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DPA 4006, September 1999


I don’t know about you, but too often when a company changes its
name or comes out with a new model that’s “just the same as the old
one,” I tend to be suspicious. So last year when Bruel & Kjaer
studio microphones became Danish Pro Audio (DPA), I had a few
reservations. After all, this wasn’t just some drumstick company, but
B&K-a revered name that’s almost synonymous with precision transducers. I decided to check the DPA 4006 and
see if it lived up to the original.

Retailing at $2,060, the 4006 is the standard 48-volt
phantom-powered version of the company’s low-noise—15
dB(A)—omni. The mic’s fitted storage case comes with a mic clip,
windscreen and two interchangeable grids. The standard silver grid is
designed to provide linear on-axis response in near-field applications;
for diffuse- or far-field recordings, the black protection grid adds an
on-axis 6dB boost centered around 15 kHz.

Aside from the DPA logo on the mic body (the capsules themselves
still say B&K) and a black rather than mahogany-finish mic box, the
main difference in the package is the manual. The DPA 4006 booklet only
covers that mic; previously, B&K issued a combo manual covering all
the 4000 Series. Options include a highly effective shock mount, an
alternate nose cone that ensures true omni performance-even at the
highest frequencies-and a variety of push-on acoustic pressure
equalizers that can change the mic’s character in seconds.

Miking a variety of sources ranging from piano to piccolo trumpet,
and triangle to 12-string, I compared the sound of the DPA and an older
B&K 4006, routed through a Millennia Media HV-3 preamp and
monitored on Meyer HD-1s. No difference between the two mics was
discernible. And, despite a five-year age difference between the models
tested, the two were virtually indistinguishable, even in blind
listening tests, with both delivering the wide, flat, transparent
low-noise performance that always has been a hallmark of the B&K
sound. It certainly is not true with all products and companies, but in
this case, there may be a diffferent name, but the sound’s the

DPA Microphones,