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Core Sound Mic2496 V2
User Comments

(Last updated 08/19/2015)

Nick Casares reviewed Mic2496 V2 in the May 2009 issue of Recording magazine.

(We will be happy send you a printed copy upon request.)

Here are some excerpts:

The 2496 is designed to be a compact link between microphones and recording device.

I was lucky enough to receive the 2496 before a session for a vocal recording. ... With the 2496, the only piece of gear I carried into the session was a mic stand; every thing else I needed was neatly packed into my laptop backpack. A freeing feeling indeed!

Connecting the 2496 was a breeze and it took less than 5 minutes to set up my session and get sounds into Audacity over the Toslink connection to the Mac. ...

I listened closely for noise and the sonic qualities of the 2496. I've used my share of upper-end preamps and must say that the relative quality of the 2496 impressed me. The 2496 puts out a lot of gain and the noise floor of the mic pre is unnoticeable up until the last few dB of gain. The response is flat without any noticeable bumps or dips through the frequency range -- certainly no coloration here. If anything the 2496 let me hear all of the shortcomings in my microphone choice.

The headphone amp in the 2496 puts out more than enough gain to listen through my gain-hungry Sennheiser HD580s.

I liked the Mic2496 a lot.

The 2496 represents a great tradeoff between features and performance. It's obvious that Core Sound understands the location recording market and is doing a great job of providing this niche with a solid set of recording tools. If location recording is your thing the Mic2496 V2 is a value that's hard to pass up. Recommended.

R.H. wrote:

...I know I have said it before but I can't say it enough: the Mic2496V2 is a great piece of engineering and feature engineering. I use it to record music shows about 30 times a year and it always produces great results. And it has exactly the features that I need.

K.H., in Greenland, wrote:

Wow! I just received the shipment today. And after getting it to work with the Sony PCM-D50 and Rode NT4 - it was very easy - the initial impression is excellent. Very impressive at 24/96 - Clean, Powerful, Natural Sound! So much better than the Sony alone.

Thank You!

R.B. wrote:

I record, edit and design sound effects for video and film. I use a Crown SSAS head with 4006 B&K (now DPA) microphones for most of my recording work. The V2 with its true 48V , low noise, low distortion and 24 bit range is the proverbial "wire with gain" . The resulting recordings are beautiful transparent sounds with depth and breadth. My recordings have never sounded sooo good!

S.D. wrote:

Thanks for getting the Mic2496 out to me. The sound is incredible. The sensitivity and clarity of my setup have just changed dramatically.

E.A. wrote:

I've fallen in love with the accuracy of the recordings. For once my guitar actually sounds on a recording like it does to my ears.

K.H. up in Thunder Bay (Canada), wrote:

Wow, this has much more input gain than I will be able to use with my mikes, (I am using a 12 V gel cell for power supply.) and I like the solid, substantial feel that everything has with this device. Thanks!


The "$1000 Challenge"

William Haven coordinated the "$1000 Challenge" for the Nature Recordists group on Yahoo. Their goal was to find the best preamp and recorder for nature recording with a cost of less than $1000. The results of the test can be reviewed here:


He wrote:

To my ear, the Mic2496 was every bit as quiet as the Sound Devices 744t, Tascam HD-P2, and HHB MDP500, three highly regarded recorders. The [original] Mic2496 performed better than the Sony Hi-MD machine and Nagra ARES-M in this test.

My conclusion is that the [original] Mic2496, in combination with an inexpensive recorder with digital input like the M-Audio Microtrack 2496, makes an excellent field recorder, worthy of use with the quietest microphones. The Mic2496's small size and light weight are most welcome when carrying gear in the field.

I also found the Mic2496 to have a remarkably rugged construction. It's considerably stronger than I expected from the photos. I appreciate the locking toggle switches.

G.W., in Regina (Canada), wrote:

I just wanted to drop you a note and thank you for the Mic2496 and compliment you on its performance. It arrived a while ago but I just got around to making up my cables and giving it a test. I'm using a Rode NT-4, stereo microphone into an MAudio Microtrack. The Rode is great but the analog of the Microtrack is actually quite noisy. I tried an external mic preamp and it was the same; the line in was just as noisy. I then ran into an external AD converter and it was very good, but it was no longer portable. The Mic2496 seemed like the thing to try next. I made a SPDIF cable and one 5 pin cable that goes from the Mic2496 jack to the 5 pin of the Rode. It's very sleek. More importantly, it sounds great! Very clear, noise free and HiFi. Great job and thanks!

B.K. wrote:

I've been having super results with the Mic2496/PDAudio and Live2496 at 24/88.2 on my HP hx4705 with 1GB SD cards. The media change has been going without a hitch--though I'm looking into the PPCTechs memory upgrade for more gap file room. Got the KU-100 [Neumann's binaural heard]. Very pleased! The reproduction through headphones is, of course, uncanny, and the imaging across loudspeakers is some of the best I've heard.

M.V.B. wrote:

I have now purchased (2) sets of CSB mics, (1) set of HEB mics with 4060 capsules and the mic 24/96 and have loved them all. You make the best quality portable audio available in my opinion. I also appreciate the fact that these mics are so easy to sell used - I sold my 4060 mics on eBay for $850 after two years of use!

S.A. wrote:

...used the Mic2496 on a session with a [Neumann] TLM-103 and got excellent results. It's a really handy and good sounding preamp.

C.W., using Mic2496 with a set of our HEB/4062 microphones, wrote:

Recording has gone quite well on the US Navy's Strike Force flight line in at the Oceana Naval base. The Mic2496 and PDAudio-CF worked flawlessly and allowed us to capture realistic F18 noise data that we are now using for simulation testing of speech recognition in the presence of jet noise. Thanks for a great product!

J.N. wrote:

I went out Saturday and used the rig again, worked great. ... It was outdoors at a street festival and someone actually approached me and asked if that was "that Core Sound preamp." He had seen them online, but never one in person. People seem to get really giggly when they see how compact everything is.

G.E. wrote:

...I love the sound, it is what I hoped to get but was not quite certain that it was possible. Thanks again for working to get this technology out to people like me.

P.C., a taper in Canada using a set of HEBs with Mic2496, wrote:

...I put them to use the next day after I met up with you in Teaneck. For copyright reasons I can't tell you who's playing...

...It was recorded in .wav with my NJB3 then slightly edited with Adobe Audition. The mics were clipped between the first row and the performers at about 30 cm distance from each other. It's amazing how much headroom there is on this setup! It wasn't even clipping during the applause. Very crisp yet warm. Thank you again.

E.M., a taper in France, wrote:

Bravo for the sound quality of the Mic2496!

H.O. wrote:

...the results are better than I'd hoped, so thanks so much.

...I'm delighted with the results

S.K. wrote:

replaced a sony dat with core-sound mic 2496, pda audio cf interface, ipaq 5150 with gidluck live 2496, nexian dual slot expansion pack (for the tiny size) and a couple of 2 gb cf (sandisk standards) HEB 4060 mics. so far so good, stable 24/48 !

wow. simply stunning sound, unparalleled accuracy. these are the *ultimate* portables, very stealthy indeed, no prob. progressive company, they even provided outstanding support to get me (amateur recordist/audiophile/pc moron) up and running.

highest recommendation, exceeded expectations !

M.F. wrote:

I really like the mic2496, and I really appreciate the improvements (the new switches..) you have made. I am using it with an Iriver IHP 140 and it works really great!

R.B., on the Yahoo PenComputingAudio mailing list, wrote:

...I've been using the following system to capture classical concerts and chamber music performances:

Core HEB mic set (DPA 4060), configured for Mic2496
6-inch Toslink-to-Miniplug Optical Cable
HP iPAQ 2210
Live2496 software
1 GB SD cards

...The CDs I've produced using this system have been outstanding. I typically give a CD to each of the performers (including my wife, a Violist) and all have been quite impressed and pleased.

...Last year at this time it was not clear that anyone was routinely capturing live recordings using PDAs. This year, even an inexperienced taper such as myself can expect to capture remarkably high quality live recordings each and every time.

J.K, a an independent film producer and location sound engineer in NYC, wrote:

...Been playing around with my iRiver iHP-120 with the Core Sound Mic2496 and a pair of DPA 4060s for location sound (ambience) and gotta say the results are sweet. Since the Mic2496 is sending a straight optical signal to the iRiver, there's basically no noise. And, to my surprise, the iRiver actually records in 16bit/48khz wav files.

I also had Len Moskowitz at Core Sound rig up an XLR adaptor to split the signal from my boom mic into two channels. I set the Mic2496 to two different levels to capture a full spectrum of volume. (Basically, one is set low in case someone shouts). The boom operator carries the Mic2496 and the iRiver and it's possible to monitor the iRiver in real time.

...I know, i'm crazy. I just look to see if the Mic2496 goes red, I know I'm clipping. I back off both channels from there and then back off one channel even more. The preamp/iRiver is very very quiet and clean so even if the preamp is set very low, I can boost the volume in post without noise. With two channels, I'm assured at least one hasn't clipped.

So what i have is: A hard-wired boom (without any cords to the camera or DAT) recording pristine 16bit/48khz location sound (without the need for the "sound guy" riding the gain) that can be imported into my computer via USB 2.0 in a matter of seconds, all for about $900 (not including the mics). not bad.

Thanks to Len at Core Sound. Sorry if this sounds like a plug.

M.P. wrote:

I wanted to take a moment and express my satisfaction with my new recording setup. I purchased a set of your HEB4060's along with your new Mic2496 preamp & PDAudio card. I'm currently running an HP IPAQ 5555 with dual card expansion pack for the PDAudio card and 5gb drive. Software being used at present is Pocco 's Wichita and Gidlucks Live 2496.

I've had several good recording sessions with great results. The HEB4060's sound absolutely incredible. Several listeners are amazed with the sound quality from such a small microphone setup. I started out a few years ago with a DAT deck and have also used a laptop on several occasions for recording. I find the PDA combined with your products my favorite. I highly recommend it.

J.G.S. (P.E.), using PDAudio-CF, Mic2496 and HEB/4060, wrote:

The other day I was making recordings in the anechoic chamber and kept noticing a "tick-tick-tick" my recordings at ambient (about 15 dBA). Turned out, it was my MagicStor CF drive. At first I was bummed. Then, I realized I had just made a high fidelity recording of one of the quietest devices one could possible work on. So, it looks like its solid state CF memory for my application but the signal to noise ratio and fidelity are awesome.

B.W. (CAS, MPSE, AMPS), an audio professional in Georgia, wrote:

I have been recording sound effects for some of the projects I have been posting and absolutely am thrilled with the sonic quality of the Audio card [PDAudio-CF] and Mic 2496. Both stereo and mono recordings are truthful reproductions of the sounds recorded and the portability of the 'system' is something I have been looking forward to for many years.

Brian Dipert, an editor for EDN Magazine, wrote:

I'm doing something I've been contemplating for some time. I'm selling all my DAT-related gear. I can frankly think of no better testimonial to the capability of both the hardware and software I tested at ACL...

(You can read his ACL music festival comments here. You can see Brian's earlier two-part article about PDAudio-CF and Mic2496 in the May 29th and June 12th issues of EDN Magazine. Click here to see Part One of that article, and here for Part Two. )



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