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Superlux S502 shockmount

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Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby The Elf » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:30 am

For the live recordings I'm doing at the back of this year I've decided that a Superlux S502 would do a decent enough job of capturing audience reaction (the frequency range of 'boos' doesn't require a particularly exacting mic! :lol:).

But I will have to place the mic on the stage front and I need to ensure that vibrations up to the mic are minimised.

A few seaches on the net are not getting me anything meaningful. Someone mentions the Superlux HM-40, but that doesn't look right to me; I can't imagine the barrel of the mic would reach through both sides of that mount? Seems pretty rare too - I can't find a UK supplier.

I was hoping that a decent Rycote would suit, but Rycote's site doesn't give any clues to compatibility.

Can anyone suggest a suitable and effective shockmount for the S502?

It may be that I can press one of my Rycote Invision 7 mounts into use, but until I see the mic I don't know for sure...
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:54 am

How about a rycote USM turned upside down so that the lyres don't foul the mic arms?
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby The Elf » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:49 pm

I like your thinking, Drew. Can anyone confirm if this would work?
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby ore_terra » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:24 am

having a look at the picture and understanding how it works I don't see why not

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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby The Elf » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:14 am

Looking like the tool for the job. I love those Rycote lyre mounts - a very clever design.
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:20 am

The Elf wrote:I like your thinking, Drew. Can anyone confirm if this would work?

It might also be worth asking Rycote - I understand (from others experiences) that they're very helpful.
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby The Elf » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:24 am

James Perrett wrote:
The Elf wrote:I like your thinking, Drew. Can anyone confirm if this would work?
It might also be worth asking Rycote - I understand (from others experiences) that they're very helpful.
I was looking for a 'Sunday answer' :lol: . A call to Rycote is on the cards this week.
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:26 am

Yes, from a vibration isolation point of view the Studio USM is the only viable solution.

The key to effective shock-mounting is to have the most compliant direction of movement in the same plane as the diaphragm's movement. Anything else is a waste of money, but it's surprising how many commercial shock-mounts don't adhere to this simple but critical principle!

The diaphragm in a mic can be moved in two ways; either the mic body stays still and the varying air pressure moves the diaphragm -- which is what we want -- or the air stays still and the mic body moves taking the diaphragm with it -- which is what the shock-mount is supposed to prevent.

So thinking about a single horizontal pencil mic, it doesn't matter if the mic body goes up-down or side-side because neither of those movements cause the diaphragm to move in-out and thus don't generate an electrical output signal. However, fore-aft movements of the mic body will definitely cause diaphragm movement and an unwanted VLF output, so movement in that direction must be well-isolated.

If you look at the standard InVision 7 shockmount (below), the lyres are quite stiff with little deformation in the side-side and up-down planes, but are designed to deform very easily in the fore-aft direction -- and that's how they provide a very high level of effective vibration isolation in the plane to which the mic is most sensitive whilst maintaining good control of the mic so it doesn't become wobbly and suffer translational vibration modes.

Image

The problem (as far as shock-mounting is concerned) with the S502 is that it isn't a single mic, it's two mics mounted at different angles, but its physical design means that it closely resembles the shock-mounting requirements of a side-address mic where up-down movements aren't a problem, but both fore-aft (and, to a lesser degree, side-side movements) definitely are a problem.

To provide reasonable isolation in those two planes simultaneously the shock-mount needs to have the lyres operating in two planes simultaneously, and the only Rycote design that offers that facility is the USM, because it has four lyres mounted perpendicular to each other.

Image

Rycote's USM is a very clever design and is about as good as it gets for side-address mics, which would include the S502's ORTF array.

With a conventional ORTF array, using separate end-fire mics, the ideal solution would be along the lines of the double independent InVision set up like this which provides the greatest compliance on the same axis as the diaphragm:

Image

But the S502 is a single-bodied mic and has to be treated as a single unit and, since the mounting is via the vertical stalk, it is essentially a side-address mic... hence requiring the USM mount.

I think, because the S502 weighs only a fraction over 400 grams, I'd go for the USM-L version with the most flexible red lyres.

However, my concern would be whether the 'stalk' of the S502 is long enough to reach the clamps before the cross-arm fouls the suspension, even if the mount is used inverted. I couldn't find any dimension measurements for the mic so I guess you'll just have to try it and see...

And purchasing a USM-L won't be a waste of money because you will always have side-address mics that need a decent shock-mount! :-)

When you're using the thing, please do make sure you secure the output cable into the clip on the USM stand mount. That minimises the risk of any vibrations running along the cable from reaching the mic which is a surprisingly common source of VLF noise. Normally, I'd recommend using a very light-weight linking tail cable to help further, but that's not practical with the 5-pin XLR and stereo output cable for the S502.

H
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby The Elf » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:06 am

Thanks for that full explanantion, Hugh!

I was hoping that the INV7, mounted vertically, would scrape me through, but I now see that the vertical absorption would be compromised. Yup, looks like a USM-L (kit - may as well have that shield) is the tool for the job. I eyed one of those for a while for my vocal mic's, but was put off by the quirky clamping system. Now I have a chance to try a smaller one out and see if it would suit me.

If the stalk of the mic doesn't reach the clamp I suppose I could clamp the XLR plug.

Thanks to you all - job done!
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:15 am

The Elf wrote:I was hoping that the INV7, mounted vertically, would scrape me through, but I now see that the vertical absorption would be compromised.

You'd have lots of vertical compliance that you don't need or want, and virtually nothing horizontally where you actually need it.

...but was put off by the quirky clamping system.

Yes, it is inherently on the fiddly side, but it's quite easy to use in practice. It also has the bonus of damping body resonances in larger tubular mics.

If the stalk of the mic doesn't reach the clamp I suppose I could clamp the XLR plug.

Yes, provided the XLR is a tight and stable fit.

H
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby John Willett » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:51 pm

I would use a Rycote INV-7HG III for that.

It works well vertically and is what I recommend for the Gefell UMT 70S.
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:38 pm

Nooooo...... ;)

The INV7 would help to stop the S502 mic array bouncing up and down... but the mic is inherently not sensitive to vibrations in the vertical plane -- it's going to be very sensitive to vibrations in the fore-aft plane (and, to a lesser degree, the side-side plane)... directions in which the INV7 is pretty stiff and so won't be very effective at preventing vibrations becoming audible through unwanted diaphragm movement.

The Rycote USM was designed specifically for effective vibration and shock-isolation in the appropriate planes for side-address mics -- like the S502 and, since you mention it, the UMT70S.

In fact I would humbly suggest that your recommendation of the INV7HGIII for the UMT 70S be urgently re-thought... I wouldn't be surprised if the INV7 on the UMT70s actually resulted in vibrational translation across the planes and actually made the problem worse, rather than better... As a fairly light-weight and narrow-bodied side address mic the UMT70S requires the USM-L shockmount. Nothing else will be effective...

I'm sure Chris Woolf (the Rycote Lyre designer) could be commissioned to test the INV7HGIII / UMT70S combination for you with his ingenious custom shock-mount vibration tester...

I spent a day with him recently testing a British mic manufacturer's new shock-mount design and comparing it with various Rycote and other designs. It was a very educational (and at times, surprising ) experience!

H
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby The Elf » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:43 pm

I agree with High - it hadn't occurred to me up to him saying it, but the 'give' in the suspension would be in the wrong plane. The USM is the correct orientation.
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby John Willett » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:54 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Nooooo...... ;)

The INV7 would help to stop the S502 mic array bouncing up and down... but the mic is inherently not sensitive to vibrations in the vertical plane -- it's going to be very sensitive to vibrations in the fore-aft plane (and, to a lesser degree, the side-side plane)... directions in which the INV7 is pretty stiff and so won't be very effective at preventing vibrations becoming audible through unwanted diaphragm movement.

The Rycote USM was designed specifically for effective vibration and shock-isolation in the appropriate planes for side-address mics -- like the S502 and, since you mention it, the UMT70S.

In fact I would humbly suggest that your recommendation of the INV7HGIII for the UMT 70S be urgently re-thought... I wouldn't be surprised if the INV7 on the UMT70s actually resulted in vibrational translation across the planes and actually made the problem worse, rather than better... As a fairly light-weight and narrow-bodied side address mic the UMT70S requires the USM-L shockmount. Nothing else will be effective...

I'm sure Chris Woolf (the Rycote Lyre designer) could be commissioned to test the INV7HGIII / UMT70S combination for you with his ingenious custom shock-mount vibration tester...

I spent a day with him recently testing a British mic manufacturer's new shock-mount design and comparing it with various Rycote and other designs. It was a very educational (and at times, surprising ) experience!

H

Interesting - thanks.

Gefell themselves recommended the INV-7HG for the UMT 70S where I had suggested the USM-L myself in the past.
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:48 am

It is very obvious that few people understand the mechanics and physics of shock-mounting... which is why Rycote's designs are so outstandingly effective -- when used appropriately! ;-) -- in comparison to almost everything else!

But you know Chris -- drop him an email or call him and have a chat about it.

H
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:02 am

I've read this thread with great interest. It really changes your attitude to shock mounts when you understand the thinking that goes (or should go) into their design and use.

Thanks a lot.

CC

PS might make a topic for a short SoS article?
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:48 am

It is on my list... :-)

H
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:56 am

Yes, lovely to learn something new ...... and useful!

Thanks.

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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby John Willett » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:06 pm

It's well worth reading THIS - Chris Woolf's article on shockmounts, originally published in "LineUp" magazine (Hugh was the Editor). :thumbup:
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Re: Superlux S502 shockmount

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:44 pm

It is a very interesting and informative article...

Others which expand on the theme include:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6t-QlBod0gkUWg3TGhyQ0VFNjQ/view

https://www.tvtechnology.com/expertise/minimizing-mic-noise (Although it appears to have lost its diagrams)

http://microphone-data.com/media/filestore/articles/Wind%20and%20vibration-10.pdf (which also goes into the principles of reducing wind-noise outdoors)
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