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Thread: ECM8000 Mods

  1. #11
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    Originally posted by Marik
    I don't know what kind of FET is used in the capsule and its specs. It might be a very good one, but it might be not so. Only experiments can show it. The 2SK170 is a very nice sounding and very low noise device, so IMO it would be worth at least to give it a try. If it doesn't work I just loose $5 and my time, but what I learn is worth more than that. Oh yeah, and if I don't try I just won't sleep at nights .
    So are you going to take the existing FET out of the capsule and swap it with a 2SK170?

  2. #12
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    MCM
    Part Number Mfr. Name Description Unit List Price Stock On Hand Buy
    Part No.
    1 P-2SK170GR MCM TRANSISTOR SUBBING WITH 2SK170BL Each $2.61 0 (Lead Time 31 days)
    P-2SK170GR
    2 P-2SK170BLV PANASONIC TRANSISTOR Each $2.61 0 (Lead Time 17 days)
    2SK170BLV
    3 P-2SK170 PANASONIC TRANSISTOR Each $3.71 0 (Lead Time 31 days)
    2SK170
    4 2SK170 MCM TOSHIBA FET TO-92 -40V .01A .4W DGS *SS Each $0.96 420
    2SK170
    5 P-2SK170V PANASONIC TRANSISTOR Each $2.79 0 (Lead Time 31 days)
    2SK170V
    6 P-2SK170BL PANASONIC SUB ONLY - USE ITEM# P-B1CACB000002 Each $2.04 0 (Lead Time 0 days)
    2SK170BL

    From http://mcm.newark.com/NewarkWebComme...0&QText=2sk170

    Anyone know the differences? - seems to be a big price difference on the highlighted one. In particular what is "DGS *SS"? Would this one be adequate for the mic mods?

    Thanks
    still crazy after all these years
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  3. #13
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    Scott Dorsey informed me that the Behringer ECM-8000 uses a capsule made in the Phillipines. He says it's very similar to the Panasonic capsule and quite good.

    Eric Blackmer told me some years ago (at an AES show) that he uses a special Panasonic capsule, made to his specifications.

  4. #14
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    This is an interesting thread. In fact, I've been planning to do very similar stuff. I've actually ordered a 2SK170, because I've seen it used in many microphones. I haven't gotten one yet, though. They seem to be hard to get in Europe or at least Germany. I've also bought a number of Panasonic capsules. Unfortunately you can't get them directly from Panasonic here but there is a distributor that sells them as MCE2000 capsules. I've bought those from two different dealers and got slightly different capsules. The ones I got first had small SMD transistors, the others had larger ones. It's pretty difficult to disassemble the capsule without destroying it.

    Another difficulty is the Linkwitz mod. It's virtually impossible to solder a wire to the housing of the capsule as it is made of aluminum. I'd be happy for suggestions how to solve that problem.

    Anyway, thanks for the helpful info to Marik and Harvey in particular. I'd be very interested in the schematics. Keep up the good work!

    BTW: a chinese guy who once posted here said the ECM8000 is made by Tenlux. And I'm pretty certain he's right, as I saw a very similar measurement on their website when it was still accessible.

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    <So are you going to take the existing FET out of the capsule and swap it with a 2SK170?>

    Flatpicker,

    Do I hear sceptical notes in your voice? Tell me what's wrong with that?

    Rossi,

    <It's pretty difficult to disassemble the capsule without destroying it.>

    A friend of mine is a jewelry maker. After I bust a few with my shaky hands, I'll bring them to her. Her tools make me trembling Besides, I have another idea, which I have to check first. Anybody wants to guess what's that?

    <It's virtually impossible to solder a wire to the housing of the capsule as it is made of aluminum.>

    Once I tried to solder aluminum using Aspirin as a flux--it worked. However, you don't need to connect pin 1 to the ground if you use 3 wire connection. The biggest problem is not to overheat the capsule, as you can easily destroy electret. A good and healthy heatsink will help. For those who doesn't know about Linkwitz mod, you can find it on:

    http://www.linkwitzlab.com/sys_test2.htm
    Last edited by Marik; 01-28-2004 at 16:35.

  6. #16
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    Originally posted by Marik
    Flatpicker,

    Do I hear sceptical notes in your voice? Tell me what's wrong with that?
    No skepticism here. I just wasn’t clear whether you were going to do the Linkwitz mod or try and swap the FET in the capsule. If you do swap the FET, take pictures!

    Also, seems like someone said that DigiKey was discontinuing these WM-60AYs. I can’t remember the details, though.

    BTW, that's way cool using asprin for flux.

    Another note: I’ll try and get you’re ML-52 pics up by either Friday or Saturday.

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    OK folks,

    First report.... but before, let me tell you a story. You remember my line:
    "Besides, I have another idea, which I have to check first. Anybody wants to guess what's that?"
    So, my idea was to destroy the FET in the capsule, hoping that the gate will become connected to source or drain (kinda what happens to bipolars), and thus, not to disassemble the capsule in order to put in the 2Sk170. I had a few old electrets, so I disassembled them, found 1A 50V PSU, and connected it between source and drain--nothing. The FET measures perfect. I opened my NAD amp--4amp 70V (35+35) PSU, I connected it to the FET, measured the FET--nothing. Measures perfect. At this point I got so mad that I just connected the FET to the ~120V line for a moment. Encountered some nice sparks, measured the FET--nothing--measures perfect. It drove me completely nuts. I just stuck the wires from the line to the poor FET and held it there. All my fuses went off. Since I did not have any spares, I went to Fred Meyers, got the fuses and 12 pack of Full Suspension (pale ale). Here....
    at the register I realized that I forgot my card at home, because earlier I made an order from Digikey for some WM60 and WM61s, and took my wallet out the pocket. When finally I got the fuses, put them in, measured the FET in the capsule, the resistance between gate and other ends was 750Ohm WTF is that? Quality control???
    Sorry for telling you all this crap--I've had already half of 12 pack, and earlier drove my fiancée to the airport, so I had to express myself....

    Now seriously.
    I recorded some tracks through my Jordan mini monitors (sorry, my Anton Richter baby grand is terribly out of tune, so I cannot record it) with the stock mic. I placed it at 2 feet from the speakers. The tracks were excerpts form: Sibelius, Finlandia, with Malcolm Surgent, 1st movement; Prokofiev violin sonatas with Shlomo Mintz and Efim Bronfman; and Jaco Pastorius's Donna Lee. I was quite impressed with recording. The mic got very nicely the tonal balance and also, all room noises, Harvey was talking about, which usually I don't hear.
    Next, I made a Linkwitz mod. Recorded the same tracks. While recording, I had to adjust the gain control on the pre about 8-10db up--of course, it is no wonder, as a source follower has a unity gain. I was very impatient to see results, as even monitoring through the headphones I immediately could hear the change in the clarity. OK, time to playback and compare.
    Gentlemen, have you ever experienced the difference between, let's say, MXL 2001 and Ela251? To my ears the difference was even bigger! While original, stock mic reproduced the right tonal balance and was quite accurate, the "Linkwitz mod" had opened the sound tremendously. The main thing was that with the same tonal balance the notes became much more separated from each other, and each instrument got its own place in the sound stage. At this point the stock mic sounded flat and dull.
    However, I got a problem. The circuit started oscillating. For half a minute it is OK, then little by little boiling noise starts to appear. After I turn off and then on a phantom, it disappears, but then again all the same. I will check it tomorrow.

    The next steps--I will substitute the source resistor with FET constant current source and recording it. And the next, connect the capsule's FET as the first stage of the cascode amp (as always, Kevin Carter's ideas are invaluable).

    So, stay tuned Gentlemen, to be continued...

    (edited for spelling)
    Last edited by Marik; 01-29-2004 at 03:07.

  8. #18
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    Re: ECM8000 Mods

    Originally posted by Marik
    So, Gentlemen,
    If you are interested and don't get bored, please let me know and I will keep you posted on the progress.
    Yes, please keep us posted. Thanks.

    PS... if you want to destroy the FET, zap it with a stun gun.
    One of the things I like the most about hr.com is reading what everyday people like you and I have experienced with products as opposed to reading what the manufacturers want us to read about their products.

  9. #19
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    Woah. I'm sorry if I sound stupid.. but are you making a $40 mic sounding a million times better for very little extra?

    If so.. I might just have to get into this.

  10. #20
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    Hey Marik, I love your way of engineering! We must be identical twins separted by birth.

    Thanks for the tip with the aspirin, I'll try that on the weekend.

    Keep us posted, this is interesting!

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