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studio projects b1?
Old 13th August 2002
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
studio projects b1?

is this thing for real? has anyone listened to it? i was out console shopping the other day and a guy was buying some of these. we got to talking and i found out they were $79 a peice. large diaphgragm condensor. i picked it up and it was heavy. i'm always impressed by heavy gearyuktyy i gave it a quick listen, not really enough to get a idea of what it sounds like. you could hear the distant traffic very well though. he said it compared fairly well to an '87 in listening tests. i don't know. i've kind of grown weary of cheap large diaphgragms. every time one is made every review says "it compares favorably to a '87" like the nt1 reviews. i read so many good reviews i finally took one home (nt1) to demo a few years back and thought it was terrible. i'm not concerned with price to performance ratio if the performance is unacceptable. any thoughts or experience with the b1?
Old 14th August 2002
  #2
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Studio Projects makes excellent microphones.
My only direct experience is with the C1, however,
I'm sure the B1 works very well too.
Pay attention to the "dot" on the B1 because if you want a pair,
it's better to get two of the same "dots" than not.
If Alan Hyatt doesn't see your post in a day or so, e-mail him at
www.pmiaudio.com for more details and a better explanation.
As unlikely as it may sound, Alan is above board, accurate in his
descriptions of his products, and offers great customer service.
(you can send me a free B1 now Alan-just kidding!)

Chris
Old 14th August 2002
  #3
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Different dots on each of the same model mic? Sounds like great quality control to me... For $79 you can get an SM57 that will work as a mic and a hammer.


I can compare an SM58 to a U87. I can also compare a D112 and 451 to a U87 and you know what? I have used some of those mics interchangeably. So, yeah to say that it compares to a U87 is one thing but how does it actually sound?
Old 14th August 2002
  #4
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
BUT...
The B1 is great on DOTTED half notes! (sorry. couldn't resist)

Have to admit my forgetting the rationale, however, it had nothing to
do with QC. Will look it up and post it here pretty soon.

Chris
Old 14th August 2002
  #5
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Was able to glean that the different color dots correspond to either a
3 or 6 micron diameter on the B1.

Also will be leaving an e-mail to see if Alan wishes to clarify this further
on this thread.

Chris
Old 14th August 2002
  #6
Lives for gear
 
alanhyatt's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Different dots on each of the same model mic? Sounds like great quality control to me... For $79 you can get an SM57 that will work as a mic and a hammer.


I can compare an SM58 to a U87. I can also compare a D112 and 451 to a U87 and you know what? I have used some of those mics interchangeably. So, yeah to say that it compares to a U87 is one thing but how does it actually sound?
Jay,

Maybe I can help you and others understand why we do the color Dot system. As for our quality control, I invite you to our facility so you can see for yourself what we do for quality control. As for how Studio Projects sounds, you should try one. Please understand, we do not say it sounds like a U87. It has been the countless reviewers and end users who have said that, which is out of our control, but do you just dismiss all those who say it does? If they hear it that way, then it is right for them, yet it may not be right for you.

In either case if you would use one in a real session, then your comments would be from experience rather than a joking manner. I would think you would find them very favorable at the price....

I will be in New Jersey on September 6th. If you have some time on the weekend or an evening, just let me know. I will be in East Rutherford...

So, on to the color dot system:

The reason for the color codes is there are many variables in the manufacturing process which result in most large diaphragm capsules having a sensitivity spec of +/- 2db, so the difference between the minimum and maximum of two mics can be 4dB, which is to much for a pair. This happens in the manufacturing process due to slight differences in the back plate itself, the tension of the Mylar film, the capacitor of the capsule, or even the internal Mic pre-amplifier.

The sensitivity of Studio Projects mics are +/-2dB. The same sensitivity spec of most LD Neumann Mics. So even very well known manufacturers have this issue to deal with, so the question is...what to do with it? We think our color Dot system is a good alternative.

Most companies do not do matched pairs anymore, and when they did, all they did was measure the sensitivity of several mics to get two that were as close as possible...and they charged you $500.00 to do it. In either case they can't get them exact, and most would say a spec that is within 0.5dB would be considered very good.

The idea behind Studio Projects is to make a good "low cost" mic that is up to the task of hanging in with the expensive mics. So fine, but the problem is one mic can be 4dB difference than another one, and this includes most of the high end mics as well posting a +/- 2dB spec.

One way we found to deal with the problem was to split the tested capsules into three sensitivity classes and code them with a color. For example, a capsule that has a spec of:

-35dB +/-1dB,is marked by a green dot on the packaging
-36~-37dB,is marked by a black dot on the packaging
-33~-34dB,is marked by a red dot on the packaging

So to match them up as close as possible, just pick two of the same color dots. This will ensure that the levels you get from each mic are within 0.5 to 1dB. Close enough for me to be considered a matched pair, and we do not even charge you for it. So do we go out of our way in quality control...you bet we do. We do not have to do this, but we are so sensitive to the quality control issue, that we do it on every mic that is built. If the mic does not fall into this spec, it does not become a Studio Projects.

No other manufacturer is taking these steps to make sure the end user can closely match up the mics they buy. It is a Studio Projects first!

I hope this clears this issue up a bit.

Now the difference between the C and B Series is the B Series uses a 3 micron thickness capsule. Hi frequency is a little extended on the thinner materials, but SPL is still high. It is a new design and different from the C Series. We use the same quality components like WIMA caps and stuff. The bodies are not a dual cast alloy like the C Series. They are a one piece unit that is easy to mass produce, and they are not engraved.

So, do they sound the same...no. Are they better? Well, everyone's ears are different. We have had listeners at our demo rack and say they thought the B Series was better, but most agree the C Series is...as do I.

The B Series is not as warm or airy as the C Series, but the B Series is very good, its more like a cleaner and more neutral sound, full but crisp, where the C Series is warm and vintage sounding. The C Series uses the 6 micron capsules. The B Series is more of a general purpose do all microphone at a very low price that we hope will out perform anything in its price class.

Sorry for the long post!!
Old 15th August 2002
  #7
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Alan, thanks for popping in. It's always nice to get the details right from the source. As far as hearing the mics is concerned I'll contact and hopefully we can work something out while your in town. As far I as I know there are no dealers in NJ and the website says the same. Check your email tomorrow.

As to the dots... While I understand that quality control is a huge issue for any manufacturer, especially for mics it's still kind of strange. On one hand I can say why bother with a $79 condenser mic but on the other hand I gotta give you props because it shows that your putting a little thought into the mics. But, when I went to the webpage and clicked on products > B1 it said nothing of the dots and that's a problem. At most stores (both mom & pop and the big chains) the mics are kept locked up in a back storage locker. When someone goes in and says "I'll take three B1's please" the salesperson will go into the locker and grab the first three mics that say "B1" on them. And they may or may not have all the same color dots on them. Now our happy customer gets back to his studio and tries all the mics out and starts to wonder why they sound a little different from each other and why they have different color dots. You can't count on the reps to train sales people or the box packers in the mail-order houses. Where was the breakdown? Who can the end user blame if he wants to blame someone?

While anything can have a +/- 2dB tolerance some companies deal with it better then others. The law of averages says that you won't have vanilla and chocolate. You might end up with french vanilla and cherry vanilla because while one cap might be 1% over the same cap in another mic is 1.3% under. It all balances out if the manufacturing tolerances are pretty tight. Certainly the big three (or two now) that are making mics and capsules by hand can tweak them to sound identical or almost identical. FWIW, I'm not a big believer in matched pairs. Yeah, they might be matched at the factory but once they get out in the field it's a different ball game. One mic may spend most of it's time in front of a bass amp while the other is doing strings and vocals. Add age and normal wear and tear to that. Close yes. Matched no.

Let's talk about your favorite subject... the U87 comparison. It's a tough issue to avoid because all the magazines printed that and then IIRC it was reprinted in the ads. Plus text like this;

"If your looking for that traditional "German" sounding pedigree for your studio, but simply can't or won't spend the big dollars it takes to get it, then the Studio Projects B3 it the microphone for you. You can buy a pair and still save over $1,900.00!!!"

Which I pulled from your website... http://www.studioprojects.net/B3.html isn't going to help you avoid or deny that issue. I wasn't digging on the mics. But, you have to admit that you can compare anything to anything else. You can also make up statistics to prove anything you want. I actually have used the mics I mentioned above in the same situations. For example, floor tom. Sometimes a D112 sounds great, other times I've ended up with a U87 there. I've also started with a U87 while doing acoustic guitar overdubs, gotten way too much detail and then swapped it for an SM57, sometimes I needed more detail and then the 451 works. So you see I wasn't digging on the Studio Projects mics which I haven't heard yet. If I get a chance to hear them I'll put them through their paces and judge for myself.
Old 15th August 2002
  #8
Lives for gear
 
alanhyatt's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Jay,

Thanks for the response. Our web site is in the process of being re-done, so you are correct, it says nothing about the DOTS. In fact, we have not even done a new B Series ad as of yet, and that issue will be addressed on the new ad as well.

Where I have a slight issue is in your claim of the big three or two tweaking their mics. You can't tweak the capsule, you can change component value, but that would be an absurd thing to do unless the mic was so expensive. In addition, the big three or two have the same capsule issues as everyone. Just look at the spec. We just handle it on a more cost effective approach.

I have claimed that the U87 is not a hard mic to compare to. Quite frankly as an engineer, you must know what I know, and that is the U87 is not Neumann's best mic. It needs help at 80Hz, as well as 8,10 and 12Kz to make it sound good. I am sure there are a few out there who think different, but most I have spoke to agree with that statement, so "you" may or may not like the B3 better than the U87. I can tell you that many people do like it better, and many people don't, but the statement on the web is not a hype. It is true, and that is; "If your looking for that traditional "German" sounding pedigree for your studio, but simply can't or won't spend the big dollars it takes to get it, then the Studio Projects B3 is the microphone for you. You can buy a pair and still save over $1,900.00!!!".

This is why I encourage you to use the mics. I own an Apartment building in East Rutherford on Main Street across the tracks. I am in New Jersey a few times a year. I love Mama Rosa's pizza, and eat at the Candlewick Diner all the time. So, you must know these places as well. Let's hook up when I am there. I will send you the mics before I get there. This way you will have some time with all of them, and I can pick them up when I get there.

I am not trying to convert you Jay. I am not saying that you will like the Studio Projects better. At best, if you use them, I know you will like them, and for the money, you just may end up wanting to own one or two of them!!! Never know....

I will even send a VTB-1 mic pre along as well....
Old 16th August 2002
  #9
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Alan, that's a bit of bull**** about not being able to tweak the capsule. Maybe not on your mics but any kind of hand made capsule has screws on it to adjust the tension of the membrane. Kind of like a drum head. While I'm sure it can't turn a U67 into a C12 it does make a difference.

As far the U87 being Neumann's "best" mic I'll say once again that there is no "best" mic or tool. There is only what works at the time. I like U87's on some things, other times yes they do need some EQ to do a decent job but the same could be said for any mic. Is a U170 better then a U87 or KM184? Nope. They all have things that they excel at just like I'm sure the Studio Projects mics each have things they're good at. Some people might not want that boost at 80 and 12khz. I know I don't want that curve on everything. I use mics like paintbrushes, each one gives me a different sound so when it comes time to mix I don't need a lot of EQ.

Speaking of which, on Tuesday I was out with Steve Remote for the WBGO (88.3 jazz) street festival in Newark. He had his truck setup behind the stage on the street and Duke Markos engineered the live radio broadcast and multi-track recording from inside the truck. You know what? It sounded amazing. It was quite an experience to watch a big band performing, walk 40 feet and step inside a remote truck and hear the mix then walk outside put on a walkman and hear it while knowing all the details including mic selection, placement, EQ on the console etc. The reason I'm bringing it up is because there was very little EQ used on a 33 input mix. It was mostly mic selection and very little time spent on placement. So, none of the mics used were the companies "best" mics but they were the best mics for the jobs at hand. And that's all that I'm concerned with.

After I get the mics and have a chance to check them out I'll get back to you and make my thoughts known. If I like them I'll buy them. I've done it before.
Old 16th August 2002
  #10
Gear Nut
 
Brent Casey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Alan, that's a bit of bull**** about not being able to tweak the capsule. Maybe not on your mics but any kind of hand made capsule has screws on it to adjust the tension of the membrane. Kind of like a drum head. While I'm sure it can't turn a U67 into a C12 it does make a difference.

What it will turn your mic into is a big piece of crap with a messed up polar pattern at the very least. How the diaphragm is tensioned really doesn't matter a whole hell of a lot. What does matter is that it's done right. You don't be tweaking screws on a mic capsule (Especially if you are a drummer) because the song you're tracking is in b flat, or send a mic out ten years down the road to have the Great Capsule Tuning Wizard of the North retension the diaphragm. Trying to stretch that thin mylar around after it has settled will surely mess up a diaphragm and shorten its useful life.

Now, you boys stop arguing about U87's, etc. and shake hands.

Brent Casey
PMI Audio
Torrance
Old 16th August 2002
  #11
Lives for gear
 
alanhyatt's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Alan, that's a bit of bull**** about not being able to tweak the capsule. Maybe not on your mics but any kind of hand made capsule has screws on it to adjust the tension of the membrane. Kind of like a drum head. While I'm sure it can't turn a U67 into a C12 it does make a difference.

Well I am not going to do the normal Alan Hyatt response here, but it is not a bit of bull**** Jay. You can tune a drum, you can tune a piano, maybe even a fish, but the screws do not adjust the tension of the membrain. That is done in a jig, then it is glued to the plate, and then cured.

The screws job is to hold the plate to the capsule. Tightening the screws is not a method of changing the performance or the tune of the mic. Turning the screws will only break them at best, or break the capsule, but it will not change anything regarding the mics sensitivity or sound.

What I was referring to is that matched pairs are not done by tweaking or tuning of the capsules, that just does not fly. Matched pairs are done by picking two capsules as close as you can get, but you can't tune one to match the other by turning screws...sorry!
Old 16th August 2002
  #12
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Now I wasn't suggesting that people open up their mics and try to retension the capsules. That would just be really stupid. I'll also admit that I know just enough about microphone design to be dangerous. I'm 95% that Stephen Paul or David Satz or someone said that the way the capsule is tensioned will affect the sound of it. Not as much as the onboard preamp but you can't argue that the capsule is probably responsible for about 50% of the way any given mic sounds. Especially when it comes to frequency response and off-axis sounds.
Old 16th August 2002
  #13
Lives for gear
 
alanhyatt's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Jay, you are correct that tension plays a significant role in the way a mic sounds, but you can't adjust it by the screws. The process of the tension is much more complex.
Old 17th August 2002
  #14
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re"normal Alan Hyatt response"

One of the "normal" responses might be to get someone ala
Tony Soprano to arrange a "sit-down" Jay, so consider yourself
lucky! (You DO watch The Sopranos right?)

Chris
Old 17th August 2002
  #15
Gear Addict
 
cymatics's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I could have sworn that I read an interview with Klaus Heine (on PSW maybe) in which he described 'tuning' diaphragms for celebrity clients to match the characteristics of their voice. I may have skipped my meds that day, I dunno. Any idea what process Mr. Heine would have been alluding to?

- jon
Old 17th August 2002
  #16
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thank you!!! I couldn't remember where I had read that. So, Alan and Brent... comments? You guys know your stuff and are working with Stephen Paul. I'm sure he's shared the love with you guys.
Old 17th August 2002
  #17
Lives for gear
 
alanhyatt's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Jay,

Stephen actually replied on that subject direct to Klaus on another group, to which Klaus never responded. I will try to go back and get that comment by Stephen if I can, or jump on Stephen's group on RO and ask him. Klaus is an electronics designer, not a capusule designer. Yes, he can modify mics like he did with Neumann by removing electronic components and putting in different values and other components to make the mic change electronically, but all the while he is working with the same capsule. He does not tune the mic capsule by tightening or loosening the screws, he does it electronically.

Jump on to Stephen's site and ask him yourself at: http://www.recording.org/cgi-local/u...?ubb=forum;f=4


You will find your answers there, since I do not seem that convincing...
Old 19th August 2002
  #18
Gear Nut
 
Brent Casey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Can a capsule be tuned to an individual's fundamental vocal characteristic? - You bet your Heine it can.
Could I have a career in advertising?
Anyway, tensioning, combined with the inherent physical properties of the capsule assembly determine the resonance of the diaphragm. What Heine is doing occurs every time a person assembles a condenser capsule. - He's simply performing the process for a given set of circumstances, i.e. some celebrity's voice. Perhaps Klaus Heine could tune the four diaphragms on his stereo mic to different pitches and record a duet between a Swiss yodeler and a Central Mongolian throat warbling yak herder.


Quote:
Originally posted by cymatics
I could have sworn that I read an interview with Klaus Heine (on PSW maybe) in which he described 'tuning' diaphragms for celebrity clients to match the characteristics of their voice. I may have skipped my meds that day, I dunno. Any idea what process Mr. Heine would have been alluding to?

- jon
Old 21st August 2002
  #19
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ok, you have point but it can still be done. Sure, it makes more sense to mod the electronics then the capsule. I've "tuned" the electronics on guitars by changing cap values and stuff. Doing that to a mic isn't all that much different.

Alan, so what's the good word? Are you bringing mics for me on the 6th?
Old 21st August 2002
  #20
Lives for gear
 
alanhyatt's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Ok, you have point but it can still be done. Sure, it makes more sense to mod the electronics then the capsule. I've "tuned" the electronics on guitars by changing cap values and stuff. Doing that to a mic isn't all that much different.

Alan, so what's the good word? Are you bringing mics for me on the 6th?
I thought your studio was down! I will have them so let me send you a private email with my numbers. I will hook up with you there because I will have them.
Old 22nd August 2002
  #21
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah, sort of. I'm moving to a new location. lol It sucks. Anyway I'll be running in about a week or so. Plus I'm still engineering at other studios. Just because my place is down for a while doesn't mean I'm not working and making money. I'm a professional. rollz
I got your email and I'll hit you back later tonight or tomorrow morning.
Old 22nd August 2002
  #22
Gear Addict
 
cymatics's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
WAIT, this horse ain't dead, lemme beat it some more....

on PSW Mr Heine said:

"I have old stock Neumann capsules, never opened—if you plug in one after the other, they all sound different. It’s the same with the Brauners. So I realized that they still have to come here. Today, UPS brought seven more. I go over every one of them, and first determine front side selection for the capsules, then I fine tune it in terms of the specific customer. For example, Lenny Kravitz is one of our customers, and I say I’m not going to give him one that is mellow, I’ll give him one with more balls in the lower mids."

After reading the interview again, it seems that he is referring to the process of 1) making critical evaluations of individual capsules, 2) matching that capsule to the characterstics of a customers voice, 3) adding/subtracting/substituting or otherwise manipulating the electronics to further enhance that match.

It is a little confusing as he uses the phrase "fine tune" immediately after discussing capsules. However, it gets more confusing when he says:

"This is a multi-step process, going back and forth until I finally say, This is it! Let’s not go any further, let’s not turn any more torquing screws"

which almost sounds like he is referring to retensioning the diphragm.

Later, when asked, "What is involved in fine-tuning a new Brauner?"

He replies:

"With a Brauner, it’s down to capsule work... (snip) First, you have to get the right capsule for the customer, like this one in South Africa, he says don’t give me anything that will bring out sibilants. So I have to first find the one in the batch that is closest to what would be right, then I rework the diaphragms. Remember, there are mirror image systems in all large diaphragm condensers, front is identical to the rear—seemingly. So I would reverse them, and make what I call a front side selection. Which of the two sides on that preselected microphone would give me the better result? Then I fine tune the capsule, physically yank it out and using a torque screwdriver, adjust the distance from the diaphragm to the backplate and maybe even adjust the two backplates together. There are basically four parts to this sandwich: diaphragm, backplate, backplate, diaphragm. How these are put together determines midrange behavior, and also determines high and low frequency behavior. So you have, within a certain range, some tolerance for discretionary adjustment. I can either tighten or slacken a little bit. Or I may take a diaphragm off and try another diaphragm, one with a different resonance frequency. I know from experience how a certain resonance frequency translates into upper midrange behavior."

Mr. Heine never claims to adjust the tension of any diaphragms. I guess I did skip my meds that day. Sorry, my bad.

- jon



- jon
Old 3rd January 2014
  #23
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Here's a demo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIHoaQzzDPQ

0:00 Speech no roll-off
0:40 Speech 75 hz roll-off
0:45 Speech 150 hz roll-off
0:58 Ac Guitar 2 ft no roll-off
1:20 Ac Guitar 2 ft 75 hz roll-off
1:41 Ac Guitar 2 ft 150 hz roll-off
2:01 Ac Guitar 20 inches no roll-off
2:35 Ac Guitar 20 inches 75 hz roll-off
3:04 Ac Guitar 20 inches 150 hz roll-off
3:34 Ac Guitar 5 ft no roll-off
4:03 Ac Guitar 5 ft 75 hz roll-off
4:33 Ac Guitar 5 ft 150 hz roll-off
5:03 Whisper 6 inches no roll-off

Get demo in 24-bit 48 khz .wav here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/iwvtf279l4...0B1%20Demo.wav
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