It was enginered a few years ago responding to NHK (Japanese National Broadcasting) wishes. Unlike its competitors, the Sanken CSS-5 does not rely, for its dierectivity pattern, on acoustic interferences in the forebody. Instead, thanks to some electronics, it combines the signal output by three in line cardioid capsules in the forebody (the tube) with the one output by a S-pattern microphone, located at the inner end of the tube. The integrated electronics allow the CSS-5 to deliver a stereo image (140°) wider than a traditionnal MS system (120°).
Three settings are avalaible:
- Mono: the M signal is output, only on the "Left" channel (look for the awkward orientation of MONO label on the switch)
- Normal: stereo by MS processing, 120° wide
- Wide: stereo by MS processing (weighted), 140° wide
Please note that the output signal is either mono M, either L & R stereo processed. Thus there is no way to record the M and S signals directly for further processing...
The Sanken CSS-5 is fitted with an XLR5M socket; both channels must be 48V Phantom powered. Backpackers will love this mike, as it can be used as a classical mono shotgun for interviews, and, with a simple switching, as a stereo mike for ambiances and wildtracks.
Sanken CSS-5 deals easily with great dynamics, like whispers right after a gunshot... When compared with Sennheiser MKH 418S, the Sanken CSS-5 offers a better signal to noise ratio. This is probably due, among other things, to Sennheiser not using the same kind of capsules for both M (416 type condennser) and S (mere electret) patterns.
Sanken's special shockmount for CSS-5 is available at DC Audiovisuel... Until Cinela delivers its own dedicated mighty Zephyx windscreen with adapted Osix.