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Microphones Countryman B3 vs. B6?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Anonymous067, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Pros and cons of each, price aside, and why one or the other.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  2. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Looks like the B6 is just a smaller version of the B3. The only Countryman I've worked with was the EMW, so I can't speak to the B series. All I know is that they're the competition to the Sennheiser MKE2 (DPA aside).

    What's your intended application?
     
  3. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    I have one B6 and approx. 25- B3s, one E6, 4 Sennheisers and one imitation of the E6 off of ebay for $100. If you are using them for a concert, Then the B3s and the Sennheisers seem to have a better frequency response, especially in the bass range. If you are using them in a musical with a board with pretty large parametric, or quasiparametric EQ, you can make them all sound about the same. We are a community theatre and many of our cast members are less than careful of the mics, especially during mic check before costumes and makeup go on. The E6, the B6 and the E6 imitation only get used with our more mature casts and then usually on the female lead, because of the lack of a really good low end.
    One of the reasons that we have such a variety, is that we were experimenting to find the best bang for the buck. The E6 imitation is probably where we will spend our dollars in the future. It was $100 each and were purchased off ebay from the manufacture someplace in Florida. The boss made the pruchase, so I don't know all of the details, but running it right next to an E6 for two musicals in a row, it was so close in response and quality, that for the price it was a bargain.
     
  4. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    I had thought that the B6 was just the corded version of the E6 omni ... maybe not? I am currently using all B3s, and they are working out well.

    Dramatech, can you please let us know what knockoff mics you're buying for $100? The only ones I know of on eBay are OSP and Tom-Audio ... would be curious to try one out as an E6 option.

    Thanks. John
     
  5. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    I haven't gone in to the theatre yet, but I will try and find out the microphone data and will post later. Bye the way, the difference between the B6 and E6, is that the B6 is a very small version of the B3. Both are lavaliers that are usually used with a wireless transmitter (bodypack). The E6 is basically the B6 mounted in a bendable tube meant to be placed over the ear and run down the cheek. The cable can be disconnected just behind the ear, for replacement. It has been a while since I checked the Countyman website, but I believe the E6 comes in more color options and response configurations than the B6. Be aware that all Countryman lavs and earset mics have options of sensitivity, color and vocal personalities. The E6, you can choose speech, musical or opera, with different attenuation responses. Best to do some research before purchasing.
     
  6. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    No need to go into the theatre to find the info on the E6 knockoff. I just went to Ebay and searched for "countryman E6" up came the mic in question. They have the nerve to actually list it as a Countryman E6 until you go down further in the description. The user name of the seller is "Microphone Madness" and in the title they also have MM-PSM pro Series. Choice of three colors with free shipping and connector of choice for $99. I believe they are located in Palm Harbor, Florida. We are using it, as well as all of our countryman and sennheisers on Shure wireless packs
     
  7. themuzicman

    themuzicman Well-Known Member

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    When I was in high school, I got fifteen B3's, used them with a Shure XLS system.

    Anyway, my main reason for getting them over the B6 was that 1. They weren't much smaller and 2. the price.

    Honestly, they are great little mics. Freaking indestructible, and highly moisture resistant.

    I enjoyed them
     
  8. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    I've been very happy with the B3's I bought over the summer. We now have 24 in inventory, and all have held up well to three full shows in six months. We use them with our Lectrosonics wireless system.

    I haven't used the B6's personally, so I can't speak to them.
     
  9. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    ;lkjh
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  10. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    My response to more than just the basic comparison between the B3 and the B6 was meant to help clarify the coments of JKOWTKO. I was of the opinion that this forum was for the education of it's members. If you already know what is presented, then you just pass by that comment, with the understanding that some of the viewers may not be aware of the information, and could learn something from it. It would seem that you feel that this thread that you started is only for your eyes. So be it, in the future, I will try my hardest not to respond to any thread in which you are participating.
    Oh and by the way, I have been doing sound for 59 years and I still learn a little something with each conversation or post that I see or hear. Maybe you would like to comment on a comparison of the differance between an RCA 44 and an RCA 77, since you are so knowlegable about microphones.
     
  11. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Gentlemen, let's not go down this road. I've done it and believe me when I say it's not worth it. Pissing contests never solve anything.
     
  12. spiwak2005

    spiwak2005 Member

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    Ditto that! I must say however that I am a little insulted by your quote line...I play the clarinet and really DON'T feel that out of tune!! Ha ha ha...
     
  13. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Everyone gets wet and smelly, and only the pig likes it.:(
     
  14. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Sorry, my bad.
    How about getting back to the original post question.

    B3 vs B6, since I don't feel this was accurately covered.
     
  15. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    Very short version, the B3 sounds to some a little better, and is more durable, the B6 hides better. Neither is a MKE-2 or a DPA. Each has their plusses and minuses.

    Countryman, for both models, are best known for their resistance to sweat damage, and price point. They are, however, generally the worst sounding; not that they sound bad, but they don't sound as nice in general compared to MKE-2s, DPAs, or the new MKE-1. They're a little harder to color (although nowhere near as hard as the new Teflon coated MKE-1...please, Sennheiser, a matte version, please????) than the other brands, a bit pickier as far as what markers will stay colored, vs what fades quickly. (See some of my previous posts on rigging and coloring mics for brand recommendations, with the added caveat that since I wrote those, Copic brand has become really popular, although I haven't tested it with Countryman cable, as I don't use Countryman terribly often).

    The other big downside to both Countryman mics, but especially the thinner cabled B6, is that as a general rule, Countryman's strain relief and termination is pretty awful. If you buy them to bare wire and terminate them yourself, that's one thing, but buying pre-terminated, they use miserably useless shrink-tube strain relief, and also seem to strip things back a bit too far inside, causing nasty shorting sounds when the aforementioned crummy strain relief softens up. They also, at least as of last time I went through that routine with them, refused to acknowlege the problem and consider it a warranty repair.

    That said, I've been working as a repair tech for a shop the last couple years, and all my other dealings with Countryman have been great...they've been really good about taking care of other issues (particularly their Lectern gooseneck mics) under warranty when appropriate. I just have issue with how they handled my repairs when I had lots of lavs out on a major musical tour, but that was five years ago, perhaps things have changed. (I know, however, that the termination has NOT changed, as it was still the bane of my existence on E6s on a few recent shows I had to use them on.)

    For completeness, the DPA 4060 line is generally considered the gold standard in tone, although it's also got a rep for sweating out the fastest. The MKE-2 is second in tone, but much more sweat-resistant, IF you use it without a cap. The caps tend to trap sweat in these (on Countryman and DPA, however, caps are a necessity).

    The MKE-1 seems so far to be a great compromise of sweat-resistance, durability, tone, and size, although since it's only so far available in the Teflon coated cable, it sucks to color! But I would not be surprised to see it catching on more and more; sneak previews of them have been going out on Broadway shows with most of the major designers recently, and the feedback I've heard has been great. There are a few on the show I'm currently working on (although I'm on loan to the lighting department as deck elec for this short run), and the sound team seems pretty happy with them, save the coloring issue.

    HTH,
    Andy
     

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