The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
DPA 4003 help?
Old 4th September 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
 

DPA 4003 help?

Hi All, it seems like this is the right group to ask. I was given a old pair of 4003 from the B&K era. I am a classical guitarist and am hoping to use it but, I have lots of questions about them. I use an RME Fireface 400. When I plug the mics into the RME’s mic channels from its own 130v box with the phantom power off, I got very strong signal but it tends to be a very bright sound. I also tried to simply goes through the balance input. However, when I do that, the signal I got are minimum. I have to max out the input and still need to normalize the recordings to get it loud enough. I do like the sound very much. Am I doing something wrong? Are there something wrong with the mics? Help?
Old 4th September 2020
  #2
Old 4th September 2020
  #3
That's a wonderful gift! I own a pair of 4003's of that vintage; they are absolutely amazing microphones. Here are a few hints about using them.
  • B&K/DPA mics of that era came with two grids. The silver grid is for direct field use; the black is a "diffuse field" grid for use in reverberant field pickup. If used in the direct field, the black grid will cause a large HF rise.
  • You can now buy a newer "trapezoidal" grid which is intended for close-field use. The result is less bright than either of the other grids and might suit your taste.
  • The output of a 4003 is pretty hot -- 12 dB stronger than a 4006 of that era -- but it is not quite line level unless you have put it inside a kick drum.
  • The 4003 has an unbalanced output. Certain preamp circuits do not like this at all and will produce poor results.
  • Experienced users consider the factory 130V supply to be a sonic "choke point". Millennia Media and Grace Design both offer options for their preamplifiers that will power these mics directly. I use the Millennia HV-3B. You could purchase a used one and have 130V power added by their service department. It's well worth it!
  • Study the polar pattern diagrams in the manual. (Here's a PDF link.) In the direct field, you can change the HF balance in a gentle way by rotating the microphone slightly away from the sound source.
  • If you often record from a distance, adding an APE ball narrows the polar pattern in an interesting way that's similar to a Neumann M50. Several size balls are available -- the 40 mm one is most commonly used.
  • When using these mics for concert pickup, it's recommended to position your preamplifier close to the mics and run balanced lines for the majority of the distance. This will reduce risk of picking up interference from cell phones and the like.

Congratulations on your "new" microphones!

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording

Last edited by David Rick; 5th September 2020 at 12:27 AM.. Reason: spelling
Old 4th September 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
[*]B&K/DPA mics of that era came with two grids. The silver grid is for direct field use; the black is a "diffuse field" grid for use in reverberant field pickup. If used in the direct field, the black grid will cause a large HF rise.
You can experimentally try recording with the grid removed completely to get a sense of what the silver grid will sound like, but be very very careful because the microphone is extremely delicate without it.

All of Mr. Rick's comments are spot on... be aware that these microphones were originally intended for far-field miking. You might want to try a pair at a distance just to see what they sound like doing that; it's an amazing sound that you might find a use for later on.
--scott
Old 4th September 2020
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thank you for both of your help!!

Thank you David Rick and Kludgeaudio!!! So let me clarify. Does it mean I need to go through the Mic Inputs because the signal is not quite strong enough for the Ba Line Inputs? Sorry about my ignorance. Beginner here:(
Old 8th September 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Changer1 View Post
Thank you David Rick and Kludgeaudio!!! So let me clarify. Does it mean I need to go through the Mic Inputs because the signal is not quite strong enough for the Ba Line Inputs? Sorry about my ignorance. Beginner here:(
There's a 40dB difference (sometimes even more) between mike and line levels, so it's very rare to be able to plug a mike into a line input. It can work sometimes with sensitive microphones and very loud sources, but don't expect it to work.

But, don't expect any real change in tonality either. If you are hearing a big difference in tonality between the mike and line inputs, it might be time to get a better preamp. I bet if you plug into the line input and crank the gain up digitally they will sound pretty similar aside from the noise.
--scott
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 183 views: 25461
Avatar for baikonour
baikonour 10th October 2006
replies: 2119 views: 349747
Avatar for shoepedals
shoepedals 2 days ago
replies: 84 views: 28656
Avatar for Mikomi
Mikomi 8th August 2019
replies: 53 views: 7937
Avatar for Jeff Scott
Jeff Scott 5th February 2013
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump