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Alex Weinberg

Best Carbon Fiber Boom Pole in 2019

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What is the best carbon fiber boom pole in 2019? 

 

Panamic, Ambeint, Really Right Stuff's soon to be released, Gitzo, K-Tec, Ect...

 

I am looking for my first nice boom that is not the aluminum Rode one I have.

 

I am also conflicted on what size to get for example Really Right Stuff has a travel boom that goes 6.4 feet and can fit in my carry on which is a huge plus, however the non carry on size is a great 14 feet. 

 

Not having to check is always great when traveling, but having a longer pole is also beneficial.

 

What are your guy's opinions?

 

-Alex

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Alex Weinberg said:

What is the best carbon fiber boom pole in 2019? 

 

Panamic, Ambeint, Really Right Stuff's soon to be released, Gitzo, K-Tec, Ect...

 

I am looking for my first nice boom that is not the aluminum Rode one I have.

 

I am also conflicted on what size to get for example Really Right Stuff has a travel boom that goes 6.4 feet and can fit in my carry on which is a huge plus, however the non carry on size is a great 14 feet. 

 

Not having to check is always great when traveling, but having a longer pole is also beneficial.

 

What are your guy's opinions?

 

-Alex

 

 

The first one, in whatever length you need. I.e., not just the extended length but the compacted length. 

 

Thanks, Martin

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I haven't used a Panamic, but Ambient boom poles have been my favorite in various designs and lengths.

 

I am shopping for an ENG one, and I was looking the QX580 0.80-3.30m and 620gr. The problem I have is that it can be shorter than my needs, but anything more than 0.80m is difficult to carry around.

 

So I will be trying the new Vdb Large, 0.80-3.90m 500gr and see how it goes..

 

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I think only vdb and ambient use carbon fiber, the rest are graphite to my knowledge. 

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@ JonG 

 

The term graphite is used as a synonym for carbon fiber, but actually they are all carbon fiber poles. Both graphite and carbon fiber contain carbon, but carbon fiber is a long ploymer that has to be treaded to become carbon fiber, where graphite is a hexagonal structure of pure carbon atoms. Graphite is quite fragile and you'll find it in pencils, for example. 

 

Greetings 

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1 hour ago, pillepalle said:

@ JonG 

 

The term graphite is used as a synonym for carbon fiber, but actually they are all carbon fiber poles. Both graphite and carbon fiber contain carbon, but carbon fiber is a long ploymer that has to be treaded to become carbon fiber, where graphite is a hexagonal structure of pure carbon atoms. Graphite is quite fragile and you'll find it in pencils, for example. 

 

Greetings 

   Pillepalle, Yea, but can you write with a carbon fiber pole? Like if you needed to take notes. See? Jon was on to something there, I could just choke up on the end of the boom and make some quick post notes with a graphite boom. The only problem I see, by my calculations,  a 12 foot boom would only be able to hold a 90 gram blimp setup, but on the bright side, you could write over 12000 Km of notes before the boom length became unusable.

Sincerely,  Martin

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16 minutes ago, MartinTheMixer said:

   Pillepalle, Yea, but can you write with a carbon fiber pole?

 

Well, in the sand on a beach it works quite well  ...but I guess we're getting off topic :)

 

Greetings

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I wouldn't consider a pole from Really Right Stuff until they've been out and used by others for a couple years. Maybe it's fine, but they have no record in this area and boompoles are deceptively difficult to build well... 

https://www.reallyrightstuff.com/vmb-mic-booms

 

And me, I'm still happy with my K-Tek poles (also have a couple very old LTMs that I'll use on stands, but those things are prehistoric).

https://ktekpro.com/product-category/audio/boom-poles/

 

Think about what length you want. A 9-foot (or so) pole can be fairly compact and useful, imo, for ENG and doc use. A longer pole can be great, but requires more technique and experience to wield well. The short "traveler" poles I find too short for many situations, but easy to carry as a spare (which I do).

That said, I'm not a fulltime (or great) boomop...

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The brands that have stood the test of time and rigorous use (to my knowledge): K-Tek, Panamic, PSC, VDB, Ambient (and Loon which is now discontinued I think). If you can get to a pro audio store near you go try them out. It's very personal how you feel about the collars and feel of a pole.

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While they might be fine, I call three strikes on "Really Right Stuff" boom poles:

 

1). I never heard of them before this thread.

 

2). Therefore, I don't know of any pro who has ever used one.

 

3). They chose a model designator (VMB) that is close enough to an established brand as to be confusing in the marketplace. 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, John Blankenship said:

While they might be fine, I call three strikes on "Really Right Stuff" boom poles:

 

1). I never heard of them before this thread.

 

2). Therefore, I don't know of any pro who has ever used one.

 

3). They chose a model designator (VMB) that is close enough to an established brand as to be confusing in the marketplace. 

 

 

 

4) The picture on their website of the girl holding a boom pole is very funny to see.  (Although she does hold her hands correctly)

 

vmb-mic-booms.1-3.png?resizeid=6&resizeh

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RRS / Really Right Stuff as a carbon fiber camera tripod manufacturer are top notch.

RRS and Gitzo are perhaps two of the best tripod manufacturers out there so I see it's natural for RRS to extend their range to boom poles as well - although I do not know how their poles are / will be.

But they sure do know carbon fiber tube manufacturing and assembly.

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RRS might have some cred in the still-photography biz, but seems like they're still trying to figure out the video/cine world. Maybe their pole will be great, maybe it'll be meh, but I don't see any reason to hold off buying a pole until theirs comes out.

 

Different mixers have different brand preferences for boom poles, but most choose from the save five (or so) brands that have been building and improving poles for years. If you choose between Ambient, K-Tek, Panamic, PSC, and VdB, you'll have LOTS of options in every size and will probably find something that'll work great for you.

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A well kept secret is that all boom pole manufacturers sell better quality versions of each of their products to well-established pros than they do to beginners. 

 

If you want verification of that just compare a pro using their K-Tek Classic to a newbie using theirs.  The newbie’s pole positions the mic off-axis, tends to not get consistent pickup, and has a great deal more handling noise. 

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Still like my PSC pole(s). Easy to take out the internal cable if you want to go without interior cabling. Easy to "straighten out"the cable as the top is removable and you can let the cable dangle. Kink free! 

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Thanks for all the feedback. So many more brands to research! I wish I could try them all out somewhere before buying one. I have some Really Right Stuff equipment such as their fluid head and it is one hell of a head for their first fluid head. Not as good as my O'Conner head, but it is also less than a 1/3rd of the O'Conner's price. So I will stop fan boying and look into the more established boom brands, until reviews come out on it.

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12 hours ago, Alex Weinberg said:

until reviews come out on it.

 

I suggest reading online reviews of location-sound equipment with care. Does the reviewer have enough experience to know what he or she is talking about? Do they get to keep the equipment reviewed, or do they return it to the manufacturer afterwards? If they keep it, might they be swayed to stay positive to keep the delivery trucks running?

 

Seriously, I'm more swayed by the opinions of many people here than I am of many on YouTube and blogs. Even Newsshooter, which seems to do a decent job with camera and lens evaluations, runs some pretty questionable and/or uninformed reviews of audio equipment.

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On 6/12/2019 at 4:12 AM, MartinTheMixer said:

   Pillepalle, Yea, but can you write with a carbon fiber pole? Like if you needed to take notes. See? Jon was on to something there, I could just choke up on the end of the boom and make some quick post notes with a graphite boom. The only problem I see, by my calculations,  a 12 foot boom would only be able to hold a 90 gram blimp setup, but on the bright side, you could write over 12000 Km of notes before the boom length became unusable.

Sincerely,  Martin

Would you need a boom sharpener then ?

 

mike

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