Exciting old Schoeps Developments (in my life)

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by ptr, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. ptr

    ptr Active Member

    I've never seen myself as a Schoeps kind of guy, nu particular reason other then that the guy that I trained with had a fierce dislike of both Schoeps and DPA(BK) mikes (ie. no real reason, just a foolish heritage).

    As of late I've encountered a Schoeps CMTS501 Stereo mike from the mid seventies (bought second hand at yard sale price!), and whilst I like it's sound (mostly used as a spot on soloists) I find it kind of fickly to set up. I'm never 100% sure how the capsules are pointed, what I've thought of as an intuitive setting, has on closer scrutiny turned out to be way off... :cry:

    Two questions;

    Do any of You have any experience with and/or thoughts about the CMTS501?

    Do someone out there posess a CMTS501 manual the could be chared as a pdf, it would be interesting to read Schoeps user instructions..

  2. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    I own a 301 (same mic, but 12v phantom only- basically the CMC 3 instead of CMC5). There should be a series of dots around the edge of the capsule. The red dots (if I remember correctly- my mic is in storage right now) are the fronts of the capsules.

  3. 0VU

    0VU Active Member

    I've got a CMTS501U but I haven't used it for ages. I lent it to a friend so I don't have it to hand to check but from memory (which is a bit flaky) - and using a picture from the Schoeps website:

    The lower capsule system is (iirr) fixed with respect to the mic 'body' whilst the upper system rotates relative to this. This is channel 1; the upper capsule is channel 2 (at least they are on my mic!).

    From the top down, the controls are: rotating cap to select the polar pattern of the upper system. This works in the same way as that of an MK6 - the two fig-8 settings are identical and rotating 90 degrees from either of these gives either cardioid or omni. These are click stopped - make sure the switch clicks into place - intermediate settings are unreliable and to be avoided. Align the chosen pattern with the engraved arrow above the grille.

    Below the upper capsule grille are some coloured dots. The red dot marks the frontal (0 degrees) axis of the upper capsule system (on the opposite side of the body from this my mic has a black dot marking the rear (180 degrees) axis).

    Either side of the red dot, at intervals around the circumference of the mic are a series of coloured dots (yellow in the picture below but my mic has yellow dots indicating +/- 45 degrees, and, iirr, green dots at +/- 90, and blue at +/- 45 degrees rear - I don't think that this is normal - they might all be yellow)). These mark the angle of rotation of the upper capsule system with respect to the lower. On my mic they're click stopped but I've also come across CMTS mics where they're not and the capsule head rotates smoothly. These dots are at 45 degree intervals.

    Below these dots is another red dot indicating the frontal axis for the lower capsule.

    Below this is the polar pattern selection slider for the lower capsule - this has marked positions for omni, cardioid and fig-8. Again, make sure it's aligned with one of the marked patterns as the intermediate settings aren't useful.

    Below the slider are the engraved polar pattern markings with which it should be aligned for the lower capsule setup.

    The little holes below the capsule are the locking screws holding the capsule systems onto the body.

    So, to set up, for example, a 90 degree Blumlein pickup, align both capsule polar pattern selectors to fig-8, rotate the upper capsule two dots/clicks to one side (or the other) to get an included angle between the capsules of 90 degrees, and turn the mic 45 degrees in its mount (placing the yellow dot you passed on the way to 90 degrees, facing forward) to set the mic at the correct angle to the source.

    For an MS pickup, I used to use the upper capsule for the S (rotated 90 degrees and set to fig-8 ), and the lower capsule for M, (choose a polar pattern for the lower capsule and leave the red dot facing forward towards the source). There's no reason why you couldn't use the lower capsule for S - set it to fig-8 and rotate the entire mic 90 degrees to the source, then set the chosen polar pattern on the top capsule and rotate it so that the red dot faces the source.

    All in all it's a very nice mic. The 501 differs from the current Colette range in that it uses output transformers which impart a little colouration not present in the more modern Colette series bodies. (The CMTS301 (12V phantom) is transformerless/DC coupled and sounds slightly cleaner/more neutral, with a different low end.)

    One slight oddity is that my 501U has the output of the upper capsule polarity reversed in the output connector. This threw me when I first got it but apparently it was the normal pinout for the time. It changed on later versions to the system currently used so it'd be worth checking which version you have; if it's a polarity reversed, you can either open the mic and swap the wires around (which is what I did - eventually) or make up a reversal cable, or flip the polarity on your desk/preamp. If you're getting problems with the setup it could be something to do with this polarity flip - I know it had me going for a while!

  4. ptr

    ptr Active Member

    Thanks OVU, it's post like this that makes ROAF a Virtual University!!

    Now all I have to do is digest it.. The info about the reversed polarity is very interesting, might be why I dont quite recognise what is happening with the sound...


  5. ptr

    ptr Active Member

  6. ptr

    ptr Active Member

    Can you give a time frame for when 501 polarity change took place?

  7. 0VU

    0VU Active Member

    It was sometime in 1978. I've no idea what serial numbers that equates to but if you contact Schoeps they could probably tell you on which side of the line your mic falls.
  8. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    If you post over in Klaus Heyne's mic forum over at Pro Sound Web, David Satz would probably be able to help you with this request. He's the dude when it comes to Schoeps info...

  9. ptr

    ptr Active Member

    Thanks, both OVU and Ben, I found some 501 info at this site; http://www.schoepsclassics.de/ sligtly befor reading OVU's post. It had the 1978 date listed, so I acted on it and shoot of an e-mail to Schoeps in Germany and with in minutes got a reply saying that my mike was built late 1981 and was originally purchased in 1982..

    OVU, your description as above has been of tremendous help!

    Thank You very much!

  10. balsampillow

    balsampillow Active Member

    What is the resale value of the 501U? I bought this mic at a studio liquidation several years ago and have no idea what its worth...
  11. 0VU

    0VU Active Member

    It's worth about £50 - if you send me your PayPal address I'll send you the money - I'll even pay the PayPal fees ;)

    On a more serious note, it's old and fairly unusual so it's likely to be a case of 'it's worth what someone is prepared to pay for it on the day'.

    There's one on eBay at the moment (yours?) with a Buy it Now/Best Offer listing at £1800 which I'd say was rather hopeful but who knows; if the buyers are there it might get lucky. I vaguely remember those I've seen over the last few years selling/not at around £500-£1200 depending upon condition, accessories, specific version, and the usual vagaries of eBay.
  12. ptr

    ptr Active Member

    Like OVU says, its only worth as much as someone wants to pay for it.

    Myself, I bought mine from a retiring colleague for less than $50 (a long with most of his set up), I think he sold it all to me mostly because he did not want his stuff to end up with someone who would not treasure it.. :)

  13. balsampillow

    balsampillow Active Member

    No, it's not me... every time I've looked on ebay there have been none available... a Schoeps rep said they sold for $4000 new... could fetch as high as $2000 to a collector who is very interested... I paid $475 for it at a studio liquidation back in 2001...

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