MKE300/D Difference?

49 replies [Last post]
Arthur.S
Offline
Joined: Jun 2 1999

I've just bought my 2nd of these excellent value Mic's (the 'D' version). Just as last time though, the mic itself is badged as an 'MKE300'. Only a sticker on the box bears the name 'MKE300D'. Is there any way to physically tell the difference between the two? Not that I'm the suspicious type....

Jim Bird
Offline
Joined: Sep 15 2000

Hi,

Correct the sticker on the box is the only way to tell the difference between the two.

I made a call the supplier when my MK300D arrived and that is what he said.

Jim Bird

Alan Craven
Offline
Joined: Jan 26 2001

If you unscrew and remove the hot-shoe attachment, you can see some copper screening down the screw hole in the D version, which is not there in the ordinary version.

John Willett
John Willett's picture
Offline
Joined: Jun 1 2001

Arthur - you have mail.

There is an easy way to identify the -D version of the MKE 300.

If you remove the windshield you will see a "D" scratched into the plastic.

I have sent you an e-mail with the pictures showing you where this is and what it looks like.

John

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

Arthur.S
Offline
Joined: Jun 2 1999

Thanks guys - I got the e-mail John, thanks.
Now......The older mic doesn't have the 'D' scratched into it, but is has the copper screening. The new mic has the 'D' - but it doesn't have the screening!
The very first time (about a year ago) that I used the older mic on my cam, I got a 'buzz'. had to disconect it & go back to the cam mic. This hasn't happened since. I haven't used the new mic yet. Thinks I'll be trying it out tonight!
Maybe Sennheiser have changed the screening?

Alan Craven
Offline
Joined: Jan 26 2001

My MKE300 predates the D version. It was modified for me by Sennheiser.

Used on the hot shoe of my XMI the induced noise made it unusable as it was originally. Move it a few centimetres away and it was OK. With the modification I can use it on the hot shoe, but I normally use it fitted into a Beyer EA86 shock mount to reduce handling noise. I fit a 10 cm length of plastic conduit over the end of the MKE body to do this.

I suspect the current D version is modified in a different way. It certainly boosts the cost a lot more. I paid £25 for the modification

Jim Bird
Offline
Joined: Sep 15 2000

Hi,

My MKE300D was a quite a bit more expensive than the standard one, I also use mine with a XM1 and it works just fine, in some ways, that proves I have the correct model.

Jim Bird.

Arthur.S
Offline
Joined: Jun 2 1999

Ok, tried out the new mic, & all is well. So Sennheiser have obviously changed the modification - no copper screening. Seems a bit daft that they don't badge the thing as 300D.
One thing...I saw a tip on this board to use a 3.5mm mono to stereo plug to get a kind of pseudo stereo. When I plug the mic in to this though I get nothing - no sound at all?

John Willett at Home
Offline
Joined: Jun 29 2001

OK - let's straighten things out...

Sennheiser only make the MKE 300

The MKE 300-D is a modification done in the UK.

The modification is the same and there have been no changes (as far as I know) to the way it has been done.

The modification is simply a metal screen, insulated on the inside and one edge by gaffer tape, that is wraped around the internal pcb and attached to the microphone screen, to help protect the microphone from RF interference radiated by the camera.

When bought new as a modified mivrophone (MKE 300-D) there is a sticker on the box thad adds -D to the model number and a "D" is scratched onto the mic. body underneath the windshield.

Existing units can be modified for £30 +VAT (it was £25 +VAT a year or two ago) which is simply a half-hour labour charge.

I hope this clarifies things.

The MKE 300 is really only intended for consumer cameras and a camera with a value of much over £1,000 should really have the K6+ME66 microphone, which is much better.

John

Arthur.S
Offline
Joined: Jun 2 1999

So what does every other country do John? Surely the UK can't be the only place in the world that the 300 suffers from digital interference? :confused:

Z Cheema
Offline
Joined: Nov 17 2003

I have never had mine pick up RFI from my camera.
However when I did a shoot near Gatwick it did pick up the radar as it went round and I was a good few miles away.

John Willett
John Willett's picture
Offline
Joined: Jun 1 2001
Quote:
Originally posted by Arthur.S:
So what does every other country do John? Surely the UK can't be the only place in the world that the 300 suffers from digital interference? :confused:

They do the same modification as is done in the UK.

John

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

whittington
Offline
Joined: Aug 12 2002

Anyone know of a good deal on these or any one got one for sale?

Regards
Pete

Pete - Vista i like it ! Adobe 6.5 & Prem-Pro

shaunconnell
Offline
Joined: Jul 17 2004

I have a Panasonic GS70 (£1,000 worth of camcorder) complete with 3CCD and excellent handling. Given that I would like to shoot footage (friends/family social events and reportage) that will ultimately end up on DVD, which mic option do you guys advise to go for - the MKE300D over the K6/M66 option?

Regards
Shaun

John Willett
John Willett's picture
Offline
Joined: Jun 1 2001
Quote:
Originally posted by iluvmygs70:
...which mic option do you guys advise to go for - the MKE300D over the K6/M66 option?

K6+ME66 - this is much better than the MKE 300.

Plus - it's far more versatile (eg: you can add the ME64 head for voice-overs, the MKE 2-60 tie mic., etc.).

Only go for the MKE 300/-D if your camcorder is under £1,000 and you cannot afford the K6.

John

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

shaunconnell
Offline
Joined: Jul 17 2004

As a newbie, I find this forum invaluable - information, options etc that allow me to plan projects.

I would like to thank John for his sound advice on audio recording.

It's refreshing to have the views of an egoless and non partisan expert. The MKE 300 was on my option list, mainly due to cost since like many others on this forum, I am a student.

However, John has outlined the case for smashing a few more piggy banks and running with the K6/M66 option.

My girlfriend fainted, my bank manager laughed but by hook or by crook that K6/M66 is mine.

Thanks John
Shaun

Steamage
Offline
Joined: Nov 11 2003

Question for Alan Craven re MKE300

Hi Alan,
Earlier in this thread, you wrote:

Quote:
"I normally use it fitted into a Beyer EA86 shock mount to reduce handling noise. I fit a 10 cm length of plastic conduit over the end of the MKE body to do this."

Any chance you could post a picture or diagram of how you do this please?

I, too, have the MKE300 and suffered low frequency hum when I used it on my XM1. However, in my case, the hum had absolutely nothing to do with electrical or electro-magnetic interference and everything to do with physical vibrations. The mic actually picks up the motor noise from the tape mechanism and the zoom. The hot-shoe bracket is not well insulated from the sensitive bits. Until recently, I have mounted the mic on an old flash-gun bracket screwed into the bottom of my tripod quick-release plate. Since I bouught a new tripod, this no longer works and I need a new dodge.

A better mic (KE66 or perhaps AT835) is on the wish-list, but I can afford a £15 bracket and a length of plastic tube right now...

Cheers
Mark @ Steam Age

Mark @ Steam Age Pictures - Steam trains on video in aid of railway preservation societies. Latest release: "Mainline 2012, LMS Locomotives", on DVD or Bluray Disc.

Alan Craven
Offline
Joined: Jan 26 2001

I bought a Beyer EA86 shockmount from Composite Video, www.compositevideo.co.uk

Cat. no.3156351, for £14.95.

This has a hot shoe mount and has a tube with two pairs of rubber bands to support a tubular mic of up to 24mm diameter.

I used a 10cm off-cut of black 20mm plastic cable conduit from B&Q. The inside diameter of this is slightly less than the diameter of the screw on cap for the battery of the MKE300, so I wrapped some abrasive paper round a piece of 15mm dowel and reamed the conduit until I could just push the rear of the microphone into it. Go too far and it becomes a loose fit. You could glue it onto the battery cover, but I did not want to. I fit this tube into the rubber bands on the shock mount and then "plug in" the microphone when I want to use it.

Fortunately the microphone is just out of the field of view when mounted.

An even better option uses the Manfrotto sliding plate, which has tapped holes on the side. Fit a male hot shoe adaptor to one of them and fix a female hot shoe socket onto a suitably bent flash bracket, then mount your microphone on this. Nowadays I use a K6/ME67 mounted this way.

You are right about the noise pick up. It is mechanical rather than electromagnetic. since I had my XM1 serviced last winter, the tape drive is even noisier!

Steamage
Offline
Joined: Nov 11 2003

Many thanks Alan. I'll pop into Homebase on my way home tonight.

Regarding the Manfrotto tripod plate - sounds very like what I used to do on my old MF-136 pan-head. I have the long, multi-standard base-plate with lots of extra threaded holes in it. This overhangs the front of the pan-head just enough to expose one of the holes. A friend made up a short bit of steel rod with a 1/4" Whitworth screw on one end and socket on the other to which I screwed the flash bracket, with the result that the mic sat about 6" to the right of the camera, almost in line with the camera handle - ideal.

My new tripod is a Vinten ProTouch 5, which is Manfrotto 525 legs and the MF-501 head. The QR plate for this does not permit a similar setup. When properly balanced, the camera barely overhangs the pan head, the QR plate doesn't at all, and I cannot find anywhere else to attach a bracket. I'm currently using a little gadget for firing a slave flash gun in the cam hot-shoe. Its a plastic cube with a light sensor on the front and hot-shoe "plug and socket" bottom and top. It does the job most of the time, but the motor-hum is audible in quiet situations.

What sort of tripod do you have and which MF plate do you use? I'm intrigued by the idea of tapped holes "in the side".

BTW - do you ever use the XM1's "mic att" setting with either the ME67 or the MKE300, and if so, when?

Thanks again
Mark @ Steam Age

Mark @ Steam Age Pictures - Steam trains on video in aid of railway preservation societies. Latest release: "Mainline 2012, LMS Locomotives", on DVD or Bluray Disc.

Alan Craven
Offline
Joined: Jan 26 2001

Bear in mind that my needs are unusual - I only ever use the camera for wildlife with a 1.7x convertor lens attached, and often have to carry my gear some distance and regularly take it on flights. Weight is thus a significant factor for me.

I use a carbon fibre Gitzo Reporter G1127 with a Gitzo 2380 head. The legs only weigh 1.3 kg, and are totally rigid. I usually weight the legs with a bag hung from the hook on the bottom of the centre colum - if I don't, the legs tend to move during panning due to the drag of the head.

Your old set up sounds very like mine. The Manfrotto sliding plate is part no MN357. It has two sections, one of which can slide fore and aft (and can be locked) in the other, which is fixed to the head. It is intended to enable you to balance a camera on the head. The lower section (fixed to head) has a 1/4" and a 3/8" Whitworth tapped hole in the side for the attachment of accessories.

My main problem with audio is actually picking up the bird's call, which is the attraction of the ME67. It is "hot" and very directional. I never need to use the attenuator, in fact I regularly need to boost the sound level during editing. This is why noise is a problem for me. I can reduce background noise using cool Edit, but too much reduction definitely degrades the audio.

Steamage
Offline
Joined: Nov 11 2003

Just to report back, quickly...

The plastic tube / EA86 works a treat with the MKE300. Thanks Alan.

Cheers
Mark @ Steamage

Mark @ Steam Age Pictures - Steam trains on video in aid of railway preservation societies. Latest release: "Mainline 2012, LMS Locomotives", on DVD or Bluray Disc.

pyrokid
Offline
Joined: Aug 20 2004

Hi all,

New member here so please be kind to me :)

I own a Sony VX2100E and have just purchased the 300D to help improve directional pick up of sound. I have tried the mike and i seem to get a noise that resembles "Macine noise" as if there is a motor running and the mike is picking it up.
If i remove the mike from the hot shoe and hold it a few inches away from camera it disapeares.
Mike box is also marked as a 300d but i see NO copper OR D scratched on the plastic.

Has anyone else had this problem ?

Thanks ,

Mick.

Arthur.S
Offline
Joined: Jun 2 1999

Mick, where did you buy the mic from?

pyrokid
Offline
Joined: Aug 20 2004

Hi Arthur.

I got the mike from H Prestons, the same place i got my camera about 6 months ago

i have looked under the wind jammer and it does have a D scratched on it.

pyrokid
Offline
Joined: Aug 20 2004

addition to last post... I got camera 6 months ago. Mike came today

Arthur.S
Offline
Joined: Jun 2 1999

The reason I ask Mick, is that I am having the same problem with a 300D I bought from 'Ask Direct'. It has the D scratched on, but no copper shielding. I'm now into a row with them over a refund. For the record, I have another 300D, with no 'D' but it has the copper shielding, and works perfectly with both my cams.
According to them, the mics come direct from Sennheiser. But according to John Willets - who knows a thing or two about mics - Sennheiser don't do the D mod themselves.

pyrokid
Offline
Joined: Aug 20 2004

strange.

I presume, the the guy doing the modification must be having the odd bad day.

Unfortubnatly i didnt try my mic untill returning home from work this evening and i was due to use it tomorrow for filming the British fireworks championships at stanford hall.

Looks as if i will have to rely on the standard sony fitment, and the mic on my pd250. I was in fact going to purchase the sony one but after the guy at the shop told me the 300d was far superior i took his word for it.

well you live and learn.

Good luck with your argument and i hope you manage to resolve it. i feel a little peeved to have parted with £159.00 just so i can record HUM

Regards,

Mick.

John Willett at Home
Offline
Joined: Jun 29 2001
Quote:
Originally posted by Arthur.S:
...according to John Willett - who knows a thing or two about mics - Sennheiser don't do the D mod themselves.

Er - the "D" mod. is done by Sennheiser UK by the most experienced microphone engineer.

John

John Willett at Home
Offline
Joined: Jun 29 2001
Quote:
Originally posted by pyrikid:
...i see NO copper OR D scratched on the plastic.

If there is no "D" scratched on the plastic it is not an MKE 300-D but a normal MKE 300.

John

John Willett at Home
Offline
Joined: Jun 29 2001
Quote:
Originally posted by pyrokid:
...told me the 300d was far superior ...

And so it is ;)

But only for camcorders under about £1,000 - for better camcorders the K6+ME66 is far superior.

John

Arthur.S
Offline
Joined: Jun 2 1999
Quote:
Originally posted by John Willett at Home:
OK - let's straighten things out...

Sennheiser only make the [b]MKE 300

The MKE 300-D is a modification done in the UK.
[/b]

John, now you've REALLY confused me! :confused:
I'm assuming now, that the one I have that actually DOES what is sez on the tin, is a 300 modified. So the one that doesn't (though it seemed to be OK at first) Is an 'official' 300D. So why no copper shielding? From the growing list of posts around the net concerning the failure of this mic to perform with digital cams, I'd say Sennheiser need to get their act together!

John Willett at Home
Offline
Joined: Jun 29 2001

The MKE 300 is an old microphone designed in the days of analogue camcorders and gives superb sound for the money.

Digital cameras radiate a high level of RF interference (which they shouldn't if they were fully ec compliant, in my opinion).

The MKE 300-D is UK modified with a Faraday cage around the internal PCB to minimise the effects of RF interference from the camera.

This mic. should really only be used with cameras under about £1,000 with which it seems to work very well - complaints here are minimal.

It should NOT be used with cameras in the £1,500+ range (eg: Sony VX 200, PD 150, PD 170, etc. or Canon series). Most of the complaints regarding the MKE 300/-D seem to be from these cameras.

However, the MKE 300/-D is far too cheap a mic. to be used with such cameras and the K6+ME66 is a much better match for these.

There are no complains about this mic.

John

Arthur.S
Offline
Joined: Jun 2 1999

I've 2 cams. a second hand Panasonic DX100B & an MX500B. Both pick up noise, but the 100B is far & away worse. Both work fine with my 'older' (copper shielded) 300D. As far as I can see then, the mod made by Sennheiser themselves is crap. I - and others - would have been better off buying a plain 'ol 300 & paying someone 25 quid to do the mod. I can't see what difference the cost of the actual cam makes? If the mic is sold as 'digital' compatible - which it is - it should work with any digital cam.

jomo
Offline
Joined: Aug 16 2004

I am trying to use a MKE 300D with a SONY DCR-TRV20E but with no joy. The mic is picking up a vast amount of motor and handling noise. I have fitted a Beyer EA86 shock mount which hasn't improved the matter at all.
The mic packaging is marked as a D and there is also the D scratched on the mic body under the windshield, but, I cannot see any extra sheilding, what should I be looking for?

John Willett
John Willett's picture
Offline
Joined: Jun 1 2001
Quote:
Originally posted by jomo:
The mic packaging is marked as a D and there is also the D scratched on the mic body under the windshield, but, I cannot see any extra sheilding, what should I be looking for?

If it has a "D" scratched on it, then it is a "D" version.

To see if is does have the scren you have to unscrew the shoe mount and peer into the screw hole to see if you can see the copper colour inside.

John

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

jomo
Offline
Joined: Aug 16 2004

Hi John,

Thanks for message. I have checked through the screw hole as suggested and it has indeed the copper you mention inside.

Thanks

John

pyrokid
Offline
Joined: Aug 20 2004

Hi all,

Just an update to an earlier post. I returned the MK300 to the retailer i got it from who in return sent me another. I have tried this only to get the same problem again.

I now feel as some of you have stated that the only way forward is to get the K6 and ME66.

But WOW what a difference in price... I think my days of trying to improve sound are over.

Just out of interest though, Is the ME66 stereo ? seems a lot of money to still only be able to record in mono.

Do any of your hardcore video guys know a cheap source for the K6 ME66 ???

Thanks in advance.

Mick.

Alan Craven
Offline
Joined: Jan 26 2001

Most high quality microphones are mono! You can always use a mono/stereo adaptor - in most cases there are no impedance problems with short leads. I do this successfully with both an MKE300D and a K6/ME67 combination and a Canon XM2.

The alternative is to copy the L audio track to the R when editing. This is straightforward with Premiere, and probably most other software too.

LTF are usually cheaper than most for the K6/ME66 find them at

http://www.ltf-uk.com/

John Willett at Home
Offline
Joined: Jun 29 2001
Quote:
Originally posted by pyrokid:
...get the K6 and ME66.

But WOW what a difference in price... I think my days of trying to improve sound are over.

Just out of interest though, Is the ME66 stereo ? seems a lot of money to still only be able to record in mono.

Do any of your hardcore video guys know a cheap source for the K6 ME66 ???

The K6+ME66 is still an inexpensive mic.

A professional mic. like the MKH 60 is around £1,000.

A good stereo mic. would be well over £2,000.

LTF often seem to be the cheapest around and are often recommended here. If you look at their Clearence section you may find a good s/h bargain. There are some there now.

John

Arthur.S
Offline
Joined: Jun 2 1999

There's no doubt that these kind of problems put people off trying to improve their sound quality. The 300D may only be a toy to the serious sound guys, but to most it's still a pretty hefty investment. Laying out 180 quid for brain damage is no ones idea of fun! Incidentaly Alan, I tried the mono/stereo adapter. All I get is silence. :( Still (very) puzzled why my original 300D works fine with my cams, but I can't get a 'newer' one that will.

Alan Craven
Offline
Joined: Jan 26 2001

Arthur,

Did you buy your mono/stereo adaptor plug from Maplin? The ones they sell, like many other cheap 3.5 mm stereo jacks are out of spec - the shape of the tip is wrong, and they do not make contact with standard sockets.

Arthur.S
Offline
Joined: Jun 2 1999

CORRECT! How on earth did they manage to F*** up a standard fitting!!??
Any suggestions where to get one Alan?

Alan Craven
Offline
Joined: Jan 26 2001

Try Composite Video

www.compositevideo.co.uk.

or Studiospares

www.studiospares.com

I think Keene sell the same type as Maplin.

p4lm4n
Offline
Joined: Jun 5 2006

any easy way to mod it yourself please?

is that it just adding more screening? no additional capicitor to kill any hum

anyone found a website to show you how to do it all?

John Willett
John Willett's picture
Offline
Joined: Jun 1 2001
Arthur.S wrote:
MKE 300 / MKE 300-D ... Is there any way to physically tell the difference between the two?

If you remove the foam windshield you will see there is a "D" burned into the plastic with a soldering iron tip.

If you want to send me a PM, I can e-mail you a picture to show you where it is, if you can't find it.

The "D" version is a modification done in the UK, which is why it is not printed on the box like a factory model number.

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

p4lm4n
Offline
Joined: Jun 5 2006

hiyah thx for the reply. i have the 300 not the d.

i wanted to convert it myself £25 - £40 for a bit of extra shielding seems excessive when i am capable of adding that myself , sort of thing

John Willett
John Willett's picture
Offline
Joined: Jun 1 2001
p4lm4n wrote:
hiyah thx for the reply. i have the 300 not the d.

i wanted to convert it myself £25 - £40 for a bit of extra shielding seems excessive when i am capable of adding that myself , sort of thing

I wish you luck -it's not easy.

The shield has to totally enclose the pcb with no gaps at all and to be earthed.

The shape is quite odd and the shield has to be insulated on one side to prevent shorts and to be electrically fully closed to make a Faraday cage.

The metal is very special and very expensive as it is a copper sheet with electrically conductive adhesive.

I would advise NOT doing it yourself, but to send it to Sennheiser UK Service Dept. to be done. Cost is £30 +VAT and carriage - which is basically a half-hour labour charge by a highly qualified engineer.

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

Alan Craven
Offline
Joined: Jan 26 2001
p4lm4n wrote:
hiyah thx for the reply. i have the 300 not the d.

i wanted to convert it myself £25 - £40 for a bit of extra shielding seems excessive when i am capable of adding that myself , sort of thing

I can vouch for the quality and efficacy of the conversion - I had my 300 converted by Sennheiser straight away. The D version was not on sale at that time, you had to buy and then get it converted.

Looking at the microphone, I would not fancy the job myself, and I have a background in electrical engineering and electronics!

The alternative is to mount the microphone on a bracket so that it is well away from the camera, preferably on the side away from the transport. Having said that, you will get better results with the converted microphone if you do that.

Wisz
Offline
Joined: Jan 30 2001

I will also endorse John and Alan's views.

I also have a background in electronics, including many years of RF engineering on Military systems.

Believe me it could be more trouble than it's worth.

Richard
Wisz Media Services

Richard Wisz Media Services

DAVE M
Offline
Joined: May 17 1999

yes - if you bugger the mic I assume that sennheiser aren't going to give you a new one