Schoeps MK2 vs MK2S vs MK2H

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by hughesmr, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. hughesmr

    hughesmr Guest

    Hey all,

    Jeremy's glowing review of the M296 nonwithstanding, I wondered if anyone has A/Bed these three Schoeps omni capsules and can offer their viewpoints. Even if you haven't A/Bed them, if you own one (or more) of them and can offer your reasons for puchase of one over the other, I would appreciate it.

    I am thinking of plunging HEAD FIRST into Schoeps, likely 4 CMC bodies and 4 caps. My usage would be as orchestral A-B + flanks, as well as orchestra+chorus, and a lot of solo organ. Maybe as ambient pickups too, but probably rarely. Any recommendations between these three would be helpful, including opinions on using other caps (e.g. MK21) or mixing and matching different omni caps. BUT, keep it at 4 mics, please!

  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Mike!

    That's a big plunge to take but one that's well worth it.

    The only difference between the different monakers of the Schoeps MK 2 caps are the high-frequency emphasis. If you do a good deal of diffuse field work, you would want to consider either the h or the s. Personally, I use both and find the difference to be subtle at best. Though I tend to usually lean towards the h's. (The hf boost sounds a tad more natural to me and farther out of the critical range)

    If I were personally looking at 2 pair, I would seriously consider the MK21 and the MK 5. The 5's give you switchable patterns and both still sound quite nice. The 21s are just versatile mics.

    The plain jane MK2 is a little dark to my likeness especially when you get the mic into the edge of the reverb field.

  3. hughesmr

    hughesmr Guest

    Thanks Jeremy. On a related note, Schoeps warns against using the MK21 in coincident stereo (which I virtually never use, anyway), but states that near-coincident "can be successful". This doesn't sound like an enthusiastic recommendation to me!

    How do you use the MK21? Does it work well in A-B stereo? If so, should the spacing be less than with a pure pressure transducer?

    Thanks, M
  4. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    I have had "success" with using 21's in a near-coincident arrangement. Actually, its more like a really wide NOS, or maybe a narrow tree with no center mic. And by success I mean very pleasing, client/engineer-be-happy type results. Like a spaced omni pair that reduces rear oriented audience noise. And 21's can be used as spot mics, as well. Like Cucco said; very versatile mic. I owned three and found I was using them more and more, eventually eclipsing my other capsules.

    Before you get too excited about 21's, let me say that I also had a full mic locker to fall back on when the 21's did not quite fit the task. If you are going to only have four mics, two 21's may not be the best choice. Maybe two Mk.4 and two Mk.2H would be a good starting point.
  5. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    My experience, also.

    This is not a bad recommendation if you can afford the more expensive Mk.5's. I personally would rather spend the money on several more single-pattern capsules.
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    You know, the more I think about it, Zilla's recommendation is spot on.

    Quick question - Do you need 4 Schoeps or could you get by with 2 omnis and a few other mics? Nothing against Schoeps (believe me, I friggin love them) I'm just thinking for that kind of hard-earned dough, you could have a little extra money for more mics if you chose a lesser expensive mate to the Schoeps.

    BTW - the MK21 can easily be used in a near-coincident pair. Distance to the ensemble is key though. Too close and no center image, too far and nothing but center image. NOS works, ORTF kinda works. A close AB with an angle (essentially a wide NOS) works just fine too. They also do beautifully when you have a chorus behind an orchestra and you want to pick up the beautiful sounds of voices but not so much from the percussion, horns, etc you can use these as chorus spots and get great results.

  7. hughesmr

    hughesmr Guest

    Thanks for your comments. I should say that I already own a pair of Neumann KM184s and a pair of Earthworks QTC1 (dead-flat variety).

    I was originally thinking of selling the QTC1s and getting 4 Schoeps omni caps (keeping the 184s as my "pure" cards), but the discussion has me thinking more like keeping both the 184s and the QTC1s and supplementing them with 4 different Schoeps caps.

    What do you think of having these 8 mics:
    pair of 184s
    pair of QTC1s
    pair of MK21s
    pair of MK2H

    Any overkill or redundancy here? Perhaps still sell the QTC1s, but I really don't want to end up with only one pair of omnis...? I like the Earthworks, but sometimes in cathedral acoustics I really wish for a bit more HF definition. (Plus, I am a more omni-leaning guy, like you, Jeremy!) I would be applying them to organ solo, orchestra and orchestra+chorus.

    Last question to J.: Would you say the M296 is a better mic than the MK2H for what I want?

  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Mike.

    I'm never a big fan of selling mics to buy more mics. I like to keep a pretty good sized and varied selection of mics. That said, I would keep the Earthworks. In general, they're pretty good and you'll find a thousand uses for them later in life.

    As for the Schoeps vs. the M296 - that's a tough call. They are VERY different microphones, however, they work VERY well together. I use Schoeps CMC 6 ext / MK 2 h mics with the M296's as my main 4 microphones on almost ever large classical concert I do and I love the results.

    The M296 remind me more of DPAs with a sweet sound rather than the clinical sound I usually associate with DPAs. The Schoeps are rather lush and full.

    If you need to capture the low pipes on some organs, either mic will do, but I have noticed 0 roll-off in the low frequency of the M296. I've picked up fundamental tones and room modes as low as 4 Hz before. Something I've never done with any other mic. Oh, and BTW, these weren't 20 dB down, they were right where they should be - indicating to me that these mics are flat from 0 to as high as your converters will go (with the exception of course for the slight rise in the upper frequency for diffuse-field use.)

    Hope this confuses you more. :lol:

    (just kidding)

  9. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    I owned a pair of 184s and found that, for classical recordings, they sat on the shelf 95% of the time. IMO, they really don't cut it for a main pair. They are not a substitute for an Mk.4.

    I am unfamiliar with the QTC1's, so I have no advise to offer.

    If all you are going to do is classical recording, and funding is an issue, I would sell the 184's. But I myself never sold any of my mics (usefull or otherwise) when my main gig was recording. It wasn't until I entered the field of mastering full-time that I started to reduce my mic locker count.
  10. hughesmr

    hughesmr Guest

    Thanks guys....for confusing me more (but in a good way :lol: )

    I'm thinking that maybe I'll keep the 184s and QTC1s for now, and instead get only a pair of CMC6/MK21s. Sounds like a good middle ground between the patterns I already have, and their versatility as both warmer directional mains or choral spots sounds enticing.

    So, maybe the plunge into another pair of omnis will wait for now. I'm still leary of getting into the MK2/MK2S/MK2H choice without first being able to test them against each other (no local dealers here). Maybe I should also look at the Sennheiser MKH20 w/ switchable near/diffuse in one mic body? Any side-by-side experience with Senns vs Schoeps in this regard?

    Cheers and regards,
  11. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    Does anybody near you rent?
    Both lines are excellent, but with different sensibilities. I am happy to use either, but I have not liked the results of mixing them together in a single array.[/code]
  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Agreed - it's like mixing Zinfandel and Mahi - just doesn't work.

    Schoeps = full-bodied with a smooth but very present and accurate top end

    Senns = more bottom heavy (not excessively, just more), smoother (rounder) top end (to my ears, slightly rolled off).

    My preference almost always leans towards the Schoeps stuff. The Senn's, at least to me, make it sound as though I've pumped the audio through some kind of processor that makes the music sound produced.

  13. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    Yes, it is difficult to accurately describe the effect. Senn's leave me with the impression of magnification, of increased perceived size. This sonic trait is probably imparted by the internal eq in the mic (inherit signal processing).

Share This Page