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Review: Sennheiser's MKE 600 Shotgun Mic


Matt Brodnick
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It's been several weeks since NAB, but Sennheiser finally sent me an MKE 600 shotty mic to review.  It's not as bright or present as the ME66 / K6 module mics, but I think it has a decent enough sound, with AA powering & high-pass switch, for only $399.  

 

And you get to enjoy watching me realize that I don't belong in front of camera. 

 

Notes I forgot to add (that only we would care about):

 

- Off-axis rejection is pretty good. I'd say the pickup is more supercardioid that it is lobar/tubular. 

- It doesn't handle RF that well.

- Freq. response is pretty flat, with a slight incline from 2-5 KHz. 

- Battery life is about the same as the ME 66. Introduces about 1 dB of noise compared to 48V. 

- HPF - Curve indicates ~80 Hz, but I think its more like ~110 Hz.  Voices become nasally.

 

Full review: http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2013/5/4/review-sennheiser-mke-600-shotgun-microphone.aspx

 

~ Matt

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Thanks for this - on a first listen the exterior stuff sounded pretty good considering the price tag.

 

Like Justin I'd be interested to know what it's limitations are in less than ideal situations...I'm assuming with the cheaper price tag your options for more difficult situations are reduced?

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I think it's a good idea just to compare several things together, especially in context. Nothing wrong with test-driving a Mercedes or BMW, when you're shopping for a much more modest car. At least this way, you can say, "well, here's what I'm giving up for an extra grand."

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm on an extreme budget and was thinking about purchasing this as my first mic. Now you got me worried about it not handling RF well. I personally like the warmth of it but maybe that is just my rookie ears. 

 

Maybe I should just save up and wait for a used 416?

 

What do you guys recommend for an entry level guy needing at least one shotgun for these run and gun indie shoots?

 

I assume maybe patience is just king.  :-

 

Guidance for this young patowan learner is much appreciated.

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A good audio dealer will let you compare the mics, maybe as a (low-cost) rental over a weekend, and then subtract all or part of the rental from the purchase price. 

 

The 416 is a known quantity and has been a standard of a sort for many years. I'd tend to trust a well-maintained used one over anything new, especially a budget-priced mic.

 

The 416 I own (along with 5 or 6 other Sennheisers) was bought used from an overseas company that used it on the Olympics around 2004 or so. It had maybe 3 weeks' use on it, so it was damn-near new in the box. Never had a problem with it, and the eBay price was decent.

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Marc,

 

I really appreciate the advice and after more reading on the forums I really should just be patient and rent gear from Gotham, I've been using 416s for the past 2 years i've been getting into this and I know the mic very well. 

 

It makes more sense to be patient and not rush, and in the mean time just keep renting as I have been doing but it's so hard. 

 

Still learning and absorbing, this community in the short week that I joined has already taught me so much then the past 2+ years I've trial and error doing this. 

 

Now it looks like I may miss the NYC mixer meet up too. WOAH is me LOL 

 

Thanks again, All roads lead to Gotham Sound :D

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Damon,


Speaking from experience - purchasing a lower cost beginner shotty is something I have mixed feelings about.  Here are some non specific and poorly ordered thoughts.  Some may apply to you, some may not.

1) It's enabled me to keep working on both ENG shoots and low budget shorts where kit fees are pretty low.  At my (early) stage, this helps keep my bank manager happy.

 

2) the get what you pay for rule applies heavily - so much so that I feel obliged to rent a 416/Cs1e/other industry standard shotty (or whatever else is required) when equipment rates are good.  So even though I "invested" in gear I still have to skip down to the rental house rather a lot...

 

3) I'll keep my cheap shotty as a camera mic or stunt mic once I upgrade.

 

4) Using the cheaper mics I own is sometimes necessary to meet budgets, but I am never 100% satisfied with my work using them, no matter how much production has cheaped out, how perfectly the mics are positioned or whatever.  The sound of a budget shotgun is always (for me personally) at best acceptable - it's never great.  It's just not the same as using the real thing.

5) IMO, compromising by buying entry level gear limits your options so much on some shoots that you have to be accommodated a lot more by other departments...which is fine if that's what production can afford, but it limits your chances of ever being known as a yes man.

Those are my notes - some good, some bad.

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" Guidance for this young patowan learner is much appreciated. "

I'd expect the new Senn to be a good value, and even think you are on the fringe of the target market..

but you are close to several of our "usual suspects", and should visit them, learn from them, and establish relationships with them, that will pay dividends!

 

there are numerous options, and the with a little guidance, and some comparisons (at a usual suspect) will be helpful...

 

" I feel obliged to rent a 416/Cs1e/other industry standard shotty (or whatever else is required) when equipment rates are good. "

if it makes you feel better...

and "shotty" ??

give me a break!

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" Guidance for this young patowan learner is much appreciated. "

I'd expect the new Senn to be a good value, and even think you are on the fringe of the target market..

but you are close to several of our "usual suspects", and should visit them, learn from them, and establish relationships with them, that will pay dividends!

 

there are numerous options, and the with a little guidance, and some comparisons (at a usual suspect) will be helpful...

Thanks Senator, 

 

I have already been building a relationship at Gotham and like the people over there, I will expand my horizons and check out the other "usual suspects". 

 

I'm starting to feel like I should just keep renting till I have the money for a "proper mic" whatever that means... I know mics are like our cooking ingredients to make a delicious meal. So I'd rather not compromise and go for the healthy organic vegetables over the flavorless vegetables found at the discount food mart.

 

That said, it's hard to start buying gear when you go to school and you are spoiled with SD products and many options for shotguns, lava, pzm and many other mics. Thus my journey continues. Thanks for the advice I have time to mull these things over, no major projects yet but summer is coming :D 

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Guest JoshepDanial

Hello,

I have not used this particular product of Sennheiser,  but I am using other products of sennheiser long back.

Sennheiser is the best headphones that can fulfill your needs.

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That said, it's hard to start buying gear when you go to school and you are spoiled with SD products and many options for shotguns, lava, pzm and many other mics. Thus my journey continues.

 

You'll find your equipment buying & renting is not an event, but a lifelong process. Things change, stuff breaks, technology advances... all you can do is buy what you can afford, buy what makes sense for your career path, and rent when you need some extra stuff. You might even be prepared to rent to other people when you have down time. There's ways of monetizing gear. Buying used gear -- both from Trew and Pro Sound and LSC and the other usual suspects -- is a good way to help keep costs down. 

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