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Offline heathen

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Mic storage
« on: July 06, 2020, 11:10:12 AM »
I need to put my mics in a storage unit for an indeterminate amount of time (likely 2-3 months).  It's indoors and climate controlled so I'm not too worried, but is there anything I should be aware of that maybe isn't obvious?
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Offline DSatz

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2020, 01:55:59 PM »
If the microphones are in a sealed container and you can include one of those packets that absorb moisture, that would be nice, but it's not ordinarily necessary.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2020, 10:24:10 AM »
Obvious perhaps, but it's best to not store them with foam windscreens in place, or in the same container without some sort of plastic bag or barrier separating them.   Prevents contamination of the diaphragms if/when the foam starts to degrade to dust or goo.
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Offline heathen

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2020, 10:32:14 AM »
Obvious perhaps, but it's best to not store them with foam windscreens in place, or in the same container without some sort of plastic bag or barrier separating them.   Prevents contamination of the diaphragms if/when the foam starts to degrade to dust or goo.

Safe to assume that if the mic came in some sort of foam from the manufacturer it's safe to store it in that?  Or would it still be better to put the mic in some sort of plastic bag/barrier?
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2020, 11:35:42 AM »
I'd think that safe, although a polyethylene zip-lock bag isn't likely to hurt.

The cut-out packing foam in storage boxes is presumably less prone to "rot" than windscreen foam in general, yet some of it seems to be marketed as being better in that regard that others (sometimes along with anti-static claims). Personally I've experienced numerous foam windscreens disintegrating into dust and/or turning to mush, yet have never experienced cut-shape box foam disintegrating in the same way. Well, at least not any of the boxes typically used to store microphones. I have had it occur in a couple 40+ year old instrument cases where whatever the original sculpted foam was beneath the synthetic fur liners disintegrated.  But that could have been an example of bad "early era foam" since improved or replaced by other materials less prone to degrading, similar to the failure of foam speaker-cone surrounds commonly used in the 70's and 80's.

I tend to keep each microphone in its own a polythene zip-lock bag inside its storage box, sometimes along with a small desiccant pack, because I reside in a region with a humid climate.
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2020, 11:40:24 AM »
ive never seen the closed-cell dense foam inside a schoeps box break down

ive seen several spongy windscreens fall to bits
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2020, 01:45:24 PM »
If you are concerned about foam breaking down and contaminating your mics, I recommend these shipping tubes, which are nearly the same thing as what Schoeps includes with their mics.

0.79" dia is the size you want for 20 mm mics; 0.87" for 22 mm.

I put each of my mics in a tube with a silica gel canister, and then they go inside a Cigar Caddy.
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Offline morst

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2020, 06:14:19 PM »
If you are concerned about foam breaking down and contaminating your mics, I recommend these shipping tubes, which are nearly the same thing as what Schoeps includes with their mics.
0.79" dia is the size you want for 20 mm mics; 0.87" for 22 mm.
How snug is this? The Neumann KM series has a logo on the outside which is a raised enameled emblem...
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2020, 07:54:40 PM »
If you are concerned about foam breaking down and contaminating your mics, I recommend these shipping tubes, which are nearly the same thing as what Schoeps includes with their mics.
0.79" dia is the size you want for 20 mm mics; 0.87" for 22 mm.
How snug is this? The Neumann KM series has a logo on the outside which is a raised enameled emblem...

I don't own any Neumanns, but another member here who does have those mics bought these tubes and said they fit just fine.  0.87 in = 23 mm so that might accommodate the emblem.
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Offline morst

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2020, 03:50:03 PM »
I don't own any Neumanns, but another member here who does have those mics bought these tubes and said they fit just fine.  0.87 in = 23 mm so that might accommodate the emblem.
Awesome, thanks.
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Offline DSatz

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2020, 05:06:35 PM »
> ive never seen the closed-cell dense foam inside a schoeps box break down

That material should outlast--well, me for sure. On the other hand, if I can say this without starting a panic--there were two distinct types of older Schoeps boxes with "blue suede shoes" exteriors, one of which had slightly-quasi-furry, royal blue inner linings that would eventually shed tiny, sticky particles. The other type of blue case had the same dense, closed-pore plastic of which you speak, though--which of course is perfectly fine. So you can't judge a blue Schoeps case by its cover alone. Still, I wouldn't advise people to use the type with the plush interior for any long-term storage. To the extent that I had those, I've replaced them with newer types, and in one instance I brought a BLM 03 C to Schoeps for cleaning on account of the residue.

> ive seen several spongy windscreens fall to bits

Me, too--and before they get to that degree of decrepitude, they're already shedding small particles. Please bear in mind that condenser microphone capsules work on the same principle as electrostatic air cleaners. Trying to prolong the life of a foam windscreen or pop screen beyond its limited span of years is a false economy. If you take a foam windscreen or pop screen and drag it on a piece of rough, white paper and it creates a visible dark streak, replace it. If, however, a genie appears instead, make three wishes and please consider having smooth, peaceful elections this November be one of them.

--best regards
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2020, 11:47:39 AM »
Will be rubbing all my windscreens this weekend!
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2020, 04:53:56 PM »
I don't have any experience with the Schoeps factory boxes, but I have definitely seen the foam from Pelican cases break down and become powdery.  Since those are quite popular with audio equipment, I recommend the plastic tubes.
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2020, 05:02:50 PM »
^ Which type of Pelican foam? They use several; the built-in "hard" foam and closed cell blocks seem pretty stable (I have a ten-year old case with those that are completely intact). The Pick N Pluck and the built-in "soft" foam seem less so (I have a ten-year old case with those also, which haven't degraded, but they make me nervous).
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2020, 05:16:11 PM »
^ Which type of Pelican foam? They use several; the built-in "hard" foam and closed cell blocks seem pretty stable (I have a ten-year old case with those that are completely intact). The Pick N Pluck and the built-in "soft" foam seem less so (I have a ten-year old case with those also, which haven't degraded, but they make me nervous).

I'm talking about the soft egg crate and the pick-n-pluck.  I've seen it go to crumbs in several cases, though none used for mics exclusively.
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2020, 05:41:12 PM »
^ Thanks; much obliged. Do you have any idea how old those Pelicans were?

I have four. Today, I checked the foam in all of them. There was no evidence of shedding or breakdown, but I will definitely be keeping an eye on them. Two were provided by DPA with stereo pairs of mics, so I hope those will hold up, but I think I will put an extra layer of protection around the mics...
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Offline old and in the way

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2020, 06:55:53 PM »
If you are concerned about foam breaking down and contaminating your mics, I recommend these shipping tubes, which are nearly the same thing as what Schoeps includes with their mics.
0.79" dia is the size you want for 20 mm mics; 0.87" for 22 mm.
How snug is this? The Neumann KM series has a logo on the outside which is a raised enameled emblem...

I store my mics in the same tubes good and solid and safe . Foam windscreens i store is a Mason jar with a silica pac inside . I still have my old Nak 300's in the original 3 pak box same 28 yr old cut foam and still holding up fine the foam wind screens cp4's fell apart long ago . Replace with windtech screens

Offline voltronic

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2020, 09:56:49 PM »
^ Thanks; much obliged. Do you have any idea how old those Pelicans were?

I have four. Today, I checked the foam in all of them. There was no evidence of shedding or breakdown, but I will definitely be keeping an eye on them. Two were provided by DPA with stereo pairs of mics, so I hope those will hold up, but I think I will put an extra layer of protection around the mics...

The ones I used (not my personal ones) that had breakdown were probably 10 years or so old.  They were for storing AT and Shure lav mics and bodyback transmitters for school theater productions I used to work with.  Those mics saw a lot worse than case foam though, in the form of hundreds of sweaty teenagers!
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2020, 11:52:43 AM »
^ Thanks again. Luckily, my mics haven't been exposed to any sweaty kids, but I am now a little leery of the foam! I tried to order those McMaster-Carr tubes some time ago, but they wouldn't ship overseas and I couldn't find a suitable substitute that was offered in less than bulk quantities. A kind soul here offered to re-ship for me, but I decided at the time that it wasn't worth the hassle; I may need to revisit that option.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2020, 06:47:58 AM »
^ Thanks again. Luckily, my mics haven't been exposed to any sweaty kids, but I am now a little leery of the foam! I tried to order those McMaster-Carr tubes some time ago, but they wouldn't ship overseas and I couldn't find a suitable substitute that was offered in less than bulk quantities. A kind soul here offered to re-ship for me, but I decided at the time that it wasn't worth the hassle; I may need to revisit that option.

Hmm, what about a local distributor for Schoeps?  In the US, Redding Audio sells the plastic mic tubes separately, so I would think they would think you would have an even easier time locating them.

No good if you have Neumanns or other 22mm mics though.
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Mic storage
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2020, 12:04:05 PM »
^ That's a great idea. No luck so far, though. Maybe Rose, who I suspect makes them for Schoeps, will sell me a few if I ask nicely! I am definitely not going to meet their minimum order quantity (1500 pieces)...
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