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Old March 14th, 2002, 04:21 PM   #1
ASTRiDMan
 
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Headphone Levels

We've been using our ME-66 plugged through the MA-100 (we quickly realized that you can easily overload this combination but that's a whole other thread) and with the audio level just tickling
-6db on the meters and the headphone level turned all the way up, the actual level in the headphones is IMHO _desperately_ quiet. We spared no expense (about $185) on a recent set of AKG headphones, so I'm pretty sure they're no the problem.

We have considered a field mixer but at this point $800+ for a no-foolin-around mixer is a bit much for our budget.

Any suggestions?
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Old March 14th, 2002, 05:09 PM   #2
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Check the sensitivity of your head phones relative to the head phone jack output levels.

If the levels recorded on tape are proper, then what you may need is a modest cost headphone amplifier, or perhaps some lower cost but higher sensitivity head phones.

Some AKG modes have as much as 10 dB lower output for the same inut power than models like the ever popular Sony MDR-7506, and because the AKG may have have as much as 4x input impedance, they need a 2x higner input voltage for the same input power level!
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Old March 14th, 2002, 05:13 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tips! I'll try out a few headsets to see the difference.
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Old March 14th, 2002, 11:34 PM   #4
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Check out the Sony MDR-7506 -- they're widely considered a "standard" for this use. I typically run the level around "one o'clock" on my XL-1.
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Old March 15th, 2002, 12:14 AM   #5
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I have those same Sony headphones. The problem I've experienced with them is that they're casing protrudes outward a bit too far. This causes me to sometimes bump the camera with the right earpiece.

Sennheiser has some models that look (on the web) to be a bit more compact and streamlined. I'll be checking them out when I can.

I wonder if any of you have been using the small "in the ear" type of headphones with any success? If so, what brand and model?
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Old March 15th, 2002, 12:54 AM   #6
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I use the 7506's mainly in the "studio" rather than the field. The Sony MDR7505's are their little brother which have basically the same characteristics but smaller ear cups and head piece. They're also foldable and, in my opinion, better for camera use.

Re: using the in-ear headphones, yes, I have used them. I do not really like the Sony "Fontopia" earbud-style design; they hurt my ears and are hard to position for isolation and maximum sound. Sony has another design which features soft round rubber ear plugs that fit very comfortably in your ear canal and offer excellent sound as well as pretty darn good isolation. (I'm using a set right now while watching a DVD on the PowerBook!) They work nicely with the XL1s headphone jack, too.

I bought mine at a local Sony Gallery, but I just found them on the Sony Style site. They're the model MDR-EX70LP:

http://www.sonystyle.com/electronics/prd.jsp?hierc=8632x8746x8747&catid=8747&pid=876&type=p

Try them out. They're the best bud-style I've ever had.
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Old March 15th, 2002, 12:19 PM   #7
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Here's what I've found after a little more research:

The AKG K240DF headphones that I have are rated at 600ohms and I actually found a review that stated flat out that these are hard to drive and need a lot of power to get good volume level.

Whereas, the Sony 7506's you reccomended come in at 75ohms, so I think I will pick up a pair.
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Old March 15th, 2002, 06:00 PM   #8
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If you can try some with your camera on-hand, that would give you a better idea. I use the 7506 models a lot, but typically in a theater, on the sticks. If you were shooting primarily on the shoulder, something like the 7505s might be better. Both are high quality, and fold up into the included bag.
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Old April 5th, 2002, 05:41 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by John Locke :
I wonder if any of you have been using the small "in the ear" type of headphones with any success? If so, what brand and model? -->>>

I recently picked up in eBay the Sennheiser MX300 In-EarHeadphones for use with a Sony GV-D900 deck. By coincidence, when I tried them on the XL1s' earphone jack they worked there perfectly.

HTH,

Dirk
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Old April 5th, 2002, 06:22 PM   #10
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Nix the buds

It seems to me that for monitoring location production audio, the last thing you'd want to use are bud-style headphones.

The more isolation, the better!

I have an old pair of SONY MDR-D77s that are simply workhorse. ($200-$300 range.) This model is discontinued, but I'll tell you, if I found a cache of them sitting in some supplier's warehouse, I'd buy the lot. Thin, durable design, nice isolation, diamond diaphragms. Good for both production audio and post mixing.
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Old April 5th, 2002, 06:25 PM   #11
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Robert,

I agree that isolation is the goal on location. But -these- buds are not the usual Walkman buds. They're more like PLUGS, not buds. They do just about as well as my Sony MDR-7506's, Robert.

Try 'em.
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Old April 5th, 2002, 10:57 PM   #12
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I've been using Sony MDR 400's for about 3 years and they are a great field headphone. Gusee they've been superseeded by now, but the give a good clear sound, and good isolation.
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Old April 5th, 2002, 11:09 PM   #13
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Re: Nix the buds

<<<-- Originally posted by Robert K S : It seems to me that for monitoring location production audio, the last thing you'd want to use are bud-style headphones.

The more isolation, the better!
-->>>

My response was anecdotal and in response to the question asked, not an indication of preference. I also have Sennheiser HD 490s. Tell you what, I'll take both along and report back. I just find added 'bulk' to be avoided, nevermind that the smaller ones FIT in the case of the deck.
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Old April 10th, 2002, 12:44 PM   #14
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Isolation is the key. I am experimenting with using Radio Shack Racing headphones (33-1198) for some extreme environments I'm filming. Mainly under a heavy traveled interstate bridge. We are trying to avoid dubbing for a more natural feel.

These don't have as sensitive as a range. I believe 100-20000, but the isolation they provide is worth its weight in gold. I am able to get a good bead with my ME66 shotgun. I have actually been able to record usable audio in the horrific sound environment. Without the headphones, I wouldn't be able to hear anything. I have to shoot super close to achieve good results.

I am trying to locate isolation headphones that have a better range. For normal environments, I use sony studio headphones.
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Old April 11th, 2002, 10:49 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Codeman3D : Isolation is the key. I am experimenting with using Radio Shack Racing headphones (33-1198) for some extreme environments I'm filming. Mainly under a heavy traveled interstate bridge. We are trying to avoid dubbing for a more natural feel.

-->>>

Sounds like you're by the ship canal -- it you'd stop feeding the seagulls at Ivars, it would be less noisy!

Cheers
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