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Old July 28th, 2007, 09:52 AM   #1
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AKG Blue Line vs. ULS series

I am looking for a mic kit that'll do me good for both interiour and exteriour work. After having looked at a handful of mic's from a variety of companies, after having listened to mic samples on some sites i've bumped into, and after reading several tech specs, reviews and comparisons on different models, I decided to go with the AKG brand, for its flexibility (and apparent decent quality).

But I wonder: as you have two series from AKG meant to use for film, the Blue Line and ULS series, both with similar possibilities, which one of the two would be the best buy?
I'm planning to buy both the hypercardioid (for indoors) and the shotgun (for outdoors) (plus the preamp) of either system..
And since there isn't that much difference in the tech spec sheets from both, I'm particulary targetting this question to people who've had experience with one or both the series..


Thank you in advance.
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Old July 28th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #2
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There are some differences between them. The ULS capsules are true condensor capsules while the Blueline capsules are permanently charged ("electret") condensor capsules. The ULS line requires full 48v phantom power while the Blueline series can be run on lower voltages. The ULS has slightly more flexible gain/attentuation and high-pass filter settings. And as the name implies, the frequency response of the ULS is more linear - take a look at the curves of the CK61 and CK91 cardioid capsules and you'll see the CK61 is dead flat in the high end while the '91 has a couple of dB rise starting at about 5kHz. None of this means that one of the lines is necessarily "better" than the other even though they do fall into different price ranges. It just means that they will sound subtly different in different situations.
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Old July 29th, 2007, 09:10 PM   #3
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I've been using the SE300b with the ck93 hyper capsule for a few months now and have been pretty happy with it's performance. I haven't tried the ck98 shotgun capsule though.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 08:38 AM   #4
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It's worth noting that the Blueline has a figure eight capsule, although its kind of expensive. I like and use the Blueline, but plan to get the ULS eventually the CK69 is supposed to be a way cool shotgun. Never used the Blueline shotgun capsule, but people don't seem too enthusiastic about it.
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Old August 7th, 2007, 11:11 AM   #5
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Thanks for your comments.
I decided to go with the ULS series ultimatly.
I'll let you know how it works out..
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Old August 16th, 2007, 07:13 AM   #6
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Mono recording on single channel?

I just got the BLue line CK 91 and CK 98 shotgun with the SE300b for Canon XH A1.

I must say it really makes huge difference between the built in mic and this system.

Question: When XLR plugged into channel 1, there is a switch allowing to record on one track or both. I wonder what does it do in praxis?

Thank you.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 07:24 AM   #7
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How do you like that shotgun? Are you able to say how it compares to the ME66, AT897 and AT4073?
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Old August 16th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #8
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yeah, i second that... would love to know how the ck98 rates to the at4073a or a mkh416?!

thanks and good luck,
Lonnie
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Old August 16th, 2007, 11:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie Bell View Post
yeah, i second that... would love to know how the ck98 rates to the at4073a or a mkh416?!

thanks and good luck,
Lonnie
I own 416 and blueline with hyper+shotgun caps- the blueline's shotgun is nowhere near 416 ... like, nowhere near. the blueline hyper sounds way better than the 416 in its ideal conditions, thought (ie, v close, indoors).
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Old August 16th, 2007, 11:58 AM   #10
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Yeah, I wouldn't expect the CK98 to even approach the 416. I am curious how it compares to other shotguns in its class though -- ME66, AT897, and AT4073. I'm a big fan of the CK93 cap too. Can't say enough good things about the Blueline. I was short a dynamic mic the other day and used the CK93 instead because of the inline -10 dB pad. Very handy system! One of the reasons I'm so curious about the CK98 is because of the bayonet mount. I'm doing a documentary right now and having the ability to pop that sucker on and off and switch caps could be very handy.
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Old August 17th, 2007, 07:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavel Tomanec View Post
I just got the BLue line CK 91 and CK 98 shotgun with the SE300b for Canon XH A1.

I must say it really makes huge difference between the built in mic and this system.

Question: When XLR plugged into channel 1, there is a switch allowing to record on one track or both. I wonder what does it do in praxis?

Thank you.
Hello Pavel,

If the audio on one channel flakes you have it on the other. In post, if both tracks survive and you import them together, the total audio is a little loude because it's on two tracks.

When operating without a good limiter (or mixer) it helps to set one level a bit lower. If someone screams, the louder track may distort, but hopefully the lower one won't.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old August 18th, 2007, 12:15 PM   #12
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thanks Kris for posting that response...
i find it interesting that under ideal situations the CK93 is just as good or better than the 416 - but i guess that's the point the pro's have been trying to drive home - use a hyper-cardoid over a shotgun if you can... makes sense.

Yeah i too like the idea of interchanging capsules with the ck98, but having a completely seperate mic sounds more advantagous right now.

I'm presently looking at a new AT4073a for $475.00 or maybe i should just wait a couple of weeks and buy a used mkh416 (under $800) on ebay...

any thoughts?

Lonnie
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Old August 18th, 2007, 01:40 PM   #13
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I'd say that you need both... a good hyper and good shotgun.

Don't take this too seriously, but here's a v quick scale, from my experience...
1=unusable crap, 10=amazing


outdoors, v little ambience, 3ft
blueline+shotgun = 7
blueline+hyper = 10
senn416 = 9

outdoors crowd ambience but 3ft from subject
blueline+shotgun = 5
blueline+hyper = 3 (needs to be closer, handheld)
senn416 = 7

outdoors crowd ambience, 4-5ft (bad situation)
blueline+shotgun = 3
blueline+hyper = 1
senn416 = 5

indoors, reflective space, mic 1-2ft
blueline+shotgun = 5
blueline+hyper = 10
senn416 = 7

indoors, not that reflective space, but mic 10-15ft
blueline+shotgun = 3
blueline+hyper = 1
senn416 = 4

as I said, don't take too seriously ...

but note that the 416 I've rated 4-8 for all .. It's never 10 (cuz shotguns are never perfect, compared to a hyper at 1ft), but it has a habit of never being 'that' bad. a good shotgun may not be amazing, but it has a habbit of doing 'okay' even in shit situations. a 'so so' shotgun is a problem, as even in it's ideal situation it isn't going to be that amazing, and in problem situations it's only going to get worse. the blueline shotgun is in this category for me, it will be better than a hyper in 'shotgun' situations, but you must understand that it's always going to be a compromise, it'll never ever sound like the hyper. The hyper, in ideal conditions, will be your best sounding mic. The hyper, however, can also be very bad. I've rated it 1-10 depending on situation, and it's very true. in a crowd, or indoors where you aren't very close, it is crap.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 07:29 PM   #14
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I just bought the AKG Bluline on Ebay recently with a 93 Hyper and a CK 98 Shotgun. Unfotunately, no documentation and I have little experience.

I'm understanding that I should use the Hyper indoor, but I thought it would be boomed about 18-24". Does it need to be closer?

The Shotgun picks up a hum when I use a long cord. It's not the mic - plugged it directly in my A1U and no hum. Is the cord NG? It is a cheap xlr cord, about 20'. Are there good cords and bad? Recommendation for good low cost xlr cord?

Finally, what are the setting on the mic Line/75/10db?

Thanks
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Old August 19th, 2007, 04:57 AM   #15
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Kris, that was amazing...

I got the picture that you were just painting broad strokes, but I appreciate the detail - this helped immensely!

Thanks again,
Lonnie
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