Sennheiser ME 2 mike options

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Dave R Smith
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I have the ew112 - g2 radio mike kit typically run to XLR camera inputs.
I believe it's mike (unmarked) is the ME 2.

I am getting a second ME 2 for interview use to use as a line mike.
I can either get:
1) the ME 2 with 3.5mm pin.
Can then use as spare in case current ME 2 is broken:eek:
OR via a 3.5mm female to xlr cable (made up at music shop) to XLT extension cable and camera.

2) the ME 2 with XLR output.
Can't then use as spare in case current ME 2 is broken, but no need for 3.5mm to xlr convertor cable.

Option 1) seems most flexible, but I believe the ME 2 requires phantom power, so I'm not sure if the 3.5 mm to xlr connector in option 1) will impede phantom power or cause any other issues.

If I get 2 3.5mm to xlr convertors I can also then do 2 * line, if radio may be a problem.

I guess Mr Willett is the main man to ask.
Any reccomendations for good price from reputable online seller also appreciated.

mooblie
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To use phantom powering (and XLR socket) for a Senny lav with 3.5mm plug, you need a Sennheiser MZA 900 P. I'm pretty sure making up a passive XLR to 3.5mm adapter cable won't work.

However - as you say, JW will be along and give us chapter and verse here soon.

BTW: consider an MKE 2-ew-Gold - massively better sound than the ME2.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Dave R Smith
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mooblie wrote:
To use phantom powering (and XLR socket) for a Senny lav with 3.5mm plug, you need a Sennheiser MZA 900 P. I'm pretty sure making up a passive XLR to 3.5mm adapter cable won't work.

However - as you say, JW will be along and give us chapter and verse here soon.

BTW: consider an MKE2-Gold - massively better sound than the ME2.

Thanks Mooblie.
I thought I was being indecisive in asking the question for what seems a straightforward matter.

Thank you for the Gold mention. I scanned through the recent thread on that thinking it may have answered my question.

John Willett
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mooblie has given the correct answer - you will need the MZA 900P and the MKE 2-gold-ew is a very much better mic. (but you will need the MZA 900P with that as well if you want to use it cable-bound).

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

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you John.
Thank-you again Mooblie for taking the trouble to do the 2 links.

The convertors at £80 are a surprise.

I don't have the budget of the Rolling Stones so can't justify £160 for connection convertors, there has to be a better/cheaper way.

DAVE M
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so what's your budget?

John's favorite line (which is true0 is that a mic is pretty much a one off purchase and it may see you out. It will still be pretty good 20 years down the line whareas a camera will be only good as a door stop.

You're after a tieclip phantom powered mic/ omni?

Dave R Smith
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I agree Dave, unlike video gear, sound gear lasts for donkeys years, so quality is worth a premium.

I have 1 lapel mike (with sennheiser ew112-g2 radi transmitter).
To increase miking options I would like to have 2 lapel line mikes.
I can use my ME 2 from radio mike for one, and either buy another ME 2 mike or MKE 2-gold-ew as reccomended for the 2nd.

I believe both of these require phantom power and cameras I use typically have this on XLR socket.

It's not the mike I'm complaining about, but 3.5mm to 3 pin xlr connector.
I would expect such a connector to cost £5 online.

P.S. Is 20 years same as Donkeys years?
I have a 'bag for life' from tesco. Looking at the state of it, my time is running out.:eek:

John Willett
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Dave R Smith wrote:
Thank-you John.

The converters at £80 are a surprise.

I don't have the budget of the Rolling Stones so can't justify £160 for connection converters, there has to be a better/cheaper way.

Surprise to me too - they retail for £111, so £80 is a bargain!

The "converters" are not just an adaptor. They have an internal PCB that will accept 48V phantom power from the mixer and convert it into the unbalanced "plug-in power" required by the mic. It also converts the unbalanced microphone into a balanced one and has an LED for checking the phantom.

It is an active device with a quality that will not degrade the quality of the mic.

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

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you John.
It sounds like (no pun intended) the mikes mentioned are not designed for xlr inputs.
To require an expensive box of tricks in the middle sounds like an on location work around or a wrong choice of mike.

Are we saying an equivalent mike (ME 2 / MKE 2-gold-ew) can't be bought which is designed for (& with) with XLR output?

mooblie
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Dave R Smith wrote:
Are we saying an equivalent mike (ME 2 / MKE 2-gold-ew) can't be bought which is designed for (& with) with XLR output?

MKE 2-P-C? - but you'd need John to confirm suitability. Don't look up the price, though! :eek: Much better (and more flexible) to go for the MZA 900P and the MKE 2-Gold-ew combination IMHO!

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Dave R Smith
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mooblie wrote:
Don't look up the price, though! :eek:

Red rag..bull.. $312
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/227154-REG/Sennheiser_MKE2_P_C_MKE_2_PC_Omni_Lavalier_Mic.html#specifications
I appreciate your opinion Mooblie, especially when typically buying this gear without a demo.
Have to admit the ME2 has been good.
I was most impressed when a gas mains fitter in the middle of road, central London was doing piece to camera with it (via radio transmitter) buses etc passing either side and sound bouncing off adjacent buildings. I thought we'd have to redo it off-site, but it came out well.

DAVE M
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Not that it helps you use the existing stuff, but I use a pair of AKG ck97 tie clip mics for a lot of my stuff. they (obviously) clip on but also come with a small bendable (using a knuckle) tube like device.

think a slim biro with a hinge and a grove for the cable along it's length. The mic can be slotted in and used with blutac on a lecturn or flown ith the mic head angled.

the mics can also be hidden on desks etc.

they cost about £200 per unit - maybe a little more

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you Dave.
Using existing gear (other than cameras xlr inputs) isn't essential, it just seemed a practical way before I encountered the proverbial fly in the ointment.

I found yours on a couple of sites:

http://www.computerwarehouse.co.uk/show/9005691/AKG/CK97-C_Blue_Line_miniature_cardioid_tie-clip_microphone?utm_source=TrustedFeed&utm_medium=CPC&utm_term=AKG%20CK97-C_Blue_Line_miniature_cardioid_tie-clip_microphone&utm_content=9005691&utm_campaign=RT

https://www.audiolinks.com/tek9/tek9.asp?pg=products&specific=jnkorqkrq

It has a 'C' suffix on the links and mentions need of a seperate pre-amp module - which is presumably the convertor with PCB and possibly even a battery.
It seems to have a chunky end, not 3.5mm, but specs don't say.
Is this the same version you are referring to?
Or does your AKG ck97 mikes have xlr outputs?

DAVE M
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The "blue line" range is similar to the sennheiser concept.

Loking at the AKG page they've reduced the available range but.....

http://www.akg.com/site/products/powerslave,id,232,nodeid,32,_language,EN,pid,232.html

there's a modular mic body - maybe 4" x 3/4 which is the phantom powered guts of the system. This has a bayonet style end to which several capsules are connected as the need arises.

if you lok at the links on there the mics have a little idiot proof picture of the pick up pattern

so you have one body and maybe a cardiod "ordinary " capsule that adds an inch, or a gun mic capsule, or tie clip . I also have a couple of 18" slim goosenecks that have a bendy top near the capsule. They are used plugged straight into ash bases from canford so that they look nice on camera and are less chunky than other solutions

DAVE M
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this might be a solution. but make sure that you order the right variation. The guys on the phone know what is what

http://www.studiospares.com/Mics-Modular/AKG-C417Pp-Lavalier-Phantom-Version/invt/419680

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you Dave.
Just spoke to Terry at studiospares. I mentioned your name - he knows you.
Very helpful.

In general context he feels lavalier mike can have 3.5mm to xlr simply wired.
For example the AKG CK77Wr comes with either xlr, mini xlr or bar wire.
And AKG C417Pp Lavalier Phantom Version you mentioned is another option.

On his own record of oddities, it seems one of the differences between Sennheiser ME 2 and MKE2-gold is that former is 9v and latter is 48v, though can't see this myself on the specs.

He hasn't sold a MZA 900P for several years, so I'm not the only one deterred by its price.

They're based (as you know) by J1 of M1 where I frequently pass, so that's handy, though they don't have a demo area.

John Willett
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Dave R Smith wrote:
Thank-you John.
It sounds like (no pun intended) the mikes mentioned are not designed for xlr inputs.
To require an expensive box of tricks in the middle sounds like an on location work around or a wrong choice of mike.

Are we saying an equivalent mike (ME 2 / MKE 2-gold-ew) can't be bought which is designed for (& with) with XLR output?

All tie mics are unbalanced plug-in power devices. Those that have XLRs for phantom power have the equivalent of the circuit of the MZA 900P inside the XLR (or use another box).

The MKE 2 with XLR is the MKE 2-P - this is about £70 more expensive than the MKE 2-gold-ew + MZA 900P.

You could also go for the MKE 2-60 if you have a K6 series system, as the MKE 2-60 plugs into the K6 (which does a similar job to the MZA 900P with the added advantage that it can be battery powered as well as phantom powered. This option is about £120 more expensive than the MKE 2-gold-ew + MZA 900P, but has the advantage of greater flexibility as you can use the K6 with other heads (or is much more cost-effective if you already have a K6).

The -C bit means that the mic. comes without accessories and you have to buy the MZ 2 as well - the ew version comes complete with clips and windshield so you don't need the MZ 2.

I hope this helps.

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

John Willett
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Dave R Smith wrote:
In general context he feels lavalier mike can have 3.5mm to xlr simply wired.

No - because lavaliers are condenser mics and need power. Plug-in power directly to the mic (this is unbalanced) or phantom via an adaptor.

Take any lav. mic and wire it directly ito an XLR and you would probably blow it up with phantom power.

Dave R Smith wrote:
For example the AKG CK77Wr comes with either xlr, mini xlr or bar wire.
And AKG C417Pp Lavalier Phantom Version you mentioned is another option.

These various connectors are designed to connect to radiomic transmitters that supply plug-in power directly to the mic.. You need a special circuit for phantom.

Dave R Smith wrote:
On his own record of oddities, it seems one of the differences between Sennheiser ME 2 and MKE2-gold is that former is 9v and latter is 48v, though can't see this myself on the specs.

Definitely very wrong. Both mics use about 5V plug-in power (actual capsule spec. is 0.9V to about 9V with most being run on 5V. The MKE 2 is a vastly better mic. than teh ME 2.

Dave R Smith wrote:
He hasn't sold a MZA 900P for several years, so I'm not the only one deterred by its price.

It's not the price - most mics needing the MZA 900P have it delivered with the mic.. The only time it would be purchased on it's own is when someone wants to run a transmitter mic. on a cable.

If you really *must* get a cheap one, then Canford Audio do a range of simple adaptors similar to the MZA 900-P (they don't have the phantom check LED, though). The one suitable for the MKE 2-ew is Canford part number 20-769 and it's £37.05 +VAT. Details are HERE.

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

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you for informed replies John.

When I was talking with studiospares the need for phantom power was acknowledged as being part of the connectivity, so don't know why wires have been crossed on this (or should I say pcb;) ).

I do have the K6 system.

Your feedback not only helps me but corrects any confusion other members may have otherwise been put under.

I am surprised I haven't come across this hinderance to 'plug and play' approach before. Wasn't even mentioned on a sound studio course I did recently, though all mikes were xlr plug and socket with use of patch board on mixing desk.

MKE2-gold seems to be 'plugged' as the best for quality, though would be nice to hear it before buying.

I note the canford 3.5mm/xlr variant says in the specs 3 to 8db insertion loss depending on mike. If that's the same as signal strength reduction, it seems alot.

I can't see a like figure on the MZA 900 P?

mooblie
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John Willett wrote:
....MZA 900P... The only time it would be purchased on it's own is when someone wants to run a transmitter mic. on a cable.

I use a MZA 900P to connect a MKE2 to a SKP500 (when my SK500 is already in use).

Dave R Smith wrote:
I note the canford 3.5mm/xlr variant says in the specs 3 to 8db insertion loss depending on mike. If that's the same as signal strength reduction, it seems alot.
I can't see a like figure on the MZA 900 P?

MZA 900P has switchable gain = 0 or -12dB. This, I believe, is either zero loss (or 12dB signal strength reduction). It also has a switchable bass roll-off filter. JW will confirm/correct me, I'm sure!

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Dave R Smith
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mooblie wrote:
MZA 900P has switchable gain = 0 or -12dB. This, I believe, is either zero loss (or 12dB signal strength reduction). It also has a switchable bass roll-off filter. JW will confirm/correct me, I'm sure!

I saw that, but get the impression this is to deliberately (optionally) reduce signal strength as opposed to an undesired reduction.
As you say, JW will no doubt advise.

John Willett
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mooblie wrote:
MZA 900P has switchable gain = 0 or -12dB. This, I believe, is either zero loss (or 12dB signal strength reduction). It also has a switchable bass roll-off filter. JW will confirm/correct me, I'm sure!

You said it.

John
 
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Dave R Smith
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Dave R Smith wrote:
I note the canford 3.5mm/xlr variant says in the specs 3 to 8db insertion loss depending on mike. If that's the same as signal strength reduction, it seems alot.

I can't see a like figure on the MZA 900 P?

Thank-you John,

Just so I'm clear:
I assume there are 2 slightly different aspects here:
1) Loss (described by Canford as indertion loss) which typically happens when converting analogue signals.
2) Gain, having received the mike input, applying gain (positive or negative) to adjust for recording device.

I understand from the Sennheiser specs that it has 'Gain 0/-12 dB', but that isn't to say there isn't an insertion loss?

John Willett
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The MZA 900-P is an active device - so 0dB gain means that it fully compensates for any "insertion loss" and the mic. goes through without loss.

The -12dB gain is a reduction of 12dB so that you don't overload the mic. input of you have loud signals going through the mic.

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

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you John.

Dave R Smith
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John, or anyone please.
Sennheiser ME2 versus ME2 Gold - odd results on test.

I have just bought the ME2 Gold version (to supplement the ME2) and testing it with MZA 900P line convertor and also comparing it the non-Gold version.
--------------------------------------------------
Test 1
Sony Z1E Channel 1 (audio level set to manual/10), ew112 radio receiver, ME2 mike - peaks at far right on camera audio display.

Sony Z1E Channel 2 (audio level set to manual/10), MZA900P in line covertor, ME2 Gold mike - peaks at about 40% of scale on camera audio display.
--------------------------------------------------
Test 2 (swap 3.5mm mike connections - otherwise the same:
Sony Z1E Channel 1 (audio level set to manual/10), ew112 radio receiver, ME2 gold mike - peaks at far right on camera audio display.

Sony Z1E Channel 2 (audio level set to manual/10), MZA900P in line covertor, ME2 (non-Gold) mike peaks at far right on camera audio display.
--------------------------------------------------

Why should test 1 give more the poor level for the ME2 gold via the MZA900P, but OK for the the non-Gold version?

The -12 MZA900P gain was not engaged, nor bass roll off filter.

mooblie
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ME 2 is +12dB more sensitive than MKE 2 Gold (20mV/Pa vs. 5mV/Pa respectively.)

This extra sensitivity of the ME2 can be useful, but it can hence be more prone to clipping (v.bad!) and generally sounds worse anyway.

Be careful about your tests - maybe the Z1 is limiting the (high) ME2 input in your Test 1/Channel 1 (and Test 2/Channel 2?). If you listen to the recordings, they're probably bouncing off the ceiling.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you Mooblie.
I checked the specs, but the Gold only came with a graph, so I wasn't sure on the sensitivity.
So that explains test 1 - thank-you.

For test 2 I would have expected a similar drop in signal

'Be careful about your tests - maybe the Z1 is limiting the (high) ME2 input in your Test 1/Channel 1 (and Test 2/Channel 2?). If you listen to the recordings, they're probably bouncing off the ceiling.'

I did wonder whether the MZA900P could be suppressing the non-Gold, hence equalising in comparison to the other mike, but the manual says the red light flashes if this happens. But it didn't flash.

I wasn't sure if the Gold version would only be better on vocals when it had to contend with 'perspiring performers', but listening to my own sweet voice the Gold does not have the slight b/g noise/static present in the non-Gold ME2. So, yes I agree it is a better mike, even for the non-perspiring.

Using the roll off filter on the mZA900P had no effect - correctly I suppose, as there was no b/g sounds in the room.

I received several 'anti-pop' heads with the ME2 gold. 4 neat tic tac size capsules like (about 5mm dia.) and a hemispherical head about 10mm diameter - much bigger, so less discrete.

Any comments as to use of either, apart from aesthetics?

I bought the 'flesh' version and saw something v. similar being used by Bill Bailey couple of nights ago in his one man show on TV. If it's good enough for Bill...

mooblie
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I didn't explain what I was getting at too well - sorry! My point about your tests was this:

If you're comparing levels with "(audio level set to manual/10)" and with "peaks at far right on camera audio display" - you're probably seeing the Z1 limiter operating, and not really comparing levels fed into the camera.

Try Test 2 with the audio level set to manual/5 and compare the two mics' levels - so they're both "off the meter's ends stops".

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Dave R Smith
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Thanks Mooblie.
I've since noticed 'Audio limit' set 'on' in the menu, which is one and the same point you're making - so yes, I believe that explains it - thank-you.

Anyone:
Using the ME2(non gold) yesterday I noticed some intermitant crackle, which then went away as someone came in - I put it down to a light thas was switched off.

While doing these tests today, the crackle comes on when I wiggle the cable 3.5mm plug end, so I'm guessing it's a loose solder connection.

Anyone know if it's easy to re-solder, bearing in mind I think the rubber shroud seems to be a factory sealed job - will it need a new 3.5mm plug (preferably with threaded collar).

mooblie
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Never tried to re-solder the plug (John W might advise) but if you need a replacement, you can get them from CPC here. Be careful though, there are a number of different sized 3.5mm plugs with locking screw collars - it has to be the right size for the Sennheiser gear - this one referred to is OK - others may not be.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you Mooblie / Martin.

Duncan Craig
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John Willett wrote:
If you really *must* get a cheap one, then Canford Audio do a range of simple adaptors similar to the MZA 900-P (they don't have the phantom check LED, though). The one suitable for the MKE 2-ew is Canford part number 20-769 and it's £37.05 +VAT. Details are HERE.

To resurrect this old thread, I've just got a couple of these adaptors for my ME2s and UltraDisk 4016Pro (from eBay).

I've A/B tested them against my AA powered Sony ECM44B, and they sound just as good.
I was testing through my EX1 using Sennheiser HD580 cans and using the camera's internal CH1/CH2 audio monitor switch. I was listening for handling noise, background noise, wind noise as I blew across the various capsules at different angles and distances. Proximity effects seemed similar across them all too.

On the whole I'm really happy.
Thanks John!

MartinP
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Hi Duncan - how are you getting on with Canford adapters? I think that this might be the solution for me, as I am getting occasional interference in my ME2 / G2 radio mics and would be nice to have an easy hard-wired solution for sit-down interviews and the like.

Thanks - Martin.

Duncan Craig
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Adaptors

The adaptors worked very nicely on an RBS corporate job I did last week.
I ran them on the end of a matched pair of Musiflex XLR extensions.

So, I'm very pleased with them.

Duncan.