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    #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex H. View Post
    The CK93 is still available, at least through B&H. I cannot seem to find anyone stocking any of the other capsules.
    Hi Alex,

    The AKG websites are very confusing, but suggest that most, if not all, of the Blueline series mics have been discontinued. That said, it's easy enough to find vendors of most of the Blueline capsules here in the UK/Europe: as well as CK93, the CK91 (cardioid), CK92 (omni) and CK98 (shotgun) are readily available. The CK94 (fig 8) has definitely been discontinued and has been hard to find new here for the last year or so.

    Cheers,

    Roland


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    #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex H. View Post
    Another one to consider in that range is the AKG Blueline CK93. I really like what this mic has to offer as a hypercardioid. I believe another member has one listed for sale in the Marketplace right now for a very reasonable price.
    I demoed that mic years and years ago. It was rather nice. But I recall it having a low output. Not a problem if you're using a mixer/recorder with clean preamps (such as those on Sound Devices, Zaxcom, and Sonosax gear), but could be an issue with not-as-good. That's something to double check... If the mic's specs (esp. sensitivity) look like they'll work for you, you'll probably like the mic.

    But I think it's just about for sure discontinued, though there is some product still in the channel. Last year Harman cut A LOT of jobs (in the hundreds) and closed AKG's headquarters, where their microphone and headphone division was based. Harman is continuing the brand, but it looks like it'll focus on broader consumer-ish products.

    Some of the AKG people started Austrian Audio, but right now they have a couple studio mics (kinda like AKG C414), and a couple sets of headphones. I don't think (but don't know) if they'll bring back something like the Blueline mics. Bummer. https://austrian.audio
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    #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by James0b57 View Post
    penultimate is sort of a word that has fallen out of use
    Not here, James: still part of my and many others' lexicons! Just wasn't sure what you were driving at as evidently not a literal usage. Not sure where I would rank the CK93 exactly with other sub-500 hypercardiods: certainly considerably above the Oktava MK-012 hypercardioid (in terms of sound, build quality, and handling noise [which is very low]), but can't offer any direct experience vs the Audix SCX1-HC or Audio Technica 4053b.

    Cheers,


    Roland


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    #24
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    James, that was a nice review of the microphones. But you still left me wondering. I am in the market for the MKH 50 or MKH 8050. I keep changing my mind. On the one hand, I get the impression from what I read, that overall, the 50 has the preferred sound because the 8050 has a horseshoe frequency response (too much bass and high end). Some people complaining quite a bit about this. The big plus for the 8050 is the clearance indoors as you said.

    I get the impression that many complaints or comments are more on the minor inconvenience side so I have a hard time evaluating how much emphasis to put on any one comment pro or con.

    Do you (and everyone else) have any comments about the 8050's boomyness on the low end? Other thoughts? I'd get the 8050 for sure for the clearance because this has been an issue for me but I don't want to be disappointed with its response.

    I know, I know. Get both and decide for myself. I may do that.
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    #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throwback View Post
    Not here, James: still part of my and many others' lexicons! Just wasn't sure what you were driving at as evidently not a literal usage. Not sure where I would rank the CK93 exactly with other sub-500 hypercardiods: certainly considerably above the Oktava MK-012 hypercardioid (in terms of sound, build quality, and handling noise [which is very low]), but can't offer any direct experience vs the Audix SCX1-HC or Audio Technica 4053b.

    Cheers,


    Roland
    the AT4053b was just so solid, i never bothered with testing the Audix or AKG, but they may very well be equal or better. but i think AT hits a level of quality that doesn’t leave me searching for too much more in that price range or lower.


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    #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F View Post
    James, that was a nice review of the microphones. But you still left me wondering. I am in the market for the MKH 50 or MKH 8050. I keep changing my mind. On the one hand, I get the impression from what I read, that overall, the 50 has the preferred sound because the 8050 has a horseshoe frequency response (too much bass and high end). Some people complaining quite a bit about this. The big plus for the 8050 is the clearance indoors as you said.

    I get the impression that many complaints or comments are more on the minor inconvenience side so I have a hard time evaluating how much emphasis to put on any one comment pro or con.

    Do you (and everyone else) have any comments about the 8050's boomyness on the low end? Other thoughts? I'd get the 8050 for sure for the clearance because this has been an issue for me but I don't want to be disappointed with its response.

    I know, I know. Get both and decide for myself. I may do that.
    unfortunately it is a complete matter of taste. i don’t feel the sound is so scooped that it can be EQ’d back to something more neutral. there were definitely times when i was hearing the 8050 along with the mkh50 and mk41 that i really couldn’t tell what i prefered.

    if you dislike scoops and peaks, then you may be a DPA man. in any case, the MKH still sounds natural and flat-ish. it is no where near that smiley face scoop on home entertainment systems EQ settings. it is just slightly more exciting. and i feel for speech that can be a good thing. it cuts through foam and deadcats. and with the low cut, it can take care of proximity boominess.

    to me, i think i prefered the slightly darker sound of the MKH50, and on the other side, i prefered the silky siblance of the schoeps.

    but i do prefer the MKH8050 over the AT4053b and the like. but i really haven’t used it extensively. just tested it two afternoons, and then listened to the A/B at home later on. i feel choosing between the schoeps/DPA/sennheiser options was picking from the best of leica and zeiss. it just didn’t feel like there was a wrong one in the bunch.

    the smaller SDC of the 8000 series is supposedly giving it faster response? idk, it did feel fast and sound articulate. it reminded me of the neuman KM185 but fuller sounding?

    overall, i didn’t prefer the 8000 in the brief couple hours i had with it, but i also couldn’t find a reason to dislike it. it is clean! the size of it almost swayed me. i was looking for a small footprint for an on camera mic that can double as an interview boom mic. the 50 having the built in switches at no extra cost was sort of the pocket book decision to keep me with the ole 50.

    sound is so subtle and all about nuance, i feel there really is only testing and comparing for yourself.

    DPA has a shorter lead time for ordering than sennheiser or schoeps from Audio Department in Burbank, CA. if that matters.


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    #27
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    DPA mics sound nice (and the shotguns/hypers match their lavs well), but the strike me as a bit fragile. I haven't done any abuse tests, though.

    Really, on a budget if you're looking for something decent and reliable (ie- not crazy handling noise or super-low output), I'd go with an AT4053b or Audix scx1-hc (which is or was a MBHO capsule with a preamp audix designed; and that's all cool). Grossly, the Audix conveys less handling noise, and the AT has a wider pickup pattern (which is good, imo).

    If you're interested in the Sennheiser 8000 series, also check out the 8040, which some (smart and experienced) people say has a pattern closer to that of the Schoeps MK41... I own a few Schoeps mics, so that's good to hear. It all kinda depends on what you're going for.

    So there's been a good list of mics here. I have definite preferences, but it's getting down to taste. It's time to rent/borrow/visit some of these mics and see what you think when they're on a stand and handheld... Try a sit-down interview with someone moving around, booming an improvised conversation with two or three people, a thin voice and a rich voice, etc...
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    #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Feeley View Post
    I demoed that mic years and years ago. It was rather nice. But I recall it having a low output. Not a problem if you're using a mixer/recorder with clean preamps (such as those on Sound Devices, Zaxcom, and Sonosax gear), but could be an issue with not-as-good. That's something to double check... If the mic's specs (esp. sensitivity) look like they'll work for you, you'll probably like the mic.
    The CK93 and other Blueline capsules have never seemed especially low in terms of output to me (and I've used the CK93 heavily over the years): for ref the specs are -40 dBV re 1 Volt/Pascal (10mV PA). That's the same as the Oktava MK012.

    Cheers,

    Roland


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    #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throwback View Post
    The AKG websites are very confusing, but suggest that most, if not all, of the Blueline series mics have been discontinued. That said, it's easy enough to find vendors of most of the Blueline capsules here in the UK/Europe: as well as CK93, the CK91 (cardioid), CK92 (omni) and CK98 (shotgun) are readily available. The CK94 (fig 8) has definitely been discontinued and has been hard to find new here for the last year or so.
    Thanks, Roland. Here in the US it’s nearly impossible to find most Blue Line capsules, but as I said, B&H still stock the CK93 and the power supply module, so I guess they’re just moving through whatever stock is still on warehouse shelves. Right now, the capsule + power module are listed at $414, a bit below what I paid for mine. Though, I do keep my eyes out for other capsules from time to time. Their Fig8 intrigues me; any experience with that one? Is it quiet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Feeley View Post
    But I think it's just about for sure discontinued, though there is some product still in the channel. Last year Harman cut A LOT of jobs (in the hundreds) and closed AKG's headquarters, where their microphone and headphone division was based. Harman is continuing the brand, but it looks like it'll focus on broader consumer-ish products.
    Well, that’s a shame to hear. AKG had some great mics over the years. As for output, between the CK93 and my MKH-8060, when I move from the 8060 to the CK93, I do have to boost the gain just a tad, but nothing extreme. No issues with pre-amp gain or noise, though I’m on Sound Devices.
    Knoxville-based location sound mixer.

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    #30
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    Great discussion. I've been using the AT4053b on camera for years and it's been excellent. But I'm looking to upgrade. I work in news / doc / corporate. Nearly every project uses the on-camera mic at some point so I'm happy to spend proper money for even small improvements.

    I agree with the point made earlier that a lot of critical audio is recorded close to the source (wide lens vox pop, for example) and, even outside, a really nice hyper might work just as well as a shotgun given that the diaphragm will be a few inches closer. This is not something I can back up with experience it just sounds right to me.

    That said, the bit of extra isolation you get from a shotgun could also be nice. And I'm most likely to use the on-camera audio when filming outside in noisy, out-of-control environments. I assume this points more towards getting a shotgun.

    I'm trying to decide between the MKH50, the 8060 and the Sanken CS-M1. I realise these are all very different! I have no possibility of renting any of these mics. The only mic I can rent is a 416. I might give it a go just to get more familiarity with the pickup pattern of a shotgun.

    I'm pretty sure that in terms of quality I will notice the difference upgrading from the 4053b to the MKH50. What about moving from the 4053b to the Sanken CS-M1? Will it blow me away? I can't find any audio comparisons online.


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