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  • Neumann KMS105 Microphone

    Anyone ever try a condenser mic for live performance? The Neumann KMS105 might be my next venture, but at $700 I'll have to gather a lot of facts about it first.

  • #2
    generally, condensers are too sensitive for live work, IMHO. If you are well isolated in the room, like in a corner, where no sound will be picked up but your voice, and the ambient noise in the room is low enough maybe...
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    • #3
      I have a friend who's used an AKG C1000s for twenty years and swears by it. A bit less coin.



      My own experience was with using an AKG c451e uni as an ONLY mic for both guitar & voice many many years ago and it was pretty acceptable. But I'm not so sure I'd be okay with that setup today. As just a vocal or just a guitar mic, it's fine, though.
      Hi Mom!

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      • #4
        Had one for a bit and got rid of it. Wasn't at all impressed with the sound, seemed pretty average/normal to me. for that kind of $$$$ I expected to hear the voice of God. It also was a PITA around monitors. I traded it for six Senn 835's and don't regret that trade for one minute.

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        • #5






          Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Rock
          View Post

          Anyone ever try a condenser mic for live performance? The Neumann KMS105 might be my next venture, but at $700 I'll have to gather a lot of facts about it first.




          When BLUE came out with the en*CORE series mics, their promotion "schtick" was about how well the en*CORE 300 compared to KMS105. American Idol in fact, used the en*CORE 300's last year. You might want to check that out as a possible alternative. I did a brief in-store comparison, and came home with the BLUE.



          If you're intent on spending $700. for a hand-held vocal mic, you might also consider the Sennheiser e965. This is a mic you want to hold, and see it in-the-flesh,,, not on a web-page. Very impressive and versatile mic. There are switches that are not immediately apparent by simply looking at the mic. You have to remove the grille to gain access to the switches.



          Tomm mentioned "The Voice of God"; well, the only mic that's ever done that for me, is the Sennheiser e945 (super-cardioid dynamic). This is one helluva mic in my opinion, and worth checking out. You need good technique however. I liked it so much, I went back to the store and bought the sibling e935 (cardioid). I figured the e035 might be a little more forgiving when I'm running sound for someone with less-than-ideal technique. Side-by-side though, I prefer the e945.



          IMO, the e945 is well suited for someone who wants to accent the low-end of their voice, and would be an ideal choice for someone who sings ballads, or for crooners, etc. I haven't tried it on female vocals yet.



          The e945's low-end capability does not dominate, nor "cloud" the intelligibility of the vocal; it's wonderfully articulate in that regard. It just seems to "wrap" that articulation in a warm cocoon. Feedback, and off-axis rejection is excellent.



          I don't think the e945 would be ideally suited for someone looking for an "edgy" rock-vocal mic.
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          • #6
            Try a Shure SM81. Your ears will not be able to tell the difference but your wallet will.
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            • #7






              Quote Originally Posted by daddymack
              View Post

              generally, condensers are too sensitive for live work, IMHO. If you are well isolated in the room, like in a corner, where no sound will be picked up but your voice, and the ambient noise in the room is low enough maybe...




              Microphones can't tell any difference between your voice and ambient noise. They simply pick up signal and send it into the electronics proportional to how strong it arrives at the element. In this respect no mics pick up further nor closer (on axis).



              As far as the KM105 there is a big difference between it and others mentioned here. It is a large diaphragm condenser mic and all the others have small diaphragms. It make a big difference in the low end of your voice. You may not hear $700 worth if the rest of your sound system isn't up to par however.
              Don Boomer

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              • #8
                I'm surprised that more people on this solo and duo forum aren't using a headset. No mic stand to set up and tear down, less 'stuff' in front of your face, and you can look around at stuff (people, charts, neck of your guitar, whatever's on TV, or...) Granted, you can't pull away for the big notes. But you're never off-axis, either.

                So to keep on topic with the O.P., I'm happy with my Shure WH30, which is a condenser (wired, not wireless). I don't have much experience using different mic's, but it's a big step up from the cardioid Audio-Technica Pro8HE that I was using. Crisp, clean, full, articulate; I find that I'm singing with more nuance than with the old mic. I did need to shorten the croakie that holds it on by a whole lot more than you'd think. Otherwise it sits too low to sing into. And a bonus for using a condenser is that during breaks you can just kill the phantom power if you don't have a mute button on your board. Very handy, eh?



                I sure wish that the "try one in the store" thing worked for me. I usually can't tell anything about a product in the store; it's not till I've owned something for a couple months that I really have an opinion on something.

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                • #9
                  I use a KMS-105 as my main live vocal mic. and I love it. It is intended for live use. I agree that the rest of your system needs to be good quality to get the most benefit. I have been using it through a Crest mixer, Driverack 480 or Protea 4.24C processing, and SRX speakers, and it sounds great. I use a tiny bit of compression on it. I get comments on the vocal sound quality fairly often. I don't have a problem with feedback except in really loud, crowded full band situations where the back wall is close and hard. For those cases I carry a Sennheiser 855 to use if the 105 is not working out.



                  The biggest issue I have with a 105 is making sure it doesn't get stolen at certain gigs. Maybe I'm being overly paranoid, but I've seen people eyeing it at times. I hide the distinctive red diamond in the clip. I also mute the channel and pop it in my pocket on breaks and immediately after we stop playing if the situation seems to warrant it.



                  Like any mic, it is probably better for some voices than others. There's a silver one on the Seattle Craigslist right now for 490.

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