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Old September 16th, 2008, 09:51 AM   #1
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Sennheiser MKH-416: Ready to buy

I'm preparing for a summer production and am looking for mics. It's been suggested to me that I look into the Sennheiser MKH-416. I've heard this is one of the best, and I'm looking at the two versions: P48U3 (48V Phantom) and TU3 (12V A-B T-Powered). Has anyone here used either, would recommend one over the other?

Now, the guy that works with this mic is probably a bit bias, so I'm open to suggestions. I'm looking to keep it under $1100.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:02 AM   #2
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Hey I have the MKH416 48P, and I love it...for outdoor use that is. And I'm pretty sure you want the 48P version, since T-power isn't really used anymore :) I imagine one of the seasoned sound mixers on this board can give you a more detailed reasoning and history, but I thought T-power was/is a power config for some of the earlier microphones, and is not supported too much today since recorders/mixers/cameras use 48V phantom power as the standard now.



Microphones and Instrument Preamps - Phantom Power

Last edited by Chris Hanyok; September 16th, 2008 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Corrected mistake in microphone power supplies
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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:04 AM   #3
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Well, any information would be great. I'm more of a camera person. This mic will be used indoor and outdoor for a film production. I can't really give more specifics as to the environment that it'll be in, outside of both indoor and out. Thanks for the comments. All are extremely helpful!
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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:13 AM   #4
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Chris is right - if you purchase this mic, get the 48p version for *much* greater compatiblity with today's gear, period.

This is a great mic.

However, you should be aware that a shotgun mic can be a problem indoors in most home/office/retail environments. The issue is that shotguns tend to have some sensitivity to the rear of the mic in lower frequencies, when those freqs are bouncing off a ceiling it can and does lead to some very typical problems.

The mic of choice for indoor booming (mostly) is a supercardoid aka. hypercardoid.

The mic of choice for outdoor booming (mostly) is a shotgun like the 416, and many recordists like it a great deal. Usually it will not be used indoors except on a sound stage, or other high-ceiling fairly dead room.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:25 AM   #5
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Hmm, that's concerning...

Checking the site, it lists this mic as: Condenser, Super-Cardioid/Lobe. I assume there is no way to avoid this effect indoors, even with a windshield or something on it. Hmmm...thoughts? I really only have 1100 to spend, mabye a bit more. I can use the camera's mic indoors, but I hate to have to do that. And since this mic has had so much praise across the board, that's why I found my way there.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:35 AM   #6
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Well, if you're on a budget, I know you can get the Rode Nt3 mic from BH at a decent price. I own it, and it does sound great for indoors (considering the price, though I know it can't compare to a $2grand Schoeps).

My only qualm with it is it's rather front heavy for a boom, but it can work.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #7
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Not sure how the Rode NT3 will work well indoors while still on a boom mic. Reviews say it's excellent hand held or on a mic stand, but most of this shoot will require boom work. Or is this mic strong enough to pick up off a boom? I didn't think so, but I could be wrong. Again, thanks for the help!
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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:56 AM   #8
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Ha ha ha. It is true that it is heavy on a boom, but that's when you should tell the boom operator to lift some weights:)

In all seriousness, since the shoot isn't until the summer, you might want to look at some mid level ($400-500) HC mics: Right now I'm eyeing the Audix SCX-1 HC and the AT4053a HC. I've heard a couple people pimp the Audix, but the price BH has the 4053a makes it little more appealing. When I buy either one, and if you're interested I'll give you some feedback.

A couple people also mention AKG blue line mics, since most of the capsules are easy to find and are dirt cheap.

And yes, I'm extremely bored at work, and daydreaming about the wild adventures in the day of the life of a sound mixer/boom operator.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 11:23 AM   #9
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Perhaps that's the best plan then, get the MKH-416 for outdoor use, save up, and get something for indoor use that won't cause whatever problem may exist from using the shotgun indoors. You all seem to praise the MKH-416 for outdoor use, and really, that's what I'm most concerned about. If anyone has any other thoughts, I'd gladly hear them!
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Old September 16th, 2008, 11:59 AM   #10
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Consider too the Rode NTG-3. Too bad Rode has made their naming a little confusing - the NT3 and the NTG-3 are different mics. The NTG-3 is very similar in sound and behaviour to the Senn MKH416 but at a substantially lower price. Recently got one from Guy at DVeStore and am in the process of testing. So far I'm very impressed and would give it a strong recommendation for consideration.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 12:18 PM   #11
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I'd agree with Steve, consider the RODE NTG-3. In a blindfold test, I'd bet that even well trained ears will sometimes mistake the $699 NTG-3 for the $1099 MKH-416.
If you look at the specs on paper, they're nearly identical.

And psst....theres a coupon code over at RODE NTG-3 Shotgun mic $100 off coupon - The Digital Video Information Network
Either way, we have both mics in stock if you'd like either, you can use the $100 coupon code on the RODE or a 5% dvinfo discount on the Sennheiser.

I'd consider getting the RODE and investing the difference in a Gitzo or KTEK carbon fiber boom pole, or if you don't already have one, in a pre-amp/mixer such as Sound Devices Mix Pre or a PSC PSC Audio Mixers, or depending on the indoor rooms you're shooting in, I might also be looking on eBay for a pack of 10 moving blankets and some c-stands. Then you can use the shotgun indoors with great results. A little room treatment does wonders.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 01:55 PM   #12
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I know this truly demonstrates my newbness, but if even some professionals are confused by the difference here, what is the true difference between the two: RO/SN?
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Old September 16th, 2008, 02:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Maurer View Post
I know this truly demonstrates my newbness, but if even some professionals are confused by the difference here, what is the true difference between the two: RO/SN?
Any piece of equipment is only as good as the person operating it. Those skilled boom ops for example can get some outstanding results with equipment a lot of people call inferior. In some cases you get what you pay for, in other cases, you get more than what you paid for.

Products and their results are very subjective. I will say this however, some people can't ever tell the difference between audio product results, and others can listen and tell you from certain characteristics what product is being used.

I realized that this didn't really answer your question, but ultimately I don't think anybody but you can answer it. However, I also realize that may be a bit of a catch-22 if you can't compare things side-by-side. This is where opinions come into play. I like the 416 (I own the 418S), I have not heard the NTG-3 (has anyone really used this mic yet?), so I can't compare the two. However, based on my experience with the NTG-1, I will say that in general RODE is one of those companies that tends to give you more for your money.

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Old September 16th, 2008, 02:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Maurer View Post
I know this truly demonstrates my newbness, but if even some professionals are confused by the difference here, what is the true difference between the two: RO/SN?
Rode is 5mm longer. Senn sensitivity 25mVPa, Rode sensitivity 31mV/Pa. Senn has very slightly narrower pattern. Audible difference, Senn slightly more bass on male voices. That's really about it.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 02:31 PM   #15
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Well, RODE is sounding more and more like the smarter answer here. If the two perform very well, and only a pro is going to tell the difference, my audience probably won't have a clue. Unless someone has had some bad experiences with this RODE, I might give it a shot.
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