between a certain $100 preamp and $1000 preamp, there is no reason for that engineer to buy the expensive machine. Geoff Daking presented an interesting chart showing the cost-per-channel of many high-end micamps. Millennia, as I recall, was somewhere in the middle. I do remember that Martech was the most expensive on the chart (though, the most expensive micamp I’ve ever used is Didrik de’Geers “Manibus” @ $15,000 per channel).

The sonic differences between many high dollar micamps, especially those tending towards "accurate," can be subtle. Many engineers do not work in the realm of "subtle" (e.g., classical and critical acoustic music) and can't hear a difference, or simply don't care about the subtleties they do hear. There are other engineers who make their living with subtlety; who select their gear because of the subtle improvements they hear.

Are subtle improvements worth extra cost? You know, only you can answer that question for yourself. Is an extra 1 HP worth $25,000 in engine refinements to an Indy driver? Is the 30X price difference between a Zeiss and Pentax lens important to a critical photogrpher? It depends on the application, in photography, audio, and any field where art and science work hand in hand.

Best wishes,
Dear John,

I don't for a moment doubt the sonic integrity of your mic amp's, in fact I'm a great believer in class A circuits. I also take well your point about the $40 valve mic amp. Being that it requires a tube and a transformer, both costly components I would be totally in agreement with you. My point does not only bring into question the cost of mic amps, but also a lot of the "high end" gear being sold today.

We as an industry, which is going through radical change. Many studio's are charging rates today less than they were 10 years ago, more studio's struggling to fill their diaries. Old clasic mics selling for ludicrously stupid money, and as many informed engineers know that because it is a "classic" M47 doesn't mean much if it has been butchered. However they still attract prices of $4,000-7,000 and sell! And now this is when it gets truly crazy. You have new microphones that are being touted as recreations of the originals selling for about the same amount! The vintage game has been played by so many manufacturers it is now getting difficult to take many of them seriously. I am sure that truly wonderful recording have and can made using your pre-amps, and I have heard many truly wonderful recordings made on home built pre-amps that cost less than $5.00 a channel. By converese I am sure that there are as many engineers that have made bad recordings using expensive pre's as on a cheap Mackie.

I went and read your page, but I have to say all I saw was a sales pitch for why you think your product is better than your competition. I dare say that FM acoustics would argue the case with you over their class A amps being the pinnacle of purity. You are totally right about the pricing issue, in fact I see no need for you to justify to me or any other person your pricing. Thats your price, if I like, I buy, if I don't, I don't. With 12,000 channels in use worldwide by my reckoning thats over $6,000,000 worth at least so you are doing something right!

Regards



Roland
Old 16th June 2003
  #19
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Roland
Dear John,

...I am sure that truly wonderful recording have and can made using your pre-amps, and I have heard many truly wonderful recordings made on home built pre-amps that cost less than $5.00 a channel. By converese I am sure that there are as many engineers that have made bad recordings using expensive pre's as on a cheap Mackie.

Hi Roland,

You're absolutely right. This "dichotomy" is especially true in pop music. I've got $50 - $200 mics I use for pop music that give me thick vibe and personality I simply can't get out of $8,000 mics. We've also got some really cheap rack gear that gives us tonality and color we can't get from TCLs, NSEQs, etc..

That said ~ you'll rarely find successful critical acoustic music recording engineers using inferior equipment. I could list pages of examples for you, with few exceptions. There is a key difference between making colorful pop recordings, and making transparent acoustic recordings. If you can make world class acoustic and classical music recordings using low quality electronics, then you've achieved something that very few of the world's best balance engineers have been able to do.

I fully expect to see a mantle full of engineering Grammies on your shelf in a few years

Quote:

I went and read your page, but I have to say all I saw was a sales pitch for why you think your product is better than your competition.


My intent on the history page is to explain why, after trying numerous circuit topologies, I ultimately selected the HV-3 design. I try to explain why I found this final design sonically superior to other circuit approaches, and I mention no competitor names. You can take it as a "sales pitch" but its primary intent is to explain why I selected a transformerless, Philips double balanced, bipolar / FET discrete hybrid design over the scores of other alternative circuit designs.

If you want a sales pitch that can be found here: http://www.mil-media.com/docs/products/hv3d.shtml

Quote:

I dare say that FM acoustics would argue the case with you over their class A amps being the pinnacle of purity.


Although JH really tore into FM's "measured" performance at TapeOp, I personally find Manny's "Class Amp" to be subjectively very pure on many acoustic sources. You have good taste! and I've enjoyed this thread. Thanks for your well considered thoughts.

Best,
Old 16th June 2003
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I'm coming into this thread a bit late (I've had a crazy couple of weeks of work)... But.. I prefer the B&K 4006s generally to the Schoeps MK-2 capsules. In a perfect room and a perfect world, the Schoeps would probably win... It is much more transparent sounding and the transient response seems much better as well...

That said, in most rooms where I work (and the acoustics are less than perfect), the B&K sound seems to work better. I find that I have a much easier time finding a mic position that works well for a variety of ensembles and finding a blend that works for the recording. The other mic I use as a part of my main pickup is an AKG 426B stereo mic that I use for similar reasons. As I've mentioned on other threads, I don't believe that absolute transparency is the most desirable thing for acoustic music recording. Sometimes the transparency reveals the aspects of a situation that are not exactly what we want to hear. Also, I find clinical sounding recordings are boring to my ear...

I suppose that is a pretty personal opinion, though. heh

--Ben
Old 17th June 2003
  #21
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by fifthcircle
I'm coming into this thread a bit late (I've had a crazy couple of weeks of work)... But.. I prefer the B&K 4006s generally to the Schoeps MK-2 capsules. In a perfect room and a perfect world, the Schoeps would probably win... It is much more transparent sounding and the transient response seems much better as well...

That said, in most rooms where I work (and the acoustics are less than perfect), the B&K sound seems to work better. I find that I have a much easier time finding a mic position that works well for a variety of ensembles and finding a blend that works for the recording. The other mic I use as a part of my main pickup is an AKG 426B stereo mic that I use for similar reasons. As I've mentioned on other threads, I don't believe that absolute transparency is the most desirable thing for acoustic music recording. Sometimes the transparency reveals the aspects of a situation that are not exactly what we want to hear. Also, I find clinical sounding recordings are boring to my ear...

I suppose that is a pretty personal opinion, though. heh

--Ben
Sure is!!

But its become a fun thread! heh

It is interesting that Decca who have in their times won several grammys for some wonderful classical records used Neve transformered pre-amps, hardly purist!

I did do some recordings with a pair of FM acoustic pre's, they were fine, didn't really make any difference over many others I have used and they were about £3,000 a piece as I remember. Needless to say I didn't buy them.

I got great reviews a few years ago for a recording I did of Malipiero piano music released on ASV that I recorded using Neumans and BK 4006's, pity there isn't any web space available as I would post an MP3. That recording was made using a very early DDA. I spoke to David Dearden about it and he told me he designed it in a restaurant on the back of a Napkin! Pretty standard TL071 pre design on that. Played it for the first time in about 5 years and it still sounds great. These days I have a CLM 8 channel pre, a Sony DMXR-100, few channels of Neve and Focusrite 215. Also use some of Mike Skeets home grown mixers to very good effect.


Regards



Roland
Old 17th June 2003
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I love FM Acoustics.. I worked on a recording a couple years back where we had Schoeps MK 21s going through them... Totally high-end recording: M50s in a decca tree going through Millennia Pres, Woodwinds going through Beno May Jensen990 pres, Coles on the harp, C-12 VRs on the flanks of the orchestra. dB Techno blue series (now Lavery) converters...

On my website, I have several examples of my recordings that have been done with this gear I mention...

Example 1- Brahms Symphony is 4 Neumann 582 Omnis (gold capsules) across the front of the orchestra, with Schoeps 221Bs on the woodwinds. Vac Rac Preamps.

Example 3 (Jazz Sextet) was mixed live to stereo while I was doing FOH on a Behringer console. Of course I also have 10 channels of Vac Rac pres on the front end to help things out...

Example 7 uses: Beyer M88 on the vocalist, U87 (original) on the piano, U47 FET on bass with ADL200 DI, Neumann SM 69 on drums... Some Vac Rac Pres/Limiters some Boulder Twin Servo Pres... Mixed to 2 on a Yamaha O3D. Mastered in Sequoia.

The Studio Example used a Schoeps ORTF stereo mic in the center with B&K 4006s on the flanks. Strings had SM-81s, Woodwinds were Beyer 160s, Brass U-87s, etc...

Unfortunately, my example of the orchestra with UM 57s in the center and 582s on the flanks isn't up on my site (someday when I have time to mess with it again...). Talk about a euphonic sound. Not transparent at all, but beautiful just the same...

--Ben
Old 1st July 2003
  #23
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
I just did a mic test for an acoustic guitar setup in the studio. We tried my B&Ks and Earthworks QTC-1s. The B&Ks just had more of everthing going on, they had more detail and just sounded great. The Earthworks are no slouch and they did run a close second.
Old 2nd July 2003
  #24
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
since we are talking about high end clear pres, what do yall think about the benchmark 4 channel pre?

Does anyone actually use benchmark pres?


Marsh
Old 3rd July 2003
  #25
Lives for gear
 
hollywood_steve's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
what do yall think about the benchmark 4 channel pre?

Does anyone actually use benchmark pres?
********************************************

Yeah, what he said! I know that there is a knowledgable, friendly guy from Benchmark who posts here frequently, but has anyone not related to the company got anything to offer about their preamps? Their 400 and 420 model 4ch preamps are very reasonably priced and would be huge bargains if their performance is on par with much of their other gear (like those fab converters......)

Comments?

steve
[email protected]
Old 3rd July 2003
  #26
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm just waiting for my power supply to come in for the benchmark 400 so i'll give you a report when i get a chance to put it thoufh its paces


but i would like to hear from other people about what they think of it

Marsh
Old 3rd July 2003
  #27
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Marshall Simmon
I'm just waiting for my power supply to come in for the benchmark 400 so i'll give you a report when i get a chance to put it thoufh its paces


but i would like to hear from other people about what they think of it

Marsh
What pres will you have to compare the Benchmark to ?
Old 3rd July 2003
  #28
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
as of right now, the mackie board, and my ward beck 460's


totally different beasts, but that was what i was going for....



ward beck for coloured transistor
benchmark for clean

and at some point in time, a coloured tube pre

I would love to have 4 ch of millennia, but i'll have to wait till i'm indepenently wealthy.

I still have to get another AEA R84

by the by
i love the ward beck/ schoeps mk2 combo on drum overheads--- super thick lo end, smooth top end.

The power supply i got for the benchmark is +- 18v @10Amps and +48v @2Amps

I think that should be enough to power the schoeps and have enough headroom for the pre's!!!

Marsh
Old 6th July 2003
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
We find that using 4006 and Schoeps CMC62 (and it's variants) to each give good results. Despite being an omni, the 4006 is somewhat directional in comparison to the Schoeps omni. As mentioned earlier, 4006 is also brighter than Schoeps. We don't want to fool with the high voltage version on location because of special cable set-up and non standard set-up. Good for small set-ups or studio though.

Aim that 4006 where you want it, don't just hang it.
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