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M-S recording mics

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M-S recording mics

Postby solaris » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:15 am

Hi there,

I often record stereo (MS) with two AKG 414 and I was thinking to buy two more mics for this and for general use. I was thinking of a smaller format. I record mostly acoustic instruments. I need something neutral with low noise levels.
I was thinking about two AKG C 391 B and the AKG CK 94 figure of eight capsule.
Does anyone wave experience with these two mics?
Or suggest something else around 900 to 1300 pounds?
Thank you very much.
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:25 am

Is £900-£1,300 for one, or two mic's? If it's for one, I'd recommend the Sennheiser MKH series, the 30/40. You may be lucky to pick up a couple of these secondhand, for about £700/800 each. It'd be slightly over budget, but worth it.
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:53 am

Arpangel wrote:Is £900-£1,300 for one, or two mic's?

Given the cost of the AKGs, it must be for both mics.
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:03 am

Wonks wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Is £900-£1,300 for one, or two mic's?

Given the cost of the AKGs, it must be for both mics.

If it is for both mic's, he may be able to squeeze in a couple of MKH's, places like BB list, Pink Noise occasionally have second hand ones, there are a few more film and TV suppliers who get them too, there's one in Ealing, and Elstree, a quick google will bring them up.
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:09 am

Arpangel wrote:If it is for both mic's, he may be able to squeeze in a couple of MKH's, places like....

You'd be very lucky! Private sales, maybe, but no chance from the usual pro second-hand merchants. Most MKH's I've seen recently have all been north of £850, and many still around £1k. It's not surprising given their quality, longevity, rarity on the S-H market, and new prices.

H
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:29 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:If it is for both mic's, he may be able to squeeze in a couple of MKH's, places like....

You'd be very lucky! Private sales, maybe, but no chance from the usual pro second-hand merchants. Most MKH's I've seen recently have all been north of £850, and many still around £1k. It's not surprising given their quality, longevity, rarity on the S-H market, and new prices.

H

Jeeze! :shock: :shock: I'm shocked, average price for an MKH30 now is £1,600!
There's one on Fleabay at the mo for £995. I think I'm still thinking about a few years back, prices seem to have rocketed. I'm keeping mine then!
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby John Willett » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:38 am

Definitely the No.1 MS rig is the Sennheiser MKH 40/30 (or 50/30 or 30/30 or 20/30).

I have a pairs of MKH 20, 30 and 40 which I have had since they were first released in the mid 1980s :thumbup:

If your budget is stretched, then I would look at the Ambient EMESSER for the fig-8. It is a small single-diaphragm fig-8 and is affordable.

You can then pair that with an SDC cardioid like the Gefell M300 or Neumann KM184; or even a Sontronics or Røde if the budget is stretched.
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:43 am

Nobody recommending or have a good word for those AKGs?
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby John Willett » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:44 am

Arpangel wrote:Jeeze! :shock: :shock: I'm shocked, average price for an MKH30 now is £1,600!
There's one on Fleabay at the mo for £995. I think I'm still thinking about a few years back, prices seem to have rocketed. I'm keeping mine then!

The price has come down a bit - they were about £2k each at one time.

But don't forget the Brexit effect - the £/€ exchange rate was 1.50 before the referrendum, it's 1.15 now.

So - a €1,000 item that would cost you £667 in 2016 would be £870 today just because of the collapse of the £ due to the Brexit vote. :madas:

But mine were about £350 each in 1985 :mrgreen:
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:46 am

John Willett wrote:Definitely the No.1 MS rig is the Sennheiser MKH 40/30 (or 50/30 or 30/30 or 20/30).

I have a pairs of MKH 20, 30 and 40 which I have had since they were first released in the mid 1980s :thumbup:

If your budget is stretched, then I would look at the Ambient EMESSER for the fig-8. It is a small single-diaphragm fig-8 and is affordable.

You can then pair that with an SDC cardioid like the Gefell M300 or Neumann KM184; or even a Sontronics or Røde if the budget is stretched.

John, I can remember selling a few MKH's for Mike before he died, we waited ages for them to sell, they didn't go instantly, and I think I only advertised them for around £700 each, or less, as he wanted to sell them quickly. And it was young college students that bought most of them, doing recording courses, probably using their student loans! That applied to his 4006's, and Schoeps stuff, all these young kids bought them, crazy.
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby John Willett » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:46 am

Wonks wrote:Nobody recommending or have a good word for those AKGs?

No - AKG is not really AKG anymore - first it was Harmanized and now it's Samsung.

IMHO, if you want AKG you buy Austrian Audio - that's where all the good AKG people are now. :thumbup:
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby solaris » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:18 pm

Thank you all for the replies

Arpangel wrote:If it's for one, I'd recommend the Sennheiser MKH series, the 30/40
John Willett wrote:Definitely the No.1 MS rig is the Sennheiser MKH 40/30 (or 50/30 or 30/30 or 20/30).

Maybe for the future that would be amazing but it is out of my budget for now. It is going to be around 2500 pounds I think. I was thinking 900 -1300 for both mics

Arpangel wrote:If your budget is stretched, then I would look at the Ambient EMESSER for the fig-8. It is a small single-diaphragm fig-8 and is affordable.

This is a really nice idea for audio for video but I don't feel it is appropriate for acoustic instruments in a studio. Combining different mics like that. On the other hand maybe it sounds great. What do others think?

John Willett wrote:No - AKG is not really AKG anymore - first it was Harmanized and now it's Samsung.

I am not sure what to say about that. My 414's work great and they had a good review on SOS. Maybe it is the newer mics. I don't have enough knowledge about this....

The AKG C 391 B is an old mic I think. 1-2 decades. It is strange that no one has any experience with it.

The site http://www.microphone-data.com/ gives these specs

Output Sensitivity 10.0mV/Pa
Self Noise (DIN/IEC) 17dB-A

for Rode NT5 (A mic that I have and use) gives these

Output Sensitivity 12.0mV/Pa
Self Noise (DIN/IEC) 16dB-A

I guess they are not far off concerning their noise levels at least.
On the other hand noise is important to me because of the quiet acoustic sources.
Maybe I should buy two large capsule mics?

Thank you for all your answers
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Bob Bickerton » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:33 pm

MKH30/MKH8040 user here - but you don’t state what model of C414 you’re using. There’s a considerable difference between models.

Also, you don’t have to have a matched pair for MS, so one possibility would be to use a C414 for figure of eight and then a pencil condenser for the ‘M’ mic. This will open up lots of possibilities for you and give you an easier to manage set up.

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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Sam Inglis » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:04 pm

MBHO in Germany make a nice figure-8 capsule for their modular series which is relatively affordable -- more so than Schoeps anyway. Unfortunately I've lost mine!
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:32 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:MBHO in Germany make a nice figure-8 capsule for their modular series which is relatively affordable -- more so than Schoeps anyway. Unfortunately I've lost mine!

Not any more it seems. No fig-8 capsules listed on their web site

http://www.mbho.de/t2.htm
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:43 pm

solaris wrote:
John Willett wrote:No - AKG is not really AKG anymore - first it was Harmanized and now it's Samsung.

I am not sure what to say about that. My 414's work great and they had a good review on SOS. Maybe it is the newer mics. I don't have enough knowledge about this....

Hmmm... It's certainly the case that the Harman empire -- now absorbed into the Samsung empire as JW says -- closed the original Austrian AKG production and R&D facilities... so JW's concern is that the manufacturing quality and the design of future 'AKG-badged' products will potentially not be as good as the legacy products. To be fair, though, it's far too early to tell...

...And C414s have always been very good studio workhorses, even if the different versions have brought different qualities and characteristics...

The AKG C 391 B is an old mic I think. 1-2 decades. It is strange that no one has any experience with it.

I have some experience of the Blueline series... it's basically a moderate-cost modular system with electret capsules. They're not in the same ballpark as the MKH mics, or Schoeps etc... but provided they are handled with care they can deliver serviceable results. The quality is not bad, although I found them a little noisier than similar-sized higher-end mics but that's unlikely to be an issue if you're recording relatively close sources.

Modular mics generally tend to be less reliable than fixed-capsule mics, but the CK capsules have an impedance converter built into the capsule itself, so the bayonet connection operates at low impedance, which is a very smart engineering move, improving reliability considerably.

Maybe I should buy two large capsule mics?

The MS technique is one stereo configuration where large-diaphragm mics can be used without compromise -- the typically poor off-axis response is far less significant in this application than in, say, an XY array.

As Sam suggests, your C414s could be used as an MS array very easily and effectively... been there, done that, very happy with the results! :-)
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:44 pm

Wonks wrote:Not any more it seems. No fig-8 capsules listed on their web site

I think it is the KA800 capsule Sam is referring to. Around £350 the last time I considered it... and I think it's only available to order...

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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:47 pm

Just wondering how you can order it if you don't know it exists! There is a thing as being too esoteric for one's own good. :headbang:
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:48 pm

Puts me in mind of the Python's Cheese Shop sketch.
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Re: M-S recording mics

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:52 pm

Well... it maybe that it's not even available to order anymore... It was never a big seller...

The problem is that the demand for fig-8 capsules is still vanishingly small.

That's why Sennheiser are so reluctant to produce the 8030 equivalent of the MKH30, for example, much to the annoyance of a lot of professional recording engineers... but 'a lot' is a still tiny number that barely makes it worth the manufacturer investing in the tooling costs to make the damn thing!

...and so small-diaphragm fig-8 capsules are rarer than hen's teeth... and true single-diaphragm SDC fig-8 mics ever rarer than that!

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