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Old January 21st, 2011, 10:38 AM   #1
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Best $1,000 Shotgun?

I have up to a grand to spend on a mic and am interested in opinions. I have a Schoeps CMC641 with a CUT1 that I use for interiors and sometimes exteriors but I need an RF based exterior mic just in case I am in a high humidity situation and also for the extra reach on really wide shots. I am looking seriously at the Sennheiser 416. I am aware of the low frequency off axis issue and understand that I have to aim well when booming with it, which I can do. I have heard the comparisons with the NTG-3 and am also considering that, but I am leaning towards the 416 because I am a freelancer, the 416 has better creds and is practically indestructible. Are there any other RF based shotgun in that price range that I should be considering?

thanks,
mike
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Old January 21st, 2011, 01:14 PM   #2
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You might consider the Sanken line of mics. As far as "cred" goes, they are used extensively by NHK in Japan. Personally, my next shotgun will be the CS-3e

Sanken CS-3E - A magic mic?

There is also the CS-1 which has a single element and a wider pattern. The US Sanken rep said that it needs a less experienced operator. I might choose one for an on-cam, on-the-street, documentary mic. It costs $825 at a popular web store.

The CS-2 was released after NAB, so I haven't tried it. $1,150.

The CS-3e is a bit more cash at $1,415, but it's truly superb. I compared it back-to-back with the 416, though at different booths, through different amps, with different gains, and different headphones. Still, the way that the Sanken dealt with off-axis sounds was night and day compared to the Sennheiser.

As I see it, the 416 is an excellent implementation of basic tube interference technology, but that technology is dated. The CS-3e uses three capsules and is able to achieve far superior off-axis performance.

I'm not sure about ruggedness. Given that you have the Schoeps, you might never use your shotgun indoors or around off-axis reflections. if ruggedness is more important than off-axis quality, the Sennheiser might be the better choice. Maybe some others have extended experience with the ruggedness of the Sanken.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #3
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Having the "right" mic won't instantly make you a great operator.

Stick with the NTG-3 so that:
-- you don't miss any sound that otherwise sneaks off-axis
-- the humidity won't stop you in your tracks (very embarrassing when the rest of the crew are ready)
-- Rode have a pretty fabulous 10 year warranty, not that anything is likely to go wrong with the mic

Heck, I would think that point #2 would easily seal the deal, given your humidity issues.

Andrew
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Old January 24th, 2011, 10:57 AM   #4
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Budget in wind protection too...

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Old January 24th, 2011, 02:27 PM   #5
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I have both of these for my NTG 3 and eventually a Neumann KMR81. Both mic's have similar diameters and the full windshield kit can extend its length to fit longer mic's. So far, I have used the Softie 95% of the time as it provides great wind protection. If you plan on only using a Rode, then their Blimp is cheaper than the full size Rycote.

Full Windshield Kit Rycote

Softie Windshield Rycote
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Old January 24th, 2011, 02:38 PM   #6
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In regards to humidity, I have a Beyerdynamic MCE 86 /11 that doesn't like a moist environment.
Does anyone else have the same problem?
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Old January 24th, 2011, 06:03 PM   #7
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I like my Browning Citori 12 gauge.....oh wait....
Microphones!

Street cred gained from having a Sennheiser? Ha ha ha!
Yeah it's a great mic but get real...the result is all my clients have cared about for my 21 years in the biz!
Kind of like the Neumann craze for VO's. Theres a LOT of other mics out there and some that blow the Neumann's away for less money!

As others have mentioned, get an NTG3 to save a bunch of money. I am also a fan of the other mics mentioned. You can't go wrong with any of them. I have used the Sennheiser extensively and took a chance purchasing the Rode. Not once have I regretted the decision and not once has anyone asked what mic I used to make them sound so good!

(sorry to come off a bit harsh but I was just in a similar argument over brands of shoes!!)
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Old January 24th, 2011, 06:16 PM   #8
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YouTube - Sennheiser MKH 416 vs. RODE NTG-3

Well there ya go. A $699 RODE NTG-3, which as you may have heard sounds similar to the $999 416, can be had with the essentials: full wind protection, an internally cabled K-TEK boompole - plus cables for the same $999 price. And you'll still have enough out of that $1000 for a $.99 taco ;)
Actually use your 5% "dvinfo" coupon and buy 50 of them tacos.

Check out the DVcreator Location Sound Package 4 at $999
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:23 PM   #9
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Guess I'm on a diet after getting the Sanken CS-3e. No Taco's for me. But I'm not complaining. It's the best mic I've used yet. I may be doing a comparison of the CS-3e to the Senn MKH 70 soon.

-Garrett
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Old January 24th, 2011, 08:16 PM   #10
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I forgot to mention that there is a great comparison of several shotguns on kenstone.net, which is why I like the Neumann so much.

As for the NTG 3, I have had a problem with suddenly loud sounds that cause a slight crackle whereas neither of my NTG 2's have this issue. Thus, for loud venues such as concerts, I use a NTG 2 when not wired into the sound board.
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