Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 15th, 2017, 07:59 AM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,006
Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

Hi all:

I have used, reviewed and written about the Sanken CS3e. I liked it, it seemed like a good all arounder but it didn't blow me away as it has some other sound oriented shooters. I have not tried the Røde NTG-3 although I know it is much like the MKH-416 but a little better and more versatile at a significantly lower cost. Although I could save my pennies for a really nice mic like the Sanken, Sennheiser MKH-50, Schoeps CMC641 or the Schoeps CMITMini, part of me realizes that mics of that level are probably more in the realm of pro sound mixers to justify the price. When I am doing my own sound, it is almost always going straight into camera, not through a mixer or Sound Devices recorder because I am a DP/cameraman. I know that running a $2,000.00 mic straight into camera is not even coming close to realizing the sound potential of the mic, therefore, I bring myself back down to earth and think I should be buying a sub $1k mic for banging around in my camera bag for occasional use, when there is no sound mixer on the call sheet. When I research all of the mics out there, I keep coming back to the NTG-3.

In your opinion, is there anything else out there sub $1k that beats the NTG-3 as a sit down interview, interior and exterior all arounder? For the same reasons I outline above, I cannot see buying both a hyper or super cardioid and a shotgun, and I know that shotguns are often a compromise for shooting indoor in reverberant environments, but I would like to buy something that works well in most situations. I really push to hire a sound mixer whenever possible but as we know these days, clients often will cheap out and not want to hire a sound mixer to shoot simple interviews so I have to have a decent all around mic for those situations. I own the Audio Technica AT875r, Sennheiser ME64, 66, MKE600 and I like them and use all of them to varying degrees although I am selling the ME64 and 66, they just don't sound very good to me anymore but the 875r and MKE600 are both decent sounding, but I would like something a bit more refined so I am thinking of the NTG-3. Opinions?
Dan Brockett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 15th, 2017, 09:23 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,799
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

For a one-mic-fits-all... the Sanken, however the MKH 50 can be used outside (obviously with a good wind suppression system) Some of the interference tube mics work better that others for acoustically live interiors and such. Everyone's got the favorites though. For a inexperienced boom op, a wider pattern would be better. The same may be said for static boom stand mic where the subject moves around. Therefor the Sanken may be a little too tight. The newer Scheops digital mics are allegedly good in interior / exteriors but they're way over $2k.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 15th, 2017, 09:56 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,197
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

I've owned the NTG3 for about 4 years now and I've always been really happy with it when plugging it straight into my cameras. I also own the 875R and the Rode absolutely blows it away. It just works, sounds natural, is affordable and durable. I'm sure other mics sound better, but for me, the Rode is absolutely "good enough" for everything I'm doing that doesn't require a dedicated sound mixer.

That being said, I recently purchased an Audix SCX1-HC for about $350 on eBay. Using this hypercardioid mic yields me better results indoors. In my case, it's worth having the two of them (the Audix is only 4" long).
__________________
Nate Haustein PXW-FS5 / C100mkII / iMac i7 / FCPX
www.flightcreativemedia.com
Nate Haustein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 15th, 2017, 12:28 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,960
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

I've never used the NTG-3 so I don't know how it compares to my best shotgun, an Audio-Technica AT4073 that I've had for nearly 20 years now. It's always been excellent for me in a variety of situations.

The current model is the BP4073 that replaced the AT4073a as well as my original version.

One difference between the earlier AT models was the ability to run on 11-52 volts of phantom if you needed to use it with a battery-powered phantom adapter. The latest BP model specifies 48 volts like the Rode does.

The BP (and the earlier models) are equipped with a 10db pad and a bass rolloff switch. I think the pad switch might be important if you're running it straight into the camera in a loud situation, as both these mics have very high output.

They are both about the same price and specs. If you have the chance to compare them directly in a realistic scenario it would be good information for your choice and to share here.

They are similar but not identical in size if you already have mounts and wind protection. The BP is 9 inches long and 21mm in diameter. The Rode is listed as 10 inches long and 19mm in diameter.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 15th, 2017, 03:01 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

The place where the Sanken CS3e earns its money is on the tradeshow floor or other places where there is a constant murmur. Some time ago I did a comparison between the CS3e and the Sennheiser 416 at NAB (with about 200' between booths.) The difference was stark.

The 416 rolls off the highs and mids for off axis sounds. That turned the show floor murmur into a rumble, which was significant. You could roll off the lows in post, but that would make the subject sound thin. BY contrast, the CS3e rolled off the sounds more evenly, so the background turned into a quiet, natural murmur with the subject cutting through much better. It didn't erase the background sounds, but it lowered them naturally.

If you were to take both mics outdoors on a quiet street, the CS3e would lose its clear advantage. Maybe one mic would sound better than the other, but it would be close and would probably come down to personal taste.

So I think it comes down to use case. If you're shooting narrative works, the Rode and a good hyper (for indoors) might be your best bet. If you're doing interviews in busy buildings like city hall, the county courthouse, and the local shopping mall, the Sanken would be in its element. The Sanken might also win if you want a fast, single mic workflow that works under most all situations. That might make sense in cinema verite, where you do long takes that follow people indoors and out. But for most narrative stuff, there's more than enough time to swap mics between setups.

As noted above, the CS3e has a narrow focus and rewards skill. Sanken also has the CS1e which is smaller and has a wider acceptance angle, but lacks the magic side rolloff. The Sanken rep told me that it's the better on-camera or amateur mic as it takes less skill.

A common mistake that people make is to focus on the shotgun mic first. (It's big and is impressive in a blimp, so I guess it's a "hero mic".) They buy the shotgun and then proceed to shoot 90% of their stuff indoors - and they don't buy wind protection so they can't do outdoors well either.

For hypers, you can start with the Audix, step up to the AKG Blue and AT-4053B, and continue up the ladder to a Schoeps. Once you choose that mic, then look at adding the shotgun. Once you price the two mics, the single do-all Sanken starts to show its value. On a budget, you could just by the hyper and use it indoors and out, if the locations aren't too noisy.

As always, start with your use cases and work from there.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 15th, 2017, 03:06 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Posts: 668
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
I have not tried the Røde NTG-3 although I know it is much like the MKH-416 but a little better and more versatile at a significantly lower cost.
Why would you think that? What I'm reading and hearing is that most soundies will take the 416 over the NTG-3 given a choice. For one thing the 416 isn't as harsh; it's smoother. Both have their own off-axis coloration issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
In your opinion, is there anything else out there sub $1k that beats the NTG-3 as a sit down interview, interior and exterior all arounder? For the same reasons I outline above, I cannot see buying both a hyper or super cardioid and a shotgun... Opinions?
This is sorta like asking "what single screw driver should I use, regardless of what the job calls for?" But if you have to have exactly one mic, for me that's not going to be anyone's shotgun. It's going to be a hypercardioid. I'd be looking for a used MKH 50 or better (but harder to find) a used MKH 8050. If you don't want to go that high, look for a used AT 4053b (or a, the a version sounds the same, but has different certifications (IIRC the "a" version uses some cadmium in manufacture and the EU made AT take that out, hence the "b" version).

But if you're going to use either a hyper or a shotgun outdoors, you're going to have to invest in a good windbasket and furry. Just the cost of doing business.
Bruce Watson is online now   Reply With Quote
Old March 15th, 2017, 03:27 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

A couple years ago, Sanken launched their CS2-R, which is a two-capsule, mid-length rear-rejection shotgun. Unfortunately, it's not placed well regarding price. For instance, it's a special order at B&H and actually costs more than the three-capsule CS3e.

Maybe, the CSR-2 is priced better in Japan, relative to the CS3e. I'm not sure. Maybe there's a cost issue in manufacturing.

I would be nice if it was offered as a budget CS3e, but that's not the case right now. I guess that a budget CS3e is a used CS3e.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 15th, 2017, 06:24 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,006
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
Why would you think that? What I'm reading and hearing is that most soundies will take the 416 over the NTG-3 given a choice. For one thing the 416 isn't as harsh; it's smoother. Both have their own off-axis coloration issues.



This is sorta like asking "what single screw driver should I use, regardless of what the job calls for?" But if you have to have exactly one mic, for me that's not going to be anyone's shotgun. It's going to be a hypercardioid. I'd be looking for a used MKH 50 or better (but harder to find) a used MKH 8050. If you don't want to go that high, look for a used AT 4053b (or a, the a version sounds the same, but has different certifications (IIRC the "a" version uses some cadmium in manufacture and the EU made AT take that out, hence the "b" version).

But if you're going to use either a hyper or a shotgun outdoors, you're going to have to invest in a good windbasket and furry. Just the cost of doing business.
My search is narrowing down to the 4053. When I think about it, I probably shoot interior interviews about 70% of the time and I have the 875r and the MKE 600, both with Rycote Lyre mount and the slip on windscreen with the dead cats for an occasional outdoor shotgun. I only have a full zeppelin and dead cat for a long shotgun like the Neumann kmr 82i we used to rent and I think at one time, we had an MKH70 but we sold it. We were shooting a lot of outdoor stuff back then but these days, not so much. I probably should sell it off as it's just sitting around.

Also, when I am shooting outdoor with interview talent or narrative with actors, it's almost always going to have a sound mixer on crew so I probably shouldn't be as concerned about outdoor sound. Did an outdoor shoot with actors a few weeks ago but there was no budget for a sound mixer, hence, no boom or shotgun, it was wireless all of the way. Three cameras, wide master, we couldn't have used a shotgun for it anyway without a Fisher or something really long and tall.
Dan Brockett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 15th, 2017, 07:59 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,960
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

I did have an AT4053a and while some people love them, mine had a very powerful bass response even with the bass rolloff engaged and I sold it. I never compared it directly to a second copy, maybe mine was just really responsive to low frequencies.

I replaced it with an AKG C480b with CK63 hyper capsule. But that was back when they were in the mid $700 range. Now that they've climbed to $1100, you might as well get an MKH50 for $1200.

I still say try out a BP4073. I've used my older AT4073 in some reverberent interiors and it surprised me. It sounded better than my AT4053a to my ears, when I tried them both together indoors.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16th, 2017, 11:21 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,799
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

The AT 4073 has one of the highest sensitivities of all shotguns,long or short (70+mV). The trade off is, it can't handle SPLs much over 110dB. but that;s adequate for most dialog recording..The newer BP4073 has a lower sensitivity (35 mV) but a higher max SPL.(151 dB w/ pad). By comparison, the 416's sensitivity is around 25mV with the NTG3 about 6dB hotter..
I always used the AT4053 internal high-pass filter we as well as my mixer's 80Hz filter.for dialog..
I have a 4073, 416, 4053 and MKH50 but have never tried the NTG3, but lotst of folks like them.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16th, 2017, 09:04 PM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,768
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

My go to shotgun is a Sanken CS3e. I like the sound of the CMIT5U but can't really justify the extra cost. For interiors I would select Schoeps CMC641. It really depends on what your needs are and what your budget is.

The CS3e does take a lot of attention to really get your moneys worth. It does have a narrow pattern so some practice is needed for non experienced boom ops. But, if you get it right, it can do some really magical things.

The NTG3 is a great mic for the money. Some short coming when compared to the likes of a Schoeps, Sanken, DPA, or Senn but you really can't beat if for a budget mic. If you are a one man show I'd probably opt to get a couple less expensive mics to match different locations. I'd also invest in a decent Preamp like a SD Mix-Pre D. Not only do you get superior preamps, you get much better limiters which come in handy when you can't really monitor the audio.
__________________
Garrett Low
www.GLowMediaProductions.com
Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17th, 2017, 08:47 AM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,584
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

I purchased an Oktava MK-012 from Joe at Texas Media Systems and it is rock solid. I have been shooting a ton of content with it. I had rented it in the past to test out and found that it had a very similar sound to the Sanken COS lavs I was using, so it was a perfect pairing.
Gary Huff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 22nd, 2017, 12:30 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,006
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

I've tested and reviewed both stock and modded Oktavas and while I think they sound pretty good for the money, the susceptibility to handling noise was brutal. Easily one of the most microphonic mics I've ever used. For interviews, probably fine but if you ever want to hand boom, especially with an externally cabled pole or a less than optimal mic mount, watch out.
Dan Brockett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 22nd, 2017, 03:13 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

From what I've read, there is a lot of variability from unit to unit with the Oktavas, potentially due to unlicensed, lookalike stock.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2017, 11:06 AM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,799
Re: Sanken CS3e vs. Røde NTG-3

There were at one time Chinese made Oktava 012s a foot. They were not really 'counterfeits' and were originally sold by Guitar Center. Search for the (complicated) story.. Quality control was an issue, third- party sources say , it's 'a little' better. In any case, a 'Rycote Invison' shock mount works very well to reduce handling noise but air turbulence is an issue, though a cheap foam WS works for most interiors,, and I would not recommend using one outside at all.
The Sound Room offers 'hand picked' 012s which are thoroughly tested and tweaked that sound lke they;re supposed to . ( I really like their smooth sound, and IMO, sound very similar to the original Neumann KM 84). Not to confused with the Dorcey type mod. which reduces the infrasonic LF (among other improvements) making for a 'tighter' sound and less handling noise.. It does not raise the (10mV) sensitivity though, whcih can be a problem with low cost (noisy) preamps. Bill Stitler and Micheal Joly offer this modification.though it differs some.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:24 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network