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Author Topic: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"  (Read 1029 times)

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Offline jerryfreak

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DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« on: June 11, 2020, 10:09:58 AM »
new site they said they are looking for feedback

https://www.dpamicrophones.com/mic-dictionary
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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2020, 11:38:35 AM »
Yeah, I saw that also. I like how it links to a Mic University article, if one exists. This has the potential to evolve into something quite useful!

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2020, 12:33:05 PM »
Cool site. Thanks for the link.
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Offline Moke

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2020, 08:20:19 AM »
Now they just need to figure out how to keep the onboard preamp from fizzing out, and, ruining the mics. Work on that, instead of making a fancy web page.
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2020, 08:34:34 AM »
never heard of this. deetz?
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Offline Moke

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2020, 09:34:12 AM »
I've had, in all likeliness, well over a hundred grand in failed mics ($150K+?).  This goes back to the later 80's when the 4011's first came out; failed onboard preamp.
I gave them another chance with the compact series; all fails.
I even went with the mini series; failure.

4022's,... probably went through a minimum of 4 pairs.
4028's; multiple failed pairs.
Finally, Ole Brumstead Sorenson, B&K CEO, stopped production of the compacts, and, investigated.  A suggestion was made that a thrid party outside contractor put too thick of a chrome coating on the backplate of the mic, and the capsule would contact it, and short out the preamp. Not long after, they stopped production of the 402x series.
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2020, 09:53:47 AM »
they discontinued the 402x in 2010 or so, but they had been DPA for 15 years or so at that point

were all the failures from B&K branded gear?

seems like its a known issue that was fixed since the modular series arrived in 2011, at least?
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2020, 09:59:45 AM »
From the "C" section:



Clean Sound

Atmospheric sound.


...

Coloration

Non-uniformity in off-axis frequency responses resulting in a distortion of the tonal quality of the source.


...

Content 0

Material or essence used for distribution by an operator.
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<<

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2020, 10:52:55 AM »
obviously a work in progress lol
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Offline Moke

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2020, 11:25:11 AM »
they discontinued the 402x in 2010 or so, but they had been DPA for 15 years or so at that point

were all the failures from B&K branded gear?

seems like its a known issue that was fixed since the modular series arrived in 2011, at least?

Well, both labels, B&K and DPA, actually. But they are the same manufacturer. It becomes a difference in the marketing end, regarding whether it is for a retail sale (DPA), or, commercial measurement device (B&K).
I'm not entirely familiar with the timeline anymore. My issues arose mostly in the 2001->2010 period, but, do reach back to 1989, when they first released the 4011, as B&K.  That early 4011 pair failed in the same way that every other pair that I've worked with have failed. You get scratchy static, and then a 6dB drop in output, along with spiking of the signal. If you try to correct for the level drop, you bring up all of the junk that the failure presents in the signal chain.
I became quite close with Bruce Myers during that time.  He treated me like their finest customer.  They were absolutely top notch in the way that they handled each situation. But, ultimately, I could not reckon with having such an investment, that I could not trust.
Since that time, I've been entirely thrilled with my Line Audio CM3 sub-card pair, which, I feel, are equivalent to DPA, and, at something like $3.5k+ less

edit: really big fingers.
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2020, 11:41:25 AM »
what was Bruce's take on the QC issues?

he was always a straight shooter, now DPA support is a black hole in many cases
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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2020, 03:16:09 PM »
As counterpoint to Moke's anecdotal complaint, I bought a pair of 4023's in 2001, and used them for 100-250 nights per year without incident until the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live music.

Figured the shutdown was a good time to get them checked out; contacted DPA USA in Colorado for an RMA, and sent them in.
~2 weeks later they sent back word that mics were fine, and still working in spec.
Rather than taking them back, I opted to have them sent to Denmark to be reconfigured to use the new modular connectors.
Took about a month; looks like they sent back a different set of brand new, matched 4011X capsules (different S/N than what I sent in).

Looking forward to getting out and testing them in the wild sometime before the end of the year...
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2020, 03:37:49 PM »
As counterpoint to Moke's anecdotal complaint, I bought a pair of 4023's in 2001, and used them for 100-250 nights per year without incident until the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live music.

Figured the shutdown was a good time to get them checked out; contacted DPA USA in Colorado for an RMA, and sent them in.
~2 weeks later they sent back word that mics were fine, and still working in spec.
Rather than taking them back, I opted to have them sent to Denmark to be reconfigured to use the new modular connectors.
Took about a month; looks like they sent back a different set of brand new, matched 4011X capsules (different S/N than what I sent in).

Looking forward to getting out and testing them in the wild sometime before the end of the year...

they gave mine a new SN as well, but it should be the same capsule. im guessing they just have a huge stack of the bottom capsule rings with serial numbers they pull off of.

did you pay to upgrade to new housings or are your caps unmarked  (new modular capsules have the 4011 and cardioid symbol). Unmarked caps would be typical of the 402x, which were marked with model numbers, but down lower on the part that is discarded when the capsule was upgraded

hopefully they didnt double tax you for the testing and then the upgrade. their fee to test a mic is about the same price as the upgrade ($145 vs $185), and the latter includes the test and new cert.

I wasnt aware they had the ability to do any tests of the SDCs in longmont, i was told everything goes to denmark for testing as well as benchwork
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 03:40:09 PM by jerryfreak »
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Offline lerond

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2020, 05:01:53 PM »
I can't say if the capsules were reused ... but if they tested OK, why not?

What I got back lacks the cardioid symbol (like you say, that was on the now-discarded bottom portion), but as one of the top covers on my old set was slightly scuffed up and neither of the new ones look the same as the reference pics I have, it's hard to know for sure. I suppose they might have polished or replaced that piece too.

Emails from Longmont in April state "We have recieved your items. We will test, diagnose and email a repair quote within 5 business days" ... and then a few days later, "Your items have been tested. See the attached diagnosis/repair quote", which gave $154/capsule as the fee to update them to modular. Maybe the price difference reflects a change between Euro/USD conversion?

The attachment didn't include any measurements, so maybe the "diagnosis" is limited to a very basic operations test ("yup, they work")?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 05:15:41 PM by lerond »
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2020, 05:48:23 PM »
I can't say if the capsules were reused ... but if they tested OK, why not?

What I got back lacks the cardioid symbol (like you say, that was on the now-discarded bottom portion), but as one of the top covers on my old set was slightly scuffed up and neither of the new ones look the same as the reference pics I have, it's hard to know for sure. I suppose they might have polished or replaced that piece too.

Emails from Longmont in April state "We have recieved your items. We will test, diagnose and email a repair quote within 5 business days" ... and then a few days later, "Your items have been tested. See the attached diagnosis/repair quote", which gave $154/capsule as the fee to update them to modular. Maybe the price difference reflects a change between Euro/USD conversion?

The attachment didn't include any measurements, so maybe the "diagnosis" is limited to a very basic operations test ("yup, they work")?

mine was $185 last year. the capsule came with a new test card. seems like they changed a couple things.

as of april my communique was:
Quote
me:Is there a standard fee to evaluate and test the capsules

DPA:Denmark has a much high bench fee than we do. There runs at $143.75 per unit.

me:So that’s just a standard bench rate for you to evaluate a capsule and test it to spec and generate new test paperwork. Is there any other standard maintenance they should have like periodic disassembling and cleaning or something like that?

DPA:That is Denmark’s bench fee, yes. Some people like to send them in every 5 – 10 years to have them checked up, but if they are not preforming out of the norm I would not see a need to.It’s pretty rare they go out without some user error or something field related.

as far as not having them marked if they are your only caps its no big deal, if you have others its nice to have them marked

i used a cardioid label that came with another product, maybe it was the 4018 vocal mics. a little 1/4"ish round sticker that was perfect. looks factory at a casual glance, ill see if i have any more, if not ill bet longmont does


 
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 05:52:15 PM by jerryfreak »
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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2020, 08:49:15 PM »
I've had, in all likeliness, well over a hundred grand in failed mics ($150K+?). 

That's something like 30 or 40 pairs! You must be much more patient than I am...

Offline Moke

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2020, 11:29:35 PM »
30 would be a very reasonable number.  And they were matching number stereo kits.
I offered them my preamps to study, and the recorders (Grace V3, SD 722, Edirol R44). They claimed it as their issue, and didn't want to look to see if it were my gear misfiring. With that said, I could never get my gear to do anything untowards that would be damaging.


With all of this said, I was a major league DPA fanboy, and still am; I love the sound.
DPA, O.B. Sorenson, and Bruce Myer were wonderful to work with through it. They had my back, and with each issue, I had gear at the ready that they'd send.  They were very supportive of my recordings at the time, which were in larger part, more baroque and renaissance.
Its water under the bridge at this point; though it was really frustrating. What I still have a hard time with is, why me?
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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2020, 03:24:09 PM »
My feedback on the DPA website is that they need to bring back the old DPA website, which was easier to navigate and had some great information which has now been removed. 
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2020, 03:26:27 PM »
+T
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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2020, 08:44:10 AM »
30 would be a very reasonable number.  And they were matching number stereo kits.
I offered them my preamps to study, and the recorders (Grace V3, SD 722, Edirol R44). They claimed it as their issue, and didn't want to look to see if it were my gear misfiring. With that said, I could never get my gear to do anything untowards that would be damaging.


With all of this said, I was a major league DPA fanboy, and still am; I love the sound.
DPA, O.B. Sorenson, and Bruce Myer were wonderful to work with through it. They had my back, and with each issue, I had gear at the ready that they'd send.  They were very supportive of my recordings at the time, which were in larger part, more baroque and renaissance.
Its water under the bridge at this point; though it was really frustrating. What I still have a hard time with is, why me?

I wonder if you didn't just hit an astonishingly improbable piece of bad luck. Like hitting the PowerBall, except in a negative way. Or maybe there was some weird incompatibility with another piece of gear. About a decade ago, I exhaustively researched the compact series* and I don't recall hearing of any problems with the exception of some cable issues and some RF interference. Maybe others were encountering a situation similar to yours, but I don't remember seeing anything like it...

*I was actually ready to pull the trigger on the compacts back then, but my DPA dealer told me that they would be announcing a modular series with small pres in the very near future and that they would be selling the first sets shortly thereafter. So I decided to hold off for a little and ended up with one of the first pairs of modular mics sold to a non-professional customer. For what it's worth, I haven't heard any reports of untoward issues with the modular mics.

My feedback on the DPA website is that they need to bring back the old DPA website, which was easier to navigate and had some great information which has now been removed. 

I wouldn't hold my breath. It has been, what, five years since the last major website redesign? Most of the information is still there, though, and you can probably find anything missing with Wayback. As I recall the previous major redesign was 2009 or 2010, so we may be due for another in the not too distant future, if they hold to the every 5 or 6 years pattern of the recent past...

Offline voltronic

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2020, 09:16:54 PM »
My feedback on the DPA website is that they need to bring back the old DPA website, which was easier to navigate and had some great information which has now been removed. 

I wouldn't hold my breath. It has been, what, five years since the last major website redesign? Most of the information is still there, though, and you can probably find anything missing with Wayback. As I recall the previous major redesign was 2009 or 2010, so we may be due for another in the not too distant future, if they hold to the every 5 or 6 years pattern of the recent past...

Oh, I am not expecting a change.  I just wish they would at least restore the old content, especially the excellent stereo mic arrays comparison recordings with the chamber choir.

Same complaint about the new Rycote website.
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Online aaronji

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2020, 12:30:53 PM »
^ Those clips are probably still available somewhere; maybe DPA took them down due to changes in their microphone line-up? I personally miss the frequency response graphs at various distances from the source, which clearly showed the extent of the proximity effect for the different capsules.

On the positive side, they have substantially expanded some of the Mic University topics and they have posted a lot of videos on their YouTube channel and Facebook account. I think this new dictionary is also a step in the right direction (although it is pretty clearly still a work in progress).

Offline DSatz

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2020, 02:59:49 PM »
aaronji, I feel strongly that microphone manufacturers ought to specify the measuring distance for all frequency response graphs, and if possible, show curves for two or more different working distances. I have seen very few who do so, however.

Of course the large majority of DPA's capsules are pressure transducers, which don't have proximity effect. But the graphs for those that are pressure-gradient, AFAIK, are always "corrected" to a 30 cm measurement distance, or about 1 foot. Since nearly all other manufacturers use 1 meter (about 3 feet), this makes DPA's graphs for their cardioid and shotgun microphones look as if they have comparatively much more low-frequency response than they actually do have. In my opinion it isn't honorable to do that for general-purpose microphones (i.e. that aren't used for very close-up recording).
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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2020, 03:28:05 PM »
^ Yes, I agree. That's why I was lamenting the fact that they no longer provide the frequency response charts at various distances (such as the one in the linked post for the 4011 cardioid). They used to have these for all directional mics that they produced.

Some of their mics are spec'ed at 60 cm (such as the 4015) and others at 30 cm (such as the 4011), both at +/- 2 dB. In my opinion, this is not dishonest as long as it is all clearly stated (although it would be better if they had the aforementioned plots still available). Many other manufacturers don't clearly state the distance or the tolerance or use a wider tolerance, which is equally (or more so) "dishonorable".
« Last Edit: June 16, 2020, 03:30:09 PM by aaronji »

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Re: DPA "Microphone Dictionary"
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2020, 05:32:13 PM »
Here are those proximity effect graphs for the MMC4011 and MMC4015. I guess maybe I should stick these somewhere for posterity. Well, at any rate, if anyone has them for the 2011, 4017, 4018, or any other DPA directional mics, please upload them!


 

 

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