Cross-Spectrum Microphone Calibration Service - USA - Page 32 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #311 of 368 Old 09-23-13, 06:20 PM
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Steve
 
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Re: Cross-Spectrum Microphone Calibration Service - USA

Ordered a UMIK-1 last Tuesday, when the site said they would start shipping today, but received it today, much faster delivery than I expected, and received in perfect shape.
Appreciate the thumb drive with correction factors, nice touch. Also contacted Anechoic, and he responded within minutes to my pm, and made me a very satisfied customer.

I did a quick comparison between miniDSP's correction factors, and the ones from CSM, I would have been about 2dB hot at 20Hz, and 6dB hot at 10Hz if bought from the factory. It's something I would never have heard, but the peace of mind of this professional service is exactly what I wanted.

Looking forward to running RTA through REW with a generated pink noise file tomorrow (thanks Mojave/desertdome). And thanks for helping at HTS.
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post #312 of 368 Old 09-23-13, 06:32 PM
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Scott
 
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Re: Cross-Spectrum Microphone Calibration Service - USA

Their website has been updated to say they have limited quantities in stock, and they will ship in the next five days. I was able to get the order to go through tonight. I can't wait to start using it.

Scott
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post #313 of 368 Old 09-24-13, 10:10 PM
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Re: Cross-Spectrum Microphone Calibration Service - USA

UMIK-1 ordered this evening...... Looking forward to REW and this simplified hardware combination.

I've got an older B&K 2203, but the most recent calibration was from the early '90s.

Monitor config in my studio is the goal.

Cheers all and thanks for the great info!
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post #314 of 368 Old 09-26-13, 02:51 PM
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Re: Cross-Spectrum Microphone Calibration Service - USA

Hey,

So I got a question regarding the calibration files produced by Cross-Spectrum labs. Attached is a graph showing the 1kHz-20kHz portion of two calibration files, one for an ECM-8000 that I ordered years ago, and another one for a UMIK-1 that I just received.

There is one thing that worries me about how these frequency response graphs look: the sharp "edges" ("jumps") that they contain, especially visible between 3kHz and 5kHz. This looks very unnatural: sharp "jumps", which in the case of the ECM-8000 are followed by even more unnatural ruler flat "plateaus". The reason why I say they look unnatural is because their sharpness imply that they can only be the result of very high-order filters, and I'm not sure what would explain such peculiarities in these microphones.

Ideally, I would have expected a much smoother frequency response without any kind of sudden changes.

For what it's worth, the calibration file provided by MiniDSP for the UMIK-1 does not contain such oddities.

So my question is: are these sharp edges in the frequency response real or simply errors from the microphone measurements? And if they're real, what is the physical/electrical explanation for their presence?
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Cross-Spectrum Microphone Calibration Service - USA-calibs.png  

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post #315 of 368 Old 09-29-13, 04:58 AM
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Re: Cross-Spectrum Microphone Calibration Service - USA

Quote:
SRW1000 wrote: View Post
Their website has been updated to say they have limited quantities in stock, and they will ship in the next five days. I was able to get the order to go through tonight. I can't wait to start using it.

Scott
Although it still says they have a limited number of UMIK-1's in stock, it's not going through the payment step as "your item(s) sold out".

Here's hoping the wait for these beauties isn't going to be too long.

Last edited by AudiocRaver; 09-29-13 at 11:52 AM.
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post #316 of 368 Old 09-29-13, 09:44 AM
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Re: Cross-Spectrum Microphone Calibration Service - USA

Quote:
e-t172 wrote: View Post
So my question is: are these sharp edges in the frequency response real or simply errors from the microphone measurements? And if they're real, what is the physical/electrical explanation for their presence?
It's an artifact from the smoothing process I use to remove room effects. It creates an error somewhere on the order of +/1 0.5 dB. I may have been a little too aggressive in the case of your mic. What is the serial number of that mic?
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post #317 of 368 Old 09-29-13, 10:21 AM
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Re: Cross-Spectrum Microphone Calibration Service - USA

Hi all,

It may have seemed to some that I have dropped off the face of the earth in recent months, so I wanted to give an update about what's been going, touching on UMIK-1 availablity and shipping issues in particular.

The consulting part of our business has really taken off starting in the late spring and I spent a large part of the summer on the road so that really disrupted things on my end. Earlier this year I hired an assistant to help with mic calibrations, and he has helped to shoulder some of the load. We ran into some problems with his measurement setup during the summer so that delayed things. We have since resolved those problems, but he then had a family emergency, and since my schedule is still crazy we still had delays. We are getting back to normal, although I will warn that there will probably be delays again in late October/early November due to a pending move.

With regard to UMIK-1 availably, especially in contracts with the availability of the other products we sell: the Dayton EMM-6 & UMM-6 mics and Galaxy CM-140 meters come from local sources, so even if we sell out, we can usually get restocked in a couple of days. UMIK-1 are coming straight from Asia, so delivery takes on the order of a couple of weeks. I do order stock in relatively large batches, but I use the inventory control feature of PayPal to only sell small batches at a time so I can smooth out sales over a longer time frame. Otherwise, what would happen is that mics would sell out in a couple of days and then folks would have to wait weeks to get more mics. Even with this process, we're still selling mics at a very rapid pace, but MiniDSP is also selling mics fast so there are times when I may have to wait a couple of weeks for MiniDSP to re-up on their end. We're still navigating our way through this - and to their credit, MiniDSP has been very generous at help us work through this. I think we're both very (and pleasantly!) surprised at how well these mics are selling.

I've written before about the fragility of the Dayton UMM-6 USB mic. I spoke with someone at Dayton during the late spring about the issue and he mentioned that DA was aware of the issue and trying to work on it. That was right before the big gap in UMM-6 availability during the summer, so I can only hope they changed the manufacturing process to make the mics more durable. On my end, I haven't seen any come apart. If you've purchased a UMM-6 (from me or PE) after August and had one break, I'd like to hear from you. If these mics are shown to be more durable, I'll open them up again for international sales. One definite improvement I've seen in the UMM-6 is that they're much flatter on the high frequency range compared to the UMIK-1 and older UMM-6 mics. But until I'm sure the fragility problems have been addressed, I'll continue to recommend the UMIK-1 over the UMM-6 for USB mics.

The final issue I want to address are the various problems I've been having with the US postal service. For the first three or four years of shipping mics, I maybe had a shipping problem (packaging being lost or significantly delayed) two or three times per year, with most problems happening during the Christmas season when the USPS is handling a huge volume of packages. In the past 8 months we've had several dozen packages being waylaid or gone missing (most eventually found their way to the correct destination after several months, but at that point I had already sent replacement items). Speaking with my local USPS contacts it appears that due to budget cuts, the USPS closed our local (Springfield MA) distribution center and sent all distribution operations to Hartford CT and that caused a noticeable drop in service reliability. Furthermore it seems that some of the international shipping issues are being caused by similar cutbacks in foreign postal services.

I'm not quite sure how to address these postal issues. USPS is by far the most inexpensive option (and I basically charge the actual cost for shipping, there's no profit there), but quality has gone downhill. There's always the option of using FedEx and/or UPS - the advantage is that their delivery times are guaranteed. The downside is that I would have to raise shipping costs by around $5-$10 (depending on the destination) for domestic shipping, and up to ~$25 for international shipping. The price increase is due to the increased cost of the service itself, the fact that I would have to buy boxes (USPS provides shipping boxes for free) and I would have to pay for UPS/FedEx pickups (or drive way out of my way to drop them off at authorized shipping centers). While I do ship a lot of packages (we do something like 15% of the volume at the local post office) we don't ship any near enough to be eligible for volume pricing unfortunately. I'd love to hear from folks about whether they would want to pay more money for more reliable shipping.

So that is what's been going on at my end. Sorry for all the delays, and I really appreciate your patience over these past few months.
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post #318 of 368 Old 09-29-13, 02:26 PM
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Re: Cross-Spectrum Microphone Calibration Service - USA

Thanks from me (and I am sure on behalf of many other current & future customers of yours) for the fulsome reply.

All the best with work, business & life. Without having been subject to the vagaries of USPS, I wonder if it's worth offering both options e.g. UPS and USPS, and the buyer can make the choice.

Anyway, will look forward to the next batch being released to the store
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post #319 of 368 Old 09-29-13, 09:23 PM
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Re: Cross-Spectrum Microphone Calibration Service - USA

Well thats awesome to hear the update. I just ordered my Umik from Mini only because I wanted it soon. BUT I would have rather had the CS version. I will just wait and possibly order another around Xmas anyways from CS.

"Music is the space between the notes"
“[T]o talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but that an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.”
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post #320 of 368 Old 09-29-13, 09:54 PM
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Re: Cross-Spectrum Microphone Calibration Service - USA

Quote:
sos_nz wrote: View Post
Without having been subject to the vagaries of USPS, I wonder if it's worth offering both options e.g. UPS and USPS, and the buyer can make the choice.
This would be my preference as well. Some may be willing to pay an additional 5-10% for the more reliable shipping times, but others will be willing to wait the extra few days for delivery. If you were to offer FedEx or UPS, I'd bet that a lot of those customers would even opt for next day delivery.

For me, I'd just as soon save the $10, but the increase in loss/damage claims is certainly a concern. They can quickly eat up time and are a real hassle to deal with. If the trend continues, nobody would blame you for switching providers.

Glad to see you're business is busy, though! Managing growth can be a challenge, but it's better than the alternative.

Scott
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