DPA D:fine Mic: First Thoughts

I can honestly say I’ve been waiting for this mic for almost two years. I first met Bruce Meyers, then President of DPA, US at WFX in 2009. I had been a huge fan of the 4088 and 4066, and desperately wanted to move our pastor off of the e6 to a DPA. However, he didn’t like dual-ear designs and wouldn’t wear one. When I talked with Bruce about that, he said they were working on a solution and it would be ready when it was right. Right as defined by those fanatical Danes who make the mics. 

Well, it took them almost two years, but they did it. They came up with a single ear mic that is not only more secure than almost any single ear design out there, it’s also more comfortable and less obtrusive. And it has the same great DPA sound we know and love. At least that’s what we were told. I was anxious to try one. 

If you haven’t seen the Parkour video that DPA released last month, you really should watch it. It’s one of the best demos I’ve ever seen for a mic. When DPA sent me an omni version of the mic a few weeks ago, I immediately put it on and did some serious Parkour to see if it really stayed on that well. OK, the first part of that sentence was true. I did put it on. I was struck by how easy it was to get it to fit, how secure it was, and how little I noticed I was wearing it. 

The cable clip is a new design. Instead of being the classic pinch-clamp design we’re all used to, it looks more like two small guitar picks. The surface that would hit your neck is very smooth and not at all abrasive. It’s a little detail, but I want to buy a dozen of these clips for all the rest of our mics, and for the cable on my UE7s. 

So the mic feels good, is secure and even the head is noticeably smaller than the 4066 or 4088. The real question is, how does it sound? Most of you know I have a bit of a mic addiction. I love trying out new mics. And most of the time, I’ll put a new mic on something and immediately hear a difference (though sometimes not), and like it or not like it. However, it’s pretty rare that I throw a new mic on a guitar cabinet or even a vocal and someone else in the room says, “Oh, that sounds good!”

In this regard the D:fine breaks the mold. I put it on before service a few weeks ago to line check it. Our service producer, who has been in a lot of services and heard a lot of live sound—though she should not consider herself a sound expert, was walking up the center aisle. As soon as I started talking, she immediately turned around and said, “Oh, that sounds good!” Our Associate Worship Leader said the same thing. 

After the service I asked my pastor how he felt about it, and he said he really liked it. It felt good and the sound was noticeably improved. His final comment was, “I think it helped me preach better.” 

As you can probably guess, that mic is not going back. It actually does sound really, really good. In fact, it’s hard to describe the sound of the mic at all because when I heard Ken teaching that weekend, it sounded like Ken, not a mic’d and amplified version of Ken. It sounded just like him, only louder. 

At some point, I’ll come back and do a thorough review of the mic. But I know a lot of you are interested in it right now. Here’s what I can say; go buy one. Yes, you’re going to pay somewhere in the high $500’s for it. And yes, it’s worth it. 

This post is brought to you by Horizon Battery, distributor of Ansmann rechargeable batteries and battery chargers used worldwide by Cirque du Soleil and over 25,000 schools, churches, theaters, broadcast companies & businesses. To learn more about their wireless mic batteries and battery chargers - and a FREE rechargeable evaluation, visit their website. Tested and recommended by leading wireless mic manufacturers and tech directors.