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Author Topic: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?  (Read 11005 times)

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adrianf74

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2015, 02:39:04 PM »
I'll add that there has been an increase in the quality of the recordings with the larger capsule mics (I've run both AKG and Schoeps Actives) compared to the 406x and 853 (and have run pretty much every "mini mic" under the sun), however, for omnis, I'll say it again: I don't think the extra outlay is that huge of an improvement.  Yates says that the outlay was about 4x the cost for 2x the improvement.  That sounds about right but there is no specfic ratio as tonedeaf has mentioned. 

The last thing I want to see you do is spent a crapload of money to find out that, for the omnis at least, that it was "hardly" worth it.  As mentioned previously, you'd notice more of a difference with the cards and hypers than the omnis, however, the 853's can sound good if you're in a sweet spot.   I run MK22 and MK41's right now and love both caps but, due to everything that's happened this past year plus my future plans, I've made the decision to go back to the 853's with ALL of the caps.  Many of the rooms I record in are muddy and no mic truly shines making the extra money I spent hardly worth it.

That said, there's no problem with spending the extra cash on the larger capsules but I think it's closer to a lateral move than a move up.

Offline acidjack

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2015, 03:27:32 PM »
Splitting hairs about definitions, but I assume that 'full-sized' in the context people are using the term in this thread, means bigger than miniature mics, right?  I know there are many people on ts.com that stealth with Schoeps even though they're being referred to here as 'full size'.  I mean, the Schoeps collette series is, by definition, a small diaphragm microphone as opposed to say a Neumann large diaphragm TL series mic.  I think the point being made is that, due to their size, Schoeps aren't as conveniently stealthable as the miniature DPA-40xx microphones, but they're most certainly stealthable.  So, I'm not really sure what 'full sized' means, although I guess if Schoeps are full-size then LD mics would be 'much bigger than full-sized?'   
Yes, I was referring to Schoeps caps in a hat as "full size" versus "miniature" mics such as 406x, AT 853, etc. People more knowledgeable than me have pointed out before that it's much easier to make a mini/micro omni mic than a directional one for engineering reasons; thus a Schoeps-size cardiod or the MK41 is more of a quantum leap from AT853, whereas MK2s are not quite so giant of a leap from DPA 406x or other small omnis, indeed even much cheaper ones.
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
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stevetoney

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2015, 04:06:43 PM »
Splitting hairs about definitions, but I assume that 'full-sized' in the context people are using the term in this thread, means bigger than miniature mics, right?  I know there are many people on ts.com that stealth with Schoeps even though they're being referred to here as 'full size'.  I mean, the Schoeps collette series is, by definition, a small diaphragm microphone as opposed to say a Neumann large diaphragm TL series mic.  I think the point being made is that, due to their size, Schoeps aren't as conveniently stealthable as the miniature DPA-40xx microphones, but they're most certainly stealthable.  So, I'm not really sure what 'full sized' means, although I guess if Schoeps are full-size then LD mics would be 'much bigger than full-sized?'   
Yes, I was referring to Schoeps caps in a hat as "full size" versus "miniature" mics such as 406x, AT 853, etc. People more knowledgeable than me have pointed out before that it's much easier to make a mini/micro omni mic than a directional one for engineering reasons; thus a Schoeps-size cardiod or the MK41 is more of a quantum leap from AT853, whereas MK2s are not quite so giant of a leap from DPA 406x or other small omnis, indeed even much cheaper ones.

OK, thanks for the explanation.  I never realized the technical challenges you point out, so putting the discussion into that context makes a lot more sense to me now.  It also might explain the reason why I felt that, when I had both card and Omni versions of CA-14, that I thought the Omni's sounded better than the cards.  I always thought it was just me but maybe not.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2015, 04:10:18 PM by tonedeaf »

Offline daspyknows

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2015, 07:50:46 PM »
I invested in the development of the Schoeps/Actives over 20 years ago.  Bill designed the box aka RBox.  That was the design that morphed into the NBox.  I purchased an NBox from Nick because my RBox (serial number 002) looked too much like a bomb and after 9/11 it was a pain to travel with.  After 20 years and hundreds of shows I think on a per show basis it has been fully amortized.  I have not had any desire for something better although I do want a pair of MK41s to go with my MK4s.  I only record  >:D and personally feel the cost justifies the value.  Many many examples of my work is on Planet Rock and Dime.   

Offline blg

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2015, 08:09:12 PM »
I invested in the development of the Schoeps/Actives over 20 years ago.  Bill designed the box aka RBox.  That was the design that morphed into the NBox.  I purchased an NBox from Nick because my RBox (serial number 002) looked too much like a bomb and after 9/11 it was a pain to travel with.  After 20 years and hundreds of shows I think on a per show basis it has been fully amortized.  I have not had any desire for something better although I do want a pair of MK41s to go with my MK4s.  I only record  >:D and personally feel the cost justifies the value.  Many many examples of my work is on Planet Rock and Dime.

As far as i'm concerned, there is no better stealth mic than the MK41. I feel like i've more than justified the price with the many shows i've taped over the past 2 years with them.  I would never go back to stealthing with omnis.
Schoeps MK41 |
Naiant Tinybox v2.5 w/OT
NBob Actives v2
Sony PCM-M10 x2
dime LMA

Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2015, 06:15:09 PM »
stealthing with omnis.
especially with the behavior of most audiences and the sound of many rooms seems like an exercise in :  :banging head:
and usually sounds like it. 

OTOH for musical theater as OP intends it might work if the rooms and mic placements are good... 
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

stevetoney

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2015, 08:32:34 AM »
I don't think I've ever read a thread in ts.com that, after only two pages, has a wider range of opinions as this one.   ;D

Offline chk

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2015, 10:33:40 AM »
for classical music in a theatre and a quiet audience, as the OP mentioned, he wants to go with omni's and to me that makes a lot of sense.  not telling you all anything you don't know already, but omni's provide a far flatter response and are going to capture the dynamics, the bass much better than anything directional, and for classical music this is important.  plus the openness and "space" you get from a stereo omni recording sounds fundamentally different than directional mics.  again this i think is meaningful and important for the type of recordings the OP plans to do. 

In terms of my experience having run a variety of omni caps over the years, including Naks (CP3), the Church mics (CA11 mkII) and the Schoeps MK2S, I think there is a meaningful improvement using the Schoeps capsules.  Whether it's worth spending a great deal of extra coin on is an entirely different discussion. 

The Church CA11mkIIs do have a "bump" in the high frequencies as the Schoeps MK2S does (it's different, though, feel like it perhaps kicks in at a lower frequency on the CA mics, while the MK2S just adds a bit of sweetness at the highest frequencies, you can see the diagram on schoeps website).  Either one will help bring a bit of extra clarity to the recording, which appeals to me.  I have found the bigger difference between the Naks and the Church mics to be in the lower bass frequencies, where the Schoeps are just plain flatter and cleaner on a relative basis.  I have not done meaningful comparisons between the Schoeps Omni's and the DPAs, but from what I have heard from listening to a good deal of DPA Omni recordings, they are very similar.

I am running CA11mkIIs > Tinybox and Schoeps caps > Nbob active cables > Tinybox >M10.  Either is great in terms of being very low profile.  Hope this helps and good luck...

Offline (Evan)

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2015, 03:38:55 PM »
Lots of info to take in here. Thanks guys.

Question: Is it possible to run Schoeps CMR's on 12v of phantom power, or is that too much? Lets say I got a pair terminated into a 5-pin mini-xlr....could I split that into two fullsize XLRs with 12v powering each?

If not, who currently makes a battery box or preamp that can provide sufficient power in the smallest form factor?

Thanks
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 05:01:42 PM by (Evan) »

Offline Scooter123

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2015, 12:28:04 AM »
Here is what I did a decade ago....

I downloaded 100 of my favorite sounding shows on The Dime.  I then listened to each one and made a spread sheet of the mike and preamp.  I then ranked the various shows.

What I came up with was this.  About 40% of my favorite shows were MK4 > NBox.  Another 40% were Neuman KM140s > Anything.  The rest were a smattering of AKG and even some really cheap ass mikes that somehow sounded great.  Once I looked at size, the MK4 > NBox made more sense inside a hat.  I later added MK41s to the mix, but honestly, I can't tell the difference between the two.  Maybe someone else can, but I cannot. 

I did not know that the Tinybox is no longer being made.  That's sad--it was a great preamp for the price and size. 

That's how I ended up with Schoeps and the NBox--and never looked back. 

Listen and draw your own conclusions.  I'm not trying to sell you on a particular rig. 

Regards,

Scooter123

mk41 > N Box  > Sony M-10
mk4 > N Box > Sony M-10

Offline (Evan)

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2015, 05:55:04 PM »
So I'm actually going in a little bit of a different direction now.

I'm considering purchasing a used set of CMRs with the MK21 capsules and the Niant PFA. I've stealthed with my AT853 sub-cardioid caps mounted on my ears and have gotten wonderful recordings from them. Even though this technique is meant to be used with omni's, it has worked very well for me with the sub-cards as well.

If I were to go with MK21s, should I expect this to work just as well/better? A hat is absolutely out of the question as these are dressy events. I know someone said that these would be too big for glasses, but I've mounted larger microphones to my glasses in the past just fine. I don't put them on until the theatre goes dark, and audiences really don't care if they notice either way.

Does this seem like a good idea?

Offline Scooter123

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2015, 09:43:36 PM »
I've never been to an event which so dressy that a hat is frowned upon.  If anything, it would depend on the hat.

There are trucker's hats, player hats, and kangol hats.  I'm sure there is a hat for any event.  I happen to own several.
Regards,

Scooter123

mk41 > N Box  > Sony M-10
mk4 > N Box > Sony M-10

Offline (Evan)

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2015, 09:44:26 PM »
I've never been to an event which so dressy that a hat is frowned upon.  If anything, it would depend on the hat.

There are trucker's hats, player hats, and kangol hats.  I'm sure there is a hat for any event.  I happen to own several.

It's just not for me.

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2015, 01:20:43 AM »
I have owned mk21s in the past, and I think that they would be perfect for what you want to do IMO! But with regards to the CMRs, you're very limited with what preamp/power supply you can use with them, and with the Tinybox being discontinued, the options are even more limited! I know a good deal about Schoeps, but I honestly don't know much about the CMRs since they're not widely used among us tapers. I honestly don't know what preamp/powering supply you would even use with the Tinybox not being an option anymore ???

But I do think that the mk21s would be fantastic for your uses ;) So Id go for those if I were you! I only used them onstage/stage lip and FOB at jamband shows, so I have no experience with them in your situation! But IMO, they would be an ideal capsule for what you plan on doing with them! They're nice and warm and rounded and would help cut out the ambient noise behind you (If any), while still having that full, warm omni sound! I wish I had more uses for subcards, because if I did, I'd own another pair of mk21s in a heartbeat ;) 8)
Recording:
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Offline (Evan)

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Re: Thinking about taking the Schoeps or AKG actives plunge. Best options?
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2015, 05:55:41 PM »
Right, pretty simple. So now my biggest concern is that the MK21s provide good results when using with a [head] baffle. Anyone have opinions on this?

I also feel like going with the MK21s over omnis will give me more flexibility for use in non-stealthing situations.

 

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