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Author Topic: Point Source Series8 Microphones  (Read 4225 times)

Craig Leerman

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Point Source Series8 Microphones
« on: December 04, 2013, 01:22:14 PM »

There's been a lot of progress on the miniature microphone front, highlighted by a steady stream of new models from companies like Point Source Audio. I recently checked out three models in the company's SERIES8, including the CR-8L cardioid lavalier, the CO-8WS omnidirectional earworn, and the CO-8WD omnidirectional dual-ear headset. The omni models are designed to be moisture and makeup proof (they carry an IP57 waterproof rating) while also being capable of handling the higher sound pressure levels of singing performers.

First, the specs. All three mics are available with omni or cardioid patterns. The cardioid element has a stated frequency response of 160 Hz to 14 kHz and a sensitivity rating of -70 dB (+/- 3 dB). It’s rated for 135 dB SPL, with an output impedance of 5000 Ohms (at 1 kHz). Meanwhile, the omni element has a stated frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz and a sensitivity rating of -54 dB (+/-3 dB). It's rated at a whopping 148 dB SPL, with an output impedance of 1400 Ohms (at 1 kHz).
SERIES8 mics have 4-foot cables that terminate to a small X-Connector, with the user able to select specific connectors to fit a variety of popular wireless systems, including models from Shure, Line 6, AKG, Sennheiser, MiPro, Audio-Technica, Lectrosonics and Telex. The ability to switch plug ends easily is a great feature for those who stock different makes of wireless systems.

My units were outfitted with XSH X-Connectors that have a Ta4f plug, fitting my Shure and Line 6 transmitters. The X-Connectors screw on easily, but can be over-tightened if you're not careful, resulting in needing to use pliers for removal (which could damage the cable). Finger-tight is all the pressure required to keep the X-Connector solidly on the cable.
The mics ship in heavy cardboard storage boxes that afford solid protection, and they're supplied with a windscreen and cable clip. The models I evaluated are beige, with black also available.

Out Of The Box
On the bench in the shop, I plugged in the mics and gave each a quick run-through. The CR-8L cardioid lavalier is very small at only 4 mm and sounds quite good. Holding it in various positions assured me I would have no trouble finding a good spot to clip the mic on to a presenter or performer.

The CO-8WS omni earworn was the next out of the box. Point Source literature states the super bendable boom is “unbreakable” up to 360 degrees of bending over the lifetime of the product. Well, I like a challenge so I gave the boom a few bends, then a few more, and after quite a bit of time doing this, I’m going to have to agree that the boom should stand up to any stage crew. It’s very rugged but can easily be bent into the desired shape, and it holds position well. The audio quality is fantastic, and needs little to no EQ for many applications.

The CO-8WD omni headset is also well built and incorporates the same ruggedized boom as the earworn model. The unit is easily adjustable and should hold up on shows. Confident in the ability of these mics to handle whatever would be thrown at them, I packed them up with a wireless rig to take into the field.

Highly Suited
The first gig was a speech event with a male presenter. He was comfortable using a lavalier, so I clipped the CR-8L cardioid about 8 inches below his chin, centered on his chest. We tried a few different positions and ended up settling on a slightly higher and off-to-one-side position, which resulted in good pickup. The long cable offers a lot of flexibility in securing the beltpack, and little EQ was required to get the mic sounding great.
At the next gig, I deployed the CO-8WS omni earworn with a male presenter. The mic was easily adjustable to fit the right side of his face and stayed secure throughout his presentation. While I experimented, I found that I didn’t really need any EQ at all for the mic to sound fantastic. My A2 noticed how nice it sounded as well, and he really liked the rugged flexible boom.
I also placed the CO-8WD omni headset on a female presenter. She remarked that the unit was so light in weight that she forgot that she was wearing it. Again, I didn’t require any EQ for the mic to sound great, but rolled off the low end below 80 Hz out of habit.
The conclusion is that Point Source SERIES8 mics offer ease of use, are plenty tough, and deliver excellent audio quality. The rugged “unbreakable” booms may well be the first ones I've run across that my crew can’t destroy. And the ability to handle high SPL makes them suitable for singers as well as general spoken-word applications.

U.S. MSRP: CR-8L, $490, CO-8WS, $430; and CO-8WD, $599

I'm so old, when I was doing FOH for Tommy Dorsey, to balance out the horn section I would slide their chairs downstage and upstage to mix!

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Point Source Series8 Microphones
« on: December 04, 2013, 01:22:14 PM »

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