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AMT SP25B mic vs. Schertler Dyn-B transducer - soundclips inside...

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by douglas81, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. douglas81


    Sep 24, 2006
    Find below some soundclips, comparing the AMT SP25B mic and the Schertler Dyn-B transducer.


    Now, I realise the AMT and Dyn-B were designed for live work and, as such, there are a lot of compromises. Also, I know that the important thing is how they sound through a cab. But, I have to be honest - this raw sound is terrible! The Dyn-B is almost offensive to the ear and the AMT is hissy and cheap sounding. Why would I want to amplify this really bad raw sound? I'm even wondering if both these pieces of equipment are faulty...!?

    As a direct comparison, here's a small diaphragm studio condenser, positioned in a similar place, but a little bit further away than the AMT.


    I'd be interested to hear your thoughts...

  2. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Douglas I liked the last clip w/ the Schoeps. Kind of reminded me of Dave Holland's solo DB sound on Emerald Tears.

    My two cents, FWIW, and you may already know all this - It may take some (or even a lot) of time and experimentation to find the best placement for both the AMT and the DYN-B for your bass and your tastes. Good news is that for both, your placement options are almost limitless. I mentioned how Rufus Reid positioned his AMT in that other thread. I tried it, but for a mic really close to the table for live sound, I like the sound with the head of the mic on the vertical centerline, halfway between the bridge and the end of the FB. Between the top of the f-holes is another way to describe it. Even within that spot, putting the mic "touching" the top (w/ a windscreen) vs. pulling it away from the top 1 or 2 inches can really change the sound, at least w/ my bass.

    And I think you're right, the direct tracks are gonna sound more raw than the sound thru a cab. Have to wait and see how the PUB sounds I guess.

    I was not enamored w/ that green putty worm thing on the DYN-B either. But some TB'ers report really good results.

    Are you using a Schertler preamp w/ it?
  3. douglas81


    Sep 24, 2006
    Just had a listen on Last.fm - yeah, not far off. His has a little less room sound and it was probably recorded in stereo (or some reverb added).

    The unfortunate thing is that I tried a lot of different positions out, and this seemed to be the best. The problem with the AMT is that the off axis response seems to be very coloured. Also, despite it being a hyper cardioid, it seems to pick up more off axis sound than the Schoeps wide cardioid capsule. But, again, that may be because of the AMT's poor off axis response. Also, the AMT has much more self noise than I would usually tollerate. Have you noticed this?

    I was really surprised how bad this sounds. In some ways, it does sound quite mic-like, but it sounds like a mic with a really bad frequency response.

    I have the Schertler Pre-A II, and it doesn't seem to help matters. I tried recording it with and without the Pre-A II and decided without was more clear. The Pre-A II added a bit of noise.

    Has anyone else here who owns a Dyn-B ever DI'd it. Does it sound similar to my recording, or is there something wrong with my particular transducer?
  4. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    No. But I am beginning to think you have much more experience w/ mics and much bigger ears than I do. :)
    I tried the DYN-B on loan once, but sent it back. Sounded very boxy. Like a mic inside the bass boxy. It was weird. Had problems w/ weird resonance peaks and low-end feedback. My bass is a modest carved Czech flatback. I could not have imagined using it in a live setting with other instruments. But like I said, that was just me, my bass, my tastes, et al. I really wanted to like it.
  5. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    I didn't think the AMT sounded that bad at all, although I have no idea what your bass sounds like to know how accurate it is. You also didn't say exactly what your ultimate goal is for these mics although it sounds like you'd like to use it for amplified sound at gigs.

    I do not claim to be an expert but this is what works for me.

    Small amp - use pick up

    Small amp and PA - send AMT to the board and use PU for stage reinforcement, the AMT is superior to my PU and sending it only to the PA eliminates any possible feedback issues

    Recording - I use a C414 and an SM81
  6. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Now that I've thought about it a while, I do recall some posts here on TB where some people did report some problems w/ noise from the wiring inside the gooseneck rattling, or something like that. Some people sent theirs back to AMT and had the issue addressed. Maybe some others (don't recall exactly) tried to lessen the problem by putting a gentle twist or curve in the gooseneck. I think maybe AMT has since tried to address this reported problem. Don't know if you know how old yours is. I bought mine in 2003 or 2004.
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I think those clips sound like normal raw clips from live sound devices, and not bad ones at that. I've been consistently surprised about the kinds of signals that provide a good balance and presence in the overall mix; many of them sound decidedly ugly when soloed. Conversely, some really wonderful signals when soloed just completely fail in context. The proof, IMO, is in the pudding (the overall group mix out front).
  8. douglas81


    Sep 24, 2006
    Then all this talk of "it sounds like my bass, only louder" is complete nonsense. I have no doubt it may sound good in the context of a band if everyone is playing, but what about a bass solo in a ballad? If I am playing through a decent cab which has the ability to reproduce the incoming signal accurately, I can't imagine it sounding at all like "my bass, only louder"; that signal sounds nothing like my bass!

    Maybe I'm just too used to playing without an amp. Unless it really does sound like my bass, I think I'm just going to have to be prepared for disappointment.
  9. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Aha! He's figured it out!
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    You are of course free to disagree. In my experience, some of the most "nasty" raw signals combine when amplified with the other instruments and the acoustic sound of the bass to sound very much like "my bass, only louder". Here are a couple of live clips - one an ECM kind of vibe, and one a ballad, that were recorded at a club with a small handheld recorder that was capturing a mix of acoustic and amplified bass sound. While neither is perfect, I think both sound very much like my bass in spite of the fact that the raw signal to the amplifier sounds about as funky as the AMT clip you posted; heck, one or both of them are likely to have been mixtures of a Full Circle pickup and an AMT (I've been through a lot of mics, and can't remember which was on the bass when these were recorded).

    But Not For Me

    Besame Mucho

    Both have exposed bass solos with no cymbals, and again, while the sound isn't perfect, it sure sounds a whole lot like my bass to me. YMMV.

    I completely understand the sentiment. :)
  11. neal davis

    neal davis

    Dec 29, 2006
    toronto canada
    I used to use a dynb on an old bass and it sounded wonderful if I had it on the exact perfect spot, 1mm away in any direction it sounded terrible. this is both through the amp and as a contact mic solution through the board and into a monitor for me. I never liked the amt, I now use a atm 35 or a shure beta 57 depending on the room and instrumentation or run a realist and amp if it is really loud. I do agree with Chris though about how the perfect sound to your ears isn't always the best sound for the gig, in some rooms I play in my Czech ease sounds better than my normal bass because many factors. There is no perfect sounding room that lets everyone hear exactly that they want at the levels they want and still sounds great to the audience, there is always a compromise.
  12. douglas81


    Sep 24, 2006
    I listened to But Not For Me - sounds great. But, given that no one is playing particularly loud here, I reckon 80% of that sound *is* the bass, not the amp. Would that seem about right?
  13. douglas81


    Sep 24, 2006
    Yeah, I hear what your saying - it is for exactly this reason that it is only now (after a year and a half of gigging acoustically) that I'm considering an amp. It would be nice to get lots of practice done *and* have a satisfying live sound, would it not!?
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    In both instances, I set the amp for the same volume for the entire night and played dynamically to increase or decrease volume, just as if I were playing acoustically. So in actuality, the mix is about 50/50. What's important to note is that the amp is far enough from the mic (although not as far as the audience) for the weird artifacts to sort of vaporize into the atmosphere, which is what I believe they do in live situations that call for an amp but that are not "stoopid loud". Once the amp blends with the bass, the sound (to my ears, anyway) can be quite pleasing. It's only when you hear the amp from up close that it sounds nasty and raw. From where I was sitting both nights, the amp didn't sound nearly as good to me as it did on the recording. Amazing what a difference a few feet can make!
  15. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Douglas, as you point out, the AMT and Dyn-B are not designed for direct recording but for amplification in a mix. As I listened to the Dyn-B and AMT recordings, I formed an idea in my head of the acoustic sound of your bass up close. Hearing the Schoeps, it's very close to what I expected - slightly more natural and fuller sounding but the same basic sound. Generally, the louder the acoustic mix on the bandstand, the less important it is to have an authentic reproduction of the bass sound in the mix. In small trio situations at moderate volumes, people are indeed hearing a good mix of the acoustic sound with the amplified sound. Play with a full big band and people out the front are hearing a higher ratio of amplified sound. What I realised sometime back is that it really takes work to get the "my sound only louder" thing. A lot of the time I don't have the time to make it happen (setting up a mic, figuring out how to stand to minimise the bleed from the rest of the band, doing a soundcheck, etc.) but it really doesn't matter because it may not matter so much in the mix, the ambient noise (crowd) level is high, and so forth. Other times I really do want to have that great sound and I will take the time to make it happen. I've also found that for some basses and setups, the difference between the close-up (and then amplified) sound and the out-front acoustic sound is greater than it may be for other basses and setups. I discovered this recently went I went back to metal-wrapped strings on the top from raw guts.

    It's all a compromise and a matter of using the gear and taking the time to get the sound that will work for the gig.
  16. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    One thing's for sure. My band's last album was recorded live and the AMT was great! We tried blending a little realist, but it kept getting more and more mixed out. The mic signal was that good. You can listen on the samples page on the website listed below.

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