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Schoeps CMC6 vs. CMC6XT - any audible sound difference ?

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October 5, 2004 1:05:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I have CMC6 preamps with MK4V, MK21 and MK2 capsules. I wonder – would
there any (beneficial) audible sound difference between CMC6 and
CMC6XT ? Anyone tried to compare directly ?

Ivo

www.savita.cz
Anonymous
October 5, 2004 4:17:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Ivo <ivo@savita.cz> wrote:
>I have CMC6 preamps with MK4V, MK21 and MK2 capsules. I wonder – would
>there any (beneficial) audible sound difference between CMC6 and
>CMC6XT ? Anyone tried to compare directly ?

I found the CMC6XT to sound substantially worse than the regular CMC6
bodies. Though I tried it only with the omni capsule, I found the top
end on the XT to be both exaggerated and harsh in a way that makes me
suspect top end distortion issues.

That may just be me, but I thought they were an enormous step down in
sound quality from the regular electronics.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 5, 2004 10:43:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Ivo wrote:

> I have CMC6 preamps with MK4V, MK21 and MK2 capsules. I wonder ? would
> there any (beneficial) audible sound difference between CMC6 and
> CMC6XT ? Anyone tried to compare directly ?

Ivo,

You posted this question on Klaus Heyne's microphone forum, too; I answered
it in detail over there.

--best regards
Related resources
October 6, 2004 5:31:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

David,

thanks, I read it. I usually put the same question around to get more
opinions. I wonder - what about a difference between CMC6 and CMC5 ? I
remember that somebody once mentioned I should get CMC5 for a smoother
HF response ... Would there be a real sound difference or it is just a
question of different phantom power?

Ivo

DSatz@msn.com (David Satz) wrote in message news:<e6a68193.0410051743.5382a482@posting.google.com>...
> Ivo wrote:
>
> > I have CMC6 preamps with MK4V, MK21 and MK2 capsules. I wonder ? would
> > there any (beneficial) audible sound difference between CMC6 and
> > CMC6XT ? Anyone tried to compare directly ?
>
> Ivo,
>
> You posted this question on Klaus Heyne's microphone forum, too; I answered
> it in detail over there.
>
> --best regards
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 1:11:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Ivo wrote:

> I wonder - what about a difference between CMC6 and CMC5 ? I remember
> that somebody once mentioned I should get CMC5 for a smoother HF
> response ... Would there be a real sound difference or it is just
> a question of different phantom power?

It's interesting that you brought this up at this particular moment,
since I'm just now working with the people at Schoeps on how to describe
the exact differences among the different models of Colette-series (CMC)
microphone amplifiers and related products. Some new publications are
in development, I'm happy to say.

I don't know of any basis for someone to hear a difference in the high-
frequency response between the CMC 5 and CMC 6. There isn't supposed
to be any such difference. I've used CMC 3 and 5 amplifiers (the same
circuit) for nearly as long as the Colette series has existed; the CMC 6
hadn't been invented when I bought my two pairs. But a couple of years
ago I borrowed a pair of CMC 64V for a while, and I didn't notice any
sonic difference that I could attribute to the CMC 6 amplifiers. On the
other hand I wasn't specifically listening for any such differences.

If I were buying new Schoeps microphones today I would buy the CMC 6
because that circuit has better immunity to RFI. In thirty years and
thousands of recordings with my CMC 3 or 5 amplifiers, I have only had
one severe RFI problem that I can recall, but I live in New York City
and with cell phones, pagers, etc. the problem is only increasing.

There are other technical differences relating to the low-frequency
limit of the amplifiers and the output impedance of the two circuits.
These are mentioned in the catalog or on www.schoeps.de, so I won't
list them here--I want to encourage people to consult the primary source.

One thing which should be made clear is that the CMC 6 amplifier is not
a "12 to 48 Volt" phantom-powered microphone amplifier; it is, rather, a
"12 _or_ 48 Volt" amplifier. The power supply must conform to one or the
other standard version of phantom powering.

That's a potentially serious issue. Once I tested a small preamp with a
CMC 6 amplifier. The preamp had a poorly designed "48 Volt" supply with
about 2 - 3 kOhms of extra resistance (part of its filtering) before
the two 6.8 kOhm phantom resistors per channel. The voltage drop across
that extra resistance (4 mA x 2.5 kOhms = 10 Volts!) caused the output
voltage to fall far enough so that the CMC 6 amplifier switched into its
12 Volt mode, where it draws 10 mA. The result was a complete collapse
of the preamp's phantom power supply.

Note that a supply like that would be no good for use with any modern,
transformerless condenser microphone. Typically such microphones draw
at least 3 mA and some draw as much as 8 or even 10 mA, which would be
completely impossible with substantial extra series resistance and not
enough thermal dissipation built into the supply.

There is a small price difference--the CMC 6 costs a little more--and I
suspect that this is why the CMC 3 and 5 are still available. If the
factory were to price all four amplifier models the same, I don't know
who would buy the CMC 3 or 5 any more. And "T" powering has been in
decline for so long that I don't think many people would mourn the loss
of the CMC 4 amplifier, either.

All in all this is a fairly typical small company situation--Schoeps is
still family-owned and -operated, and has many more products than it has
employees.

--best regards
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 1:17:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <14112cd9.0410060031.43fbf3b8@posting.google.com> ivo@savita.cz writes:

> thanks, I read it. I usually put the same question around to get more
> opinions.

How do you decide which one is right?


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 2:34:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Ivo,
There are audible differences between all the preamp bodies. These
differences are sometimes very small. However, my philosophy is that
these small increments in each stage of your recording chain
eventually grow into big differences. You could say, "Well.. this
capsule is almost as good as the other and this mic body sounds almost
as good as the other and this mic preamplifier is really quite close
to that one and this AD converter... etc etc. By the time you get to
end, the difference is no longer very small. The decision as to which
is better for you depends on what results you are looking for. This is
where a great deal of subjectivity comes into play. There is also the
concept of how familiar you are with the tools and getting results in
a particular recording venue. That is to say, it is not the best
camera that takes the best pictures...

Mike

ivo@savita.cz (Ivo) wrote in message news:<14112cd9.0410060031.43fbf3b8@posting.google.com>...
> David,
>
> thanks, I read it. I usually put the same question around to get more
> opinions. I wonder - what about a difference between CMC6 and CMC5 ? I
> remember that somebody once mentioned I should get CMC5 for a smoother
> HF response ... Would there be a real sound difference or it is just a
> question of different phantom power?
>
> Ivo
>
> DSatz@msn.com (David Satz) wrote in message news:<e6a68193.0410051743.5382a482@posting.google.com>...
> > Ivo wrote:
> >
> > > I have CMC6 preamps with MK4V, MK21 and MK2 capsules. I wonder ? would
> > > there any (beneficial) audible sound difference between CMC6 and
> > > CMC6XT ? Anyone tried to compare directly ?
> >
> > Ivo,
> >
> > You posted this question on Klaus Heyne's microphone forum, too; I answered
> > it in detail over there.
> >
> > --best regards
October 7, 2004 5:37:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Very easy - if there is a number of similar replies, it is likely they
may be close to reality :-)

Ivo

mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in message news:<znr1097061217k@trad>...
> In article <14112cd9.0410060031.43fbf3b8@posting.google.com> ivo@savita.cz writes:
>
> > thanks, I read it. I usually put the same question around to get more
> > opinions.
>
> How do you decide which one is right?
October 7, 2004 5:40:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

David and Mike,

thank you very much for your detailed thoughts. A friend of mine is
about to buy a pair of Schoeps and looking for a good deal. So I was
thinking to offer him one pair of my CMC6 and get CMC6 XT as a sonic
upgrade. But I think that in the end I will keep what I have :-)

Best regards,

Ivo


schoeps@earthlink.net (M. Im) wrote in message news:<e2a7a064.0410060934.79c2a062@posting.google.com>...
> Ivo,
> There are audible differences between all the preamp bodies. These
> differences are sometimes very small. However, my philosophy is that
> these small increments in each stage of your recording chain
> eventually grow into big differences. You could say, "Well.. this
> capsule is almost as good as the other and this mic body sounds almost
> as good as the other and this mic preamplifier is really quite close
> to that one and this AD converter... etc etc. By the time you get to
> end, the difference is no longer very small. The decision as to which
> is better for you depends on what results you are looking for. This is
> where a great deal of subjectivity comes into play. There is also the
> concept of how familiar you are with the tools and getting results in
> a particular recording venue. That is to say, it is not the best
> camera that takes the best pictures...
>
> Mike
>
> ivo@savita.cz (Ivo) wrote in message news:<14112cd9.0410060031.43fbf3b8@posting.google.com>...
> > David,
> >
> > thanks, I read it. I usually put the same question around to get more
> > opinions. I wonder - what about a difference between CMC6 and CMC5 ? I
> > remember that somebody once mentioned I should get CMC5 for a smoother
> > HF response ... Would there be a real sound difference or it is just a
> > question of different phantom power?
> >
> > Ivo
> >
> > DSatz@msn.com (David Satz) wrote in message news:<e6a68193.0410051743.5382a482@posting.google.com>...
> > > Ivo wrote:
> > >
> > > > I have CMC6 preamps with MK4V, MK21 and MK2 capsules. I wonder ? would
> > > > there any (beneficial) audible sound difference between CMC6 and
> > > > CMC6XT ? Anyone tried to compare directly ?
> > >
> > > Ivo,
> > >
> > > You posted this question on Klaus Heyne's microphone forum, too; I answered
> > > it in detail over there.
> > >
> > > --best regards
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 3:31:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I did a careful comparison between the two preamp bodies. I used
several different matched capsules.Tto my ear, there was no
comparison. The "XT" preamp sounded worse in all respects. Not a lot
worse, but noticeable. I agree with Scott.

A few more things to consider: the XT electronics in the models I have
seen are of the "everything shrunk to a chip" school, as opposed to
"lots of discrete". Generally, the latter sound better to me. I
haven't seen the newest CMC6 so I can't say if they are all like that
now.

Next, consider that the FR curve according to Schoeps website is
different in the 20-20 range. Ideally, this crucial range should
exhibit the same FR. The XT with some capsules gives a presence
peak--not what I want; some people like a little extra in the treble.

Lastly, my own tests have shown that the CMC6 has enough sound above
20k. It is rolled off but sounds good. At least the audible part
sounds good :) 
You can, of course, listen to it at half speed to compare the two.
jj
!