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Author Topic: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?  (Read 871 times)

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Offline SMsound

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Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« on: January 11, 2023, 03:53:50 PM »
I want to get a pair of DPA 4061 to run stealth in classical concerts. I almost always open tape, so I have questions about how to set these up for stealth.

Ideally I want to be able to give them 20 or 30dB of gain.

What are you all using to power them and as a preamp? I know DPA sells microdot-to-XLR power adapters, but this seems like an awkward solution...  Is there a recorder where a 1/8" TRS connection goes into the preamps?

Also, I see lots of setups that just use a battery box/no preamp, then 1/8" TRS to connect 2 DPA 4061 to the recorder. What's the deal with these -- do people just skip the preamp and live with a worse signal/noise ratio, or what am I missing?
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Offline BradleyJY15

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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2023, 04:50:51 PM »
I used to have a pair of these, taped with them for around 20 years.

https://www.core-sound.com/products/high-end-binaural

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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2023, 05:00:19 PM »
I've seen 9V battery boxes with microdot connectors with a 1/8" output. Unsure who's making them now (I know Church Audio has made them in the past).

Personally I run my small DPA's into the DPA d:vice/MMA-A which allows you to run into an iPhone (or iPod Touch). Super stealthy if that's needed.

One thing I've found though is the user error rate running into an iPhone is a bit higher than a dedicated recorder. After some practice I've reduced the errors but it's still easier to screw something up this way.
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Offline jefflester

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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2023, 05:02:36 PM »
I used to have a pair of these, taped with them for around 20 years.

https://www.core-sound.com/products/high-end-binaural
Yeah, me too. For rock concerts, plenty enough signal level from just the battery box to go line-in to a 1/8" deck, I used them with a Sony TCD-D100 DAT and then an Edirol R-09 and then an Edirol R-09HR.


If you used the more sensitive DPA4060 you'd probably be okay going mic-in, but an external preamp in front is likely lower noise then the one built into the deck. Any of the small 1/8" in/out preamps could do it for you, like a Church or an SP. Like:
https://soundprofessionals.com/product/SP-PREAMP-20/

The pair of microdots to the 1/8" TRS is always the tricky part, there is no standard product. You could cobble together adapters like this:
https://www.newegg.com/p/35G-00J9-000T1
or this:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/304432987368?chn=ps&var=603468772869&_trkparms=ispr%3D1&amdata=enc%3A1SJYsDPk6QIaKKhcZoYK72w18&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&mkscid=101&itemid=603468772869_304432987368&targetid=&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=9031026&poi=&campaignid=17597089569&mkgroupid=&rlsatarget=&abcId=9300988&merchantid=101647606&gclid=CjwKCAiA2fmdBhBpEiwA4CcHzfMQxF2RvhZ0pW5hSeoyZwQu48XZvoqPyKYkzK32CWXD6HxCExJ7PRoCCHQQAvD_BwE
...
with a Y-cable to combine the L/R mono TS 1/8" jacks to a 1/8" TRS stero plug to go into the preamp/battery box/deck:
https://soundprofessionals.com/product/MS-SSA-2M/
https://www.amazon.com/Gold-Plated-Connector-Splitter-RFAdapter-Headphone/dp/B096XNHTH3/ref=sr_1_6?crid=3AP76P6APFVFY&keywords=3.5mm+y+cable+stereo+to+mono&qid=1673476074&sprefix=3.5mm+y+cable+stereo+to+mono%2Caps%2C134&sr=8-6

Darktrain used to make full adapter cables, not sure he still does:
https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=181231.0

There's also a link in that topic with further discussions on the same topic:
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=179317.0
and this one with a detailed DIY build:
https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=160895.0
« Last Edit: January 11, 2023, 05:34:09 PM by jefflester »
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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2023, 05:54:49 PM »
For classical, maybe it is worth considering the 4060 over the 4061. There is a ~ 10 dB difference in sensitivity. As far as powering, I would get a 2 x microdot to 3.5 mm TRS y-cable, which you could use with most small battery boxes or pre-amps (as stated above). The MMA-A is another option, as are a used MPS-6030 or MMA-6000 (if you can find one).

Offline SMsound

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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2023, 01:00:21 AM »
I used to have a pair of these, taped with them for around 20 years.
https://www.core-sound.com/products/high-end-binaural
I was thinking about picking up this Core Sound DPA 4061 set! Do you like it? Would you use it now? Why'd you switch?

For classical, maybe it is worth considering the 4060 over the 4061.
Thanks -- I would agree, except my 4061's will also sometimes be used as lav's on operatic sopranos, which get up to 124dB or so and people I know in the business tell me they distort on 4060's doing this. I have been looking into the new DPA CORE model updated 4060 & 4061's, which are supposed to have more dynamic range and I think higher max SPL. Not sure if that will translate to less noise in practice.

Yeah, me too.
Jeff, thanks for posting all of these adapter links! This is super helpful!
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2023, 05:33:03 AM »
A word of caution on powering if you use a more generic battery box instead of the Core Sound solution:

Some battery boxes supply the mics with more than 9V, and that can damage 406x mics. 8V is really where they want to be.

I've never powered mine from a battery box; I always have used recorders with phantom-powered XLR inputs. When I got my 4061s, Jon at Naiant Studio built me a custom set of PFA phantom adapters specifically for these mics.
https://naiant.com/custom_audio_reproduction_equipment/product_spec/pfa-specification/
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Offline one8ung

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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2023, 09:01:27 AM »
I put a 3.5mm jack on my 4061 mics and power them with a CA-UBB.
Mics: Countryman B3 - DPA 4061 - OKM II

Power: A3 Adapter - CA-UBB

Recorders: Tascam DR-2d (3x)

Offline BradleyJY15

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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2023, 10:21:25 AM »
I loved the CoreSound DPA 4061s. Super easy to use, battery and cables all provided with the package.  Just plug into 1/8" mini on recorder.  Only reason I stopped using them was because I used them too much - I forget what the exact piece was, but basically the cable that goes into the mic had been bent too much over 20 years and broke. Len at CoreSound tried to fix it, but it didn't last - it was a terminal fatigue.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2023, 10:53:41 AM »
For classical, maybe it is worth considering the 4060 over the 4061.
Thanks -- I would agree, except my 4061's will also sometimes be used as lav's on operatic sopranos, which get up to 124dB or so and people I know in the business tell me they distort on 4060's doing this. I have been looking into the new DPA CORE model updated 4060 & 4061's, which are supposed to have more dynamic range and I think higher max SPL. Not sure if that will translate to less noise in practice.

Way back when I originally choose 4060 over 4061 specifically because I was looking to use them for classical music and other "quiet room and audience" performances in addition to amplified music and choose 4060 for its slightly lower self-noise. Noise floor of the resulting recordings has always been dominated by the noisefloor of the room rather than the micrphones. I've only had 4060 audibly distort a handful of times, each time on extremely loud amplified subwoofer bass (only once on classical music with electronic organ making huge rumbles), and am not sure if it was the microphone distorting or the preamp due to low battery voltage combined with high output from the microphone.  Most instances were traced to a failing preamp battery.  I use both 4060 and 4061 these days in different rigs, but always 4060 for classical, a decision strongly influenced by ensuring sufficiently quiet self-noise which is needed for most every classical recording, contrasted against rare super loud peaks.  I've recorded a handful of powerful soprano's without problems, from very close audience proximity, which is not as close as a fixed microphone would be [edit- or a lavaliere, missed that earlier] where the SPL's will be dramatically higher.

If I were replacing my miniature DPAs for classical, I'll choose the CORE 4060's.  I've not used the new CORE versions, but reviewed the specs with interest when originally announced and found the CORE 4060's max SPL and measured distortion level prior to max be equivalent or nearly so to legacy 4061, but with the lower self-noise of 4060.

I was less concerned about sensitivity, and in some cases I think the hotter output of 4060 can cause distortion downstream as mentioned above, but if you are wanting to use a battery box instead of a preamp to power them, the reduced gain requirement due to the significantly higher sensitivity represents an advantage.  In some scenarios with 4060 I have the preamp set to around unity gain.

I've never used a battery box to power miniature DPA's myself (4060, 4061, 4098H).  I've used the DPA MMA6000 preamp, various church audio preamps, or for phantom powering- DPA DAD6001 XLR adapters or Naiant PFAs, all of which have worked well, assuming the correct healthy and fully charged battery.

Microdot to 3.5mm stereo miniplug or miniXLR adapter cables avoid the need to determinate the microdot connectors on the microphones for use with non-microdot input preamps and battery boxes.


EDIT- Oops, seems I overlooked the lavaliere usage part.  Safer with 4061 in that case.  Voltronic may be able to better address if self-noise is an issue with 4061 in quiet performance spaces.  I use 4061 in an different rig for amplified stuff.
Quote
..will also sometimes be used as lav's on operatic sopranos..[/i]
« Last Edit: January 12, 2023, 03:39:46 PM by Gutbucket »
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline jefflester

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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2023, 02:05:49 PM »
I loved the CoreSound DPA 4061s. Super easy to use, battery and cables all provided with the package.  Just plug into 1/8" mini on recorder.  Only reason I stopped using them was because I used them too much - I forget what the exact piece was, but basically the cable that goes into the mic had been bent too much over 20 years and broke. Len at CoreSound tried to fix it, but it didn't last - it was a terminal fatigue.
Somewhat similar to me. I started using mine in 1998 and did several hundred shows with them. Last time I tried to use them 3 years ago one of the channels was bad, I haven't investigated further. I got an AKG Baby nBox setup and also AT943>CA-UGLY option, but then I don't really tape anymore.
DPA4061 HEB/AT943 -> CA-UGLY -> R-09
AKG CK63 -> nBob actives -> Baby NBox -> R-09/DR2d
AKG CK63 -> AKG C460B -> Zoom F8/DR-680MKII
Samson C02/Superlux S502/iSK Little Gem/Sennheiser E609/Shure SM57 -> Zoom F8/DR-680MKII (multitracked band recordings)

Offline SMsound

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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2023, 04:33:33 PM »
Some battery boxes supply the mics with more than 9V, and that can damage 406x mics. 8V is really where they want to be.

I've never powered mine from a battery box; I always have used recorders with phantom-powered XLR inputs. When I got my 4061s, Jon at Naiant Studio built me a custom set of PFA phantom adapters specifically for these mics.
https://naiant.com/custom_audio_reproduction_equipment/product_spec/pfa-specification/
PFA's sound like a great solution! Do you recall how much a stereo pair of PFA's cost for the 4061 pair? Do you find the PFA preamp gain to be clean like your F6?



If I were replacing my miniature DPAs for classical, I'll choose the CORE 4060's.  I've not used the new CORE versions, but reviewed the specs with interest when originally announced and found the CORE 4060's max SPL and measured distortion level prior to max be equivalent or nearly so to legacy 4061, but with the lower self-noise of 4060.
I just reread the CORE specs after a year or so and you're right.. I may be able to get away with CORE 4060. Most people I know who use DPA opera as lav mics have switched to 4061 over the years, but this was before the CORE came out... I have had distortion on e.g. Line Audio mics when used up close (3ft) on a big voiced soprano, but never schoeps. It's a disaster for recordings when it happens. Looks like core is halfway between 4060 and my schoeps in terms of 129dB SPL for <1% THD distortion, so this better upper limit of the CORE 4060 may work and get me some lower self noise.
I've never used a battery box to power miniature DPA's myself (4060, 4061, 4098H).  I've used the DPA MMA6000 preamp, various church audio preamps, or for phantom powering- DPA DAD6001 XLR adapters or Naiant PFAs, all of which have worked well, assuming the correct healthy and fully charged battery.
Thanks for this info! Did you have custom PFA's made like Voltronic, or use adapter cables?
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2023, 06:06:38 PM »
Here's the details on XLR powering-
The DPA DAD6001 and Naiant PFA are essentially equivalent in function in adapting these microphones to phantom powered XLR inputs and are both audibly transparent.  I use them both.

Depending on how you source the microphones, each microphone may or may not come provided with a DAD6001. Regarding form factor, both are housed in a male XLR connector, the primary difference being the PFA has a short wire "pig tail" input lead, whereas the DAD6001 has a rigidly mounted female microdot input (and an optional belt-clip). 

Advantage of the DAD6001's microdot connection is direct connection from any standard DPA microdot-terminated mic-lead.  Disadvantage for some applications is the microdot connection sticks out from the recorder or preamp input once the XLR is plugged in, making it somewhat more difficult to fit in a tight bag and more vulnerable to being knocked or bent if that connection is unprotected.

Advantage of the wire input is that it can "turn the corner more tightly" making it and the microphone cable less vulnerable.  I cut a small slit the rubber strain relief of the XLR housing on my PFAs to allow side entry of the wire with the strain relief serving basically as rubber bumper.  Disadvantage is that a microdot input is not available from Naiant.  However, you may be able to send them a short cable terminated with female microdot on both ends that Naiant would then cut in half to use as two input leads - contact Jon at Naiant about that possibility.  We can point you to sources for microdot terminated cables. Typical PFA input options are mini-jack or mini-XLR (maybe Binder?), either of which can be stereo, exiting to Y pig tail to a PFA pair, or mono.  To use that you will need to either use a short microdot adapter cable (mono or stereo Y), or re-terminate the microphone lead from male microdot to 3.5mm mini-plug or mini-XLR, typically.   I generally use adapter cables to avoid having to modify the microdot on the mic cable as its somewhat difficult soldering the very thin center lead of the DPA microphone cable reliably.  I prefer mini-XLR because it is locking, and because I have all four mics connected through a single multi-pin mini XLR connector.  In other multichannel rigs I use multiple mini XLRs, with each handling a stereo pair.

More details on Naiant PFAs-
They can be ordered (could? I think Jon at Naiant continues to build them upon request) with a lot of options, including things like provision of polarization voltage to non-electret condensor microphone capsules.  These are the simplest of PFAs, and use a shorter XLR housing than some that other TS members require for powering other microphones. They can be ordered with other than unity gain, but if feeding a modern XLR recorder or preamp input that typically isn't necessary.  Mine are all unity gain. They can be built with an output of either polarity.  If ordering from Naiant, tell Jon the PFAs are for miniature DPA and that the output should be non-inverting.  If not specified, he builds them inverting, as most other miniature mics seem to have a polarity inverted output, so an inverting PFA corrects for that.  This not generally a problem for a single mic or pair of the same mics, but is nice if using multiple mics to have everything recorded with the same polarity.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2023, 06:08:18 PM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline SMsound

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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2023, 06:26:39 PM »
More details on Naiant PFAs-

Ahhh - I am very mistaken then -- for some reason I had thought PFA's were a battery box + preamp with 9dB or 18dB of gain.  Since this is for a stealth rig build, the ideal thing would be to have a very small battery box + pre combo, so I can plug a pair of them into a 1/8" aux jack on a recorder like a PMC-A10 (my tentative plan).   I don't think DAD6001 are ideal for stealth, as they will add size to the recorder. I have some small-ish setups (schoeps CMC1-Lemo), but I think that a pair of DPA-406X pair -> tiny battery box/pre-> 1/8" TRS -> PCM-A10 is just a lot easier to stealth (esp. since nobody wears hats in an opera) than even the new little schoeps.

So, is Church Audio the main option for a tiny pre+battery box, and can it supply the (weird) 8V that 406X want?
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Stealth DPA 4061's -- What batt & pre setup?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2023, 08:07:26 PM »
Yes that's what you want into A10 or an equivalent 1/8"TRS input recorder. The mics will run on 5 to 9V. A standard 9V battery under load generally measures around 8V.


Here are three suppliers of which I'm aware that offer battery boxes and low power preamps commonly used my TS members (alphabetical order) :
Church Audio
Core Sound (a DPA dealer that can also supply the microphones, either with or without an integrated battery box)
Sound Professionals

Naiant used to make a small rechargeable battery box called PIPsqueek and some other products that would work for this but does not any more. 
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

 

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