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Old April 30th, 2005, 02:19 PM   #1
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boompoles with internal coiled cables

So I'm looking for a boompole to replace my old less than stellar unadjustable pole (I'd rather call it a stick) and am very interested in the concept of having the XLR cable coiled inside the pole so there is no hassle for readjusting the length of the pole in a hurry and quickly moving from one setup to an other. I'm seriously considering the K-Tek KE110CC right now but with this design comes two concerns that maybe some of you can comment on.

1- Is an internal cable more susceptible to parasit sound transmission to the mic than the good ol' wrap around method? A good shockmount can seperate the pole from the mic but the cable is always in direct contact, so it's important for me to know if an internal coiled cable can move or transmit unwanted sounds to the mic more than a straight cable wraped around the pole would.

2- I value good sound, even though my knowledge is limited. The mics are the #1 concern for me, but we all know you're only as strong as your weakest link, and even though I'm using good mics (Sennheiser MKH-416, MKH40 and possibly a Schoeps MK41 to be added soon), I also try to get great quality cables. I only use custom made Mogami and Canare XLR cables. Now all of a sudden, with this K-Tek pole (or any other with an internal coiled cable), I'm adding a variable. How concerned should I be with the quality of the cable that comes with the pole? Can it potentially negate the care I took in only using quality cables? Can this added connection introduce interference or weaken the so delicate signal I'm trying to keep as clean and authentic as I can?

Those are my main concerns that must be addressed before I take the internal coiled cable plunge. I should specify that I'm no soundman, I'm a videographer first and foremost, so if any of you with better knowledge can help me take a decision, it would be greatly appreciated.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 02:27 PM   #2
 
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I have a KE110CC, and love it. The only considerations I've had with it is that after a lot of flying, the butt plug threads loosened. A little LokTight took care of that.
The other thing is with the internal coiled cable, for about the first dozen uses or so, it's sprung so tight that it can pull the top down fast enough to pinch the webbing between your thumb and forefinger. Mine settled down within a few days.
I prefer the internal, but others may not. It doesn't create any more noise, and is just "there." If you find you don't want/need/like it, you can always use the traditional semi wrap.
I can't scream enough about the graphite poles too. While they are expensive, the KTek's aren't as much as others, but they perform as well. I'm really impressed with what these guys put out. Marty Wein turned me on to them, and now I've got 3 different poles, love em' all.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 12:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for your answer Douglas. You're right that I could potentially just not use the coiled cable if I don't like it, but then I'd be just as well buying the Gitzo Carbon Fiber 12' pole which is about the same price. If I go with the KE110CC, it is pretty much only because of the internal cable. That's why I wanted to make sure the cable it comes with isn't on the cheap side so that it doesn't introduce noise or weaken the signal. You've had a first hand experience with this pole, did you feel there was issues with the cord and/or connectors at all? Have you tried it both with the internal cable and without, with a good quality XLR, just to see if there was a noticeable difference?
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Old May 1st, 2005, 03:32 PM   #4
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I have the K-Tek Graphite Avalon... (shoulda' just went for the 110) with internal CC and I love the freedom to forget about that length of responsibility. Just set to length and start shooting. The conector at the top is Neutrik and the one at the butt is SwitchCraft... only the best. I can't say enough good about the K-Tek poles.

Slick, quick, trick, stick.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 04:31 PM   #5
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Good to hear Matt. I must say I haven't heard too many people complaining about the K-Teks so it looks like I shouldn't worry too much, but being the performance obsessed freak that I am, I always find something to question. ;)
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Old May 1st, 2005, 04:56 PM   #6
 
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David,
Don't worry about the internal cable quality. It's custom made for K-tek, and it's the same cable that's found in their very high end boom poles. Like I said, once mine had settled down so it wasn't so "springy" it has been a joy. I've flown this thing around the world at least twice, and if the TSA can't mess it up... :-)
Also, one thing I've noticed, I have a Gitzo with the cable inside, the cable flaps around if you turn the pole just the right way, which seems to never happen except when I don't want it to. The Ktek holds firm. It feels like there is some sort of lubricant on the cable that keeps it from "frapping" if that makes any sense? One final thing I've come to LOVE about the K-tek....it fits inside of almost anything I need it to. The Gitzo and the very old Schneider that I have don't fit in anything except a fishing pole case. They're about 6" too long for anything.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 07:39 PM   #7
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Can someone please explain how the internal cable on the K-Tek works? On the pictures, it looks like the plug, or butt plug as Douglas calls it, is right in the base of the handle. So how does the pole expand? It's probably a lot more simple that it seems, but I've stared and stared at the picture and I just can't figure it out.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 08:13 PM   #8
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Marco, the handle is fixed, and the smaller sections extend as needed (just like a collapsible fishing rod). The cable that passes through is coiled so it too extends following the moving sections.

Well Douglas, looks like I'm out of worries. I'll be buying the K-Tek along with a nice KSSM shockmount. That should do the trick. If the internal coiled cable is only half as convenient as I imagine, I won't regret going that route.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 09:05 PM   #9
 
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The base plug will also accept a butt plug transmitter for the boom mic, which is quite nice. We just did a fairly large shoot over the weekend with lots of running around, and fed the boom operator audio over a Garwood in-ear monitor system, while sending the boom audio back to the computer/recording system. In a monster arena with 25,000 people, this was the way to go. We'd never used the wireless in this manner before, and learned something real fast....
If you stick a butt plug on the end of the K-tek, or another boom that has a base plug, be sure to have some means of protecting it. Once we realized this was a potential problem in the middle of huge groups of people and tight spacing, we ran to Home Depot and bought a small segment of 1 3/4" ABS pipe. It fit over the buttplug and the end of the boom, which was then held in place by gaffers tape. This way, if the boom was accidentally swung into a shoulder or if someone walked by that wasn't paying attention, we didn't need to worry about the butt plug being sheared off of the boom.We put a small bit of orange construction tape around the ABS so people would notice the end was there.
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