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Old August 20th, 2004, 08:26 PM   #1
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On the Brink of Mic Decision

I know this is fine tuning already fine tuned discussions elsewhere, but I'm still double checking my microphone inventory before possibly getting one last major addition.

I have, as primary mics:

Senn ME 64/66
Oktava capsules
Rode NT4

(plus AT 866)

As you can see (or hear), these are three distinct mics. I'm mainly concerned with upgrading the Senn ME66, and I have plenty of reasons to get the 4073a, but the siren call of the Sanken CS-1 seems more "logical" as a strong accessory. Would then the CS-1 be the most robust choice in rounding out the above list? I say that because I fear that if I settle for the first rate 4073a, I might still always covet the Sanken, so why not skip a step? How would the CS-1 complement the Oktava caps in usage?

For my purposes I'm looking for a mic that can excel indoors (Sanken) and hold its own outdoors (again Sanken). I've heard various opinions about the Sanken's "thin" sound compared to the 4073a's apparently more mellow lilt, and I do prefer warmer mics in general, but the Sanken CS-1 nonetheless sounds the most versatile and perhaps kickass of 'em all. For this I can see justifying the added $$$ over the 4073a, and I'm wondering if said experts here think it's the swellest way of rounding out the above collection of mics.
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Old August 20th, 2004, 10:27 PM   #2
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Sanken's is not really a thin sound. the perceived difference in bass is really due to the remarkable off axis rejection of the low frequencies. Most mics become an omni at low frequencies, not the CS-1
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Old August 20th, 2004, 11:55 PM   #3
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I say if you can afford the Sanken... get it.

IMO the Sanken and 4073a aren't really all that comparable... the 4073a is an outdoor mic that will sometimes work well indoors and the Sanken is an indoor mic that will sometimes work well outdoors.

If you find yourself in a lot of situations... indoors or out... where it's no problem getting the mic to within 3' or so of the speaker... either by booming, or simply having close shots... then the Sanken should be the hands down winner.

You may occasionally find yourself wanting/needing a longer reach when you're trying to get audio that's a ways away... and in those times the 4073a would be better, but in my experience it's FAR easier getting the sound you want by AVOIDING the sound you don't want.

THAT is the Sanken CS1's merit. You are basically GUARANTEED perfect sound indoors... regardless of how live the room is... and if you just make a little effort to close the mouth to mic distance outdoors... then you'll be happy there too.

I've ALWAYS wanted a CS1... and I still do... in spite of having a few mics that cost even more. The CS1 would just be a great tool to have... and it's a mic you wouldn't have to experiment with too much in a given situation. Just point it and get good sound.
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Old August 21st, 2004, 08:20 AM   #4
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I was hoping I'd hear from you guys. :)

Yes, I'm virtually convinced that the Sanken CS-1 would be the most distinctive new addition to my collection, and the only delay if any is figuring out the financial equation, since there are always other neat things in digital video to have on my wish list. I recently got a DVD duplicator which actually cost more than a Sanken CS-1, but its use is very much practical and ongoing, so I'm pleased with that decision. I think the Sanken would make my audio setup pretty much set but for the indulgence someday of getting one of those supremo ultimo mics discussed here; for the most part those kind I don't exactly need right now, given their cost. The Sanken seems like the best of the upper leagues at a relatively bargain price. I never thought of those prices as a bargain in the long ago, but.... ;D
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Old August 21st, 2004, 12:42 PM   #5
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Did you listen to the CS-1 clips?
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Old August 21st, 2004, 03:13 PM   #6
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Yes; not sure how acute I am at judging such clips but I was certainly impressed by the CS-1's primary specialty.
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Old August 28th, 2004, 03:39 PM   #7
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Been on a bit of a detour, investing in Photoshop and related stuff for editing etc. purposes. I'm glad for the break, since I never want to hurry major mic purchases, especially since I see this purchase as the capper of 'em all. :D

The CS-1 sounds terrific, but as a further fine point, what advantage would the Senn mkh 416 have over it? Would it be worth the extra dollars? Outdoors, indoors, it's all pretty equal, and I know the CS-1 is up for that, but the 416 seems quite the equal in glowing endorsements. The search for a first class, as-nearly-as-I-can make-it-all-around-mic for shotgun and occasional boom purposes, I'm still nicking away at the comparative details.
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Old August 28th, 2004, 04:55 PM   #8
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The 416 is in a different class. It's more gooder ;) You'll never get any one mic that will do everything. The CS-1 is a short shotgun with almost no rear lobe and it costs $700.

The MKH416 hasn't got much of a rear lobe either, it has a tighter pattern and it sounds much better. it has more "reach" as they say. It's also $300 more
Go back and listen agin. Get someone to play the clips in a blind test.

Barry, do you want Matt and I to notify you of the next Gear Slutz Anonymous meeting?
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Old August 28th, 2004, 05:49 PM   #9
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Sure; I'm all ears. :D
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Old August 30th, 2004, 04:03 PM   #10
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Thanks for saying the 416 is "gooder" Beas... since that's the one I opted for.

But in fairness to the CS1 I'd really just say the 416 is DIFFERENT rather then better. I'm almost tempted to get a CS1 myself... at some point I expect to have one of those also.

Here's the facts. I got a 416 because it's warmer sounding then the CS1 and it's got a similar pattern. It's SIMILAR but not the same. A CS1 will outperform a 416 in a live room indoors and it's a nice mic for on-cam use... but a 416 will outperform a CS1 outdoors and it still works pretty good on-cam. The other thing about the 416 is I've had GREAT luck using it indoors. I've read various people claim that it's not good indoors... Pfff sheesh... this thing works EVERY bit as good as any of my hypers indoors. Still, as far as room interraction is concerned... the CS1 will always sound LESS affected by the room then a 416. So the CS1 gets the nod for indoor use.

For me the 416 really has been a "does it all" mic. It has very low handling noise and works great as an interview mic off-cam... even if it's handheld.

All things considered I couldn't be any happier with the 416.

The CS1 has even MORE off-axis and rear rejection though... so it could be a really valuable tool in many uses.

Also (in terms of "warm" and "cold")... the CS1 isn't a COLD mic... it's really just NEUTRAL... whereas the 416 is kind of warm.

So I have nothing bad to say about the CS1. I think it's a very desireable mic... but I just think the 416 is worth the extra cost.

I had a SUPER tough time deciding between the 416 and CS1.
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Old August 30th, 2004, 05:29 PM   #11
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I've been out of the audio clip stuff for a while guys, but Matt, are there CS1 clips around that compare the rejection versus say a 416, or even they old ME66? I wouldn't mind a good indoor mic for live rooms. My Me66 struggles for sure, so i usually have to boom from below so carpet bounce is removed. I was surprised how well that worked when I tried it - was quite chuffed actually.

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Old August 30th, 2004, 09:03 PM   #12
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Almost everything but the me66 requires phantom... I always hear people looking for battery powered mics... and those work fine. I had an me66 and a Rode nt3 (both battery/phantom).

But the fact is a whole new world of mic choices opens up once you accept phantom requirements.

Even a simple phantom box which supplies power is only around $50.
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Old August 31st, 2004, 06:55 AM   #13
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I'm on the cusp of buying a mic too. However I was considering the sanken cs3. Would you guys think it would be more versatile to get the at4073 and the cs1 for a combination of indoors and outdoors use or would you just get the cs3. The cost would come out the same.
In most respects the cs1 sounds very similar to the cs3 except less reach, shorter, and better suitability indoors.
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Old August 31st, 2004, 08:54 AM   #14
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Absolutely... Positively... if you have the budget for the CS3e... GET THAT.

The CS3e will make BOTH the CS1... AND the 4073a POINTLESS.

The CS3e has all the rejection of the CS1 which makes it work indoors... plus it's MUCH warmer sounding... which makes it similar/better then the 4073a sound (which I prefer to the CS1)... AND the CS3e has more reach then the 4073a outdoors. And in all fairness to the CS3e... it will DEFINITELY outperform the 4073a outdoors... sound AND off axis rejection.

So if you can have 2 mics which add up to do 2 jobs really well... or 1 mic which does 1 of those jobs almost as well (indoors) and the other job much better (outdoors)... why would you get anything BUT the 1 really good sounding and versatile mic?

If you get the CS3e you won't have to think, "which mic is better for this particular use?" You'll just use the CS3e all the time that you would have had to choose between the CS1 or 4073a.

Plus you only need 1 windshield system.
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Old August 31st, 2004, 09:09 AM   #15
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"In most respects the cs1 sounds very similar to the cs3 except less reach, shorter, and better suitability indoors"

Thre CS-3 sounds nothing like a CS-1 but that's only my opinion. It does a good job as stated, the sound just isn't for me though.

If you spend that much money, you should find a way to try one.
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