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Schoeps MK4, how much better than Rode NT5?
Old 15th February 2006
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Talking Schoeps MK4, how much better than Rode NT5?

I have used and heard the Schoeps MK4 and MK21, and I really, really like their sound... they are the only condenser microphones I have used however... so I don't have an idea of "how much better" they actually are compared to other cheaper options...

Can anyone enlighten me?

Would the sound from a pair of Rode NT5s be blown away by the Schoeps? Is this even a reasonable comparison?

The reason I ask is that I plan to purchase a pair of the Schoeps in the near future (6 months- 1 year) but I am involved in an acoustic project (classical-ish chamber music ensemble) next week where the best microphones available at the moment are the Rode NT5... I am worried about the sound and was considering accelerating the Schoeps purchase to have them available. I am playing on the recording, and I want to make sure it sounds as good as it can!

Thanks for any info you can share!
Old 15th February 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Schoeps are a totally different league. The NT5's aren't horrible mics, but they aren't fantastic, either. I see you live in NY. How about renting a good pair of mics?

--Ben
Old 16th February 2006
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the advice.... from my research, that's what I was thinking, but I thought I'd throw the question out there just to confirm...
Old 16th February 2006
  #4
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liuto's Avatar
 

I haven't heard the NT5s but I can tell you about a similar comparison with Oktava MK012. I own Schoeps MK4 and MK2S and I am a real fan of these microphones for classical and jazz productions but I also bought a couple of the Oktavas and was "blown away" by their sound. If you are careful about mic positioning you can get professional sounding recordings. Nevertheless I prefer Schoeps, at least for main microphone applications, where they sound a bit more refined, smoother etc....
Regards Hermann
Old 27th December 2009
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

I don't like either the Schoeps MK4 nor the Neumann KM140 straight cardioids on their own very much. For me the Rode NT5, NT55 and NT6 cardioid mics sound pretty similar except the top end is a bit sweeter. Small diaphragm cardioids like these all sound a bit thin and squawky no matter who makes them, so my advice would be to save your cash and buy Rodes. If you buy the NT55 it comes with omni and cardioid capsules in the kit which is useful - a bit like buying a camera with wide-angle and telephoto lenses in the box.

The sound of small capsule cardioids is why a lot of us use subcardioids (like the Schoeps MK21 and Neumann KM143) - they sound warmer and less like a mynah bird.

I think some people stay away from Rode because they are more worried about perceived profile than sound quality. Bit like wine snobs who like to flash expensive labels.
Old 27th December 2009
  #6
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Just to clarify, you are resurrecting a four year old thread to say that Rode mics sound better than Schoeps? I guess it's all subjective, so how could we argue...
Old 27th December 2009
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Whatever you say - no problem with me - I take your point. We might have some new visitors since four years, interested in expressing their opinions.

We all need reminding every once in a while that we should select microphones with our ears not with our eyes and prejudices. The integrity, credibility and pleasurability of the content is what counts in the end and few music-lovers do their shopping for downloads and CDs on the basis of the names of manufacturers on the microphones used in the recording. If I am shopping for a nice photograph it should not concern me whether it was taken through a Nikon, Sigma or Tamron lens.

The assumption that a small capsule cardioid capacitor microphone is universally right for any particular job is also worth questioning - a fig8 ribbon might do the job better and sound cleaner too, or a different pattern capacitor, or a classic large diaphragm mic.. After a long time in this business you learn that many assumptions thrust upon you are based on hot air and not based either on physics or even-handed aesthetics. A lot of modern microphones sound like breaking glass and reading the manufacturer's name will not change that.

Microphones are like fixed focal length lenses and no professional photographer would have just one brand and one fixed focal length of lens in his kit, then argue about which particular brand of fixed 100mm lens worked best. A serious point is being missed here.
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Old 27th December 2009
  #8
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I recently bought some Schoeps MK4 capsules. Before I bought them I compared them to the Rode (only on acoustic guitar I must add) and for me personally the Schoeps were considerably more detailed and just generally sounded better.
Old 27th December 2009
  #9
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Exclamation

Although the Rode are good value for money, the Schoeps will blow them away.

Personally, I prefer a different cardioid SDC, but Schoeps are among the BMW, and Mercedes of this world and Rode is more like a Ford (at the best).
Old 27th December 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 

I agree with the point you are trying to make about using your ears to decide, just not quite with you on the specific tools you are comparing. Your analogy is slightly off too. Comparing different lenses is one thing, but your Rode to Schoeps comparison is more like a disposable camera to a DSLR. Sure, they both take pictures, but one IS better than the other (unless you're going for low quality).
Old 28th December 2009
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Well. As an owner of eight Rodes and fourteen Schoeps plus a lot of other mics used for orchestral recordings (last job last week Orchestre de Paris Soloists, next job next week London Symphony) I believe it is untrue to say that the Schoeps MK4 cardioids "blow the Rodes out of the water". They sound different that is true, and it is not a problem for me that they do. However the intimation that the Rodes sound 'ok but good value for money' and that the Schoeps sound 'markedly superior but at a price' is convenient but simply a false premise based on marketing preconceptions (at least judged by what my ears tell me).

Where does this talk come from? Is it based on the same notion that a high-end Audi car is more desirable than a low-end Volkswagen because it has more comfortable seats, a more powerful engine and all the other extras to make an expensive car more desirable than a low-budget one? I understand the differences between an expensive car and an inexpensive one. These scales of differences do not apply to the sound quality of a single diaphragm capacitor pencil cardioid microphone costing USD100, 200, 500, 1000 or 2000 and I believe many of us have vested interest in revisiting these false folklores which have nothing much to do with sound quality, and nothing much to do with any wholly fair blind listening at all.

There are bigger audible differences between the Rode omni and the Schoeps omnis I own (we only have MK2H and MK5 slide-switchables) and in differing circumstances my preferences shift. Overall I prefer the low-end extension of the Rode, but that is not because I am saying it is better designed or manufactured. Overall the Schoeps do feel more robustly built physically. However in the field the Schoeps CCM microphones have for me actually (surprisingly) been less reliable in terms of sporadic noise. The design and manufacture are based on slightly different choices made by the two companies. In the Wigmore Hall the Rodes sound wetter in the same physical position as the Schoeps - sometimes I want that, sometimes I don't - so I make my choice.

How we visualise sound in our own heads is our own business, and mea culpa I do visualise microphones as lenses or as lighting (in reciprocity). Sometimes I go further off the wall visualising them as aerials as in phased arrays when I am thinking through stereo options. With a camera there are three obvious ways I can frame a solo portrait - close-up with a wide-angle, medium-distance with a medium lens, long-distance with a telephoto. Within those choices I can set depth of field using aperture, shutter-speed and ISO. With audio the rules are different for sure, but germane. If you want 'presence' plus 'ambience' there are several ways to achieve it with microphones, especially if you are working in stereo or surround. Getting bogged down in what looks and reads like spitting contests over how much you paid or should pay for your favourite pencil small-capsule capacitor cardioid microphone is missing out on a lot of fun, and missing out on making great sounds in more interesting ways.

Vested interest is a powerful motivator and none of us should forget it. If I were a 'mature' professional photographer with a five year old USD10k camera and a USD5k lens I know I would be put out by a kid just out of college with his brand new USD700 Nikon and USD300 Sigma lens which made pictures pretty close to mine in terms of picture quality. We must not allow ourselves to indulge in the notion that with microphones "more expensive" necessarily must always mean "much better". The differences between the mature photographer and new kid on the block are much more to do with experience, wiles and guiles - not whether he is uses one brand of lens or another. The same is true for sound engineers. Give a bad engineer the best and most expensive microphones in the world, and give a great engineer a box of Rode microphones to play with and an hour or so to get used to them. I have a pretty good idea who'll deliver the better sounds.
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Old 28th December 2009
  #12
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The Listener's Avatar
What I am reading in this forum in the past months generates a rather unpleasant thought in my mind - "should the engineers after certain age or many years of ear abuse, retire from this business or do their experiences outweigh the possible (and very likely) hearing loss...?" Seriously.

If someone doesn't hear well above let's say 16kHz the differencies between the mentioned Rode and Schoeps mics might not matter so much to them, the same with conversion, dithering, bit depth, sampling rate, etc. subtle details... I don't know. Just a thought.

There is no snobbbery in using Schoeps mics - they are "no BS design" work-horses, a bit too expenisve, though, but there are always a bit less expensive Sennheisers, Beyerdynamics, Audio-technicas, Shures, Octavas, Rodes, etc. But to say any of those alternatives (especially the Rode mics that tend to sound a bit harsh on the top end in most cases) are actually better or more versatile - better sounding on most or all sources... is not just subjective opinion, but misinformation and BS to me.

High frequency hearing loss causes many heated debates around here I guess... Maybe it's time to start posting our current audiograms in our signatures for better orientation.

This quote makes much sense, though and could be applicable to ITB vs. OTB debates at present, when digital is really starting to "shine"... BUT - it doesn't have much to do with this Schoeps vs. Rode thing... :

Quote:
Vested interest is a powerful motivator and none of us should forget it. If I were a 'mature' professional photographer with a five year old USD10k camera and a USD5k lens I know I would be put out by a kid just out of college with his brand new USD700 Nikon and USD300 Sigma lens which made pictures pretty close to mine in terms of picture quality.
Old 28th December 2009
  #13
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
I'm not here to validate whether or not an engineer should retire from the business due to their own hearing lost, but...

IMO, it's really up to the particular engineer and his/her clientele base to decide whether they should stay or become a teacher or something.

That being said, I feel it's more important whether or not the client or artist hears the difference.
There are many engineers that have mastered how to work around their hearing deficiencies.
Should they quit even though they still pick the right gear and make good (great) recordings?
I think not, but it really isn't up to (me) us to decide that faith.
It does matter to the client or artist even if the engineer cannot hear the difference.
It's a tough workaround, but it can be accomplished.

Hey, we're only as good as our last gig...

"Huh, what did you say?"
"Hey, where do you teach?"

I may have misunderstood the post above, so I'll keep this quick sidebar (of my opinion) on the subject of engineers with deficiencies to a minimum.

Enough said; now, back to the OP discussion.
Old 28th December 2009
  #14
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mljung's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF View Post
Well. As an owner of eight Rodes and fourteen Schoeps plus a lot of other mics used for orchestral recordings (last job last week Orchestre de Paris Soloists, next job next week London Symphony) I believe it is untrue to say that the Schoeps MK4 cardioids "blow the Rodes out of the water".
Yes!

I always find it uplifting that someone like TonyF [or any other for that matter] are willing to question what many takes for granted.
Given the experience that Tony has in this field there's no need to question his words professionally, what is left is as always subjective.

I like the analogy with cameras as they also are a tool for capturing a certain picture or "situation". I work with cameras and know that I can take very good pictures with my trusted Olympus C-8080 digital camera. No it's not the best you can get, but I know how to get the best out of it, I know its strengths and weaknesses... very good indeed.

Thanks Tony - I will consider getting a pair of the Røde omnis at some point. But first of all I will make my decisions based on what I hear rather than just using a certain brand, and this is the core in your words - this is the important thing!

Meanwhile those who will can drive home in their Mercedes, Audi or Ford automobiles - I'll take my bike

::
Mads
Old 28th December 2009
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Wow. Below the belt stuff. If you are saying that an engineer who thinks a Rode microphone sounds ok has to be over fifty who should retire, with no hearing sensitivity above 16kHz, then that is as extraordinary in as many ways as it is wrong. My guess is that I shall not be alone in disagreeing with you. Just because someone does not agree with you does not automatically make him/her stupid, let alone deaf through senility. Old fogies are supposed to be the bigoted biased ones with closed minds, and I resent your encroachment on what should be the territory of others.

Please let us finally have some evidence to back up some of these preconceptions about microphone brands and sound. I just keep reading that expensive German mics have to be the best,... like pirates, because they arrrrhhh. It bores me, especially when a proportion of the commentary comes from someone who has worked for many years in the sales department of the UK importer of two of the leading brands of German mic. manufacturers, Neumann and Sennheiser.

Hands up any engineers over 50 who do not think it is time to hang up their headphones yet.
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Old 28th December 2009
  #16
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mljung's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF View Post

Hands up any engineers over 50 who do not think it is time to hang up their headphones yet.
I'm not over 50, but many fine engineers are and has been.
I'll raise my hand if I may for the reason that I intend to continue working with sound when I will be thumbsup
Old 28th December 2009
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
If someone doesn't hear well above let's say 16kHz the differencies between the mentioned Rode and Schoeps mics might not matter so much to them, the same with conversion, dithering, bit depth, sampling rate, etc. subtle details... I don't know. Just a thought.
Hi "Listener",

I have never had the experience that older, very experienced engineers with natural hearing loss were less able to judge recordings or equipment than me, or any other younger person. Rather the contrary! That's because the frequency sensitivity of your ears doesn't really have anything to do with "hearing".

Calling yourself "Listener", I would have expected more knowledge on this field. Believing that the effects of conversion, dither, bit depth etc. are 1) subtle, and 2) only happen over, say, 16 kHz - is wrong.

I, for one, am always interested in learning from the experience of engineers who have worked decades in the business. Apart from that, I couldn't care less about their audiogram.

Dirk
Old 28th December 2009
  #18
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Roland's Avatar
At the risk of wading into this debate/controversy at a late stage, I would make a couple of observations. I agree with Tony that just because something has this or that name on it, might be no better than an indication as to it's possible performance. On a more detailed point I've worked with the Schoep's on many occasions and they are fine microphones, but by no means a cure all or the Holy Grail. I concur with Tony's assumption that in many cases the particular model's he's talked about are far from ideal, thought there are several, specific uses I've found for them, (read, not location classical work). The Rodes I have much less experience with, however, I've used them on a couple of occasions without any trouble and have a couple of clients that use them regularly and achieve very good results.

It is more than slightly insulting to suggest that Tony's experience is based on "age related hearing loss", there are many reasons why he might have better hearing than the majority of people half his age. I feel for the less experienced posters here that it is unwise to question too much Tony's opinion, his background and experience and the fact that he still works successfully at the level he does in the industry obviously suggests that his clients still believe he delivers. Personally I think that it is great that certain people high up in the industry are prepared to air unpopular opinions, rather than just smile politely in mainstream company sales literature as many do.


Regards


Roland
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Old 28th December 2009
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

I have no problem being questioned, please don't get me wrong, keep it up. I have a wife and four kids after all and am used to it. Anyone who calls me Mr. Faulkner and treats me with too much respect is likely to be more than a bit suspect. The politest in delivery are usually Immigration Officers or tax-men and one is usually politest in return, but one would hardly describe such conversations as free and enlightening.

My interest is uniquely on focussing the discussion on what is audible, rather than anecdotal preconditioned responses that in order to get 'the best' by way of tools one must always pay an arm and a leg, and that having paid out that arm and leg one is entitled to expect immediate success.
Old 28th December 2009
  #20
Being one who uses both quite regularly, I agree that the Schoeps sound better than the NT5. The Rodes have a large upper mid presence that make them difficult to listen to for long periods of time without corrective EQ.

Other than that, they are great mics, and I actually prefer them over the Schoeps on woodwind instruments. They are also some of the best support mics that can be had. The junk to pro analogies seem to be based off of some preconditioned response that has nothing to do with the sound quality of the mics or personal experience.
Old 28th December 2009
  #21
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The Listener's Avatar
Well, obviously I have a talent of sounding more of an ass than I am, or maybe I just don't realize what an ass I am.

To be fair - it was not said that those particular Rode mics are "ok", which I agree with; it was stated like this:

"I don't like either the Schoeps MK4 nor the Neumann KM140 straight cardioids on their own very much. For me the Rode NT5, NT55 and NT6 cardioid mics sound pretty similar except the top end is a bit sweeter."

And a very old thread was ressurected just to state that...

If the top end of Rode NT5 can be described as being "sweeter" than Schoeps I have my doubts... Fair? And I also don't claim Rode NT5 are junk, they are useful mics and I can agree completely with the above poster...

I have heard some clips by another well known recordist that sounded quite harsh to me, that were preferred over smooth recordings by the bigger model mics of the same brand. Again, I can only conclude, that persons prefering those clips don't hear the top end anymore...

I agree of course (and I never stated otherwise) that it is not only information over 16kHz that is important to the judgement of "quality", etc. as someone mentioned... also most mics have presence peak below this of course, but hearing deteriorates the fastest in the "top end"... and it is most obvious when judging microphones - the first thing you notice - smooth or harsh, then all the rest... and also - the statement that triggered my reaction was about top end.

Also the differencies I mentioned (as someone argued) are not always subtle, but mostly they are, and recently many "experienced" persons started to claim in several threads that those "subtle" differencies are not even important or are outright irrelevant... I am getting tired of all this BS that seems to be based upon poor listening. (I am NOT saying that Mr.Faulkner has such). My reaction was not only to this "Rode has sweeter top end than Schoeps", but it was a culmination of all those threads...

I also don't claim, but question whether experience can be more important than hearing - and it seems that it is so... I also never said "persons over 50"... but some particular judgements about things like "16bit vs 24 bit being audible or not" and if "dithering does matter" and such from "experienced" people is confusing things too much IMO. And now - "Rode NT5 has sweeter top end than Schoeps..." but to be fair and to maybe clear the fog - I like and can easily agree with the rest of what Mr.Faulkner wrote about choosing the application of mics, unnecessary worship of brands, many new mics, whatever the manufacturer, sounding like broken glass, etc. I was just triggered by that initial opinion that claimed "sweeter"...

I am in no place to argue with such experienced persons, I only mixed a couple of jazz and world music albums, but I do react at more "extreme" opinions that seem strange to me, none the less.
Old 28th December 2009
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Schoeps have a particular sound and colour, and should not be necessarily used
as the standard referance to evaluate other mic brands. An example of a recording made with all Schoeps, Igor Stravinsky "Symphony of Psalms" on Telarc, sounds interesting and bizarre if played on headphones or the right audiophile stereo system. The sound is surreal and fuzzy on the choir. The flutes don't sound much like acoustic intruments, and with a subwoofer there is a constant rumbling. On monitors it doesn't quite hold together.
Old 28th December 2009
  #23
Quote:
Schoeps have a particular sound and colour, and should not be necessarily used as the standard referance to evaluate other mic brands. An example of a recording made with all Schoeps, Igor Stravinsky "Symphony of Psalms" on Telarc, sounds interesting and bizarre if played on headphones or the right audiophile stereo system. The sound is surreal and fuzzy on the choir. The flutes don't sound much like acoustic intruments, and with a subwoofer there is a constant rumbling. On monitors it doesn't quite hold together.
Hmm, I haven't heard that one yet, I have the Chicago symphony version which sounds phenomenal. Telarc is kind of hit or miss I have discovered. I don't know how much that sound I would attribute to the mics or to the engineering.
Old 28th December 2009
  #24
Gear Guru
 
charles maynes's Avatar
 

the Schoeps mics in general are wonderful, but like everything else, they wont make or break a recording session. Nor will a RODE mic or a Shure mic.

The artistry is in knowing where to put the mic.
Old 28th December 2009
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
...An example of a recording made with all Schoeps, Igor Stravinsky "Symphony of Psalms" on Telarc, sounds interesting and bizarre if played on headphones or the right audiophile stereo system. The sound is surreal and fuzzy on the choir. The flutes don't sound much like acoustic intruments, and with a subwoofer there is a constant rumbling. On monitors it doesn't quite hold together.
And your are absolutely positive that these were all Schoeps mics?

It seems quite incredible to me, that a flute would not sound like a flute with Schoeps
I guess your post is an example, how rumors are running amok.
If a flute does not sound like a flute it is certainly not the fault of a Schoeps mic, that much is clear.
Old 29th December 2009
  #26
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Good behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF View Post
It bores me, especially when a proportion of the commentary comes from someone who has worked for many years in the sales department of the UK importer of two of the leading brands of German mic. manufacturers, Neumann and Sennheiser.
I couldn't agree more. Most people, perhaps without exception, here and elsewhere who have such affiliations plainly and very prominently list this in each and every post they write, instead of burying it somewhere and than explaining, when questioned, that what they write is completely unrelated to their work history. This is a pretense and is dishonest.
Old 29th December 2009
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post

And a very old thread was ressurected just to state that...
I don't understand this antipathy to older threads. I find they provide context.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
I have heard some clips by another well known recordist that sounded quite harsh to me, that were preferred over smooth recordings by the bigger model mics of the same brand. Again, I can only conclude, that persons prefering those clips don't hear the top end anymore...
So if you find a recording harsh, and another person doesn't hold the same opinion you do, then you blame it on the other person's hearing?

Harshness is generally not thought to be a "higher end" phenomena, rather the the frequencies involved are thought to be *well* under 10k, usually somewhere between 1k and 7.5k, more or less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
but hearing deteriorates the fastest in the "top end"... and it is most obvious when judging microphones - the first thing you notice - smooth or harsh, then all the rest... and also - the statement that triggered my reaction was about top end.
This is not true at all. It is true that the upper end deteriorates with age. However, it is also true that for most people who have been exposed to high volume impulse or steady state narrow or wide band noise, their hearing deteriorates in a notch fashion in specific areas between about 1.5 to 8k.

Different generations of people of been exposed to wildly different phenomena. Often, I observe parents holding their children-including infants- directly in front of "stacks" at an outdoor pop/rock event. And in the US, these stacks are LOUD. I would bet than my "over 50" hearing is a great deal more acute and wider bandwidth than many, if not most, younger people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
Also the differencies I mentioned....... I am getting tired of all this BS that seems to be based upon poor listening.
Poor listening or poor hearing? And how is your own listening and hearing? Your own perceptions wouldn't lead you to any bias, right?

Could you accept a situation where you disagree with someone else without having to determine where the "fault" is? IOW, that two people really can have differing opinions? And that both or neither are "correct?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
but I do react at more "extreme" opinions that seem strange to me, none the less.
Some might find your own opinions extreme and strange. Have you considered that? Just because you consider an idea strange doesn't, in itself, mean to much, does it?
Old 29th December 2009
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
...
It is more than slightly insulting to suggest that Tony's experience is based on "age related hearing loss", there are many reasons why he might have better hearing than the majority of people half his age. ...
Age related hearing loss is perfectly normal and still a taboo. Musically speaking going from 16 kHz to 8 kHz means losing only one octave out of ten.
And it is true, many young people today have horrible audiograms, I have seen it first hand in many cases.
Actually we also could argue in favor of the older generation of engineers with less sensitivity in the high frequencies, that they hear more like the main target group for classical music does, which is mostly above 40 years and in average around 60.

As to the topic: anyone with first hand experiences about the long term reliability and built quality comparison between MK4 and NT5 ?

What about tolerances?

Those are the two main arguments, besides the primary sonic features, which for me easily justify a higher price, which in the long run turn into a better 'return of investment' value.
Old 29th December 2009
  #29
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d_fu's Avatar
 

My guess would be that 50 years of classical engineering will do less harm to one's hearing than 10 years of Heavy Metal...

Quote:
Originally Posted by audio ergo sum View Post
As to the topic: anyone with first hand experiences about the long term reliability and built quality comparison between MK4 and NT5 ?
Only second hand from a DG engineer I know, who found the Rodes fairly useful, but had reliability problems. But this is of course far from representative and may not be a general issue...

I personally don't follow the "Walmart mentality" that's been mentioned in the Grace stereo bar thread - mine's an ebay mentality. While I don't own any Schoepses, I do aim a bit higher than Rode etc., but I buy the stuff second hand. Probably 80% of my collection is from ebay, mostly at 1/3 to 1/2 the retail price. You can sometimes get lesser known products (older Beyer condensers) at ridiculous prices, and they are absolutely excellent, and service is nearby, fast, and not too expensive.

My success rate has been very high over the years, only very few failures like defective mics etc. In one case, I was even able to turn that failure into profit... heh

D.
Old 29th December 2009
  #30
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Nobilmente's Avatar
 

At the risk of not wading into this debate at a late stage!!

I totally agree with Tony Faulkner, what's not to?
I have not read every entry in this thread (it's Christmas!) but suffice to say that I too have chosen less expensive microphones than the Schoeps on quite a number of occasions to get the best sound under the cirmcumstances. It's not exactly difficult choosing microphones that are cheaper than Schoeps.

I recorded a Male Voice choir in an acoustic that was very suitable, and used Calrec microphones. The recording sounded well and was favourably received. The next time the job came up, I decided to use a pair of Schoeps Mk5 capsules with the same choir in the same hall, thinking the sound might be improved, it was not, and the Calrecs performed better in those circumstances than the Schoeps. When the same job came up again for the choir (same room again) I returned to using Calrecs, and acheived the same sort of results as the first Calrec recording.

I like Schoeps very much and use them very regularly, particularly as main pairs etc. but in this instance the Calrecs worked much better. (Calrecs, for me, can work extremely well on percussion and give a "naturalistic" timbre too).

And in similar vein, making the point further.

I have been a full-time professional trombone player for 40 years (should have known better) - and this has been juggled with being a sound engineer for the past 25+ years or so. The trombone mouthpiece I used during this period and which was the most suitable for me, cost £4.50. I would have paid any amount to aquire "the best". At the time I bought it, in 1973, the going rate for mouthpieces must have been around £25 (from memory) - but this mouthpiece was, has been, and is the key to that particular door for me.

Isn't it so that high and low prices in themsleves are often used as marketing tools, and it can be difficult to feel secure in the judgement of your own ears or eyes in the face of relentless promotional advertising and conditioning? Trusting your own ears can be a useful way of making improvements - or so I have found.

Just my thoughts.
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