rockinrob86

KM84 vs KM84 clone
« on: April 28, 2019, 02:05:15 PM »
https://youtu.be/nVJxx7YM-6I

I was able to acquire a KM84 and compare it head to head with my clone build.

This video shows my DAW so you can see which mic is active as I switch back and forth.  The clips were gain matched, and the mics were placed as close as possible next to each other

I also muted the vocal mic at times so you could hear the off axis response of each mic


12afael

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2019, 03:17:36 PM »
do you have an FX in the clone? I can´t tell the difference in the guitars but they seem to have some differences in level looking at the waves.
I tried my clone in acoustic gutiar and I love it. waiting for the parts for the second one.

on the drums I feel that the original have a better high end, more soft and natural but it is not a blind test.
what transformer  did you use?

best regards
Rafael
« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 03:22:31 PM by 12afael »
heavy metal is the law!!!

rockinrob86

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2019, 04:19:07 PM »
I used cinemag for my transformer and a 3U audio capsule.

I have a plug in for more precise volume adjustment on one of the mics.  I matched it on specific transients and chords and also panning them L and R and getting the image in the center.  I think it's really close - you can't hear the edits.

Also, this was a live performance and the two mics never overlap, so each strike will be slightly different in volume.

I feel that on acoustic guitar, I am indifferent between the two mics.  I don't think there is a difference.

I am not a drummer, and I think on drums in one section towards the beginning I was hitting the hi hat a bit differently.  I noticed a little harshness or something in the hi hat, but that pops up in both of the mics if you listen further along.

If there is a difference between them though, it is in the high end, although even after the test I am not sure whether there is a difference. 

craigmorris74

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2019, 10:12:24 PM »
Did you compare the 3u capsule to the ones that came with the kits?

rockinrob86

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2019, 11:32:56 PM »
I didn’t get one of the kits and they didn’t sell them separately, so haven’t heard their take on the capsule

GraemeWoller

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2019, 05:28:53 PM »
They're pretty close, aren't they. Harder to pick on the acoustic, on the drums the clone feels a little more forward, but there's not that much in it.

I don't have an orig 84, so I can't test them side by side. I'm pleased you're doing the heavy lifting for us, Rob! :)

rockinrob86

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2019, 08:58:22 AM »
Yea, there is a slight difference depending on source, which is good to know. 

I think the real important thing is the off axis response is clean for both of these mics and they both capture very well without harshness or grating qualities.

For me, I basically only record myself, my bands or a limited circle of friend's bands in my free time.  I do not have the $$$ to have a stack of KM84s, but I have 4 clones.  After doing my other big mic comparison with km184, beyerdynamic mc930 and the mxl budget mics/mods, I feel really good about the km84 clone for any source.

If you're running a commercial facility, I do think the real 84 has a little extra something on the drum overhead application.  These sound AWESOME on snare and tom - and I think the clone is a way better idea here just on the chance that a stray stick could kill one.  On acoustic guitar I am indifferent between them.

One caveat you always hear about with the KM84s is that all of them sound different.  All 4 of my clones are spot on as far as I can tell to each other, so maybe this real km84 is a little smoother on top than the  typical one?

Now I just have to figure out how to get a real, healthy U47, Elam251, U67, etc for testing!

Khron

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2019, 09:03:38 AM »
Ain't that the thing with all these vintage mics? No two sound alike, so how can one define "THE sound of mic X"?

... Which is why pursuing "that" sound is a bit of a fool's errand, in my mind, since there kinda-sorta is no such thing :D

Clones FTW! ;D
Khron's Cave - Electronics - Audio - Teardowns - Mods - Repairs - Projects - Music - Rants - Shenanigans

rockinrob86

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2019, 09:35:28 AM »
Ain't that the thing with all these vintage mics? No two sound alike, so how can one define "THE sound of mic X"?

... Which is why pursuing "that" sound is a bit of a fool's errand, in my mind, since there kinda-sorta is no such thing :D

Clones FTW! ;D

Well, for example, I've heard these mics talked about for years by engineers on records I liked the sounds of, so if I can build a clone that is pretty much like that, for significantly less money, then I can focus on making music and not gear.  I think some people on here are more designers/technicians, then there's a group of technical studio people, and then there's a group of musicians who are just looking for the sounds.  And then probably a blend of the above.  I personally only care about the technical stuff as a means to the end of getting the sounds. 

So this project was a big win.  I have 4 SDC mics that sound great at everything I point them at, with great off axis response and no harshness at ~$700 total.  The comparing was just a bit of validation that to my ears, I'm not missing anything.

This is my point with clones.  I have no business owning a real U47, and couldn't pay for one anyways.  but I know how they've been described by engineers of records I love the sounds on, and for around $1000 or so I built a clone  that I would describe as those engineers describe the real ones.  It makes it easier to make music and not focus on technical stuff.

Khron

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2019, 09:43:50 AM »
Is it just me, or too many get too hung up on hype and descriptions? And the few comparisons you can find are mostly flawed anyway, so... Good luck making much sense of it all.

Totally with you on the "means to an end" bit. Do my chinese "CK12"-equipped mics sound identical to some 414's? Probably not, but do i care? Hell naw :D

Just last weekend, i was helping out a good friend and neighbour (live sound guy) on a local pop-rock gig, and lent him my pair of Devine (iSK) BM600's w/ Advanced Audio AK12 capsules. He described them as "stellar" :P And a couple weeks ago i lent a pair of BM800s w/ "CK12s" to another sound-guy friend, " and those mics you modified are killer!". Good'nuff for me ;D
Khron's Cave - Electronics - Audio - Teardowns - Mods - Repairs - Projects - Music - Rants - Shenanigans


Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2019, 10:15:49 AM »
One more thing you could do to shoot them out is to record something 90° or even 135° off axis and compare.

The whole point with km84 was the backplate that makes the mic capture off axis sound uncolored.

The frequency response of km84 was kind of secondary thing. Although almost all vintage Neumanns were going for flattest response possible.

This is key when using km84 as drum overheads, room mics, ensamble, choir... while off axis sound is attenuated, the sound comming from an instrument on the side, or room acoustics doesn't sound like a cartoon character.

I've had a couple of vintage "pair'' km84s for repair. They couldn't sound more different. They are so sensitive to changes in backplate tension ring that a micrometer can affect the response for several db.

After that pair i said i'd never in my life buy a km84 without measuring it first. And there are couple more problems with construction of that mic. It is way too fragile IMHO. Wondering if that might have been the reason for discontinuing them.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 10:21:03 AM by kingkorg »

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2019, 09:57:17 AM »
I have a pair of vintage KM84s, and I've finished one of Banzai's clones with two more waiting for me to have time. The clone sounds indistinguishable from the originals, with the possibility that the pickup pattern is different. I don't have any way to measure the response pattern, but my sense from using it is that the clone has a wider pattern. I will say, however, that I started out with a Cinemag transformer and the mic sounded just OK, darker than the real KM84s. So I put in an AMI T8 transformer and suddenly it was a KM84 with all the clarity and warmth of my mics. In a pinch I'd use my finished clone and a real KM84 in a stereo pair. If you're unhappy with the clones I suggest you try the AMI before you give up on them. Oh yeah, I have a Cinemag transformer I'd be happy to sell...
Seth

The definition of insanity: "Hey, this thing could be really cool - if I had the money to fix it up, which I don't, but if I did it could be really cool - if I had the time, which I don't, but

rockinrob86

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2019, 11:16:21 PM »
The cinemags in mine sound great

GraemeWoller

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2019, 12:19:34 AM »
I'm so pleased to hear you've enjoyed the clone, jrmintz. Really cool to hear about the AMI vs Cinemag idea too. I've never tried them with an AMI, I'm far too much of a cheap arse, but I might have to make the effort so I can hear the difference for myself. I've got the Haufe here to try out, but I just haven't had a chance to throw it in and give it a spin. :)

I have a pair of vintage KM84s, and I've finished one of Banzai's clones with two more waiting for me to have time. The clone sounds indistinguishable from the originals, with the possibility that the pickup pattern is different. I don't have any way to measure the response pattern, but my sense from using it is that the clone has a wider pattern. I will say, however, that I started out with a Cinemag transformer and the mic sounded just OK, darker than the real KM84s. So I put in an AMI T8 transformer and suddenly it was a KM84 with all the clarity and warmth of my mics. In a pinch I'd use my finished clone and a real KM84 in a stereo pair. If you're unhappy with the clones I suggest you try the AMI before you give up on them. Oh yeah, I have a Cinemag transformer I'd be happy to sell...

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2019, 12:59:49 AM »
They do indeed sound amazing. Compared to my 84, my clones with Cinemag transfos are definitely darker and the 84 has a little more definition/clarity in the lower midrange. Love the clones for stereo micing  piano and close micing drums

TillM

Re: KM84 vs KM84 clone
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2019, 04:53:10 AM »
I'm so pleased to hear you've enjoyed the clone, jrmintz. Really cool to hear about the AMI vs Cinemag idea too. I've never tried them with an AMI, I'm far too much of a cheap arse, but I might have to make the effort so I can hear the difference for myself. I've got the Haufe here to try out, but I just haven't had a chance to throw it in and give it a spin. :)

I’ve found the Haufe similar to the cinemag.
Cinemag do a great job with these transformers as usual!


 

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