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used Schoeps is a better idea than new "budget priced" mic


Guest jwsound
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Guest jwsound

I am going to be selling a few of my older Schoeps microphones so I have been reflecting over my prior use of these microphones and have come to much the same conclusion Don Coufal has voiced. The choice of microphone is probably the most important choice any sound person makes. The focus with equipment, so much of the time, is on the recorders, but the choice of recorder becomes somewhat irrelevant if the choice for the microphone is flawed. I encourage new users to experiment with the low priced "Schoeps like" microphones, most notably the Octavas, so that they can get accustomed to the characteristics of such a mic. Once the financial aspect is worked out (and we all know that equipment is more and more expensive even as rental rates level off and go down), purchasing a Schoeps, even a used one, is an excellent idea.

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If by saying your mics are "12 volts, old film style" I assume you mean they are what are referred to as "T Power" microphones. Phantom power comes in several varieties with 48 volt power being the general standard, though there are specifically 12 volt phantom power systems. The big difference, technically (and I am not really well versed enough to pass critical jusgements on the merits of the mthods) is not the voltage but the method of powering. So-called T-Power, and you are right that this was a standard for many years in the film world, uses an entirely different scheme to apply voltage to the microphone. Phantom power, so named I believe because the DC voltage is invisible to the input, is by far the more common method in use today. As far as the performance of the microphone utilizng one power scheme or the other, from personal experience I have never found a difference (having owned and used both T-Power mics and Phantom powered mics.

The hassle was having to have 2 different sorts of powering schemes available and getting the proper powering to whatever mic was being used. When I had several mics, all different, I would always have to ask Don "what mic are you putting up?" so that I wouldn't damage a T-Power mic with Phantomn power and would use the proper T-Power setting on the mixer. This brings up the last consdieration which is that most modern mixing panels have done away with T-Power support in favor of offering only Phantom Power, now almost a defacto worldwide standard (because there are so few T-Powered microphones still in use).

Regards,  Jeff Wexler

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Guest tourtelot

T-power mics are still a viable option on a modern panel using a device such as the PSC 48V phantom to 12V "T-power" in-line adapter, readily available.  "T-power" mics still sound fine and are usually much less expensive than their more current (sorry!) counterparts.  I am, although, happy to say that I am now 100% phantom after having both for 25 years!  No more switches to remember and, although it was never much of a real-world problem, some P48 mics don't like 12VDC across the diaphram as happens with "T-power."  I only blew up one mic, a Sennheiser MKE2 lav, although over the years, I am sure I accidentally powered all my P48 mics with "T-power" <g>.

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I am such an equipment junkie and I am also the worst negotiator for my own equipment rental rates. I own 6 Schoeps CMC MK41 microphones and being the Scheops head that I am I had to purchase the new Schoeps CMIT "shotgun" microphone when it came out. So, the two CMC MK41's I am selling (I think they are actually both SOLD at this point) will help subsidize the purchase of the wonderful (and oh so expensive) microphone.

Regards,  Jeff Wexler 

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thanks for the info about the T power  / 48phantom power standards. Also, to stay on subject, I agree that the mic one uses is the most important decision a sound person makes. I have tried them all as a boom op and as a mixer, and for my money the schoeps is my choice. So save your $, try them all, and buy the schoeps.

p.s. My name is old school and I'm a equipment junkie.

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I definitely agree about buying a Schoeps and forgetting about the " budget priced " mics. I'm just starting off in this field and after much debating about whether to get a Neumann hyper or the schoeps, I ultimately sprong for the schoeps 641.

Most guys up here doing indie films are using Oktava hypers as their indoor mic of choice.

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Jeff,

Settle this for me.

I live in Wilmington NC, humid and hot as hell in the summer.

A buddy of mine here uses schoeps exclusively and has the normal problems we have all talked about on RAMPS. I read that it has been determined that the problems were from dirty contacts in the collette system and not humidity. I have rolled capsules in my hand under a hairdryer to make them work again and can't believe it is dirty contacts.

LL

(for the record schoeps are great sounding mics, I prefer 50's. Maybe it's because I'm deaf in one ear and can't hear out the other? I don't know?)

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I have rarely had any problems that I could attribute to mositure or humidity but I have, of course, experienced most all of the various typical problems the Schoeps microphone is capable of producing. I also do not buy the theory that ALL problems are related to dirt and contamination. This does not confirm, however, that humidity is the problem, solved by as you said, heating the capsule with a hairdryer. I think like any other diagnosis, the syndrome may be BOTH: an interaction between humidity AND dirt/contamination. It would take a fairly elaborate experimental design to confirm or deny this theory but I can say from practice I have never had a clean, well maintained Schoeps perform badly in humid environments. I have found, however, that a mic that is exhibiting bad behavior in a humid environment, once cleaned, no longer exhibits the trouble. The other absolute NO NO which I think only Charlie Tomaras has pointed out, is to never remove a capsule when the mic is powered up --- always disconnect the microphone before changing capsules, assing a lowcut or collette cable.

Regards,  Jeff Wexler

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I have a CMC3/Mk41, an Octava MCo12 with hypercardioid capsule and a Neumann KM-150. I use them all (KM-150 less often). In a very unscientific blind test, my wife picked the Schoeps as the best sounding for her ear (she has better ears than me). I love the Schoeps, but the Oktava is a close second. The KM-150 has it's uses and on some types of voices works better. It really shines in very tight quarters: bathrooms, showers, very small reverberant kitchens. I just got my Schoeps back from the factory in Germany for repair (capsule problem) and it is like new. The folks at the factory even seem to have re-embossed the gold lettering on the logo. Excellent workmanship and not all that expensive ($400 CDN), about the same as a new OKtava and a couple of capsules from The Sound Room. I have only had humidity problems on the Schoeps once: in a heavy downpour. The Rycote and windcover were soaked right through. I put my 416 up and all was well. No surprise there.

Chris Newton.

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Guest repete86

How much are you selling them for?  I really need a good mic and can't keep relying on my friends to loan me theirs or the only rental place in my area with a shotgun mic that happens to be a cheap Azden.

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Sounds like most of you guys (don't think there are any "gals" in this thread) are doing much more "professional" work than I am right now, and probably working with more experienced boom ops.

For me, I keep essentially two sets of mics, depending on my boom op's skills.  Most are converted PA's that really didn't want to stand with their arms in the air all day anyway, so for them I use my more forgiving mics (I always explain this process going in to the director and producers...but most times it doesn't seem to help.)  And yes, I know that an experienced boom op can get really good sound from lower quality mics where a less experienced boom op can actually make a Schoeps or 416 sound like crap.  So I train a lot of boom ops...unfortunately they rarely want to come back for new projects.

I haven't moved up to Schoeps yet.  I'm still using Octava with a hyper cap for my "better" mic and Rode cardioids for my lower end mic.  For shotguns, a 4073a and a 416.  Seems to work okay, but would definately like to move my Octava down (I think they make a cartioid cap for it) and go to a 641 for my high end.  But, I have a strict rule for myself and equipment -- one round of purchases has to be paid for through work before I can go into the next round of purchases and upgrades.  That being said, Jeff, please be sure to let us know if you're going to part with another Schoeps.

Phil

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has anyone ever actually pinned down a performance difference between t powered and p48 powered mics?

are t-powered mics cheaper due to growing incompatibility?

i just always strikes me as weird that the price difference is so large. I usually use a sound devices mixer on my shoots, and they can do T, so for me the difference is almost nothing, except for the price.

ps - would LOVE a 641. but Ill wait until my ship comes in.

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has anyone ever actually pinned down a performance difference between t powered and p48 powered mics?

are t-powered mics cheaper due to growing incompatibility?

i just always strikes me as weird that the price difference is so large. I usually use a sound devices mixer on my shoots, and they can do T, so for me the difference is almost nothing, except for the price.

ps - would LOVE a 641. but Ill wait until my ship comes in.

I am sure someone has done such a test, I just don't know who or where to look. There is considerable anecdotal stories about the relative advantages of T-power vs. Phantom power, but it really has come down to a compatibility issue now with fewer and fewer devices supporting T-power. I do not have any real anwers, even though I have had a lot of experience with both, but my hunch is that there are some inherent electrical and performance advantages of 48 volt Phantom power over T-power.

As for the Octava as a Schoeps subsitute, I feel that a good Octava (and there are a lot of really bad ones out there) can do a very good job and is very "Schoeps-like" in its characteristic sound.

Regards,  Jeff Wexler

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i own the octava mk012 with the hyper capsule, (as a result of no ship yet), and you're right. i'd still obviously pick out the schoeps anyday, but the difference in quality is probably not as great as the difference in cost. I got my octava from the sound room, and it is genuine russian made. im really happy with it.

im sure there must be some differences, like you said, between t and ph, but nothing jumps out at us, so i guess its still safe to buy t powered gear. for people like me, its the only route to getting great gear at lower prices. and like i said, it doesnt really affect me because of the SD mixers i usually use.

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