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-   -   Sennheiser K6 vs. K6P vs. K6RD power capsules (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/62147-sennheiser-k6-vs-k6p-vs-k6rd-power-capsules.html)

Alex Thames March 5th, 2006 07:51 AM

Sennheiser K6 vs. K6P vs. K6RD power capsules
What are the differences between the Sennheiser K6, K6P, and K6RD power capsules? I know that the K6 has both battery and phantom power, while the K6P has phantom only. The K6RD has both battery and phantom power, but it is advertised as being low sensitivity.

Why would phantom only be better than having both battery and phantom? Or, rather, I just assumed that because the K6P (phantom only) is more expensive than the K6 (battery and phantom). Is that true? What are the advantages and disadvantages of phantom only and advantages and disadvantages of having both battery and phantom?

And while on the topic of phantom, could someone explain what that even means? What is phantom power? I'm new to the audio world, so while I've heard the term thrown around a lot and have a vague idea of it, I'm still not too sure what it is exactly.

And for the K6RD, how is it different than the K6? The K6RD is advertised as low sensitivity and costs the same as the K6P (so slightly more expensive than the K6), but what does low sensitivity mean? What is it less sensitive to, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of this sort of low sensitivity?

Rob Wilson March 5th, 2006 08:04 AM

Phantom power usually ranges from 12 - 48 VDC. It's required by condenser mic's for bias. Dynamic mics don't need or use phantom power.

The K6 RD (Red Dot) is a K6 that has been modified for slightly lower sensitivity. I originally purchased a K6 and ended up sending it back to have the "Red Dot" mod made by Sennheiser. It was just a little to hot all the time for my use with a GL2.

Tony Goodman March 5th, 2006 08:10 AM


Originally Posted by Alex Thames
What is it less sensitive to, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of this sort of low sensitivity?


Low sensitivity means it picks up less (unwanted) ambient sound


Alan Craven March 5th, 2006 10:13 AM

Low sensitivity means that the same pressure sound wave in air produces a lower voltage signal from the microphone. This can be useful as most Sennheiser microphones are quite sensitive ("hot") and can easily overload the input on your camera leading to clipping and distortion.

Many people use a Beachtek box to connect the XLR microphone to the 3.5mm jack on the camera. These are fitted with gain controls which avoids overloading, and in some cases limiters which prevent unexpected loud sounds causing clipping.

Alex Thames March 6th, 2006 08:57 AM

Still, I don't understand the concept of Phantom power vs. battery power. Also, what does it mean "required by condenser mic for bias?" What's the difference between a condensor and dynamic mic? And what does "for bias" mean?

Also, I still don't understand why someone would go for the K6P over the K6, seeing that the K6 has both phantom and battery...what's the justification? The K6 is cheaper and has both options.

Alan Craven March 6th, 2006 09:30 AM

These are very crude non-tech descriptions!

Dynamic mikes are usually electromagnetic - Fleming's right hand rule - a conductor moves across lines of magnetic flux and an emf is generated in it.

Condenser mikes use a different principle. Changing the separation between two conducting plates separated by a dielectric, and with a pd maintained across them, causes that pd to change.

You have to have a power source for a condenser mike. The standard K6 uses a pen cell inside the housing for this, if it is not phantom (externally powered), usually from the pre-amp or camera.

The K6P is 40mm shorter than the K6 as it does not have to accomodate a battery. The unit cost will be higher due to lower numbers sold.

If you ask on the DVDoctor site in the audio forum, John Willett of Sennheiser UK will give you chapter and verse on this. He is an occasional visitor only to this forum.


Alex Thames March 6th, 2006 02:17 PM

Thanks all for the info.

So, are you basically saying that the K6 is basically superior to the K6P because the K6 can have both battery and phantom power AND for a cheaper price, and that the reason for the price difference is because of economic factors? The only disadvantage of the K6 might be the extra 40mm?

Are condensor mics generally considered better or worse than dynamic mics?

I'm considering getting the Sennheiser ME64 with one of the K6 powering capsule variants for a Sony HVR-A1U. Would the K6 be too sensitive? Would I be better off getting the K6RD, which is just a modded K6 module right?

I'm a little confused because at BH Photo Video, the K6, K6P, and K6RD all have these specs:
Frequency Response: 30 Hz - 20 kHz
Output Impedance: 200 Ohms
Low Frequency Roll-Off: Yes, (-11 dB/Octave, @ 100 Hz)

What exactly do each of those specs mean? If the K6RD is indeed less sensitive than the K6/K6P, how come its specs are the same?

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