Old 07-13-2018, 07:42 PM   #81
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that is an interesting mic...I wonder how the regular LDC cheapo MXLs are at toms and things
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:21 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
AT2020 https://www.audio-technica.com/cms/w...0e2/index.html

I've seen the diaphragm size somewhere but don't find it in the current specs.
It's 16 mm.

There are a lot of SDC's, sold as LDC's in side-address mode. The AKG Perception 120, fi, is 16 mm too. The higher end Perceptions are 22 mm.

I have a Simbolon, sold as LDC. It's a 10 mm electret. Another German marketing exercise that failed. Nice housing, but the capsule isn't very good.
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:16 PM   #83
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Anyone want to buy a mint condition Senn e609?
I avoid the e609...but I do like the e906 for live guitar, usually with the high rolloff (attenuate presence) switch on. It's not a 409, but it's as close as you're likely to get without selling a kidney and freaking out every time you take it out of the studio.
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:32 PM   #84
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I avoid the e609...but I do like the e906 for live guitar, usually with the high rolloff (attenuate presence) switch on. It's not a 409, but it's as close as you're likely to get without selling a kidney and freaking out every time you take it out of the studio.
Yea, That's what I hear each time it comes up... Get the 906. Going to have to pick one up soon.
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:35 AM   #85
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The MXL 603/990/991 all sound overly flattering with that cheap condenser upper and lower peak to me. I have heard some nice recordings made with them, but I didn't like them personally. I did like a pair of MK012's that I had, but those things have gotten pricey for low budgeters. I think I paid something like $75 per mic long ago. But I think I prefer more of a rounder and darker sound on acoustic guitar and vocal.

I have only heard recorded examples of the e609 and e906. Pretty much every example I have heard of the e609 sounds too bright for my taste, where the e906 sounds about right to me.

But all of this microphone talk can be a bit of madness. You really don't know what might work for you until you have tried a bunch of microphones in a bunch of different positions. I think it is like developing a sort of sonic vocabulary that you can draw from. Personally, my sonic vocabulary of microphones is small, but of the mics I have owned, I have tried lots of positions with them to try and get a good sense of what they sound like. Someone long ago on another forum used to throw around this quote: Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. I think the same applies to sound (and microphones) in general. You just have to try a bunch of stuff, and if you have no intentions or the means to do that, then the sane way to go is to just pick something and use it, taking note of what you like and don't like about it over time. And I do realize that I'm participating here in the mic madness talk just the same as anyone else.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:05 AM   #86
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The MXL 603/990/991 all sound overly flattering with that cheap condenser upper and lower peak to me.
These are mostly uncorrected. They show the typical condenser peak. No condenser is reasonably flat. The more expensive ones usually have correction. The cheaper ones can be easily modded and are indistinguishable from the expensive ones...

I don't know about the lower peak though. Must be proximity effect?
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:16 AM   #87
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These are mostly uncorrected. They show the typical condenser peak. No condenser is reasonably flat. The more expensive ones usually have correction. The cheaper ones can be easily modded and are indistinguishable from the expensive ones...

I don't know about the lower peak though. Must be proximity effect?
That is interesting to hear about.

On the lower peak, I think it is exaggerated proximity effect and maybe partly to blame on the position of the capsule in the body and the body itself. But I don't know if there are any great differences between resonant peaks of capsules and the supporting circuits. Mic modding is outside of my experience, but I am definitely interested in hearing about anything you have to share on it. Any way, I have noticed much more proximity effect on those MXL models than on some other sdc's. If correcting these issues is a matter of easily changing a few known components without deepdiving into understanding the circuits and extensive listening, that would be nice to know about. Who doesn't want great sounding mics for little money and effort in modding?
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:58 AM   #88
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I have to wonder, if getting great sounding mics from low cost mics is just a matter of easily correcting the circuits, why aren't manufacturers doing it from the getgo? I mean, if MXL could spend a few more bucks to make a 603 sound just as good as a KM184, why wouldn't they do it?
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:34 AM   #89
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I have to wonder, if getting great sounding mics from low cost mics is just a matter of easily correcting the circuits, why aren't manufacturers doing it from the getgo?
The high-end peak that most condensers have, is likely still thought of psychologically as better quality, a leftover from the analog days where that was the first thing that suffered. Also, from the tape days, those were the same frequency ranges that "rubbed away" over time so having a little too much going in sounded more close to about right. Many still though, tend to associate less highs with lower quality FWIW even if unconsciously - lofi is pretty much always missing high end. But it isn't a matter of just correcting the circuit in ever case, well not always cheaply that is.

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I mean, if MXL could spend a few more bucks to make a 603 sound just as good as a KM184, why wouldn't they do it?
I think they do sometimes and depending. I use my V67Ns over my KM184s quite a bit but it's down to what's being recorded, KM184s can sound too pretty (unless that's what I'm going for), but work great on creamy sounding sources. The V67Ns cover some low end ground that the KMs don't be because the KMs rolloff a little early. I've not noticed proximity issues because SDC are something I'd rarely use close enough for it to come into play. Now when it comes to something transformer coupled, that's tougher because a good tranny alone can run 50-100 USD (because it is expensive to make great transformers that cover the entire spectrum) which no one is going to add to the price of a budget mic.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:02 AM   #90
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On manufacturers spending a few more bucks to compensate response of condensers: I don't want to put words in cyrano's mouth here, but I think he likely meant changing some capacitor and/or resistor values to alter the circuit's filtering, rather than completely changing the circuit to something transformer based or upgrading the capsule. But even then, if a diy'er can buy a $100 mic and put $200 into it to end up with a world-class classic style mic (such as a KM84), I think plenty of people would be interested. But I think it probably isn't such a simple undertaking.

On that front, I have owned a Joly modded MK012, and it did sound subjectively better than a stock MK012. But I also felt that the cost wasn't worth the difference over what a stock MK012 could be had for at the time, when MK012's could be found for very little money.

And all of this talk is reminding me that I need to pickup a transformer for my Apex 205. It's a good sounding mic as is (on pretty much everything so far), but the stock transformer is a bit noisy. It doesn't have that cheap condenser upper peak and exaggerated smeared lower end. If anyone is interested in hearing something from a stock vs. a transformer upgraded mic, I'll be glad to post some audio files.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:18 AM   #91
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That's the reason I sort of separated transformer coupled but most everything else mod wise (electronically) in a mic isn't going to cost much that I can think of. On the other front, if someone can make a 100.00 mic for 300.00 that is world class, they should already be on the market for 300.00. Or, that small difference in quality isn't going to make up for the lost sales for all those who would pay for the 100.00 mic regardless. I modded my APEX ribbon last year with a new/expensive transformer, IMHO it wasn't really 100.00 worth of difference (or whatever I paid).

I don't typically look at mics as sounding good/bad but more about which ones works best on a particular source - which doesn't work until one has enough mics to do that, then I can just pick the one that works best for the job and not think so much about specs/good/bad. The harder thing I've found is finding flat LDCs (I finally have 3 of them) - However, for every person who thinks that high-end peak is hyped sounding, someone else will think the flat mic is unflattering, so simply having both solves a lot of problems.

Horses for courses and sources.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:40 AM   #92
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karbo, what were you expecting to improve for the Apex mic transformer upgrade? I think commercial mic modders can be very wishy washy about what issues upgrades are actually intended to solve, often equating the results of upgrades to something vague like, 'A major improvement'. And I bring this up because commercial mic modders are very often involved in online discussions about modding mics and very often without providing before and after audio examples for the mods that they are trying to convince people of buying.

For a transformer upgrade, if the stock transformer is either band-limited or noisy, I would expect that a better made transformer could help. If neither of those are an issue, I wouldn't expect any appreciable change. To me ears, the Apex 205 is NOT band-limited. It sounds fine response wise and tonally. So in my case I'm not expecting anything to change in that way. I'm only expecting lower self noise. Also, the transformer I am looking at is not expensive. Last I looked, it was going for something like $25-30. So if it improves self noise, it is well worth that.

karbo, which Apex mic did you upgrade and which transformer did you use?
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:09 AM   #93
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Mine's the Apex 210 + Cinemag - transformers are notoriously difficult to manufacture cheaply where they pass the full frequency spectrum and be shielded well so they are a good place to look for improvements. However, my take was it made the mic sound a little different, not necessarily major improvement, I can't say there is no improvement but tbh, I haven't really used it enough since I modded to be authoritative. I'm sure it has it's benefits but I'd be aware of any mic mod where the term night and day is used minus a before/after to listen to.

I have full confidence mods can be useful, I just shy away from the night and day stuff for many of them - then again that's often true for cheap vs expensive which really takes me back to have choices and just pick the one that works for whatever is being recorded.

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Old 07-15-2018, 09:20 AM   #94
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For the sake of getting away from 'Dancing about architecture', here is quick recording of an old epiphone guitar and the Apex 205. https://app.box.com/s/w6nkurbrsb79h3x1o2ta3ho75q1qnnc7 That is about 1 foot from the 7th fret in a small untreated room.

I think it sounds pretty natural. What do you think?
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:21 AM   #95
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It has that same bold low end my 210 has. There is an organic thing going on which I also like that mine also has but I've found it either does or doesn't work "in the mix" depending so it's hard to make a judgment call other than I don't think I have any other mics that fit that sound/niche.

My overall opinion is the less tracks in the mix the better the 205/210 work, less so when competing with more tracks but that's just IME/IMHO.
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:36 AM   #96
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It has that same bold low end my 210 has. There is an organic thing going on which I also like that mine also has but I've found it either does or doesn't work "in the mix" depending so it's hard to make a judgment call other than I don't think I have any other mics that fit that sound/niche.

My overall opinion is the less tracks in the mix the better the 205/210 work, less so when competing with more tracks but that's just IME/IMHO.
Yep. That's why I find myself shelving the low end for this mic on some sources, such as a boomy acoustic guitar in my boomy little room. But I wanted to present it without any processing. Here is a comparison:

Shelved at 350 hz -6 db: https://app.box.com/s/c42act53bosiqk0m2q2t3lkp4dxywds0
Unshelved: https://app.box.com/s/w6nkurbrsb79h3x1o2ta3ho75q1qnnc7

But to me, the low end doesn't sound wayy out of hand and smeared as I experienced with some MXL small condensers. And of course, it doesn't have that nasty high peak.
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:54 AM   #97
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My experience with cheap ribbon mics (including those Apex ones): the worst aspect is the tension of the ribbons or the lack thereof. A lot of them are made with poor QC, specifically how the ribbon is tensioned. That's the kind of thing that requires a finer touch, and building mics fast/cheap means that detail will be ignored a lot of the time or rather it's "luck of the draw" whether the tension is right or not. Of the 5 cheap ribbon mics that I owned: 1 was tensioned approximately right, 1 was too tight, and the other 3 were very noticeably too slack.

Too tense of a ribbon and it sounds "ringy". Too slack and...well, roll the mic around in your hand and you'll hear a lot of clanging noise. (Plus it can sound weak in general.) I've seen ribbons so loose that when you look from the side they look like the letter S.

Tensioning the ribbon is like playing Operation after drinking too much coffee. The mechanism that holds the ribbon in place needs to be tightened (on each end), they're just pieces of metal that screw down in place. Getting the ribbon "just right" while also screwing the plate down to clamp it (and not twisting the ribbon too) can be difficult. Also technically speaking it's hard to know exactly what's perfect for tension without some tester...although you can kind of figure it out by feel well enough. But again if you over-tension the ribbon it can sound ringy, which can be annoying. So you want to get it right the first time and hopefully not tear the ribbon. This is something I wouldn't recommend most people do themselves.

Then there's the idea of what ribbon mics are, why they sound the way they do. If used "optimally" with the kind of mic preamp they're meant for, they sound a lot like condensers (still somewhat different). With average mic preamps they sound smoother/warmer but generally that's not really what they were meant to be. So if you appreciate ribbon mics with an average preamp, wanting that smoother sound, that's good. If you want them to sound "as intended" generally speaking a decent condenser should do the job and probably with less hassle (most inexpensive preamps with phantom power sound pretty good with condensers, and a good condenser doesn't have to cost a lot).
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:04 PM   #98
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If buying a ribbon and you don't want a hassle, buy from a reputable dealer with a good return policy, such as frontendaudio (also, there is no recaptcha crap going on over there that I have seen). Also, different people say different things on QC of ribbons these days. Some say that QC has improved since the low budget ribbons were first introduced, but the QC stigma still carries on. My own experience is only anecdotal, but I didn't have any issues. But I have seen lots of comments around the web talking about QC issues of various low budget ribbon mics.

On matching mics to preamps, I would really like to hear some audio examples so as to hear what the differences might be. I have heard audio examples of preamp comparisons for other types of mics. I can't say that I have noticed any great differences, unless it was a noise issue where one preamp doesn't have much gain.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:11 PM   #99
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If buying a ribbon and you don't want a hassle, buy from a reputable dealer with a good return policy, such as frontendaudio (also, there is no recaptcha crap going on over there that I have seen).

On matching mics to preamps, I would really like to hear some audio examples so as to hear what the differences might be.
Being in Canada, that doesn't help much. Shipping/brokerage/duty on them in the first place, plus the return shipping...ugh. For a cheap ribbon, if you're in this situation, buy local from a store with a good return policy. And in my case most of the ribbon mics weren't carried locally. I rolled the dice on tensioning the ribbons because I figured I could handle it, knowing the risk involved.

Sorry, no comparison clips from me. I got rid of my ribbon mics since I realized the difference between them and my favorite condenser at the time was negligible. This is considering I wasn't happy running ribbons with my "normal" preamps; I was the kind of person who wanted to use a Cloudlifter with them for more detail (which made them sound a lot more like condensers). With normal preamps (even some really nice ones) they just sounded too "soupy"/smooth for me.
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:10 PM   #100
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I have the lot (well enough to make the observation aka RME, UA, Neve, API, A-Designs, ADL600) of varying preamps that I don't think any of my ribbons sound like a condenser at all. Especially since all of them roll off the high end by design - there isn't much chance I'll start EQing mic A to sound more like mic B since one of the reasons I have both is to not have to carve after the fact. YMMV.
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:15 PM   #101
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On matching mics to preamps, I would really like to hear some audio examples so as to hear what the differences might be.
I don't know of anything outstanding concerning expensive pre's and ribbons other than..

1. They tend to have more gain to handle ribbons that are low gain.

2. They may have higher impendences or selectable impendences which may keep them from being loaded down.
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:15 PM   #102
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My observations could be due to how I'm more focused on certain aspects of the sound and less about others. I'm starting to hear more similarities among mics (if their overall pattern is similar) than differences except in the case of strong EQ emphases and things like ringy aspects including how a mic's case might be resonating etc.

Top-end roll-off is something I'd have to compare "apples to apples" by adding a lowpass to a condenser, to be fair when comparing to a ribbon. I've done that, so it's part of my observations. Also I used pop filters in front of the condensers to add a bit of smoothness; for the most part I'd be using them anyway. If you "just grab a mic and want it to sound like (insert certain sound characteristic here)", the way I compared ribbons to condensers won't apply to you.
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:15 AM   #103
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Just a tad out of my price range but I'll take a look anyway.
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