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Measurement Microphones

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Brad Weber:
Steve Bunting wrote on Tue, 10 February 2009 05:56
Has anyone got any experience with the Earthworks M23, or the S30 which Rational sells? Is this the same mic with different names? How do they compare to an M30?

I have a couple of the M30S mics that these models replace.  I believe the M23 and S30 are essentially the same mic.  Pretty much a more compact version of the M30 with a flat response to 23kHz instead of 30kHz, at least that was the response I got from Earthworks prior to purchasing my mics and the specs seem to agree with that.  I think it is a reasonable option between the entry level and high end mics for system tuning, which is exactly why I bought mine.

Grant Conklin:
Bob McCarthy wrote on Mon, 22 December 2008 15:26
I own 8 Earthwoks M30s. They are sufficient for my needs, although I probably would have bought DPA 4090 series mics had they been on the market at the time I bought mine.

Hello Bob -
I bought your book - "Sound Systems:  Design and Optimization," and appreciate it.

I'm wondering if you would comment on why you have bought DPA 4090 as opposed to M30 if you were to buy (in Dec '08 ) again.  The more I've read, the more I'm inclined to agree, based mainly on the fact that the 4090 has a nickel foil diaphragm.  


Tom Young:
Perhaps what Bob had in mind is that the Earthworks microphones have plastic diaphragms which can be subject to changes in response when exposed to high temps, such as being carried in a closed car/trunk during a hot summer day. Metal diaphragms are inherently more stable. I believe these two mic's cost about the same.

FYI - here are some other mic's that are worth considering:

The Soundfirst SF101 is a titanium diaphragm measurement mic that appears to be just as good as the DPA and Earthworks and is in the same ballpark price range ($750.00).


The NTI (Neutric Test Instruments) M2210 mic that is available with their XL2 measurement system is also a titanium diaphragm measurement mic with extremely good (Class-1) specs. Costs a bit more ($1100.00). They also offer a Class-2 mic (M4260) that has very respectable specs for sound system optimization and costs appreciably less than the others ($450.00).


(or more directly) 0/tabid/272/Default.aspx

Bruel and Kjaer has a new and very interesting measurement mic, the 4961, with titanium diaphragm and touted to be "multi-field". It is closer to the cost of a DPA 4007 (ballpark: $1400.00). Note: it appears to not be compatible with standard phantom power and XLR inputs.



Bob McCarthy:
I have indeed had stability issues with my M30's, both over the long haul and from day to day. At this point I go through a level calibration exercize every day that I use them. Perhaps this is due to mylar in the diaphragm - perhaps not. I am not qualified to do more than conjecture in the field of microphone design.

The reason I stated that I would have gone with ( and may at some in the future go with) the low cost DPA's is more relational, than purely technical. I have used Bruel & Kjaer (and now DPA) mics so much over the years and been let down so few few that I can hardly think of even once. I think of them as digital mics - 1 or 0 - working perfectly or dead (and this is usually easy to spot with the crushed head.)

I just have so much confidence in their mics that I would feel confident relying on them - and inevitably we RELY on mics. But, all that said - i have very little experience directly with the 4090 mics, so the book is still open.

These other mics Tom shows look interesting indeed but for me its DPA's gig to lose.


Grant Conklin:

Tom - Thanks for clarifying that M30's have plastic diaphragms.  I suspected as much, but could not verify.  Until very recently, the SF101 was at the top of my list for the day when I could afford one.  Then I discovered that the DPA 4090 and the 4007 both have nickel foil diaphragms.  And if I read the material correctly, they both are pre-aged with temperature.  It leads me to wonder why the 4007 would enjoy the reputation of being so robust, but not the 4090.  From what little I know, titanium seems like it should be a better material, but how do the DPA's stack up durability-wise next to the SF101?

Here's some interesting info on mic construction: ology-Guide/Microphone%20Stability.aspx

I hadn't heard of the NTI mics.  I presume the M4260 is a plastic diaphragm?  

Bob - Thanks again for your thoughts.



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