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Old 18th May 2011, 02:26 AM   #1
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Default Zoom H2 - Microphone Modification Panasonic WM61A

Hello

I hope everyone is happy and well. I think the ZOOM H2 is an incredible recorder for its size and price. Like anything in audio we always thrist for better. With the ZOOM H2 this soon becomes apparent when its recordings, although quite good, are compared with better equipment. In my case a Fostex FR2-LE with 2 omni condenser mics as well as some Bruel and Kjaer microphones. The ZOOM is just thinner and lacks body. I've played with EQ and it improves this to some extent, but I thought perhaps a more robust solution would be to replace the microphone capsule.

I know it's not fair to compare the $300 Zoom to other $$$$$ gear, but the incredible portability of the ZOOM H2, makes me want to atleast do something to improve it. I am aware that there are mods to improve its stereo separation using internal and external baffles and also to add line outs. All great ideas by the way and very well presented on the site by Bartok if I remember correctly as well as on Youtube.

My idea is to replace the capsules in the ZOOM H2 which are, as I recall Primo 135 directional capsules, with the Panasonic WM-61A Omni capsules. Some investigation a while a go (using my memory- sorry) lead me to conclude that it may be ALMOST as simple as a component swap, since although not equal, the capsules have simlar voltage requirements and simlar impedances. I've not taken it further than that, but its where I'd like to go when I get more free time OR if someone is interested now, perhaps they could take this idea further.

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JA
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Old 18th May 2011, 03:43 AM   #2
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Unless you need the "stealth" capabilities, and maybe even if you do, why not plug in external mics and see how the unit does? You can make up some external mics using the WM capsule, use a 9v battery and check out the sound.

It may well be that the problem you hear is in the A/D converter and the analog sections before that... not the mics...

Also when you go dual omni you will find that your soundfield with close spaced omnis may be mostly mono and not to your liking...

The Linkwitz site shows how to mod the electret mics for better headroom...

Would be good to know what you figure out...

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Old 18th May 2011, 01:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear View Post
Unless you need the "stealth" capabilities, and maybe even if you do, why not plug in external mics and see how the unit does? You can make up some external mics using the WM capsule, use a 9v battery and check out the sound.

It may well be that the problem you hear is in the A/D converter and the analog sections before that... not the mics...
Hello Bear,

Yes stealth would be good - I',m a sneaky little ####. I haven't played with external mics on the ZOOM, but you're right I should try it for myself. I had relied on the reports and measuremens of others which suggest that the external mic preamps are quite a bit more noisy than the internal mics which I've used to date and found reasonably noise free, hence the idea to mod the internal mics. Still I should probably just see for myself.

Best
JA
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Old 18th May 2011, 03:04 PM   #4
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You might find capsules like Primo EM-172/3 much better than the Panasonics and they come in 3-wire versions. If your up for more DIY Transsound TSB-165A's are available from JLI Electronics for a little more ($7.50) but you need your own FET and bias resistor. Both can make teenie stealth mics.
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Old 20th May 2011, 04:08 AM   #5
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Scott,

By "better" what are we saying?
flatter, higher SPL limits, lower distortion, all of the above??

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Old 9th October 2011, 08:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear View Post
The Linkwitz site shows how to mod the electret mics for better headroom...
The Linkwitz site seem to be disapeared..... at least:

http://www.linkwitzlab.com/sys_test.htm#Mic

does not work any more.....

Can anybody tell me what the 'Linkwitz update' of the Panasonic WM-61A comprihands?
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Old 10th October 2011, 11:28 PM   #7
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link works today, now... fwiw.

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