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Old December 10th, 2003, 03:55 PM   #1
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Sennheiser ME66 vs. Sanken CS-1

I am about to purchase a boom mic and was considering the Sanken CS-1. I have friends who swears by the Sennheiser ME66 but I was told that the Sanken is a step up. Does anyone have experience with these two microphones. I will be shooting 24P shorts slated for film blowup.
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Old December 11th, 2003, 12:35 AM   #2
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What will the content and location be, that info will make a difference. The sanken is definetly a step up from the ME66.

I own an ME66 and while it's a good basic mic, there are better. Look at the AT 4073/ 4071, Sanken CS-1, Sennheiser 416 and the list goes on. The ME66 starts at around $380 and the 416 is around $1000. mics are listed in order of cost

I'm not sure if the 416 will run at 24 pee tho :)
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Old December 11th, 2003, 02:29 AM   #3
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If you can afford to get better than the ME66, you
probably should. The ME66 isn't that good. Someone
had mentioned once that it was the best mic you
could get that was battery powered. Everything better
required phantom. But lately I ran across a pro
saying they liked the Sony ECM-672. They said it
was better than the ME66, which they had been using prior. And I believe it runs on an AA battery.
Anyone know anything about this mic?
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Old December 11th, 2003, 09:51 AM   #4
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Yes, i've got two ECM-672 mics that were purchased years ago with pro video cameras.
They can run on either AA battery or phantom. They are built more ruggedly than the ME66, they were Sony's standard-issue ENG shotgun in the 1990's.
If you work in louder environments like sports, they probably would be better than the 66 because they are less sensitive and are therefore less likely to overload themselves or the input of the camera.
They have a two-position bass rolloff: Rolled off and More Rolled off. This reflects their design as a run and gun field mic for use under harsh handling and wind conditions. The 66 has two positions also: Flat and Way Too Rolled off.
Indoors the 672 suffers from off-axis coloration (like most short to mid length shotguns).
If you buy one new they still cost about $500!!, but you do get a locking foam windscreen :-) but no clip :-(.
For dialog, I think the sensitivity of the 66 would be a necessity. For news or sports, the 672 would be a good choice. I think they could also be employed as a pair of "stand-up" mics for two hosts reporting in a noisy environment like a football pre-game scenario.
I keep saying I need to sell my two because they mostly sit in the carrying case I made. (I almost never do run and gun work.)
I also have a clip for each one that I salvaged from some crappy hand-held mics that had the same body diameter.
Back to the original post, neither the 66 nor the 672 are as good as the 4073a or the CS-1 in audio quality. But if I was equipping a sports camera for the sidelines of a football game, the 672 would be my first choice of the mics I have in hand.
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Old December 11th, 2003, 12:33 PM   #5
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Jay, would you say that the 672 sounds better than the ME66 for speech, or wouldn't you go that far?
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Old December 12th, 2003, 09:30 AM   #6
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Be more specific regarding "speech". I would generally say the 66 is the superior mic for voice quality, but there are some circumstances where other things going on in the vicinity of the mic could make the 672 a more successful choice.
Let me know the details of what you have in mind.
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Old December 13th, 2003, 02:00 AM   #7
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Jay: application is speakers at a podium in a quiet room.
And have you actually heard both the CS-1 and the
AT4073?
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Old December 13th, 2003, 10:29 PM   #8
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The K6/ME66 would be better in that situation than the 672, but neither would sound as good as a high quality cardioid or hypercardioid as a podium mic.
Since I think this discussion started with asking about battery powered mics, then the K6/ME64, and the Rode NT-3 would probably be my top choices for recording from a podium. If you're doing PA from a podium, then generally a lower sensitivity dynamic will allow you more gain before feedback.
I own a 4073a and like it alot. I've tried the CS-1 briefly but not head to head with anything I'm closely familiar with. So far, I havent seen a reason to buy the CS-1 for the work I do.
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Old December 14th, 2003, 04:15 PM   #9
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Man, I just listened to my ME64 at podium distance;
it sounds bad. Doesn't flatter anyone's voice.
Real dry. The way I use it now is with an AA battery and with a plug-in wireless transmitter. I'm
thinking about looking into a plug-in that
provides phantom power so I can use a better
mic. I think Mike R has mentioned that the plug-in
transmitter of the Sennheiser 500 system can
be used with the Senn EW100 camcorder system.
Does anyone know anything about the 500
plug-in or its compatibilty with the 100 system?

Off topic, but I have a question regarding lavs.
I've been taking a look at the Samson Airline
wireless sytem. I noticed that the audio from
the lav falls off quite rapidly after about
a half foot from the speaker's mouth. What determines this range in a mic? Is it directly related to sensitivity?
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Old December 14th, 2003, 06:27 PM   #10
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Dave, about the plug on transmitter, Mike R already covered it all. It is fully compatible with the EW100 camera mount receiver series.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 10:38 AM   #11
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Three comments to Dave on your ME64 at the podium:
If you use a mic with a flat frequency response at "podium" distance (which can be as far away as 18 to 24 inches depending on how the mic is mounted), then it will sound flat. It's supposed to be flat, this will help you prevent feedback if the signal is going to a PA.
You can try to mount the mic so it's a little closer to build up a little proximity effect and use a little EQ on the recorded signal as well to improve the sound.
However, I'm willing to bet that two things about your wireless transmitter are the actual culprit.
First is setting the transmitter input gain to optimum for that particular person and mic placement. If set too low, the sound will be restricted, closed-in, pinched sounding. If set too high you'll get distortion on peaks.
Two, a lower-cost wireless transmitter is simply not going to sound as good as having the ME64 wired no matter how perfectly you set it up.
I'd suggest that you try to get duplicate recordings of the ME64 wired and wireless and then decide if you need to upgrade both the transmitter and the mic. After all, the ME64 can go phantom too, so you could use it with the 500 transmitter.
As for lav pick-up range with a wireless transmitter, that is determined by two factors. The mic's sensitivity AND the transmitter input gain. The transmitter input gain is the most crucial setting in any wireless system.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 12:01 PM   #12
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Thanks, Jay.
As far as EQing, perhaps a little boost in the vocal
range of 5kHz to 7kHz might be in order?
Also, I hear the term "proximity effect" all the time
but have never really understood the meaning.
I was wondering if you could briefly explain it.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 12:31 PM   #13
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The following lines about "Proximity Effects" are copied from the B&H Pro Audio Glossary of Terms

Proximity Effect refers to the effect caused by a sound source being very close to a directional microphone. The net result is that low frequencies become boosted as the source comes closer. For vocalists, the effect can be used creatively, while for others the effect can cause problems, where distortion can occur from the diaphragm being stressed from the signal boost.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 01:16 PM   #14
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A 5khz to 7khz boost may increase noise. That is the upper end of the vocal range.

If you want to increase intelligibility and presence try a small boost between 1.6khz and 2khz. If you want to make the voice sound warmer, try a small boost between 150Hz and 200 Hz. To Add brightness try a boost around 4 Khz. Sweet spots will vary with different people.
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Old December 16th, 2003, 02:42 PM   #15
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I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this but, regarding the Senn 500 series plug-in transmitter, can the phantom power be turned off so that I can use it with mics that have an internal battery, or with dynamic mics? Actually, I think I've heard that a dynamic won't be harmed by being fed voltage. Is this true?
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