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Opinions on good SDC fig-8s

Member for

21 years
Looking for opinions from folks here re their experiences with good fig-8 condensers, in particular Sennheiser MKH30 and Schoeps MK8.

I recently bought a matched pr of MK2S for my CMC6 bodies, but I haven't really heard the HF benefit over my trusty Earthworks QTC1 yet (in my applications, anyway). Don't get me wrong, I love 'em, but I think they introduce a redundancy in my mic locker. I already have a pr of MK21, so I thought trading in the MK2S for a pair of MK8 caps would get me Blumlein capability, plus (with MK21) M/S.

Thanks -


Member for

16 years 8 months

DavidSpearritt Tue, 11/21/2006 - 13:26
We have 2 MK8's and 2 KM120's. Both are excellent sounding SDC's. To match your Schoeps mid, I would use the MK8, it allows for easy alignment of capsules. But I routinely use an MK4 with the KM120 and this works well. The KM120 as a Blumlein pair is excellent, there is a lower mid richness and warmth to the Neumann, that is not there with the Schoeps which is more neutral. In some rooms this is an advantage, in others, not.

Member for

16 years 8 months

Simmosonic Wed, 11/22/2006 - 11:52
I regularly use the Schoeps CCM8Lg bidirectionals, I like them very much either in MS, Blumlein or simply as spots. They are particularly good on strings and similar.

I also agree with Mr Spearritt's comments about the KM120s; an engineering friend here in Sydney has a pair and they sound very good...

Although they sound quite different to each other, I don't think you could go wrong with either the Schoeps or the Neumanns.

As for the MKH30, I have two thoughts...

Firstly, it has a much better LF response than most other bidirectionals, due to internal EQ. While that may have been a good idea years ago, I hate the thought of passing my signal through any analog EQ circuit designed that long ago that was small enough and simple enough to build into the housing of a microphone! I'd much rather apply a corrective curve using LPEQ after the event, if I felt it was necessary.

Secondly, I personally find all of the MKH series to sound somewhat dissonant, cold, repellent and non-musical. (I am sure this is due to some kind of intermodulation and/or odd order harmonic distortion, but I can't be bothered getting to the bottom of it because I don't care a hoot for the mic anyway and it's not going to change anything, so why bother?) I've used them quite a few times, but only when forced to. I don't own any and probably never will unless I need to make seriously quiet nature recordings. But I think we've discussed this before...

- Greg Simmons

P.S. If I wanted a *really* quiet and non-obtrusive bidirectional, I'd get the DPA. It's priceless.

Member for

21 years

Member Wed, 11/22/2006 - 14:08
Simmosonic wrote: [quote=liuto]Sorry, which DPA bidirectional microphone?

They don't make one. That's why it is so quiet and unobtrusive. And priceless; you can't buy it no matter how much money you have. ;-)

But I wish they did make one...
Oh, it's too late here to get this fine meaning...
BTW I am quite happy with my MK8 but unfortunately it has not seen very much use since I bought it. But the sound is very nice and natural. I also think that the bass roll off is not critical, it is dictated by physics and you can use your favorite EQ if it's a problem.

Member for

16 years 8 months

Simmosonic Wed, 11/22/2006 - 14:56
liuto wrote: I also think that the bass roll off is not critical, it is dictated by physics and you can use your favorite EQ if it's a problem.

Something happened recently that is making me re-think my acceptance of the LF rolloff inherent in all directional microphones. I had the good fortune of trying a pair of DPA 4006TL omnis, and couldn't believe the LF response. Not just the extension, I was familiar with that from the earlier transformer versions. What really got me was how clean and pure the LFs were, much cleaner than the earlier transformer versions, in my opinion. The earlier transformer-based DPA omnis didn't do much for me, but the TL versions are really making me sit up and listen. And (as I have found with studio monitors and headphones), when you get those LFs happening cleanly and clearly, the benefits extend all the way up into the lower midrange, where things like the upper harmonics on low piano and cello notes become so clearly defined.

My first trial with the 4006TLs was on a choir/organ recording. There are times when the organ gets down around 40Hz, and it is rich and solid and powerful all the way down there. Which is a bit of a bummer, actually, because it has prevented me from putting in a high pass filter to remove the distant traffic rumble. In order to get rid of the traffic, I have to lose the lower octave on the organ, but I can't bring myself to do it. That lower octave sounds so nice that losing it in order to remove distant traffic rumble really would be putting the cart before the horse!

This Saturday we are recording a classical guitarist, and we'll be taking the 4006TLs, along with some other mics (we've never recorded this person before, nor have we recorded in the space before, so there are many variables). The main two rigs will probably be the 4006TLs and a Schoeps MS pair. Individually or combined, we ought to get something good from those two rigs.