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What's inside of a Sony c800g that makes it so special?
Old 23rd October 2014
  #1
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What's inside of a Sony c800g that makes it so special?

Specifically, what components does this mic have that makes it so special?

I keep reading that clones of this mic fall just a bit short, even ones costing over 2,000 dollars.

I've read that the cooling system does not affect the sound as much as one might think so I'd really like to hear some experts chime in.

Thanks
Old 23rd October 2014
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drtechno View Post
Its the parts. plus they are not SMT. The only bad thing I got to say about this mic is their cooling system power supply is not engineer that good.
What does SMT mean? And specifically what parts? A 10k mic having superior components than even other mics costing thousands of dollars, such as....?
Old 23rd October 2014
  #3
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

The mic contains a tiny, yellow mushroom.
Old 23rd October 2014
  #4
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The symbiosis of Sony's "67" capsule with the 6AU6A tube (from their original 37 mic) and of all the other parts that their research put years into.
Old 23rd October 2014
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
The mic contains a tiny, yellow mushroom.
Well, that would certainly explain the "magic"....
Old 23rd October 2014
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
The mic contains a tiny, yellow mushroom.
Karloff70 is obviously a fun guy!

Dave.
Old 29th October 2014
  #7
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What year was the c800g released? Anybody know?
Old 29th October 2014
  #8
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1989 ? I just guess.
Old 29th October 2014
  #9
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cinealta's Avatar
 

Peltier cooled.
Old 6th November 2014
  #10
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Lorenzop's Avatar
 

Bump. Want to know what components cost so much.
Old 12th November 2014
  #11
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Anybody else with any insight?
Old 12th November 2014
  #12
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What makes you think the components are directly related to the price? Do you buy oil paintings based on how much the oil paint on the canvas cost?
Old 12th November 2014
  #13
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Lorenzop's Avatar
 

No, but electrical appliances, no matter how good, follow another market logic. That is, cost & production, eventually branding.
It's not Art.
The problem is, we may think it is. Surely great designers are approach the work very creatively (Neve...) but still come on, it's not it's product design, not Art.
Old 12th November 2014
  #14
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Oh and BTW even if your thesis were true, that audio gear is like art (at least price wise) it would prove a point that I suspect for years: namely that we are paying for "hype". Just like art.
Old 12th November 2014
  #15
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My guess is that if you broke down the mic and priced the individual components, you would not get anywhere near $10K. I don't think it uses any rare, or hard to find parts. Then you have to factor in the manufacturing cost which more than likely will still not bring you near the $10K mark. There is no doubt given the mics history of use by top performers on great sounding albums, that reputation plays a big part in the price of the mic. The mic is amazing no doubt, and people are willing to pay the going price for it. Is it the best mic out there? To some people it is yes.

I guess you can call it hype. As with any other piece of gear regardless of price, I am sure some people have been disappointed by the Sony c800g.
Old 12th November 2014
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
The mic contains a tiny, yellow mushroom.
Pretty sure it's a blue mushroom.
Old 12th November 2014
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzop View Post
No, but electrical appliances, no matter how good, follow another market logic. That is, cost & production, eventually branding.
It's not Art.
The problem is, we may think it is. Surely great designers are approach the work very creatively (Neve...) but still come on, it's not it's product design, not Art.
No, maybe not art, but certainly more than a list of components. How well do you think a Neumann U87 price proportions with its parts cost? These companies developed things to a certain level, and apart from spending amounts in R&D to get to such a level of product I bet they like to make money, too, so will price it related to where they want it in the market as much as related to parts cost.

Besides, yellow mushrooms are expensive.
Old 12th November 2014
  #18
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A company can charge whatever they feel is appropriate for their product, doesn't mean it was a great idea or worth bringing to market. In this case the Sony has proven itself and enjoys success.
Old 12th November 2014
  #19
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...ok guys! Im a bit disappointed by replies though.

Basically seems like nobody really knows or that it really is just plain vanilla.

Still I wouldn't be so sure. Capsules are certainly not easy to manufacture properly, especially if we are talking vintage specs or proprietary design. Otherwise we're are all those exact C12s replicas ??
Old 12th November 2014
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzop View Post
...ok guys! Im a bit disappointed by replies though.

Basically seems like nobody really knows or that it really is just plain vanilla.

Still I wouldn't be so sure. Capsules are certainly not easy to manufacture properly, especially if we are talking vintage specs or proprietary design. Otherwise we're are all those exact C12s replicas ??
Well, as far as capsules for C12's, the Campbell CT12 is said to be bloody good.....

Other than that I think your thread/question came across a bit wrong to start, so you just got reactions to what seemed to be a kind of 'why the hell is this so expensive when the parts are likely cheap?' statement. If you actually want details on what's under the hood, go to the prodigy forum, you'll find more there, or ask to get this moved to Geekslutz, where again you will get more takers for such a question.
Old 13th November 2014
  #21
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Have to admit this is one of those things I don't understand. And also I have not worked extensively with many high end mics. I mean, a ribbon mic is an incredibly simple device. Magnets, ribbon of aluminum, transformer, boom, you're done. I just re-ribboned an MXL R-144 using silver leaf from an art supply store, and it sounds so much better I ordered a lundahl transformer, to see what would happen. It's on its way.

There aren't really that many variables. The transformer, ok, some differences there. You can tune the ribbon some, by carefully adjusting the tension. I've done that. But that will change every time the temperature changes by a couple degrees, so it's not going to be very consistent. Maybe the corrugation pattern? Presumably the headbasket and mic body contribute something. Presumably the shape and mass and material out of which the motor frame is made. Ok, maybe the wire? But that's very few variables.

It's hard to understand why some ribbon mics cost over two large. Hell, given how simple they are, it's hard to understand how any cost over $200 dollars. Seriously, open one up.

But I've listened to clips of various ribbon mics and heard differences, and the two I have--the re-ribboned MXl and an old RCA SK-46,--awesome sounding mic--sound different. Clips of the Shure Ksm535 make it sound amazing. What could be in there to account for the difference? I'm guessing ribbon tension at the moment the test was taken?

Similarly, condenser mics aren't very complicated. The capsule was cutting edge in 1928. The electronics are pretty simple. What is different about a U87? Magic Bavarian elves? Alpine spring water?

I had some MXL 990 condensers around that I always thought sounded awful. Just unpleasant. I did Microphone part upgrades to them--swapping the capsules, changing the electronic components--and they went from annoying and unpleasant sounding to really nice sounding mics that I'm happy to use.

But here again there aren't that many variables. better made capsule? check. Nicer, more expensive capacitors? check. Umm--what else is there in a FET mic?

Not seeing much solid empirical foundation for a difference, I'm inclined to suspect...yes...conformation bias. There may indeed be a reason why a U87 sounds better, but I have no idea what that difference could be--the basic parts of a U87 are simple and easy to copy exactly
Old 13th November 2014
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzop View Post
...ok guys! Im a bit disappointed by replies though.

Basically seems like nobody really knows or that it really is just plain vanilla.

Still I wouldn't be so sure. Capsules are certainly not easy to manufacture properly, especially if we are talking vintage specs or proprietary design. Otherwise we're are all those exact C12s replicas ??
Really, how can they be hard to manufacture? they've been around since 1928. If we can manufacture the processor chip in your computer than surely a condenser capsule is not a big challenge?
Old 13th November 2014
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
Really, how can they be hard to manufacture? they've been around since 1928. If we can manufacture the processor chip in your computer than surely a condenser capsule is not a big challenge?
Not how it pans out though. Or there would be more really god capsules made.
Old 13th November 2014
  #24
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzop View Post
...ok guys! Im a bit disappointed by replies though.

Basically seems like nobody really knows or that it really is just plain vanilla.

Still I wouldn't be so sure. Capsules are certainly not easy to manufacture properly, especially if we are talking vintage specs or proprietary design. Otherwise we're are all those exact C12s replicas ??
Most of those Older capsules were made by hand one at a time on a manual machine...
Today a CNC machine can hold tolerences below .0001 of an inch...over and over again...Those CNC machines also cost a HUGE amount, over $400,000.00 for some...and that does NOT include all the tooling needed..
That is why those older mics WERE different from one to another..
Old 13th November 2014
  #25
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Right so the advantage of modern manufacturing methods, especially computer driven machinery, is extreme tolerance with extreme consistency. The idea that something produced in 1930 is a challenge for modern manufacturing doesn't make sense. In pretty much every single realm of life makes better products more cheaply. I mean, compare the average student guitar to day with it's equivalent in, say 1964.

Some people want to argue vintage guitars are always better, because of some magical mojo, but even if that were, true, it's hard to see much comparison between a guitar and a mic. The whole point of a mic capsule is precision: it has few parts and they are nearly all metal. We can get way more precision now for way way less.

I can't argue with people who say a U87 sounds better. I don't own one. In my experience they sound good, but not necessarily better, but my experience is fairly limited. The hard thing for me to see is why they should sound magically better, since even a U87 is a really simple device compared to, say, and Iphone, and we've had nearly 100 years to study it.
Old 13th November 2014
  #26
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It's not just precision, it's also materials. Like say the PVC on old M7's and laminations on old transformers. Find me new transformers that sound as good as the good old ones. You won't, unfortunately.

And in the case of capsules I believe it is also the fact the world has changed in more ways than manufacturing becoming more effective. The whole priorities have changed. Back then you had a large R&D budget thrown at something that turned into expensive tools for professionals made to sound as good as they could possibly make them. Now you have the leftovers of the old knowledge, copied and copied over and over and built to a price for a happy margin, sold to mostly hobbyists. Apart from some talented individuals who do operate like the old paradigm, but they mostly don't have large R&D budgets.

Old 13th November 2014
  #27
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I know it's an article of faith, but i don't actually think old transformers sound better and I can't imagine why that would be the case. There were cheaply made transformers back in the day and more expensive, carefully made transformers


Are you seriously making an argument for "vintage PVC?"


The age of expensive for professionals has hardly gone away. You can go to Samar audio and buy a boutique torrodial transformer for more than the cost of some ribbon mics. You can get a swedish made Lundahl transformer as an upgrade. Cinemag is still in business. You can send your mic to Michael Joly. As far as I can tell, there are far MORE options available for the professional now than there were in 1940. It's not as if the fact of cheap chinese condensers has caused Neumann's business to collapse: seems like its quite the contrary. The more any schmoe can afford a $200 condenser, the more esteem seems to attach to the Neumann. I don't care, it's not injuring me in any way. I'll do the best work I can with the tools I have. But I just don't se an argument for, say, "vintage resistors" being better than modern resistors.


I like old stuff. it's cool. I love this little RCA SK-35 I just got. Sounds great, looks cool. Has snob appeal That's fun. But am I go to make an argument that, I dunno, aluminum foil was better in 1964?
Old 13th November 2014
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
I know it's an article of faith, but i don't actually think old transformers sound better and I can't imagine why that would be the case. There were cheaply made transformers back in the day and more expensive, carefully made transformers


Are you seriously making an argument for "vintage PVC?"


The age of expensive for professionals has hardly gone away. You can go to Samar audio and buy a boutique torrodial transformer for more than the cost of some ribbon mics. You can get a swedish made Lundahl transformer as an upgrade. Cinemag is still in business. You can send your mic to Michael Joly. As far as I can tell, there are far MORE options available for the professional now than there were in 1940. It's not as if the fact of cheap chinese condensers has caused Neumann's business to collapse: seems like its quite the contrary. The more any schmoe can afford a $200 condenser, the more esteem seems to attach to the Neumann. I don't care, it's not injuring me in any way. I'll do the best work I can with the tools I have. But I just don't se an argument for, say, "vintage resistors" being better than modern resistors.


I like old stuff. it's cool. I love this little RCA SK-35 I just got. Sounds great, looks cool. Has snob appeal That's fun. But am I go to make an argument that, I dunno, aluminum foil was better in 1964?
It's zero to do with 'snob appeal', although I know you're prone to fancy believing that. And the 'PVC argument' isn't mine or something I just made up. Do some surfing.

If you compare a vintage whatever-type transformer and a modern remake from someone say like Sowter, who just like the other brands you mention make great transformers, you will find they sound different. If you listen to an old LA2A next to a new one they will differ. The old one will have a kind of 'halo' to the sound. If you swap its old transformers into the new LA2A, now this one will have the halo. What gives? Nothing snobby about it. It isn't random that people rate Neve's with old Marinairs higher than modern remakes with Carnhills in them. Nor because of snob appeal.

Resistors? lol, well they have greatly improved, although old carbon ones also have a sound. And a fair bit of hiss.

Basically what made me write this post to protest your view is that it is one of 'it's all the same'. It isn't. Things are different and sound different. And some of the old stuff is no longer possible to make for various reasons like lost knowledge, lost materials and new priorities. However unlikely that seems to your world view.
Old 13th November 2014
  #29
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Sotsirc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
In pretty much every single realm of life makes better products more cheaply. I mean, compare the average student guitar to day with it's equivalent in, say 1964.

Some people want to argue vintage guitars are always better, because of some magical mojo, but even if that were, true, it's hard to see much comparison between a guitar and a mic.
I think the keyword in your post is "more cheaply". The way we've created our economy the most cost effective way to make something is usually the way that will last. This often means cutting corners or coming up with new methods the make things more cost effective. The things made 50 years ago were generally of highet quality (I'm sure there are lots of exceptions) since they used more expensive parts. The guitars had better wood because they didn't have the knowledge to speed up the drying, etc. Just look at how commercial bread is made today in most cases, pretty far from how you would make it at home or how it was made commercially fifty years ago. And it does affect quality, in a very noticeable way.
Old 13th November 2014
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sotsirc View Post
I think the keyword in your post is "more cheaply". The way we've created our economy the most cost effective way to make something is usually the way that will last. This often means cutting corners or coming up with new methods the make things more cost effective. The things made 50 years ago were generally of highet quality (I'm sure there are lots of exceptions) since they used more expensive parts. The guitars had better wood because they didn't have the knowledge to speed up the drying, etc. Just look at how commercial bread is made today in most cases, pretty far from how you would make it at home or how it was made commercially fifty years ago. And it does affect quality, in a very noticeable way.
I'm a historian for a living. The idea that bread was better in the past is n ice, but probably not sustainable. i might have been better for some people, but it was..nonexistant for lots of others. Sanitation was rudimentary. There was good bread and there was lousy bread, pretty much like today.

By 1890, American factories could make watches by machine--yes watches--better than anything the swiss could make by hand. I could, show you the quote, where the swiss send a rep over and he's horrified that factory made watches are better than anything the swiss are making and cost a tenth of the price. At the same time, you could buy an ingersoll watch for a buck that was basically cheap junk. Then as now, high end and low end coexisted--there was no magic time of better production. But the general trend of industrialization is to bring things that were not affordable down in price, and often, both up in quality and down in quality, like the watch example. Fifty years ago Kay was making basically cheap guitars. They have a nostalgic collector value, but just look at one. US made, fifty years ago. Now compare that fifty year old Kay to a modern Chinese made equivalent. There's no comparison--the Chinese one is a way better instrument
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