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ARCHIVES Home

ARCHIVES Home

ARCHIVES  July 2006, Week 3

ARCHIVES July 2006, Week 3

Subject:

Re: re Oral History - microphone for Marantz PMD670 ?

From:

"Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Richard L. Hess

Date:

Tue, 18 Jul 2006 11:51:24 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (178 lines)

At 04:55 PM 7/17/2006, Lesley W. Brunet wrote:

>Can anyone recommend a good lavelier microphone for use with the 
>Marantz PMD670 recorder?
>
>I didn't realize that my good ole Radio Shack plug ins won't work 
>with my new digital recorder.

I replied to Lesley off-list and in a response just now, Lesley 
indicated others were interested in this, so I thought I'd post the 
whole exchange. One other addition: for wiring stuff up, there is a 
great resource at:
http://www.rane.com/note110.html and there is a link to the superior 
PDF version at the end of this page.

My initial response:

I'd be curious why the mics don't work? If you like the mics, you 
might look at getting/making an adaptor cable or changing the plug on 
the end of the cable.

Is it a powering issue? That might be able to be solved as well.

Lesley replied:

It's the plug.  I hadn't thought of changing the plug, because the 
mics aren't that expensive.

I replied:

The Marantz has 3-pin XLR-type professional mic connectors. Great!

I assume your Radio Shack mics have 1/8" miniature phone plugs on them now.

Here's what I would do:

cut the plugs off the mics
connect an XLR to the mic.

You would wire shield of the cable to pins 1 AND 3 and the centre 
conductor to pin 2.

BUT there is a risk: If you accidently turn on the phantom power 
switch, you will probably destroy the mics.

If you want a really, really good lav mic, you want a Sennheiser MKE 
2-P-C Article No. 04224
http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser/icm_eng.nsf/root/04224

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=227154&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

About $300 US.

This is a killer mic and one of the most popular pro lavs around. If 
you want really good, this is it. No fuss, no muss, no risk of 
damaging the mic from the phantom.

Unless you have a captive tech or you do it yourself (my route), 
probably changing the connector would be more costly than the mic is 
worth, sadly.

Lesley replied:

You're kiddin' me, right?

No, seriously, it would be easier to buy a new mic.  If I had already 
spent $300 on it, I might try this....if I could.

(Pause)

Google time. [ http://www.richardhess.com ]

No wonder you know about this stuff!

I will certainly save this information....but I'll probably end up at 
Radio Shack!

I replied:

Not kidding you, I'd just go into my parts cabinet while my soldering 
iron was heating and be done with it in fifteen minutes.

I'm trying to steer you away from an adapter as the likelihood is 
you'll have intermittent connections long term and you still run the 
risk of blowing up the mic with the phantom power.

I don't think Radio Shack has XLR lav mics, but I could be wrong. The 
MKE 2 is a real classic and, well, two of them are worth what the 
recorder is worth. It's actually not uncommon to have more money in 
the mics than in the recorder...but I digress.

The AKG C417 is an option at $219 at B&H Photo Video
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=128224&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

Have you checked out Andy Kolovos's page at Vermont Folklife 
Center?  It didn't open for me tonight (the whole site seems down) 
but it's here: http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/res_audioequip.htm

My friend Susan Kitchens's web site is here http://familyoralhistory.us/
but I don't think she's dug into that problem.

I fear that most Lavalier mics today are designed to be plugged into 
wireless transmitters. Radio Shack didn't list any, which doesn't 
mean they are not in stores.

You won't find mics with pro connectors at Radio Shack (by and 
large). Perhaps a hand-held, but I didn't see any Lavalier mics 
listed and their Tie Tack mics looked pretty bottom-end.

Sorry, I don't know anyone in Houston I could recommend to do this. 
I'm in the Greater Toronto Area.

Good luck. Please let me know what you find out. A good music store 
(or maybe even Guitar Center) might have something. Lots of stuff 
comes from China into these places and unless you know precisely what 
you're looking for on the Web you'll see stuff in stores you can't 
find in catalogs.

I did a little more looking at mic options. The Sony ECM-55B which 
may not plug directly into the Marantz without and extension cable 
(the barrel of the connector may be too big, my ECM-50 which is 
ancient is like that, I think) is $335 list at B&H, they emailed me $267.95
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/sitem/sku=49324&is=REG&m=Y&BI=E324

The Audio Technica AT831R is $183.50 at B&H
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=68269&is=REG&addedTroughType=search
This one is nice as it comes with a 25' cable. Works on phantom power 
only (no battery to go dead in mic).

All-in-all this might be my first choice for this application. Don't 
forget the velcro cable tie to neatly coil the 25' cable. Remember, 
wind it overhand-underhand so it doesn't kink. I could not 
immediately find an appropriate Web resource on how to do that.

I think after the Radio Shack condenser lavs, you'll be very unhappy 
with this Shure SM11 dynamic lav. I've never met a dynamic lav I liked
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=68445&is=REG&addedTroughType=search 

$99.95

The Shure SM93 is $146.50 and should be OK (the cable body is an 
issue, again, perhaps)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=76169&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

The Sony has been a classic, but the Sennheiser is far superior.

One final thought...I looked at www.core-sound.com and they provide 
mics to the "stealth" taper community. Their musical instrument mics 
are $255 for a pair that can be separated up to 20' BUT they don't 
offer XLR outputs from their battery box.

Len? Moskowitz at Core is good at doing customs, so you might ask 
him. I bought a few digital audio things from him early on before 
there were mainstream optical-coax converters for example.

Cheers,

Richard



Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes. 

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