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SDC mic query

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SDC mic query

Postby rggillespie » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:43 am

Hi, I was thinking of getting a trial (before purchase) of SDC mic to see how I got along with one recording my steel string acoustic guitars, mainly quiet fingerstyle but strumming too. I'm recording at home in small treated room and using m/s and spaced pair techniques. I was looking at warm audio wa84 but was wondering whether its worth looking at something more upmarket? After a bit of searching about I'm now aware of things like Schoeps CMC64, DPA, Gefell m295, Rode TF5 and Neumann km184 etc. All quite a bit more expensive than the warm mic, but with some money saved during lockdown and a staycation I could fund an end of the line purchase, but would it be justified? I'm just wondering if you're getting something inherently better that will give you better recordings or just something different? Maybe the better quality mic would only be heard at its best in a perfect studio setting, so not worth my while considering due to my small recording space. Any thoughts from the experienced heads here much appreciated,
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:51 am

I would certainly consider other mics, but be aware that you don't necessarily need to go upmarket -- there are plenty of excellent alternatives to the WA84 at around the same price. Brands like Rode, sE, Audio-Technica, Sontronics etc are all reliably good. If you want to buy British you could investigate the excellent Hebden Sound mics. Likewise MBHO in Germany make very nice small-diaphragm capacitor mics that are typically cheaper than equivalents from Neumann and so on.
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Ramirez » Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:37 am

Also Beyerdynamic. I have a pair of MC834 SDCs and they are great (but hard to find). I've also heard very good things about the MC930 (which are a current model, and a good price).
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Arpangel » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:23 am

My recommendations would be the Sennheiser MKH series, or, the Rode TF5 pair, very reasonably priced.
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:36 am

A Sennheiser MKH40 currently retails for around £1300 EACH... so superb though it is, it really can't be described as 'reasonably priced!

The Rode TF-5 is a really lovely mic and I would recommend it highly. A stereo set will cost around £1k, which is pretty good for the quality and accessories you get. https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rode-tf-5

I'd also second the recommendation for the Beyer MC930, and a stereo set would set you back around £650. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6t-QlBod0gkRERDdVduVTQ1bW8/view

Obviously, I don't know the sound of your room, or guitar, and I don't know the kind of sound you expect to record... but my instinct would be to stay away from mics with a pronounced HF lift. Both the TF-5 and MC930 tend towards a smoother and more natural sound than many of the alternatives.

But if you're thinking of blowing a big chunk of money it would make sense to borrow or hire some candidate mics so you can discover and appreciate their differences.
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Arpangel » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:39 am

Sorry Hugh, I meant the TF5's not the Sennhiesers.
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:48 am

Fair enough! :thumbup:

The price of the MKHs is shocking... especially as I currently have ten of them! (Most acquired as pre-enjoyed, though).
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby rggillespie » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:57 pm

Thanks for the great pointers,I'll look into these recommendations later with interest. I'd read the recent SOS Rode TF5 review. I was attracted to idea it was not hyped or 'squawky', I think I generally prefer a warmer darker tone especially as a steel string acoustic can be quite zingy anyway. I just wanted one Mic only though not a pair, the Rode only seem to come just as pairs. I had also considered a particular AEA mic because it was a ribbon but also unusually a hyper cardiod, as an alternative option. My own reslo brilliantly serviced by xaudia is actually my favourite mic for everything but even with a fethead it is too noisy for finger style acoustic guitar. So I'm wary of going down the ribbon route despite my liking for their sound based on my reslo experience. I was beginning to worry I might be becoming a mic collector but now I see Hugh has 10 mkh's, I'm relieved to find I really just a minnow. Phew!
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:15 pm

rggillespie wrote:I just wanted one Mic only though not a pair, the Rode only seem to come just as pairs.

Yes... I don't understand that either... but to be fair, sooner or later you will definitely want a pair!

So I'm wary of going down the ribbon route despite my liking for their sound based on my reslo experience.

It would be worth checking out some of the modern active ribbons. The Royer SF2 is particularly nice.. but not cheap.

Or, consider a specialist low-noise ribbon preamp like the AEA TRP2.

I was beginning to worry I might be becoming a mic collector but now I see Hugh has 10 mkh's, I'm relieved to find I really just a minnow. Phew!

It can be very addictive... I go to Mics Anonymous once a month but it's not really working... :lol:

Two Soundfields, Gefell M930s, AKG C414 BULSes, Neumann SM69 stereo mic, six modern and vintage Neumann KMs, Rode TF5s, Beyer MC840s, AEA and Royer ribbons, and lots of others from Audio Technica, Blue, AKG.... Depressing really.... My accountant says I can't claim them as my pension.... :bouncy:
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Aural Reject » Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:37 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:It can be very addictive... I go to Mics Anonymous once a month but it's not really working... :lol:

Two Soundfields, Gefell M930s, AKG C414 BULSes, Neumann SM69 stereo mic, six modern and vintage Neumann KMs, Rode TF5s, Beyer MC840s, AEA and Royer ribbons, and lots of others from Audio Technica, Blue, AKG.... Depressing really.... My accountant says I can't claim them as my pension.... :bouncy:

Careful....or it'll turn into the SOS equivalent of the Four Yorkshiremen....
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:38 pm

Eeeee.... that'd be luxury.... :lol:
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby MOF » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:43 pm

It can be very addictive... I go to Mics Anonymous once a month but it's not really working... :lol:
Just to add to the temptation (just one more wafffer thin.....) have you looked at the Austrian Audio OC818, it’s had very positive reviews and I’m wondering if I should sell a few mic’s to justify buying one?
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby James Perrett » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:12 pm

If you just want to dip your toes in the SDC water it might be worth looking at the Line Audio CM4. They're well under budget but not out of place amongst more expensive alternatives and certainly more refined than most budget SDC's.
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:18 pm

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Re: SDC mic query

Postby MOF » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:04 pm

Sam's review of the OC818 is here:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/au ... oc818-oc18
Thanks Hugh, it’s one of the reviews/videos I’d checked out. I’m wondering if my AKG C414b-uls would be replaced by an AA OC818 and if any SOS reader has bought one and what they think after having used it for some time?
I’m also hoping that Austrian Audio release open backed versions of their headphones.
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