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Messin' with headbaskets
Old 19th October 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 
nulldevice's Avatar
 

Messin' with headbaskets

A while back I bought a lovely Stellar CM-6, which if I'm not mistaken is based on the same circuit and capsule and all as a mess of other tube mics (ningbo alctron, I think).

It's a nice mic, but I'm wondering if there aren't simple ways ways I could make it even better. The obvious one would be to get a different tube.

But I also noticed that a lot of mics of this class have the interior headbasket mesh removed. I emailed Stellar to ask if this would make any improvement and was told "it would make it more sensitive and possibly change the sound of the mic." I can't tell if that's good or bad. I also realize this is a "you can't undo it" kind of issue.

Or should I just leave it alone?

Opinions?

Thanks!
Old 20th October 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
tha]-[acksaw's Avatar
 

I've never messed with the head basket on any of my really expensive mics, but I take all the mesh out of the several mics I have moded. My main thought was, if I need to dampen the capsul, I can use a wind screen or foam basket cover. The only real thing you should be concerned about is mouth moisture getting to the capsul.

My two cents
Old 20th October 2013
  #3
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RedBaaron's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nulldevice View Post
A while back I bought a lovely Stellar CM-6, which if I'm not mistaken is based on the same circuit and capsule and all as a mess of other tube mics (ningbo alctron, I think).

It's a nice mic, but I'm wondering if there aren't simple ways ways I could make it even better. The obvious one would be to get a different tube.

But I also noticed that a lot of mics of this class have the interior headbasket mesh removed. I emailed Stellar to ask if this would make any improvement and was told "it would make it more sensitive and possibly change the sound of the mic." I can't tell if that's good or bad. I also realize this is a "you can't undo it" kind of issue.

Or should I just leave it alone?

Opinions?

Thanks!
Not sure on the re-sell value of that mic, but if you think you may get rid of it, that would be the only drawback to taking it out in my opinion. I've pulled the mesh off of my Rode NT1 and NT1000's, Kel HM7U (original version), and Heil PR-40, and they all sounded better, clearer, more open. There may be rare cases when the mesh affects the sound for the better, but those are the exception rather than the rule.
Old 20th October 2013
  #4
Gear Head
 
nulldevice's Avatar
 

So I took a crack at it. I figured, the worst that could happen is I screw up the headbasket and have to buy some cheap Nady 1050 for a replacement (since it appears to be the same base mic).

Turns out there were two layers of mesh in the headbasket. Not one as I previously suspected.

I took out the innermost one. I expected it to take a while but it was pretty easy with a needle-nosed pliers and avery small scissors. The results are subtle, but there. A little more hi-mid clarity. Just a little. A correspondingly little more sensitivity to plosives, as expected.

The remaining layer of mesh is the finer mesh, and I would expect that one would have more of a pronounced effect. I'll leave it in for now, though, because I've done enough messing about for one day.
Old 20th October 2013
  #5
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RedBaaron's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nulldevice View Post
So I took a crack at it. I figured, the worst that could happen is I screw up the headbasket and have to buy some cheap Nady 1050 for a replacement (since it appears to be the same base mic).

Turns out there were two layers of mesh in the headbasket. Not one as I previously suspected.

I took out the innermost one. I expected it to take a while but it was pretty easy with a needle-nosed pliers and avery small scissors. The results are subtle, but there. A little more hi-mid clarity. Just a little. A correspondingly little more sensitivity to plosives, as expected.

The remaining layer of mesh is the finer mesh, and I would expect that one would have more of a pronounced effect. I'll leave it in for now, though, because I've done enough messing about for one day.
YEah, I should have clarified that the differences were pretty subtle for me as well. The biggest improvement was probably with the two Rodes, but I don't think it added anything to any of them that wasn't already there.

If I'm considering a mic for vocal duties, and it's got double the mesh as a lot of cheaper mics do, i'll pull it out just for that extra bit of high-end detail. Otherwise, as an instrument mic, might as well just keep it in and not take a hit on the resell value.
Old 20th October 2013
  #6
Gear Head
 
nulldevice's Avatar
 

Well, I figured it'd be subtle, so I'm not surprised. This is entirely a vocal mic for my own personal use, and I'm not the least bit concerned about resale.
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