Quantcast
Sennheiser MKH 40 vs MKH 8040 - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Sennheiser MKH 40 vs MKH 8040
Old 18th October 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Nityananda_SCSM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Talking Sennheiser MKH 40 vs MKH 8040

This hasn't been exactly covered, and I bet others want to know.

How does the old Sennheiser "Classic" MKH 40 compare to the new MKH 8040 (and all the Classic vs the MKH 8000 series)?


I have heard different things, and would love to get the opinions of those who have heard both these mics, and it would be AWESOMEheh if somebody posted comparison samples of these two mics on the same source through identical recording chains.

I know that the MKH Classic mics are basically ruler-flat frequency response wise. I was at AES 2009 in NYC and the man there told me that that was achieved actually be small hardware EQ'ing inside the mic that brought down the bumps. It has the reputation among some as being somewhat (here come some "words") "cold" and "clinical." SOS

He told me the new 8000 series is based off of the MKH 800, and it was designed for recording studio / musical applications specifically (aka more musical less neutral/reference.) Supposedly it is a bit "warmer" "airy" and "musical." However in a gearslut post somebody mentioned that it sounded "hard," and in a non-related post somebody said that the MKH 40 sounded "like butter."


So how about it? How does the sound of two mics compare?

(And if you want, how do they compare to Sennheiser's cheaper K6 series? Like the K6 body with the ME64 cardiod head?)

Thanks for your input and advice

MKH8040:


Some qoutes:

"I'm not crazy at the sound of the 8040's on this...they miss the "body" and have a little "plastic" in the tone. Hard to describe a sound....the Schoeps and the MKH 40's seem more relaxed/smooth/classy sounding and give a fuller tone."

The 40's had a better top end than then 8040, but the 8040 has a much better mid range (especially low mid where the 40 can be especially murky sounding

I've been enjoying using the 8040 in a way that I never enjoyed using the MKH40. Both are great mics, but the MKH40 always struck me as a bit sterile and lacking of personality. There can be a certain flacid quality to recordings made with them. I use that to my advantage when I use them as woodwind spots in an orchestra as it keeps the sound of the brass that are usually behind a woodwind section under control. When I've used the MKH40 in more distant micing situations, I've been less pleased. The limp quality on an orchestra makes for a boring recording. The reach for choirs means a lack of diction, etc.... They work, but they are what they are.

Now, the 8040, I find to have a personality. The transient response and the dig into an ensemble are preserved (much like the MKH800). A visceral impact for an orchestra or other ensemble are preserved, while maintaining a good open sound.

(Reffering to the MKH 8040) After use, my only complaint is the lack of hype on the top end (usually a very good thing) has required me to EQ things a bit brighter as it can be a bit dark. I like this 95% of the time, but it has been an issue on a couple things- most notable on solo vocals.



-----------------------------------
-BTW I want this to be an informative thread for everyone, but my personal desire in a mic is for a mic that is (concerning high frequencies) non-fatiguing, soft, silky, warm, smooth, and deals with high pitched harsh material well. Comparisons to TLM193, Schoeps CMC6 w/ MK4, AT4047, DPA 4011, MC930, Earthworks, and ribbons welcome.

The Sennheiser represenative at AES recommended the 8040 for my application, as it was designed to be more "musical." However, it does have a (2db) fequency rise in the high freqs compared to the MKH 40, and my main necessity is for unhyped/smooth/non fatiguing high freqs, so I don't know about that..
Old 18th October 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Greg Curtis's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have some kmh40s, Neumann km140s, and Schoeps CMC6/4s laying around. Maybe I can dig up some of the test/demo tracks I made after I got them.

Overall I'd characterize the km140 as the cleanest and brightest, kmh40 is clean and sweet, and the CMC6/4 is silky sweet.

I can say that many Big film scores were made with kmh40s...

Gc
Old 18th October 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
The MKH 800 is a completely different and pretty unique capsule, so I doubt the 8000 series is related, but I could be wrong. The 8000 has slightly higher self noise than the older series, but its absolute signal output and noise levels is still quite fantastic and one of the best performers in that respect. I use the 8050 quite often and find it to be an excellent mic.
Old 18th October 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Smile

The MKH 8000 was based on the MKH 800 - yes.

Despite being much smaller (19mm outer diameter as opposed to 25mm), the MKH 8000 series has the same 16mm diameter capsule as the MKH 40 series.

The MKH 8040 goes down lower than the MKH 40 and higher as well (the MKH 40 rolls off very quickly above 20kHz).

I do have both the MKH 40 and MKH 8040 in my kit, but have not actually compared them direcyly side by side.

The designer has said that the MKH 8000 series is less coloured than the MKH 40 series.
Old 19th October 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Complete rubbish

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett ➑️

The designer has said that the MKH 8000 series is less coloured than the MKH 40 series.
Complete rubbish. This long term associate of Sennheiser should know better. He is again sounding like the marketing department of Sennheiser.

Oh, but wait: Sennheiser consistently said (to everyone, not just their employees) that this new mic was "warm, warm, warm and airy." And wait again: didn't they say the "old" ones were completely neutral?

How can their new mic be "less coloured" than the old ones, when the old ones were the epitome of neutrality? So are they saying the old series is coloured? The info on the old series still stresses their neutrality. Sound confusing?

And what does the documentation indicate? So the old ones with the flat lines and good polar plots are coloured, and the new ones with messy polar plots and wavy frequency response graphs are now neutral?

Not to say the new mic's are bad. They aren't. But let's please have some degree of honesty and objectivity here, and not just a report of what one Sennheiser employee said to another Sennheiser affiliate.

Again, I'm not saying the new mic's are bad. They are coloured in a way that the majority of people seem to like. It's not at all difficult to hear the two lifts in its performance.
Old 19th October 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
soundseeker's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
the 8040 is an ammazing mike.

for me it has shined most on string instruments (guitar and tambura) and bass percussion. - djembe and mridangam

Now thats a pretty impressive dynamic range, coz it won out by a long way against an AKG414 and km84 on the guitars (both nylon and steel) and a against a D112 on mridangam bass end. the engineers at the studio were shocked.

vocal - hmmm. only if i were looking for a darker - dynamically weird colour



i'm selling one of my pair if anyone's interested.
Old 19th October 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
"my personal desire in a mic is for a mic that is non-fatiguing, soft, silky, warm, smooth, and deals with high pitched harsh material well"

The mhk40's i have deal with high pitched harsh material very well. far better than 4011's which i have as well. both neutral mics- but the sennheiser is definitely more colored and more forgiving than the 4011's.

you might be able to get the other adjectives in your list by pairing it with an appropriate preamp. i usually use mine with hardy's... followed by apis and neves depending on what's needed. for most of your adjectives i'd start with the neve...... or the love wanted classifieds.

haven't heard the new mics..

laters.

Mike
Old 19th October 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Nut
 
Nityananda_SCSM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for the input guys. I hear tons of great things about the MKH 8040s, and I'm glad to hear it sounded so good on Mridunga (one of my main instruments I record.) However my top concern is smoothing out/ making listenable harsh, high pitched hand held cymbals. You can read some (probably more than you want to ) about my application here. Also humidity/reliability/sturdiness come into play, and the Sennheiser rep at AES thought that the new MKH 8000 series was probably a little more susceptible to humidity than the older MKH Classic series.

I posted some quotes up in the original post. Some people say that the top end of the MKH 40 is "smoother/more classy" than the MKH8040, but I've also heard different online magazines review the MKH8040 top end as lacking harshness and being good for bright material. I've also heard people on GS saying that the MKH 8040 is a bit bright for some things. These two mics sell for the same price online, and I'm still trying to figure out which one will handle high pitched stuff better?

Thanks for the help.

Also, as a side note, will you be able to take advantage of the extended frequency response of the MKH 8040 if you are recording in 24/48? Do you have to be in 24/96 to actually record those upper frequencies or will you get them in 48khz..?

And by the way soundseeker I will be in London in a few weeks so maybe we could work out a deal (if I decide on the 8000 series, that is. So confused...)
Old 19th October 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
soundseeker's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nityananda_SCSM ➑️
And by the way soundseeker I will be in London in a few weeks so maybe we could work out a deal (if I decide on the 8000 series, that is. So confused...)
sure thing. I'll play you what ive recorded. get ready!!! youre gonna hear tvg sir's and satish kumar's left hand recorded at 96k.. I made it work on the right too, but then TVG sirs right even rings on the old records where one mike recorded the whole group. here's an oldie . I love listening to those ancient recordings, robert johnson onwards .
Attached Files

03 Varanarada 1973.m4a (4.02 MB, 11039 views)

Old 20th October 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
"These two mics sell for the same price online, and I'm still trying to figure out which one will handle high pitched stuff better?"

you will never figure out how the mic sounds by looking at a computer... or reading a magazine. you can get some suggestions, but you really have to try them out once you find out which mics are in the ball park.

o/t: i'd take some ev 635a's out for jobs like you are doing in that environment. they come in black and new are like 100 bucks a piece. used you can get em for like 30 a piece. good top end and probably far better for the task at hand.

best of luck...

Mike
Old 20th October 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Nut
 
Nityananda_SCSM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks Mic. Don't I know it. Nobody wants to let me demo a MKH 40 and a MKH 8040 here in Atlanta... : (
I will be taking a pair of RE50's out there with me as well. I've been recommended those more than ev 635a's.

Thanks tho
Old 20th October 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nityananda_SCSM ➑️
Thanks Mic. Don't I know it. Nobody wants to let me demo a MKH 40 and a MKH 8040 here in Atlanta... : (
I will be taking a pair of RE50's out there with me as well. I've been recommended those more than ev 635a's.

Thanks tho
oooo. I didn't know they still made the re50s. When i looked a few years ago i dont' think they were around. I'll have to get some.

Demoing in Atlanta is giong to be far different than recording in India. Have you thought about renting? (not mine)

See ya and thanks for the re50 tip. Love the 635.

Mike
Old 20th October 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Head
 
gerhardroux's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nityananda_SCSM ➑️
Also humidity/reliability/sturdiness come into play, and the Sennheiser rep at AES thought that the new MKH 8000 series was probably a little more susceptible to humidity than the older MKH Classic series.
I don't think you'll run into humidity problems with the MKH 8040's - I recorded with a soaked pair of them and it gave no problems.
Old 21st October 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Nut
 
Nityananda_SCSM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well it appears that one big difference is that the MKH 8040 is MUCH more susceptible to ground rumble/vibrations/handling noise/wind noise/etc. I will be using these on stands literally in rooms with people jumping up and down and singing. So although I am actually going to be receiving a set of MKH 8040s today that I got at a good price, now I'm thinking that I'm going to get killed on vibratory noise! Also, the Rycote options get pretty expensive when you look at using them outdoors, and looking at decoupling the cable etc. etc. makes it look very expensive compared to an MKH 40 inside a rode blimp or something.

Any user experiences with the 8040s in conditions with lots of ground rumble/vibration/etc. ??
Old 21st October 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nityananda_SCSM ➑️
Well it appears that one big difference is that the MKH 8040 is MUCH more susceptible to ground rumble/vibrations/handling noise/wind noise/etc. I will be using these on stands literally in rooms with people jumping up and down and singing. So although I am actually going to be receiving a set of MKH 8040s today that I got at a good price, now I'm thinking that I'm going to get killed on vibratory noise! Also, the Rycote options get pretty expensive when you look at using them outdoors, and looking at decoupling the cable etc. etc. makes it look very expensive compared to an MKH 40 inside a rode blimp or something.

Any user experiences with the 8040s in conditions with lots of ground rumble/vibration/etc. ??
I use the 8050 in live music and film / TV environments. In both cases, I'm using the Rycote Invision mounts, not the elastic mounts. No problems from rumble or handling noise.
Old 21st October 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
soundseeker's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
hmmm if people are jumping up and down i think dynamics would be better.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Nityananda_SCSM ➑️
Well it appears that one big difference is that the MKH 8040 is MUCH more susceptible to ground rumble/vibrations/handling noise/wind noise/etc. I will be using these on stands literally in rooms with people jumping up and down and singing. So although I am actually going to be receiving a set of MKH 8040s today that I got at a good price, now I'm thinking that I'm going to get killed on vibratory noise! Also, the Rycote options get pretty expensive when you look at using them outdoors, and looking at decoupling the cable etc. etc. makes it look very expensive compared to an MKH 40 inside a rode blimp or something.

Any user experiences with the 8040s in conditions with lots of ground rumble/vibration/etc. ??
Old 21st October 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
The Rycote Invision series is not near enough to decouple 8040 from a typical stand if there's walking or jumping going on.

Use a hanging arrangement or soft feets under your stand.

If you'r using a hand held boom I can imagine your body decouples floor/ground vibrations very effectively but handling noise enters the door instead.


/Peter
Old 22nd October 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Nut
 
Nityananda_SCSM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hmm... What about using the MKH 40 with the roll off filter switched on in a rycote invision mount + windscreen? Would that be enough for use in a room with people jumping up and down? (I feel kind of crazy asking that question...)

Or is a dynamic such as the MD 441, Heil PR-30, RE27, etc. going to be much better...?

Thanks! (I gotta make this decision pretty quick. My flight back to India leaves in about two weeks!)
Old 27th October 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG ➑️
Complete rubbish.
Please stop assuming things - and passing on a useful comment is nothing like "marketing".

If you have questions please ask them politely rather than accusing me of things I am not doing. tutt

What I said came from an interview published in VDT magazine (as well as what I was told personally).

You can read the whole article with interviews on this PDF (6 pages).
Old 27th October 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nityananda_SCSM ➑️
Well it appears that one big difference is that the MKH 8040 is MUCH more susceptible to ground rumble/vibrations/handling noise/wind noise/etc. I will be using these on stands literally in rooms with people jumping up and down and singing. So although I am actually going to be receiving a set of MKH 8040s today that I got at a good price, now I'm thinking that I'm going to get killed on vibratory noise! Also, the Rycote options get pretty expensive when you look at using them outdoors, and looking at decoupling the cable etc. etc. makes it look very expensive compared to an MKH 40 inside a rode blimp or something.

Any user experiences with the 8040s in conditions with lots of ground rumble/vibration/etc. ??
Use the Rycote InVision series - I have now swapped all my mounts for these. I would recommend these for any make of mic.

I also use the Rycote S-series mic. tail which is short and flexible to decouple the mic. from the main cable to minimise noise getting to the mic. this way.

The MKH 8040 does go down lower than other directional mics (including the MKH 40) - if this is a problem there is an optional filter module with bass roll-off that can screw between the mic. and XLR modules.
Old 27th October 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Denis Goekdag's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I just tested an MS rig consisting of an 8040 and an 800 in a Rycote using the Invision Lyres as mounts. I could shake the windshield wildly without any show-stopping LF issues.
Old 27th October 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Nut
 
Nityananda_SCSM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
That's pretty sweet.

What blimp setup were you using?

I wonder how that setup would hold up if it was mounted on a mic stand that was on a floor with a lot of rumble/vibration/pounding-of-feet running through it.

What do you think about using a MKH 800 in a rycote invision shockmount with the boompole pointed sideways/horizontal instead of vertical? Would this be an issue for the invision mount considering that the inv mounts seem to be designed to be situated paralell to the earth?

Anyone have some thoughts on using a MKH30 with a 8040 vs using a MKH30 with a MKH40? Would the sonic differences create a kind of weird mix?

The MKH series in Mid-Side sounds like it's pretty darn awesome. What were you recording using your setup, and how effective was it?

Am I asking too many questions????????

-Chris
Old 27th October 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Denis Goekdag's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I was using what would probably equate to a "Kit 3" but with a stereo ConnBox and 30mm Lyres. You probably won't get a whole lot of wind reduction as the 8040 piggy-backing on top of the 800 ends up pretty close to the top end of the windshield. On the other hand the stereo windshields are way less "solid" as the end caps are attached in a different way which can easily lead to creaking sounds on fast movement of the blimp.

I was recording nothing specific, I just got the 800 and was testing wether the mono blimp would work for the MS setup as I really prefer carrying the mono Rycotes around with me. So I just switched on the rig and walked home from the studio, which is luckily just a 5 minute walk. UNfortunately the wind disappeared when I left the building ;-)
The sound is indeed darn awesome. Not as (overly) bright as many other mics, yet not dark either.....just a very clean and well-balanced signal. Responds excellently to EQ so I guess the phase is also pretty linear across the spectrum. In comparison between the 8040 and the 40 I'd say the 8040 has more detail and sounds more organic. This MS rig has more noise than my other setup (custom United Minorities SDC hypercard plus a multi-pattern LDC) but the other setup has issues with humidity AND is too big.

With the stands....aw, hold on, I'll put the thang on a stand and check.

-----

You *get* stuff on to the recording, that's for sure. But the main thing to keep in mind that it is NOT only LF stuff you're looking at with a blimp on a stand on the floor, the sounds that the stand/blimp make when struck extend well into the low mids which is more of an issue as there's more signal in that area than at say 50hz. The resonant frequencies of the windshield basket and the stand, the stand jumps up and down, or rather "rattles", if you make the floor vibrate hard enough etc etc.

But again, I guess it really depends on the level of your source signal, the type of floor, the stand, the amount of jumping ( ;-) ) wether or not this is an issue for you or not. Best bet: NOT putting the stands on that floor. What happens when someone jumps into such a stand? Rumble would be the least of your problems then....
Old 28th October 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I've been comparing the 8050 (super cardioid) with the mkh 800 set to
super cardioid, on location and studio recorded film dialogue. The 800 has more exaggerated high and low frequencies, which works well for creating a larger-than-life film sound, and makes some voices sound silky and rich. The 8050 has a lower output, and sounds realistic and warm with a sparkle. I prefer the 8050. On instruments close up, the 800 is more harsh than the 8050. The 800 set to omni is excellent as spaced omnis placed far from a large ensemble, to compliment a coincident main pair, but the hall has to be free of noise.
Old 28th October 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Nut
 
Nityananda_SCSM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Do you have any comparisons to offer on the MKH8050 vs the MKH 50 or other MKH Classic series mics?
Old 28th October 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I've compared the 8050 with the Sennheiser mkh 416 shotgun as a boom mic for film dialogue. It has less output, much higher spl, and a more accurate response. The 416 exaggerates s, sh and similar sounds.
Old 17th November 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Nut
 
Nityananda_SCSM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
MKH 8040 vs MKH 40 recorded clips

OK this is not very scientifically done, but here is a comparison recording for you.

I recorded this in a temple in Atlanta, with the mics next to each other 6" off the floor (only had desktop stands) pointing towards the congregation. They were both going into a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP, I tried to keep the levels even but I didn't do a great job. I chose a short section where they seem pretty close and normalized the clips. Speaking of unscientific, due to circumstances outside of my control the recordings were not labeled, so it was really blind!! Feel free to guess which is which, but I won't be able to confirm or deny unfortunately :(.
Still, this is some food for thought for the thread, better than nothing. Here we go...

MKH 8040 vs MKH 40

http://oceanofnectar.com/exampleclip...arisonMicA.aif

http://oceanofnectar.com/exampleclip...arisonMicB.aif

Well, which is which? And more importantly for me, does one really sound better than the other??

Thanks!
Old 17th November 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
No idea which is which but I like mic B better - sounds more direct and present to me.

Oliver
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Nut
 
Nityananda_SCSM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yeah me too, and I'm thinking that's the 8040. I've used the mkh40 some now and recognize that kind of neutral, flat, and for some reason distant sound of the 40. Also there is more bass and sub-bass noticeable in the 8040.
Old 11th March 2010 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I also clearly prefered B on these clips.

A sounded a little to dark and also had some boom in the upper bass lower mid.

To bad you didn't take notes on which was which. :-)

Anyone else who have both MKH8040 and MKH40 who could do a side by side test?


/Peter
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 460 views: 85017
Avatar for John Willett
John Willett 29th June 2010
replies: 71 views: 15011
Avatar for Ontariosound
Ontariosound 26th July 2014
replies: 0 views: 2337
Avatar for Endeffekt
Endeffekt 14th August 2014
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump