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K1JJ
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« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2019, 10:21:43 PM »

Not sure who they would be putting out of business. Those buying Electro-Voices, Neumanns, AKGs and the like won't be [buying] the Gold Finga.

Yep, the USA mic companies building high quality, getting a fair price and paying their workers a fair wage are probably safe. But what happens when the Chinese products are eventually as good for 1/2 or 1/4 the USA price?  

Let's just say for now, if there were any US GoldFinga manufacturers, they're gone. If there were any planning to go into biz, they better can those plans. Those type of low quality product companies probably never existed in the US in the first place.

Imagine building GoldFingas in the US - the whole shebang for $30 and shipping it free.   Even a full profit of $30/ mic would probably not even pay for the typical executive and staff salaries, insurance and 401Ks never mind the endless expenses of producing and marketing.

It's like we have been taught a lesson on advanced alien business efficiency or something like that.  Imagine creatures from Uranus sending down auto-factories that auto-assemble themselves,  auto-mine the raw materials and auto-assemble the products for pennies.  They even do the eBay listings and shipping by auto-robot.  They make a $29.95 profit selling brand new Kia-Rio cars for $30 each.  Everyone in the world buys three each. I sell short Tesla, Ford and GM stock.  Then I wake up.    Grin

T
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Frank / WA1GFZ says when he's working near high voltage, as a warning he sings this song by Jay and the Americans: "Come a little bit closer, you're my kind of man, so big and so strong, come a little bit closer, I'm all alone and the night is so long."
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« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2019, 08:16:46 AM »

This isn't any different than the flood of Chinese handy-talkies. How can you sell a dual band radio, and make a profit for $35? Granted, they may npt be the most spectrally pure radios, but they do work.
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Todd, KA1KAQ
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« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2019, 10:07:19 AM »

How can you sell a dual band radio, and make a profit for $35?

Cheap labor.


* Prison plate.jpg (183.05 KB, 1600x900 - viewed 109 times.)
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K8DI
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« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2019, 10:42:14 AM »

First, being open/transparent:  I've spent the majority of my adult life working in professional audio, from studio to concert stage to high end commercial audio installs in churches, colleges, and theme parks.

There's a misconception here that old American companies like Shure and Electro-Voice, Crown and JBL, still have any significant US manufacturing. They don't. Shure makes almost everything in Mexico. JBL and Crown, AKG too, mostly in China. Harman, the parent of AKG/JBL/Crown/and a bunch of others, is owned by Japan's Samsung. Behringer is also made in China; they were never American.  They're part of Music Group, who own legendary audio brands Klark, TurboSound, Midas, Tannoy, and others.  

Professional Audio is Chinese already.

However, there's also a misconception that this cheap mic direct from China is anywhere near the build quality of pretty much any real microphone. It's like everything else: you get what you pay for.

FWIW, I use a Shure SM58 for my station. I can't justify the $300+ dealer cost for an SM7B when I've got a dozen  '58s in my rental PA stock to swipe from. It sounds fine, it's dynamic, RF shielded, simple, reliable, has a warranty. The Gold Finga, none of those things.

Ed Walters
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« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2019, 10:58:30 AM »

I've extolled cheap chicom miles and usb professing for years here.

I used a Sony Playstation Band Hero microphone and USB interface.

I replaced the mic, as it didn't sit nicely in my cheap chicom arm


These have been around for a long time. 

Welcome to the 21st century.

--Shane
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W1AEX
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« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2019, 11:16:50 AM »

I've heard a few of the BM800 condenser microphones being used on the air and they do sound fine. That being said, after viewing a video showing the disassembly of two different versions of the BM800 "large condenser microphones" I had to laugh at the electret elements used in both. One had a built-in FET and the other did not, and they looked very similar to the little electret elements sold by Radio Shack and other vendors for a couple of bucks. Both microphones used the same general purpose circuit board which can be wired to support an element with a FET or one without a FET. One of the mics in the video had a 16mm element and the other was almost 10mm which is pretty far from the description as a large condenser microphone:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoGZagzhWac

I received an email from a guy who took his apart and then re-mounted the element so that the microphone could be used as an end-fire rather than side-addressed microphone and that seemed like a pretty good idea.

At any rate, the price makes these things a lot of fun to mess around with. I bought a black Neewer NW800 priced at 20 bucks for my own personal amusement.

Rob W1AEX


* BM800.jpg (124.84 KB, 1181x674 - viewed 153 times.)

* neewer bm800.jpg (30.46 KB, 518x569 - viewed 137 times.)
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« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2019, 12:35:49 PM »

Interesting thread. I use a Viking 2 on AM usually with a non-amp D104 and have been looking an inexpensive broadcast mike to try. After checking ebay I looked on Amazon for options. The mics in question need the phantom power supply and I found the full package for about $42. While reading the specs a $10 discount offer popped up so I ended up buying the package with the PS for about $32.

To use it on the V2 I will use a Shure matching transformer as well.

It should be here in a week and will report back on how well it functions.

Rich
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K1JJ
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« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2019, 02:54:55 PM »

I wonder how Bob Heil handles the competition?  The web says he assembles Heil mics in Indiana.  It's not clear to me if these are outsourced, pre-made parts from China or is everything manufactured by Heil - or from the USA made from scratch, from raw materials?  More power to him if he is able to do it all here.  Probably one of the few left, if so.

He frequents this BB, so maybe he can drop by and tell us what's really happening out there in the world microphone market.

T
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Frank / WA1GFZ says when he's working near high voltage, as a warning he sings this song by Jay and the Americans: "Come a little bit closer, you're my kind of man, so big and so strong, come a little bit closer, I'm all alone and the night is so long."
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« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2019, 05:06:51 PM »

Heck, if it sounds good, go with it.  Question is, how long will it last? If it last a couple of months, not so good. If it lasts several years. What the hell. Whatever floats the boat so to speak.

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« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2019, 06:53:43 PM »

https://microphone-parts.com/
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W2NBC
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« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2019, 07:15:43 PM »

"Heck, if it sounds good, go with it."

TRUE!!

Almost all condenser mics (large capsule or not), inherently have a flat frequency response. The audible difference is mostly in the circuit boards (guts) of the microphone. That includes if it's transformer-coupled, quality of the caps, etc.. This translates to self-generated noise that is important for actual studio voice-over work in a quiet studio.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, for HF Ham use, the noise figures are almost irrelevant due to the signal to noise ratio of ANY audio introduced in the HF spectrum.

The pick-up PATTERN of a flat condenser or any wide frequency response microphone is much more important! In our ham shacks with fans blowing, transformers humming, and furnaces firing up, having JUST your voice heard at the receiving station is important.

Side-rejection, and front to back figures are the features to look for. The best way is a multi-pattern mic which basically has two capsules back to back that would introduce 3 distinct polar patterns: Figure 8, Omni, and Cardioid.

As for great sounding audio on the cheap, here is an example of a Radio Shack electret element in use from W1AEX (less than $10 total), that proves this all out:

http://www.w1aex.com/mic/mic.html

Here is Rob, W1AEX proving how a CHEAP mic can sound:

* flex5kAM.mp3 (360.56 KB - downloaded 61 times.)
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« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2019, 08:53:26 PM »

Good circuit. I have a couple of the RS mic elements in my parts bin. Should give that a try.

What sort of impedance will my radio see? My Viking wants a hi-z so would likely need to use a matching transformer.

One old mike head I had needed an element and I used a RS condenser element. For power I simply attached a 9V rectangular battery on the plus lead and it worked just fine.

Rich
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KK4YY
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« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2019, 09:40:32 PM »

With the recent interest in cheap condenser microphones I thought I would relate a problem, and the fix, with my Marshal MXL-770 microphone.

The microphone worked fine, most of the time, but would develop a pronounced hum on occasion. Fiddling with it would make it clear-up so I suspected some sort of poor/loose connection. And it took me a while to find it.

The poor connection was paint on the grounded body parts that form a shield around the electronics. Disassembling the microphone and scrapping the paint from the mating surfaces completely cured the problem.

I suspect other microphones may have a similar issue. The fix is an easy one.

Of course I wish I had done a web-search first, because I subsequently found this page:
http://www.mikeperalta.com/blog/3I2O10OA0DK4/How-to-Fix-Hum-Radio-Inteference-in-the-MXL-770-Condenser-Microphone.html


Don
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« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2019, 12:46:52 PM »

The painted ground screw is so common in audio and other equipment it's always worth looking into and at.

Astron is HORRIBLE about this, with trip lite coming in a close second.

Ground screws on a painted surface with no lock or star washer to make ANY bite.

I bought a used Astron 20.  Ten ohms of resistance from ground pin to the case.

My brand new trip lite pr60 had 3 ohms.

Worth looking at.

--Shane
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« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2019, 01:19:39 PM »

I received an email from a guy who took his apart and then re-mounted the element so that the microphone could be used as an end-fire rather than side-addressed microphone and that seemed like a pretty good idea.

At any rate, the price makes these things a lot of fun to mess around with. I bought a black Neewer NW800 priced at 20 bucks for my own personal amusement.

Rob W1AEX
Rob, I recall when I first discovered that Radio Shack element project on your web site. I built it and used it with my Flex 5000. It sounded very good, and it's still in use on another radio. I suspect that my PR-40 also has a Chinese made element that Bob Heil found or has manufactured for him in China, for a lot less than what the mic sells for. I judge the end result, and that's why I like my PR40 regardless of its DNA. I just got my GoldFinga mic in the mail yesterday and plan to do some A/B comparisons tonight. I also use a cellular headset I picked up in the local "dollar store". I've received many "great audio" reports while on SSB. It makes you wonder if a lot of the expensive mics are just repackaged and rebranded.
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« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2019, 02:02:07 PM »

I can see where this discussion can evolve into a lot of hacking! Interesting video discussing some simple mods to improve the noise floor. It also shows the schematic for the PCB.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lpQ0BpjUtg
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« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2019, 04:46:49 PM »

The $31 Neewer (via Amazon, not ebay, but looks to be the same thing with a different nameplate) package I ordered last Thursday arrived today. All components shown in the ad were included including all of the mounts, 2 cables, phantom PS, wind screens and flexible desk mount. First test into a dummy load sounds good on both the old Kenwood TS930 I use on AM and also on my Viking 2 using a Shure inline matching transformer.

Tomorrow I'll put it on the air to see what kind of reports it gets.

Rich
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« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2019, 02:14:13 PM »

The Neewer condenser mic package does work on my Viking 2. I used it on today's AM noontime forum on 7295 and asked for honest reports, no fudging. It gets an OK and sounds about the same as the old Shure controlled magnetic hi-z mic I usually use. It definitely looks cool and is no hands with the mounting package it came from... a definite plus.

A big improvement in audio? No.

Worth $31? Yes.

Rich
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K1JJ
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« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2019, 04:17:05 PM »

The Neewer condenser mic package does work on my Viking 2. I used it on today's AM noontime forum on 7295 and asked for honest reports, no fudging. It gets an OK and sounds A big improvement in audio? No.
Worth $31? Yes.
Rich


Hi Rich -

The difference may be too subtle to hear on the air. Try a comparison between the Neewer and the Shure mic into a local hi-fi amplifier using quality stereo headphones.  Or better yet... make a good local recording to avoid bone conduction and listen in the headphones.   That may show the difference, if any.

Going into a Viking 2, over the airwaves, into a receiver - with human ears and human opinion may not show you what you want to hear...  Wink

T
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Frank / WA1GFZ says when he's working near high voltage, as a warning he sings this song by Jay and the Americans: "Come a little bit closer, you're my kind of man, so big and so strong, come a little bit closer, I'm all alone and the night is so long."
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« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2019, 05:06:49 PM »

My 20 dollar NEEWER NW800 arrived today and I had a chance to play around with it on 75 meters this afternoon. I swapped it out with my MXL-770 condenser mic and ran it with exactly the same CFC voice processor settings in the Thetis software that runs my ANAN-200D SDR. The MP3 file below is a recording of the ANAN-200D running AM with a 12K wide transmit filter. The output level of the NEEWER is 10dB higher than the MXL-770 and it has quite a bit of roll-off on the low end but it does seem to offer pretty good clarity.

The sales pitch at Amazon indicated that this has the "new and improved" circuit board. The pictures below of the disassembled mic indicate that it looks the same as the boards I have seen on various mod pages but I suppose there might have been some component changes. I did not notice a high level of background noise which was a complaint of earlier models so perhaps they addressed that.

It should be good nerdy fun to play around with and modify. Definitely worth 20 bucks as a standby mic.

Rob W1AEX

* Marshall MXL770 vs. Neewer NW800.mp3 (1299.59 KB - downloaded 66 times.)

* NW800 disassembled.jpg (131.27 KB, 1280x720 - viewed 145 times.)

* NW800 circuit board.jpg (144.33 KB, 1280x720 - viewed 126 times.)
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W1AEX
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« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2019, 11:43:03 AM »

One last comment regarding the Chinese NEEWER NW800 is that the phase of this mic was opposite every other mic at my station. It was only a 3 minute job to warm up the soldering iron and open the mic up to flip the connections at the XLR connector. This morning I got decent audio reports on AM but as expected, it was noted that the low-end was lighter than the the MXL-770. The picture below shows it on the boom with the suspension mount and foam windscreen that came with the package. Not too shabby for 20 bucks!

73,

Rob W1AEX


* Neewer NW800.jpg (132.09 KB, 1280x730 - viewed 136 times.)
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« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2019, 01:59:43 PM »

I wonder if the low-end rolloff is due to the electret or to the amplifier circuit.  Rob's circuit board appears to be different than the one shown in earlier posts and the circuit may not be the same as shown in the youtube video.  Too bad...I could run Rob's circuit through LTSpice if I had the schematic...

Rod
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« Reply #47 on: February 28, 2019, 02:26:57 PM »

I saw this on E-Bay and figured it could not be true so I of course ordered one. https://www.ebay.com/itm/322352317950

I've ordered one too, but I have a question: the "you may also want" ads that came with the receipt included an offer for a 48 volt phantom power supply.

How much bias does this mic require to operate? TIA.

Bill, W4EWH

My kit just arrived, but the 48v power supply I ordered is a week or two away. If you've been able to run the mic directly from the input of an Icom rig, or with a lowered bias voltage, please tell me how it worked and how you set it up. TIA.

73,

W4EWH
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« Reply #48 on: March 02, 2019, 06:34:14 PM »

Has anyone ever considered that these well known microphone manufacturers are also buying from China? Their ideas, made in China - itís known as an ODM product.
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« Reply #49 on: March 02, 2019, 11:16:41 PM »

I saw this on E-Bay and figured it could not be true so I of course ordered one. https://www.ebay.com/itm/322352317950

I've ordered one too, but I have a question: the "you may also want" ads that came with the receipt included an offer for a 48 volt phantom power supply.

How much bias does this mic require to operate? TIA.

Bill, W4EWH

I put my kit together today, and have this report:

  • There wasn't much output: less than half of what I get from my USB headset that I use for Skype and Hangouts.
  • The mic appear to be unidirectional. I tried speaking into the "front," the "back," and the "top," and I couldn't see any difference on the PC sound meter, nor hear any change in level when I rotated it while speaking. The usual caveats apply.
  • The mic works fine with the USB dongle provided, and when plugged directly into the red jack on the computer sound card.
  • The power supply also arrived, and it does indeed put out 47.5 volts. It comes with a robust wall-wart rated at 18V AC. I don't know why such a high voltage was used, given that the mic works fine with the 2.8 volts my sound card provides for bias.

So, i'm wondering if it's actually a condenser mic, or just a dynamic one with a preamp. FWIW I agree with other opinions: counting the accessories, it's a good deal.

W4EWH
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