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Author Topic: Thouhts on Rational Acoustics' RTA-420 Measurement Mic?  (Read 15728 times)

Rob McIntosh

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Thouhts on Rational Acoustics' RTA-420 Measurement Mic?
« on: February 13, 2013, 10:44:10 pm »

Hey Everyone,

     I am building my first Smaart rig and am looking for an affordable measurement microphone, I know a lot of people with the Behringer mic ($55) and they say its fine for the price point. I noticed however that Rational Acoustics makes their own mic for $85. I was hoping to find someone that has used them both and let me know if the extra $30 is worth it or not. Thanks everyone!
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Re: Thouhts on Rational Acoustics' RTA-420 Measurement Mic?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2013, 12:33:44 am »

Hey Everyone,

     I am building my first Smaart rig and am looking for an affordable measurement microphone, I know a lot of people with the Behringer mic ($55) and they say its fine for the price point. I noticed however that Rational Acoustics makes their own mic for $85. I was hoping to find someone that has used them both and let me know if the extra $30 is worth it or not. Thanks everyone!

I would buy the RA mic given those choices. I trust the company. I am sure they have selected a mic that's performance is appropriate to its price point coupled with great customer service.
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Jay Barracato

Ivan Beaver

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Re: Thouhts on Rational Acoustics' RTA-420 Measurement Mic?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 07:21:10 am »

Hey Everyone,

     I am building my first Smaart rig and am looking for an affordable measurement microphone, I know a lot of people with the Behringer mic ($55) and they say its fine for the price point. I noticed however that Rational Acoustics makes their own mic for $85. I was hoping to find someone that has used them both and let me know if the extra $30 is worth it or not. Thanks everyone!
The 420 mic is a good mic for the price.  There is a bit of a "wiggle" up high, but it depends on what you are going to be doing with it.  That wiggle may or may not bother you.

The thing I have "heard" (I have no first hand knowledge-so take that comment how you will) is that the Behringers are very inconsistent   Which means you may get a good one or a bad one-who knows.  How would you know?

I have no idea how consistent the 420's are either-but have not heard any bad reports about them.  Of course there are lots more Behringer mics out there-so you will hear more.

I know this doesn't give you any real information.  But real measurement mics cost real money.
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Ivan Beaver
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Doug Fowler

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Re: Thouhts on Rational Acoustics' RTA-420 Measurement Mic?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 01:17:59 pm »

Hey Everyone,

     I am building my first Smaart rig and am looking for an affordable measurement microphone, I know a lot of people with the Behringer mic ($55) and they say its fine for the price point. I noticed however that Rational Acoustics makes their own mic for $85. I was hoping to find someone that has used them both and let me know if the extra $30 is worth it or not. Thanks everyone!

I have three.  Two are perfectly matched, the third is not.  Ivan is correct about HF wiggle.  It's easy to see when compared with a better quality mic.

It's a good starter mic, but don't trust it for precision work above 8KhZ. 

If you measure something above 8K that's 10 dB more than surrounding freqs, feel free to take some of that out but don't trust it for fine tuning there.  Addressing broad trends yes, fine tuning no. 

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Art Welter

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Re: Thouhts on Rational Acoustics' RTA-420 Measurement Mic?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 08:24:58 pm »

I have three.  Two are perfectly matched, the third is not.  Ivan is correct about HF wiggle.  It's easy to see when compared with a better quality mic.

It's a good starter mic, but don't trust it for precision work above 8KhZ. 

If you measure something above 8K that's 10 dB more than surrounding freqs, feel free to take some of that out but don't trust it for fine tuning there.  Addressing broad trends yes, fine tuning no.
I only have one RTA 420, bought used, and the HF "wiggle" is only about 1-2 dB hotter up high than one of my Bruel &Kjaer 4004 . The other 4004 has about the same deviation the other direction than the RTA 420.
The B&K are very expensive, and the original test sheets show them dead flat 20 Hz to 10K, rising 1 dB at around 40K.
At the other end of the spectrum, the RTA 420 is about 3 dB down in response at 20 Hz compared to the B&K.
I seldom bring out the B&Ks any more, the difference in response is so slight.

One thing to note is the RTA 420 is pin three hot, reverse polarity from current "normal" convention.

Art
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 08:28:24 pm by Art Welter »
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Grant Conklin

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Re: Thouhts on Rational Acoustics' RTA-420 Measurement Mic?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 02:14:18 am »

I have 6 of these mics, but they go by a different name.   As you can see, the "wiggle" up around 12k varies from about 2 - 4 db.  These measurements were made by comparing to a G.R.A.S. 40am capsule. 



« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 02:22:52 am by Grant Conklin »
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Bradford "BJ" James

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Re: Thouhts on Rational Acoustics' RTA-420 Measurement Mic?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 03:20:05 pm »

I have 6 of these mics, but they go by a different name.   As you can see, the "wiggle" up around 12k varies from about 2 - 4 db.  These measurements were made by comparing to a G.R.A.S. 40am capsule.
Grant, are yours the Apex mic (220)? Just curious as I have a few of those too. Pin 3 hot eh?.
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Art Welter

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Re: Thouhts on Rational Acoustics' RTA-420 Measurement Mic?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 03:35:43 pm »

Pin 3 hot eh?.
Yes. I was hoping to just switch it internally, but it uses a PCB connection, so I just use a short  polarity flip cord.
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Bradford "BJ" James

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Re: Thouhts on Rational Acoustics' RTA-420 Measurement Mic?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2013, 04:32:20 pm »

Yes. I was hoping to just switch it internally, but it uses a PCB connection, so I just use a short  polarity flip cord.
ditto
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Grant Conklin

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Re: Thouhts on Rational Acoustics' RTA-420 Measurement Mic?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2013, 11:21:54 pm »

Grant, are yours the Apex mic (220)? Just curious as I have a few of those too. Pin 3 hot eh?.

Yes, Apex 220. The DBX mic is the same as well.  I created weighting curves for each of my mics. 
http://www.apexelectronics.com/category/Microphones/Special_Applications/Test_Reference/product/Apex220/
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