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Old January 30th, 2015, 06:48 PM   #1
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At897 vs senn me66

Input on these 2 would b great,I'm wanting to use on my ex1r as well as using as a boom mic for audio
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Old January 31st, 2015, 07:04 AM   #2
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Re: At897 vs senn me66

Even though both of these are shotgun mics, their dramatic difference in sensitivity make them very different in how to best use each.

Unless you really want the interchangeable capsules of the K6/ME66 system, I wouldn't pick that one. It costs a lot and has very high sensitivity.

Unless you are routinely recording loud events or are using a mixer with excellent preamps, I wouldn't pick the AT897. It has a nice smooth sound but has low sensitivity.

I have both of these mics and use them routinely, they both have good sound in their particular appropriate situations.

But if I was picking just one mic I would probably opt for the newer Sennheiser MKE600.

If it isn't necessary to also have AA battery capability, I would also consider the AT875R.

Both of these mics are newer designs at lower costs with mid to high sensitivity, and also have very good sound quality for situations where a shotgun mic is the best choice.

As many people here will respond, there are lots of situations where a shotgun may not be the best choice, but since you asked about two shotgun mics that's what I'm sticking to for the moment.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 08:49 AM   #3
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Re: At897 vs senn me66

I work with some ENG folks and strongly recommended the AT875R to them for interviews. They refused to buy it, because they feared it would run down their recorder batteries too quickly. It would be nice if there were an 875 version with an internal battery, for situations like this one.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 01:17 PM   #4
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Re: At897 vs senn me66

I prefer the AT875R too as it is a different design and does not have the same type of cancellation slots so to my ears sounds a lot more like a hyper cardioid, it is also very short and as said phantom power only but most proper cameras have power available or a small battery box can be bought for quite low cost.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 02:19 PM   #5
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Re: At897 vs senn me66

Gary, these are radio ENG people, they are the actual reporters, there are no tech crew involved. So they don't want to be bothered with a battery box which would power the recorder, so the recorder could in turn power the mic. They don't always use the same model recorder, so that complicates matters. And since their minds are on the interview / story, they don't want to be distracted by something like battery life. Sometimes they might go out for a seemingly short story, only to have it grow ... or to get a phone call about another story before they can come back to the studio. They just want something that will be as reliable as possible.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 03:55 PM   #6
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Re: At897 vs senn me66

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Stamos View Post
Input on these 2 would b great,I'm wanting to use on my ex1r as well as using as a boom mic for audio
@Jim: Size matters. At least to me. The Senny is a very long mic and will be in frame with a deadcat or if you use the WA adapter. And the problem with pushing back in the on camera holder is that it then interferes with easy grabbing of the handle etc. I had a shorter NTG-1 for camera mounted applications and I got fed up finding shots in post with the deadcat in frame. Moved the NTG-1 to a blimp and replaced it with the AT875R for camera mounted applications. I do a lot of in country run and gun and appreciate the smaller size. In the studio, I use either one.

My two cents on battery powered shotguns is related to size and equipment. The extra size gets in the way when camera mounted. It also bumps you up to larger blimp. Logistically, when I had the AT835B back in the day and more recently the NTG-2, I was running out of shotgun battery in the middle of things. You have no battery indicator on the mic and it adds yet another battery you have check beforehand to manage stock on. I ran a Studio B1 condenser off a Tascam DR-40 for 3-4 hours. But for the non-technical shooters with cheap equipment, you get what you pay for. For an EX1R, I don't see any reason to get a powered mic. I couldn't wait to get rid of it. YMMV

Last edited by Les Wilson; January 31st, 2015 at 09:17 PM.
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Old February 1st, 2015, 07:36 AM   #7
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Re: At897 vs senn me66

Some considerations.

AA batteries are relatively low cost. Fresh battery life of the NTG2 is rated 500 hours, about 20 days of continuous use,. Inserting fresh battery on the 1st and 15th. or every Monday, or every shoot even, would not be a major expense.

Phantom power draw is on the order of 2 ma at 48 volts or about 0.1 watts. Camcorder power draw is more like 4-5 watts, so using camcorder phantom power for a mic might result in perhaps 3% less battery life.

Most dual power mics give up some headroom and have slightly higher impedance when on battery power - arguably not significant factors for most users..

Base your choice on your specific needs.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 06:32 AM   #8
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Re: At897 vs senn me66

The (relatively) new Sennheiser MKE 600 is also worth looking at - I have heard said that it is preferred to the K6/ME 66 (and it's cheaper).
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