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Author Topic: A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod  (Read 1808 times)

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Offline bucsab12

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A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod
« on: August 26, 2016, 08:23:15 PM »
I have been recording since 2010 using CA-14 card's/omni's>CA-9100>Sony PCM-M10 and had great results.
My omni mics have had some wiring issues so I have only been using my cards for the last year or so.
I haven't sent my omni's for repair because of all the shipping issues Chris has been having lately.

Recently, I have been looking at a possible upgrade to my mics and after reading many threads on the board, especially ones comparing the SP-CMC-4U and the SP-CMC-8, I came to the conclusion that the SP-CMC-4U are more suitable for my needs.
I only record stealth, but I currently live abroad and no one has any problem with me recording shows.

I first wanted to ask for your advice, if the SP-CMC-4U is the way to go if I am looking for an upgrade over the CA-14?
I am interested in best sound quality. Size is less of an issue, as long as I can place the mics on a hat.
Regarding the SP-CMC-4U, I have went over all the threads I could find and in all of them it has been mentioned that the low sensitivity 4.7k mod is a must when using these mics in order to avoid distortion at high SPL.
I don't remember any show where I have had any distortion while using the CA-14 through the CA-9100 preamp.
If I run SP-CMC-4U>CA-9100>Sony PCM-M10, Would I still need the 4.7k mod to avoid distortion, or is the mod only needed when using a simple battery box?

Thank you very much in advance. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Offline beatkilla

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Re: A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2016, 08:27:11 PM »
You still need the mod.

Offline The Other Chris

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Re: A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2016, 10:06:11 PM »
You still need the mod.

No question about it, contact Dark Train.   

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2016, 10:34:24 PM »
While I think the 4Us are great, I wouldn't consider them an upgrade over the CA-14, at least not in cards. When I've done side-by-side comparisons, they've been nearly identical.

Offline bucsab12

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Re: A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2016, 04:38:30 AM »
Thank you for the replies.

Can you please explain why do the SP-CMC-4U need the sensitivity mod while the CA-14 don't?
Are those mics that much more sensitive and therefore distort at high SPL?
Does Dark Train do the mod on the mics themselves? Is the sensitivity mod that SP offers the same one as Dark Train's?

I would love to hear your thoughts on any upgrades from the CA-14 that is still in the stealth-able miniature cardioid category that will produce a relatively better result than the CA-14.

Thanks again for all the help  :D

Offline beatkilla

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Re: A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2016, 10:03:15 AM »
Thank you for the replies.

Can you please explain why do the SP-CMC-4U need the sensitivity mod while the CA-14 don't?
Are those mics that much more sensitive and therefore distort at high SPL?
Does Dark Train do the mod on the mics themselves? Is the sensitivity mod that SP offers the same one as Dark Train's?

I would love to hear your thoughts on any upgrades from the CA-14 that is still in the stealth-able miniature cardioid category that will produce a relatively better result than the CA-14.

Thanks again for all the help  :D

I think you have to go to something like AKG ck61 actives to improve your sound beyond AT and Church cardioid mics.


Offline robeti

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Re: A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2016, 12:33:58 PM »

Can you please explain why do the SP-CMC-4U need the sensitivity mod while the CA-14 don't?

I would love to hear your thoughts on any upgrades from the CA-14 that is still in the stealth-able miniature cardioid category that will produce a relatively better result than the CA-14.

Thanks again for all the help  :D

Just get the mod. It's needed.

I don't think there is anything better than ca-14 cards in it's pricerange.
The cmc-4u's have a bit better build quality but like people said before they more or less sound the same as the CA-14s. Plus they are more expensive.

If you really want a compact mic that could be considered an upgrade, and is in the same pricerange more or less, try to score a set of chopped Nakamichi's.
I own / have owned ca-11 (both caps) (ca-14 card and omnis) and cmc-4u (all caps) as well as a set of chopped nak 300's. The Naks are the best in my opinion.
You have to like the specific Nakamichi sound though.

Good luck!


« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 12:35:48 PM by robeti »
mics: nakamichi cm-50 | nakamichi cm-300 (JB mod/cp1/cp2/cp3) | primo em4052pmi4's | sp-cmc-4u/at-u853a 4.7k mod (h/c/sc) | ca-11 (c)
power: ca-ubb (x2) | ca-9200
recorder: roland r-05 (x2)
video: panasonic hdc-sd600 | panasonic hdc-700 | sony hx9v | sony hx50v

Offline fmaderjr

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Re: A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2016, 04:18:24 PM »
Can you please explain why do the SP-CMC-4U need the sensitivity mod while the CA-14 don't?

Sound Pros uses AT853 caps to make thir SP-CMC-4U mics. The 853's are designed to run on phantom power. When they are modded to run on plug in power it was discovered that they can't record very loud signals without distortion.

Chris Church discovered the mod that decreases the sensitivity of the mics and eliminates this problem.  After a while Sound Pro's came to recognize the problem and started offering the mod themselves (copied from Chris Church).

Church's mics don't need the mod because he automatically incorporates it into all of his mics. Sound Pros offers the option because if you record only acoustic or nature sounds you don't need the mod and the unmodded mic are better for this type of recording because  they need about 10 dB less gain to achieve the same level.
AT853's (all caps)/CM-300 Franken Naks (CP-1,2,3)/JBMod Nak 700's (CP-701,702) > Tascam DR-680
Or Sonic Studios DSM-6 > M10

Offline bucsab12

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Re: A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2016, 05:50:33 PM »
Thank you everyone for the replies and thank you fmaderjr for explaining what is the reason for the low sensitivity mod.
I have looked at the AKG CK61 and the Nakamichi CM-300.
From the specs, both look like amazing mics, but from the pictures I have seen, the capsules along with the mic bodies seem to be quite large and not very stealth-able.
Is there some way, in which I can run capsules like the CK61 or the CM-300 without the mic body, using only a CA-9100 preamp right into the PCM-M10 line-in input?
I would like to maintain a minimal microphone size but at the same time upgrade the microphones' quality using high-end capsules, if that is possible.
Thanks again for all the help.

Offline beatkilla

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Re: A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2016, 06:56:44 PM »
The AKG ck61 capsules can be used without mic bodies,but need active cables....and a nbox or something similar.
Lots of people use AKG actives so im sure someone else will chime in.

Offline bucsab12

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Re: A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2016, 04:52:32 PM »
Can someone please  provide some more information on how to run the AKG CK-61 actives and what equipment and mods will be needed?
Do I have to use a preamp like the nbox or would it be possible to use the 9V provided by the CA-9100?
Any pictures of the equipment will be greatly appreciated as well.
Thanks again.

Offline beatkilla

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Re: A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2016, 04:58:28 PM »
Maybe  should start a new thread about akg actives as probably those users are not reading this thread about audio technica low sens mods.

Offline kuba e

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Re: A question regarding SP-CMC-4U and low sensitivity mod
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2016, 03:51:24 PM »
You can use electret mics with CA-9100.  Upgrade to CA14 should be DPA 4060 or 4061. I dont own them, but i think they run on 9V. Just be careful to get right connectors. You can find recordings with similar rig on LMA, e.g.: https://archive.org/details/ratdog2014-03-04.dpa.4061.flac24

 

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