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Has anyone heard of ClockAudio?

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by sshack, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Clock Audio | Manufacturer of Quality Microphones | Boundary Microphones

    My local PA store loaned me a pair of their (only) SDC microphones, the C600. The company has a very interesting product line, admittedly not true Pro Audio. I was told something to the degree that this company used to make mics for AKG before they were purchased by Harmon...most notably the 451. I've searched for details on this factoid and have come up empty.

    None the less, these guys are made in the UK, they have brass capsules I think, and also sport the obligatory -10db pad and a LF rolloff. They're quite hefty and sound pretty darned good for the few tests that I put them through. As you can see by looking at the graph, you're not getting much sizzly high end from these guys, for better or for worse, but they're smooth and detailed.

    Anyway, the price around the $300ea mark and I'm considering picking them up mainly because, well, they sound good...and I kind of like gear that is lesser known and/or underdogs. Conversely, my main reservation against them would be in spending the money on something that no one has ever heard of, thus potentially effecting any kind of resale in the future.

    My only other SDC set is a pair of Joly modified Oktava 012s which I really enjoy. Thus, the application for these would be for optional OHs, acoustic guitar and to have a stereo set for room mics.

    Lastly, my other option in thinking about getting a stereo set of mics would be to purchase a 2nd to some of the many single mics that I own; Miktek C7, AT 4080 ribbon, etc...but most of these single mic options would end up costing more.

    Thoughts and comments welcome.

  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Yeah clockaudio have very nice table mic for conference room, and some can even hide in the table when not use.
    I don't know more of their products.
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Clock Audio was established in 1994, which was the same year that Harmon purchased AKG, so they didn't manufacture the original C451 because that mic was long gone by then and did not re-surface until a few years ago.
    I would be hesitant just because there are soooooo many nice options to choose from on the market.
    My personal suggestion in that price range would be a pair of Shure SM81s. They sound great (especially on steel strings and OHs) and hold their resale better than any of the "boutique" mics have...
  4. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Good information on the dates Moon, thank you. I've actually never tried SM81s, but I'm a big fan of Shure. The price is right in the same ballpark as these ClockAudio's too...
    I'd love to try some CV5s (Miktek), but those are substantially more. I might try and borrow a pair of those to see if they'd be worth the wait to save up for.
  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Do search on "Miktek" and you'll see that Davedog replied to a post raving about the C5 SDC back in 2011. He also mentions another nice SDC, the A-T 4041 and 4051. I like the 4041, never tried the 4051. The 4041 is a real sleeper.
  6. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Like Moonbaby I'm a big fan of the 4041 provided it's amp'd by a quality pre with fast slew rates. The 4041 is capable of freakishly fast transient response but the pre has to be able to handle that with just as much grace or those transients sound distorted/brittle/harsh. Some folks actually describe the 4041 as being too bright/harsh, and I feel their experience might be hindered by their choice of pre. A lower $$ alternative to the 4041 is the Pro37 which is a little more mellow than the 4041 but handles transients just as well. IMO, this is all about the design of the capsule housing. The capsule is physically right up against the grill and the housing is beveled at the edge to help expose the capsule to more sound from the source and the room. The detail you get from the 4041 and Pro37 is fantastic.

    As far as considering resale value, I'm never "that guy". YMMV but I don't think about resale value when I purchase a new tool. I always make my decisions based on what sounds good to me and what my personal needs are; not someone else's needs. As a result, I feel I have some pretty darn good mics that I can always rely on to provide the sound I want for my instruments and tracks. For instance, I have the "Alice" mic handmade by Scott Helmke which has this incredibly forward midrange response that's so colorful and solid. A pair of Wildwood Dreamland mics that are nothing short of amazing when used as a pair for imaging. I actually keep them setup on either side of a solid mannequin head for realistic-style tracking. My most recent purchase was the ADK A6 and I use that quite a bit too.

    The I also have the usual suspects like a pair of Joly modded 012's, a 4033, an EV N/D 767, modified MXL990...

    If you like what you hear from the ClockAudio mics, why hesitate? They're your tools, it's your studio.
  7. sshack

    sshack Active Member


    Last week I did a blind shootout of a few different SDC, including the Clock Audios. The candidates were; the aforementioned C600s, the Miktek C5, the MXL 604 and a Joly modified Oktava MK-012 (I own the latter two). Since I only had access to a single C5 and only own a single 604, I had to do the shootout, well, with only one of each mic.
    None the less, for these four mics I used the pres on my FF800 as they are about as plain as I own. I used identical mic cables and twisted the ends before connecting them to the interface so I would not know which mics were which. I set the gain matched as close as I could for each source that I recorded which included an acoustic guitar, a clean electric guitar, a distorted electric guitar and a single mono overhead, straight above the snare.
    I aligned each mic as closely as possible in each scenario.

    After recording a 30 second pass for each of these I had my wife come in, listen to them and then write down her descriptions (in her terminology mind you) and impressions of each mic/recording. I then did the same. Admittedly, I tried to guess each one and thought I was going to get most of them right, but I was VERY surprised to find out where I was wrong. Also interesting, our likes and dislikes were very similar.

    Now, while this is certainly a less than scientific 'test', I feel like it did give me enough information to have an educated listen to the characteristics of each microphone. I won't tell you which was my favorite(s), but I will tell you that as a result of this testing I decided against buying the C600s.

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