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Author Topic: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones  (Read 7050 times)

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Offline achabloop5080

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Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« on: September 03, 2009, 09:21:58 AM »
Hi guys,
this is my first post in this wonderful forum.
I'm in the middle of a very important gear update: now I got Schoeps CMC5 MK2S (stereo matched) and also bought additional capsules (2xMK21 e 2xMK4 all stereo matched).
I'm a classical pianist and my plan is to record my next classical solo piano cds (mainly live recordings in beautiful acoustics but also studio recordings) but with no compromise in quality (possibly).
I'd like to buy the "definitive" stereo preamp and A/D converter, in the past I changed too often from entry level mics and recording gear to middle level and lose money.....
I also can't audition every pre/converter combos so I need your pro helps: for preamp I'm leaning toward Crookwood Painpot, but other candidates are Millennia, Grace Designs (Lunatec V3 has A/D on board but seems a bit middle level unit), DAV, Forssell, Neve Portico, A-Designs Pacifica ...
For the A/D stage again many possibilities...
I'll record with only 2 mics, MK2S or MK21.
Any suggestions?
Thank you

Online Walstib62

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2009, 09:36:33 AM »
Have you thought about a good tube preamp? You might enjoy the "warm" sound that they produce. There are also hybrid amps that have both tube and solid state. I would recommend that you contact these guys:http://www.soundpure.com/index.jsp
Tell them what yo want to do. They are very knowledgeable. I hope when you get rolling that you can post some sound samples here for us to listen to.


Offline edtyre

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2009, 10:48:31 AM »
I record much louder types of music, but sometimes quiet acoustic stuff.
I'm sold on my set-up that i currently use.

schoeps mk2s/mk4/mk41 > cmc6 > Grace V3 > Benchmark ad2k+ > recorder

The Portico would be a fine substitute for the Grace.
music>mics>pre>recorder

Offline WiFiJeff

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2009, 01:35:11 PM »
I have recorded classical piano, and find that I like the sound of the V3 going analog-out to a Sound Devices 722 more than using the V3 A/D.  But I haven't used the MK21 caps.

Jeff

Offline Red Boink

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2009, 06:32:03 AM »
DAV BG1

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2009, 07:37:57 AM »
I would go w/as neutral a preamp as you can find, which will lend itself to be more open to the scheops "sound", which...IMO, you want to keep as much as possible ...especially running the MK2s and recording a grand piano.

Online DSatz

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2009, 08:24:57 AM »
"Definitive" is a tricky concept. There's far more subjectivity involved in it than the word would imply; definitive of what, to whom?

Nothing is odder than listening to the fans of various performers debate which is the "definitive" recording of a certain piece--a debate which simply would not occur if any of the available recordings were objectively definitive. Sometimes a composer's own recordings don't make the grade because some other way of performing his music has convinced the listeners more than the composer's own conception of it (e.g. Fritz Reiner vs. Richard Strauss conducting Strauss' tone poems).

But back to the subject, you might want to consider that Schoeps makes a portable preamp for their microphones, the VMS 5U; some people here use it and like it a lot. Of the studio (rack-mounted) preamps you mentioned, I would pay special attenion to Millenia Media. Another name to consider, though you didn't mention it, would be John Hardy.

In terms of objective quality (measurable and audible performance) I don't consider the little Grace preamps to be middle-tier at all, despite their popularity among advanced amateurs. For my own portable recording, mainly with Schoeps microphones, I often use a Lunatec V3. It's sonically transparent, completely reliable, has good metering, and its phantom powering is correctly implemented.

Edited later to add: Due to a misunderstanding about what was to become public information when, I failed to mention above that Schoeps is also introducing a two-channel, rack-mount studio microphone preamp called the VSR 5. It's based on the circuit which their engineers have used in-house for a number of years for developing, measuring and evaluating their microphones.

Edited even later to add: Sound Devices also offers portable preamps that have excellent input headroom (which you need for piano recording with professional condenser microphones), proper phantom powering and good rejection of radio-frequency interference. They're very rugged and well engineered for the real world.

« Last Edit: December 26, 2009, 06:42:22 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline notlance

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2009, 11:18:33 AM »
I have a problem with "definitive" gear also.  At the risk of being branded a heretic without Golden Ears, I have found that once the gear gets to a certain level of competence I either A) Can't hear any difference, B) Can't decide which sound I like better or C) The gear becomes unimportant compared to the EMI problem/noisy AC/bad performance/out-of-tune piano/bad mic placement....  So seek opinions and do some listening but whatever sounds good and works well for you is definitive.

What drives me crazy is when people (mostly in marketing departments) come up with some voodoo science to "explain" why their cable or pre-amp or whatever sounds wonderful.  Design a good product, sell it for a competitive price, and spare me the mumbo-jumbo.

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2009, 03:11:47 PM »
Very well spoken, guys. You're right, there is no singular, definitive answer. Try out as much as you can, both solid state and tube/hybrids and see what sounds the best to you.



Take Care!

Offline Kevin Straker

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2009, 07:43:52 PM »
I'd go with the V3. You don't need a transformer or tube based pre. The mics will provide all the full sound you need. The V3 has a very clean transparent sound especially on acoustic instruments. I would use the 21 or the omni caps and run analog out of the V3 into the 7XX recorder.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 01:05:04 PM by Kevin Straker »
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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2009, 07:55:36 PM »
lunatec v2 > benchmark ad2k+
JW mod AKG 460b (ck61/ck63 or mk46/ck1x/ck3x)>  EAA PSP-2 > 722

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Offline Kyle

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2009, 08:51:29 PM »
lunatec v2 > benchmark ad2k+

yup, that's it!

Although the PSP-2 tops that list as well.

After running both, I am really torn - suppose it is what I am in the mood for - transparency or transformers.
Schoeps CMC6/MK4  //  Nakamichi CM-300/CP-1/CP-2
E.A.A. PSP-2   // Grace Design Lunatec V2
Sonic AD2K+ 
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Offline terrapinj

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2009, 10:10:28 PM »
lunatec v2 > benchmark ad2k+

yup, that's it!

Although the PSP-2 tops that list as well.

After running both, I am really torn - suppose it is what I am in the mood for - transparency or transformers.

aerco mp-2 may be a good call as well since its much easier to find that psp2 and the variable gain is much friendlier with the ad2k

still haven't heard one with the schoeps and ad2k, but i bet its (o)(o)
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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2009, 04:41:23 PM »
The one comment I'd like to add for the sake of the original poster is that you should be aware that the majority of people on this list are familiar with the Grace V2 and V3, while the portico would rate a distant second in familiarity and I'd be willing to bet that very few people know anything about the other products you mention.

Make what you will with that piece of information, but I could have told you without even looking at the responses that the V3 was gonna be the most popular response because of the audience that you posed the question to.

I'm not trying to claim that the V3 isn't worthy (I own one too), I'm just adding my thoughts that the response to the question isn't an objective response when so many people use one of the products that you list without having any experience with the others.

My two cents.

Offline Kevin Straker

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2009, 09:07:34 AM »
I'm not trying to claim that the V3 isn't worthy (I own one too), I'm just adding my thoughts that the response to the question isn't an objective response when so many people use one of the products that you list without having any experience with the others.

My two cents.
That's slightly presumptuous. I have personally owned several different preamps and used several others on occasion. While I am not familiar with all of the gear mentioned by the OP, I do have plenty of experience with the mics he mentioned. I have run them with a V3,PSP2,PSP3,M148, and straight in to a 722. For unamplified classical music I still say that the best sound will come from the cleaner sounding, non-transformer based pre. In my list this would include the PSP3 or the V3. Either one will make a very fine recording coupled with the 2 or 21 caps. I choose the V3 for it's ease of use, nice meters and flexible features.
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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2009, 11:33:15 AM »
I don't think Tonedeaf's comment was presumptuous at all. I think it was very accurate. In fact, on your earlier post, you actually proved his point to be true when you recommended that the OP  use the  same setup that you currently use. (Which is very fine stuff,BTW)

I don't mean to start an argument here, just calling it like it appears.

Offline Kevin Straker

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2009, 03:05:56 PM »
I don't think Tonedeaf's comment was presumptuous at all. I think it was very accurate. In fact, on your earlier post, you actually proved his point to be true when you recommended that the OP  use the  same setup that you currently use. (Which is very fine stuff,BTW)

I don't mean to start an argument here, just calling it like it appears.
Actually he said this, ".....isn't an objective response when so many people use one of the products that you list without having ANY experience with the others." I'm saying that I do have experience with other pres than the V3. In fact, I have run all of the others that I listed in my previous post and a couple more. I've been taping for 10 years and didn't start out with mk21>v3>722. After years of owning and trying various equipment my ears prefer the rig that I currently run. If I thought that something else sounded better, I would buy one. So, in conclusion, what I disagree with is the assertion that we have recommended the V3 without having any experience with other preamps. Not a huge deal, but kind of an odd blanket statement, IMO.
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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2009, 03:18:20 PM »
I don't think Tonedeaf's comment was presumptuous at all. I think it was very accurate. In fact, on your earlier post, you actually proved his point to be true when you recommended that the OP  use the  same setup that you currently use. (Which is very fine stuff,BTW)

I don't mean to start an argument here, just calling it like it appears.
Actually he said this, ".....isn't an objective response when so many people use one of the products that you list without having ANY experience with the others." I'm saying that I do have experience with other pres than the V3. In fact, I have run all of the others that I listed in my previous post and a couple more. I've been taping for 10 years and didn't start out with mk21>v3>722. After years of owning and trying various equipment my ears prefer the rig that I currently run. If I thought that something else sounded better, I would buy one. So, in conclusion, what I disagree with is the assertion that we have recommended the V3 without having any experience with other preamps. Not a huge deal, but kind of an odd blanket statement, IMO.


i think he was referring to the not so common "taper preferred" pres - DAV, Forssell, , A-Designs Pacifica
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Offline Kevin Straker

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2009, 03:22:57 PM »
I don't think Tonedeaf's comment was presumptuous at all. I think it was very accurate. In fact, on your earlier post, you actually proved his point to be true when you recommended that the OP  use the  same setup that you currently use. (Which is very fine stuff,BTW)

I don't mean to start an argument here, just calling it like it appears.
Actually he said this, ".....isn't an objective response when so many people use one of the products that you list without having ANY experience with the others." I'm saying that I do have experience with other pres than the V3. In fact, I have run all of the others that I listed in my previous post and a couple more. I've been taping for 10 years and didn't start out with mk21>v3>722. After years of owning and trying various equipment my ears prefer the rig that I currently run. If I thought that something else sounded better, I would buy one. So, in conclusion, what I disagree with is the assertion that we have recommended the V3 without having any experience with other preamps. Not a huge deal, but kind of an odd blanket statement, IMO.


i think he was referring to the not so common "taper preferred" pres - DAV, Forssell, , A-Designs Pacifica
Gottcha, that makes sense. If you don't need portability, the options open up a bit.
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2009, 03:26:51 AM »
i think im not alone when i say the v2(or v3 going analog out)into a benchmark AD2K is the best setup, if youre looking for a clean, neutral, non-colored sound wit a detailed soundstage. (which is why i prefer schoeps in the first place

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2009, 08:42:27 AM »
I don't know whether the original poster is still watching this thread, but if so, just to clarify: There are numerous preamps (including pricey professional ones) that are designed and sold on the basis of having a particular sonic "character," which is really a form of euphonic distortion. These preamps are used for pop and rock music recording as "sound shaping tools," and people can become quite fond of their favorites and partisan about them, though naturally what kind of distortion you like to hear is a personal matter.

Many tube preamps fall into this category nowadays along with some solid-state units. But it is entirely possible for a preamp to have so little sonic "character" (distortion) of its own that it is effectively neutral and transparent--simply taking the signals that are fed into it and making them larger so that they can be passed along to a recorder or some other piece of equipment.

That end of the market is smaller because its main customers are classical music people, and the classical segment has done little but shrink in recent decades. Plus from a marketing standpoint, if you have a product with the "flavor of the month" you can sell it on that basis, but there is no "flavorlessness of the month." So "neutral" sound gets just one market niche, while each type of distortion that its purveyors can name will have a niche, too--guess who gets all the shelf space. (That happens with microphones as well.)

My point is that if you find a suitable, neutral-enough-sounding preamp, you will soon find that almost every other variable in the recording setup will matter more. Moving the mikes one foot higher or one foot closer or farther away will matter far more than the miniscule (for most listeners, absolutely undetectable) difference in sound between Millenia and Benchmark, for example. The quality of the equipment only gets you to a certain level of potential, and the preamp is the one part of your setup which ought to have the least audible effect if it's working the way you want it to.

--best regards
« Last Edit: September 18, 2009, 09:00:22 AM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline DATBRAD

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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2009, 09:42:01 AM »
i think im not alone when i say the v2(or v3 going analog out)into a benchmark AD2K is the best setup, if youre looking for a clean, neutral, non-colored sound wit a detailed soundstage. (which is why i prefer schoeps in the first place

I have always considered Schoeps to be distinctly colored. In fact, there is not another mic brand that I can identify correctly more often just by listening to a recording than Schoeps. I am not saying they are not very clean and detailed, just that they are not neutral or non-colored to my ears.
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Re: Definitive stereo pre and A/D for Schoeps microphones
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2009, 01:11:28 PM »
Try renting an API lunchbox.

I also liked these on piano in my limited stint at a studio with KM84s.



« Last Edit: September 18, 2009, 01:17:04 PM by anodyne33 »
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