What color of Countryman B6 should I be buying? at DVinfo.net

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Old August 15th, 2007, 04:52 PM   #1
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What color of Countryman B6 should I be buying?

Hi all. . .

I just picked up a couple of Lectrosonics UCR201/UM200C wireless sets. They currently have the Lectrosonics M-150 microphones, but I'm pretty sure I want to go with the Countryman B6 mics due to their (apparently) great sound and truly miniature size.

The trouble is that these things come in like five different colors (white, black, beige, gray, and brown) at B&H. Which one would you buy? I want optimum versatility, but I am unlikely to be filming many African American actors.

If anyone feels that the B6 isn't a great mic (like maybe I should buy Tr-50s instead), please let me know that, as well.

Thanks much.

Stephen Pruitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2007, 08:01 PM   #2
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You might want to visit http://www.countryman.com/store/prod...?id=5&catid=10

Look for the pdf data sheet on the B6
David W. Jones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2007, 10:54 PM   #3
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I would start with a tan B6, it's a neutral color that'll blend well with anything, including the average caucasian/Asian skin tone, covering a lot of bases. Then, because the caps ARE relatively cheap (well, for "film" stuff that is...if Walmart were selling them, they'd be selling for a buck fifty with a bag of Skittles); I'd buy two more sets of caps.

The first would be a set of cocoa for African-American/Indian/darker skin hues/the heavily tanned like Nick Bolletieri, etc. Next, I would buy a set of white for dealing with typical suit and tie dress garb.

Then, I would buy a black cap set, just because, well, it's black and I would have one.

All this said, the B6 is primarily known for its ability to poke through shirt button holes, through loose knit weaved clothing, etc. so that it can be hidden in plain sight in wide-angle shots. This is the HD age though, what if you get lazy and decide to leave it on for MCU's?

If you're really concerned about hiding these and still getting decent sound, the great thing about the B6 is that I've found they make very little clothing noise when you hide them underneath clothing on top of cotton-type undershirts, non-silk/rayon/hairy chest, type garb. Because of their minature size they don't make a bulge the way other lavs can when you try to hide them with the top stick/mole skin/transpore type routine; thus making them doubly successful for hiding under clothing. Just use the high frequency cap and you're usually good to go.

The Tram is a good mic too, because of its nifty little accessories. The Vampire clip is good for hiding under clothing too and also in between buttons on a shirt under the top fabric. The leather clip is a great little accessory as well, it's too bad Countryman doesn't make something like this for their EMW set or that would easily be a choice to go to for best value/great sound.

The knock on the EMW is that the viper clip fangs on it are too fragile compared to the Tram's, and the lack of a leather clip. ...if only you could combine the Tram's accessories with the EMW and you'd have a runaway hit.

Anyway, back on topic, the leather clip is great for taping to skin with some top stick.

If I had a choice I think an EMW with Tram's accessories would be my ideal go to lav for most situations. The B6 is great, but it's small size and fragility always scares me (though I've not had a problem with them yet). Also, in situations where hiding a lav isn't important (i.e. the practical gigs that pay the bills), the B6 doesn't really provide any advantages plus they're also quite sensitive to wind.

An EMW with Tram's accessories, however, would do it all. Easy to hide, waterproof, great sound, not too fragile looking/small, just a jack of all trades type mic that would be at home anywhere (which in many respects is the Tram's appeal).

If you were to only get ONE lav though and you're main interest is in film making and not say micing up corporate suits and grooms? Then, in that case, definitely, I would go for the B6. It's in my opinion the most versatile hiding lav around and the interchangeable caps for frequency response add tremendous versatility in hiding applications.

For, corporate/practical type stuff, however, I think the Pin-Mic is by far the best choice. Being able to just pin a mic on is incredibly convenient and also is very impressive for its niftiness, "hey, I haven't seen that before," to paying clients. Makes them feel like they're getting their money's worth.
Eugene Kim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2007, 07:59 AM   #4
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Wow, Eugene. . . what a great post.

Thanks very much!
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