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Thread: Thomann Ovid mic system

  1. #1

    Default Thomann Ovid mic system

    Just experimenting with amplification (again!). I've been happy with an AKG C411 stick-on mic, played through a Headway EDB1 preamp. I got the chance to try a DPA 4099V clip-on microphone, and was blown away by the sound; it sounded exactly like my F5, only louder, with excellent feedback rejection for a condenser mic. The price was a little daunting for the degree of improvement over the AKG, so I let it lie. I was shopping at Thomann (a large German online music equipment retailer) when I came across their Ovid system of clip-on condenser mics. It's basically one mic, plus lots of optional attachment clips for various instruments. It was cheap enough to give it a try, so I ordered the full outfit, with all the clips, thinking I could use it as a standby for sound engineering gigs. I paid 136. ($216). Link is here; http://www.thomann.de/gb/the_tbone_o...73576eedb8c604
    I tried it out on mandolin and guitar yesterday, played straight into a Fishman Loudbox Artist acoustic amp, with no effects and flat EQ; it's not a DPA 4099, but it's frighteningly close, and better than my AKG C411 by miles. I then tried it with the Headway preamp into a PA, and...wow. Again, flat EQ, but the small boost to the signal meant that the full nuances of the F5 came out.
    NFI, but this looks like a really good deal if you are looking for a mic to use on stage. Placement on the instrument is important, and I found I had to reverse the clamp arm on the violin clip to get the depth needed for an F5 body near the scroll; easily done, it's just a single small bolt. Placed correctly there is little handling noise, but pick selection is important, as the mic is sensitive enough to catch pick clicks and scratches. I'm going to gig it this weekend, and see how it goes.
    Tim
    Tim Mundy
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    I wonder if it is available in Canada, their page doesn't seem to indicate any foreign distribution.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    The full kit looks interesting. I'm wondering whether the gooseneck on DPA mics will fit the Ovid clips? The standard (violin) clip on the DPA is too narrow to fit my OM - and certainly not a guitar - and the larger clip retails at around 45. If so, buying the kit would give me two mics with a choice of clips.

  5. #4
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    I tried those when they came out last year when a friend got a set. I found them much more liable to feedback and handling noise than either the DPA or the ATM 350. I also thought the wiring and connectors were very flimsy feeling by comparison, so I would think you need to be pretty gentle with them. Then again, they are mere fraction of the price, so if you like the sound I think they are very good value. I found that guitar needed a lot of playing with EQ to make them sound reasonable, mandolin/violin, less so. I will be interested to hear how you find them in a real gig.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    Hi Almeriastrings
    I agree, the mic was better on mando than guitar. I didn't need extreme EQ on guitar though; I guess that might be about ears and taste! I used it on a nice D28, and used a mild 'smiley face' EQ, as I tend to do with most guitars. Handling noise might be a problem live, I'll have to see on Friday/Saturday. I had a look at the wiring; I was less worried by this, as the phantom power converter has a belt clip. The flimsy cable would only go from mando to belt, with no chance of being stepped on by the banjo player! From there to either preamp or PA desk is standard XLR. It's about the same quality as the wiring on the AKG C411, and that hasn't been a problem so far. Feedback; I tried some deliberate abuse, sitting right in front of the speakers and/or amp. It needed some fairly strong provocation before it would feed back, and there was reasonable gain available, but the acid test will be on stage with wedge monitors I guess.
    Ray; the guitar clip is quite long, and might get in the way a bit if used on a narrower body; I'll try it on my OM and let you know.
    Tim Mundy
    www.slipperyhill.co.uk
    2002 Gibson F5 Fern
    1920 Gibson A2
    2005 Gibson A5L
    Rigel A+ Deluxe Custom
    1926 Gibson TB1 Tenor Banjo
    1963 Epiphone TF28 Tenor Guitar
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  7. #6
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    It was flamenco guitar I tested it on... a fairly extreme test for handling noise. I have used DPA 4099's on those, though, without difficulty. They are, basically, a very cheap microphone (only around $60 for the transducer), but will probably perform adequately in non-critical situations. For really nice quality without super-high (DPA) prices, I have been very impressed by the ATM PRO 35. Nicely built and sounds very good.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    Ok, first gig with the Ovid microphone system. We played a barn dance, and I plugged the mic into the PA via a Headway EDB1 preamp. The mic needed a little more gain than the AKG C411, but not excessively so. The mic sounded fine, playing fiddle tunes for dancing and parts of our bluegrass set between dances. Handling noise was not a problem, although I did knock the mic off the mandolin at one point; my fault, but the clamp could do with being a little firmer. No feedback problems (except when I knocked the mic off and launched it towards the monitors; I was glad of the 'mute' function on the preamp!). All the band members commented on how 'natural' the mandolin sounded; they are used to the acoustic sound of my instrument at practices. I particularly liked the 'chop' sound; when played acoustically, my F5 has a monster chop, and the mic really brought this out. Another barn dance tonight; I'm going to go wireless this time. The mic plugs straight into AKG type wireless belt packs. The next real test will be playing to a 'listening' audience, in a concert in a couple of weeks time.
    Tim Mundy
    www.slipperyhill.co.uk
    2002 Gibson F5 Fern
    1920 Gibson A2
    2005 Gibson A5L
    Rigel A+ Deluxe Custom
    1926 Gibson TB1 Tenor Banjo
    1963 Epiphone TF28 Tenor Guitar
    Ovation MM868 Mandocello
    1987 Rob Armstrong Mandolinetto

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  10. #8
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    Good to hear. Pleased you got a good result. It would be great if there were a lower cost alternative to the higher end systems that folks found good value and delivered acceptable results!
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

  11. #9

    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    Further report; I tried the Ovid mic with an AKG wireless beltpack on Saturday. It worked really well. During soundcheck I was able to wander out in front of the main speakers to check my sound, with plenty of gain and without a trace of feedback. For what I need, this is an impressive piece of kit. It isn't as good as a DPA4099V, but it's very close. It does the job for live work, at a very reasonable cost.
    Tim Mundy
    www.slipperyhill.co.uk
    2002 Gibson F5 Fern
    1920 Gibson A2
    2005 Gibson A5L
    Rigel A+ Deluxe Custom
    1926 Gibson TB1 Tenor Banjo
    1963 Epiphone TF28 Tenor Guitar
    Ovation MM868 Mandocello
    1987 Rob Armstrong Mandolinetto

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  13. #10
    Registered User Rob Beck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    Hi Tim,

    I was very interested to read your posts regarding the Thomann Ovid system, as I have been looking for just such a solution to the quacking peizo pickup I currently have installed on my mandolin, and the DPA 4099 is way out of my price range! I don't understand a great deal about the electronic side of playing live however, and was wondering if you could clarify a point for me. The Ovid system seems to have an XLR output. I currently have a Behringer v-tone acoustic ADI 21 preamp, but it only has a jack input, not have an XLR input. Does this mean that the Ovid system requires a new preamp similar to the Headway one you use, or does it come with any kind of adapter?

    I'm afraid I couldn't work this out from reading the specs on the Thomann web page.

    Many thanks for any advice you can offer.

    Rob

  14. #11

    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    Thanks this is good to know
    You guys are better than reading an add or a magazine article
    Craig

  15. #12
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie Ray Mojo View Post
    The Ovid system seems to have an XLR output. I currently have a Behringer v-tone acoustic ADI 21 preamp, but it only has a jack input, not have an XLR input. Does this mean that the Ovid system requires a new preamp similar to the Headway one you use, or does it come with any kind of adapter?
    Absolutely will not work with an ADI 21. It is an electret microphone, not a piezo pickup. It requires a balanced input that supplies phantom power. It is supplied with a phantom adapter, however. Just plugs into either beltpack wireless transmitter (mini connector) or regular mic level XLR input on the desk.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

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    Thank you very much for that information Almeriastrings, that sounds like the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle!
    Last edited by Rob Beck; Sep-23-2013 at 2:06pm.
    Rob

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  18. #14

    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    Hi Robbie
    I'm pretty sure you could use the Ovid mic without a preamp; as Almeria says (and he knows his stuff!) the mic comes with a cable attached that ends in a three pin mini xlr plug. This plugs into a phantom power adapter (also provided) that regulates the voltage supplied to the mic, and clips onto your belt. This in turn has a full-size XLR output, so you can attach a normal xlr cable from there to the channel input on the desk. The xlr input on the desk has a preamp built in, and gain can be controlled from there. The main reason I use the Headway is to give me some volume and EQ control at my figertips; in our band, the desk is usually either out front or at the other side of the stage. I probably only touch it a couple of times in a gig. I switched for the same reasons as you; I was looking for something better than a piezo. Some piezos are better than others, and the AKG C411 contact mic was better than any piezo I tried; the Ovid is another step up from that. For the money, the Ovid system looks like a great deal. I tried it on a number of instruments (my wife plays flute, banjo, sax, double bass and tenor guitar) and it sounded pretty good on all of them with a bit of experimenting around positioning.
    Tim Mundy
    www.slipperyhill.co.uk
    2002 Gibson F5 Fern
    1920 Gibson A2
    2005 Gibson A5L
    Rigel A+ Deluxe Custom
    1926 Gibson TB1 Tenor Banjo
    1963 Epiphone TF28 Tenor Guitar
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    Thanks very much for the detailed information Tim, you and Almeriastrings have addressed all my concerns! It looks like the route I'll be taking then! I'll endeavour to report back here after I have ordered one and tried it out. :o)
    Rob

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    Registered User Polecat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    I've just been looking at Thomanns website - the Mic plus Adaptor costs a paltry 47 Euros! If mandotim reckons it's an improvement on the AKG C411 (which I've been using for years very happily, and costs 159 Euros from Thomann), its got to be worth a try. I've got a couple of viola chinrest clamps knocking around (bought for a tone guard project I've yet to realize), I'm sure one will convert nicely as a gooseneck clamp, and will be sturdier than what Thomann would supply.
    "Give me a mandolin and I'll play you rock 'n' roll" (Keith Moon)

  22. #17
    Registered User Rob Beck's Avatar
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    Well, the Ovid CC 100 arrived today, and so far I am very impressed with Thomann's service. I modified the violin mount in the way suggested by Tim, which was as easy as he said! I ordered the violin bundle, which includes a case and the violin mount for EUR72. I'll post again when I have tried it out.
    Rob

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    Tried the CC 100 through the desk tonight, and I have to say, compared with the piezo pickup, this mic sounds fantastic, it sounds like an acoustic mandolin, but louder! The lead from the mic to the mini XLR does seem pretty thin, and is the one area of concern I have at the moment. I was wondering if the outer casing of a bicycle brake cable might be used to re-enforce it, but then again, the additional weight could do more damage than it prevents!
    Rob

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  25. #19

    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    Okay, I've now played five gigs with this setup, and it's time for a review. To my ears, this rig sounds better than any piezo or stick-on mic I've tried, including the Baggs Radius and the AKG C411. (I've tried lots of others as well!) It's particularly good at reproducing the woofy chop of my F5, and is clear and accurate on solo work. It doesn't appear to 'colour' the sound much, leaving scope to EQ for personal preference. The other band members agree that it has made my mandolin sound far more like the acoustic tone they hear in rehearsals. (Incidentally, I also have a K&K Silver Bullet that my wife borrows to use on her flute; I did an A/B test with the Ovid, and preferred the sound of the Ovid) It works well with my AKG wireless beltpack, and resists feedback well in live situations Like any mic, it will feed back if you provoke it severely, but that's a setup issue, not about the mic. Handling noise doesn't seem to be a problem, as the mic has a rudimentary shockmount built into the gooseneck.
    Only one downside; I've knocked the clamp off a couple of times, and I find myself worrying about it in live situations; I'm quite an 'enthusiastic' player, and my right hand is often close to where the mic head is positioned, pointing at the fingerboard extension. The clamp will work fine on a fiddle, as there is usually a 'lip' on the body, but my F5 has very deep carving on the scroll, and this means there are no really flat surfaces for the clamp to grip. I've ordered a K&K Meridian mandolin clamp, which uses barrel screws like a violin chinrest. This should give a much more solid fixing, and will work with virtually any gooseneck mic.
    Overall; this is a really good solution for anyone who wants to get into clip-on condensers on a reasonable budget, and I'd recommend it. If you buy the violin bundle, it's cheap enough to write it off as an experiment.
    Tim Mundy
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    1926 Gibson TB1 Tenor Banjo
    1963 Epiphone TF28 Tenor Guitar
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  27. #20
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    Quote Originally Posted by mandotim1955 View Post
    Only one downside; I've knocked the clamp off a couple of times, and I find myself worrying about it in live situations; I'm quite an 'enthusiastic' player, and my right hand is often close to where the mic head is positioned, pointing at the fingerboard extension.
    It sounds like you have the mic clamped somewhere on the upper body? If so, you might want to try a location on the lower body, aimed at the bottom of the bass-side F-hole. Here's a photo of how I have my DPA 4099 clamped at that location, from an earlier thread here:

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...l=1#post720520

    This is roughly where Chris Thile has his clip-on mic aimed, as far as I can tell, although I think he's using an older model Audio-Technica mic with a mount rigged on the taiilpiece. This location doesn't interfere with my picking hand. It's also in the same general area where I'd point an external microphone for recording, so the tone is good and I don't hear any pick click noise.

  28. #21

    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    Hi Foldedpath. That's a good idea, and well worth a try. I was aiming at the neck/body joint, as that tends to give me the best 'chop' sound. If I'm recording mandolin I generally use two mics, one pointing at the neck/body joint and one where you suggest, pointing at the lower F hole. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Tim Mundy
    www.slipperyhill.co.uk
    2002 Gibson F5 Fern
    1920 Gibson A2
    2005 Gibson A5L
    Rigel A+ Deluxe Custom
    1926 Gibson TB1 Tenor Banjo
    1963 Epiphone TF28 Tenor Guitar
    Ovation MM868 Mandocello
    1987 Rob Armstrong Mandolinetto

  29. #22

    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    Lots of gigs with this system, and more news. First off: I broke it! I think I may have broken a connection in the attached cable. I emailed Thomann to let them know what had happened; my free replacement mic arrives today. Impressive, to say the least. I've changed the location of the mic on the instrument, along the lines suggested by Foldedpath (above). I used our band tech rehearsal to experiment, and found that the best position for my F5 was between the tailpiece and the lower point, with the mic pointing at the treble foot of the bridge, acouple of inches away. Not sure about why this is so, but it sounds wonderful in this position and rejects feedback really well. The mixer we used allows us to record our sound and then go 'out front' to listen, so this was a 'real world' A/B test, with band members taking a view as well. There was no argument that this position was the best, by miles. Pointing direct at the F hole gave a rather boomy tone, and was prone to feedback. We also tried a second Ovid with the guitar mount on a dobro, and this produced the best dobro sound I've come across apart from JD himself (that may have something to do with the player!). The dobro player heard the recording of his tone, took out his iPhone and ordered one on the spot. Says it all really...
    A reply to the question about mounting on an octave mandolin; I tried it on mine, and yes, the guitar clip is a little long (about an inch or so). I found if I put it in the right place, this wasn't a problem, but it would be easy to shorten the clip by cutting off a little from the end of the mounting bar.
    Overall, I'm still mightily impressed with this system, and with the customer service from Thomann. It produces a more than acceptable acoustic mandolin tone, and is very flexible and effective in use. Difficult to beat at the price.
    Tim Mundy
    www.slipperyhill.co.uk
    2002 Gibson F5 Fern
    1920 Gibson A2
    2005 Gibson A5L
    Rigel A+ Deluxe Custom
    1926 Gibson TB1 Tenor Banjo
    1963 Epiphone TF28 Tenor Guitar
    Ovation MM868 Mandocello
    1987 Rob Armstrong Mandolinetto

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  31. #23
    Registered User Rob Beck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    I too have managed to knock the mic' off the body of the mandolin during a performance last Sunday. But have not managed to break it yet, despite its fragile appearance!

    I am using it on an oval holed A style mandolin (the one you can see in my profile picture). In order to try and keep it clear of my hand, I have it mounted on the treble side of the body, close to the fingerboard, with the mic' pointing directly at the sound hole, however, I have had a few problems with feedback (the venue was not ideal when this happened, as I was standing almost right next to the PA speaker!). I also find that I like to play tremolo with the plectrum over the fingerboard, and I can't do this with the mic' in its current position.

    I think I may try Tim's approach, I had not thought of pointing the mic' anywhere other than at the sound hole!

    My band mates also say that it sounds vastly better than the peizo pickup that I was using before. :o)

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    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    I wanted to bring attention to a little known Audio Technica mic that I have found to be the best sounding violin mandolin mic for the money: The BP-896 that comes out of their theater line, its tiny has fabulous frequency response in the mandolin and violin range and is feather light. Musicians friend has them on sale for 250.00 with the power supply. I use it with an AT wireless packs as well. Can't say enough about these mics. My now deceased friend, Ken rRichel, ex AT vp turned me on to them about 4 years ago. Easy to mount wit the included clips or better yet use the DP mic mount for about 8 bucks on the fiddle or the mandolin. Every sound man I have worked with has commented on the great fiddle sound and mandolin sound with these. Look them up. Not a lot of issues with feedback in spite of being an omni.
    John

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  33. #25

    Default Re: Thomann Ovid mic system

    The AT BP896 certainly looks interesting. I've heard my sound tech buddies talking about this one as well, using it for theatre shows. It may well be better than the Ovid, but it's up in DPA territory as far as price goes. Very expensive over here in the UK, costing more than six times as much as the Ovid equivalent. I'm very tempted by DPA, but I'm using it for live shows, not recording, and I can't justify the price jump for what my ears tell me is a 5% or so improvement in quality. The Ovid will do very nicely for now (you can never say never with gear, of course!)
    Tim Mundy
    www.slipperyhill.co.uk
    2002 Gibson F5 Fern
    1920 Gibson A2
    2005 Gibson A5L
    Rigel A+ Deluxe Custom
    1926 Gibson TB1 Tenor Banjo
    1963 Epiphone TF28 Tenor Guitar
    Ovation MM868 Mandocello
    1987 Rob Armstrong Mandolinetto

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