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Richard Thomas

DPA 4017C

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Thanks for that Richard, It looks like the 4017 capsule and compact preamp from their modular range in one unit. Interesting and nearly as small as the 8060.

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I remember thinking that at the time too ... give a sharp suck through the teeth upon hearing "HD" from the producer.. "Ooh that'll be the HD sound kit then... call it double, just this once.. cos I like you."

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Ok guys, so i didn't want to create a new topic about this mic, but didn't find a lot of references of it here on jwsound, and just a few in facebook groups, so i'm reviving this topic.

 

Have anyone tried the DPA 4017c yet? Would like to hear opinions as I'm about to buy a new boom mic.

 

I currently own a Rode NTG-3 and like it, but i feel like it doesn't perform well on some indoor shootings and it isn't great eliminating off-axis interferences, although i plan to keep it for humid environments and possible RF situations. I've worked as a boom op with other Mics, having liked the Sanken CS3 a lot because of its versatility, reach and off-axis rejection, though i've heard stories of sudden death in humidity. I've recently discovered the DPA boom mics (yes, im really late!) and was very curious with the good feedback and it's small size ( let's say less weight!). I live on Brazil where access to some brands of mics are nearly impossible unless you go to US and buy your own, so i can't rent one to have a proper personal opinion.

 

Was looking forward to hear about:

 

-Reach

-Off-axis rejection

-Self noise

-Outdoors x Indoors

- What you guys think about the MMP-C preamp.

 

Really would appreciate any feedback / experiences. 

Thank you!

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I have a 4017C in my hand now. Initially I wanted some alternative mics that would work in high humidity for a shoot in Thailand to supplement my Schoeps armoury. I now have 2 x 4017C snd 2 x 4018C. The 4017C is what you were asking about and it is s very usable mic. I have not used the A or B preamps so I cannot make direct comparisons but from the DPA website: the C has a slightly softer character than the other preamps in the DPA d:dicate Recording Microphones series. I think it compares favourably with my Schoeps collection. The 4017C is certainly more directional than the CMIT and has almost no rear lobe. Clearly is very small and light and fits in a Rycote WS1 windshield. In fact you can buy a 4017CR kit that comes with the Rycote and suspension. For boom work I have swapped the green lyres for slightly firmer ones and fitted Tac!t roll offs - similar to a Schoeps Cut-1. They also have a very high max SPL. Great for explosions and car chases in action films. The 4018C also worth a mention. A very sweet hyper cardioid that will satisfy most dialogue recording requirements. Also worth considering.

Tim

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I had the chance to test the 8017 C last year for my Austrian friend Roland  and I did some A/B testing against a Senngheiser 8060 and a Neumann KMR 81. I don't own a CMIT, would have been informative, too:

 

http://www.axeltraun.at/downloads.html

 

You can download the testfiles from my homepage, it's a zip file on the bottom of the page, containing 4 tests, sorry my blahblah on the tracks is entirely german: Test setup was 788T with CL9, Tracks A/B, same settings on each channel, both mics attached to the UH400a Lectros. It was a day off from a shoot and I used the shooting setup.

 

Those are the MP3 tracks (48 khz, sorry) :

 

 

"1_dpa4017li_vs_Senn8060re_48khz" dpa 8017C  left vs Sennheiser 8060 right: first 5 or so minutes are with equal gain settings, resulting the 8017 is -8dB lower compared to the 8060, later I put up the gain of the DPA. If you got an A/B monitoring option for the left and right tracks of an mp3 you can pretty well compare the sound in several situations. If you are unsure what it is about, please ask.

The result in short is: 8060 shows more sibilance, but without the brutal fizzling of the older MKH 416 sister mic; it has more punch, peels voices out of their surrounding, makes them sound a littler bigger than life in the closeup, even in 1,5 meters over head (5 ft) it still can deliver closeup sound, provided the room acoustics is OK.  I very much like it for the TV shows I am doing.  8017 is more neutral and elegant, almost no center/side, On/OFF  effect within 15 deg aberration from the axis, going further OFF axis than about 50 deg there comes a sudden drop in level. 4017 for me is very well suited for calm environments, good for a fast boom op to get all the voices with one mike, has more the feel of a short hypercardioid over a shotgun. The voices sound slimmer and elegant. less punch.

 

"2_dpa4017li_vs_Senn8060re_beide_mit_WS+Wind_48khz" Same mics, same setup, this time it is about wind and handling noise: The DPA copes way better with wind, even with NO foam attached to the mic I can swing the boom quite fast. The 8060 is very susceptible to wind noise. It's genuine foam heavily alters the sound, I can tell if the boom operator has the foam attached to his mike, without AB-ing or seing it. In a Rycote basket with windjammer the 8060 is still prone to wind noise. DPA 8017 is another class .

 

"3_dpa4017_li_vs_NeumKMR81i_re_48khz" The DPA 4017 delivers 2 dB more gain than the KMR 81i, on this test initially the low pass filter on the 4017 is activated for a little more sibilance. 4017 sounds like a little more open. In the begin of the test the mics are separated by 10 cm, after 2:30 I moved the mics on the same axis one over the other. Low pass of the DPA is turned off at 4:30, resulting the KMR81 presenting more sibilance than 4017. DPA 4017 with low pass is like Neumann KMR81 with flat setting (no low pass available). The neumann is more susceptible to cable issues and interference, DPA 4017 behaves very straightforward and error free. at 9:30 the plug on tx are exchanged which finds me confused which mic is which channel (A/B sides change, but I did not aknowledge it during the test)

 

"4_Plugonvergleich_mit_2x_8060_48khz" left/right track A/B comparison of my two UH 400 plug on transmitters mounted with 2 identical sennheiser 8060: outcome in short: equipped with the same type of mics they are equally sounding and deliver equal gain.

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We had the "c" or compact preamp sent out to us on a shoot.

 

We found that with moderate wind, and also the generator (albeit very close to set) would render the mic unusable.

Sounded like the LF was saturating the pre/capsule.

 

Very disappointed after much anticipation.

No time was was wasted in sending it back IIRC.

 

Would love to know that this is not the rule but perhaps a freaky unit.

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I have a friend who as a C preamp and I have a B preamp. We ran into the same problem but for us it was with wind. Any excess low end would saturate the preamp and distort it easily. We also tought that something was broken. Personally, I like the B preamp since I have filters to play with. Low cut is nice to have and the High boost is my secret tool. Since it actually boost the highs only, it is basically increasing reach and "feel" of directivity since any mic will always be more directional as frequency goes up. So on shots that are wide, I kick In the high freq boost and voila, it sounds like I am isolating the person a bit more. Also pretty useful in a fil zep/fur setup to compensate for hf loss. It's a wonderful mic, it's tough ( super high SPL ) lots of gain and seems to be immune to any level of humidity.

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I have a friend who as a C preamp and I have a B preamp. We ran into the same problem but for us it was with wind. Any excess low end would saturate the preamp and distort it easily. We also tought that something was broken. Personally, I like the B preamp since I have filters to play with. Low cut is nice to have and the High boost is my secret tool. Since it actually boost the highs only, it is basically increasing reach and "feel" of directivity since any mic will always be more directional as frequency goes up. So on shots that are wide, I kick In the high freq boost and voila, it sounds like I am isolating the person a bit more. Also pretty useful in a fil zep/fur setup to compensate for hf loss. It's a wonderful mic, it's tough ( super high SPL ) lots of gain and seems to be immune to any level of humidity.

+1 on the B for all the above!

-Ken

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The current C preamp attached to the 4017 has no issues with low frequencies. DPA and B&K are known for creating microphones with highly linear phase coherency. They will most certainly sound different than what some are used to. In fact it is far more likely to have a non-linear response with a preamp employing a high-pass filter such as the B, which probably explains why it might sound more familiar to many.

 

Of equal importance is the frequency response when off-axis: It sounds very much like the on-axis response has been greatly reduced in volume. This is highly preferred over the polar pickup of an NTG-3.

Additionally, the DPA is less than half the weight of the NTG3 at 70g vs 163g, while also measuring just 60% in length at 154mm vs 255mm.


Clearly, I recommend the C. ;)

You should rent one from a local vendor and decide for yourself. We all have opinions and specifications will only tell you how a device performs in each independently controlled lab.

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Comparing B and C versions (4017 or other mike ref.), here is an analyse useful for our basic job at Cinela.

One main effect of a (good !) suspension or suspended windshield is to create a full set of resonances between 6 and 20 Hz.

Amplitudes of these mechanical rumbles can be very important as everyone knows. Yes, this is an inconvenient but this is first a respectable price to pay to achieve a good isolation in the audible range. The user NEEDS to filter those rumbles to get the highest benefit of the microphone quality in a regular boom job.

 

B preamp integrates a very nice 50Hz filter with high slope which is perfect for said rumbles. This is NOT the ring controlled filter. It is an integrated one.

C preamp does not integrate such a filter and offers a very nice free low end...and very low end.

 

Regarding that exclusive aspect, one has to choose B or C in front of other filtering options. If your audio chain integrates a high slope filter (50/70Hz  +18dB/oct is perfect), then you can freely use the C version. If you only have a 1st or 2nd order filter (+6 or +12dB/oct), then B version seems to be more necessary. All "in between" situations leads to some compromise...as usual.

 

The B version has also the advantage of a longer size at the back which is very helpful for indoor suspension (more distance between isolators let the use of softer isolators).

 

Regarding wind, I would say that if the signal is properly filtered and microphone identically protected, then B or C version should be equivalent.

P.Chenevez

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We had the "c" or compact preamp sent out to us on a shoot.

 

We found that with moderate wind, and also the generator (albeit very close to set) would render the mic unusable.

Sounded like the LF was saturating the pre/capsule.

 

Very disappointed after much anticipation.

No time was was wasted in sending it back IIRC.

 

Would love to know that this is not the rule but perhaps a freaky unit.

In the above situations I had the 4017B in the other hand performing perfectly, while the 4017C preamp was clipping.

This was in the presence of LF rumble (generator, traffic, very handle-able wind etc).

 

As I said, I'd love to know if this is typical 'C' behaviour or a bad unit, but unfortunately pvanstry's findings seem to confirm mine.

 

Also, thinking back now, the dealer it was returned to was familiar with the problem.

 

Perhaps there was just a few bad units in an early production line?

Would be great to have it as an option but either way, I do love having the filter rings of the 'B'.

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My 4017C unit have a extended low freq response, more extended than usual in other microphones, but normal in my oppinion. Without a high pass filter, have some low freq rumble when I manipulate the boom or by moving fast the boom. I'm using the Rycote/DPA kit.

 

Probably a new C preamp with high pass filter engaged will be a nice addition for the DPA catalog

 

34e4xzk.jpg

 

My unit

 

156v1ix.jpg

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Funny how one commentator finds the mic's handling in wind to be great, while the other, bendybones, thinks it's terrible in wind.

 

The DPA 4017B has been my main shotgun microphone for a couple of years and I've never had any problems with wind, not more than with any other shotgun microphone. I have it in a Rycote Windshield/Windjammer Kit (saving up for a Cinela) and have been standing in 20 m/s gusting winds without any problem more than the fact that the sound blows away.

 

Having the low-cut filter in my 664 enabled and set at 80Hz captures a rich speech sound and at the same time keep wind and handling noise to a minimum - using a KTEK boom with built-in cable.

 

I guess the lack of low-end filtering in the 4017C makes it more sensitive to wind and handling noise.

 

 

Cheers

Frederick

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I'm using a 4017C with the normal Rycote lyres (grey) and haven't noticed any particular sensitivity to handling noise.   I love this mic, btw.  It has wonderful clarity and very impressive reach for such a tiny microphone.  I'm also using DPA lavs and really enjoying how well everything works together. 

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Funny how one commentator, Axel, finds the mic's handling in wind to be great, while the other, bendybones, thinks it's terrible in wind.

I did not test exterior, just swinging the boom int. pretty fast with bare mic with and without windshield/foam which is a key application for me. Maybe thats why I did not experience this "overload of preamp stage" and the conclusion was made too soon?

best, Axel

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When is swinging a boom quickly without wind protection a key application?

This will always cause issues, low-cut or not.

+1

...and if it doesn't, the mic is probably defective -- that's the reason for the oft misunderstood caveat "Don't boom naked."

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