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ambientandambience

Buying used Schoeps Capsules

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I wouldn't buy it without listening  to the capsule  ---  some hold up very well over time, some don't. I continued to use really old Schoeps capsules as long as I fdelt they still sounded good (and I was, of course, very familiar with how it should sound).

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I have Schoeps capsules I bought new that are a few years older than '85, as well as some fairly new ones.  The ones I bought new still sound great, vs newer capsules.  Some of the used ones I've bought since eventually went a bit off, and got sent back to Schoeps.  $400 or so later they are basically brand new.  I have a lot of Schoeps mics (many with bodies updated by Pete V) and they are pretty consistent I'd say.   The important thing is to have a known-good Schoeps of the same pattern to compare the one you might buy to.

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No doubt there are many variations to this depending upon how they've been cared for and used.  My experience is that they tend to hold up quite well in terms of sound quality but will vary the most in handling noise. 

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I’ve got a bunch of Schoeps mics that I purchased used. Some I’ve had for a few years and some I’ve had for less time than that. Overall it’s up to how they were treated, but my rule of thumb is that I test them before buying. Schoeps makes incredibly high end mics so as long as they’ve been well looked after, you may struggle to hear the difference from one from the 70s vs. one made today. 

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One other factor in buying used Schoeps mics is considering why they are being sold?  Recordists keep mics like Schoeps for their whole careers, often only selling them when they retire.  Is this mic being sold because it's damaged?  Stolen?  One reason it is easier to find used MK41s vs MK4s or MK2s is that the former was a kind of standard for motion picture boom use, but now many people have moved to other types for their main boom mics, so they come up used fairly often.  MK4 and especially Mk2, being more in the realm of music recording, become available used in much smaller numbers.

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I bought my first one in 83. the second in 88-89. the third in 90-1. I still like the way mine sound. I use them all the time. One is a bit hissy but I doubt it's the capsule. I'm sure it depends on how they've been used and cared for but mine have served me well. Like JW said, I'd want to hear it first before $$$ is $pent.

CrewC

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22 hours ago, Trey LaCroix said:

I have a 20 year old Schoeps and a 4 year old schoeps and did a blind test a while back. I could not for the life of me tell the difference.

 

The consistent difference I can tell between our mid 80's Schoeps and newer ones is the improved RF shielding. All in all we own a dozen or more and in a difficult RF environment the old ones are more susceptible to interference. I don't know if this is due to preamp design, the capsule or both.

Beyond that I'd say that each of the old capsules now sounds slightly different due to different exposure to the elements, handling, abuse during traveling, etc, while all the newer ones sound identical.

 

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Whenever I've bought used Schoeps capsules or complete microphones, I've always sent them back to the factory for checkout and any needed repairs. I only buy used capsules that are claimed to be in "excellent" condition or "like new"--yet about half the time or more, repairs (usually, but not always, minor ones) have turned out to be necessary anyway.

 

In the end, even when no repair was necessary, I feel better knowing that the stuff has been checked, and I recommend doing that under normal circumstances. In fact I cycle all my older Schoeps gear back for checkup every 15-20 years whether I've had problems with it or not, since I've been a customer since 1974, and I still own and use some items from back then.

 

In general, Schoeps tends to update capsules when repairing them unless the customer specifically asks them not to. That's a relative matter, though; they won't completely rebuild a capsule just for the sake of updating it, again unless the customer specifically requests that (and agrees to pay for it). So an update of a very old capsule that is made by default, as part of a normal repair, may sometimes be partial in nature. In this way, the customer can have some say in whether a repaired, older capsule will match either an older or a newer capsule more closely where differences exist.

 

Mainly, newer capsules can be more sensitive than capsules from the first decade or so of the Colette series, thus lowering the equivalent noise of the microphone as a whole. But a few types of capsule have also undergone changes in frequency response, particularly at one or both ends of the frequency range (e.g. an MK 8 with the current, more open housing type will have more extended low-frequency response than the original type did).

 

In any case Schoeps has individual records of (in principle) every capsule they've ever made, including frequency response curves and a set of production parameters. Those records are updated each time the capsule comes back to them, so it's usually possible to discuss and plan an individual repair with them if you need to do that.

 

--best regards

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On 12/9/2019 at 7:05 PM, Werner Althaus said:

 

The consistent difference I can tell between our mid 80's Schoeps and newer ones is the improved RF shielding. 


I asked Schoeps about this just a few weeks ago and was told that RF shielding is only part of the amp not the capsule. 
 

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