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Microphones EV Sound Spot 644

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by MNicolai, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    So I just came across two of these 644's, and now I'm presented with a question. What should I do with them? I don't have cables, and they appear to be a very unique cable, so I think I'll have to make the cable myself, which is no biggie. Is it worth it though? Has anyone used one of these? Are they any good?

    Datasheet Here: http://www.coutant.org/ev644/ev644.pdf
     
  2. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Never used one, though I've seen pictures of them in the catalogs and history for years.

    It's a dynamic shotgun, so it's good for whatever you'd want to use that for. The connector should be an Amphenol MC4(M, I think?) that's available under the WPI name now from places like Allied and Newark and Mouser.
     
  3. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Ouch, $22 for a single plug, and I have two of these. Plus shipping, I'm not spending $50 on a couple of microphones I don't know are any good. I think I'll do a temporary setup first to jump the pins to an XLR cable before I go spending money. That way I can establish if these are mic's I'll realistically want to use or not. If not, then I'll just let them remain as collector's items.
     
  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure that we use one of those as a monitoring mic for the stage to feed the backstage speakers (we have 2 unmatched shotgun mics in the first beam lighting position). If it's not that, it's something very similar and slightly newer, but I know for a fact that it's EV and it has the same grille pattern and mount as this one. For monitoring applications, it works great. It does have quite an odd connector, though...
     
  5. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    EV used that connector on a lot of microphones designed in the 1950's and 1960's. It pre-dated the wide acceptance of the Canon XLR.

    Here is some nice information about that microphone.
    Electro-Voice Model 644
     
  6. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    In the old days, when someone goofed you would sometimes see a 644 pop into the top of the picture on The Tonight Show. Must have worked pretty well for them to use the mic.
     
  7. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Well, sort of. In that era, TV sound was mostly crap, although the Tonight Show was always a leader. TV sound was mono, and heard on small, cheap paper cone speakers driven by amps of less than a watt. All they cared about was that it was intelligible. Wireless mics were not good enough, and there were very few shotgun mics on the market, so the 644 was about their only choice to get the job done. Either that, or the host had hold a mic.

    TV sound is sometimes still crap, but stereo, home theater, and digital transmission have forced a fair amount of improvement. Now if we could just teach them to use a decent AGC-limiter again....
     
  8. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Now, when TV sounds like crap, it's not the equipment's fault. It's certainly the operator.

    Seems like they compress everything to, if not past, the wall these days, especially gameshows. The mix is crap and the compressors being downstream, the applause ducks the host. Same with music, the hot uncompressed vocals duck out the music when they hit that hard limiter. Ugh.
     
  9. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    These days, the crap award goes to most commercially mastered CD's and anything MP3. Peak limiters and clippers are way over employed by mastering engineers in pursuit of "competitive loudness." Ack!
     
  10. CSJim

    CSJim Member

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    I'm trying to get my hands on one of these, but I encountered a similar cabling problem with my EV 664. The reason EV used these 4 pin proprietary connectors is because it was their solution to the challenge of how to switch a dual impedance microphone from high to low without adding another physical switch.

    The male connector that would come with this mic only has 3 pins on it. To switch from high to low one would pull the male connector apart and switch which arrangement the three pins were in.

    The easiest and cheapest solution I found was to replace the female 4 pin connector with a male 4 pin XLR connector. I bought a switchcraft 4 pin connector and upon disassembling it the innards of the connector fit snugly into the hole where I had removed the original connector.

    Then I simply made myself a cable for low and high impedances. With each one I used standard mic cable and just soldered to the appropriate three pins on the female 4-pin XLR.

    Sorry if this doesn't make too much sense, but I've yet to see someone online mention this option. If needed I can break out the camera and take a picture to help show.

    Edit: Sorry about the gravedig
     
  11. gpforet

    gpforet Active Member

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    You say that like it's a bad thing. In all the sound work I've ever done, the first goal is intelligibility.

    Sadly, this has taken a back seat far too often to overpowered low end, sizzling highs, with intelligibility going out the window.

    Regarding TV sound....it's actually gotten worse in the last several years. Audio signal compressed to hell and back, intelligibility dismissed for overly strong fx and soundtrack.

    Whether we're talking music, television, or film, the words were written for a purpose, let's make sure the audience can hear AND UNDERSTAND what is being said.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010
  12. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Nothing proprietary about the connector. EV did sell the "convertable" connector, but a standard, off the shelf, Amphenol connector would fit it. They probably still make them, although I haven't looked for one in years.
     

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