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Old December 27th, 2003, 09:03 PM   #1
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K-Tek or Van den Berg for BOOM POLE?

Just curious about the feedback I get on this one. As I investigate more and more it seems like the pricing is pretty close to a tie between these two. On some sites the K-Tek is a better value and on others the VDB get's the pricing nod.

For the most part, in the length I'm wanting, the VDB seems to be the better VALUE, but the K-Tek is higher everywhere but ONE PLACE which has a sale.

So that would imply that the K-Tek is the preferred pole due to the universally higher price (except for one store)... BUT the pricing is SO close (within $20) that I could go either way.

VDB is the absolute lightest by a quarter pound in every length, but the K-Tek has some very interesting features and stunning appearance... so what do you think?

Also please if you know... Would an aluminum pole perform better with a butt plug transmitter? Seems like it would, but maybe in most cases the plug-on would be insulated from the metal anyway... That's the ONLY thing that would push me to an aluminum one at this point... So K-Tek or VDB... How happy are you with whichever one you bought?
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Old December 28th, 2003, 12:18 AM   #2
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Ok, fact is that K-Tek is the highest priced pole per foot... in 99% of the places I checked. I originally thought the VDB poles were the most costly.

As it turns out the VDB poles gained early acceptance and praise because they were the outright lightest poles you could get.

There used to be a division between fans of K-Tek and VDB because the VDB older poles could break, and then when they remade the poles in a new process they included interior metal that could rust.

As of today VDB has fixed those errors, including too much bend in a longer pole... about the only current gripe I can find is that the locking collars on the new poles are a little weird in that they can tighten either way and a fool can OVER tighten a pole thinking he is loosing it.

Supposedly the bending and the internal metal were the only issues regarding these poles. Those issues have been fixed and now they are gaining favor.

The K-Tek is a Graphite pole, rather then CF, and it gained a good rep as being stiffer and the locking collars are slick and keep grit out. Basically the ONLY reason I could find to NOT go with a K-Tek is that the VDB is lighter... almost always... but not by much.

So the K-Tek is a little heavier, but it's made in the USA, which is nice, and it seems to be a solid design that's only a little heavier because it's stiffer and more durable.

So for me, for now, in this length, at equal cost... K-Tek wins.
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Old December 28th, 2003, 04:40 PM   #3
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One places the plug-on transmitter directly on the microphone, not at the end of the cable running down the pole.
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Old December 28th, 2003, 05:15 PM   #4
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http://www.trewaudio.com/catalog/items/item552.htm

Hmm, suit yourself. I'm putting mine on the bottom.

A transmitter weighs twice as much as a Rycote pistol grip... and yet I'll bet the pros will laugh at me for having a pistol grip on top of my pole and a transmitter on the bottom... lol. I'm an amature...

Not to mention the hell it plays on the shockmount to double the mic's weight at the very end... outside of the shockmount... wouldn't it make a lot of noise knocking around inside the blimp?
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Old July 12th, 2006, 12:19 AM   #5
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Matt, thanks for the comparison. Are there any other opinions about K-tek and vdB? Seems like K-tek has been discussed to death in this forum but hardly anyone talk about vdB.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 04:09 AM   #6
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My friend and I actually tried out K-Tek, VDB, and PSC booms in the "large" size. VBD was quickly ruled out as the locking collars sucked. Sorry, but after trying them out a bit, they were hard to use consistently and quickly, and resulted in a chunk of my hand being rubbed raw. We concluded that the VDB and PSC were about the same to use and we went with the PSc b/c you have the option of removing the internal cable if need be (for examble, someone has to boom who's unaccustomed to internal cables). I also bought a right angle XLR for the bottom of the pole so I could put it down b/t takes.
But, just got done with my first major shoot and we had a consistent problem with the PSC and zeppelin use. Baically it kept popping out the top of the boom. The weight of the zeppelin (which wasn't a super huge one or anything) seemed too much for that locking mechanism and no amount of tightening would help. Been meaning to call PSC, but haven't yet.
Anyway, if I had it to do over, I'd buy a K-Tek 152CCR (the one with the side XLR input so you can put the pole down b/t takes).
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Old July 18th, 2006, 04:26 PM   #7
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Ashley,

I'd encourage you to call PSC. I haven't heard of their poles having any problems like the one you describe. I'd agree with your preference for poles that you can rest on the ground at the end of a take, but if you have a pole with a connector on the end, take a look at the gadget that Matt provided a link to above. Although designed to protect plug-on transmitters, they also work to protect connectors on the end of the pole.

Ralph
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Old July 18th, 2006, 05:01 PM   #8
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Just called PSC and told them the problem I've been having. The guy there said, "Oh, you got one of the early ones" and explained that the rod b/t the pole and the shockmount was too short on those units and that since then they have longer rods. So, they're sending me out a longer rod replacement.
I'll check it out, but I'm not sure if there's a plug-on transmitter that will fit on a PSC pole. While I was on the phone with them, I asked again about the adaptor that they're making to connect XLR cables to the side of the pole. Should be much like the 152CCR. They said it was still going to happen, but they're were busy with some other things as well, and told me to check back in a month.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 01:47 PM   #9
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I've been very happy with my k-tek.
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