EarthWorks or DPA / B&K?

L

laggy

Guest
I have used B&K 4006 mics (they are omnis) and was amazed by their sound quality. (The 4000 series mics are now distributed by DPA.) I would love to buy a pair, but that would cost in the neighborhood of $4,000.

Can someone who has had experience with both please compare and contrast the:

High Sensitivity:
B&K / DPA 4003 and 4006 versus the EarthWorks QTC1

High SPL:
B&K / DPA 4004 and 4007 versus the EarthWorks TC30K
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2001
This is one area that you won't get something without paying a lot for it.

I have been comparing a lot of omni microphones lately and unless you are recording relatively loud sources, the selfnoise of even the QTC earthworks will get in the way.

I do a lot of chamber music recording and have found others to work better.
 

johnlagrou

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Location
Northern California
Originally posted by lagasus:
I have used B&K 4006 mics (they are omnis) and was amazed by their sound quality. (The 4000 series mics are now distributed by DPA.) I would love to buy a pair, but that would cost in the neighborhood of $4,000.
They indeed are amazing mics, though I think you'll be paying less than $4,000 for a pair of 4006/4003 microphones. DPA had a price reduction and they now retail for $1,650 each, which means you can probably street these for about $3,000 per pair.

Can someone who has had experience with both please compare and contrast the:

High Sensitivity:
B&K / DPA 4003 and 4006 versus the EarthWorks QTC1

High SPL:
B&K / DPA 4004 and 4007 versus the EarthWorks TC30K
I would probably avoid the 4004/4007 -- not because they're not good mics, but because I think you'll find the 4003 a LOT more usable on general purpose acoustic recordings. The 4003 is MUCH more acoustically neutral than the 4006, but you'll need a good high voltage p/s and preamp to accommodate the 130V powering (hint hint!). The 4003 will give you around 10 dB more headroom and a transformerless signal path, versus the transformer-coupled signal path of the 4006. That 4006 transformer is really apparent (in a negative sort of way) on high dynamic program. The 4003 mic is a world-standard in critical acoustic recording for grand piano, ambience, acoustic solo instruments, pipe organ, percussion array, and (surprise!) certain vocalists.

If I had only three pairs of recording mics I could chose for that desert island studio, one pair would be the 4003's. I've used them for years, know them intimately, and have written some application information on the website. Let me know if I can answer any other questions.

Best,
JL
http://www.mil-media.com/4003.html
 
Last edited by a moderator:
B

Baixo

Guest
Richard, would you like to expound on that a bit? Which others are you referring to?

I, too, have been eyeing a pair of 4003s for years now and found a company on EBAY selling new pairs for about 2700.00 USD.

An important (general) rule to remember about omnis is that the larger the diaphragm, the lower the self noise but the lower the impulse response. I think there is also a corellation between diaphragm size and another aspect, but can't remember what it is now.

As for the DPAs, you'll find that the 4003s generally perform better than the 4006s (noise-wise and perhaps in other ways).
 
G

ghoost

Guest
Lagasus ...

If you're in the mood to tempt fate at some point .. check out the DPA 4041 (1" omni, Tube or Solid State body) ... about $3000 for either. Not cheap but worth every penny. The tube body is especially enchanting. Complete clarity, depth and power that cuts through any track. And with 144 SPL there is little I hesitate to use it with. Vocals, piano, acoustic guitar, amps, sound effects ...

But remember ... only when tempting fate is an option :)
 
L

laggy

Guest
Thanks Kyle. Hopefully I will find a dealer in my area that stocks the 4041 so I can tempt fate. :)

Baixo, John, and Richard,
Out of curiousity, if I were tracking a relatively soft female vocal, would the self-noise of a 4007 or a TC30K actually be audible, or would it have a subtle effect on the sound-quality?

Thanks for the input everyone.
 

johnlagrou

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Location
Northern California
Originally posted by lagasus:
Thanks Kyle. Hopefully I will find a dealer in my area that stocks the 4041 so I can tempt fate. :)

Baixo, John, and Richard,
Out of curiousity, if I were tracking a relatively soft female vocal, would the self-noise of a 4007 or a TC30K actually be audible, or would it have a subtle effect on the sound-quality?


You'll have to try it and see. I can tell you that Patti (of Tuck & Patti) uses a pair of "coincident" 4003's to track her vocals (last I checked, the signal path was 4003 ==> HV-3 preamp ==> GML ADC ==> Sonic Solutions) and her vocal sound is one of the richest and most natural I've ever heard.

Best,
JL
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Ted Nightshade

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Could have something to do with her voice...
Really though, a pair of 4003's is a definite for me. And the DPA acoustic modification goodies give each mic eight distinctive possibilities for a little acoustic "EQ" and optomizing the response pattern. As someone who (in my naivete) likes to mess with the mic and instrument while tracking until EQ is unnecessary, this is an appealing approach.
So John, so very cool that you make a 130V option (at a good price!) for your basic solid state and tube pres! And so frustrating that's apparently there's no way to fit it on the STT-1!
So tell us John, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using the 4003 with (a) the Millennia solid state pres with the high voltage option and (b) the DPA HMA4000 mic amplifier? Surely there are reasons why one might prefer one or the other? I'm real curious to get the lowdown...
Ted
 
Last edited by a moderator:

johnlagrou

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Location
Northern California
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade:
Could have something to do with her voice...
Really though, a pair of 4003's is a definite for me. And the DPA acoustic modification goodies give each mic eight distinctive possibilities for a little acoustic "EQ" and optomizing the response pattern. As someone who (in my naivete) likes to mess with the mic and instrument while tracking until EQ is unnecessary, this is an appealing approach.
So John, so very cool that you make a 130V option (at a good price!) for your basic solid state and tube pres! And so frustrating that's apparently there's no way to fit it on the STT-1!
So tell us John, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using the 4003 with (a) the Millennia solid state pres with the high voltage option and (b) the DPA HMA4000 mic amplifier? Surely there are reasons why one might prefer one or the other? I'm real curious to get the lowdown...
Ted


Ted,

In terms of sonic quality, you'll need to decide for yourself on the HV-3 vs. HMA-4000. Perhaps the main functional disadvantage is that the HMA-4000 has only three fixed "attenuation" positions ~ at +20 dB, 0 dB, and -20 dB, with internal padding. The HV-3D offers 36 steps of actual gain in 1.5 dB increments, with +23 dBu input headroom -- pads not required.

That said, the HMA-4000 is a real improvement from the prior power supply DPA once sold, and it's the only p/s I know of that will work with DPA's brand new large diaphragm 4041 microphones ~ these new mics require 130 volts for the solid state topology head amp, and two voltages (6.3V and 200V) for the vacuum tube topology head amp. I've been using a pair of 4041's for some time and they're very nice.

Actually, the STT-1 could be made to accept a 130V mic on special order. A 4003 paired with an HV-3 is one of those "very special combinations" which I would encourage you to try.

Best,
 
Last edited by a moderator:
D

dynamo12

Guest
<<<<That said, the HMA-4000 is a real improvement from the prior power supply DPA once sold, and it's the only p/s I know of that will work with DPA's brand new large diaphragm 4041 microphones ~ these new mics require 130 volts for the solid state topology head amp, and two voltages (6.3V and 200V) for the vacuum tube topology head amp. I've been using a pair of 4041's for some time and they're very nice>>>

Please, since you are stuck with HMA-4000 for 4041's how do you usually set it ?
I've been in touch with other users and what i've got is that the " best solution" is to set at +20
and then attenuate to get a proper level...
This is, still what i've been told, to be able to use the " high quality amplification stage" of the
box. I know this issue has been discussed on another forum and at the end a custom box with stepped ( 2 db ? ) attenuators seems to be the"cure". I'm probably missing something here but is not better to leave HMA 4000 at 0dB and then
from there, eventually, using an( high quality ) line level amplification (i.e.ORIGIN ) to set the level.
I don't know the line settings on your box but i'm pretty sure that will do..without even considering
the tonal palette you can play with.
In the other way..
1 ) you are dealing with HMA 4000 amp.
2 ) ok you can use top notch attenuators and quality resistors but is it really worth ??
I'm just curious about the way you are dealing with HMA 4000 and your opinion about this issue.
Hope you can help.
Thanks a lot. Jo
 

Ted Nightshade

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
I'm curious, too. Is the HMA4000 so bad that it's something to be "stuck with"? Or is this not meant so pejoratively as it reads?
Ted
 
D

dynamo12

Guest
I've used " stuck" because while with other High Voltage mikes of DPA you can use HMA 4000 OR other preamps that offer the 130 v. option like Millennia, Avalon( i guess ) E.A.R. in the case
of 4041's you don't have any option other than HMA 4000 ( at least for now ).
It does not appear to me there is any " bad"
attitude towards HMA 4000 in my post,
the point is that with this unit you have just 3 level settings and it's an hard life sometimes...so which is the best way to deal with it ?
If i did not express myself properly
i apologize. Jo
 

Ted Nightshade

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
No troubles, I just didn't know- I've never heard the HMA4000, and while DPA makes dozens of mic designs they only make one preamp. Still mighty curious...
Ted
 

johnlagrou

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Location
Northern California
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade:
No troubles, I just didn't know- I've never heard the HMA4000, and while DPA makes dozens of mic designs they only make one preamp. Still mighty curious...
Ted



Hi Ted (et al),

Actually, the HMA-4000 sounds a lot better than the first generation B&K 130V supply, and you're correct ~ it's the only device that will power the new 4041 mics (6.3V, 130V, 200V), so we have no choice. In terms of sound quality, it's OK. Both 4041 head amp topologies (tube and solid state) exhibit extremely high sensitivity (around 90 mV per Pascal) ~ so the 4041 can sometimes serve as its own mic preamp, with current drive via the HMA-4000.

From the specs it's clear that the ideal setting (maximal dynamic range) is at unity gain ("0dB"). The 4041 has a 1" capsule and is definitely tailored more for large diaphragm applications than the 4003, so I don't see us using it in classical music to replace any smaller diaphragm mics.

Best,
JL
 
Last edited by a moderator:
G

ghoost

Guest
Hey folks ...

The 4041's power supply ... is the mic pre. There is no need to an outside pre if you want the absolute clarity that the 4041 will impart. Of coarse if you want a coloration, pick your favorite pre.

Kyle Ober
 
G

ghoost

Guest
Hey folks ...

The 4041's power supply ... is the mic pre. There is no need to an outside pre if you want the absolute clarity that the 4041 will impart. Of coarse if you want a coloration, pick your favorite pre.

Kyle Ober
 
Top