Matched Pair Importance

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by kid, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. kid

    kid Guest

    I am interested in purchasing a Stereo set of Schoeps mics. But wouldn't you know it I can't afford them at the moment. I was thinking of getting one mic now and save up a bit for the other. How critical is it to get a matched pair? Will there be a devistating difference if I get another one later in time? I would like to record some classical music and I know how precise these things can be, but with tolerences the way they are from a company like Schoeps I am wondering if it would not be that much of a problem. Am I dreaming?
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Well Kid, this is a very important and often debated topic.

    A pair of mics that sounds similar is critical for recording an orchestra of for that matter, any stereo source. However, personally, I find that too much emphasis is placed on exact stereo matching. Many mics are so carefully designed and built, that even over disparate serial numbers, consistant sound and quality are still the norm. Schoeps is definitely one of the companies that is on the forefront of this quality control and critical build control.

    Personally, I don't see that there would be any issue with you doing this whatsoever. I would tend to think that you are better off doing this than to spend less money on inferior microphones just because you can afford them right now. That being said, there are microphones within the pricerange of a single Schoeps that would give you rather good quality and the ability to purchase in pairs (matched or not).

    In summary - feel free to buy the single Schoeps and feel confident in your ability to find a close mate for it soon in the future.

  3. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    I"m not sure I agree completely with you on this, Jeremy. YES, for the most part, reputable companies like Shoeps, DPA, etc. have high standards and don't deviate from their product's baseline of specs, and you really shouldn't have a problem buying 2 of any given model at different times, while still getting a great matched sound when using them in pairs.

    But don't forget the aging process and overall useage when it comes to mics in your collection. I like the idea of bringing home "Twins" from the "audio nursery" and letting them grow up together. (Gad, what a sappy parental thing to say! Hahaha)

    But I DO think that over time, it's best to expose both mics to the same environments at the same rate & time....air temps, humidity, (or lack of), ventilation and even (gasp!) dust particles. The differences in aging may be minute, but if you're looking for the best stereo imaging possible, why ask for trouble or variations? I'd suggest waiting until you can afford both, and get the pair. (There ARE some great brands out there in the interim that will be quite useful in stereo pairs, if your budget isn't quite up to it....for example, the Audix 1290 is not only CUTE & cool looking, but sounds great - and for the $$$, you can't find a better deal. AT has a budget line of omni's (the 3000 or even the 4000 series, and so do a few other mftrs.) For getting your feet wet with omni's & orchestral recording, it's a good start.

    THEN you save up for & purchase the Schoeps. :twisted:
  4. foldedpath

    foldedpath Guest

    My $.02.... Sometime in the near future I'm going to buy another pair of SD's, as a step up from my KM-184's. The Schoeps SD's are on the short list, along with a few others (maybe DPA 4011, Gefell M295) that are similarly expensive.

    I could use just one new SD in a few applications while waiting to afford the second one. And it might be smart to buy just one now, before the Dollar tanks again against the Euro. However, I'm going to wait until I can afford both at once.

    At the rate I manage to free up funds for new equipment, it might be a year or more between purchases, if I get one now and another later on. There is always a chance that the manufacturer could experience a parts shortage that would result in swapping out some part in the circuitry. There is also the aging issue mentioned above. A year or two of dust accumulation or humidity exposure could possibly change the sound even if both mics left the factory with identical original specs and construction.

    The likelihood of me noticing that kind of change may be small, but it's a buyer psychology issue. I don't want to be forever wondering if the mics might have produced ever-so-slightly better imaging if I had just bought them together as a matched pair. I need lots of comfort and assurance when spending this kind of money :shock: on microphones.
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Actually Joe, you make some good points. My feeling towards matched pairs doesn't pass the "test of time." I feel that my mics perform far better after they've had some break in time, and though I haven't done any experimenting on a scientific level, I'd be willing to bet that there are significant changes in the sound over time.

    In general, if the mics are purchased with a relatively small gap in time, you should be assured of relatively closely matched mics. At least close enough that most discerning listeners should not be able to tell.

  6. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    Interesting point, but I am trying to get enough money together to make my last purchases from the United States, given that some are forecasting that the euro is heading for a nosedive following recent events regarding the European Consitution. I have some stuff ordered from the UK, and I'm just hoping the euro doesn't slide against the Pound -if that's the case there won't be enough to cover it on my credit card!


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