Sony ECM-23F mics - need opinions at

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Old May 6th, 2007, 08:54 PM   #1
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Sony ECM-23F mics - need opinions

I have two of these 20+ yr.old mics (never been used), and am wondering if they would be suitable as all-around mics for the HV-20. They are electret condenser cardioids, (with back-electret condenser capsules, whatever that means); are self powered, with XLR connectors; 250 ohms; PAD switch for 0 db/-8 db; switch for voice /music.

If anyone is familiar with them, what are they good for, and not good for, and are they worth using? They came with 1/4" phono plugs which I am changing to XLR, and I am planning on buying a Beachtek DXA-2s (I am financially challenged).

Obviously, I'm new to all of this, and I appreciate whatever education you can share.

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Old May 8th, 2007, 09:04 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Phil Shima View Post
...They came with 1/4" phono plugs which I am changing to XLR...
That might not be a good idea. Are the phono plugs they came with are mono plugs (just a tip and a sleeve contact)? If so, that's a pretty good indication that these are unbalanced microphones, so it will be pretty confusing and rather pointless to put XLR plugs on instead and plug them into a gadget that is basically used to convert between balanced mics and unbalanced camera sockets. (There are several good explanations of the differences around here - try the search.) Looking on Google, the ECM-23F gets mentioned in connection with various portable cassette recorders (admittedly fairly good ones), which also suggests to me that they are unbalanced.

To try the mics with your HV20, get a simple conversion lead made up (2 x 1/4" mono socket to 1 x 3.5mm stereo plug ) and try recording with them. If you like the sound, you can decide whether to change the plugs or not.

A pair of mono cardiod mics would not be my first choice for use with a compact HDV camcorder (try a hyper-cardioid or short shotgun, e.g. Rode VideoMic), but it really depends on what you want to shoot. And besides, you can never have enough different mics. The -8db pad switch could be handy in loud locations, for instance. One day, they'll be just what you need...
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