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Oktava MK012 vs Shure KSM137
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MJBass
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#1
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
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Oktava MK012 vs Shure KSM137 vs Shure SM81

Hello folks, there has been alot of talk about SDC's but I've not seen any direct comparison of these two microphones. They exist at a very similar price point, and I was wondering if it is worth having both. Right now I have a pair of the stock Oktavas and like them for somethings, but find them a bit weak. I was wondering if the Shure's are a completely different flavor in the SDC world, as I've been seeing them used alot and reading great things about them. Anyone who has or has used both would be welcome to chime in!

Please let me know your opinions!
MJBass
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2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
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Yep!
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2nd April 2012
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I have the Shure ksm137 (two of them) and I have no complaints. I have used them live as O/H and have done a little acoustic guitar with them but I have heard that the Oktavas are really nice on acoustic.
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3rd April 2012
Old 3rd April 2012
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I have a pair of the Oktava's, modded by M. Joly and they are fantastic. Although I have not tried the Shure's you mentioned, I can confidently say the Oktava's are extremely versatile. I'd highly recommend giving Michael a buzz at oktavamod.
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3rd April 2012
Old 3rd April 2012
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I have the Oktava 012's modded by Joly. Darn good mics.

Not sure how the Shure sounds, but I must say that my 100 dollar CAD E70 has a bit more sparkle than the Oktava 012. Depends on what I'm going for.
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3rd April 2012
Old 3rd April 2012
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Both are really nice mics for the price.

Neither mic has a prominent high frequency boost. The Oktavas are a little thicker in the low end, so they sound slightly darker to my ear. I find the Shures to be a bit clearer; the Oktavas have a little more grit to them (hence you see so many of these modded).

The advantage of the Oktavas is that you can use different capsules. Upgrading from the KSM137 to the KSM141 gives you the option of a switchable omni pattern, for about $200 more a pair.
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3rd April 2012
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I'll mostly be using these for piano, overheads, acoustic guitar, fiddle and other general SDC sources, so I'm interested in finding out the differences in the pairs.
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24th April 2012
Old 24th April 2012
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I'm also wondering how the sm81 pairs against these.
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24th April 2012
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When you're talking about sound this is all going to be very subjective.

But one fact to consider is that the SM81 has a proven track record in pro environments recording the sources that you listed.
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24th April 2012
Old 24th April 2012
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I've owned them both, but I still have the Oktavas. The KSM137s were very good but not really what I wanted. They were stark and everything sounded very 'near'. I found it hard to get the source to breathe with them.

I feel that the Oktavas are punchier but also more on the mellow side spectrum-wise. They have a nice attitude that seems to flatter the source in a way that works for me.
MJBass
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25th April 2012
Old 25th April 2012
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I'm definitely not trying to see what is better, but more trying to see what the differences in sound are between the MK012, KSM137 and SM81, to see if it's worth having all three for different sources.
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16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
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Anyone else have input?
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16th May 2012
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Don't have a 137, but between my 81's and 012's, the shures sound flatter, even, nice tone, but not "3 D" or with much textural dimension. Very nice and well-built mics though.
The Oktava's sound less flat but more flattering, not as accurate but prettier sounding, with depth and character. Built to Russian standards. I have the 012's both modded and stock, the mod sounds smoother, quieter, fuller, the stock sounds peakier, more colorful, a touch of self noise on very quiet sources with high gain.
Sonically, I'd take a good modded 012 over the 81 any day. Stock, the 81 is a nicer mic, would be a closer call. IMHO. YMMV.
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16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJBass View Post
I'm definitely not trying to see what is better, but more trying to see what the differences in sound are between the MK012, KSM137 and SM81, to see if it's worth having all three for different sources.
We have all 3 of these mics in our Clipalator mic sessions, on acoustic guitar and drum overhead. They were all done in different sessions, so use the control mic referencing the session # at the end of each file name (control mic = AKG 414 BULS) to get a better take on their differences.

The KSM137 is now model SM137 though.

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MJBass
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17th May 2012
Old 17th May 2012
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Which of those three would you use for a room pair of acoustic music? To capture a nice accurate room sound
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17th May 2012
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19th May 2012
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Bomp
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21st May 2012
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Bump
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28th May 2012
Old 28th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
I have the Oktava 012's modded by Joly. Darn good mics.

Not sure how the Shure sounds, but I must say that my 100 dollar CAD E70 has a bit more sparkle than the Oktava 012. Depends on what I'm going for.
depends on which PREAMP too?
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