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PSC Millimic thoughts


Rakesh Anderson
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I'm in need of 2 lavalieres relatively cheap. I noticed a couple of used PSC Millimics at the local places that fit pricewise. I've search for information about these, and not turned up much of anything regarding sound quality. Can anyone with experience with these tell me how they sound? I'd be using them hidden in clothing. I'd be using them along side B6's with the crisp caps. I don't have high expectations that these would be the greatest, but still curious as to how they compare to other manufacturers. Any information would be greatly appreciated.  

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I can give a qualified endorsement of the PSC Millimic. I've had at least one in my kit for a long time and I've tended to use it as an extra microphone or in circumstances where it might be in jeopardy. When I first started using it, my kit was largely filled with Sonotrims and the Millimic nicely matched my other microphones; sound quality was never an issue. Gradually I've moved to Sankens and I haven't made a comparison with them or with the DPA's that are favored now. All I can say with confidence is that the sound was up to the standard of Sonotrims but that's still a good-sounding microphone. Audio quality was never a real limitation for the Millimic.

There are a couple of caveats:

1. This is a microphone that has been available for quite a few years so a used example may be more than ten years old. Regular condenser mikes - phantom or T-power - generally age well but some users have noticed that electret microphones can age over time. A listen test with the particular units you might purchase would be good thing if possible.

2. I tended to favor the Sonotrims because the vampire clips and other attachment hardware seemed better than the similar devices available for the Millimic. While the Millimic accessories mirror the Tram/Sonotrim hardware, they are not interchangeable from one brand to the other. The Millimic accessories are entirely serviceable, just not as handy as the others.

The Millimic is still listed on the PSC website so it should be possible to purchase one new. That's may be a bit more than you want to pay but it is likely to still be less than the price of a Sanken or DPA.

David

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Thanks David, I appreciate the info. I was hoping to get some Countryman EMWs as a cheap lav that would sound similar to my B6's for an upcoming job, but I haven't found a place with them in stock. As far as the Millimics I've seen for sale used locally, they're really cheap which makes me wonder if they could be a little tired. I'll have to test them if I go that way.

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I've had a good deal of experience with the Millimic but don't own any.  My impression of them was that sound quality was never an issue but the form factor was a bit clunky. The mic has more physical depth than most (probably 1.5 times "thicker" than an EMW) and squared off corners which can lead to challenges with clothing noise when concealing. I would also agree with David that the accessories are a bit clumsier than with many other mics. (i.e. the windscreen cannot be mounted to the mic without the tie clip or vampire). 

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I think the best part of the advice given so far is that while a new Millimic (or any other pro lav) will sound just fine in real world use (ie buried) one should be careful about buying used.  Lav mics take a lot of abuse, even with careful owners.  Talent folks often end up pulling on them in destructive ways, and the capsules suffer from exposure to sweat, weather, dirt etc and eventually start to sound odd.   In my shop I have a box of "wilted" lav mics from over the years that suffered this fate.  So I'd recommend buying new if you can, and if you can't try to buy from a place where you can compare the sound of the used mic to a new one of the same model.  Examine the used mic carefully, esp. where the cable meets the mic head (very common failure point).  If the mic breaks there it's done--non-repairable.

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