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Author Topic: Omnis with HF boost  (Read 2391 times)

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Offline jerryfreak

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Omnis with HF boost
« on: December 14, 2019, 12:57:43 AM »
this grew out of the 'baffled omnis' thread http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=191567

there was some discussion over there of application of omnis with HF boost, designed for (or coincidentally) the compensation of HF response in diffuse field (diffuse field = far from source, which for most of our purposes is relevant regardless of distance to stage, even FOB is 'diffuse field' relative to close mic'ing instruments and vocals.)

The gist of the discussion is that the response in diffuse field is nearly as important as on-axis frequency

i thought it was thread-worthy to assemble the specs for all the mics of that type

Schoeps MK2XS (aka MK3) https://schoeps.de/en/products/colette/capsules/omnis/mk-2xs.html




Schoeps MK2S https://schoeps.de/en/products/colette/capsules/omnis/mk-2s.html




Schoeps MK5 (omni)



DPA4006 with supplied diffuse field grid https://www.dpamicrophones.com/pencil/4006-omnidirectional-microphone



DPA4006 with nosecone accessory https://www.dpamicrophones.com/accessories/nose-cone-for-4006-pencil-microphone



DPA 406x, with supplied soft and high boost grids https://www.dpamicrophones.com/lavalier/4060-series-miniature-omnidirectional-microphone



also of note is this capsule which has an HF boost of a different nature

DPA 2006







« Last Edit: December 14, 2019, 03:32:29 AM by jerryfreak »
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2019, 02:19:40 AM »
Pattern

all the schoeps as well as the "diffuse field" DPA have similar off axis response in 4, 8, and 16K

the "nose cone"  is somewhat directional at 8 and 16K, and has much more uniform off axis response, <5dB at all frequencies in rear axis

the DPA 406x has the flattest off-axis response of all of them

Response

the diffuse field DPA4006 and 406x with high boost grid offer the most HF lift, up 7 dB at 10K, and above 5dB starting at 7-8K. 406x is a few DB higher boost in the 12-15K range on top of that

the nose cone DPA4006 has slightly less HF lift, up 5dB at 10K and above 3dB from 8-15K

MK3 (MK2XS) and MK2S boost similar frequencies. while the frequency range of boost is different, the extent of boost provided by MK3 is most similar to 4006 diffuse and the MK2S is closer to the nosecone DPA. MK5 is similar to both of these albeit flatter (up 2-4 dB above 3K)

406x soft boost grid has a very slight 2-3 dB bump starting at 8K or so

so ranking them in terms of HF lift:
high boost 406x
diffuse 4006
MK3 (MK2XS)
nose cone 4006
MK2S/MK5*
soft boost 406x
2006

*frequency at which HF boost starts on MK5 is slightly lower than MK2S. possibly very similar/indistinguishable

These acoustic modification balls by DPA are also interesting, though i dont see published graphs for them
https://www.dpamicrophones.com/accessories/acoustic-pressure-equalizer-ball-for-4006
« Last Edit: December 14, 2019, 03:34:20 AM by jerryfreak »
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Offline EmRR

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2019, 07:52:15 AM »
 MKH 20.  Switchable plus a directional / boost ring, so 4 total treble options.
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2019, 08:48:18 AM »
The Oktava omni capsule has a HF booost that make it particularly pleasing for outside concert recording



The graphs that were included with my matched pair are similar but a little more smooth than this one I pinched off the web
« Last Edit: December 14, 2019, 08:55:23 AM by goodcooker »
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Offline heathen

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2019, 02:12:26 PM »
Comparing the different manufacturers' graphs/measurements isn't necessarily an apples to apples comparison...
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2019, 11:19:53 PM »
Comparing the different manufacturers' graphs/measurements isn't necessarily an apples to apples comparison...
definitely

lots of salt to be had

there are standards for microphone distance from sound source etc, but they are not the same from mfr to mfr. same for published specs like distortion (at what % THD), etc.
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Offline EmRR

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2019, 01:45:25 AM »
Comparing the different manufacturers' graphs/measurements isn't necessarily an apples to apples comparison...

Indeed.  My MKH 20 set flat and my KM 131 are very different sounding omnis, both ruler flat on paper. 
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
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Offline DSatz

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2020, 05:25:28 PM »
Here's how I break this issue down. I almost never record with omnidirectional microphones any more, but I used to do it a lot, and I still appreciate the qualities that they can offer.

Fact #1 is that the type and size of the microphone or capsule make fundamental differences. There are many good single-diaphragm omnidirectional condenser microphones with diameters of ~20-21 mm. There are also many that are larger, smaller, not condenser microphones, or that use dual-diaphragm capsules. They will behave quite differently, and should be considered separately. (I'm not knocking them, but there can be pitfalls if we breeze past certain implicit assumptions.)

Fact #2 is that in any normal, enclosed space, the farther you are from any sound source, the higher the proportion of reflected sound you will get in your ears or microphones, and the lower the proportion of direct sound will be.

Fact #3 is that most folks who make recordings know fact #2, but few realize the true extent of it, or the amazing variety of different paths that sound can travel between a source and your ears (or microphones), or the amazing amounts and kinds of unconscious processing that go on in our brains before we actually experience what we hear. People usually way underestimate how much our brains are doing to make speech or music "listenable."

Fact #4 is that the frequency response curves that are usually published for microphones show their on-axis response--but even if those curves are scrupulously honest and detailed, the way that pressure transducers of the usual size work (see Fact #1), that curve (or straight line) applies ONLY to sound arriving within a narrow range of angles in front of the microphone. For all other sound you'll get a significant reduction at high frequencies.

Thus the applications for omnidirectional microphones that have flat response on axis (e.g. the Schoeps MK 2) are really rather limited. They're beautiful at close range, but not on sound sources that extend across a wide angle. Spot miking a solo instrument or voice in a studio, fine. Otherwise, much of the direct sound will arrive off-axis--and if you back off the mike(s) in order to fit the sound sources into a narrow enough overall angle, then most of your sound will no longer be direct because of the distance involved.

Fact #5 (or maybe it should be Fact #0?) is that it is far easier to show why a certain type of microphone is inappropriate for a given application than it is to deduce from first principles what type of microphone ought to be used. A microphone or capsule that is designed to give flat response in a diffuse sound field (e.g. Schoeps MK 3, renamed a few years ago to MK 2 XS) won't necessarily be a satisfying choice, either, even in a highly reverberant space; it can be too edgy sounding (though maybe for some of the music that people here are recording, and some rooms and sound systems, that may be less of a risk than it is for the unamplified classical music that I generally record).

We don't always get a choice as to where we can place our microphones, but when we do, I'd say that most experienced recordists look for a position where there's a favorable balance between direct and reflected sound. Thus some kind of in-between response curve will be most likely to give you pleasing results most often, all other things being equal. I wouldn't start out with either extreme.

Fact (or editorial assertion) #6, before I sign off, is, don't be superstitious about equalization--all four Schoeps omni capsules, for example, have identical polar response, and a recording made with any of them can be equalized to be sonically indistinguishable from a recording made in the same mike position with any of the others.

And fact (or suggestion) #6-1/2 is to consider sphere attachments. They can make a very useful difference for not much money.

--best regards
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 05:49:42 AM by DSatz »
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Offline noahbickart

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2020, 10:30:17 PM »
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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2020, 12:54:03 PM »
We own the 406X series (4060 sk) and my experience is they have hotter output and a punchier high end than the AKG ck22's we also use. I would bet the differences between those two are useful for differing location situations. My only complaint about the 4060's flimsy cabling has nothing to do with their HF response fer sure.
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2020, 01:34:42 AM »
We own the 406X series (4060 sk) and my experience is they have hotter output and a punchier high end than the AKG ck22's we also use. I would bet the differences between those two are useful for differing location situations. My only complaint about the 4060's flimsy cabling has nothing to do with their HF response fer sure.

they do make a heavy duty version  (4660/4661) with a 2.2mm cable
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2020, 05:57:24 AM »

Fact (or editorial assertion) #6, before I sign off, is, don't be superstitious about equalization--all four Schoeps omni capsules, for example, have identical polar response, and a recording made with any of them can be equalized to be sonically indistinguishable from a recording made in the same mike position with any of the others.


This is great advice.  I use some treble EQ on all of my recordings made with my 4061s, with very satisfying results.  (Credit to Gutbucket for getting me started on some specifics there.)

I also played around with the choir samples that DPA used to have on their old website (sadly removed) which compare different mics, and I was able to EQ the 4060 recording to sound almost indistinguishable from the 4006 recording, even though those mics are very different.

EQ used to be something I didn't want to use, because I wanted to be like those audiophile record labels that touted "no equalization, effects, or other processing".  Now I realize that's pretty silly.
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2020, 06:28:23 AM »

Fact (or editorial assertion) #6, before I sign off, is, don't be superstitious about equalization--all four Schoeps omni capsules, for example, have identical polar response, and a recording made with any of them can be equalized to be sonically indistinguishable from a recording made in the same mike position with any of the others.


This is great advice.  I use some treble EQ on all of my recordings made with my 4061s, with very satisfying results.  (Credit to Gutbucket for getting me started on some specifics there.)

I also played around with the choir samples that DPA used to have on their old website (sadly removed) which compare different mics, and I was able to EQ the 4060 recording to sound almost indistinguishable from the 4006 recording, even though those mics are very different.

thats impressive. like $4000 impressive ;)

EQ used to be something I didn't want to use, because I wanted to be like those audiophile record labels that touted "no equalization, effects, or other processing".  Now I realize that's pretty silly.

i used to be like that but being as i do so much stack taping it always seems to need at least some rolloff
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2020, 09:22:38 AM »
I was able to EQ the 4060 recording to sound almost indistinguishable from the 4006 recording

I would love to hear those clips. I assume the mics were pretty close to the performers?

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2020, 03:38:58 AM »
deom experience  ..IDEAL hf boost would be from 9k, so the dpa has a nice lift

Offline DSatz

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2020, 07:58:47 AM »
muj, you bring up an important if subtle point. For "distance compensation" I prefer the rising 0-degree response to reach a plateau or "shelf" rather than to drop back down again within the audible range. In Schoeps-centric terms, the MK 2 S is my preference for semi-distant (or more distant) recording rather than the MK 2 or 2 H, which seem to me better suited for relatively close miking, such as in studios.

For those who like to "live on the edge" (shout out to Dr. Noah), the MK 3/MK 2 XS has the "rising and staying up" type of on-axis response curve as well.

The MK 5 in its omni setting rises on axis and stays up across a broad range, but with less elevation and an earlier onset than the MK 2 S or XS. This gives it a different flavor from any of the single-pattern omnis, and is in keeping with its "universal" character. (BTW the pattern switch on the MK 5 is recessed such that the KA 40 add-on sphere can be used on it--make sure that the switch is set to omni, though!)

--best regards
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 09:32:59 PM by DSatz »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2020, 09:26:47 PM »
I was able to EQ the 4060 recording to sound almost indistinguishable from the 4006 recording

I would love to hear those clips. I assume the mics were pretty close to the performers?

FOUND IT!  I had saved everything from that old DPA page, including a PDF of the page itself.  All of the original FLAC files are here, plus one labeled "AB-4060EQ" which is my EQ of the 4060 track to get it to sound as close as possible to the 4006 track.  I just used the ReaEQ module in Reaper for this, and included screenshots of my EQ band settings.

I now own much more revealing headphones than I did when I did this EQ-ing, so I can hear more of a difference between the 4006 and 4060EQ tracks than I remembered hearing.  I would say that they still sound rather close.  I'll let you all be the judge.

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Offline voltronic

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2020, 06:52:44 PM »
^ Bumping this because the transfer expires in 5 days.  Please grab the files, and let me know what you think of the EQ'd 4060 track.
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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2020, 07:28:06 PM »
Just did thanks.  I think I remember listening back when, maybe.

Anyway, listening now with cheapo Samsung phone ear-buds, I'm unable to detect much tonal difference overall, but hear a difference in on-axis vs off-axis response of the larger capsules compared to the miniature 4060.  Timbre of the reverberant pickup sounds similar (which is what I'd expect with your EQ adjustment curve), while on-axis detail is increased in the larger diaphragm omnis (also what I would expect).

If I get a chance to listen more critically on the good phones over the weekend I'll come back to post my impressions.

Too bad those samples aren't up on the current DPA website.  Great example of the difference in stereo pickup between the different stereo mic configurations.
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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2020, 08:39:34 PM »
Just did thanks.  I think I remember listening back when, maybe.

Anyway, listening now with cheapo Samsung phone ear-buds, I'm unable to detect much tonal difference overall, but hear a difference in on-axis vs off-axis response of the larger capsules compared to the miniature 4060.  Timbre of the reverberant pickup sounds similar (which is what I'd expect with your EQ adjustment curve), while on-axis detail is increased in the larger diaphragm omnis (also what I would expect).

If I get a chance to listen more critically on the good phones over the weekend I'll come back to post my impressions.

Too bad those samples aren't up on the current DPA website.  Great example of the difference in stereo pickup between the different stereo mic configurations.

Thanks for your comments.  Sure, you're not going to turn a 4060 into a 4006, with the very different polar response.  I think the fact that they can sound as close as they do is quite remarkable.

I miss the old DPA website every time I visit the new, glitzy one that has removed great content like these samples, and is in general much less user-friendly. 
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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2020, 10:04:18 PM »
I miss the old DPA website every time I visit the new, glitzy one that has removed great content like these samples, and is in general much less user-friendly.

it seems everytime i go there they have removed specs or something else. they are all in on the theater and vocal mic market it seems
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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2020, 12:20:31 PM »
FOUND IT!  I had saved everything from that old DPA page, including a PDF of the page itself.  All of the original FLAC files are here, plus one labeled "AB-4060EQ" which is my EQ of the 4060 track to get it to sound as close as possible to the 4006 track.  I just used the ReaEQ module in Reaper for this, and included screenshots of my EQ band settings.

I now own much more revealing headphones than I did when I did this EQ-ing, so I can hear more of a difference between the 4006 and 4060EQ tracks than I remembered hearing.  I would say that they still sound rather close.  I'll let you all be the judge.

Thanks! I haven't had the chance to listen yet, but I downloaded the files last night.

they are all in on the theater and vocal mic market it seems

I don't think that's the case at all. Recent years have seen DPA completely re-vamp both their SDC line with the modular series (and accessories) and their instrument mic line. There are many more offerings for a wider range of applications now, I think.

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2020, 02:55:25 PM »
that was now about a decade ago that they went modular. mmp-g was developed around 2016 i believe. that would be the last new ‘instrument mic’ in sdc at least. everything since that has been theater and vocal mics based around miniature capsules.

the b&k style SDCs are largely a stagnant legacy product line it seems. all the r&d is based on their own miniature capsules (and miniature capsules used in the SDC-sized housings like the 2000 series.) As far as I understand B&K still makes the SDC capsules and the one large diameter 4041. But DPA makes all the miniatures and the electronics behind both mics (which circuit critics claim is nothing special).

Remember DPA got bought out by that Italian company within the last 2 years, so marketing focus often shifts. I spoke with a rep last year who said they were going to be growing their 2000 series 4000 series and 6000 series but we haven’t seen many new things come out since then just the 2028 vocal mic. Which is exactly what he described to me was coming, a lower-cost version of the 4018 vocal mic with the non-critical parts manufactured in China instead of Denmark. Presumably there will be a whole line of 2000 series Lavs that will be cheaper than the 4060s at some point. He did allude to some premium new SDC/LDC options that they would call 6000 series but I haven’t heard anything about this in a year now. maybe they will rebrand the 4041 as 6000 series? I may be misunderstanding it but if what he told me his correct it makes their nomenclature even more confusing because you have both miniatures and SDCs in the same ‘thousands’ series. and while the 606x mics are super tiny, they are not really better performance wise than the 406x.
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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2020, 03:31:31 PM »
The 4099 instrument mics were introduced around 2009, the modular SDC series started shipping at the very end of 2011 or beginning of 2012, the 4018 caps came out in 2013, the MMP-ER/S and G was around 2016, and the CORE line and d:vice were 2017 or 2018. Give or take. Plus many accessories. That's a pretty steady stream of new products, in my opinion.   

[EDIT TO ADD: My point, which I didn't make very clearly, is that I think DPA has been looking to expand it's range of customers, as opposed to shifting from one market segment to another. Pretty much the same as Sound Devices introducing the MixPre series to appeal to a less professional crowd or Zoom introducing the F series to gain some traction among a more professional group while still producing a range of products in their traditional niche.]
« Last Edit: January 21, 2020, 03:56:00 PM by aaronji »

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2020, 04:26:17 PM »
agreed. for example the d:vice being aimed at newsshooters. thats still a good 7 years since the last new SDC tho (which isnt that odd, as all the major mfrs are leaning on decades-old designs)

when did the 4017 shotgun come out?
« Last Edit: January 21, 2020, 04:28:32 PM by jerryfreak »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2020, 05:59:01 PM »
At the risk of turning this thread into Team DPA...

I think both aaronjj and jerryfreak make good points.  DPA has been doing some steady innovation (dare I say, more than most other top-tier mic brands), but there has not been al that much new going on in the SDC 4000 series.  Maybe that's because those mics are already state of the art, (and also the most expensive products they make), so DPA is pouring more resources into expanding their established theater and PA lines.  It's not like people don't buy the 4000 series anymore; they are there if you want them.

I do find it curious that they have never had a fig8 or subcardioid in the series, to compete with Schoeps or Sennheiser MKH.
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2020, 06:26:28 PM »
when did the 4017 shotgun come out?

If I recall correctly, the single piece (non-modular) 4017 came out four or five years before they introduced the modular line. 2007? 2008? Again if I recall correctly, the modular version came out a year or two after that line debuted.

I do find it curious that they have never had a fig8 or subcardioid in the series, to compete with Schoeps or Sennheiser MKH.

4015. That cap has been available in single piece, compact, and modular versions for quite some years.

Offline voltronic

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Re: Omnis with HF boost
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2020, 07:20:28 PM »
I do find it curious that they have never had a fig8 or subcardioid in the series, to compete with Schoeps or Sennheiser MKH.

4015. That cap has been available in single piece, compact, and modular versions for quite some years.

Not sure how I missed that one; thanks.
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