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DPA SMK4060/4061 set

DPA Microphones d:screet SMK-SC4061

4.25 4.25 out of 5, based on 1 Review

Stereo set of DPA 4060's (or 4061's) with some very handy accessories


23rd December 2011

DPA Microphones d:screet SMK-SC4061 by RobAnderson

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
DPA SMK4060/4061 set

The DPA SMK4060 is a stereo set of two DPA 4060 omni lav elements. The SMK4061 is an identical kit featuring 4061's instead. The 4061 is designed for higher SPL's than the 4060, sacrificing a few dB of s/n ratio to accomplish this, but otherwise they are basically indistinguishable. For those not familiar with these lav's, they are highly sought after as elements for Broadway-type musical shows, competing with the Sennheiser MKE2.

Don't let the size fool you - the sound quality of these omni's is quite good, especially considering their price tag. Because of their tiny size, a high self-noise is inescapable, but DPA have done a fantastic job of keeping this to an acceptable level, to the point where one could consider using them for a main pair in situations where the mic's absolutely MUST be invisible. This is where the SMK kits come in.

Firstly, the kit includes far more than just stereo accessories. To that end, there are a pair of BLM6000 Boundary Layer Mounts that can transform the 4060's into a pair of boundary mic's - something a friend of mine refers to as a "get-out-of-jail-free card" - but also there are 2 mounts for using the lav's as spot mic's on string instruments (MHS6001) and two ingenious magnet mounts that can be used to place the lav's on a piano frame (DMM0011-B).

There are also two microdot to XLR adapters (with optional beltclips which are easily removed), five foam windscreens, and 5 universal surface mounts with adhesive.

My favorite use of these mic's is actually not as a main pair, but for nearly invisible spot mic's in classical or video setting. Even without the adapters, using a bit of gaff, a clamp and gooseneck and a music stand, one can create an excellent sounding spot mic for almost any instrument. As for "ease of use," the included adapters make your life very easy, but sometimes trying to exactly aim lav's can be challenging - a little gaff tape or craft wire and some good old-fashioned ingenuity can be of great assistance.

Admittedly, the self-noise can be a problem in very quiet situations, so they would certainly not be my first choice for mains when recording 4'33", or for room mic's. However, when spot mic'ing classical instruments in a concert situation where a forest of mic stands is unacceptable, I would not hesitate to reach for them. Even in sound reinforcement situations, these mic's can be a great tool for close mic'ing strings and pianos, or as head-worn "lav's" on singers.

There are many other adapters available for these mic's that are a bit pricey, but make this kit greatly expandable as your needs may expand. For instance the DAD6034 adapter (not included) can mate the 406x lav with a Sennheiser G3 wireless kit.

I heartily recommend the SMK sets to the toolboxes of anyone doing on-location music and sound work.

 
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