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Author Topic: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps  (Read 4904 times)

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Offline schoepsnbox

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New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« on: September 04, 2015, 11:19:53 AM »
I've used a borrowed pair of mk6 capsules and really like their card sound combined with the side address...question is which new caps from the schoeps line are most like the mk6..who has a pair of matched mk6 caps they are willing to part with ;D ;)

Thanks!

Offline noahbickart

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2015, 11:31:48 AM »
Mine aren't matched, but they're close, I might me interested in parting with them.....
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, GAKables 10' & 20' 6-channel snakes, Darktrain 2 & 4 channel KCY and mini xlr extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6 I
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6 I, Sony PCM m10

Home Playback: Mac Mini> Mytek Brooklyn+> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-4XX / Beyerdynamic DT880

Office Playback: iMac> Grace m903> AKG k701 / Hifiman HE-400

Offline DSatz

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2015, 07:17:09 PM »
> question is which new caps from the schoeps line are most like the mk6

I know that some people here would reject this idea out of hand, but the existing MK 4 V could be used, and its high-frequency boost could be equalized out of the recordings later. It would require a parametric equalizer with variable Q.

> who has a pair of matched mk6 caps they are willing to part with

Matched pairs of MK 6 were sold only in small quantities. The MK 6 was never a huge seller to begin with, and the option for factory matching of capsule pairs wasn't generally available until around the year 2000.

--This may not be what you're looking for, but the CMTS 301 and CMTS 501 stereo microphones were made with matched pairs of CMT-series MK 6 capsules. And in some respects I consider them to be the best stereo microphones ever made. They were all made before the changeover to the newer synthetic rubber gaskets, though--so the ones that come up for sale often require a level of factory service that isn't always possible any more.

That's to say, a person might buy such a microphone only to find, sooner or later, that only one of its capsules can be fully restored (or in the worst possible case, neither of them). So we should discuss the risks and potential rewards if you're interested in that possibility. (Of course if you require the option of using non-coincident miking arrangements, the CMTS microphones wouldn't be for you.)

--best regards
« Last Edit: September 17, 2015, 11:52:10 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline schoepsnbox

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2015, 07:49:24 PM »
> question is which new caps from the schoeps line are most like the mk6

I know that some people here would reject this idea out of hand, but the existing MK 4 V could be used, and its high-frequency boost could be equalized out of the recordings later. That's a mite inconvenient but it could be entirely effective. It would require a parametric equalizer with variable Q. Given the usual type of minimum-phase filters, the result should even mimic the phase response of the MK 6's cardioid setting (not that I find that a major issue in the frequency range that we're talking about).

The main problem I would have with that approach, personally, would be not quite knowing where to put the microphones in the live recording situation, since there would be extra brightness coming through to the headphones during setup. But I suppose one could learn.

> who has a pair of matched mk6 caps they are willing to part with

Matched pairs of MK 6 were sold only in small quantities. The MK 6 was never a huge seller to begin with, and the option for factory matching of capsule pairs wasn't generally available until around the year 2000.

--This really may not be what you're looking for, but the CMTS 301 and CMTS 501 stereo microphones were made with matched pairs of CMT-series MK 6 capsules. And in some respects I consider them to be the best stereo microphones ever made. They were all made before the changeover to the newer synthetic rubber gaskets, though--so the ones that come up for sale often require a level of factory service that isn't always possible any more. That's to say, a person might buy such a microphone only to find, sooner or later, that only one of its capsules can be fully restored (or in the worst possible case, neither of them).

So we should discuss the risks and potential rewards if you're interested in that possibility. But if you require the option of using non-coincident miking arrangements, the CMTS microphones wouldn't be for you.

--best regards

Thanks for the reply..pm sent!

Offline noahbickart

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2015, 09:59:00 PM »
Dsatz, does schoeps no longer do the special order only mk4v without the HF bump? I know they used to do so, that would have been essentially a fixed cardioid mk6.
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, GAKables 10' & 20' 6-channel snakes, Darktrain 2 & 4 channel KCY and mini xlr extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6 I
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6 I, Sony PCM m10

Home Playback: Mac Mini> Mytek Brooklyn+> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-4XX / Beyerdynamic DT880

Office Playback: iMac> Grace m903> AKG k701 / Hifiman HE-400

Offline hi and lo

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2015, 10:05:52 PM »
Dsatz, does schoeps no longer do the special order only mk4v without the HF bump? I know they used to do so, that would have been essentially a fixed cardioid mk6.

I've never heard of such a thing.

Offline DSatz

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2015, 08:30:34 PM »
noahbickart, the "MK 4 VJ" is no longer available; Schoeps stopped making them six or seven years ago by now. They might reconsider if someone placed a firm order for, say, 30 pairs of capsules, but even then I'm not sure; they seem really resistant to the idea of making any more of them. I think it disturbs them that the response in the top half-octave rolls off as much as it does, although it's perfectly appropriate for the capsule's original purpose.

--hi and lo, Schoeps has an important broadcasting client in Japan who came to them maybe ~20 years ago with a problem: They'd been using a particular Japanese-made cardioid ribbon microphone when recording a certain traditional, plucked string instrument--perhaps a shamisen. But that microphone had been discontinued, and its manufacturer could no longer replace damaged ribbons. One by one those microphones were failing.

So Schoeps measured one of the remaining microphones that the client still had in good working order, and came up with a variant of the MK 4 V that mimicked its response. This turned out to be close to the response characteristic of the MK 6 in its cardioid setting, though not identical. In MK 6 capsules made or rebuilt since the mid-1970s, the frequency response in the cardioid setting has a relatively broad 1-to-2 dB elevation in the treble, somewhat like a reduced version of the MK 4 V's. The MK 4 VJ has this elevation to an even lesser degree, and above that, its response rolls off a little sooner. This capsule variant was never included in the catalog or price list, but was known as the MK 4 VJ ("J" = Japan).

--best regards
« Last Edit: September 17, 2015, 11:56:42 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline DSatz

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2015, 09:05:56 PM »
schoepsnbox, you sent me a private message asking (I think) about the CMTS stereo microphones, but I didn't actually want to start an off-line conversation. I prefer to share all such information with anyone and everyone who's interested in it. And anyway I only meant that this type of microphone exists on the used market.

However, there are serious long-term maintenance concerns with all Schoeps three-pattern capsules, especially the ones from before the Colette series--and CMTS stereo microphones, being from the CMT series, count as older. (The CMTS 501 continued to be manufactured for several years after the Colette series was introduced, but still with housings and other parts that are no longer made--and, in many cases, no longer in the company's stock of repair parts.) If you search this board, you'll find a number of threads spelling out the problems in some detail. If you read those and still have questions, please let me know.

In general, Schoeps will gladly do what they can for owners of their older microphones. But there are cases where they know in advance that the outcome probably won't be good, and there are others (even more painful) in which they don't and can't know--they remove a capsule from its housing to examine it, and discover that something irreplaceable has fallen apart. In that case they're truly stuck; they can't even reassemble the capsule. Even if it was working to some extent beforehand (though in all probability way out of spec), at that point it becomes just a sad little heap of parts in a Baggie. They won't charge you for the repair attempt if that occurs--but that clearly isn't much consolation, and they prefer to avoid the situation if at all possible. Unfortunately it can't always be predicted. Please see http://www.schoeps.de/en/faqs/categories/1 for a statement from the company about this (I only translated some parts of it ...).

All in all, as highly as I think of the MK 6, I don't want to make it a "fetish item"; there obviously must be many other ways to make good recordings, because plenty of people who don't have these capsules seem to do it.

--best regards
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 11:46:13 AM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline earmonger

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2015, 01:15:47 AM »
Behind all of this technology there are humans. Let us never forget that.

Offline DSatz

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2016, 08:44:46 PM »
And just to show a sample of how things are at this point: In October two Colette MK 6 capsules came up for sale on eBay. I bought the first one for $860, and bid for the second one, but didn't get it (it sold for just over $1200).

I sent the capsule to Schoeps for checkout and repair. From the outside it looked good, but my "fallback" request, in case it couldn't be restored to full functionality, was for them to try to make it work as a single-pattern cardioid.

I was notified today that it couldn't be repaired at all.
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Offline yug du nord

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2016, 09:51:09 PM »
^ouch.
.....got a blank space where my mind should be.....

Offline schoepsnbox

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2016, 11:35:13 PM »
That blows..I actually was trying to bid on those as well..so what do you get back a bag of parts?  I wonder if schoeps would swap the shells out?  I found two but one is nickel and the other is Nextel..trivial I know but would be nice to have them match visually.

Offline DSatz

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2016, 11:43:50 AM »
All Bernhard could/would say was (translating here) that the remaining available replacement parts didn't fit the capsule.

The MK 6 has several dozen moving parts in its pattern-change mechanism, in addition to the usual complement of stationary ones--and at various times over the years, the factory has made small production changes that have required them to keep more than one variant of a given part in stock for repairs, since the old and new versions of the parts aren't necessarily interchangeable. But as time goes on and repair parts are consumed but not produced, inevitably they start running out.

I'll be getting the parts of this capsule back, so I also asked whether it made sense to include them with any future Colette MK 6 capsules that I send in for repair (e.g. one that's in the pipeline now), in case they could be used as substitutes. But he said that according to the people who actually assemble the capsules, with capsules of this age, the notion of assembling one good one from the parts of two broken ones doesn't apply any more. (The two capsules in question are relatively early Colette capsules--serial numbers 53xx and 82xx.)

At this point, he suggests that such older MK 6 capsule be sent in for repair only if their functioning has deteriorated to the point where the pain of a total loss would be tolerable. The word he keeps using for these repairs is "Glücksspiel" which means a game of fortune (or from a post-Enlightenment perspective, a game of chance).

I'll continue to play the odds even though they are tilting more and more in an unfavorable direction. My original CMT-series MK 6 capsules were fully restored eight or ten years ago, and I have a CMTS 501 that was likewise fully restored, so I'm covered. But now I'm hoping to put together a pair of MK 6g Colette capsules to use with active accessories--or failing that, one such capsule that I can use as the "M" for M/S recording--and I want them/it to have the newer gasket material so that I don't have to worry about them/it long-term.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 11:39:45 AM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline DSatz

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2016, 11:21:05 AM »
schoepsnbox asked:

> so what do you get back a bag of parts?

In this case I was spared that. They put the parts back into the capsule housing, closed it up and put a sticker on the top that says "repair impossible". The pattern selector even rotates and clicks as if it were a functioning three-pattern capsule. It's a nice memorial to what might have been.

In a way this is karma for me. (sigh) I've prodded and provoked people at the company for over 40 years about this capsule type, and I haven't always been my best self about it. (There was a crowning incident that I will sit on for a few more years, I think, but the story doesn't reflect very well on me.)

Getting back to the original point of this thread, though: In my current thinking and with my current set of ears, the two current Schoeps capsules that give me the most of what I like about the MK 6 cardioid are the MK 22 and the MK 41 V. Since neither of those is a cardioid, they're not direct substitutes, of course. But they each have a major part of what I like.

To me there's nothing inherently magical or ideal about a cardioid pattern as such. It's one point along the spectrum, and it happens to be halfway mathematically between the two ends of that spectrum--but that isn't "a fact that one can hear". It's far more important, for example, that the on-axis frequency response be flat and smooth, and that the pattern be maintained evenly across the frequency spectrum, so that (conversely) the smooth frequency response of the capsule will apply to all important angles of sound incidence. And the MK 22 and MK 41 V both excel in those respects, as does the MK 6 in its cardioid setting.

--best regards

P.S. added a few weeks later: Evidently they had better luck with the second used MK 6 that I sent them for checkout/repair. It's on its way back now. My expectations had been lowered so far that when I heard the news, I felt as if I'd won some kind of Lottery prize. So now I have a nice "M" capsule to use for M/S recording.

P.P.S. added ~3 months after the first P.S.: Another fairly early (s/n 18xx) Colette MK 6 turned up on eBay; I bought it, but found that it was figure-8 in all three pattern settings. I sent it to Schoeps for a repair attempt, but it was another total loss. So that's two total losses out of three for me in the past year.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 10:55:34 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline EmRR

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Re: New schoeps comparable to MK6 caps
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2022, 06:02:55 PM »
If an mk6 is “stuck in figure 8” as many sales listings claim, would one expect a proper figure 8 response due to the failure mechanism, or is it likely to be something in the 8 camp but not as expected? 
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