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Using 6061 as standard lav instead of 6060?


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I'm looking to make the switch from Sanken's COS11d to DPA's 606X lavaliers. However, it's not cost effective for me to buy a full set of 6060s and 6061s.


And I've seen a good few location sound mixers such as Tom Williams' lavalier collection being made up of 90% 6061 mics, which are the high SPL, low sensitivity variant of the 6060.

My instinct would be to think that this isn't good, because it requires more gain out of the tiny transmitter preamps, leading to more noise, but if the top dogs are doing it, it can't be that bad, right?

However, with DPA's CORE tech, is the advantage of higher SPL tolerance worth the risk of noise?


What are your thoughts on this?

My current transmitters are MTP40s Wisycoms, though I do use Audio Ltd. A10s sometimes, if that is relevant.

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There are many sound mixers with a lot more experience than me on this forum but maybe my limited view offers some value... I haven't had the chance to use one of the 606.. series yet but specs-wise the difference between the sensitivity of the 4060 and 4061 seems to be the same which is what I'm referring to.

I've actually almost always used 4061's (with MTP40's as well) and for me they work pretty well as allround lav's. The noise floor doesn't really bother me but it is definitely audible if the talents are speaking quietly or if you want light breaths to sound clean. With the "average" loud dialogue recordings I didn't mind the noise so far.

The upside for me is (and this might not be important to you) that I also used them inside pianos for example and I once recorded wild tracks of an old Harley Davidson that was in the movie with some 4061s attached to it which sounded amazing.

So for me the high SPL ones are the more versatile option and I haven't had any complaints about noise so far. I've seen other people use their lavs for small field recording/ambience setups which I don't do so in this case the 61's might be a little too noisy.


Just out of curiousity I was comparing the sensitivity specs of some other lav's and it seems like you could consider the 4060/6060 (20mV/PA) a highly sensitive lav mic compared to the other "usual suspects". The Cos11d has a sensitivity of 8.9mV/Pa and MKE-1/MKE-2 both have 5mV/Pa.

So the 4061/6061 (6mV/Pa) stands more or less in line with the others while the 4060/6060's sensitivity is rather "unusual". Or am I misinterpreting something?

Maybe that's a well known fact but I wasn't aware of that and maybe it helps to categorize the mics.

Edited by Sebi
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5 minutes ago, SanJacobs said:

Thanks, @Sebi. Luckily, I'm not expecting my lavs to do anything other than dialogue. I suppose those 40-series were bought prior to them introducing their CORE tech?

No, they already had the CORE amplifier.

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i only use 4061 and 6061 mics with my Audio Ltd transmitters. which have proven to be a very good range for level. coping well with loud shouts.

when i first got the 1010s, i also got a load of DPA slims with the same sensitivity as the 4060, and they were waaaay to hot. i had to have the gain at 0-1 (the 1010 had a gain range of 0-9 i think) and i think you would have the same issue with the 4060 and 6060. 

i have done some jobs with other peoples kit where they are using wisy tx with 4061, and that seems to work very well as well. also handling loud shouts.


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3 minutes ago, Sebi said:

No, they already had the CORE amplifier.

Ah, ok.


I now see your EDIT section about their free field sensitivity specs.

I can't believe I never realized how crazy the 20 mV/Pa spec is. That's both scary and tempting.

Both the COS-11D and the 6060 have a 1% THD max SPL of 123 dB, and I have yet to have trouble with the Sanken distorting, so that's something.


18 minutes ago, rich said:

i only use 4061 and 6061 mics with my Audio Ltd transmitters. which have proven to be a very good range for level. coping well with loud shouts.

Nice. Well, I'd expect them to cope well with loud shouts, because that's what they're made for. However, the question is if you start dipping into the noise floor when people get quiet?

I think this trend is happening globally too, but especially in Norwegian cinema, actors have been getting quieter and quieter for the quiet scenes, but the yelling hasn't gotten any less loud.


25 minutes ago, rich said:

when i first got the 1010s, i also got a load of DPA slims with the same sensitivity as the 4060, and they were waaaay to hot. i had to have the gain at 0-1 (the 1010 had a gain range of 0-9 i think) and i think you would have the same issue with the 4060 and 6060. 

If 0 or 1 got you a good range, then that sounds absolutely ideal, but if you had issues with clipping when they got loud and you were at gain level 0, then that would be bad.

Do you recall clipping being a problem?

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I'm using both 6060 and 6061, basically there's no noticeable difference on sound, both can be used as all-around lav, the 6061 maybe a bit better due to higher SPL. However in some whispering scenes, I can hear the ground noise from preamp much stronger than with the 6060, it was with Zaxcom ZMT3 Transmitter. With 6061 we normally start the gain at 30 and do fine adjustment, with 6060 we start at 12. In situation with both shouting and whispering, the 6061 works better compare to 6060 in my opinion. You would rather have a bit more ground noise (which is totally acceptable in this case) then overload and distortion. But with iZotope, you can probably get both problems fixed. 


I also use both with Wisycom MTP40s on documentary works, I prefer 6060 in normal situation / interviews, and if there's music performing involved or if I'm in loud environment, I use 6061.


So my thoughts and experience: as all-around lav for doc, 6061 is perfectly fine and works probably better than 6060.

for features, you will definitely need both. 

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I generally have the same mindset as you when it comes to self noise. Hence I have a handful of 4060s and only 1 4061, that is acting as a backup and seldomly used.


I dont have much issues with regulair (non core) 4060s. There were lengthy discussions on 4060 vs 4061 among lectro people on this forum and the distortion figure seemed to be similair with just gaining down a bit on the TX for the 60.


My conclusion was to pick 4060 over 4061 In case you have a TX that will not distort with a 4060 at low level. I expect similair might be true for 606x too.


As a previous poster mentioned tho, with for example a loud engine, to have a 4061 where you cannot attenuate your preamp low enough (mic level might simply be a tad too much when micing an exhaust).


This is all in theory though and different preamps might have their optimum range, so maybe wisy or audio ltd act differently.

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The 6060 has 134dB max SPL which may not be sufficient for amplified singing on stage, musical instruments like brass or inside a helicopter. But recording dialogue, even shouting, will definitely not distort the mike itself. A rather common value.

As Matthias mentioned, it more depends on the transmitters' input stage. MTP40 handles up to +6dBu (when delivering bias) that's industry standard, but not sooo much. But much more than the mentioned ZMT3 (-30dBu, really???). Other transmitters take up to +24dBu or more, so your question could clearly be answered.

I guess there is no other choice than trying it out, maybe carrying your kit to a local dealer. I just tried out once a colleague's 6061 and it has about the same level as the MKE1. On the SK6000 I discovered no noticeable noise. Great mike.

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I got a friend of mine to try some loud WOOOs with one of his 6060s at his chest, transmitted through an MTP40S, in a quiet environment.




Here it is on a spectogram. Each yell is slightly louder than the last, and it is as clear to the ear as it is to the eye, that it has this fuzzy noisy distortion coming in.

It doesn't sound like harmonic distortion, but rather like the overloading of an old webcam microphone.
I'm not 100% certain that this is coming from the 6060, but I would think the MTP40s preamp would distort by adding harmonics, not this noise stuff.

It certainly didn't clip digitally, though, so it must be one of them.

His yell seemed extreme in that quiet environment, but if he was next to a busy highway or something, it might just seem like a slightly above average yell.
And I think any level of raspiness in a yell like this would mask the distortion. Put that in a less silent environment, and maybe it won't grab your attention. Maybe.


Considering this test, I'm now happy to report that it seems both my fears are true. There is a reason these two are separate microphones, made for different circumstances. Great.

Personally, I'm more scared of the noise floor, than I am of the noisy type of distortion I hear in this test. So I'm starting to lean in the 6060's direction again.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I went down this road a bit and talked to a few mixers aswell. I know some who are all 6061, and I have a friend who has mixed a few horror features and he said his 6060s never clipped during shouting/scream scenes into a lectro tx…. I ended up getting a 6060 and haven’t had any issues.

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Hi San,


IMHO, best is to have both versions. Identify the thermal noise in a chain of lavalier > transmitter mic preamp > receiver output > input recorder > headphone amp is a little bit hard where will be come from; but having playing around with Wisycom, Lectrosonics, Sound Devices, Sonosax, DPA and Sanken combinations; didn't heard any thermal noise from them in live environment. As well as from any post-production about this case.


Personally, if I would be in your position; I would rent (if that option exist in Norway) a DPA 6060 and 6061 for an upcoming project - or for a day to play with them. If the option of renting is not available; then I would go for DPA 6060 first and put it under pressure. From the other hand, as far I know; those SPL measurements coming from 1 meter distance; when in our case we put the lavaliers in 10-20 cm away from sound source (mouth). Interesting debate, but I would go first for 6060. 



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I wish this thread existed when I got into Wisys and 6060s. I asked around about 6060 vs 6061 and got crickets. So I went with 6060s. Most of what I do these days is corporate/commercial work, but I did do an extremely long feature earlier this year using this setup, with lot’s of yelling and screaming. The 6060s did just fine, I’d just turn the gain on the tx down when I knew it was going to get loud. Everything worked out great, I just hope that whomever gets stuck doing the post work can deal with the snow machines that you can hear in every scene!

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