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Neumann KM131 vs. Josephson C617
Old 24th February 2009 | Show parent
  #61
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boojum's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Phasing?

I do not know this from personal experience, but have been informed by a fellow I know who is a professional classical recordist. It is his contention that the 617's have some phase coherence problems in the upper registers which give them a harshness. If this were true it could account for the perceived harshness/acuteness of the 617's. Phase incoherence would cause this problem, I believe. You guys who really know this stuff please set me straight on this if I am wrong.

So, does phase coherence come into play here? Are there differences in phase coherence between the two mics?

I'll take my answer off the air. ;o)
Old 24th February 2009 | Show parent
  #62
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🎧 10 years
I'm inclined to agree with others who have speculated that the capsule size is what is contributing to the slight harshness we've all observed. After all, that fraction of an inch in diameter is the big construction difference between the 617s and the 131s. It reminds me of when I took a pair of Earthworks omnis for a test drive with piano. They have even tinier capsules and I noticed they sounded a bit glassy on my particular instrument and room.

Edited to add another thought: We only have the frequency response graph for the Gefell capsule, not for entire Josephson mic. Perhaps the Josephson electronics or mic body design are influencing the sound in some subtle way?
Old 24th February 2009 | Show parent
  #63
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Are you referring to the ancient rumor that a guy started on Kaus Heyne's forum and later rescinded?

Phase issues in Gefell's $900 capsule? In Josephson's body? You've got to be kidding. These are world class devices. To be fully appreciated you need a world class signal chain all the way through, else it's like watching HD at 480i.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum ➑️
I do not know this from personal experience, but have been informed by a fellow I know who is a professional classical recordist. It is his contention that the 617's have some phase coherence problems in the upper registers which give them a harshness. If this were true it could account for the perceived harshness/acuteness of the 617's. Phase incoherence would cause this problem, I believe. You guys who really know this stuff please set me straight on this if I am wrong.

So, does phase coherence come into play here? Are there differences in phase coherence between the two mics?

I'll take my answer off the air. ;o)
Old 24th February 2009 | Show parent
  #64
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I was curious where the harshness was so I did a little test of both. To my surprise they measured very close on a spectrograph. The 131s sounded much warmer to me.
Capture was at :51. A point where the harshness was noticable to me. 3 sec avg. meter setting.
Purple is 131
Yellow is 617
Not very different.
Attached Thumbnails
Neumann KM131 vs. Josephson C617-131.jpg   Neumann KM131 vs. Josephson C617-617.jpg   Neumann KM131 vs. Josephson C617-131-617.jpg  
Old 24th February 2009 | Show parent
  #65
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Fascinating! This bears out my EQ experiment: the upper range and bass is where the two diverge. It's amazing that tiny difference can be so audible!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixedupsteve ➑️
I was curious where the harshness was so I did a little test of both. To my surprise they measured very close on a spectrograph. The 131s sounded much warmer to me.
Capture was at :51. A point where the harshness was noticable to me. 3 sec avg. meter setting.
Purple is 131
Yellow is 617
Not very different.
Old 24th February 2009 | Show parent
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixedupsteve ➑️
I was curious where the harshness was so I did a little test of both. To my surprise they measured very close on a spectrograph. The 131s sounded much warmer to me.
Capture was at :51. A point where the harshness was noticable to me. 3 sec avg. meter setting.
Purple is 131
Yellow is 617
Not very different.
Now we could have an interesting discussion about the usefullness of this sort of tools to translate the sound experience...
So we hear somethings that the graph don't show ?
But thanks for trying !

JMM
Old 24th February 2009 | Show parent
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelPatrick ➑️
Are you referring to the ancient rumor that a guy started on Kaus Heyne's forum and later rescinded?

Phase issues in Gefell's $900 capsule? In Josephson's body? You've got to be kidding. These are world class devices. To be fully appreciated you need a world class signal chain all the way through, else it's like watching HD at 480i.
No, I am not referring to anything in Klaus Heyne's column. I thought my post was clear as to my source. I asked in the desire for an answer. I did check the PSW thread quickly and while I am sure Mr Josephson is a pretty smart guy he is unique in defending his microphone.

Regardless, I found the C617 a bit harsher than the Neumann. Without being at the actual venue I cannot say which is the more accurate.

Cheers
Old 24th February 2009 | Show parent
  #68
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videoteque's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
The man who made the recordings should have used cardioids and got a bit closer to the source, didn't alarm bells ring and suggest the room sounded like a duffer and then think mics closer to the source be a better plan?

At least then a convolution reverb might have rescued it.
After the convolution reverb, you can pass it on some crunch compressor/limiter alla L2!!!!

XLR is better to not talk about things you don't know. Go make your recordings with mics close to the instruments and come back to show us. Nobody wants violins "inyaaface!!!". You will be the first to admit they don't sound good...
Old 24th February 2009 | Show parent
  #69
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 
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I fully respect subjective impressions for what they are, but harsh is not a fitting objective description for Gefell's MK221 capsule or Josephson's 617 amp body.

Anything that flatters some part of the spectrum can sound better at first blush. I immediately liked the 131 too. Then I heard the woof and didn't hear midrange details that, by comparison, I could hear in the 617 clip. Both are good useful mics, IMO, but the Josephson is in another league. Did you hear the air as the clip starts out -- the sound between the notes? The acoustic space is palpable. You can see the walls.

One way I think about AB clips:
  • Can the 131 be made to sound like the 617 in post production?
  • Can the 617 be made to sound like the 131 in post production?
You can't add details that just aren't there. You may be able to clean up the woof.

Anyway, I think these clips are very useful for learning because the test was well done and the music is good too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum ➑️
No, I am not referring to anything in Klaus Heyne's column. I thought my post was clear as to my source. I asked in the desire for an answer. I did check the PSW thread quickly and while I am sure Mr Josephson is a pretty smart guy he is unique in defending his microphone.

Regardless, I found the C617 a bit harsher than the Neumann. Without being at the actual venue I cannot say which is the more accurate.

Cheers
Old 24th February 2009 | Show parent
  #70
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🎧 15 years
Ok I admit I got the wrong end of the stick here.

Quote:

You have NO listening experience with classical music whatsoever (or idea of the physical dimensions of a symphony orchestra), do you...?
This is far from correct, despite not having great experience I do actually listen to
classical music often, this is vitally important for reference.

I am not suggesting violins be upfront, I think higher but closer would have been appropriate.

I am trying to obtain a safe standing, near 4M high mic stand at the moment.

(When (if) I record I am planning 2 NT1A's on K&M clamps on a T bar so I can vary distance between 6" and 4Ft and I can also mount my Naiant omni's and a choice
of either SPB1's or SE1A's (The SE1A's have a rather wonky FR IMO)

Not sure what would be best SE1A's of SP B1's (B1's quieter but LDC) might be nice to have aset of cardioid SDC's.

My apologies for veering off topic.
Old 25th February 2009 | Show parent
  #71
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^ Yes, please stay on topic. Otherwise the thread just becomes a mess.
Old 25th February 2009 | Show parent
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathieujm ➑️
So we hear somethings that the graph don't show

JMM
That was really my point.
Old 25th February 2009 | Show parent
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathieujm ➑️
...
So we hear some things that the graph don't show ?
...
With the very rough resolution in the dB/vertical plane and the overprecise resolution in the horizontal/frequency plane you can't really say that.
Give us a graph with 1/3rd octave smoothing and 0.25 dB resolution and we might see something we also hear.
Old 25th February 2009 | Show parent
  #74
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fwiw, a friend and I will be doing an AB on two preamps early next month: Gefell/Josephson 617 mics into a Forssell SMP-2 and a Gordon 5.

I don't know anything about RME's Micstasy; I am quite certain though that Gordon and Forssell will not add any "harshness."

Even though the purpose is to compare the mic amps, the clips may also provide an opportunity to hear the 617s on their own terms. If all goes well the clips should get posted in the middle of March.
Old 28th February 2009 | Show parent
  #75
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🎧 15 years
Thanks for posting the samples! I've been hearing great reviews of the 617 and finally got to hear a pair. This sample shows a couple things. First, that a more accurate sound isn't always more desirable! Seriously though, the neumanns give a prettier picture. But, IMHO, the 617 is far superior in detail and range. The 617's give a much wider dynamic range and demonstrate that in the fourth mvnt. They also reveal more intonation problems within the ensemble. I also found it interesting that it is a high voltage mic, not unlike the DPA 4003. Also, if I remember correctly, the rep told me that the diaphragm is nickel and suposedly resonates faster than gold.
Can anyone confirm or correct this?
Old 28th February 2009 | Show parent
  #76
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fwiw, to polarize its Gefell capsule the Josephson 617 mic body increases the standard 48v phantom power to 200v. It is, indeed, a high voltage mic, yet one that does not require a special power supply.

P.S. I agree that accuracy isn't always desirable. However, having lots of detail in post production gives you more to work with to create a desirable mix. If the acquisition chain is colored or filtered in any way you may not be able to get the sound you like in the end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S ➑️
Thanks for posting the samples! I've been hearing great reviews of the 617 and finally got to hear a pair. This sample shows a couple things. First, that a more accurate sound isn't always more desirable! Seriously though, the neumanns give a prettier picture. But, IMHO, the 617 is far superior in detail and range. The 617's give a much wider dynamic range and demonstrate that in the fourth mvnt. They also reveal more intonation problems within the ensemble. I also found it interesting that it is a high voltage mic, not unlike the DPA 4003. Also, if I remember correctly, the rep told me that the diaphragm is nickel and suposedly resonates faster than gold.
Can anyone confirm or correct this?
Old 2nd March 2009 | Show parent
  #77
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As an analog to this discussion it is very similar to the wars that raged over whether analog or digital recording was better. Digital was more accurate; analog was warmer and more flattering. It seems we are in a similar dialog here. And I find myself on the other side of the fence. I usually prefer digital because it is more accurate but this time opt for the "warmer" sound of the Neumanns which seem to be appreciated as not quite as accurate as the Josephson's.

They are both great mics. I'd welcome either in my locker, no doubt about that. And I would have to record for a while with each to become convinced once and for all that one was superior over the other.

That's the best I can do for fence sitting. Anyone else?
Old 2nd March 2009 | Show parent
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum ➑️
I usually prefer digital because it is more accurate but this time opt for the "warmer" sound of the Neumanns which seem to be appreciated as not quite as accurate as the Josephson's.
I wouldn't describe less dynamic range as "warmer". As far as detail goes, someone mentioned what I firmly believe, I would rather have more to work with than less. How good is an expander going to sound on the neumann recording (in post) to give it the vibrance and dynamic contrasts of the josephsons? I would rather gently compress the 617's if it was needed at all! This is where a preamp with a little (gasp!) color might add exactly what I would want without adding any EQ or comp in post.
I'd like to add that while I enjoyed the comparison, it was definately "apples and oranges". I would have liked to hear a Schoeps MK2 or MK2H next to the 131 and 4006/4003 next to the josephson.
Old 2nd March 2009 | Show parent
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum ➑️
As an analog to this discussion it is very similar to the wars that raged over whether analog or digital recording was better. Digital was more accurate; analog was warmer and more flattering. It seems we are in a similar dialog here. And I find myself on the other side of the fence. I usually prefer digital because it is more accurate but this time opt for the "warmer" sound of the Neumanns which seem to be appreciated as not quite as accurate as the Josephson's.

They are both great mics. I'd welcome either in my locker, no doubt about that. And I would have to record for a while with each to become convinced once and for all that one was superior over the other.

That's the best I can do for fence sitting. Anyone else?
right here! my sentiments exactly, Boojum. prefer the neumann sound on these samples, though the 617 sounds nicely detailed and sharp.

I'd be happy with either one.

Actually, I'll take both pairs and make a nice four mic recording...
Old 3rd March 2009 | Show parent
  #80
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Quote:
P.S. I agree that accuracy isn't always desirable. However, having lots of detail in post production gives you more to work with to create a desirable mix. If the acquisition chain is colored or filtered in any way you may not be able to get the sound you like in the end.
This would be my argument. Sure, the 617 sounded rather harsh compared to the Neumanns, but only d_fu knows what the youth orchestra actually sounded like in that hall. I have recorded youth orchestras like this dozens of times, (not to mention coaching one for many years) and from what I have heard. The younger groups tend to sound a little nasal, harsh, and lacking in the bass dept. This is usually the combination of bad instruments with lack of experience and confidence.

I would like to hear these mixes when they are finnished to hear which one sounds better in a polished mix. Would it be the more flattering mic from the start, or the arguably more accurate mic.
Old 3rd March 2009 | Show parent
  #81
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mljung's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S ➑️
I'd like to add that while I enjoyed the comparison, it was definately "apples and oranges". I would have liked to hear a Schoeps MK2 or MK2H next to the 131 and 4006/4003 next to the josephson.
Ohh yes that would have been very interesting - and now we're at it why not include the MKH8020 as well [unfortunately not many of us have access to such a list of top pressure omnis, but to 6 stereo-contenders of this caliber at once in front of an orchestra, would of course be a wonder comparison]

d_fu if you'll ever do this again, please try to get a little closer to the ensemble and use the sphere's on the Neumanns..!?

Old 4th March 2009 | Show parent
  #82
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I put both examples of the Bizet through a RNDigital matching LP EQ. The Neumann was the source and the Josephson was the target. The idea was to get the Josephson sounding as close to the Neumann as possible. I can't show the curve, becuase of the lack of graphic software on this computer, but here is what I saw.

In the 10-20k range there is a drop of approx 2 db centered around 15k. Could contribute to the Josephsons apparant harshness compared to Neumann

In the 1.2K to 8k range (yes that large), there is a smooth drop of about 3 db centered around the 3k range. That would explain the Neumann's automatic warmth.

In the 20Hz to 1kHz range there is almost a low shelf boost about 2-3db. Again adding to Neumanns warmth and presence.

One thing I learned, is that the 617 takes EQ very well. With the EQ enabled, the 617 sounds almost exaclty like the 131. When I flipped the curve, the Neumann didn't sound quite like the Josephson.
Old 31st March 2009 | Show parent
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic ➑️
I put both examples of the Bizet through a RNDigital matching LP EQ. The Neumann was the source and the Josephson was the target. The idea was to get the Josephson sounding as close to the Neumann as possible. I can't show the curve, becuase of the lack of graphic software on this computer, but here is what I saw.

In the 10-20k range there is a drop of approx 2 db centered around 15k. Could contribute to the Josephsons apparant harshness compared to Neumann

In the 1.2K to 8k range (yes that large), there is a smooth drop of about 3 db centered around the 3k range. That would explain the Neumann's automatic warmth.

In the 20Hz to 1kHz range there is almost a low shelf boost about 2-3db. Again adding to Neumanns warmth and presence.

One thing I learned, is that the 617 takes EQ very well. With the EQ enabled, the 617 sounds almost exaclty like the 131. When I flipped the curve, the Neumann didn't sound quite like the Josephson.
Thanks for your research. I find this info both helpful and objective.
Old 31st March 2009 | Show parent
  #84
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic ➑️
One thing I learned, is that the 617 takes EQ very well. With the EQ enabled, the 617 sounds almost exaclty like the 131. When I flipped the curve, the Neumann didn't sound quite like the Josephson.
Could you upload EQed samples?

Haven't done much work on this since then, but I will report back when I start mixing...
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