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Superlux S241, budget cardioid for recording dialogue indoors
  • Just completed a test with the Superlux S241 and it is a very good sounding microphone indeed. I am impressed. Compared to the Oktava-012 it has a hotter signal, lower noise floor and a slight bump in the 10-12k region. Variable high-pass filter and pad are built in and accessible via micro switch on the barrel. It is somewhat heavier and slightly longer but with the Oktava you have to screw on the additional pad if you need it and and the high-pass module is only available with the 'film' version (i.e. extra cost). The S241 comes with a very well built metal pop-screen, foam windscreen and a shock mount unlike the Oktava's metal clip mount which certainly serves its purpose but offers zero protection from vibration - an imperative accessory on a mic reputable for its excessive handling noise. The stand out feature is its price: 85€ vs 152€ for the barebones Oktava (i.e. no high-pass module, windscreen or pop-filter). Perhaps VK can swing a further discount on P-V deals?... All I can add is at this price this mic is a steal and seriously worth considering if you're in the market for a cardioid mic.

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  • That's where I got mine. I think that's already ridiculously cheap but I mentioned it just in case.

    To be fair to Oktava the -10db pad is completely unnecessary for dialogue recording, unless you have the mic shoved down the throat of some excessively loud individual. Having said that, the S241 can apparently handle 143db SPL. I doubt the poor fucker who validated that owns an iPod...

  • Awesome, I've been looking at that mic. Do you have any dialogue samples?

  • @Madmanden

    Raw takes attached below.

    Sample GH2.wav
    Sample Lav.wav
    Sample Mic A.wav
    Sample Mic B.wav
  • @spacewig

    I think 320mbps mp3 can be enough :-)

  • Oh, sorry VK. I thought for the purist anything less than a .wav file was blasphemous... If you want to delete them I can upload in your preferred format.

  • Thanks @spacewig! Can't wait to take a listen when I get home from work.

  • Shot a few more interviews since my last post. All I can say is WOW. Very good microphone, no need to add air. Totally recommended for anyone looking for an affordable SDC!

  • If this Superlux is so great, why it seems that so many people chooses Oktava instead?

  • I have no idea though my guess would be due to reputation. But let me be clear, what I am trying to communicate - based on my experience as I have been recording all dialogue with both the Oktava & the Superlux - is that the S241 is in no way inferior to the Oktava yet it is quite a bit cheaper. I personally don't give a shit what anyone else is buying, I'm simply sharing my opinion on this forum much like everyone else. If no one ends up buying this microphone it certainly is of no consequence to me.

  • @spacewig Ok. Superlux S241 has been on market at least from year 2008, so I find it strange no-one else than you have made same conclusion.

  • There was a scandal a few years back where someone discovered Chinese imitation Oktavas were being sold as the real thing. I wonder if those imitations became Superlux ;)

    I have read good things about the Superlux S502 ORTF mics, also supposed to sound great for the price, but I haven't tried them myself.

  • @tonalt It's strange if you judge sound quality with your eyes instead of your ears. Listen to the two files below and tell me which one was recorded with the superlative Oktava and which one with the flagrantly inferior Superlux that's inspired no one to rave about it.

    @MirrorMan I own the S502 and it's a fantastic mic for recording stereo ambiance. It cost 22.5 times less then the mic it imitates but I've yet to hear of anyone who's used both say it sounds 22.5% worse.

    Mic 1.mp3
    Mic 2.mp3
  • @spacewig I monitored both those recordings on Sennheiser HD 25-1 headphones and they sounded identical. I thought Oktava's were considered more or less quality budget mics, but now Superlux has lowered the bar.

    I use 2 Audio-Technica 4021 mics for recording ambiences and they're excellent. They are often compared to Sennheiser MKH40's, giving 95% of the quality for 1/3 the price.

  • Hmmmm.... sounds interesting. I was about to pick up another shotgun but having this might be interesting. In US Performance Audio sells them for $107.14 shipped (cont. US).

    Only drawback is that it'll suck the juice out of phantom power batteries (+48v). Really more a studio mic than a field mic.

  • @MirrorMan I'm surprised with those cans you're not hearing the difference but it's not huge and I find the Superlux better suited for dialogue due to the slight bump in the air region. However, this in no way makes the Oktavas bad mics. As a matter of fact I think both are really more than adequate for the job of recording dialogue and only pretentious dicks who feel stupid about having spent 20 times the amount on their mics for maybe 2% sonic enhancement out-of-the-box will feel the need to trash them.

    @dancerchris That's a very hard price to argue with and cheaper than what I paid for them. As for power requirements, I would only use these mics indoors where one would usually have access to power outlets. Outdoors I only use a shotgun where you absolutely want to have a focused sweet-spot with all ambient sounds coming from outside this narrow zone attenuated as much as possible.

  • Another well regarded FET pencil cardiod: Avantone Audio CK-1 ($150) It is a little more than the Superlux but has been getting some very good reviews on the audio recording sites I respect.

  • @dancerchris

    I have one chinese hypercardioid small mike. Was cheap and sold by australian seller (he sells under his own brand). I do not see it for long now.

  • @spacewig I don't judge sound by eyes. I just didn't have comparison files to be judged by ears. You uploaded files with names "Mic A" and "Mic B" but I wasn't really sure what those were.

    But now when I listen Mic 1.mp3 and Mic 2.mp3 them both sounds pretty good.

  • @spacewig, the second one sounds better to me. Is that the Oktava? Thanks for the test.

  • What difference are you hearing? Be as detailed as possible.

  • The Superlux is cardioid, right? The reason the MK012 became the bargain mic for dialogue is the hypercardioid capsule. The hyper has a better direct to reflected ratio, which gives a little extra margin when booming.


  • @Fran_Guidry

    It is topic mostly about specific mike. You can search, not long ago we talked about cheap hypers (something like - best mike under $1000). I provided link to cheap good hyper. @Rambo got one and like it also very much.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev I've seen that cheap hyper and was about to order one, but unfortunately the don't ship to South America :(

  • @Flaaandeeers

    You can always contact them and talk, try ebay and their shop.