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I'm looking for a good quality stereo mic for field recording, gathering samples for heavy manipulation later on in music production, including ambience and spot fx. I'm leaning toward M/S stereo because I want the option to only use the mono channel if I choose. I realize a compromise is made when cramming a Fig8 mic into a cardioid mic but I want the slim profile of a stereo mic. I'm looking at these models:

Sennheiser 418-S

Pearl MS8

Sanken CSS-5

I'm leaning toward the Sennheiser 418-S because it appears to maintain more bass than the other two. Looking at the frequency plots the Pearl and Sanken start to roll off around 200Hz whereas the Senn rolls off around 100Hz. But I can't find any reviews from experienced people online. Wondering if anyone here has experience with these mics, or, would suggest something else. Thanks! M.

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All three are wellknown quality brands. All three mics should be useable. As always, anything technical is a compromise between opposing requirements. You have to be the judge on which fits your usage best. As always, if at all possible try to test the mic in your application. You should be able to rent for a day in order to test.

Edit: check the noise figures as well, my guess is that the Sennheiser has a slightly higher selfnoise than the others. Might effect you or not.

Personally, but that is only me, I would get a Sennheiser combo of MKH30 and MKH40 (or possibly swithch the MKH40 to a MKH50) in a Rycote blimp for outdoor work. Indoors, well Schoeps MSTC64. But that is only me and not at all your application.

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  • Thanks for the input. There's a Tru Audio in my city, maybe I can rent these mics and try them out, good call. I also read somewhere about the Senn having some noticeable self noise. Must be due to compromises made in stereo mic design. best,
    – FalcoreM
    Commented Jul 29, 2023 at 15:36
  • @FalcoreM Yes, the selfnoise is that specific mic, not other Sennheiser-s. I have faint memory that the 418 was made for a very specific application, cannot remember which though.
    – ghellquist
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 10:32
  • @FalcoreM - you can request to have your Michael and Falcore accounts merged by using the Contact link at the bottom of the page.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Aug 2, 2023 at 18:02

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