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Old January 3rd, 2005, 11:19 PM   #1
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ME66 Characteristics??

Hi there

I just went through all 52 pages (at the time of this post) for this section of the forum. Whew. I have some questions regarding my experience with the Sennheiser ME66. I just bought one to use with my PDX10. Previously I only had the stock ECM-NV1.

I had been told that the ME66 was awesome for ENG/Documentary and short films. It certainly was a step up from the stock Sony mike, which is a carotid which gives good sound, but has like 3 feet range tops.

I needed something with more range. The ME66 gives that, but, as many people have noticed, at full 'strength' the ME66 can hear everything and perhaps people talking as far as 25 feet away, but it also picks up ambient noise like you wouldn't beleive. It comes on as hiss.

Using the Mic Att switch should help. Yep,it does, but what happens to the effective range of the mike? I can't tell because it is attenuated so much that I can't tell what the range is because I don't know if I am hearing the headphones (and I got good headphones) or the headphones and a bit of the source audio. And while the sound is cleaner, the amplitude is greatly attenuated as well.... I would guess I can get safe sound for....3 to maybe 5 feet?

WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK?

To me, this sucks as I need the range that this mike can give, but I need it clean. I'm hoping the ME-66 pro foamie will help reduce the hiss, when it arrives.

Also, yes, I am also wishing I had the 416 or better. The tone and quality of the ME66 is too high and not natural enough for me. But for it's price, I guess it's good.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 11:21 PM   #2
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Also, do they still do the red dot adjustment on these for owners? And I'm in Canada, am I eligiable?

thanx
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 11:29 PM   #3
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red dot adjustment

Ronald;
Pardon my ignorance, but what is a red dot adjustment? Never herd of that before. I'm I missing anything with my ME66.? Can you put up to date with this? Thank You.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 12:10 AM   #4
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The red dot mod should be available through any sennheiser group regardless of country. The K6 preamp output is dropped by I think 10 -15 db. I posted the link to the mod some time ago but i've lost it.

To try and get a handle on what the different mics will do Matt Gettemeier and myself posted audio clips of all of the major mics. These clips attempted to compare the different mics as to sound and polar response. Have a listen at Matt's site. They're not perfect but they at least give you some comparison which does make them better than a sharp stick in the eye or a kick in the jewells with a frozen boot.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 12:24 AM   #5
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Sennheiser really bury this info deep. Here's the link

The K6 - CL is the correct designation and the attenuation is - 18 db

I did a simple search and found my previous post in this forum. sennheiser had changed the link though.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 12:27 AM   #6
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Great. Now where do we find the US and the Canadian locations that will take care of this. Would our local dealers know about the red dot?
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Old January 4th, 2005, 12:40 AM   #7
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ask them
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Old January 4th, 2005, 12:41 AM   #8
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Hey Ronald,

This may not be a recommendation you want to hear, but here it is in the effort to help out...

You may want to unload the ME66 and get an AT897 or, if it's in your budget, the AT4073. They have better off-axis rejection than the ME/66, while having a more 'natural' response. If you end up getting the AT897, you may even be getting some money back into your hands after the swap!

If you do a quick search here on "ME66 AT897" you should come up with quite a bit more of good reading on the topic. It's been covered to death here.

Oh, and btw, if you have the budget for the 416, go for it! It's a great mic with a great sound. Definitely try 'em out if you can before you buy, or rent the 416 at the very least to see what a good mic sounds like in your situation(s).

Good luck!
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Old January 4th, 2005, 08:45 AM   #9
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Unless you're using the K6/ME66 in extreme conditions, I think it's very important to keep the bass roll-off switch in the flat position. This will help the mic sound more natural, although as already mentioned, the AT897 and AT4073a sound more natural already. You can use the low-cut switches on the back of the PDX-10's XLR box if you need them. Remember to keep the noise reduction setting that's in the menu turned off.
You also need to do some test recordings under realistic conditions and check them on your editing system. That's because the headphone output of the camera, like most mini-cams, is generally pretty poor and has various additional hisses and other artifacts that vary depending on your camera settings but don't necessarily get recorded. The key with headphone monitoring is to listen for distortion that comes when the mic signal is hot enough to overload the mic input. If that happens, then you must either attenuate the mic, use the Mic ATT setting, substitute a different mic, or move further away from the subject.
It's also easy to boost very faint signals and gets tons of hiss when you're testing too, but that's not very realistic even for most documentary work.
You shouldn't have any trouble getting a -12 to -10 db peak indication on the camera meters under normal volume conditions with a K6/ME66. That should give plenty of signal for editing without too much hiss yet still have some headroom.
You may want to get an attenuator that has 10db reduction. This will give you an intermediate step that isn't as severe as the camera's Mic ATT -20db position.
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