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small D omnis?
Old 15th May 2003
  #1
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hollywood_steve's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
small D omnis?

I'd really like to be able to just throw down somewhere between $2500 and $3000 for a pair of DPA 4006 omnis, but that just ain't gonna happen after the recent new recorder purchase. At the other end of the price range, the Neumann KM183s would probably work, but as I already have a pair of KM184s, I would really prefer something else. Any suggestions on small D omnis in the $1k to UNDER $2k per pair? What else is out there? All of the new "boutique" companies seem to focus on large D vocal mics or ribbons. Not looking for a multi pattern mic, just a very solid, great sounding pair of omnis. Any used (older?) mics that I should consider? (I was not real impressed with the cheap Oktavas or the couple of Earthworks models I have tried.) Any Schoeps models to look for? When I've looked at the Schoeps catalog, the countless varieties of capsule and body combinations had me dizzy; but if there's a great omni in there somewhere.

thanks

steve
[email protected]
Old 15th May 2003
  #2
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Unless Josephson is doing some small D omnis similar to the C42, the first place I'd look given your parameters would be T.H.E.'s. Haven't tried them, but I keep hearing good things, and it seems you're already a fan of the modular concept in practice where for me it's so far just the principle.

Bear
Old 15th May 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
It doesn't count for much, but when I was playing around with the T.H.E. mics at AES, I was quite impressed. The Earthworks are decent, but I wasn't as thrilled with them (I currently use B&K 4006s, so my standards are high).

I'd look at those first. You may like AKG 480s with the CK62 capsules. If the price hasn't gone up yet, the Schoeps omnis CMC6 with the MK2 or MK2S (rising response, diffuse field) are amazing, but before the price increase, they were a touch under $2K. Now they are a bit more...

You may want to keep an eye on the used market as well... I've gotten some great buys by just keeping an eye out for what is out there.

--Ben
Old 15th May 2003
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The schoeps system really isnt that difficult although you do have alot of options


here's how it works.

For studio use, you basically have two options for bodies

A tube body (M222) and a solid state body (cmc5)

to go on those bodies, you have your capsules. Schoeps makes several types of capsules by polar pattern and by eq. Also they have what is called their CCM compact microphones (which you don't need)


So basically for your needs, you would get a pair of cmc5 bodies, and a pair of MK2 (flat omni capsules) Later on you could add the mk4 (flat cardiod) or the mk8 (flat figure 8) or get the eq variations of each.


Currently i have a matched pair of cmc5's with matched mk2's and mk4's

They are a godsend

Marshall
Old 15th May 2003
  #5
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Saucyjack's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Can you get Omni capsules for the Josephon C42s???
Old 15th May 2003
  #6
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dynamo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You may want to check the Shure KSM 141's. They are around $700 for a pair
and besides the omni pattern you have also cardioid. This is done just
turning a collar around the ports.
Here's a link : http://proaudioreview.com/par/januar...ureksm41.shtml
The Schoeps are nice and like said you may sometime find very good deals around. The MK2's are great capsules, i've heard different feedbacks on the cardioid ones.
Old 15th May 2003
  #7
Gear Nut
 
plexi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Groove Tubes GT 44 with omni capsule.....

With some luck you should be able to get them under $2K.
They come stock with the cardioid capsule, and you can add supercardioid and omni.
I just got one , and it sounds great!


Amund
Old 20th May 2003
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
wurly's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
what you need

Get an old pair of AKG 452's with omni capsules, then send them to Stephen Paul Audio and get the .9 micron mod. End of story.

Simply astounding on an orchestra, as drum overheads, or on acoustic guitars.

Properly used, these babies are like having an extra 10 years of good experience under your belt. They will definitely take your work to the next level, if not the next next level.

Happy hunting.

wurly
Old 20th May 2003
  #9
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Saucyjack's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Wurly,
what do the Akgs with SPMod cost?
I'm guessing not cheap
Old 20th May 2003
  #10
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NathanEldred's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Hey Steve,

How about the DPA 4060's? They sound very nice, and although look like lavaliers, they are anything but that sonically. They're under $400.
Old 20th May 2003
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
wurly's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
SPA mod price sorta

Stephen is the man to talk to for prices, I don't know what his current pricing would be for his work. I can not speak for Stephen on pricing, or anything else for that matter.

Without being too cryptic or cute I think that I can say that you could buy some used 452's and get the mods done for appreciably less than the price of a pair of Sennheiser MKH20's (SD omnis)which is about $3000. A pair of 452's should cost about $600 max.

I think that Hollywood Steve started this thread seeking a pair of stellar SD omnis for $2-3,000. I believe that my nomination will fit the budget very nicely.

wurly
Old 21st May 2003
  #12
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I Love KM-83's!... i use these a second pair of OH's when im tracking drums in conjuntion with AKG 414's... The 414's capture the body of th ekit which i EQ and compress and then the KM-83's add a nice little sheen and shimmer to the room and the cymbals and are an excellent combo for the $$. They are not that expensive as people seem to dislike omni's much more?? They would fit your budget and come WELL under it. I havent had that much expereience with other omni SDC's but i have heard awesome things about the Schoep's especially for OH's and accoustic gtrs. A mate of mine swears by his pair and that is all he uses for accousitc gtrs.

PEACE
Wiggy
Old 21st May 2003
  #13
Here for the gear
 
cmcneil's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
http://www.audiotechnica.com/prodpro...s/AT4049a.html

hesitate to even mention them to all you guys with big wallets but the way I read the original post he was looking in the 1 - 2k range.

the ATs are good mics, plus the caps are swappable (they also do cardioid and hyper-c caps).

I wouldn't trade my pair for anything else in their price range that I have heard.
Old 8th October 2003
  #14
Gear Head
 
Stephen Paul's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Just for the record, the 45x and 46x mods are $500 each, $1200 for a matched pair guaranteed to +- 0.5 dB.

So I think it really is the best bargain in pro audio small diameter mikes.

KM5xs tube Neumanns are a couple of hundred more because they're tubes, naturally, but mainly because they're harder to rebuild.
Old 8th October 2003
  #15
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Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Paul
Just for the record, the 45x and 46x mods are $500 each, $1200 for a matched pair guaranteed to +- 0.5 dB.

So I think it really is the best bargain in pro audio small diameter mikes.

KM5xs tube Neumanns are a couple of hundred more because they're tubes, naturally, but mainly because they're harder to rebuild.
Hi Stephen,
'
what kind of SPL's do the AKGs, or KM5xs, handle after you mod them? One of the things that attracts me to the DPA 4003's is that they will handle 154dB before clipping, but what really sells me is that they won't reach 0.5% THD until 129dB. I need that kinda SPL handling for doing crazy hi-fi renditions of percussion, vibes, etc. Both studio and stage.

Thanks very much!
Old 8th October 2003
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
dtobocman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by dynamo
You may want to check the Shure KSM 141's. They are around $700 for a pair
and besides the omni pattern you have also cardioid. This is done just
turning a collar around the ports.
Here's a link : http://proaudioreview.com/par/januar...ureksm41.shtml
The Schoeps are nice and like said you may sometime find very good deals around. The MK2's are great capsules, i've heard different feedbacks on the cardioid ones.
I think you meant $700 each.
Old 8th October 2003
  #17
Gear Head
 
Stephen Paul's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Maybe wurly can explain what we did to his, and they'll now easily handle that kind of spl.

Typing's a bit difficult for me sometimes, but it has to do with the way we create the pad in the mike that actually improves both transient response and high frequencies, by padding the capsule by dropping the polarizing voltage.

This lets the membrane be a little freer to vibrate, and doesn't mess up the highs and raise the THD as normal shunt C pads do across the input lines of the capsule.

We do the same to big D stuff.

We take the spare position that almost nobody uses on the padded rolloff for instance, and wire it to the divider, thus permitting you to capture very loud sounds with no increase in THD and IM, and furthermore with no horse blanket effect, as with factory pads in most mikes.

Tired.

Hope that helps, but ask wurly... he knows.
Old 8th October 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Paul
Maybe wurly can explain what we did to his, and they'll now easily handle that kind of spl.

Typing's a bit difficult for me sometimes, but it has to do with the way we create the pad in the mike that actually improves both transient response and high frequencies, by padding the capsule by dropping the polarizing voltage.

This lets the membrane be a little freer to vibrate, and doesn't mess up the highs and raise the THD as normal shunt C pads do across the input lines of the capsule.

We do the same to big D stuff.

We take the spare position that almost nobody uses on the padded rolloff for instance, and wire it to the divider, thus permitting you to capture very loud sounds with no increase in THD and IM, and furthermore with no horse blanket effect, as with factory pads in most mikes.

Tired.

Hope that helps, but ask wurly... he knows.
Thank you Stephen! Now I have some homework to do...

... and wurly, I'm all ears!...
Old 9th October 2003
  #19
Gear Addict
 
dynamo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
dtobocman,
no, i meant "around $ 700 for a pair". Sweewater sells a pair for $ 799.
Ok, that's "around $800" but i'm quite positive you may be able to find a better price around...
Old 14th October 2003
  #20
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PRS1JAZZ's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
What about Earthworks omnis......hehehe
Old 16th October 2003
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
wurly's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
At Stephen's request...

This is too much. First I had the thrill of meeting two of the most famous audio engineers in the world at AES, and now Stephen wants me to write about my SPA modded 452 omnis.

I have always enjoyed talking with Stephen. It saddens me greatly that his energy levels dictate that a poor substitute such as myself try to explain the wonders of the SPA work on my 452's. George Massenberg should be writing this.

I am most likely to reach for the SPA452 omnis for drum overheads, and for acoustic guitars. I have also used them successfully on percussion overdubs. The only thing I haven't liked them on so far is the top of my leslie cabinet. I wanted proximity effect, and omnis don't play that game.

A friend of mine that is a highly regarded and very seasoned classical engineer thought quite highly of the SPA mics when compared with his Sennheiser MKH 30's on an orchestral recording. He admitted that the SPA mics were more natural and musical than the Sennheisers, and he hates to be "shown up".

The very first time that I threw the SPA452 omnis on a 12 string acoustic, the sound was like I remember getting with Leo Kottke after spending two weeks playing with mics, positioning, preamps and processing. Bang. Put 'em up, instant magic.

As drum overheads, they absolutely shine. Just click on the SPA true 10 db pad, position them the way recorderman recommends, and you have instant drum magic. Imaging. Impact. Sheen. Depth. LIFE. The whole ball of wax.

They flat out just don't behave like any omni I've ever used in my life. I absolutely love them, and can't imagine how I got along with them before the SPA mods. They work flawlessly. They are not fragile. They are beautiful, in sound as well as appearance. The labeling had pretty much worn off my 452's, but SPA relabelled them with the new pad information etc. so they actually now look better than new.

What more can I say?

Stephen, please take it easy and recuperate. My very best wishes and prayers for your energy and health. I hope to meet you in January when I'm out there for (shudder) NAMM.

I'm not worthy,

wurly
Latch Lake Music
Old 16th October 2003
  #22
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I don't have a huge selection of high-end small-d omnis in my cabinet, but I do love the pair of Earthworks QTC's that I've been using on my Steinway almost exclusively for years.

Every once in a while I'll throw something different up, just to experiment. Most recently a pair of Josephson C42's. So far, nothing has come close to the sound I get with the QTC's. Obviously it's a subjective choice, but I'm pretty picky about piano sound (being a pro player for 30 years) and they give me what I want to hear.

But I don't own any DPA or Schoeps mics, so I can't really say how they compare.
Old 16th October 2003
  #23
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PRS1JAZZ's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Good Dog!!
Old 17th October 2003
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: At Stephen's request...

Quote:
Originally posted by wurly
This is too much. First I had the thrill of meeting two of the most famous audio engineers in the world at AES, and now Stephen wants me to write about my SPA modded 452 omnis.

I have always enjoyed talking with Stephen. It saddens me greatly that his energy levels dictate that a poor substitute such as myself try to explain the wonders of the SPA work on my 452's. George Massenberg should be writing this.

I am most likely to reach for the SPA452 omnis for drum overheads, and for acoustic guitars. I have also used them successfully on percussion overdubs. The only thing I haven't liked them on so far is the top of my leslie cabinet. I wanted proximity effect, and omnis don't play that game.

A friend of mine that is a highly regarded and very seasoned classical engineer thought quite highly of the SPA mics when compared with his Sennheiser MKH 30's on an orchestral recording. He admitted that the SPA mics were more natural and musical than the Sennheisers, and he hates to be "shown up".

The very first time that I threw the SPA452 omnis on a 12 string acoustic, the sound was like I remember getting with Leo Kottke after spending two weeks playing with mics, positioning, preamps and processing. Bang. Put 'em up, instant magic.

As drum overheads, they absolutely shine. Just click on the SPA true 10 db pad, position them the way recorderman recommends, and you have instant drum magic. Imaging. Impact. Sheen. Depth. LIFE. The whole ball of wax.

They flat out just don't behave like any omni I've ever used in my life. I absolutely love them, and can't imagine how I got along with them before the SPA mods. They work flawlessly. They are not fragile. They are beautiful, in sound as well as appearance. The labeling had pretty much worn off my 452's, but SPA relabelled them with the new pad information etc. so they actually now look better than new.

What more can I say?

Stephen, please take it easy and recuperate. My very best wishes and prayers for your energy and health. I hope to meet you in January when I'm out there for (shudder) NAMM.

I'm not worthy,

wurly
Latch Lake Music
Thanks wurly for the reply! Can you tell me anything about the pickup pattern of the modified mics? Anything suspiciously resembling my avatar, by any chance?

I like to do the crazy old school thing where you gather the whole ensemble around a mic, or maybe two, so the off-axis characteristics are quite crucial. That could be said about the Recorderman drum overhead technique as well... I've found with that technique and mics with really great off-axis response, I could capture things on the periphery, sometimes rather distant, of the drum kit in quite a good style.

Anyhow I must say that it no longer seems to me that the DPA 4003s are the only major contender in my search! Glad I have waited so long without acting on my omni urge. I am leaning pretty strongly towards the Stephen Paul route, not least because I really like to support and work with master craftsmen when I get that rare opportunity. I just wonder what the best mics to have modded would be... still thinking small diaphragm omnis... sucker for fine tube things, but I guess with ample, ample headroom that might not really matter...
Old 20th October 2003
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
wurly's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Stephen sez

Last I heard (spring 2003), Stephen Paul felt that Neumann KM53's were the ultimate platform for the SPA rebuild in small diameter omnis. The microphones will cost much more than AKG 452's, and the rebuild will also cost more, but that is what Stephen thinks makes the best small "D" omni microphone.

This is still extremely odd for me to answer for Stephen, and I hope that this is a temporary situation.

When my 452's came back from SPA, I was immediately smitten with the sound. In fact, I was so full of smit that I never once considered checking the polar patterns. I've always been too happy with the sound to wonder about polar patterns.

The first day after the return of my 452's from SPA I was in phase II of mic evaluation. I had one mic way up in the corner of my live room, at least 25 feet away from a TV that I was using as a sound source.

Hmmmm, 25 plus feet away in a corner, should sound distant, comb filtered, and bouncy reflecto, right?

Not a chance. It sounded like the microphone was directly in front of the television. I assume that's a really back-handed way of saying the ability of the microphones to resolve off-axis sounds is incredible. I even had to go in the room and trace mic lines because I could not believe what my ears were telling me.

So that's my story. The next time I'm feeling flush I will get a pair of KM53's for the SPA rebuild. In the meantime, I can't actually comprehend how a small "D" omni could be any better than my AKG/SPA 452's already are.

As you whir,

wurly


P.S. once I felt that since I had half a dozen small diameter omnis and cardioids that I didn't need any more small "D" mics. That was before Gearslutz of course. With my Gearslutz training I now know that you can never have enough small "D" microphones. Different colors, different flavors, different patterns, oh baby!
Old 20th October 2003
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
Nathanael's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Steve,

I can recommend that the bit of hassle to figure out Schoeps capsule naming system is well worth the time. For omni only, you will want an MK2 variant capsule. The difference between MK2, MK2S, MK2H, etc has to do with how far you intend to be away from your source. One of the capsules is ruler flat in the near field, the rest are equalized to be flat further from the source, ie. they have a rising high frequency response to compensate for the distance.

I have a matched pair of the MK5 capusles which are switchable between cardiod and omni. I have used them in lots of forms of coincident and near coincident stereophony. XY, Jecklin disk, etc, etc. I have been VERY pleased. Cost is a bit more than your stated budget - but well worth the extra $$ and the versatility has been wonderful.

- Nathanael
Old 28th October 2003
  #27
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Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks again wurly!
Old 28th October 2003
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Has anyone tried the Stapes onmi pair ?
Old 28th October 2003
  #29
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atticus's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've said it in a couple of other threads but the T.H.E. mics are a tremendous value. I have used the KR-1D omni capsule extensively and it's a great mic. The TT-3M is a very cool omni mic as well.
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