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jayzed
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A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood.
      #668726 - 18/10/08 08:29 AM
As discovered indirectly through another thread.

Has anyone here had any experience with these microphones? My BS detector is going wild but I don't wish to pre-judge what could be the next great thing in sound transduction.



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IvanSC



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #668727 - 18/10/08 08:38 AM
yeah I just posted this in Microphones.
Also went to see the stuff on GS about this.
Seems we are collectively suspicious.

£17k+ a pair???

maybe he is aiming for the Guinness record on high dollar hifi gear.

P.S. Since the photo you posted is an artist`s representation, it makes you wonder if he actully has more than 2 already made.
High cost of materials like the wooden blocks must make stockholding tough.

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Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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jayzed
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #668734 - 18/10/08 09:01 AM
Oops, I was thinking technology but I should have been thinking microphones.
I'll move over there now.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #668813 - 18/10/08 02:12 PM
Anyone noticed how the character of a voice changes when talking through a funnel... ?

Hugh

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John Willett
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #668827 - 18/10/08 02:49 PM
Andy Simpson, based in Poland - he posts on Gearslutz.

Know about the mics. haven't seen or used them at all.

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John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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jayzed
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #668848 - 18/10/08 03:34 PM
Taking a wild guess, I would imagine the theory is that the funneling of the sound waves down the horn would boost the SPL somewhat and that this increased pressure of the wavefront would go someway to the claimed impedance matching, a diaphram obviously having a different impedance to any air at or near sea level PSI.
Remember also, impedance matching is one of the terms that has managed to move across to the audiophile area from electronics and audio engineering so might be seen as a good thing in and of itself.
I would also think that unless the insides of the funnels are damped (which doesn't seem to be the case) then there would be all sorts of reflections with differing phase issues. As stated previously, have a listen to a sound through a tube (or funnel). The tube or funnel effectively become the business end of a trombone or tuba, with the air column excited in the way physical modelling simulates the effect of a column/cone of air (only in reverse, more like an ear trumpet). If Mr Simpson has managed to get any sort of flat response from those mics, I would be impressed. But then, my theory could possibly be way off about the reflections and phase issues.
The wood also concerns me. Although it may be made of wood for the ease of working etc there are some pretty out there claims made in the hi-fi world for the qualities of wood, as opposed to MDF or any other, potentially LESS resonant material that I understand actually make for a better, if cheaper, solution to monitor cabinets etc. Again, I am no expert but I read that plywood is better for guitar and bass cabinets exactly because the crossed plys reduce resonances.

The web site does not answer any of my questions but I am intrigued - hence my request for any clarification from some of the expert acousticians, speaker designers or microphone buffs that may see this.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #668865 - 18/10/08 04:55 PM
Quote JohnnyT:

The web site does not answer any of my questions but I am intrigued - hence my request for any clarification from some of the expert acousticians, speaker designers or microphone buffs that may see this.




We (SOS) were approached to review this mic, and I was involved in some discussions with the designer/promoter to try to decide whether such an astonishingly expensive mic warranted the space in the magazine. An aspirational product is one thing, but something as off-the wall as this requires further investigation!

Sadly, none of the technical claims made could be verified, and none of the technical arguments appeared to have credibility -- and that wasn't just my perception, but that of two very respected and knowledgable independent consultants experienced in microphone design and acoustics.

So we declined... and I'm yet to come across anyone who has used these things and whose experience and ears I trust to provide an unbiased opion either.

As far as I'm concerned, these things remains an amusing novelty until proven otherwise, and there are far more relevant things to be filling the pages of SOS.

hugh

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Steve Hill
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #669063 - 18/10/08 09:06 PM
Hugh, a small bit of devil's advocacy if I might - not that it's my role to determine editorial policy.

Suppose you had reviewed this mic. And suppose that, say, the learned conclusion was that it was no better or worse than say a chinese LDC for £150? Would that not be useful information to get into the market - and maybe mark the cards of other snake-oil pedlars that if it's junk, somebody is going to publish that fact?

If on the other hand it's a major breakthrough, that would be news too. Possibly there might then be a discussion as to why it's worth £10,000 - if it is - and how seriously high-end rivals at a "mere" £5,000-odd compare.

--------------------
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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #669089 - 18/10/08 10:52 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

Suppose you had reviewed this mic. And suppose that, say, the learned conclusion was that it was no better or worse than say a chinese LDC for £150? Would that not be useful information to get into the market - and maybe mark the cards of other snake-oil pedlars that if it's junk, somebody is going to publish that fact?




I see where you're going, and to a degree I share the sentiment. But personally I'd rather say positive things about a cheap mic that SOS readers might buy, than negative things about a ludicrously expensive mic that no one will.

Had I been convinced that there was serious science behind it that would have made it more worthy of SOS attention, too, but sadly, it doesn't appear to be the case. The information provided to me was confused, contradictory, inaccurate and had no supportive evidence.

Obviously, I (and those I consulted) may be wrong about the science, and if that can be demonstrated then we'll take another look sometime, but it seems that no one else is yet convinced either.

My personal take on snake oil products, by the way, is to not honour them with the slightest attention. Any publicity feeds the machine, and I want no part of that.

Hugh

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hollowsun



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #669117 - 19/10/08 01:59 AM
I've just listened to some of the audio demos there...

They're alright I s'ppose but seem terribly unbalanced, especially in the orchestral ones ... well, in most of them. In the orchestral ones, the brass is very prominent as are the woodwinds - sounds like these expensive mics (£17k????! - he does another bundle for £42k!!!) were placed BEHIND the orchestra rather than in front as the strings seem very subdued. For the jazz recordings, the piano is muffled and poorly balanced.

If I didn't know any better, I'd say these things don't really sound subjectively THAT much better than any of the hand-held recorders such as the Zoom H-Series or Olympus gadgets that are doing the rounds - they certainly don't sound £16,750-worth of an improvement.

Mind you, the orchestra he has recorded doesn't help. Competent but not excellent.

I am kinda with Steve, Hugh....

If not a review of these particular mics in question but an article on snake-oil products like this (and the £1,500 mains lead from that company whose name I forget ... or the £2,800 power conditioner ... or the £80 'interconnects' Comet foist upon people to hook their £20 DVD up to their TV, etc.). Someone needs to blow the whistle on these charlatans that prey on the gullible and uninformed.

That said, I understand that this is maybe beyond the remit of your esteemed organ (ooo-er no missus!)

--------------------
Website / Music Lab Machines / Blog


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Steve Hill
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #669141 - 19/10/08 08:18 AM
This thing seems to be made of beechwood or something. I'm strongly tempted to put some $20 Chinese capsules in say a Brazilian rosewood horn and claim superior sound quality owing to denser wood. And sell them for a trifling £3,000 each, say.

I know a decent wood turner who knocks out hardwood fruitbowls and things for a living...

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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hifistud2



Joined: 12/02/06
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #669194 - 19/10/08 11:38 AM
+1

Quote Steve Hill:

Hugh, a small bit of devil's advocacy if I might - not that it's my role to determine editorial policy.

Suppose you had reviewed this mic. And suppose that, say, the learned conclusion was that it was no better or worse than say a chinese LDC for £150? Would that not be useful information to get into the market - and maybe mark the cards of other snake-oil pedlars that if it's junk, somebody is going to publish that fact?

If on the other hand it's a major breakthrough, that would be news too. Possibly there might then be a discussion as to why it's worth £10,000 - if it is - and how seriously high-end rivals at a "mere" £5,000-odd compare.




--------------------
[url=http://www.facebook.com/pages/hifi-studios/117322741632389[/url]


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #669218 - 19/10/08 01:32 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

This thing seems to be made of beechwood or something. I'm strongly tempted to put some $20 Chinese capsules in say a Brazilian rosewood horn and claim superior sound quality owing to denser wood. And sell them for a trifling £3,000 each, say.

I know a decent wood turner who knocks out hardwood fruitbowls and things for a living...



Sounds like a plan Steve. You do realise though, that you will need a course on bullsh!t in order to effectively promote, market and monetize your invention...

But I am sure you have contacts in the city looking for a job right now that could help you out on that one

--------------------
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Jeraldo



Joined: 10/09/05
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Done to death. new [Re: hollowsun]
      #669273 - 19/10/08 04:07 PM
I wouldn't even know where to begin.

There are plenty of examples to hear recorded by the microphone's maker, and there are plenty of comments to read (all saying the same thing) along with the maker's responses, which, curiously enough, all say the same thing.

Really, this has all been done to death.

Briefly-very briefly:

1. Microphone maker states mic's are not only the best in the world, but, in fact are perfect and that listening to recordings made with them are indistinguishable from being at the event. And, everyone should come to this conclusion. If they don't something is wrong with them. Really, I am not exaggerating.

The maker clearly states in his writings that people's varied responses (read: non positive) are due to subjective factors. BUT, he then goes on to explain subjectivity, then quantifying it (see 2A and B below) and removing subjectivity from the listening experience. And once that is done, of course, everyone will reach the same conclusion, because when subjectivity is removed, and it is very possible to do so, everyone will have the same judgement.

Again, I am not joking. Just read the guy's writing.

2. Listeners who do not reach the same qualitative conclusion as the maker are told (always!)) it is a result of one or both of the following (and only the following-there are no other factors involved in the "diverse patterns of responses"):

A. Inferrior monitoring chain (In fact, he wants to know at the outset what you will be using to listen to his clips. He then tells you there's a problem with your gear.)

B. Your (the listener's) conditioning. The conditioning consists of (1) having spent time with inferior microphones (!), and (2) listening to inferior monitoring equipment (!!!).

Again, I am not joking.

3. This is followed by an invitation to come to Poland for a "blind listening test"-and you are assured that you will not be able to distinguish the recording from the source. The recording is to be played back in the same room as the source. The proposed methodology of the test is absurd.

4. The inventor likes to use both psycho-babble and audio-babble, and unfortunately he invents all the terms.

Done to death, really, really, really done to death.

Despite the absurd nature of the ideology, the microphones, and the methodology; I believe the maker is absolutely sincere, and IMO, there is no attempt whatsoever of taking advantage of people. He is someone who passionately committed to his invention and his thought process. And despite thinking this is all crazy for so many reasons, I do wish him success.


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IvanSC



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #669278 - 19/10/08 04:31 PM
Success at the cost of his customer`s gullible wallet waving?

If he was just a crackpot inventor peddling his theories sure, let him do it - he will cause no harm.
But there again I suppose there would be some who would invoke caveat emptor.

Unfortunately in my admittedly limited exposure to the worst aspects of Hi FI snake oil, there will be plenty of people out there who will take his word as law without ever thinking to question his statements and conclusions elsewhere.

I am beginning to think the uneducated hi fi extremists are not ulike members of some strange religious cult.

Please let me differentiate here between the guys who DO know their onions and are merely obsessive in their search for the ultimate in audio perfection, or as close as they can get, and the sheep who lap up the latest new (and usually outlandishly expensive) hi fi toy.
Mind you by reading the various threads I have found so far it does seem like he has taken it a bridge too far, especially the price.
Love to see how many he has sold so far.

--------------------
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ken long



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #669292 - 19/10/08 05:25 PM
Hi Hugh.

Quote Hugh Robjohns:



We (SOS) were approached to review this mic, and I was involved in some discussions with the designer/promoter to try to decide whether such an astonishingly expensive mic warranted the space in the magazine. An aspirational product is one thing, but something as off-the wall as this requires further investigation!




Perhaps I am reading this wrong but wouldn't a review allow you to investigate further?

Quote:


Sadly, none of the technical claims made could be verified, and none of the technical arguments appeared to have credibility -- and that wasn't just my perception, but that of two very respected and knowledgable independent consultants experienced in microphone design and acoustics.





Were you sent a sample or look did you look over the maths?

ken

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: ken long]
      #669320 - 19/10/08 06:19 PM
Quote Ken Long:

Perhaps I am reading this wrong but wouldn't a review allow you to investigate further?




Of course it would... but it would also have prevented me from doing something more constructive and productive with my time.

Quote:

Were you sent a sample or look did you look over the maths?




Neither. We were offered a sample but with unacceptable conditions. There was no maths proffered, and the technical explantions to my questions given didn't stand up to even basic scrutiny.

The bottom line is that although we do cover some 'aspirational' products in SOS from time to time, this mic is so stratopherically expensive as to be utterly irrelevant to the core readership, and the claimed technological advances didn't appear to hold water.

I think SOS readers buy the mag to find out what might be good to spend their money on, not what not to spend their money on -- especially when they wouldn't have bought it anway.

I guess if Sennheiser and Rode start producing wooden horn microphones I'll have to kick myself for being an idiot! But I'm not anticipating getting bruised in the near future...

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Jeraldo



Joined: 10/09/05
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: IvanSC]
      #669343 - 19/10/08 07:15 PM
Quote IvanSC:



I am beginning to think the uneducated hi fi extremists are not ulike members of some strange religious cult.





How did this vaguely defined and unfairly and consistently maligned group enter the picture? And who are they? Oh yeah, the guys who sold tangential turntables and B&W and Rogers speakers in their "hi fi extremists" shop and were always mumbling about the British sound, whatever that is. And, um, the guys who pay for lots of recordings so they can take your nicely done recording home and enjoy it on their primo system.

I don't think Mr. Andy would self identify as a "hi fi extremist," and he is certainly not marketing to the "hi fi community."

Remember, he's selling to people who produce recordings.

What Mr. Simpson might demonstrate, is that there is a growing group of "pro audio extremists," and sitting on the highest priced mountain, he's just gotten the attention of the SOS readership-at least the forum readership. Ah, those pro audio extremists. You know, those guys with the Sennheiser, Schoeps, and Sanken40 and 50 kHz and 100 kHz a/symmetrical capsule microphones. (Despite what you think, those manufacturers have assured us that we can at least "feel" something up there-the range of your converter be damned.) Now, I thought wooden horns belonged on hi fi extremists turntables. You know, no power ripple or anything like that, no tubes to age, no transistors in the path.

BTW, don't any of those things come with headphones jacks? Passive, of course. Any decent monitor controller is passive......I think is what we're supposed to think.....and tone controls....they're supposed to be passive now, also, right, I think that's the current pro audio extremists think.......I think we're supposed to be buying the boxes with the fewest and lowest cost components for the highest price. Help me here, I can't keep up with these extremists! You know, just like those new fangled Simpson microphones-simple, cheap, and very expensive.

I do think there's a hi fi extremists market right now for the old mechanical gramaphone-it could be made for a little and sold for a lot.

Just like those wood microphones and 50 and 100 kHz microphones, the ones that promise to retrieve the nutty harmonics.

Unity: pro audio extremists and hi fi extremists. Perfection.


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A Non O Miss



Joined: 07/02/08
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #669392 - 19/10/08 10:02 PM
Maybe Simpson should employ Tad Donley as this mics exclusive representative! That seems like a perfect fit. Then we could hear some real detail


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Andy Simpson



Joined: 01/03/09
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #712359 - 01/03/09 06:48 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:


We (SOS) were approached to review this mic, and I was involved in some discussions with the designer/promoter to try to decide whether such an astonishingly expensive mic warranted the space in the magazine. An aspirational product is one thing, but something as off-the wall as this requires further investigation!

Sadly, none of the technical claims made could be verified, and none of the technical arguments appeared to have credibility -- and that wasn't just my perception, but that of two very respected and knowledgable independent consultants experienced in microphone design and acoustics.





Hi Hugh,

I just came across this thread by chance and thought I might clarify a few things.

Firstly, I did not approach SOS for a review.

I was contacted by Matt Houghton, who asked if SOS could review a Model A microphone - to which I agreed.

That the claims could not be verified by the chosen consultants hardly makes them fraudulent, but I do understand your position.

In any case, I finally had the time to put together some technical writing & repeatable measurements, which might put the design in perspective (papers available on my site) and clarify the concept.

For a perspective on the technical achievements of the impedance matching design, nonlinear distortion from the Model A is more than 30dB lower @2k than the well known MKH symmetrical capsule.

I think you would agree that this is a huge reduction in nonlinear distortion, distortion which Sennheiser has correctly stated (for many years) is responsible for muddy & unmusical sound quality in microphones (as justification of their symmetrical capsule design).

Actually, in the case of the Model A, the significance of the reduction of nonlinear distortion achieved makes most microphones sound like compressors by comparison.

Also, you might be interested in the spectral masking concepts, which are also unique to the Model A.

In any case, whether such a specialist microphone belongs on the pages of SOS I have no idea. Perhaps not.

Best regards,

Andy

--------------------
www.simpsonmicrophones.com


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Syncratic



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #712366 - 01/03/09 07:50 PM
I find PDFs a rather odd way to display information on a web page. Also when you are using supposedly tens of thousands of pounds worth of mics on a recording, surely you don't want to show it off in mp3?


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Andy Simpson]
      #712393 - 01/03/09 09:33 PM
Quote Andy Simpson:

Firstly, I did not approach SOS for a review. I was contacted by Matt Houghton, who asked if SOS could review a Model A microphone - to which I agreed.




Apologies -- my mistake.

Quote:

In any case, I finally had the time to put together some technical writing & repeatable measurements, which might put the design in perspective (papers available on my site) and clarify the concept.




Thanks, Andy. I'll take a look when I get a moment.

regards

hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Steve Hill
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #712446 - 02/03/09 08:03 AM
As a happy owner os some Sennheiser MKH mics, amongst many others, I'm intrigued by the claim "For a perspective on the technical achievements of the impedance matching design, nonlinear distortion from the Model A is more than 30dB lower @2k than the well known MKH symmetrical capsule."

If the MKH's distortion, used as part of a well set-up recording path, is below negligible on any reasonable blind listening test, which it is, why should I or anyone else want to spend £10,000 getting something even less negligible?

The difference must be inaudible, even if it is measurable with instruments.

--------------------
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John Willett
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #712485 - 02/03/09 11:20 AM
I have just looked at Andy Simpson's improved site HERE.

I have read the "Nonlinearity in Microphones" paper - I was honoured to note that he quotes me as a reference! But he spells my name incorrectly.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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Andy Simpson



Joined: 01/03/09
Posts: 12
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: John Willett]
      #712503 - 02/03/09 12:07 PM
Quote John Willett:

I have just looked at Andy Simpson's improved site HERE.

I have read the "Nonlinearity in Microphones" paper - I was honoured to note that he quotes me as a reference! But he spells my name incorrectly.




Hi John,

Please accept my apologies for spelling your name wrong! I'll fix it ASAP.

Andy

--------------------
www.simpsonmicrophones.com


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Andy Simpson



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Posts: 12
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #712511 - 02/03/09 12:25 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

As a happy owner os some Sennheiser MKH mics, amongst many others, I'm intrigued by the claim "For a perspective on the technical achievements of the impedance matching design, nonlinear distortion from the Model A is more than 30dB lower @2k than the well known MKH symmetrical capsule."

If the MKH's distortion, used as part of a well set-up recording path, is below negligible on any reasonable blind listening test, which it is, why should I or anyone else want to spend £10,000 getting something even less negligible?

The difference must be inaudible, even if it is measurable with instruments.




Hi Steve,

The question of audibility is a very interesting one certainly.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that the nonlinear distortion of this level is inaudible.

Do you have any references with regards to audibility in mind? That would be very interesting.

In my view, the issue of nonlinear distortion is often dubiously presented as 'isolated intermodulation distortion which appears very low below the main signal'.

If we looked at the nonlinear distortion products of a compressor this way it would not tell us much about how we perceive compression.

Regarding audibility, in the case of Sennheiser, there are numerous claims as to the audibility of the reduction achieved in the symmetrical capsule, which we can get into if you would be interested.

I would agree that these claims are valid but if we do accept this, the implications are very interesting.

Andy

--------------------
www.simpsonmicrophones.com


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IvanSC



Joined: 08/03/05
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #713041 - 03/03/09 09:23 PM
And even bearing in mind the limitations of an mp3, I still find little to enjoy in the sample recordings.

Audio isn`t all about measurements on a graph, Andy.
It is about what sounds good.

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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Steve Hill
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Joined: 07/01/03
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #713078 - 03/03/09 10:27 PM
Andy, I spent 22 years as a partner in the world's largest accounting firm so I understand numbers.

Why is your mic £10,000? Rather than, say, £500?

If, improbably, it's the result of half a million in R&D investment, and you rightly recognise that you can't sell all that many in a global market to recoup, then I can understand. Even if I doubt your business strategy.

Why stick it in a funnel - even a handsomely turned wooden funnel? I can stick a decent measurement mic like a B&K in a megaphone but it ain't pretty.

Where, if anywhere, are dispassionate reviews by third parties with a respectable name in the industry, saying this is a useful development?

Why should I assume for even a nano-second you are not just hoping there's a handful of idiots out there - the sorts of people who are impressed by £7,250 cables who might help you make a quick (quack?) buck?

There's a million decent, and many classic, records that have been made without this stuff. Many without any individual mic costing over £500. So tell me why we need it.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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Groutfinger
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #713118 - 04/03/09 12:43 AM
It would be lovely if we could view the quality of TIMBRE.


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Andy Simpson



Joined: 01/03/09
Posts: 12
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #713194 - 04/03/09 11:17 AM
Quote Steve Hill:

...

Why is your mic £10,000? Rather than, say, £500?

If, improbably, it's the result of half a million in R&D investment, and you rightly recognise that you can't sell all that many in a global market to recoup, then I can understand.





Hi Steve,

You are close enough to the truth.

Such a project requires a rather enormous investment of both R&D man-hours & material and yes we are talking about a very limited market.

Quote:


Why stick it in a funnel - even a handsomely turned wooden funnel? I can stick a decent measurement mic like a B&K in a megaphone but it ain't pretty.





Did you read the papers on my site? The function of the acoustic geometry is quite well explained there.

If you put a B&K measurement mic in a funnel you will not do very well.

Quote:


Why should I assume for even a nano-second you are not just hoping there's a handful of idiots out there....





The fact there are highly significant, repeatable measurement results should tell you that I am not interested in any kind of fraudulent behaviour.

Quote:


There's a million decent, and many classic, records that have been made without this stuff. Many without any individual mic costing over £500....


So tell me why we need it.





First, you tell me why we need the MKH symmetrical capsule design.

Then I will tell you why we need a >30dB improvement upon it.

Andy

--------------------
www.simpsonmicrophones.com


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ghellquist



Joined: 09/09/04
Posts: 628
Loc: Stockolm, Sweden
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #713803 - 06/03/09 08:25 AM
I believe the problem is that no person has done any really, really good recordings with the mic. The examples on the web page included which, speaking frankly, are quite bad. It might be that it is not possible to do good recordings?

Now, the simple solution is to make some stunningly good recordings and let us listen to them. Selling by showing the quality.

// Gunnar


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Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


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Posts: 9165
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: ghellquist]
      #713917 - 06/03/09 11:55 AM
I've just spent the time reading all the info on the simpson site and assorted papers.


imagine I'm intelligent, but ignorant of the minutiae

show me the maths.

show me some proven , demonstrable relation to the laws of physics.


tell me about the frequency response

the effects of horn resonance , and the funnel's internal reflectivity...


Persuade me that the vast majority of the material i've just wasted a morning reading , quite carefully... isn't actually waffle... gobbledeegook , and just plain BS.

--------------------
if you don't know who i am, i aint gonna tell you.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Studio Support Gnome]
      #713941 - 06/03/09 12:51 PM
So it's not just me that was struggling, then...

hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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thenaturallevel



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Posts: 1210
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #713977 - 06/03/09 02:06 PM
Andrew,

I have a question. I have taken the below from the User Guide - Model A Microphone.

"The polar pattern of the Model A is generally fairly intuitive and can be easily understood by looking at the microphone."

Is that because it has a big hole in one end?

Edited by thenaturallevel (06/03/09 02:07 PM)


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Studio Support Gnome]
      #714014 - 06/03/09 04:11 PM
Quote Max!:

I've just spent the time reading all the info on the simpson site and assorted papers.


imagine I'm intelligent, but ignorant of the minutiae

show me the maths.

show me some proven , demonstrable relation to the laws of physics.


tell me about the frequency response

the effects of horn resonance , and the funnel's internal reflectivity...


Persuade me that the vast majority of the material i've just wasted a morning reading , quite carefully... isn't actually waffle... gobbledeegook , and just plain BS.




Quote Hugh Robjohns:

So it's not just me that was struggling, then...

hugh




It's not just you two.

So far, despite the very extravagant claims being made for these mics, I've yet neither seen nor heard anything to convince me that there isn't far less to them than meets the eye.

On the 'evidence' so far, I wouldn't be prepared to part with any money for them, let alone thousands of pounds. That's not to say I wouldn't like to spend some time trying them, or that I wouldn't be happy to buy them if I could convince myself that they were worth the price, or at least delivered something that none of my other mics can but £17,995/pr is a lot of convincing!


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Andy Simpson



Joined: 01/03/09
Posts: 12
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Studio Support Gnome]
      #714054 - 06/03/09 06:00 PM
Quote Max!:

I've just spent the time reading all the info on the simpson site and assorted papers.

imagine I'm intelligent, but ignorant of the minutiae

show me the maths.





Hi Max,

That is the purpose of the papers which explain the concepts & measurements.

That these concepts are hard to grasp is not my fault.

That the proposition of progress seems unpalatable to the majority of writers here is also not my fault.

If you do not understand from what I've written you may need to read it (all) again with consultation of the references & other publications around the subject.

Quote:


show me some proven , demonstrable relation to the laws of physics.





I had an MKH40 in the workshop yesterday, which I measured for comparison.

The results are available on my site: Measurements PDF

These measurements are entirely repeatable and so cannot contravene the laws of physics.

Quote:


the effects of horn resonance , and the funnel's internal reflectivity...





You are thinking of the acoustic horn in a very limited context - that of the loudspeaker.

In the case of the Model A, there can be no 'internal reflectivity' - there are no surfaces which would allow it nor wavefronts which would allow it.

What you refer to as 'horn resonance' often exists in the case of a loudspeaker - which generates sound pressure at the throat (spherical wavefront) and it travels outwards.

What this means is that a proportion of the outwards propagating spherical wavefront travels outwards freely (minimum pathlength) and the rest must reflect any number of times before it reaches free space (increasing pathlengths).

In the case of the microphone, there is no 'throat' and the incoming wavefront is essentially planar - there is no effective difference in propagating angle.

In other words, in this case it is not possible for there to be 'horn resonance'.

Quote:


Persuade me that the vast majority of the material i've just wasted a morning reading , quite carefully... isn't actually waffle... gobbledeegook , and just plain BS.




I'm sorry you feel you have wasted your time reading.

It might be easier to understand the principle if you approach the question from the opposite direction.

In other words, try to explain the measurements and you will find that there is no other answer than that I have offered.

In order to explain the apparently conflicting position of an increase in gain (sensitivity) producing a decrease in nonlinear distortion, there can be only one answer.

If I remove the horn from my microphone, nonlinear distortion increases measurably by the same amount as the gain is reduced.

In any case, do you understand the symmetrical capsule principle (& measurement method) employed for similar reasons in the MKH capsule?

I refer to this often as it constitutes a significant precedent and is a good place to start.

Andy

--------------------
www.simpsonmicrophones.com


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Andy Simpson



Joined: 01/03/09
Posts: 12
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: thenaturallevel]
      #714056 - 06/03/09 06:08 PM
Quote thenaturallevel:

Andrew,

I have a question. I have taken the below from the User Guide - Model A Microphone.

"The polar pattern of the Model A is generally fairly intuitive and can be easily understood by looking at the microphone."

Is that because it has a big hole in one end?




Hi,

What I meant by that phrase is that because the polar response of the Model A is achieved by physical acoustic geometry, rather than 'acoustic delay circuits', simply looking at the shape of the mic gives you a very good idea of polar response.

Looking at any normal mic will not tell you as much about polar response (if anything!).

Andy

--------------------
www.simpsonmicrophones.com


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IvanSC



Joined: 08/03/05
Posts: 7786
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #714109 - 06/03/09 10:46 PM
I really only have on equestion, Andy.

How many have you sold to date and have the purchasers let you have any wav files of the mics in use?

I think it is safe to assume that you are really going to have to wow the troops here or anywhere else to convince any of us that the mics are genuinely worth £10k a piece.

You have set your price so far above the price of any other mic generally available on the open market that you really, really need to be doing a proper job of convincing your most likely customers (audio pros who can justify the expense if the mics earn their keep) that the benefits outweigh the cost.

And frankly just waving a load of scholarly papers at us isn`t going to cut it.
Help us believe in your product by showing us real(preferably audio in non-mp3 format) results that are significantly better than we can achieve already with our lowly £2-4K conventional mics.

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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Stephen Bennett
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Joined: 14/10/02
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Jeraldo]
      #714173 - 07/03/09 10:50 AM
Quote Jeraldo:


Unity: pro audio extremists and hi fi extremists. Perfection.




In my experience, the hi-fi extremists who buy expensive wooden phono cartridges (real) and directional superconducting cables (me being silly - now, anyway) tend to be lawyers, doctors and city blokes (i.e they have cash to burn and are always men), whereas musicians, basically, are skint and usually want something for nothing.

He needs to make wooden hi-fi speakers instead. Oh, wait a sec....

Stephen

--------------------
New Henry Fool album (Featuring Phil Manzenera and Jarrod Gosling of iMonster) out now. https://www.burningshed.com/store/henryfool/

Edited by Stephen Bennett (07/03/09 10:56 AM)


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Grantsos



Joined: 07/09/06
Posts: 722
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Stephen Bennett]
      #714203 - 07/03/09 01:01 PM
I just don't get how one *wouldn't* have reflections and comb-filtering of some kind from what is basically a funnel!?
Though, the Darwinian-Productions Mark 1 Ear does come with a waveguide itself... It makes use of reflections to help with spacial perception, does it not?


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Steve Hill
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Andy Simpson]
      #714326 - 07/03/09 11:15 PM
Quote Andy Simpson:

That is the purpose of the papers which explain the concepts & measurements.

That these concepts are hard to grasp is not my fault.

That the proposition of progress seems unpalatable to the majority of writers here is also not my fault.

If you do not understand from what I've written you may need to read it (all) again with consultation of the references & other publications around the subject.




Andy, this kind of condescending claptrap that, to a bunch of people who use mics for a living in often very demanding circumstances, is yet another reason why I would not touch your product with a ten foot pole.

I don't care about the maths. I care about how a mic sounds. And then about how easy it is to position, and get good results out of, in real world conditions, where clients are rightly concerned about the cost per minute of studio time.

The fact is there is no extant recording made with your mic which persuades me, either as a listener or as an engineer, that there is the slightest reason to pay what you're asking or anything like it. On basic listening tests of your own examples (on a £25k monitoring system in a treated control room), nothing sells this thing to me.

You said 18 months ago in this forum that "Regarding my samples, these are very basic 'worst case' recordings, made with entry level gear." Now why would you want to market your product like that?

You also said: "The microphone is designed to be post-equalised. This means that using a simple equalisation 'curve' the mic is brought to 'flat'."

You can dress that up however you like, but I just read as meaning the mic is not accurate. Any EQ can add phase problems. I've never before seen a mic sold as requiring me to factor in that consideration.

Then you said, regarding the curious disappearance of some samples of pop music from your site "I had the pop samples taken down because there is almost no interest in progress in this market which seems obsessed with a self-destructive love of compression & poor monitoring." OK, just feel free to patronise most of your target market. See if we care.

Andy, this stuff is pathetic! With respect, if you want ten grand of my money for a mic, you're going to have to try a lot harder than that. Maybe you're just in denial about the fact that you don't have a marketable product?


And the further fact is that I'm not aware that any reputable studio, producer or engineer is using your product or singing its praises.

Microphony is basically a mature technology, done and dusted half a century or more ago, with some caveats (irrelevant for present purposes) about surround sound and binaural etc. Where advances are happening at all, it's in people like Neumann giving us say the TLM49 for less than £1,000 because they (a) know very clearly what they are doing, and (b) understand that the market has moved away from even their own more exotic products.

I like the sound of say a Neumann U47 and it's oh-so-pathetic maths, or a hissy noisy KM84, and so do my clients.

Sorry about those inconvenient truths.

Here's a simple challenge: how many have you sold?

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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IvanSC



Joined: 08/03/05
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #714382 - 08/03/09 09:39 AM
A general +1 on everything that has been added to this thread recently.
We still have no numbers from you as to how many sold or for that matter any real world results.

I too have spent an inordinately large amount of time wading through your supporting paperwork and also remain unconvinced.
Your comments as to the difference between loudspeaker and microphone behaviour just do not hold water at all.
Your comments about the behaviour of air going INto your mic being irrelevant compared to air coming OUT of a speaker are, shall we say, wishful thinking IMO.
The idea that a horn can be designed to avoid ALL internal reflections and yet a loudspeaker cannot is also a fascinating one.
I do not express myself well when discussing technical concepts but I still find myself at a loss to follow your explanation of the difference here.
From my standpoint, there is none.

And once again we come down to the question I first asked in the very early stages of this thread & which remains unanswered.

HOW MANY have you sold?
Are any of the purchasers prepared to demonstrate an example of fine recordings made with you rmics?

Hell, I`ll even offer to BUY a recording from one of your customers, so long as the price falls within the normal price range for a CD.
(£10-15)

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #714415 - 08/03/09 11:31 AM
Quote Steve Hill:

Microphony is basically a mature technology, done and dusted half a century or more ago




We've had this discussion before and it sstill peeves me.... With the utmost respect as always, your statement is inaccurate, the microphone is not a mature technology any more than the motor car is a 'mature technology.'

Microphones may look similar to those of the 1930s and 40s, and much of the technology might share similar names, but there have been and continue to be significant advances. Senheiser's symmetrical capsules have already been mentioned and are just one. Crowley and Trip's nano-carbon ribbon technology is another. AKG's development of large diaphragm electrets is another. DPA's development of the intereference tubes with omni capsules is another. Audiotechnica's multi-cpasule DSP-based directional mics are another. And there are plenty more advances in development.

There is still plenty of scope to improve the microphone. It's not just about cheap chinese clones allowing people to buy fifty year old technology for knock down prices.

However, whether or not this particular mic counts as a useful technology development remains to be seen. That those with the appropriate academic credentials and relevant experience struggle to understand and verify the claims and explanations made of this innovative approach still concerns me. And at that price, there will be few independent empirical opinions either.

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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turbodave



Joined: 25/04/08
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #714420 - 08/03/09 11:54 AM
Why dont we club together and buy one? give it to hugh! I've got £20.we could open a paypal account and do coffee mornings.I'll bring the dark chocolate hob nobs.

--------------------
My head hurts!


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IvanSC



Joined: 08/03/05
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #714444 - 08/03/09 12:59 PM
Actually, Dave, i know a good phrenologist - you appear to be in the market for one of them as well....

But there again, I`d be prepared to chip in a partially-used packet of Choccy Hobnobs if it helps things along.

They may be a bit stale as they date back to BD. (before diabetes) twelve years ago.

Happy to help in the name of science, though....

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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. . . Delete This
Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
Posts: 3888
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: IvanSC]
      #714562 - 08/03/09 05:47 PM
Sorry, but how many he's sold is something of an irrelevance .... it makes no odds at all with relation to the technical question of whether this mic is actually any good....


it's not like Brauner VMA's or VM1S's are selling in the thousands either..... I defy any of you to tell me they're not a good mic..... and at RRP , in terms of magnitude, they're not all that much cheaper either.... (VM1S = about £7K + VAT) (okay, so it's stereo... but still... ) .... and Dirk has some "odd" ideas about physics sometimes..... (not necessarily wrong, but perhaps "uniquely expressed" .... quantum mechanics for Mics gets him very "excited" . ) which make equally hard reading....


Hugh's point about technology movement is also very valid.. a mature technology is one where we have made all the major advances we're ever going to be able to make..... this is almost certainly not the case with Microphones....


I'm No Microphone designer.....

but i've a reasonable grounding in Physics and engineering.

my concerns involve a number of the technical claims... about acoustic impedance matching for starters.... I don't believe the loading works quite the way it appears to be claimed. which is why showing your working, the maths.... is important....

then in the micro-acoustic environment of the horn, the path length differentials for any incident sound not directly perpendicular to the horn position and alignment.... and it's effect on the polar pattern across the spectrum, and obviously the off axis response.

the question of body resonance , the wooden horn 's behaviour in that respect and possible transmission through to the capsule itself...

BUT What's really bothering me I suppose, is that none of the recordings I've so far heard match up to what's possible with even moderate level recording and monitoring equipment and an averagely good set of mics.... never mind really good high end ones....

making me rather un-inclined to investigate a great deal further. (eg, I'm unlikely to sell the kids to fund a pair)

and I ask, even assuming the intermodulation distortion claims to be completely valid, given the utterly skewed response graph , and requirement to add EQ afterwards (with it's own distortions of phase and so on) what's the point???


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. . . Delete This
Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: turbodave]
      #714564 - 08/03/09 05:49 PM
Quote turbodave:

Why dont we club together and buy one? give it to hugh! I've got £20.we could open a paypal account and do coffee mornings.I'll bring the dark chocolate hob nobs.





i suspect that's not actually as daft and undoable as it sounds....


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IvanSC



Joined: 08/03/05
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #714567 - 08/03/09 05:58 PM
Don`t know about everyone else but I asked how many he had sold and whether or not there was a possibility of getting some non-Andy recordings to audition so I could gauge the end result more effectively.

The science is one thing, but the net result in terms of VFM is just as relevant, surely?
To be honest, if someone told me they had a microphone that relied on being filled with phlogiston to achieve it`s effects, I`d be quite happy to plnk down my dosh IF it came up with the goods.

At present we have a lot of paperwork and promises, allied with some average recordings.
And a massive retail price.

I am quite happy to leave debating the technicalities to you idris - I respect the opinions and experience of both you and Hugh & freely acknowledge your techie credentials are vastly better than mine.

So by all means debate the science but let us not forget what the majority of us are really here for.
Results in the real world.

And I have to agree with idris - what`s the point, if you have to hack around the recorded signal to get it sounding right?

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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turbodave



Joined: 25/04/08
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: IvanSC]
      #714609 - 08/03/09 07:53 PM
Quote IvanSC:

Actually, Dave, i know a good phrenologist - you appear to be in the market for one of them as well....

But there again, I`d be prepared to chip in a partially-used packet of Choccy Hobnobs if it helps things along.

They may be a bit stale as they date back to BD. (before diabetes) twelve years ago.

Happy to help in the name of science, though....



thanks for using words I dont know..I had to look it up, but yes you may be correct, i need a phrenologist... having read most of your recent posts!

--------------------
My head hurts!


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IvanSC



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: turbodave]
      #714709 - 09/03/09 06:24 AM
Quote turbodave:

Quote IvanSC:

Actually, Dave, i know a good phrenologist - you appear to be in the market for one of them as well....

But there again, I`d be prepared to chip in a partially-used packet of Choccy Hobnobs if it helps things along.

They may be a bit stale as they date back to BD. (before diabetes) twelve years ago.

Happy to help in the name of science, though....



thanks for using words I dont know..I had to look it up, but yes you may be correct, i need a phrenologist... having read most of your recent posts!




Cheeky bugger!

So about these hobnobs - will they count as my contribution towards this collective purchase and can I bag the first two weeks in August as my timeshare for the mic?

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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Steve Hill
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #714723 - 09/03/09 07:34 AM
Quote idris y draig:

BUT What's really bothering me I suppose, is that none of the recordings I've so far heard match up to what's possible with even moderate level recording and monitoring equipment and an averagely good set of mics.... never mind really good high end ones....




That's my point. I'm not saying the maths is irrelevant in purist abstract terms. I'm saying it's irrelevant to me, as compared with quality of product.

These things have been around 18 months or so now. I've seen no reviews or endorsements from anybody with any industry credibility (and I've looked). In that context asking about sales volumes is pertinent.

I'd also add that in a global depression I'd want to be very confident about the long term survival of a company before I blew $30,000 on a pair, lest they ever need servicing. I know I can get Neumann to fix a 50 year old mic.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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IvanSC



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #714733 - 09/03/09 08:02 AM
Waiting to see what Andy hsa to say.

I mentioned this product to my wife, who as some of you will know is heavily involved in sorting out & launching new products (usually in the software arena) and she was totally disbelieving of the whole thing.

Said something like `He is joking - does he even know if his target market has £17k to spend, or for that matter does he HAVE a target market`

Think she might have hit the nail on the head there.
Particularly in the light of his reticence to quote sales.

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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turbodave



Joined: 25/04/08
Posts: 2316
Loc: derbyshire uk
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #714748 - 09/03/09 08:59 AM
Isnt it amazing that a product weve not seen, that has not been reviewed,that noone has bought(methinks)...has caused so much conversation and consternation?
I myself have developed the .5 channel compressor...the theory is that you send the whole channel back on itself, invert it if you will and remove the whole signal..by removing the whole signal what you are left with is my new track called the emperors new clothes.You can download this track from myspace for a nominal fee of £6500.

--------------------
My head hurts!


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adrian_k



Joined: 30/01/03
Posts: 1741
Loc: Gloucestershire
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: IvanSC]
      #714774 - 09/03/09 10:15 AM
To underline some of the points made by Steve, Ivan etc etc..

Some years ago I worked for a startup company that had developed a product that was genuinely streets ahead of the competition.

Except that it wasn't. Technically very impressive, it did what the competition (in a mature market) did, but measurably 10 times better.

But the market didn't need anything that was 10 times better. Especially since:

(a) the product was 5 time more expensive than the competition
(b) there were question marks over company longevity and ability to support the product
(c) no-one could quantify the benefits of the product over the competition. So what if it's faster/bigger/redder etc etc, why did anyone need it?

If you can't establish the market need, then the technical specs are meaningless, and the product becomes a laboratory curiosity.

Reading the thread is kind of deja vu (vu .. vu.. vu..)

PS The company in question sold a few, consumed vast quantities of venture capital in continued R&D, and was then bought out for pence when it ran out of money.

--------------------
getting better all the time..


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Andy Simpson



Joined: 01/03/09
Posts: 12
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #714917 - 09/03/09 02:19 PM
Quote idris y draig:

Hugh's point about technology movement is also very valid.. a mature technology is one where we have made all the major advances we're ever going to be able to make..... this is almost certainly not the case with Microphones....





Hi,

Yes, Hugh is absolutely right about that (though the industry may not be pleased to hear him say so).

Much of what we currently hold as 'subjective' will eventually be reduced to objective, but the necessary scrutiny is not yet there.

Quote:


my concerns involve a number of the technical claims... about acoustic impedance matching for starters.... I don't believe the loading works quite the way it appears to be claimed. which is why showing your working, the maths.... is important....





This is where the question I posed earlier comes in. Where or how else does a measured reduction in nonlinear distortion occur in combination with an increase in SPL at the capsule?

If we use a parabolic reflector (or increased proximity) to make the same acoustic gain, we will see an equal rise in nonlinear distortion.

The fundamental difference here is key and it is the measurements that offer the greatest clue.

Quote:


then in the micro-acoustic environment of the horn, the path length differentials for any incident sound not directly perpendicular to the horn position and alignment.... and it's effect on the polar pattern across the spectrum, and obviously the off axis response.





Good solid questions. However, I was trying to address 'why do the internal reflection issues of the horn speaker not apply here' questions.

Your questions actually touch on what I would call proprietary design concepts. If we get into that I will be writing a step by step guide to designing the microphone, which I would prefer to avoid, with respect.

Quote:


the question of body resonance , the wooden horn 's behaviour in that respect and possible transmission through to the capsule itself...





Perhaps the scale of the design is not clear from the photos?

We can expect very little resonance issue from such thickness of dense/dead wood, so the problem of mechanical transmission of resonance is more or less zero.

In any case, we can ask the same question of any microphone - good question though it is - so I don't think this is a fundamental issue.

It would not be hard to further damp the structure & make comparative measurements in order to prove the point, but this is not really necessary in my view.

Quote:


BUT What's really bothering me I suppose, is that none of the recordings I've so far heard match up to what's possible with even moderate level recording and monitoring equipment and an averagely good set of mics.... never mind really good high end ones....

...and I ask, even assuming the intermodulation distortion claims to be completely valid, given the utterly skewed response graph , and requirement to add EQ afterwards (with it's own distortions of phase and so on) what's the point???




Don't forget that the popular MKH microphones (to which I constantly refer) are designed with a similar (though less significantly applied) concept.

The MKH mics are essentially undamped, non-flat frequency response, and are EQ'd flat with internal circuitry - which is quite widely known as far as I know.

You can check the Sennheiser papers with regards to the actual significance of the subject of potential phase distortion and also look at the phase graphs shown.


To the question of audibility-

If you do not hear anything unusual in my samples, you are not alone and I would bet money that your ears have every bit the acuity of mine or better.

I could ask 'do you hear a difference in the case of the MKH'?

However, if you do want to hear the direct fundamental differences, I would suggest the decca-tree comparison on my site: Decca tree Model A / U89 comparison

These files can be A/B'd directly.

These are not my recordings, so if anybody would like to comment I would ask that comments be kept civil & constructive

If you listen on speakers with low nonlinear distortion at music levels (eg. K&H 0500c I would recommend), I would expect you to hear fundamental improvements.

Conversely, if you listen on speakers with high nonlinear distortion at music levels, I would expect the chances of audibility to be reduced.

-

Or, if anybody would be interested, I would be happy to participate in some direct comparison trials with a live orchestra.

This is by far the best perspective from which to hear the significance of fundamental linearity in microphones.

Andy

--------------------
www.simpsonmicrophones.com


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IvanSC



Joined: 08/03/05
Posts: 7786
Loc: UK France & USA depending on t...
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #715048 - 09/03/09 08:30 PM
And once again all real world issues are neatly sidestepped.
PLus yet another lot of mp3 files.
I haven`t even bothered D/Ling them this time.

I and I suspect 99% of your projected market couldn`t give a rat`s about the underlying science, Andy.

The discussion of distortion etc is all well and good, but
it isn`t going to sell you any microphones.
What we are interested in is `does this do the job of facilitating quality recordings significantly better than any other mics out there`
And if the answer is `Yes`, we then have to examine the cost of acquisition of this technology and decide if the entry price is worth it or not.
All else is marginally interesting sideshow stuff..

My last contribution to this now, in my opinion, totally worthless thread.

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
Posts: 3888
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: IvanSC]
      #715058 - 09/03/09 08:54 PM
Ivan... you're heading in to witch hunt territory .....


and indeed, while some appear "on principle" to object to a Mic costing that much.... I have no problem with the idea... IF the Mic performs accordingly....

I don;t think it's a sustainable business plan mind you.... especially in the current situation vis a vis the global economy... , and I sure as hell aint buying one, never mind a pair.... but I have no problem with the idea....

the numbers sold are irrelevant....

but the technical debate, is actually what defines the question of whether this mic is capable of the performance to justify the price... (irrespective of the business plan viability)

so no, this discussion of distortion, is not merely "all well and good" , or indeed a sideshow....

the technical questions ARE the "main event" Ivan....


In the same way as what gave serious Meat to the "Arby" type threads of days gone by.... in addition to the business plan discussionm, at the core of the pointed questions made to the Xytar CEO , were solid technical issues with the claims being made.... (albiet about rebadged behringer , rather than a uniquely manufactured "high end" product)

you can't have a really good argument about the value of a thing, without a solid core of technical investigation of it's "merits" or lack thereof...

and it's possible, that a small number of people might actually buy these mics because of the distortion behaviour.. assuming all other parameters to be up there with the best of them....

note, I said possible.... not likely.....


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Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
Posts: 3888
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #715060 - 09/03/09 08:57 PM
oh, and Mr Simpson... for gods sakes host some 24 bit uncompressed files will you.... the MP3 encoding process itself is probably adding more artefacts than the difference between the mics... even at higher bit rates.

(44.1K will do fine though)


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Steve Hill
member


Joined: 07/01/03
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Loc: Oxfordshire
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #715091 - 09/03/09 10:51 PM
Quote idris y draig:

the technical questions ARE the "main event" Ivan....




Is that why that lame no-brainer failure Bono always tracks with a £70 SM57? Or maybe he (and 150 million album buyers) think the sound suits him?

How many end users are going to listen on Andy's ideal monitoring system which (he claims) coincidentally does not reveal any flaws in his mic? What's wrong with mics that sound "right" when the end result is played on somebody's iPod while they are out jogging?

Why does he not answer my questions about the "need" to always EQ this mic, or why his samples are in his own words sub-standard and done on cheap systems? What guarantees can he offer for long term customer support to justify the price of these things (and in that context a proven sales record most certainly matters)? Why exactly (as he now claims) do his own website's pictures apparently not do justice to these mics? It's his website.

Why not lend a mic to a serious studio, to do some serious projects, in the hope of a worthwhile independent endorsement? Or has he already done this and found no endorsement forthcoming?

I don't think Ivan's engaged in a witchhunt. He's asking fair questions, as am I , and the hard ones are being sidestepped/ignored, while more and more BS spews forth.

FWIW I run one of the few studios that could spend $30,000 on a pair if I felt like it. But since I'm met with hostility, evasion or simply being ignored on the questions that matter, sod it. Andy's had a chance to answer sensible concerns without spouting "just look at the maths", and opts not to do so. I've recorded a 40 piece string section today. If this product could help me do the same only better, I'm interested (regardless of price). I can spend money elsewhere, however, and I will.

We're in Russ Andrews territory, and I think most of us know that.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
Posts: 3888
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #715202 - 10/03/09 10:39 AM
I think you slightly misconstrue my point with regards the main event, The argument being that the technical "theoretical" arguments are relevant and valid whether the Mic costs £100 , £1000, or £10000. is hand made in europe , or mass produced in China.... and are the heart of whether the mic is in fact capable of being "That good"

also, I think his comment about pictures was actually talking about scale.... it's difficult to get a sense of the actual physical dimensions of the assembly from a disembodied image.... with no obvious reference point from which to judge the size....

you'll also note I've actually queried the EQ situation as well.... although he's right in his point about many other mics using EQ to compensate for physical design requirements leaving a less than desirable spectral offset.


my "concerns" are totally independent of cost....


Andrew... my point , about the EQ being an issue, is that my current understanding is that it is to be added by the operator.... and as a result, could be almost anything.... whether or not appropriate.... rather than being a very specifically , carefully designed and crafted, high quality, part of the mic itself..


My question regarding the Horn's own physical reaction to stimuli is not, as you state, also equally addressable to every other mic.... the vast majority of other mics , don;t have the (relatively, to the capsule) large structure stuck on the front of them... (ignoring certain specialist applications, like shotgun Mics for example.... ) Mic's we'd generally use for recording in a "high quality" chain, are generally surrounded either by a relatively large, but permeable cage, to act as some protection from impact and plosives, and/or a fairly small acoustic structure to determine pressure wave path behaviour... usually made out of something less inherently capable of resonance , both structurally, and as a general trend of the material.

a front mounted horn of wood on the other hand... is basically a bell.

a structural form long chosen for specific duties.... like resonating nicely for example....

and the timber is not really a truly effective self damping material either. witness it's use in all sorts of instruments..... (actually it's possible that high quality Ply would be a better material to choose in this respect , the lamination of the material makes it inherently less resonant than solid timber... )


any powerful transient intersecting with that horn... is going to impart energy in to the horn... with potentially "interesting" results.

with regards to the comment about not wishing to get too much in to the mic design theory..... patent it, then publish.... unless people understand what it is you're doing to some extent, they simply won;t accept your word for it as being the end of the matter..... or the ultimate arbiter of where they spend their money...... as evidenced by Steve , Ivan, and co....


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Bob Moose



Joined: 17/01/08
Posts: 885
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #715216 - 10/03/09 11:20 AM
Quote Steve Hill:


Why does he not answer my questions about the "need" to always EQ this mic, or why his samples are in his own words sub-standard and done on cheap systems?




So the DAV BG1 preamplifier and the Mytek converters are cheap systems? I recently bought similar preamplifiers (with onboard A/D conversion) in order to improve my Fireface 400 setup and I guess I was completely wrong then...

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/remote-possibilities-acoustic-music-locatio n-recording/198612-4006-vs-model-orchestra-samples.html

(Sorry I am actually not interested in such expensive mics and only saw this by inadvertance)


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 20822
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #715233 - 10/03/09 11:54 AM
Quote Steve Hill:

How many end users are going to listen on Andy's ideal monitoring system which (he claims) coincidentally does not reveal any flaws in his mic? What's wrong with mics that sound "right" when the end result is played on somebody's iPod while they are out jogging?




Nothing... except that the inevitable result is a downward spiral to utter mediocrity. The same logic would question why you have invested in the quality monitoring and acoustics of your studio, when a back bedroom and some cheap speakers would do just as well for most people.

The reason, as always, is because professionals aspire to obtain the best possible quality at source. That's why we invest in high quality mics, accurate monitoring and properly sorted controol room acoustics.

And Andy is almost certainly correct in that only the best high-end monitoring systems will be accurate enough in terms of non-linear distortion to reveal the difference between a very low distortion mic (such as his claim) and something with much higher inherent distortion. I have myself been involved in demos years back when the MKH range was launched, where the differences were completely inaudible on some (popular but relatively poor) monitors, yet chalk and cheese obvious on other, significantly cleaner models.

Quote:

Why does he not answer my questions about the "need" to always EQ this mic




It is largely an irrelevance. Although I share Idris' concerns about users applying any old EQ that takes their fancy, they do this anyway. Plcae accurate flat mic in front of source, tweak EQ to find a sound they 'like'.

The appropriate EQ could easily be built in to the mic -- as it is in many other designs -- if that's what the market desired. I'm assuming this hasn't been done becuase it is still early days for the production of this mic. Are there any more in existence than a couple of prototypes?

Quote:

why his samples are in his own words sub-standard and done on cheap systems?




Good question. That does appear to leave a large hole in the foot....

Quote:

What guarantees can he offer for long term customer support to justify the price of these things




None. Who could offer any long term guarantees, especially in the current financial malaise? You of all people should know that past history is no guarantee of future viability. But presumably, third party mic specialists would be able to service the mics just as they can for other brands.

Quote:

Why not lend a mic to a serious studio, to do some serious projects, in the hope of a worthwhile independent endorsement? Or has he already done this and found no endorsement forthcoming?




No one would rely on an unproven mic for a real fee-paying project, which means double the work to rig known reliable mics in addition and mix both versions. What's in it for the studio?

Quote:

...the hard ones are being sidestepped/ignored,




Yes, I think I share that view.

Quote:

We're in Russ Andrews territory, and I think most of us know that.




Harsh...

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #715256 - 10/03/09 12:24 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:



Quote:

We're in Russ Andrews territory, and I think most of us know that.




Harsh...






But fair


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #715267 - 10/03/09 12:46 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:


No one would rely on an unproven mic for a real fee-paying project, which means double the work to rig known reliable mics in addition and mix both versions. What's in it for the studio?





Actually, I've got a couple of classical CD projects coming up over the next month or so which are simple two or three mic rigs. I can field, say six channels of Crookwood, Grace, or Millennia preamps (or others but one of those should satisfy the 'clean/transparent' camp), and six channels of either Prism or dCS converters. At least then, I'll know what they're about and whether they have a place outside the Russ Andrews catalogue (OK, I'm doubtful but, in the absence of detailed explanations of the theories and engineering, a tryout seems like an idea if it doesn't get in the way of the day job.)

On both sessions, the halls are known quantities, with acoustics appropriate for the performers and programme, the artistes of a reasonably high calibre and the sessions usually pretty relaxed so I wouldn't mind giving the horn mics a whirl if they were available. One of the sessions has the advantge of being part of a series done with a fairly constant balance so there's a good selection of existing recordings if extra comparisons are desired on the same people doing similar music, in the same venue, with similar micing. That particular session is one where I often try out parallel rigs - especially mics - when testing gear so it'd be easy enough to try some of Mr Simpson's creations. If he doesn't want to stick them in the post and it'll encourage him to visit and explain them properly, I could run to a lunch and all the tea/coffee he can drink. Who knows, if the mics are as good as he claims I might even buy them - but then lunch is on him!


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Steve Hill
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Joined: 07/01/03
Posts: 13140
Loc: Oxfordshire
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: ]
      #715394 - 10/03/09 05:59 PM
OVU - I consider that a very fairly flung gauntlet!

As regards the DAV/Mytek etc "inadequacies", I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this stuff any more than I'm saying there's anything wrong with a cheap old Neumann U87.

I have merely linked to a post by Andy Simpson on another forum where he attributed the poor quality of the examples on his website to using this cheap stuff (rather than, say, his mics).

Personally I swear by the DAV BG1 and it's a rare session where I don't use it for something or other. I have recommended it to many people here over the years as being comparable to pre-amps costing three or four times as much.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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--
active member


Joined: 29/05/03
Posts: 6085
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #715405 - 10/03/09 06:45 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

Personally I swear by the DAV BG1 and it's a rare session where I don't use it for something or other. I have recommended it to many people here over the years as being comparable to pre-amps costing three or four times as much.




Now if only DAV did their pre-amps in shiny wooden cases.


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Phat Man



Joined: 08/02/06
Posts: 246
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: --]
      #715432 - 10/03/09 07:47 PM
Mr Simpson I really think you should be jumping at the chance to give OVU a trial here.


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Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
Posts: 3888
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Phat Man]
      #715450 - 10/03/09 08:29 PM
if 0VU can't get a half decent recording out of these things, then no-one can.


I really would advise Mr Simpson to take him up on it..... you simply won;t get a better offer , ever.....


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Aural Reject



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4208
Loc: Lancashire
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #715464 - 10/03/09 08:51 PM
Quote idris y draig:

if 0VU can't get a half decent recording out of these things, then no-one can.


I really would advise Mr Simpson to take him up on it..... you simply won;t get a better offer , ever.....




+1


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Persuazion



Joined: 29/10/05
Posts: 1608
Loc: Scotland
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Aural Reject]
      #715653 - 11/03/09 09:47 AM
Quote Aural Reject:

Quote idris y draig:

if 0VU can't get a half decent recording out of these things, then no-one can.


I really would advise Mr Simpson to take him up on it..... you simply won;t get a better offer , ever.....




+1




+100! Put your money ( ) where your mouth is!

--------------------
http://www.loverslanestudios.co.uk


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Andy Simpson



Joined: 01/03/09
Posts: 12
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #715672 - 11/03/09 10:25 AM
Quote Steve Hill:


As regards the DAV/Mytek etc "inadequacies", I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this stuff any more than I'm saying there's anything wrong with a cheap old Neumann U87.





Steve, the quote regarding 'worst case gear' is taken out of context.

My early/first samples were made with an m-audio delta1010 & tlaudio ivory 4001 mic-amps - as were the clips in the 4006 comparison thread mentioned above. This I would describe as 'worst case' consumer level.

I have never described either Mytek or DAV as worst-case or low-end!

They are both very good pieces of professional gear and I use them both daily!

Quote:


Personally I swear by the DAV BG1 and it's a rare session where I don't use it for something or other.





If you look hard enough at my posts on GS, you will find that I have given the exact same recommendation of the BG1.

I sincerely hope that I have not been seen to in any way put down these excellent pieces of gear.

I make no such 'worst-case' claims of my current samples, which represent the event they recorded to my satisfaction, given suitably low distortion monitoring.

Andy

--------------------
www.simpsonmicrophones.com


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Andy Simpson



Joined: 01/03/09
Posts: 12
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: ]
      #715679 - 11/03/09 10:32 AM
Quote 0VU:


Actually, I've got a couple of classical CD projects coming up over the next month or so which are simple two or three mic rigs. I can field, say six channels of Crookwood, Grace, or Millennia preamps (or others but one of those should satisfy the 'clean/transparent' camp), and six channels of either Prism or dCS converters. At least then, I'll know what they're about and whether they have a place outside the Russ Andrews catalogue (OK, I'm doubtful but, in the absence of detailed explanations of the theories and engineering, a tryout seems like an idea if it doesn't get in the way of the day job.)

On both sessions, the halls are known quantities, with acoustics appropriate for the performers and programme, the artistes of a reasonably high calibre and the sessions usually pretty relaxed so I wouldn't mind giving the horn mics a whirl if they were available. One of the sessions has the advantge of being part of a series done with a fairly constant balance so there's a good selection of existing recordings if extra comparisons are desired on the same people doing similar music, in the same venue, with similar micing. That particular session is one where I often try out parallel rigs - especially mics - when testing gear so it'd be easy enough to try some of Mr Simpson's creations. If he doesn't want to stick them in the post and it'll encourage him to visit and explain them properly, I could run to a lunch and all the tea/coffee he can drink. Who knows, if the mics are as good as he claims I might even buy them - but then lunch is on him!




Hi 0VU, that is a very kind offer and I will take you up on it directly, in person.

Please email/call and we can make the arrangements.

Andy

--------------------
www.simpsonmicrophones.com


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Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Andy Simpson]
      #715684 - 11/03/09 10:37 AM
Glad to hear you intend to take 0VU up on his offer..... i look forward to hearing the results...


I'd add that there are in fact WAV files available of some material recorded with these mics.... (16 bit 44.1K) .. I found them while trawling other forums this morning.... I'll not post the links in case there's a specific reason Andy has not done so..... (bandwidth limits or something.... ) .

I have NOT yet listened to them.... as I'm away from the studio and any decent monitoring ... and I intend to give them the best chance of being heard "properly" .


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Persuazion



Joined: 29/10/05
Posts: 1608
Loc: Scotland
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Andy Simpson]
      #715761 - 11/03/09 12:36 PM
Quote Andy Simpson:

Quote 0VU:


Actually, I've got a couple of classical CD projects coming up over the next month or so which are simple two or three mic rigs. I can field, say six channels of Crookwood, Grace, or Millennia preamps (or others but one of those should satisfy the 'clean/transparent' camp), and six channels of either Prism or dCS converters. At least then, I'll know what they're about and whether they have a place outside the Russ Andrews catalogue (OK, I'm doubtful but, in the absence of detailed explanations of the theories and engineering, a tryout seems like an idea if it doesn't get in the way of the day job.)

On both sessions, the halls are known quantities, with acoustics appropriate for the performers and programme, the artistes of a reasonably high calibre and the sessions usually pretty relaxed so I wouldn't mind giving the horn mics a whirl if they were available. One of the sessions has the advantge of being part of a series done with a fairly constant balance so there's a good selection of existing recordings if extra comparisons are desired on the same people doing similar music, in the same venue, with similar micing. That particular session is one where I often try out parallel rigs - especially mics - when testing gear so it'd be easy enough to try some of Mr Simpson's creations. If he doesn't want to stick them in the post and it'll encourage him to visit and explain them properly, I could run to a lunch and all the tea/coffee he can drink. Who knows, if the mics are as good as he claims I might even buy them - but then lunch is on him!




Hi 0VU, that is a very kind offer and I will take you up on it directly, in person.

Please email/call and we can make the arrangements.

Andy





Hallelujah

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Here be Dragons


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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Andy Simpson]
      #715766 - 11/03/09 12:42 PM
Quote Andy Simpson:



Hi 0VU, that is a very kind offer and I will take you up on it directly, in person.

Please email/call and we can make the arrangements.

Andy






you can also send him a PM directly.... click on his user name to be taken to a screen with that option


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alex s
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #715769 - 11/03/09 12:45 PM
A fly fully formed, dissect it to find out how it works, & we're left with not a fully formed functioning fly, but just dissected science.


i.e in this instance, the sum of all the science must amount to a beautiful sounding mic, else its just dissected science.



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jaminem
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #716677 - 13/03/09 12:29 PM
I'd love to hear what the session sounds like, this whole thread intrigues me, even though, i'm a bedroom music making pleb that will never buy the mic, nor work with muso's good enough to do justice if the claims are correct.

Never the less I'd still read a car mag about a Bugatti Veyron, even though its unlilely I would ever own one...


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narcoman
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #718039 - 18/03/09 01:40 AM
just nodding my interest. Some number work for me would be nice....




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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: narcoman]
      #718379 - 19/03/09 12:50 AM
so now you're a Masomatician ?


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Studio Support Gnome
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jaminem]
      #718380 - 19/03/09 12:52 AM
Quote jaminem:


Never the less I'd still read a car mag about a Bugatti Veyron, even though its unlilely I would ever own one...




Baggsey I get to be Clarkson, 0Vu is James may in disguise, and Hugh, for all sorts of reasons, gets to be Mr Hammond....




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spumph



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #718904 - 20/03/09 05:56 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

This thing seems to be made of beechwood or something. I'm strongly tempted to put some $20 Chinese capsules in say a Brazilian rosewood horn and claim superior sound quality owing to denser wood. And sell them for a trifling £3,000 each, say.

I know a decent wood turner who knocks out hardwood fruitbowls and things for a living...




Man with Lathe and limited morals here...

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20-second-mistress



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: spumph]
      #721320 - 29/03/09 02:11 PM
has 0VU made the recordings with the simpson mic yet?
this thread seems to have died or is everybody on the edge of there seats!

cant wait to hear the results.

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: 20-second-mistress]
      #721327 - 29/03/09 02:50 PM
I'm sure he'll report back as soon as he has. Be patient....
these things can take time to arrange.

hugh

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steve355



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #721620 - 30/03/09 02:39 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

I'm sure he'll report back as soon as he has. Be patient....
these things can take time to arrange.

hugh




Would such an event not merit an article in the mag? Sure, these mics are out of most people's price range, but SOS regularly features gear way out of my price range. I still read those articles avidly for the sake of interest.


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IvanSC



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: steve355]
      #721806 - 31/03/09 07:00 AM
back further in this mega thread Hugh had indicared that they were indeed approached re a review but declined due to doubts about the underlying science involved.
I for one am awaiting the results of Ow`s recording eagerly.
A part of me would love for these to turn out to be the super mics they are claimed to be.
Even if I could never justify buying a pair.

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SmokeHouseStudio



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: IvanSC]
      #721871 - 31/03/09 11:06 AM
Can you imagine the response if this had made it's way into the April issue?

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'Just another Idiot with an opinion'


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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #722011 - 31/03/09 06:02 PM
Steve Hill could never buy any for his studio though.

Woodworm.


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Steve Hill
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: --]
      #722013 - 31/03/09 06:07 PM
Quote Wonkey Wabbit:

Steve Hill could never buy any for his studio though.

Woodworm.






Mind you for the money I'd expect them to come treated against dry rot!

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


Edited by Steve Hill (31/03/09 06:07 PM)


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IvanSC



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #726748 - 17/04/09 08:18 PM
any news from ow yet?

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Aural Reject



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: IvanSC]
      #726753 - 17/04/09 08:30 PM
I understand he's spectacularly busy at the mo...


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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Aural Reject]
      #726844 - 18/04/09 10:15 AM
Quote Aural Reject:

I understand he's spectacularly busy at the mo...




New glasses?


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Aural Reject



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: --]
      #726884 - 18/04/09 12:40 PM
Quote Wonkey Wabbit:

Quote Aural Reject:

I understand he's spectacularly busy at the mo...




New glasses?




Of the sunglasses kind, in case the new science is blinding


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Andy Simpson



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Aural Reject]
      #727786 - 21/04/09 06:31 PM
I think somebody asked about high res files at some point....

There are some .WAV files here:
http://www.simpsonmicrophonesarchives.com/WAV/

Andy

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www.simpsonmicrophones.com


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20-second-mistress



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #728170 - 22/04/09 06:20 PM
hi,

was this the recording made by 0VU?

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www.londonaerialsystems.com


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Anonymous
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: 20-second-mistress]
      #728222 - 22/04/09 09:34 PM
No.


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20-second-mistress



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #729983 - 28/04/09 08:32 PM
0VU did simpon send you a mic to record with?

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Aural Reject



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: 20-second-mistress]
      #729986 - 28/04/09 08:42 PM
Quote fused-sound:

0VU did simpon send you a mic to record with?




0VU's away on a session at the minute....not sure when he's back.....AFAIK he's not taken receipt of anything, but I could of course be wrong.


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narcoman
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #731145 - 02/05/09 02:02 AM
just dropping a "would like to see" note. I'm in Abbey Road again in a couple of months with another orchestral session - would be good to stick a couple of these babies up to see how they sit in.....

just a thought.


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TBTS



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #731331 - 03/05/09 02:20 AM
as skeptical as i am about these, as most of you are...

even if the sound of these particular mic's don't end up being great, its interesting (for me at least) to think that there might just be one small piece of technology in them that might improve microphone technology in general, and for me it is thinking outside of the box like this that pushes technology on, regardless of price.


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Mutton Geoff



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #732796 - 07/05/09 10:18 PM
I wouldn't usually weigh in on discussions like this, but came across the thread by accident and feel that there are a few things I should say. There are quite a few valid points made here, and some others which simply seem to reflect standard industry prejudice. I made contact with Andy Simpson last autumn, because rather in the spirit of the last poster I was intrigued by his idea, and although I wasn't overly impressed by the audio clips on his site, I felt there was something distinctly different in the sound of them which merited further investigation. Andy spent some days in November with me at the NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) studio in Oslo while I was recording a concert production for broadcast. This was extremely interesting for both of us, but not necessarily an ideal demo situation for the mics. The clips that Andy posts on his site are his stereo downmix from three Model A mics suspended coincident (or as coincident as is possible given their size) with our own main pickup (in this case a wide RCA style tree of Neumann u89s). The height and placing of the tree was determined largely by our needs for the broadcast mix (ie. correct placement of the U89s) rather than to create an optimum position for the Model As. The recordings as they stand are not therefore the best showcase for the capabilities of the microphone, and I fully agree with an earlier poster who feels the need for a "demonstration quality" recording to judge from. However the NRK Model A clips are interesting if you compare them directly with our conventional main mics (maybe Andy can post these too), because then you'd have a reference which would mean something to most engineers. My personal opinion of the Model As... is complex. I think that the lowering of IM distortion by 30-40dB is very audible - in fact it is probably the characteristic that struck me as different when I first listened to Andy's clips. The ear is very good at perceiving low level information in the presence of high level information, thinking of how critical reverb quality is even at 40-50dB below program level it makes complete sense to me that non-musical distortion at that level would also be clearly audible. Comparing the U89s to the Model As you can clearly hear the IM distortion as a sort of glassy veil. You also realise how much low level musical information (upper harmonics) is being masked by the same distortion, having the effect of flattening out the timbre differences between instrumental groups. However the flipside of the huge gain in distortion performance is a very far from flat frequency response. Because the mic contains no active electronics, it requires large amounts of external EQ to iron out the horn characteristic. This makes it impossible to listen to the microphone via any standard analogue console, and requires a digital console or DAW which can provide a large amount of realtime phase-linear parametric EQ. The one reservation I have about the post EQ'd sound of the Model A, and it is a fairly big reservation, is that there is a feeling of a lack of freedom - that things are somehow closed in. This "closed in" quality of sound may well be the result of the digital EQ. Andy is against analogue EQ because of the inherent phase distortion and noise issues, but personally I'd love to hear the Model A through a well designed analogue EQ stage so I can make up my own mind. Whatever my reservations, I'm convinced that Andy is onto something here, and I'm sure he'll take it much further if he's given the means to do so. He's effectively fighting the entire microphone industry single-handedly by suggesting that the basis of microphone development has been fundamentally flawed for the last seventy years. We all have our prejudices and our blind spots, sometimes it's good to re-evaluate things from first principles.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Mutton Geoff]
      #732930 - 08/05/09 08:31 AM
Thanks for the post Mutton -- you've made some interesting comments and observations, although essentially you seem to be saying it sounds different (possibly in a nice way), but isn't (yet) practically usable. I'm not surprised by this, and it again begs the question as to who would part with around £10k for what is clearly still a R&D prototype?

The thing that worries me is that if the frequency response is all to cock (to use a technical phrase), the subjective impression is also going to be skewed. Small changes of EQ, as you'll know (along with every mastering engineer), can make a huge subjective change to things like the 'glassy veil' effect.

Quote Mutton Geoff:

He's effectively fighting the entire microphone industry single-handedly by suggesting that the basis of microphone development has been fundamentally flawed for the last seventy years.




I don't think he's fighting the industry at all. I'm quite certain that a large number of R&D teams have examined and evaluated his ideas since they are public domain, and maybe other companies will develop mics that employ his acoustic impedance matching ideas in some way. Clearly, finding ways to reduce IM distortion is of importance to the more progressive companies and has been for decades.

The difference is that most mic manufacturers are producing microphones that can be used professionally, they sell them at prices people can afford, and some of the profits are fed back into R&D. It seems Andy hasn't yet reached the point where his mics can be used professionally, where he can sell them at sensible prices, or in practical numbers.

Quote:

We all have our prejudices and our blind spots, sometimes it's good to re-evaluate things from first principles.




Absolutely -- I quite agree.

hugh

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Steve Hill
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #732935 - 08/05/09 08:49 AM
Hugh's said pretty much what I was going to say. I'd just add that for commercial purposes time is (the client's) money. Faffing about with EQ-ing a recording that does not sound great on playback is not what's wanted! Clients often want to playback a take, or part of it, immediately, while they are "in the zone", to decide whether they need or want to do another take.

The acknowledged difficulties of using this mic are going to get in the way of a smooth workflow and, very possibly, upset clients. It's going to be a brave studio that uses it in those circumstances.

I would also add that this studio is not unique in still offering wholly analogue recordings, so adding a digital EQ into the chain is - for those clients - not really an option without introducing unwanted DA/AD conversion stages.

Basically, this mic should be sold with an analogue EQ which does the job, if it's to have any hope of success. Or if it has to be a digital EQ, sell it as a digital mic!

That said, I still look forward to 0VU having the chance to do some A/B recording in a concert hall. And in case it's passed Andy by, narcoman has also offered to do the same on an orchestral recording at Abbey Road.

If either of those guys tell me it's good, I'd take their word for it.

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Mutton Geoff



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #733006 - 08/05/09 12:49 PM
I don't fundamentally disagree with anything in Hugh or Steve's last posts. There are obviously some issues regarding the commercial viability of the mic given Andy's price tag. That seems to be the thing that has generated the largest amount of hot air here. Like (presumably) most of the rest of the people on this forum I'm not in a position to spend 30 grand (I'd need at least three Model As)on microphones. However, rather than getting angry with Andy on that basis I'd encourage anyone who is sufficiently interested and open-minded to engage directly with him and ask for a demo. He may be something of a fundamentalist, but he's also passionate about sound and music, so you should have some common points of contact. My experience is that he's perfectly open to mutually beneficial collaboration - leave the price question to one side for a while.

There's one aspect of both Hugh and Steves' posts which is interesting, and that is the immediate suspicion of any microphone that requires EQ. This illustrates to me how we're trained (as engineers) to think of everything in terms of spectral balance. One of the things that interests me most (and one of the reasons why I got in touch with Andy in the first place) comes from my love of old (I mean very old) recordings. I've often sat listening transfixed to Grieg or Joachim from acoustic 78s played back on a horn gramophone. Technically speaking these recordings should be far inferior to anything that we can produce today. They are mono, have a ridiculous signal to noise ratio, severely limited bandwidth and (due to the horn) a highly coloured frequency characteristic. What is it therefore that often makes me feel more in touch with the music on some of these ancient recordings than listening to (for instance) a Blu-Ray 192kHz surround disk? Most engineers would say that it's just nostalgia, that I like the sound of hiss and crackle, and the colouration of a metal horn. The raw output of the Model A sounds remarkably like an acoustic 78 (without the crackle), and in the same way although it is obviously completely "wrong" in terms of spectral balance, I got the feeling of things somehow being more "real". That doesn't maybe make a lot of sense, unless you accept that the ear-brain combination is more forgiving of severe tonal distortion (the horn response) than it is of non-harmonic (intermodulation) distortion. The interesting thing is that the "real" characteristic that I like in the Model As is perceptible regardless of the EQ setting - it's not something that comes and goes with EQ.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Mutton Geoff]
      #733091 - 08/05/09 04:08 PM
Quote Mutton Geoff:

However, rather than getting angry with Andy on that basis I'd encourage anyone who is sufficiently interested and open-minded to engage directly with him and ask for a demo.




I don't think anyone is 'getting angry' -- at least I'd hope not. And personally, I have the utmost respect for someone who is trying to develop what they see as a useful microphone technology. However... nothing I have read so far provides a sufficiently convincing argument for the theory of operation, and no one has so far come back with unqualified praise. Moreover, none of the people I've consulted with far greater expertise in academic acoustical physics and commercial microphone design than I have been convinced either.

Quote:

There's one aspect of both Hugh and Steves' posts which is interesting, and that is the immediate suspicion of any microphone that requires EQ.




No suspicion here -- pretty much all microphones involve EQ of some kind, whether acoustical, mechanical, or electronic. What I find of concern is the fact that the EQ apparently required for this mic design has not been incorporated into the current models. That makes direct comparisons impossible and leaves lots of get out clauses... It's simply not a practical or professional approach.

Quote:

What is it therefore that often makes me feel more in touch with the music on some of these ancient recordings than listening to (for instance) a Blu-Ray 192kHz surround disk?




Good question, and one that is often asked. I think performance has a lot to do with it. Back then, only the best were recorded -- those with real honed talent. Were that it was the same today. I think another facet is that the recording and reproduction chain was inherently very simple, and although that brought limitations in terms of bandwidth and s/n ratio, it also makes it easy for the brain to 'listen through' the media to focus on the performance itself.

Quote:

The raw output of the Model A sounds remarkably like an acoustic 78




...can't think why

Quote:

That doesn't maybe make a lot of sense, unless you accept that the ear-brain combination is more forgiving of severe tonal distortion (the horn response) than it is of non-harmonic (intermodulation) distortion.




I agree this is a possibility and I do find it intriguing.

Hugh

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Mutton Geoff



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #733117 - 08/05/09 05:23 PM
Quote:

Good question, and one that is often asked. I think performance has a lot to do with it. Back then, only the best were recorded -- those with real honed talent. Were that it was the same today.




Of course you're right, although I'd hope that I have enough experience to seperate performance from sound quality to a large extent. I have a some good friends that are doing some very interesting academic research into the way that the recording industry has affected performance tradition... There's enough material for a few doctoral theses in this. Get me started on the ills of modern production and editing practices in the classical recording industry and we'll really start annoying people!

Quote:

Moreover, none of the people I've consulted with far greater expertise in academic acoustical physics and commercial microphone design than I have been convinced either.




I'm not an acoustic or electronic expert either, but I'd be interested to know where you (and the experts) think the fundamental flaws lie.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Mutton Geoff]
      #733134 - 08/05/09 06:17 PM
Quote Mutton Geoff:

Get me started on the ills of modern production and editing practices in the classical recording industry and we'll really start annoying people!




Actually, I think I'd enjoy that conversation -- I suspect we are of like minds.

Quote:

I'd be interested to know where you (and the experts) think the fundamental flaws lie.




The lack of coherent technical and academic information troubles me, and I do struggle somewhat with the concept of impedance matching in this context, since that is really only a conern when transferring power.

A loudspeaker needs to be impedance matched to the air because you are trying to move acoustic power there, but a microphone isd -- to my mind at least -- more like a high impedance probe on a low impednace line. It is intended to sample the air pressure without materially affecting the acoustic wavefront, and therefore does not require matching -- that's why diaphragm size and bass response are not related in microphone design, while they certainly are in speaker design.

The capsule here (whether dynamic or electrostatic -- I don't think we've been told) must be pressure opereated (else there would need to be two horns). And that being the case, the mechanical impednaces involved are the sum of the capsule's internal air cavity, the diaphragm suspension, and the air in the horn. This will necessarily be stiffer than free air, so adds some additional damping.

All I can assume is that the frontal horn damping helps to balance in some way the rear internal cavity damping, and thus affects symmetry of operation and the intermopdulation distortion as a result -- in other words it works to some extent like the symmetrical RF capsule employed by sennheiser inthe MKH range. But having said that, I'm struggling to think it is that significant an effect, and horns typically only exhibit the impedance transformation effect over a narrow frequency range too -- three octaves at most.

Moreover, I'm struggling to see how any of this affects the time domain response, which is inherently good in pressure operated mics anyway. The net phase shift will be zero all the way up to the resonant frequency which will be over 20kHz in a small diaphragm mic. But where the hornm damping ceases to be effective, the damping will surely become worse with interesting results...

The polar response is obviously shaped by the horn, so it's essentially an omni with an enormous body shadow which will narrow the directivity in the nmid and HF regions.

Just a few thoughts... open to persuasion and correction on any and all.

hugh

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IvanSC



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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #733135 - 08/05/09 06:18 PM
My $0.02

Don`t think anyone is angry at Andy`s pricing. Incredulous maybe but never angry.

And my only reservation regarding the mic needing eq is that it apparently is left up to the user to decide how much of what and where, as opposed to the more normal way of the eq or equivalent forming part of the construction of the mic.
I can see a certain amount of minor tweaking coming into play as with any other mic, but the iudea of having to set up a curve to allow for the inherent non-linearity of a mic at the get-go seems a little excessive & certainly off-putting for the majority of us.
This may sound simplistic but as Steve says, we don`t have the time or the latitude from clients to allow faffing around applying eq in an experiemental way every time we put up a mic.
It is almost as though Andy is so fixated on resolving the perceived inadequacies of existing technology regarding intermodulation distortion, he is overlooking the rest of the story, at least in part.

I have just re-read this thread & downloaded his wav files again, just to refresh my memory.
I am still keen to see what ow makes of them.

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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Mutton Geoff



Joined: 07/05/09
Posts: 5
Loc: Oslo, Norway
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #733288 - 09/05/09 12:14 PM
Quote:

The lack of coherent technical and academic information troubles me




Yes. Andy doesn't give much away. However, as you've noted above, since much of the underlying theory is public domain I can understand that he might not want to reveal all his secrets. I understand equally well that this will make people suspicious that there's no firm technical basis to the mic.

Quote:

I do struggle somewhat with the concept of impedance matching in this context, since that is really only a conern when transferring power.




This seems a strange statement to me. Surely a microphone (or any transducer) is involved in converting power from one form of energy to another. The power levels (both acoustic and electrical) associated with a microphone are tiny compared to those involved in speaker design, but I don't see why that discounts acoustic efficiency as an issue. I'm not talking from a position of any informed knowledge here, I just don't follow the logic of the statement. Obviously acoustic efficency was an issue in the days before electrical recording... without the recording horn we would indeed have heard nothing but swish and crackle pre 1925!

I don't have a scientific understanding of horn theory, and my knowledge of acoustic design as it relates to speakers and microphones is basic and rusty. In electrical terms I can follow the concept of the horn as a resonant transformer. From this it follows that its efficiency varies with frequency. In the case of the Model A the horn is designed to be at it's most efficient round 2Khz, to coincide with the area in which the human ear is at its most mechanically accurate. I think your reaction, and that of most microphone designers is along the lines of "why would you want to do this?", ie. why would you want to create so many problems simply in order to massively boost acoustic efficiency for a range of frequencies? The focus of the industry (especially those companies that specialise in small capsule "measurement mic" designs) has been to attempt to avoid capsule resonance within the range of audibility (or at least to shift it up as high as possible)... and here's someone who's recommending the use of massive horn resonance smack in the middle of our speech range. Here's a prejudice of mine.. I'm allergic to the sound of a certain widely used small capsule measurement mic, despite the reputation it has within audiophile recording circles. My microphones of choice at work are fifty year old Neumann M49s. I suspect I'm not alone in the industry with my preference here. However, if you look at the frequency response plots this reaction simply doesn't make sense. The M49 is coloured and band-limited in comparison to most modern pencil condensers. I asked Andy Simpson about this, and his response was very interesting. He suggests (as with the Model A) that it's largely to with IM distortion again. The theory is that the classic mics from the fifties (U47, M49, Telefunken 251, and to a certain extent the smaller capsule M50) have resonance issues much lower in the audio spectrum than modern mics. In a less extreme way than with the Model A, the resonance boosts output for a certain range of frequencies, resulting in correspondlingly less IM distortion associated with that frequency range. Isn't that an interesting concept? At any rate it's the closest anyone has come to explaining scientifically why I like the sound of old mics when I know they are technically inferior. If I thought the Model A sounded better than an M49, I might buy a cardboard box for the kids, sell the house, and buy a clutch of Model As... I don't think Andy's there yet, but as I've said before, I think he might be on the right track.


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Andy Simpson



Joined: 01/03/09
Posts: 12
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Mutton Geoff]
      #733300 - 09/05/09 01:18 PM
Quote Mutton Geoff:

....I asked Andy Simpson about this, and his response was very interesting. He suggests (as with the Model A) that it's largely to with IM distortion again. The theory is that the classic mics from the fifties (U47, M49, Telefunken 251, and to a certain extent the smaller capsule M50) have resonance issues much lower in the audio spectrum than modern mics. In a less extreme way than with the Model A, the resonance boosts output for a certain range of frequencies, resulting in correspondlingly less IM distortion associated with that frequency range. Isn't that an interesting concept? At any rate it's the closest anyone has come to explaining scientifically why I like the sound of old mics when I know they are technically inferior. If I thought the Model A sounded better than an M49, I might buy a cardboard box for the kids, sell the house, and buy a clutch of Model As...




Hello Geoff,

To correct slightly (to my recollection at least) what I said was that I consider that the the polar response & audible-band resonance of the m49 interact to produce 'good' spectral masking ratios for the perception of 'depth'.

I don't suggest that the mechanical 'ringing' resonant tuning of the diaphragm reduces intermodulation distortion, rather the bandlimiting/roll-off does.

While generally condenser capsule nonlinearity increases with frequency, if there is a mechanical roll-off then the nonlinear distortion in that range is proportionally reduced, which reduces the significance of IMD components in all other areas (ie. 'difference frequency' components).

In other words, a 15k roll-off reduces nonlinearity in the least linear area and so the sub-15k area suffers less IMD interference from the >15k range.

I would also guess that back-plate distances for these old mics were greater than is common these days and that as a result fundamental linearity is likely also better on these old mics than the newer 'higher sensitivity' mics.

Close back-plate and wide bandwidth are a linearity/IMD disaster combination avoided in the old mics.

Andy

PS - Next time I'm in Oslo we can do an A/B against the m49s - if the Model A doesn't beat them I'll give you a set free of charge.

--------------------
www.simpsonmicrophones.com


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Mutton Geoff



Joined: 07/05/09
Posts: 5
Loc: Oslo, Norway
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Andy Simpson]
      #733310 - 09/05/09 02:22 PM
Sorry if I've misrepresented things here Andy. You're quite right that you sent me a clear and detailed explanation of the relationship between spectral masking and depth perception. I should read my notes before attempting to write technical essays! Maybe a shootout between M49s (plus Brauner VM-1s?) and Model As would achieve a lot more than words here. I'm hoping to organise something in a larger acoustic than the radio studio under more flexible circumstances, and in an ideal world with full symphonic forces. When that happens I'm sure this forum will hear about it.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 20822
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Mutton Geoff]
      #733451 - 10/05/09 10:32 AM
Quote Mutton Geoff:

This seems a strange statement to me. Surely a microphone (or any transducer) is involved in converting power from one form of energy to another. The power levels (both acoustic and electrical) associated with a microphone are tiny compared to those involved in speaker design, but I don't see why that discounts acoustic efficiency as an issue.




There are direct parallels here in the electrical interfaces of loudspeakers and microphones. In the case of loudspeakers, we are interested in the transfer of power, so amplifier outputs are impedance matched with the loudspeakers they are connected to.

If the transfer of power was important in microphones, microphone inputs would have a 200 ohm input impedance (to match the nominal 200 ohm output impednace of (most) microphones). But we're not interested in transfering power, and they aren't.

Instead, we are interested in monitoring the changing signal voltage ~without affecting it. That requires a high impedance input and hence mic preamps have mostly a 1.5-5k input impedance.

It seems to me that a microphone has the same relationship to a passing acoustical wavefront as a mic preamp does to a microphone output -- it is there to monitor what is going on without changing it, and in that context, a high impedance is required, not a matched impedance.

That's not to say that Andy hasn't found some benefit in attempting to match the impedance through the mid frquency range with a horn. It may well be that this does have an effect on reducing intermodulation distortion.

The question is whether the downsides of this approach are acceptable, and if reducing IM is as important as he is suggesting (which I can accept) whether there aren't other ways of doing the same thing with less detrimental side effects.

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I know that some mic manufacturer R&D departments are working on these issues. ... but then we enter the thorny world of finances, and while everyonw and there dog is making cheap clone mics using severnty year old technology, and continually driving prices down as a result, R&D funding is at an all time low and development is very slow.

Your point about resonance is a good one. I share your awareness of the HF resonance of capacitor mics. It is a well known problem and different manufacturers have found various different ways of dealing with it. One significant advantage of ribbon mics, as far as I'm concerned, is the fact that their inherent resonances are subsonic (~15Hz) as opposed to (low) ultrasonic. They also have a gentle and early HF roll-off which, as Andy points out, helps to reduce any IM problems in a very gentle and natural way.

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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jayzed
member


Joined: 19/03/04
Posts: 846
Loc: North London
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #733507 - 10/05/09 03:07 PM
Wow, I've been away from the forum for a while, I didn't realise what I was getting into with my initial (admittedly plagiarised) question. It seems the discussion has continued but there's only been a little more light shed (for whatever reasons) on the sound and function of the microphones. I do look forward to the planned tests by 3 (is it now?) different engineers.

Someone mentioned 'audiophile' use at one point. I'd like to point out that for some people (including me at times) this is now unfortunately a term of derision - due to magic rocks, green marker pens and several feet of power cable costing into the thousands. I was reading the list of distributors for one range of products and couldn't help imagining a bunch of shady chancers but this is probably unkind in most cases.
I believe that Mr Simpson is genuine in his passion for these microphones (although I am more than willing to admit my potential credulity here) but do think that he has done himself no favours with the pricing. I understand his valuing of his ideas but it's not always true that any publicity is good publicity. Take the Genwave eq., I had to look up the name as I'd forgotten it but I haven't heard this mentioned for some time despite the controversy generated, mainly by its' price.


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IvanSC



Joined: 08/03/05
Posts: 7786
Loc: UK France & USA depending on t...
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #745319 - 19/06/09 09:12 AM
Wondering if the meet with oW actually took place.

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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David



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 322
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #748006 - 27/06/09 11:05 AM
Why doesn't SOS just review the mics instead of slamming the guy online?


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Aural Reject



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4208
Loc: Lancashire
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: David]
      #748007 - 27/06/09 11:14 AM
Quote David:

Why doesn't SOS just review the mics instead of slamming the guy online?




I'm sure they would if they were sent. Until then the data in the public domain all there is to work on.


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David



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 322
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #748009 - 27/06/09 11:25 AM
Well according to Hugh's posts above they won't be considered because they're too expensive for the average SOS reader. That's fine, I just think it's uncool to speculate negatively without even trying them out.


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Aural Reject



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4208
Loc: Lancashire
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: David]
      #748016 - 27/06/09 11:53 AM
Quote David:

Well according to Hugh's posts above they won't be considered because they're too expensive for the average SOS reader. That's fine, I just think it's uncool to speculate negatively without even trying them out.




They've reviewed SSL control surfaces valued at tens of thousands...and they don't really fall within the reach of (probably) most of the readership either.

If these things are as good as proposed, send them and let them be reviewed. if there's anything either of sonic or scientific interest I'm sure it'd get published, but the review would have to fight for paper real estate the same as everything else.


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IvanSC



Joined: 08/03/05
Posts: 7786
Loc: UK France & USA depending on t...
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #748017 - 27/06/09 11:56 AM
If I recall correctly, it was more that hugh decided the science behind them either wasn`t valid or was unprovable one way or the other

I have given up on the ow recordings and assume that either it happened and nobody wants to publish the results, or it just didn`t happen.
Shame, because I feel we have given Andy all th erope he could ever need & thus far the whole thing has been neatly sidestepped by all concerned.
Aren`t we all going to be kicking ourselves when it is decided these mics are the bees knees and the price doubles!

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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Bob Bickerton
active member


Joined: 20/12/02
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: David]
      #748020 - 27/06/09 12:01 PM
Quote David:

That's fine, I just think it's uncool to speculate negatively without even trying them out.




Last time I read this thread (which seems an awfully long time ago) there seemed to be a large degree of 'speculation' from the manufacturer on the abilities of the product, poor audio samples on their website and a reluctance to provide serious scientific information to back up their claims against fairly reasoned discussion.

Anyway, the subsequent silence (I'm assuming 0VU was never given mics to try) says it all!

Bob

--------------------
www.bickerton.co.nz


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table for two
active member


Joined: 24/03/02
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #748025 - 27/06/09 12:06 PM
Sometimes on paper, just on paper, it seems something just should not do what it claims. But then it turns up a surprise.
Just for proper sceintific rigour as it were, empirical evidence is required.


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Persuazion



Joined: 29/10/05
Posts: 1608
Loc: Scotland
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Bob Bickerton]
      #748049 - 27/06/09 01:21 PM
Quote Bob Bickerton:

Quote David:

That's fine, I just think it's uncool to speculate negatively without even trying them out.




Last time I read this thread (which seems an awfully long time ago) there seemed to be a large degree of 'speculation' from the manufacturer on the abilities of the product, poor audio samples on their website and a reluctance to provide serious scientific information to back up their claims against fairly reasoned discussion.

Anyway, the subsequent silence (I'm assuming 0VU was never given mics to try) says it all!

Bob




Whole heartedly agree. Or rather heavy heartedly.

Such massive claims and so many opportunities to validate them with some of the best in the business, but still.... Nothing.

Very disappointing Andy.

--------------------
http://www.loverslanestudios.co.uk


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Aural Reject



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4208
Loc: Lancashire
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: IvanSC]
      #748052 - 27/06/09 01:40 PM
Quote IvanSC:

I have given up on the ow recordings and assume that either it happened and nobody wants to publish the results, or it just didn`t happen.




Even if they had taken place I'd find it very unlikely that the actual audio would make it out into the public domain, although I'm sure conclusions would.


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Steve Hill
member


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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Bob Bickerton]
      #748078 - 27/06/09 03:45 PM
Quote Bob Bickerton:

Anyway, the subsequent silence (I'm assuming 0VU was never given mics to try) says it all!




Don't forget narcoman also offered to try them out on an orchestral recording at Abbey Road...

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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Persuazion



Joined: 29/10/05
Posts: 1608
Loc: Scotland
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #748098 - 27/06/09 05:22 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

Quote Bob Bickerton:

Anyway, the subsequent silence (I'm assuming 0VU was never given mics to try) says it all!




Don't forget narcoman also offered to try them out on an orchestral recording at Abbey Road...




Exactly. What more could you possibly ask for?!

--------------------
http://www.loverslanestudios.co.uk


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Steve Hill
member


Joined: 07/01/03
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Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Persuazion]
      #748113 - 27/06/09 07:02 PM
Quote Persuazion:

Exactly. What more could you possibly ask for?!




An honest admission that they don't work and are not worth the money would be a good start.

We've been indulging this guy on this thread alone since October 2008.

I say put up or shut up.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


Edited by Steve Hill (27/06/09 07:03 PM)


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IvanSC



Joined: 08/03/05
Posts: 7786
Loc: UK France & USA depending on t...
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #748121 - 27/06/09 07:34 PM
+1, Steve. I think my first impression of him and his mics all that long weary time ago has been proved to be right, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary.
So.
Groundbreaking new technology seems to have become Emperors New Suit.
Time to move on.

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #748134 - 27/06/09 08:49 PM
They do look cool though, eh?


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IvanSC



Joined: 08/03/05
Posts: 7786
Loc: UK France & USA depending on t...
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #748138 - 27/06/09 08:53 PM
All I have ever seen is the cyberdrawing, not a real one, even in a photo.
And frankly I think it is time to draw a line under this one for good and all.
Those of you with long memories may recall my earlier mammoth thread on these mics and all the handbag and dummy throwing that caused.
Can I be the first to say LET IT GO?
We could always discuss why it is nobody seems to be able to groove any more......

...apart from Coldplay, that is.

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #748139 - 27/06/09 08:57 PM
We groove Ivan, but then we got the wooden mic stands.


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Persuazion



Joined: 29/10/05
Posts: 1608
Loc: Scotland
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: IvanSC]
      #748212 - 28/06/09 09:25 AM
Quote IvanSC:


Can I be the first to say LET IT GO?





And I the second. Lock this nonsense.

--------------------
http://www.loverslanestudios.co.uk


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12169
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Persuazion]
      #748221 - 28/06/09 11:16 AM
I would NOT lock this thread as 0VU needs it to report back if anything happens.

I think best to just let it die - unless 0VU or narcoman actually receive a pair to test and can then report back.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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Persuazion



Joined: 29/10/05
Posts: 1608
Loc: Scotland
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: John Willett]
      #748223 - 28/06/09 11:21 AM
Quote John Willett:

I would NOT lock this thread as 0VU needs it to report back if anything happens.

I think best to just let it die - unless 0VU or narcoman actually receive a pair to test and can then report back.




Quite right actually John. Wrong choice of words.

--------------------
http://www.loverslanestudios.co.uk


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Andy Simpson



Joined: 01/03/09
Posts: 12
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: jayzed]
      #748289 - 28/06/09 03:46 PM
Update....

Unfortunately, I have not yet heard anything, by phone or email or PM, from either OVU or Narcoman - however, I'm sure they're both busy and awaiting a suitable opportunity (or perhaps there has been a technical communication problem?).

I have long since sent private messages to both parties and indicated that I will be happy to visit the UK for such a test.

In any case, if either are reading, please do get in touch (email/phone on my website) and perhaps we can get around to making the arrangements.

Andy

--------------------
www.simpsonmicrophones.com


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Persuazion



Joined: 29/10/05
Posts: 1608
Loc: Scotland
Re: A wonderous thing - the £10K mic made of wood. new [Re: Andy Simpson]
      #748301 - 28/06/09 04:38 PM
Quote Andy Simpson:

Update....

Unfortunately, I have not yet heard anything, by phone or email or PM, from either OVU or Narcoman - however, I'm sure they're both busy and awaiting a suitable opportunity (or perhaps there has been a technical communication problem?).

I have long since sent private messages to both parties and indicated that I will be happy to visit the UK for such a test.

In any case, if either are reading, please do get in touch (email/phone on my website) and perhaps we can get around to making the arrangements.

Andy




If this is truly the case then I apologize Andy.

It does seem we're all jumping to conclusions about communications that may or may not have taken place between three people many/most of us don't even know.

--------------------
http://www.loverslanestudios.co.uk


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