rockinrob86

SDC mic comparisons - KM184, MC930 vs MXL and KM84 clone
« on: March 19, 2019, 10:55:06 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ9Rz-SbjLs

I compared the well known Neumann KM184 with the lesser known Beyerdynamic MC930 and several DIY mics, including a KM84 clone with a 3U capsule and cinemag transformer.

Vocals are with a D-EF47 using a Maiku capsule and a Cinemag 2461NICO transformer.

I cut the vocal mic in and out to show the spill picked up by the SDC's and how the tone changes between them.

This was done with all the mics placed close together, and then I looped the video so you're hearing the same minute or so for each mic.  I manually phase aligned the tracks afterwards to get the optimal blend, and also volume matched the tracks to each other.

I have my opinions on the differences, but let's see what you guys think first!



craigmorris74

Re: SDC mic comparisons - KM184, MC930 vs MXL and KM84 clone
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2019, 11:32:05 AM »
What mods did you do to the  MXL mic?  With the stock capsule, you can still hear the harsher high end, but with the 3U capsule it smooths out nicely.   Just listening casually, the other mics sound good, though I was surprised in the lack of top end of the  MC930.

rockinrob86

Re: SDC mic comparisons - KM184, MC930 vs MXL and KM84 clone
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2019, 11:57:34 AM »
What mods did you do to the  MXL mic?  With the stock capsule, you can still hear the harsher high end, but with the 3U capsule it smooths out nicely.   Just listening casually, the other mics sound good, though I was surprised in the lack of top end of the  MC930.

All of my mxl mics have the “gus” mod, changing ceramics to film and the cap on the capsule to polystyrene, then checking the bias. 

Stock is even harsher, but I think this shows the capsule is the real issue.

I was very surprised at how usuable all the mics sounded.  The MXL cap has quite nasty off axis response as well, while the other three capsules sound rolled off and not noticeable when blended.

I think think that the modded mxl with the 3u and the beyer are pretty close, and the km84 clone is in the same ballpark but maybe a hair richer.  The KM184 is different, and the stock mxl is different, with only the stock mxl sounding bad.

KM184 has a nice clarity and high end, while the other have better body and “wood” sounds.  I really wish I had a real KM184 to compare with these!

In my book, the modded mxl with the 3u is probably the best value.  Mc930 and km84 clones are real close to each other in sound and vibe.  KM184 sounds good but is expensive, even used, although it sounds different enough that I bet it would beat all of these on another source.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 12:14:10 PM by rockinrob86 »

craigmorris74

Re: SDC mic comparisons - KM184, MC930 vs MXL and KM84 clone
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2019, 02:16:02 PM »
I'm pretty impressed by the 3u capsule in your example.  I've got two of the transformer balanced MXLs that I'd love to put those on!

You LDC sounds great in the clip as well.

Thanks for posting this.

Re: SDC mic comparisons - KM184, MC930 vs MXL and KM84 clone
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2019, 10:11:26 PM »
Thank you for the video. This kind of shootouts are priceless for me, as i get to  do frequency response match with matching EQ, and apply the curve to a mic i have.

Long story short i ended up with this curve which when applied to MXL 603 type mic gives Neumann k184 kind of response. This CSV file can be loaded into a lot of VST EQs. I use CURVE EQ by VOXENGO.

I have done this a lot in the past and works incredibly well.

The link>
https://app.box.com/s/le8chyrgatkkzlkjuwe5mfaphk1kzm6h

rockinrob86

Re: SDC mic comparisons - KM184, MC930 vs MXL and KM84 clone
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2019, 02:01:38 PM »
How do you use those?  I really have no idea what you're doing there.  How would it change the off axis response? 

Re: SDC mic comparisons - KM184, MC930 vs MXL and KM84 clone
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2019, 02:42:12 PM »
How do you use those?  I really have no idea what you're doing there.  How would it change the off axis response?

Just use it as an EQ on the MXL mic. load the posted file in Curve EQ VST, i believe there is free demo.

They have similar construction of the capsule, dimensions, etc. so off axis response is very close anyways.

I tested this with audio files from your video, and vocal off axis response was spot on.

Just apply this EQ to MXL mic in your project, match levels and you will be shocked how close they are.

e.oelberg

Re: SDC mic comparisons - KM184, MC930 vs MXL and KM84 clone
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2019, 04:22:46 PM »
where can you buy 3u capsulesand do they fit mxl 603 bodies ?

Re: SDC mic comparisons - KM184, MC930 vs MXL and KM84 clone
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 04:52:19 PM »
where can you buy 3u capsulesand do they fit mxl 603 bodies ?

You can buy them direct from 3U, but they don't fit 603s without modification. Alternatively, you can be a big spender and order the modified version that will fit 603 bodies from mic-parts: https://microphone-parts.com/collections/capsules/products/sdc-capsules

I went the latter route before I knew the source of the capsules, but due to a variety of uninteresting reasons, the capsules sat around for half a year before I actually was able to use them in the field. So all I have done with them in practice is as a spot mic for a choral recording and on solo acoustic guitar for a folk singer. So far nothing jumps out at me as being problematic, but the real test will come when I work up the nerve to use them as the main pair for a choir--if there are off-axis issues with them then they'll become apparent very quickly.

rockinrob86

Re: SDC mic comparisons - KM184, MC930 vs MXL and KM84 clone
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2019, 05:30:26 PM »
I didn’t modify my 603/991 bodies at all.  The colors don’t match but the capsule threaded right on


Re: SDC mic comparisons - KM184, MC930 vs MXL and KM84 clone
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2019, 03:56:56 PM »
I didn’t modify my 603/991 bodies at all.  The colors don’t match but the capsule threaded right on

That's good to know. I was researching them a couple of months ago and there was a thread on gearslutz that I understood to say they weren't completely compatible because the pin wasn't long enough for the 603 bodies. I could find little else and so I took it as truth without corroborating evidence.

e.oelberg

Re: SDC mic comparisons - KM184, MC930 vs MXL and KM84 clone
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2019, 12:37:28 PM »
thanks for the info, I'm curious to hear the choir recording


 

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