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Author Topic: Cool modular mic bar system...  (Read 2184 times)

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Offline aaronji

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Cool modular mic bar system...
« on: May 22, 2017, 11:15:23 AM »
I almost always take trains, with a lot of walking and an occasional bus, when I go to shows.  As a result, I am always trying to trim excess weight and bulk from my rig.  To get wider mic spacing, I was using a Manfrotto 154B, but that thing is the opposite of "light and compact", so I was searching for an alternative.  I had pretty much settled on either a followinbob 24" bar or a Grace spacebar, but I was hesitant to deal with the hassle of the international shipping (and associated VAT and import taxes) on the followinbob bar and the expense of the spacebar.  As luck would have it, I ran into a friend who does a lot of professional recording (including for NOS and VPRO) and he suggested I take a look at mic-bar.com.  I bought the basic AB bar and am really pleased with it.  Very solid construction and much lighter, and more compact, than the Manfrotto.  Robert, the owner, was very quick to respond to my e-mails and shipping was extremely fast and well-packaged.  At this point, I have used it "in the field" a couple of times and it works very well.  I will almost certainly pick up a second basic AB bar and the ORTF bar, which will give me 120 cm spacing (altogether, this will be the equivalent of Set 1: AB 120 cm).

During my search, I also came across this alternative.  It is more on a par with the spacebar (and priced accordingly).  This one also has a large central piece that mounts on the stand ("Mikrofonbasis mit Kabelabfangsystem"), but the bulk of that was another deterrent for me.

Anyway, I am not sure if this is of interest to most people here (due to shipping from Germany), but I thought I would post it.  I searched, but didn't see this anywhere, so apologies if it is already somewhere on the site...
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 11:17:25 AM by aaronji »

Offline cjc1103

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2017, 12:19:56 PM »
Thanks for researching this. Sure, ORTF mic bars are common, good mic bars for spaced mics are hard to find. I too have a Manofrotto 154B, and while super solid, it is unwieldy and a little heavy so your mic stand is more likely to waver back and forth. I really want to be able to put up a spaced omni pair with an XY pair in the middle,slightly forward of the main bar so they form a triangle with the spaced pair, with the sides of the triangle perpendicular to a line from the mics to the speaker. Everyone I have seen doing this and been using a homebrew setup. I was looking at getting a machine shop to make me a customer mic bar, but I'm thinking this would be a good alternative.
Chris

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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 12:32:22 PM »
Great looking product. We have been running split omnis with the Manfrotto for two summers now. This would be a nice alternative, but I would be loathe to do shipping and crap overseas.
BTW, what does the price translate to today in USD?
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Offline waltmon

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 03:58:55 PM »
I spoke to the owner and told him about Taperssection retail page etc. Very cool guy has his own shop where he builds these.  I ordered the 2 shaped bar so I can run my AK40 active between and in front of my U89s.
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Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 06:07:44 PM »
Great looking product. We have been running split omnis with the Manfrotto for two summers now. This would be a nice alternative, but I would be loathe to do shipping and crap overseas.
BTW, what does the price translate to today in USD?

Checking the exchange rate today, it's around USD $122 for the "Basic AB" bar.  But those prices might include VAT which, in theory, U.S. residents shouldn't have to pay.  Maybe that and the overseas shipping would cancel each other out? 

Nice find, aaronji!  Don't know if one of these will be a future purchase for me, but you never can tell.  Some photos of it in use in the field would be cool. :)

Offline connloyalist

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2017, 10:56:12 AM »
Nice!

Slightly off-topic.... I know what NOS setup is, but I am not familiar with a VPRO setup? (by the way, VPRO and NOS are both Dutch broadcasters).

Regards, Christine

Offline aaronji

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2017, 12:01:52 PM »
^ Actually, I was referring to the broadcasters; my friend is a professional sound engineer who does a lot of recording (and live broadcasting) for those two and some others. 

Some photos of it in use in the field would be cool. :)

I tried to get a photo for you at Dub Trio in Amsterdam on Sunday.  The house lights were dim even before/after the show, though, and you can't see much (other than the silver part of the XLRs).  I will try again next time!

Offline waltmon

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2017, 09:41:42 AM »
This is the new bar I ordered plus a 2nd set of knobs.
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Offline dactylus

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2017, 09:47:59 AM »

^
Looks nice waltmon!
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2017, 06:03:56 PM »
This is the new bar I ordered plus a 2nd set of knobs.

Out of curiosity (if you don't mind my asking), what did you pay for it in dollars? And how much was shipping to the US?

Offline waltmon

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2017, 06:45:47 PM »
I wanna say 140 shipped with a couple extra knobs...I asked him to send me a paypal invoice the German website was troublesome :)
U89s, KM140's, KM150's w/Nick modified PFA active cables, Mixpre-6, Oade Concert Mod 661mkII

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Offline if_then_else

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2017, 06:01:59 AM »
I wanna say 140 shipped with a couple extra knobs...I asked him to send me a paypal invoice the German website was troublesome :)

FWIW: If you want "light, compact and modular", you could easily build your own mic bar by re-purposing some dslr accessories:

Manfrotto Dado adapter
rig rods (for DSLR cameras) with a diameter of 15mm and M10 threading (available in various length: 15cm, 25 cm, 30 cm, ...)
rod clamps (15mm diameter)
1/4 -> 3/8 threading adapters

The only downside is that you don't have any markings (for the various mic configs) on the rig rod.
But you could use a goniometer (used in physical therapy) instead.

Offline aaronji

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2017, 06:21:13 AM »
I wanna say 140 shipped with a couple extra knobs...I asked him to send me a paypal invoice the German website was troublesome :)

That's pretty reasonable.  Given the exchange rate right now, plus shipping, I would have thought it might be a bit more.  No VAT on exports makes a big difference!

Offline waltmon

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2017, 08:11:08 AM »
And the gent was great to deal with as well.
U89s, KM140's, KM150's w/Nick modified PFA active cables, Mixpre-6, Oade Concert Mod 661mkII

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Offline two2the8

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2017, 03:20:19 PM »

FWIW: If you want "light, compact and modular", you could easily build your own mic bar by re-purposing some dslr accessories:

Manfrotto Dado adapter
rig rods (for DSLR cameras) with a diameter of 15mm and M10 threading (available in various length: 15cm, 25 cm, 30 cm, ...)
rod clamps (15mm diameter)
1/4 -> 3/8 threading adapters

The only downside is that you don't have any markings (for the various mic configs) on the rig rod.
But you could use a goniometer (used in physical therapy) instead.

Wow, this dado thing is pretty cool! Compact & modular... Dig it!

Offline down2earthlandscaper

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2017, 03:54:55 PM »
I wanna say 140 shipped with a couple extra knobs...I asked him to send me a paypal invoice the German website was troublesome :)

FWIW: If you want "light, compact and modular", you could easily build your own mic bar by re-purposing some dslr accessories:

Manfrotto Dado adapter
rig rods (for DSLR cameras) with a diameter of 15mm and M10 threading (available in various length: 15cm, 25 cm, 30 cm, ...)
rod clamps (15mm diameter)
1/4 -> 3/8 threading adapters

The only downside is that you don't have any markings (for the various mic configs) on the rig rod.
But you could use a goniometer (used in physical therapy) instead.

Cool! Is that what's considered "gear porn"?
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2017, 07:01:01 AM »
FWIW: If you want "light, compact and modular", you could easily build your own mic bar by re-purposing some dslr accessories:

That's pretty cool.  Personally, though, I would rather spend a little more and get a set-up from mic-bar.com.  There are a lot fewer pieces to deal with (or lose), less futzing around with angles and measures, and the slot where the thumb screws slide is a perfect attachment point for a safety cable.  And it's a one-click purchase.  I also like supporting a small business making specialty gear for a rather niche market.  Actually, I don't even think it is more expensive, as those Dados aren't cheap...

Offline voltronic

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2017, 07:40:39 AM »
FWIW: If you want "light, compact and modular", you could easily build your own mic bar by re-purposing some dslr accessories:

That's pretty cool.  Personally, though, I would rather spend a little more and get a set-up from mic-bar.com.  There are a lot fewer pieces to deal with (or lose), less futzing around with angles and measures, and the slot where the thumb screws slide is a perfect attachment point for a safety cable.  And it's a one-click purchase.  I also like supporting a small business making specialty gear for a rather niche market.  Actually, I don't even think it is more expensive, as those Dados aren't cheap...

Those mic bars are definitely nice, I've seen both companies referenced a bit on GS.  In terms of supporting a small business, the other option for a bar around 60 cm is the 24" wide mic bar made by followinbob here on TS.

Regarding the Dado: there are quite a few cheap knockoffs out there.  Here are two examples, in a full sphere and a hemisphere:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Multifunctional-Magic-Ball-3-8-Hole-for-Studio-Lighting-Tripod-5d2-5d3-system-/171250759407
http://www.ebay.com/itm/iShoot-Metal-Magic-Ball-14-3-8-Adapter-Screw-Hole-f-Camera-Tripod-Head-/151392011447?hash=item233faac4b7:g:iREAAOSwQItT-pck
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Offline if_then_else

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2017, 08:54:18 AM »
FWIW: If you want "light, compact and modular", you could easily build your own mic bar by re-purposing some dslr accessories:

That's pretty cool.  Personally, though, I would rather spend a little more and get a set-up from mic-bar.com.  There are a lot fewer pieces to deal with (or lose), less futzing around with angles and measures, and the slot where the thumb screws slide is a perfect attachment point for a safety cable.  And it's a one-click purchase.  I also like supporting a small business making specialty gear for a rather niche market.  Actually, I don't even think it is more expensive, as those Dados aren't cheap...

You've got a valid point there as I also tend to support small businesses if possible. (Before I decided to recycle some spare parts from my DSLR rig, I also had a look at mikrofonschiene.de and http://www.stereoschiene.ch/index.php.)

The thing was just that these spare parts were already there and they're light and easily transportable.
I often travel by train, so small size / lightweight was a hard requirement.

As for the price for these DSLR spare parts: you'd be looking somewhere in the region of $ 70-80.
-------------------------------------------
Dado knock-off:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Multifunctional-Magic-Ball-3-8-Hole-for-Studio-Lighting-Tripod-5d2-5d3-system-/171250759407
US $15.88

2x rig rods (30cm M10 threading, 15 mm diameter):
https://www.enjoyyourcamera.com/Videozubehoer/Video-Rig-Zubehoer/2-Stk-15mm-Rundstab-mit-M10-Innengewinde-Quenox-30cm::5885.html
EUR 26.99

2x thread screws
http://www.zollshop.de/de/Madenschrauben-UNC-/-UNF/5/16-quot-UNC/5/16-18-x-1-25-40-mm-Madenschraube-UNC
EUR 1.80

2x rod clamps (15 mm diameter)
https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Professional-Thread-Support-Monitor/dp/B00MJLQDF4/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1497702621&sr=1-3&keywords=neewer+clamp+rod
US $ 13,98

Offline aaronji

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2017, 06:04:13 PM »
The thing was just that these spare parts were already there and they're light and easily transportable.
I often travel by train, so small size / lightweight was a hard requirement.

If I had the parts lying around, that probably would have made a difference!  I didn't, though, and the simplicity of the mic-bar.com stuff was appealing...

Out of curiosity, how do you connect the mic clips to the rod clamps?  With the screws you listed, I don't think I would have enough clearance to attach my clips.

I also go by train; that's a big part of the reason I wanted to ditch the 154B.  This bar practically disappears in my stand bag and is within a cm or two of the length of the extension bar I use when I clamp, so, size-wise, it works well for me.

In terms of supporting a small business, the other option for a bar around 60 cm is the 24" wide mic bar made by followinbob here on TS.

As I mentioned in the original post, I considered the followinbob.  With international shipping, value-added tax, and import/customs fees, however, it costs the same (even a bit more) than the mic-bar.com, and it doesn't feature the same expandability.  It's great how wide you can space omnis with the mic-bar.com AB 120 cm set...


Offline voltronic

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2017, 11:05:22 AM »
[
In terms of supporting a small business, the other option for a bar around 60 cm is the 24" wide mic bar made by followinbob here on TS.

As I mentioned in the original post, I considered the followinbob.  With international shipping, value-added tax, and import/customs fees, however, it costs the same (even a bit more) than the mic-bar.com, and it doesn't feature the same expandability.  It's great how wide you can space omnis with the mic-bar.com AB 120 cm set...

I missed that bit; sorry.  I also didn't think about all of those other costs making it so expensive... I feel as though we here in the US often make out better buying from the EU than vice versa.
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Offline if_then_else

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2017, 04:09:08 AM »
Out of curiosity, how do you connect the mic clips to the rod clamps?  With the screws you listed, I don't think I would have enough clearance to attach my clips.

The screws I listed go between the Dado and the two rig rods. They're M10 respectively 3/8 threaded.

You need 1/4" (male) to 3/8" (male) threaded screw adapters between the clips and your shock mounts.

Either https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01L6J6I3Q?psc=1 or Manfrotto 118 / Kupo KG000912 (slightly bigger).

Offline waltmon

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2017, 09:52:20 AM »
New German T-bar arrive last evening - very well made and light. That is the low profile Neumann shock mount under the ortf active bar.
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Offline kindms

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2017, 01:17:03 PM »
New German T-bar arrive last evening - very well made and light. That is the low profile Neumann shock mount under the ortf active bar.

was this picture taken from 1993 ?

crt tv and MASH on
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Offline waltmon

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2017, 01:21:26 PM »
Nice...nah...I reside in a Class A motor home.
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2017, 11:12:12 AM »
Either https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01L6J6I3Q?psc=1 or Manfrotto 118 / Kupo KG000912 (slightly bigger).

Thanks!

I feel as though we here in the US often make out better buying from the EU than vice versa.

I think that is generally true, with the value-added tax being the predominant factor.  Often, the prices are pretty similar if you subtract the VAT.  There are also some European manufactured products (including some popular mic brands) that are a little cheaper over here, even with VAT.  The most painful is when you order something from the US to be shipped over; there's the international shipping and insurance and the VAT is applied to both the purchase price and the shipping.  Then there are some processing fees and import duties.  Once I ordered a $35 battery charger that was popular on ts and it cost €75 by the time I got it...

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2017, 01:21:44 PM »
Nice...nah...I reside in a Class A motor home.
I was gonna ask if it was  VW bus? Class A motor home sounds much nicer.
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

Mics:         AKG460|CK61|CK1|CK3|CK8|Beyer M 201E
Recorders:Marantz PMD661 OADE Concert mod; Tascam DR680 MKI

Offline waltmon

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2017, 07:13:34 PM »
Not a VW bus...lol
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Cool modular mic bar system...
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2017, 08:09:25 PM »
sweet.
I dig the paint job.
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

Mics:         AKG460|CK61|CK1|CK3|CK8|Beyer M 201E
Recorders:Marantz PMD661 OADE Concert mod; Tascam DR680 MKI

 

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