Sennheiser MKH-416

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Gregory Lee, Sep 25, 2003.

  1. Gregory Lee

    Gregory Lee Guest

    Does anyone use this mic with their pd-150/vx2000/GL1 (or other small
    pro-sumer camera but not large digital betacam)?

    If so, how does it compare to the less expensive shotguns, eg. K6/ME66

    The MKH-416 uses AB/Tonader/Parallel power, as opposed to Phantom
    power. Can anyone explain in layman's terms the difference between the
    two, and why one is used more for film/TV?

    I heard that the vx2000/pd150 have poor internal mic pre-amps, and
    poor S/N ratios; Does that mean one should use a portable external mic
    If one does not use a pre-amp, is there any point in using an
    expensive mic like the MKH-416 with the vx2000/pd150, if there is so
    much hiss anyway?
    Gregory Lee, Sep 25, 2003
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  2. Gregory Lee

    David McCall Guest

    Phantom powering refers to a system where the audio signal
    is applied to the balanced line across pins 2 and 3, and the
    "+" (positive) side of the DC power is applied both pins 2 and 3,
    while pin 1 carries the "-" (negative).

    Since the positive is applied to both pins 1 and 2, there is no
    DC current applied across the microphone. This arrangement
    is safe for dynamic and ribbon microphones, and is less
    susceptible to introducing noise.

    T-power uses pins 2 and 3 to carry both power and audio.
    The "+" (positive) side of the power is supplied to pin 2 and
    the "-" (negative) is applied to pin 3.

    T-power is less common today than it was when the 416 was
    manufactured. The disadvantage is that the power is applied
    right across the same pair of wires that the mic is connected.

    T-power is NOT compatible with dynamic, ribbon, or phantom
    powered microphones, and could cause damage to any mic
    that is not designed to use T-power.

    Some further reading for you (this one has schematics)

    You can find much more by using the following search string
    phantom power schematic AB OR Tonader OR Parallel

    I hope this is close enough to layman's terms to help.
    As far as I know, the signal passes through the built in pre-amp
    anyway. An outboard preamp might help in that you could optimise
    the level coming in to minimise the noise. Having said that. Recent
    reports claim that the noise has been reduced in newer units. There
    was also talk that the noise of the PD-150 never was particularly
    high (as compared to other cameras), if used properly.
    If your unit has "so much hiss" take it back. If you need better sound
    than a PD-150 can provide, then you should consider using a professional
    DAT recorder to record your audio separately.

    David McCall, Sep 25, 2003
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  3. Gregory Lee

    Ron Charles Guest

    I would use a 416T over a K6/ME66 anyday. Just get a phantom to T power
    converter barrel (about $50) and use it on any DV or MiniDV camera with
    phantom power. I use the 416T on both PD150 and AGDVX100 units on a daily
    basis, and the K6/ME66 as a backup.
    Ron Charles, Sep 25, 2003
  4. If you're going to go the extra mile and get a 416, consider the
    MKH-60. It has some cut filters that I don't think the 416 has, and it
    takes regular phantom power. We used the MKH-60's at CNN and I liked them
    a lot. They're really tough too.

    brian a. henderson, Sep 25, 2003
  5. Gregory Lee

    Gregory Lee Guest

    Thanks for the explanation. Sounds like AB power is becoming a thing
    of the past.

    I don't have a Vx2000/pd150, but was considering getting one. My only
    concern was the sound.
    Gregory Lee, Sep 26, 2003
  6. Only the older 416's use T-Power. All of the more recent ones (possibly for 10
    years now or more) are 48 volt phantom. They will be marked 416 P48 on the side.
    If you are buying a new or recently manufactured 416 it will be phantom powered.
    Charles Tomaras, Sep 26, 2003
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