low budget overheads (mxl 603, mxl 993, rode nt1-a, etc)
Old 12th July 2009
  #1
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low budget overheads (mxl 603, mxl 993, rode nt1-a, etc)

awesome! another overheads thread!

right now i have a rode nt1-a and i guess i could get another one but the chances that they will sound the same are pretty slim and to me they sound too harsh to be used as overheads

would i get a better sound from a pair of mxl 603, mxl 993 or unmatched nt1-as? what are my other options around the ~$200 budget? or should i just give up on overheads?

i'll let you decide




ps. the reason why i like the idea of the 603s and 993s is because i could have them modded later on to sound pretty damn awesome
Old 12th July 2009
  #2
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i would go the mxl route, especially the 993. lots of features for little money.

i like LDC's or ribbons for OH, but SDC's have their place, too. all depends on how much kit vs. cymbals i am looking for.
Old 12th July 2009
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rty5150 View Post
i would go the mxl route, especially the 993. lots of features for little money.

i like LDC's or ribbons for OH, but SDC's have their place, too. all depends on how much kit vs. cymbals i am looking for.
thanks for the input!

i want to pick up as much of the kit as i can except for the snare. i will only be recording the overheads.
Old 12th July 2009
  #4
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i would go with a pair of ribbons to catch the whole kit. the SDC's will drop a bit of the low end and accent the cymbals overwhelmingly. ribbons will smooth out the cymbals and catch the kick and toms just as well. at least my fatheads do.
Old 12th July 2009
  #5
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that and the cheap NADY or APEX ribbons are actually an excellent platform for modding down the road. I am almost positive you can get a pair of Nady or Apex ribbons for under $200.

I would try that route and try the NT1a you have as a FOK/room mic.
Old 12th July 2009
  #6
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Oktava 012.. I love mine.. I havent heard the oktava mod version yet, but I've been told it's pretty amazing..
Old 12th July 2009
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rty5150 View Post
i would go with a pair of ribbons to catch the whole kit. the SDC's will drop a bit of the low end and accent the cymbals overwhelmingly. ribbons will smooth out the cymbals and catch the kick and toms just as well. at least my fatheads do.
which fatheads do you have?
Old 12th July 2009
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithMoonwannabe View Post
that and the cheap NADY or APEX ribbons are actually an excellent platform for modding down the road. I am almost positive you can get a pair of Nady or Apex ribbons for under $200.

I would try that route and try the NT1a you have as a FOK/room mic.
i would but my apogee duet won't let me aggregate
Old 12th July 2009
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
which fatheads do you have?
fathead 1's. they are said by cascade to be sonically identical to the FH 2. the difference is the housing and shockmount.

i own 3 total. an original non scooped grill with unpainted body, and a blumlein pair of golds.

you can usually find them pretty cheap. worth the extra cash than SDC's like the mxl's, but every situation is unique. i love the way ribbons sound on a kit. just remember, you need hot pres.
Old 12th July 2009
  #10
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Sterling Audio ST51. good bang for buck.
Old 15th July 2009
  #11
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well i decided to test out my nt1-a again as an overhead today and i tried position it like i would in an xy position and i just banged away. one thing i can definitely say is that my rack tom sounded killer and the hi hat and crack didn't sound bad at all although still too harsh in general.
Old 15th July 2009
  #12
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I went thru 4 pairs of overheads before I discovered the Audio Technica ATM450's which I use in the ORTF position and they blew away everything else I tried including the MXL 603's the NT1A's and the MXL993's.
Peluso CEMC6's are also very good but not in the low end price range.
Old 15th July 2009
  #13
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I agree that the ATM450's are killer but they may push your budget a little, but it would definitely be money well spent as you wouldn't need to upgrade for a long time.
Old 15th July 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Track 7 View Post
I went thru 4 pairs of overheads before I discovered the Audio Technica ATM450's which I use in the ORTF position and they blew away everything else I tried including the MXL 603's the NT1A's and the MXL993's.
Peluso CEMC6's are also very good but not in the low end price range.
i've heard good thing about those and my budget really isn't that low, im just making it low because i don't want to spend a lot of money on my first overheads

im just learning! plus i only got an apogee duet to record and i haven't built my bass traps yet because i have to go on a road trip to get the freaking semi rigid fiber glass

i placed a $100 offer on a pair of mxl 603s on ebay today and got back a $130 counter offer which was pretty but didn't stop me from counter offering $110 so hopefully i'll get those and start recording some time soon so i can get my learning on
Old 15th July 2009
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithMoonwannabe View Post
I agree that the ATM450's are killer but they may push your budget a little, but it would definitely be money well spent as you wouldn't need to upgrade for a long time.
this is true! but like i said these are my first overheads and of course i'm planning on getting the michael jolly premium electronics for em if i like em
Old 15th July 2009
  #16
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cheap condensers CAD & AT

i was disappointed in the MXL's, even for how cheap they are.
Old 15th July 2009
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
cheap condensers CAD & AT

i was disappointed in the MXL's, even for how cheap they are.
I love the CAD and AT mics too I just feel weird having so many M179s

Toms, overheads, really anything. great low end mics.
Old 15th July 2009
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
i've heard good thing about those and my budget really isn't that low, im just making it low because i don't want to spend a lot of money on my first overheads

im just learning! plus i only got an apogee duet to record and i haven't built my bass traps yet because i have to go on a road trip to get the freaking semi rigid fiber glass

i placed a $100 offer on a pair of mxl 603s on ebay today and got back a $130 counter offer which was pretty but didn't stop me from counter offering $110 so hopefully i'll get those and start recording some time soon so i can get my learning on
Umm i wouldn't advise doing that deal. You can get a pair of Apex I believe the model is 185 they are the same mic come with a case, shockmounts, windscreens, and omni caps and they are like right around that price for a PAIR. Check out frontendaudio.com

Forgot to mention that's brand new!
Old 15th July 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithMoonwannabe View Post
Umm i wouldn't advise doing that deal. You can get a pair of Apex I believe the model is 185 they are the same mic come with a case, shockmounts, windscreens, and omni caps and they are like right around that price for a PAIR. Check out frontendaudio.com

Forgot to mention that's brand new!
damn that's cheap! do you know where i can hear a demo? the reason why i'm going for the 603 and not the 993 is because i heard a demo and it met my current standards of cheap drum recording and they can be modded

i could always cancel the offer though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
cheap condensers CAD & AT

i was disappointed in the MXL's, even for how cheap they are.
what converters and preamps did test them with? and which cads or ats would you recommend??

please remember im trying to keep it at around $100 for a used pair
Old 15th July 2009
  #20
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I scored a used Groove Tube GT55 for $50. I bet you could get two for under $200, if you shopped around a bit. You might even have some dough left over.
Old 15th July 2009
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
what converters and preamps did test them with? and which cads or ats would you recommend??
i'm very low end. i use the B ADA8000's, DBX 286A & a creamware card.
CAD E100's. Currently have CAD M179's on the wish list.
AT2020's, the next models up are going to give you more lows.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
please remember im trying to keep it at around $100 for a used pair
thats exactly why i bought MXL 603, 991's in the first place. now i'm looking at spending 3x as much on the mod to make em usable.
AT is much clearer & cleaner sounding, CAD darker warmer & more present.
on your budget i'd go with the AT2020's. if you can find something you like better than those for the price, let me know.

if yer firm on yer budget do a search for Naiant mic's. they're dirt cheap ($30) & a handful of people rave about em around here.
i have yet to try em.
Old 15th July 2009
  #22
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I would try to get used Oktava MK012's. I think they'll sound a lot better than the mxl's. You can have Joly mod them later on and they'll become even better mics. I have much more expensive mics but I still keep my as yet unmodded MK012's and use them for various things.
Old 15th July 2009
  #23
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i just heard a sample of the apex on here

Apex 185 SDC

they sound alright but i gotta say i like the 603 samples i've heard much better

i actually like the brightness of the 603s and they sound a little more detailed
Old 15th July 2009
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
i'm very low end. i use the B ADA8000's, DBX 286A & a creamware card.
CAD E100's. Currently have CAD M179's on the wish list.
AT2020's, the next models up are going to give you more lows.




thats exactly why i bought MXL 603, 991's in the first place. now i'm looking at spending 3x as much on the mod to make em usable.
AT is much clearer & cleaner sounding, CAD darker warmer & more present.
on your budget i'd go with the AT2020's. if you can find something you like better than those for the price, let me know.

if yer firm on yer budget do a search for Naiant mic's. they're dirt cheap ($25) & a handful of people rave about em around here.
i have yet to try em.
well i have an apogee duet and a ua dcs and i didn't like my rode nt1-a on anything until i heard it through the ua preamps and i changed my mind about getting rid of it

and oh crap i just found a pair of at2020s on ebay for $140

damn now i don't know what to do

i think i would prefer a pair of small diaphragm condensers though but i don't don't crap there's just so many options!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sethmeister View Post
I would try to get used Oktava MK012's. I think they'll sound a lot better than the mxl's. You can have Joly mod them later on and they'll become even better mics. I have much more expensive mics but I still keep my as yet unmodded MK012's and use them for various things.
yeah i know a lot of people rave about the oktavas on here but i haven't been able to find a pair for cheap :/
Old 15th July 2009
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
i didn't like my rode nt1-a on anything until i heard it through the ua preamps and i changed my mind about getting rid of it
yeah, maybe someday i'll have enough crap to make everything i've got useful.
in the mean time...


Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
and oh crap i just found a pair of at2020s on ebay for $140

i think i would prefer a pair of small diaphragm condensers though but i don't don't crap there's just so many options!
Happy Hunting!
Old 16th July 2009
  #26
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ah crap the guy's not replying to my $110 counteroffer on the mxl 603s

well i guess that gives me a change to look for some cheap oktavas :D
Old 16th July 2009
  #27
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literally the apex is the same mic as the MXL 603/604. You can send it to Joly and get the mods done on it and end up with a killer mic that can stand up against some of the best SDC mics money can buy.

I think their is one minor minor difference and that is how the vents are cut on the body. Honestly at that price point I wouldn't justify buying the MXL's over the Apex. I've owned the MXL's and I wasn't that impressed in fact they are no longer part of my mic locker.

I think considering all you get with the Apex it'd be silly to spend all the extra dough on the MXL mics.
Old 16th July 2009
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithMoonwannabe View Post
literally the apex is the same mic as the MXL 603/604. You can send it to Joly and get the mods done on it and end up with a killer mic that can stand up against some of the best SDC mics money can buy.

I think their is one minor minor difference and that is how the vents are cut on the body. Honestly at that price point I wouldn't justify buying the MXL's over the Apex. I've owned the MXL's and I wasn't that impressed in fact they are no longer part of my mic locker.

I think considering all you get with the Apex it'd be silly to spend all the extra dough on the MXL mics.
apex sounds a lot darker though, at least for what i can tell from the demos i heard
Old 16th July 2009
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
apex sounds a lot darker though, at least for what i can tell from the demos i heard
All of these mics (603, 604, 185, CM-90, 1200 etc) use the same capsule elements (diaphragm, spacers, backplate) but have minor differences in the capsule housing (slotted / non-slotted) and body venting (three or four vent sections).

So there are very minor differences in HF timbre between the various models. I wouldn't go so far as to say the Apex 185 is a lot darker than the 603 but rather suggest there are more significant differences between sources and mic placement than exist in the mics themselves.
Old 16th July 2009
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
All of these mics (603, 604, 185, CM-90, 1200 etc) use the same capsule elements (diaphragm, spacers, backplate) but have minor differences in the capsule housing (slotted / non-slotted) and body venting (three or four vent sections).

So there are very minor differences in HF timbre between the various models. I wouldn't go so far as to say the Apex 185 is a lot darker than the 603 but rather suggest there are more significant differences between sources and mic placement than exist in the mics themselves.
well then it was definitely the recordings i heard

which ones would you recommend for modding though? i can get either for the same price although i would much prefer getting the apex new
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