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Author Topic: Schoeps MSTC-3???  (Read 281 times)

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Offline fguidry

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Schoeps MSTC-3???
« on: March 28, 2020, 02:50:14 PM »
There's an Ebay listing for a "Schoeps MSTC-3" ORTF mic system at a lovely starting price

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Schoeps-MSTC-3-Stereo-Microphone-w-5-pin-to-3-pin-XLR-adapter-MSTC/402180429972?hash=item5da3d25894:g:b60AAOSw4O1eePDw 

but I can find no info on such a device. All searches lead to MSTC-64. Anyone have any info on this MSTC-3??

Thanks,
Fran

Offline muj

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Re: Schoeps MSTC-3???
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2020, 03:12:15 PM »
12V T-powered, most likely.

Offline DSatz

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Re: Schoeps MSTC-3???
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2020, 04:51:31 PM »
No, it's 12-Volt phantom powered. It could be modified for 48-Volt phantom powering if necessary, although 12-Volt phantom is twice as power-efficient.

I have one of these from the very first batch ever made, with a serial number somewhat lower than the one in the auction. I've used it hundreds of times, including with speech cardioid capsules for documentary recording, and once even with supercardioid capsules for a special situation. I intend to keep that microphone for the rest of my life, however long or short that may prove to be.

Mine's from 1977, though, so assuming that the capsules in the auction are of a similar age and you buy them, there's a problem. Normally I would strongly advise sending them back to the factory for checkup and any needed repair, unless you know for a fact that they already were serviced fairly recently; you might also want to send the amplifier, since there have been circuit updates since then, mostly to help prevent RFI (although this model will never have the degree of "RF-proof-ness" that a CMC 6, CMC 1 or CMIT has, plus the service will be expensive--the amplifier would charged as a separate service item if is accepted at all ... see below).

However, two things about that. One is that while the factory in Germany is still open for service as of now, Redding Audio in the U.S. is not (on a week-by-week-decision basis)--so you might need to send them in yourself unless you can wait to do so. Instructions for doing that are on www.schoeps.de . Definitely write to mailbox@schoeps.de before sending anything, though, because of the second "thing" that I'm about to explain:

Schoeps normally assesses their flat-rate service fees based on the age of the item. Equipment more than twenty years old falls into their highest-cost tier, and this is more than twice as old as that! The two capsules and the amplifier would constitute three such items. But the MK 4 capsules for an MSTC are always sold as a matched pair, which IMO makes complete sense for a near-coincident recording method. And if either capsule requires anything more than a simple cleaning and some "small parts replaced", I think that they would probably require being completely rebuilt due to their age. Schoeps might well decline such a repair as "economically unviable" since it would almost certainly cost more than 30% the cost of a new pair of capsules. As an accommodation, on request they might make a matched pair of new capsules available to you at a reduced price, but that is at their sole discretion, and I can't always second-guess what they'll do. So please consider that.

It is also really possible that they would decline service for the MSTC 3-- amplifier altogether as a discontinued product, even though (or more precisely, because) the MSTC 64 is in their current product line. I just don't know.

But if you do find a way around these problems, I think you will like the MSTC very much. Frankly I was tempted by the auction myself, although that way of thinking is in utter denial of where I actually am in my recording career at this point.

--best regards

P.S.: muj, there was indeed a T-powered version of the MSTC called the MSTC 4--, now discontinued. Since T-powering was mainly a film-and-video-sound thing, and ORTF stereo recording isn't strictly mono compatible, not a lot of that particular model was ever sold; film and video people are more likely to use M/S for strictly mono-compatible stereo recording. And by the time this type of microphone was introduced, newer Nagra recorders such as the IV and the IV-S had phantom powering built in, so film and video sound recordists had already begun to switch over. The handwriting was really on the wall when Sennheiser started introducing phantom-powered versions of their shotgun microphones--both a cause and an effect of this big changeover in powering systems.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 07:58:43 AM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline fguidry

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Re: Schoeps MSTC-3???
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 12:58:38 PM »
As always, thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge.

Fran

Offline DSatz

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Re: Schoeps MSTC-3???
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 09:22:55 PM »
Thanks for your kind words. -- At the same time, there's an auction for a different type of Schoeps stereo microphone that I would be strongly tempted to buy if I were still recording orchestras, etc., on https://www.ebay.com/itm/Schoeps-KFM6-Stereo-Microphone/114145047047 . I heard a recording that Jerry Bruck made of the Mahler Ninth Symphony with a similar (though somewhat smaller) Schoeps sphere; it had every good quality that I've ever hoped to achieve in an orchestral recording. Completely natural sound quality, all the depth and spaciousness of a spaced-omni recording (because it is one), but with a completely stable stereo image at the same time. I was kind of awestruck.

The thing is, I rarely record orchestras any more--and a mike this big would block sight lines, unless I could suspend it on a cable at some elevation (where I would want it to be anyway for best balance). So if I bought the mike, the chances that I would get to use it would be very small, unless my professional life takes a highly unexpected turn.
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

 

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