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Author Topic: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?  (Read 6860 times)

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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2012, 10:33:02 AM »
Neumann Berlin can't make nickel diaphragm capsules, so their metal diaphragm mics use titanium - mainly the TLM50 / M150 / KM133-A/D.

off topic, but I'm curious if you know why that is. (the above phrase alludes to a restriction, not necessarily a choice of something else/better).
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Offline illconditioned

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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2012, 12:30:15 PM »
Dear David,

This is an interesting history to be sure.

I've read two things.  First is that Gefell put a (quartz or something else?) layer on the backplate to prevent the "bottom out" problems you refer to.  Second, there is a guy, former employee of Gefell maybe, who "reskins" the Gefell mics.  The story is that he does both PVC and Nickel capsules.  The vendor claims his m70 caps were reskinned, so we'll have to see.

You bring up an interesting point of tension in omni vs cardioid metal mics.  Well, I'll just have to listen and find out.  My eventual goal is to get a pair of Gefell MK2xx 1/2" omni capsules, but those are very costly.  I'll try the cardioids first.

  Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2012, 01:25:14 PM »
I have 1970s DDR era m94 capsules and MV692 bodies modified for P48.  One capsule had problems so I sent the pair back to Gefell in Germany last fall and had them do work on both of them to bring them up to par. They came back with detailed response graphs showing a nice close match between them.  They're great mics and I'm quite happy with the match and their overall clarity and smoothness, especially through the midrange.  The response bump up top can be a nice attribute recording from a distance, and can be a bit much at times up close. I've used them mostly on stage and if that response ends up a bit bright there, it's easily managed with a bit of EQ, so I sort of think of it as 'pre-emphaisis' and compensate for it later.  I find their bass respose begins to taper down below about 400Hz, which is EQ-able too, but I usually mix them with omnis which takes care of the bottom.  I've used them mostly for acoustic stuff and would prefer a flatter response at the bottom, but on bass/subwoofer heavy material the tapered low end response could be helpful.  The combined response without EQ could be just the ticket for recording closer than the normal sweetspot at a large amplified event without front stage fills, compensating somewhat for the dull boom-zone up front.

I bought these not because the diaphrams are nickle, or because of the response bump particularly, but simply because their performance is very good, I was happy with what I heard on other recordings and the price was attractive for a pair of good quality German cardioids.  Even factoring in the cost of the return repair trip to Germany (pooled mics and shared shipping expense with several others here) I have a great pair of caridoids at significantly less cost than what I would have had paid for equivalent mics from John's other 'big 4'.

I hope that helps somewhat Richard.

I assumed the use of nickle for the diaphram was primarily due to a slower pace of technological change due to the cold-war isolation situation.  Interesting to hear more about the specifics. 

volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

Offline Myco

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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2012, 01:58:56 PM »
I have 1970s DDR era m94 capsules and MV692 bodies modified for P48.  One capsule had problems so I sent the pair back to Gefell in Germany last fall and had them do work on both of them to bring them up to par. They came back with detailed response graphs showing a nice close match between them.  They're great mics and I'm quite happy with the match and their overall clarity and smoothness, especially through the midrange.  The response bump up top can be a nice attribute recording from a distance, and can be a bit much at times up close. I've used them mostly on stage and if that response ends up a bit bright there, it's easily managed with a bit of EQ, so I sort of think of it as 'pre-emphaisis' and compensate for it later.  I find their bass respose begins to taper down below about 400Hz, which is EQ-able too, but I usually mix them with omnis which takes care of the bottom.  I've used them mostly for acoustic stuff and would prefer a flatter response at the bottom, but on bass/subwoofer heavy material the tapered low end response could be helpful.  The combined response without EQ could be just the ticket for recording closer than the normal sweetspot at a large amplified event without front stage fills, compensating somewhat for the dull boom-zone up front.

I bought these not because the diaphrams are nickle, or because of the response bump particularly, but simply because their performance is very good, I was happy with what I heard on other recordings and the price was attractive for a pair of good quality German cardioids.  Even factoring in the cost of the return repair trip to Germany (pooled mics and shared shipping expense with several others here) I have a great pair of caridoids at significantly less cost than what I would have had paid for equivalent mics from John's other 'big 4'.

I hope that helps somewhat Richard.

I assumed the use of nickle for the diaphram was primarily due to a slower pace of technological change due to the cold-war isolation situation.  Interesting to hear more about the specifics.

 
I agree with your observations whole heartedly. The reasons that you've mentioned were the main reasons that I chose Gefell's for the purpose of recording "rock" type shows. For taperssection recording, adding the omni's in gives the added bass boost that you'd like, and for closer in FOB type taping they give the necessary clarity to the bass, without getting too muddy or boomy from proximity.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 02:00:32 PM by Myco »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2012, 03:59:47 PM »
I posted the response charts which the MG factory returned with my M94s over in the team Gefell thread a while back if anyone is interested in seeing them.  It's an attachment on this post- http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=144869.msg1974932#msg1974932. Reading that again, it seems we both pretty much repeated the same thoughts here, Myco.  ;)
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

Offline John Willett

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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2012, 08:05:33 AM »
Neumann Berlin can't make nickel diaphragm capsules, so their metal diaphragm mics use titanium - mainly the TLM50 / M150 / KM133-A/D.

off topic, but I'm curious if you know why that is. (the above phrase alludes to a restriction, not necessarily a choice of something else/better).

This was in conversation with Stephan Peus several years back.

I don't know the reason, but they found they could not do it - so they used titanium instead.

Maybe it's the grade of nickel and it's something Gefell got right in communist days and have a source of the right grade of nickel for membranes.

All I know is that Neumann Berlin admitted they could not do it.

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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2012, 01:29:44 PM »
Neumann Berlin can't make nickel diaphragm capsules, so their metal diaphragm mics use titanium - mainly the TLM50 / M150 / KM133-A/D.

off topic, but I'm curious if you know why that is. (the above phrase alludes to a restriction, not necessarily a choice of something else/better).

This was in conversation with Stephan Peus several years back.

I don't know the reason, but they found they could not do it - so they used titanium instead.

Maybe it's the grade of nickel and it's something Gefell got right in communist days and have a source of the right grade of nickel for membranes.

All I know is that Neumann Berlin admitted they could not do it.

Maybe it's more like: Neumann don't want to make Nickel diaphragms anymore. As far as I remember Nickel membranes could cause problems with very small particles going between backplate and membrane causing crackles. I think they changed to Titanium for a reason.

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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2012, 11:04:46 AM »
Neumann Berlin can't make nickel diaphragm capsules, so their metal diaphragm mics use titanium - mainly the TLM50 / M150 / KM133-A/D.

off topic, but I'm curious if you know why that is. (the above phrase alludes to a restriction, not necessarily a choice of something else/better).

This was in conversation with Stephan Peus several years back.

I don't know the reason, but they found they could not do it - so they used titanium instead.

Maybe it's the grade of nickel and it's something Gefell got right in communist days and have a source of the right grade of nickel for membranes.

All I know is that Neumann Berlin admitted they could not do it.

Maybe it's more like: Neumann don't want to make Nickel diaphragms anymore. As far as I remember Nickel membranes could cause problems with very small particles going between backplate and membrane causing crackles. I think they changed to Titanium for a reason.

No - it *is* because they cannot do it.  They did try.

But the full reason, I do not know.

Any small particle between the diaphragm and back-plate will cause a problem - whatever material the diaphragm is made from.

That's why capsules are made in clean rooms.


Offline DSatz

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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2012, 05:26:21 PM »
Gutbucket, it's difficult if you want truly flat low-frequency response for distant pickup with a pressure-gradient (velocity) condenser microphone. The force exerted on the diaphragm due to the pressure gradient effect reaches a maximum at the resonant frequency. That resonance is severely damped, of course--but it's still basically a bandpass filter, with an inevitable eventual rolloff at both low and high frequencies. Only a pressure transducer can have truly flat response down to the lowest audio frequencies and still have a usable overall level of sensitivity. If you equalize a directional microphone to be flat down to lower frequencies, you bring up the 1/f capsule noise and any solid-borne sound in the process.

Miking distance also needs to be considered in relation to proximity effect. I don't know of any cardioid condenser microphone that has truly flat low-frequency response (say, from 50 Hz on up) for semi-distant or distant pickup. The frequency response of a microphone is supposed to be measured under conditions equivalent to an infinite measuring distance--but no manufacturer that I know of has ever published response curves like that. Instead, they measure from whatever distance they measure for practical reasons--then they "correct" the result (i.e. they raise the low-frequency response that they publish) so that it corresponds to what would hypothetically occur at (most often) about a 1-meter pickup distance. That distance is typical for many studio applications, but with a pressure-gradient microphone at 1 meter, proximity effect is still boosting the low frequencies.

Thus even if a perfectly flat graph is published, your cardioid or other directional microphone will have a definite low-frequency rolloff when picking up more distant sound sources. And one well-known manufacturer "corrects" its published graphs to even less than 1/2 meter, so their flat-seeming low-frequency response curves really represent an even greater low-frequency rolloff in actual recording situations.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 10:46:55 PM by DSatz »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2012, 10:24:18 AM »
Understood, thanks!
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2012, 05:03:50 PM »
Neumann Berlin can't make nickel diaphragm capsules, so their metal diaphragm mics use titanium - mainly the TLM50 / M150 / KM133-A/D.

off topic, but I'm curious if you know why that is. (the above phrase alludes to a restriction, not necessarily a choice of something else/better).

This was in conversation with Stephan Peus several years back.

I don't know the reason, but they found they could not do it - so they used titanium instead.

Maybe it's the grade of nickel and it's something Gefell got right in communist days and have a source of the right grade of nickel for membranes.

All I know is that Neumann Berlin admitted they could not do it.

Maybe it's more like: Neumann don't want to make Nickel diaphragms anymore. As far as I remember Nickel membranes could cause problems with very small particles going between backplate and membrane causing crackles. I think they changed to Titanium for a reason.

No - it *is* because they cannot do it.  They did try.

But the full reason, I do not know.

Any small particle between the diaphragm and back-plate will cause a problem - whatever material the diaphragm is made from.

That's why capsules are made in clean rooms.

I checked your assertion Neumann is not able to produce nickel diaphragms with the Neumann headquarter. Maybe it was a misunderstanding between you and Mr. Peus because I got the info directly from the source that Neumann around 2000 stopped producing Nickel diaphragms. That was because Titan is less prone to problems than Nickel. Nickel has less longevity than Titan. The 'trick' is to make the whole capsule from Titan, not just the membrane, something competitors are not to do similar easily, as it was a result of years of research. It was pointed out clearly to me that it was purely an engineers decision because of better quality and NOT because Neumann isn't able to make Nickel diaphragms anymore. They see Titanium as technical superior for manufacturing, durability and they have far less service cases for the corresponding capsules since then.
From the logical side it wouldn't make sense either ... Neumann had the knowledge to make Nickel membranes until around the year 2000 ... why should the knowledge suddenly be lost or the tools vaporize?


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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2012, 05:10:33 PM »
A few months ago I recorded a show in a small opera house.  I came in during sound check and could put mics wherever I wanted.  I put 3 pairs of mics in different locations, so I could pick the best one afterward.  I had:
- Schoeps MK4's actives head high in the sweet spot.
- Gefell M210 hypers hanging off the balcony rail (M21 caps with 200 series bodies)
- Gefell M295 cards at the corner of the sound board... basically 10' below the balcony rail Gefells.  I wanted these on stage, but the snake was full, so this was it.

This is not a controlled experiment at all... different mics, locations, preamps, etc.  But, it's human nature to compare the results, so I will. I've run my Schoeps and Gefells enough that I could predict the results, but I had no clue how the M295's would sound. The FOB Schoeps sounded fat, as I would expect.  The Gefell hypers on the balcony rail had a bit more presence/clarity, as I would expect. The M295's seemed to have significantly more presence than the M210's.  I would have needed to EQ some of that out.  Remember, this is only one data point in poorly controlled experiment.

If I still have the raw wave files, it's on the hard drive of a computer which is currently dead.  I plan to resurrect that computer soon, and if I find the files I'll try to post a sample.
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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2012, 02:14:45 PM »
I currently have pairs of Gefell M295 and M296 and I used to have a pair of Gefell M294.  All I can say is the Gefell M29x Series mics are simply wonderful.  Accurate, detailed, quiet, predictable and honest.

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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2012, 08:04:51 PM »
I just received the Gefell M70 capsules and they look good.  They appear to have new "skins" on them, nice and shiny inside the dull metal of the capsules.

Well, I just put them on a pair of AKG 460 bodies, with a bit of brass mesh squeezed in "fill in" the outer shell/ground contacts.  They seem to sound good, but I'll need to get them in front of some music to really tell.

  Richard

Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline DSatz

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Re: Gefell Nickel diaphragm mics (mv294, 295, capsules m70, m94)?
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2012, 10:45:30 PM »
dream, I think you have been given incorrect or perhaps incomplete information. Neumann (Berlin) initially stopped manufacturing nickel-membrane capsules around 1970. It isn't a question of their not knowing (in the abstract) how to produce the membranes, but once Mylar had become well accepted, there was no reason to continue that troublesome process any more--or to produce further capsules which would only need replacing because they were so easily ruined.

The KM 54 was the nickel-diaphragm microphone that Neumann made in the largest quantities. Replacement capsules were often needed for this microphone, and once Neumann no longer made such capsules, they developed a way to fit the capsule head of the KM 64 (and later the 74 and 84) onto the KM 54's amplifier. You can often see such microphones for sale on eBay with no mention of the fact that the capsule isn't the original type. The difference there is far more than the diaphragm material, since the KM 64's capsule uses an entirely new (for its time) backplate design with considerably better off-axis linearity, but an unmodified KM 54 has a high-frequency elevation considerably greater than that of the KM 64/74/84 to begin with, so there really should be no pretense that it will sound at all the same.

When Neumann introduced the (solid-state) TLM 50 in about 1990, they again found themselves using nickel membranes for a while. But then they introduced the "M 150 Tube" with a titanium capsule. Soon they changed the TLM 50 to use this capsule instead, so that once again they are no longer producing any nickel-membrane capsules.

--best regards
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

 

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