Become a Site Supporter and Never see Ads again!

Author Topic: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?  (Read 1869 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MakersMarc

  • Trade Count: (15)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 4467
  • Gender: Male
  • 😈
Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« on: June 15, 2020, 06:18:44 PM »
My 4v are from 1998 and have never been serviced. Zero issues, but is it a good idea to send them? My 41v have like 15 shows in them since 2017, so in the event some live music breaks out, I’m covered. Is Germany my best bet?

Thanks!
😈 Mk4v/41v>nbob actives>Baby nbox>Oade warm mod Marantz 620.

Open: 4v/41v>nbobs>Nicky mod Naiant PFA>Oade warm mod 661.

Home: the Stereo Hospital budget refurb rig: Lappie>DragonFly Cobalt/Red with Jitterbug>Nikko NR520 amp>B&W V202 speakers.

Offline jerryfreak

  • Trade Count: (30)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 4659
  • high desert for life
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2020, 06:29:14 PM »
different manufacturers say different things about servicing their gear

DPA says its extremely rare for non-abused capsules to go out of spec. Theyve even got a war story of a 4006 that rattled around in a toolbox on an ocean-going boat for years and was perfectly in spec.

I've never seen schoeps make an official recommendation, though I asked Redding recently about routine maintenance and was told:

If not used in dirty environs, MANY years can go by without a cleaning.

dsatz says that he assumes anything he buys used is going in for a checkup. not sure how he would feel about caps that were known to be well-cared for

id prob say the only reason to clean caps the way we use them is if you were a regular in smoky bars (less common every year), or maybe seaside/marine/aggressive corrosive conditions. Thats just my opinion.
my facemask is a windscreen

People whose posts I wont see:
capnhook, daspyknows, Melanie, morst, noahbickart, Rob D., Scooter123, Sloan Simpson, Walstib62

Offline DSatz

  • Site Supporter
  • Trade Count: (35)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *
  • Posts: 2987
  • Gender: Male
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2020, 11:12:10 AM »
> My 4v are from 1998 and have never been serviced. Zero issues, but is it a good idea to send them?

It's up to you. These capsules don't need regular or preventive servicing as such. "Zero issues" should be the norm for capsules that haven't been dropped, or had liquids spilled into them, or serious smoke/dust exposure etc.

The old three-pattern capsules (MK 6, or the CMTS stereo microphones) were the exception in that regular service was suggested for them--and a lot of people who didn't do that are sorry now--but that's a whole other story.


> Is Germany my best bet?

Here I will drop all polite indirectness: Never allow ANYONE other than Schoeps to service a Schoeps capsule, other than to wipe its external contacts (which you can do yourself).

--By the way, there isn't really a separate service department as such at Schoeps. After an initial "intake", everything that's received for service is handled by the same people who make the actual products. Capsule production has always been the province of a small group of full-time specialists within the company. So capsule repairs really are held to the same standards as the making of new capsules.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2020, 02:51:59 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline MakersMarc

  • Trade Count: (15)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 4467
  • Gender: Male
  • 😈
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2020, 05:59:11 PM »
Thanks guys, most appreciated!
😈 Mk4v/41v>nbob actives>Baby nbox>Oade warm mod Marantz 620.

Open: 4v/41v>nbobs>Nicky mod Naiant PFA>Oade warm mod 661.

Home: the Stereo Hospital budget refurb rig: Lappie>DragonFly Cobalt/Red with Jitterbug>Nikko NR520 amp>B&W V202 speakers.

Offline ero3030

  • Trade Count: (59)
  • Taperssection All-Star
  • ****
  • Posts: 1551
  • Gender: Male
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2020, 01:04:05 PM »
Been selling and rebuying since 99.  Seemed to be the easiest thing to do.  Never had issues, just wanted freshies I guess.  1999, 4v's-985$$ each 2006-7- cmxy4v stereo mic-5kish, 2015 4v's- dirt ass  cheap.   When the euro and the dollar and the pound all go in your favor, new is the way IMO.
UK prices I found to have the best conversion rates.  Let us know how things  go/cost if u send things out.  Ed
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 02:49:06 PM by ero3030 »
needin some fishhead music!

" known for f**king up a good weekend on a Thursday nite "

Offline jerryfreak

  • Trade Count: (30)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 4659
  • high desert for life
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2020, 06:41:23 PM »
Dsatz, would you say that MK5 capsules should be regularly serviced? obviously their shutter system is a lot less complex than the now-obsolete MK6
my facemask is a windscreen

People whose posts I wont see:
capnhook, daspyknows, Melanie, morst, noahbickart, Rob D., Scooter123, Sloan Simpson, Walstib62

Offline DSatz

  • Site Supporter
  • Trade Count: (35)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *
  • Posts: 2987
  • Gender: Male
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2020, 11:26:57 PM »
You're right, there's a world of difference between the MK 5 and the MK 6. The MK 5 should do fine without service for decades unless a mishap occurs.

Schoeps' prescription of regular service at intervals for the MK 6 (and the MKTS 301 and 501) was a unique situation. The MK 6 ... well, it deserves its own special chapter in the history of the company, really.
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline schoepsnbox

  • Trade Count: (43)
  • Taperssection Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 432
  • Gender: Male
  • Nbox...........Zero's and One's
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2020, 12:14:25 AM »
Since the mk6 has been mentioned..what is the current prescription for the mk6 capsules these day?  SOL?  I have 2, one was made in 1978 and rebuilt in 1998 and one was rebuilt in 2011 or thereabouts.  Seem to recall someone mentioning a non schoeps factory repair service for the mk6..anyone know who that may be?

Thanks!!

Offline DSatz

  • Site Supporter
  • Trade Count: (35)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *
  • Posts: 2987
  • Gender: Male
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2020, 02:35:41 AM »
If your MK 6 capsules were serviced during the years that you mentioned, they almost certainly had the updated gaskets (made of a newer, synthetic material that doesn't dry out) installed. In that case, they're no longer doomed to lose their omni and cardioid patterns over time. I hope that you can avoid any mishaps with them. I will use my own MK 6 capsules only under very special circumstances from here on; I assume that if they break, that'll be it for them forever.

There was one other person I knew of in Germany who reportedly had some success with these capsules. It was something that he dabbled in aside from his regular job working for another microphone manufacturer (!). But he is now quite elderly and in poor health, and he may have retired completely by now--I'm not sure. (I don't want to give out his name, but he isn't one of the well-known repair people in Germany; rather, he is known for something else.)

--By the way, if you're not sure which kind of gaskets you have, it's suggested to store the capsules in their figure-8 settings--that way, the gaskets aren't kept under pressure. Mine have the updated gaskets and I do that anyway, because why not.

--best regards
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 01:58:28 AM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline ero3030

  • Trade Count: (59)
  • Taperssection All-Star
  • ****
  • Posts: 1551
  • Gender: Male
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2020, 09:10:49 AM »
If your MK 6 capsules were serviced during the years that you mentioned, they almost certainly had the updated gaskets (made of a newer, synthetic material that doesn't dry out) installed. In that case, they're no longer doomed to lose their omni and cardioid patterns over time. I hope that you can avoid any mishaps with them. I will use my own MK 6 capsules only under very special circumstances from here on; I assume that if they break, that'll be it for them forever.

There was one other person I knew of in Germany who reportedly had some success with these capsules. It was something that he dabbled in aside from his regular job working for another microphone manufacturer (!). But he is now quite elderly and in poor health, and he may have retired completely by now--I'm not sure. (I don't want to give out his name, but he isn't one of the well-known repair people in Germany; rather, he is known for something else.)

--By the way, if you're not sure which kind of gaskets you have, it's suggested to store the capsules in their figure-8 settings--that way, the gaskets aren't kept under pressure. Mine have the updated gaskets and I do that anyway, because why not.

--best regards
If the gaskets shit, r they stuck in figure 8? Or shot all together?
needin some fishhead music!

" known for f**king up a good weekend on a Thursday nite "

Offline DSatz

  • Site Supporter
  • Trade Count: (35)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *
  • Posts: 2987
  • Gender: Male
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2020, 10:42:04 AM »
All three settings will tend to yield a figure-8 pattern or something approaching it. The old-style gaskets tended to dry out and harden over the years/decades--not specifically from use, but more as a function of age. They could become partly or completely unable to seal the openings to the acoustical chamber behind the backplate.

When you see eBay ads for three-pattern capsules, they may say that "all three patterns work"--but that doesn't tell you anything. Sure, they'll put out a signal in all three pattern settings, but what is the actual pickup pattern? What would get my attention is "The capsules were rebuilt at Schoeps in [year], and haven't had any mishaps or accidents since then" (where the year is later than the mid-1980s or so). They could also say, "The three patterns work as they should"--which forces you to rely somewhat on the seller's skill as a tester--but at least that gives you the implied right to return the capsule or mike for a refund if the claim doesn't hold up.

The thing is, many microphones and capsules have been traded around so much that the current owner has no idea of their service history. Also, there's a certain "ignorance is bliss" mentality. It's reminiscent of "if you don't make sex education and birth control available to young people, they won't have sex" (or currently, "If we didn't test so much for coronavirus, our infection rates would be lower"). All I know is, if you do any amount of live recording and you've never dropped a microphone, you're in a small, fortunate minority.

So yeah, the figure-8 setting will generally produce a real figure-8 pattern, while the setting most vulnerable to the gasket problem is the omni. But the easiest pattern to test is the cardioid. You can just plug the mike into a preamp or recorder or mixer and listen to the output over headphones as you talk into it from various angles. Pay especially close attention to the sides--there should be no particular "dip" in the signal level at 90 degrees (right where the null of a figure-8 would be) followed by a return to the expected signal level as you rotate the mike further.

The problem with testing the omni pattern is that its on-axis response differs quite audibly from its off-axis response at upper-mid and high frequencies, as in all omni microphones of this size or larger. The high-frequency response is quite audibly reduced when you rotate the mike so that the sound source is at the side or back. Actually, this is something I recommend that everyone try out with any omni that you have, to help understand why omni microphones function as they do in reverberant spaces. Our hearing is the most sensitive in this region, so the typical ~6 dB difference comes across as greater. If you're not expecting it, you could easily think that something's wrong in the omni setting, when it's actually working exactly as designed. But again, the key with the MK 6 is the sides; if you slowly rotate the capsule or mike so that you start at the front of the capsule and reach the 90 degree point--then if the signals actually increase as you go past 90 degrees, you've got a problem. It helps if you can do this test in the quietest, most acoustically "dead" location possible, because all you want to hear is the direct sound.

--edited later to add: I hope everyone is aware that a figure-8 pattern can never be tested in the way that I'm describing. This is because your voice will reach your inner ears via bone conduction at the same time as it's going from the microphone through the preamp to the headphones. The rear lobe of a figure-8 microphone has the opposite polarity from the front lobe, so on one side of the mike those two signal paths will reinforce each other, while on the other side they will interfere "destructively" and tend to cancel, but very unevenly with regard to frequency response; it will just sound very wrong and be misleading. To work around this, you can either have someone else do the listening for you, or else record your test without wearing headphones, then rewind, put on the headphones, and listen separately while you're not talking.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 06:53:04 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline Sebastian

  • Trade Count: (4)
  • Taperssection All-Star
  • ****
  • Posts: 1399
  • Gender: Male
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2020, 03:44:14 AM »
I own two MK6 capsules. One from 1980 and one from 1992. One of them has that particular problem. It started sometime last year and is only barely audible (yet). So I'm trying to take as much care of it as I possibly can and really hope for the best. That also means I'm only using my MK6 pair for special shows. I have thought about contacting Schoeps about it, but given the fact that they are considering these capsules "vintage", I never went through with it.
Schoeps { MK6 | MK41V | MK4 } > NBob actives > {Naiant Tinybox v2.0 | Naiant IPA | Naiant PFAs} > {Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Sony PCM-A10 | Sony PCM-M10 | Tascam DR-2d}

Recordings:
Live Music Archive | DaD Torrents | TTD Torrents | Etree Torrents

Offline DSatz

  • Site Supporter
  • Trade Count: (35)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *
  • Posts: 2987
  • Gender: Male
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2020, 05:36:32 AM »
Sebastian, the MK 6 is one of the exceptions to Schoeps' flat rate system for service. Sorry to say, even at the "vintage" rate they will not accept any three-pattern capsules for service any more. That door is firmly closed, and from knowing the circumstances in some detail, I can't imagine any realistic set of circumstances under which it might ever re-open.

Your 1980 capsule was definitely made before they changed over to the new gasket material, so please be sure to store it in the figure-8 setting, and I sincerely wish you good luck with it--but if it was never serviced during those 40 years, then its eventual fate is unfortunately sealed (no pun intended).

--best regards
« Last Edit: June 25, 2020, 05:42:21 AM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline Sebastian

  • Trade Count: (4)
  • Taperssection All-Star
  • ****
  • Posts: 1399
  • Gender: Male
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2020, 08:58:49 AM »
Well, both capsules have printed (not handwritten) serial numbers and they definitely look younger than they are. The newer one has been serviced in 2004 and for the older one, Schoeps couldn't find any service data the last time I asked them. However, I don't think they had printed serial numbers back in 1980, so I doubt that it was really never back at the factory. This does not change the fact that the capsule is deteriorating. I know about Schoeps' policy. I just wished they'd offer something other than their flat rate repairs. I would really pay a bit more to get this fixed...
Schoeps { MK6 | MK41V | MK4 } > NBob actives > {Naiant Tinybox v2.0 | Naiant IPA | Naiant PFAs} > {Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Sony PCM-A10 | Sony PCM-M10 | Tascam DR-2d}

Recordings:
Live Music Archive | DaD Torrents | TTD Torrents | Etree Torrents

Offline DSatz

  • Site Supporter
  • Trade Count: (35)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *
  • Posts: 2987
  • Gender: Male
Re: Schoeps cap cleaning and once over?
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2020, 10:46:35 AM »
Sebastian, I understand that very well. But the possibility of MK 6 repairs at Schoeps gradually got hemmed in by a number of hard practical factors, and the percentage of successful repairs declined to the point of so much misery that all repair attempts (for that is what they had become) were decommissioned completely, rather than to continue pretending that it was a functional enterprise. Many needed parts for the pattern-change mechanism were just not there any more. I even tried buying a number of partly-functional capsules so that Schoeps could maybe cannibalize and combine the parts from them into one good, working capsule--but in the end it didn't help. And now that door is firmly shut. They are truly no longer in a position to repair or rebuild an MK 6 any more.

I've never met any MK 6 user who prefers its figure-8 setting over an MK 8; to me, the real issues are the omni and (mainly) the cardioid setting. It has been some consolation for me that the MK 22 sounds as good as it does; for a fair number of recordings, I've found it to be as pleasing as the cardioid setting of the MK 6 although it is definitely different. Its pickup pattern is somewhat broader and it has somewhat stronger low-frequency response, but there is similar off-axis smoothness which for me is the defining hallmark of the MK 6 cardioid. So that has lessened my frustration somewhat. I have no hesitation in recommending the MK 22 even though it's not a direct replacement either functionally or sonically, and it needs to be placed a little closer to the sound sources in most cases than a straight cardioid would be.

For a while I hoped that the now-discontinued "MK 4 VJ" variant of the MK 4 V would be the equivalent of the MK 6's cardioid setting, so around ten years ago I bought the last two of that type of capsule that Schoeps had left to sell. But its high-frequency response was tailored for a very specific recording situation that is different from anything I normally have to deal with, and I find it a little too rolled-off for general use. (It was marketed only in Japan; most people in the West never heard of it.)

It occurs to me that Schoeps' studio vocal microphone, the "V 4", is also a cardioid with slightly elevated high-frequency response on axis and relatively restrained, not to say rolled-off, off-axis response. I own one but not a pair of them, though, so I've never tried them for stereo concert recording. Maybe I'll get to do that some day, I dunno.

--best regards
« Last Edit: June 25, 2020, 10:52:10 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

 

RSS | Mobile
Page created in 0.079 seconds with 56 queries.
© 2002-2020 Taperssection.com
Powered by SMF