I have been on a documentary job with Neumann 81 and Schoeps CCM 8 and got mad with the handling noise on the Schoeps.
Also it needs very good mic preamps - on an SQN 4 at least 2 to 3 o'clock.
I think about buying Sound Devices 788T and I think that the SQN preamps are better than the sound devices but not sure on that.
But back to M/S.
Most of the time I do not need it, but in a few situations it gave really more feel to the situation.
I really like the neuman 81 as shotgun. I do own two Sennheiser 416 but get enough of the sound from them - too crunchy for me.
So I like to try a "softer" combination with not too much handling noise but enough sensity. Any suggestions? Anybody tried the Neuman KM 120? Or the AKG CK 94?
Sennheiser 418 or the AudioTechnica M/S mic sound quite similar to the 416 to me - a bit too harsh.
From the price point of view I think about a Rode NTG-3 for its pleasant sound - quite near (but not as good) as a Neuman 81 from my quick test.
PS: The Sony 680 sounds really good to me - but ony matrix Stereo and no M/S. Its a an M/S mic construction and they should have build the function to give M/S out as well...
I have the Sennheiser 418S and didn't particularly notice any harshness. You will get a lot of handling noise with the Schoeps; it takes some practice to minimize this while booming with it. But, it's always been my favorite mike.
I reviewed the 418S when it came out and found it sounded very much like the 416, which was their aim.
It was a bit more extended on the top end, but not emphasized. Yes, they both have fairly aggressive presence peaks. The NTG-3 is wider in pattern than the 416.