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Schoeps CMC6 + acoustic guitar: MK4 or MK41 caps?
Old 15th March 2011
  #1
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Scott Whigham's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Schoeps CMC6 + acoustic guitar: MK4 or MK41 caps?

I've read the threads, done the research, and I'm hoping for a clear cut "do this, Scott!" answer.

I'm trying to decide between MK4 or MK42 capsules for a stereo pair of Schoeps CMC6s for recording:
  • Solo acoustic guitar (not "in a mix")
  • Solo cello/viola
I've narrowed it down to the MK4 and MK41. I have a "great room for a bedroom" but it's no studio room. The room is smallish - 12'x13'x8' (feet) - but it sounds really nice and is well treated. I'm putting them through a pair of Chandler LTD-1s or an Aurora GTQ2, whichever sounds best.

I'm favoring the MK41 but I'm concerned that my small room - which is a TEMPORARY situation - will cause a problem.

I have a pair of Gefell M300s that I like but want to try the schoeps. I cannot try them out prior to purchase, this being the internet age and all.

I can buy the MK4 set for $3200 and the MK41 set for $3600. I'm fine with the price, just wanting some thoughts of which capsule might fit me better.

For an example recording of the type of acoustic guitar stuff I play, check this out:

Of course the downloaded WAV file will give you a better picture than the streamed file

Thanks!
Old 15th March 2011
  #2
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sdelsolray's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A few thoughts. For solo acoustic guitar, I prefer the MK41 capsules over the MK, enough so to sell a US stereo CMC6/MK4 set and purchase a US stereo CMC6/MK41 set. I don't know how either capsule would fair with cello or viola.

Schoeps lowered prices last year. The current price for the US stereo CMC6/MK4 set is $2999, not $3200. There are several dealers that will let you try them before purchasing. They usually require a deposit for the price.
Old 15th March 2011 | Show parent
  #3
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Scott Whigham's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thank you - I favor the MK41s as well so that's good to hear.
Old 15th March 2011 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
+ 1 for the MK41, works great in small rooms too. I usually like Schoeps in general very much (e.g. Mk2, MK21) but not so much the MK4.

Oliver
Old 15th March 2011 | Show parent
  #5
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bigbongo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Enjoyed that guitar, lovely.
Old 15th March 2011 | Show parent
  #6
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Scott Whigham's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbongo ➑️
Enjoyed that guitar, lovely.
Thanks for saying that - made me smile
Old 15th March 2011 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
My "go to" cap for acoustic guitar has been the Mk21 for a while now, which I find more open sounding than that Mk41. If you are doing a 12th fret type mic positioning, the room, even though small, shouldn't be too much of an issue, especially if you use a little baffling. The Mk21 combined with a Forssell SMP2 is acoustic heaven IMO. And nice playing BTW!
Old 15th March 2011 | Show parent
  #8
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Scott Whigham's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks! I have the Forssell and the Pendulum on my future acquisitions list

When you use the MK21s, how do you use them? I've been using my Gefell M300s in ORTF and love it. I'd guess that, with the wider pattern of the MK21, you'd maybe try NOS?
Old 15th March 2011
  #9
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Eganmedia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Whigham ➑️
I'm favoring the MK41 but I'm concerned that my small room - which is a TEMPORARY situation - will cause a problem.
MK 41s are frequently used by dialogue recordists because of how well they work in small rooms. The phenomenal directionality coupled with the lack off off-axis coloration gives them great reach. What does leak in sounds more natural than most other hyper cardioid mics, and it sounds *way * better than an interference tube.

As far as guitar goes, though, I favor the cardioid flavors. I like a wider angle of pickup. The whole guitar is emanating sound, and I like to hear more of it.
Old 15th March 2011 | Show parent
  #10
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Scott Whigham's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eganmedia ➑️
MK 41s are frequently used by dialogue recordists because of how well they work in small rooms. The phenomenal directionality coupled with the lack off off-axis coloration gives them great reach. What does leak in sounds more natural than most other hyper cardioid mics, and it sounds *way * better than an interference tube.

As far as guitar goes, though, I favor the cardioid flavors. I like a wider angle of pickup. The whole guitar is emanating sound, and I like to hear more of it.
Thanks! Do you find you like the MK4 or MK2 or MK21 best/preference? I'm thinking that, in the small room, I'll probably be here for another year or so then on into a bigger room. If I get the MK41s now, I can always sell them in a year for some MKcardioids if that fits better!
Old 15th March 2011 | Show parent
  #11
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NathanEldred's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
If my room was iffy, I'd get the mk41 for the isolation. But I love the Mk4 and the even more open mk21, and those would be my first preferences if/when the room itself starts sounding nice. Both are very musical as is the entire Schoeps line IME.
Old 16th March 2011 | Show parent
  #12
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hernanperez2000's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You will not sell the mk41s, they rocks!!! They do not sound like other supercardiods caps. All schoeps caps sounds so musical.
Old 16th March 2011 | Show parent
  #13
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Eganmedia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Whigham ➑️
Thanks! Do you find you like the MK4 or MK2 or MK21 best/preference? I'm thinking that, in the small room, I'll probably be here for another year or so then on into a bigger room. If I get the MK41s now, I can always sell them in a year for some MKcardioids if that fits better!
I only know the mk4s well enough to comment. The 21s are wide cardioid, no? While I'm sure they sound every bit as magical as the mk4s, I would be inclined to stick with something tighter than a wide cardioid, but wider than a hypercardioid if I was working in a less-than optimal room.

I wouldn't buy any Schoeps cap with the intent to sell it. You won't. You'll just buy more. Start with the ones you think you'll use the most and add the more specific-use ones later.

FYI- though recently out of production, I have seen several MK6 (omni/ fig8/ cardioid side-address) caps on ebay for <$800. That's the biggest bargain, IMHO.


Just an opinion. Based on first hand experience. (3X mk4, 2X mk41, 2X mk2, 1X mk6, 3 CMC6 bodies, but another one is just around the corner)
Old 16th March 2011 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Whigham ➑️
Thanks! I have the Forssell and the Pendulum on my future acquisitions list

When you use the MK21s, how do you use them? I've been using my Gefell M300s in ORTF and love it. I'd guess that, with the wider pattern of the MK21, you'd maybe try NOS?
Most of what I do is in the Rock / Pop vein, and consequently don't find that acoustic guitar calls for being recorded stereo all that much. Depending on the guitar and it's low end component, I'll usually put the Mk21 around the 12th fret about a foot off the neck (pretty standard). In addition, if I want to make the instrument a little fatter/richer, sometimes I'll put an LDC, like an M49, up over the player's right shoulder, panning the two mics apart to taste. But most of the time I find that I'm using a hi-pass to cut the low end in order to fit the guitar into the mix anyway, and find that ultimately I don't use the LDC in the finished project, particularly if the mix is dense.
Old 16th March 2011 | Show parent
  #15
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666666's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eganmedia ➑️

...I wouldn't buy any Schoeps cap with the intent to sell it. You won't. You'll just buy more...
That's a fact.

At a bit of a distance though, the MK41s, which ARE extremely tight, can lack body / low-end. This is somewhat the nature of all tight supercardioids. As well, since they are so tight and directional, placement / angle etc is way more critical... less forgiving in that regard than say MK4s.

In my opinion, overall, you will get a more balanced, natural yield with MK4s... and will be able to do so with a little bit less effort.

Others will tell you that you'll yield an even way MORE balanced, natural sound with MK21s or MK2s, as opposed to MK4s, but of course, when the room is not so hot, one must deal accordingly.

Having said that, I love my MK41s and would never sell them, they have plenty of uses. They DO sound excellent when used "appropriately".

They are indeed ultra tight. They behave very much like typical shotgun mics in terms of focus (though way more natural and "musical" than shotguns).

The only problem I've ever had with 41s was not being careful enough with placement, if the angle is even a hair off, you might be missing the "sweet spot" of what you're trying to record by a small degree, but this can make a big difference in the end product. Think of them like laser beams... if your aim is slightly off, you will not hit the target... and that could be a bad thing.

As well, regarding the 41, for something like an acoustic guitar, depending on how it is placed, it may pick up too much of just one area of the guitar (and thus sound a bit unnatural) as opposed to capturing a more overall, full, natural sound of the entire instrument. This can be good or bad depending on what you want to hear.

But... with all this in mind, I'm wondering again if an MK4 might be a better, more versatile choice for you, at least for now.

Well, you can't go wrong with any Schoeps caps... the MK4, MK41 and MK21 are all winners for sure and will always have a use. If you buy any of these you won't ever sell them, at least if you plan on doing pro-level recording into the future.

For smaller room situations (with bad sounding room), I am wondering now whether you'd be better off with an MK4 up real close to the guitar, or an MK41 slightly farther back. (An MK41 up real close might sound too unnatural.) You could try starting with an MK4 and then just experiment from there. Also, move around the room, different positions, different directions, try to "optimize" the space and reduce the "ugliness" that is reaching the mic. Etc.
Old 16th March 2011 | Show parent
  #16
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Scott Whigham's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hmmmmmm - I do like the idea of hoarding capsules Maybe I'll get the MK4s first... Need to talk with my vendor about try/return!
Old 16th March 2011 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Addict
 
hernanperez2000's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have had better results with mk41s than mk4s on acoustic guitars. Seems ilogical but this is my experience. Mk41s sounds musical and the ambience\source balance is very controllable with the mic/instrument distance. The mic positioning is not more difficult than with mk4s for me.

Old 16th March 2011 | Show parent
  #18
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Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
CM64 is really cool, if you can find one imo
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