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#61
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #61
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The domed capsule mount is backordered at Microphone parts. (expected in 45 days....)

Curious anyway what just changing the guts of the mic can do.

What's a good way to remove the existing components from the PCB without ruining it? Cut off the legs, use a solder wick?

Last edited by 2manyrocks; 9th May 2012 at 02:04 AM.. Reason: got ETA on mount
#62
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
The domed capsule mount is backordered at Microphone parts.

Curious anyway what just changing the guts of the mic can do.

What's a good way to remove the existing components from the PCB without ruining it? Cut off the legs, use a solder wick?
Solder wick.
#63
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
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I'm with Jimbo; I use solder wick.

You can just snip leads, but then you leave the leads jammed into the PCB holes, which can't then be used again, and it's harder to fit a new component onto the PCB.

Often the component lead will come free as soon as it heats up, and I just use the solder wick to clean up the old solder from the PCB.

Doing some digging for components today... gonna see what the local sparky shop has buried in their capacious back bins. I'm hoping not to have to order too much from online suppliers, but some of the replacement components are highly specific.

Bummer about the round base mount being back-ordered. If I can find another source in the interim, I'll post it. Microphone-parts.com has been pretty quick to restock--and last time there was a delay, they offered buyers a discount.

I have little doubt that upgrading the electronics will improve this mic; what remains is to see what degree of improvement we'll get. I'm hopeful there will be at least as much to gain as replacing the capsule.
#64
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
The domed capsule mount is backordered at Microphone parts.

Curious anyway what just changing the guts of the mic can do.

What's a good way to remove the existing components from the PCB without ruining it? Cut off the legs, use a solder wick?
For thru holes I like to use a solder sucker first, and then wick for cleanup if necessary. But if you don't care about the parts you're taking off, cutting the leads is fine, it's better than overheating the PCB, which can lead to pads or traces coming up.

Great thread guys, good job!
#65
9th May 2012
Old 9th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...just a quick thought...for those GS members who are intrigued by these modded/upgraded $50 mics, but aren't up to snuff with their soldering skills (like myself!), there is an easy alternative...check out the Recording Tools MC-900...it's a solid-state C12-style vocal mic with the exact same capsule as the microphoneparts' RK12 (as a matter of fact, the MC-900 is made by the same manufacturer in China)...but this mic already has some of the circuit upgrades, including WIMA caps...and it sells for $145 (less than the upgraded SP1)...I've got one on order, and I'll follow up once I've tested it out...

test coming soon?

At $50 for the SP-1 and $109 for the RK-12 or other capsule, and $10 for a mount, plus other upgraded components, the $145 priced MC-900 would seem to undermine the reason for modding the SP-1 unless the modded SP-1 is superior.

Decisions, decisions...
#66
9th May 2012
Old 9th May 2012
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Famed "mic guru" Terry Setter said, in his TapeOp review of the SP-1, that the stock capsule is very good.

My plan is to stick with the stock capsule on this mic. That keeps the cost down significantly.
#67
10th May 2012
Old 10th May 2012
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Given the comparative cost of the capsule upgrade versus buying the whole thing already done, I'm hestiating on buying an upgraded capsule instead of maybe getting the mc-900. Will have to see what develops.

But I'm still in the game for upgrading other components to get more out of the SP-1 with either the existing capsule or an upgraded one later.
#68
21st May 2012
Old 21st May 2012
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Thanks for the awesome info, this is one of my favorite things about GS!
#69
21st May 2012
Old 21st May 2012
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me too ! just found this place and trying to drink form a fire hose!
#70
18th June 2012
Old 18th June 2012
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Some updates;

EDIT: holy crap, missed the post by Jim W! That photo is gold; thanks so much for sharing, Jim! We truly appreciate your input in the thread, and it's great to see your mod work.

I've been busy with some design/install, so hadn't had time to crack my mic open again for another round of mods. Sorry I hadn't had a chance to check back in earlier. Your post clarifies a couple of points for me, like why I'm now getting apx. 12.5 V at the FET, lol. As usual your posts spark new questions as well.

Here are some shots of the latest I've done, below. I'm using teflon silver wire, beefier caps, new zeners and better electrolytic caps. I'm using the schemo below, which I've revised to correspond to the markings on the SP1 boards. It's from Jim G., Zapnspark, at the Yahoo micbuilders boards, which I recently joined. I encourage others to do so as well; very informative. Let me know if you find errors in my revisions, anyone. The circled figures in pencil are my troubleshooting notes.


http://www.boschen.org/SP1 schem.pdf







These are the modded boards. I have the old capsule attached for testing in the bench shot.

#71
28th June 2012
Old 28th June 2012
  #71
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Hi,
Quick question. This link:
Nieuwe pagina 1
has been posted several times. When I read through the mods there, it doesn't seem nearly as significant as the ones involving changing the JFET to a 305 and such. Maybe that's because I have all those parts sitting around and and can do that mod easily.

Has anyone repeated what NVRecording did so they can comment on if it improved the mic?
Thanks
#72
29th June 2012
Old 29th June 2012
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The Dutch mod page is a good and thorough one. Their approach is different; they don't touch the capsule to FET capacitor, which i find a bit odd, though the mod results are explained and documented. Many of their mods echo the process and reasoning behind those posted here. I found their page useful.

If youre not at least a journeyman level modder I don't recommend replacing the FET with a j305 as the 305 is a rare creature to find and you will have to rebias the new FET which is really best done with a silly-scope.

You will get favorable results with the sp1 if you simply remove a headbasket mesh layer and replace the capsule to FET capacitor. This costs 60 cents and takes about half an hour.
#73
29th June 2012
Old 29th June 2012
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#74
29th June 2012
Old 29th June 2012
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Yep that orange drop will work. It's probably a bit overkill in retrospect; any decent polypropylene cap of the same value will do for a bit less dosh.

The capsule to FET cap is 1 nano farad (nf), which is .001 micro farads, (uf).

I have a silver mica cap in mine that isn't an exact match, but sounds better than the stock ceramic did.
#75
29th June 2012
Old 29th June 2012
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Thanks. I can swap out that coupling cap, c13 in his schematic, too. He shows it as changed in his picture, and I have that value sitting around.

All my experience in electronics is building a few tube amps, and the only transistors there are the rectifier diodes, so I'll stay away from the FET.
#76
29th June 2012
Old 29th June 2012
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Yeah, that's a good start.

C13 is hidden on the backside of pcb 1. You have to remove the board from the chassis to get at it.
#77
29th June 2012
Old 29th June 2012
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Quote:
Hi,
Quick question. This link:
Nieuwe pagina 1
has been posted several times. When I read through the mods there, it doesn't seem nearly as significant as the ones involving changing the JFET to a 305 and such. Maybe that's because I have all those parts sitting around and and can do that mod easily.

Has anyone repeated what NVRecording did so they can comment on if it improved the mic?
Thanks
Yes, some points could be improved upon. Even fellow Dutchies would agree on that. You already mentioned one example. Another arguable one could be step 5. I'm not a specialist myself, mind. There are wiser gyus here who can comment.



Henk
#78
4th July 2012
Old 4th July 2012
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player 1 is offline
just wanted to say big ups to Mr. Boschen. that stuff you put up to look at is exactly what i've been looking for. i know that was prob. a lot of work and its appreciated. just got my pair of SP-1s and some RK47 capsules from Microphoneparts. been trying to put together a BOM for the parts upgrades of my own. don't have a printer or scanner, so between Mr Zapnspark's schematic's, the part #corrections, Mr. Jim William's recommendations, that 'Euro'-page (all of which are appreciated and awesome!!!), trying to "triangulate" and translate all that info into a mouser shopping cart is what i've been twisting my brain over. been documenting my progress as well. totally gonna share any helpful findings.
so, with all the aforementioned help, i totally got my shopping list together. the first obvious 'turd in the punchbowl' is: where the heck do we get those J305's from? anybody got a good runner-up candidate?
i also wanted to share that Mr. Matt at microphoneparts, has informed me that he and Mr. Williams are now in the early development stages of putting together a components upgrade kit for the SP1. he told me late august at the earliest. no other info, no $$ est. he says there may be a basic kit, deluxe kit etc, with step by step illustrated instructions.
i'm wondering if i might just wait and see about the kits.
i was trying to keep it brief, sorry.
#79
5th July 2012
Old 5th July 2012
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Interesting first post.

#80
5th July 2012
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Yep, and welcome!

Who told you should be brief?




Henk
#81
5th July 2012
Old 5th July 2012
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"Mr. Matt at microphoneparts" ? ?
Is this a reference to a store with a website?
#82
5th July 2012
Old 5th July 2012
  #82
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I imagine the poster means;

http://microphone-parts.com/

Great site & service. They do have stuff go out of stock, but last time it happened, they gave me a discount coupon. I bought my RK47 capsule from them, and it was a great investment for my SP1 mod.

Thanks to player1 for the compliment! This thread has actually turned into a time investment, but it's given back some nice returns as well, in the form of input from the pro modders and builder community.

You're not alone in your confusion! There's tons of info, some contradictory, and very scattershot. I really just wanted to figure out what the best and most cost effective options were for upgrading the SP1, create a BOM and process, and let others have at it here at GS. My aim was to create a known path for folks to use when they mod this mic. If the interest continues, I would welcome a third party mod kit! I've kind of moved into trying to get a deeper understanding of the circuit, and how it works, beyond just trying to improve a cheap mic. I hope to eventually create some of my own designs and mods, based on the info gleaned digging into the SP1.

What's really interesting is the variety of info out there on the base designs of this circuit. Zapnspark recommends taking out the C13 capsule to FET cap entirely, along with the R5 resistor and a couple of other parts. Other modders retain the FET cap, but upgrade it.

I'd love to see more informed debate in this thread from the pro modders and builders on this design, and the variety of ways to make it work well. A mod kit could take any direction, as evidenced by the numerous approaches to modding this mic. Keep it coming!
#83
5th July 2012
Old 5th July 2012
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Quote:
Keep it coming!
Yeah, and keep pushin', Boschen.

You may not be the OP, but you were the first one to reply. And ever since, you played an important part in making this a very worthwhile thread. Thanks for that.



Henk
#84
5th July 2012
Old 5th July 2012
  #84
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player 1 is offline
yes. i wasn't trying to be cryptic or snide or disrespectful in any way. you consolidated alot of info and did a nice job of presenting it, obviously going out of your way, and i appreciate it. i particularly appreciate your corrected schematic. my brain was hurting from cross referencing the part #s
the info you shared came particularly timely for me. like i said, i just started taking my sp1's apart and putting together a shopping list a few days ago. i stumbled across this thread in a google search. i joined the group so i could chime in with a thanks.
figured i'd share that other stuff, too.
i wasn't trying to be argumentative. i've been trying to track down some of those SILICONIX J305's and they are nowhere to be found. i'd love some advice about a good second choice alternative.
anyway, thanks again!
#85
5th July 2012
Old 5th July 2012
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I think Legato was just saying in a roundabout way not to worry about being brief.

The prospects of having a kit---that's great news and welcome to the discussion.
#86
5th July 2012
Old 5th July 2012
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I was trying to make the new member feel at home but it seems I (?) failed miserably.
(Laughing at the situation, not the member.)

Yes, you worry way too much, player 1.
Such can happen when someone enters a new place. (Been there.)
Anyway, relax.
Just be yourself and you'll be fine.
And be elaborate whenever you feel like it!
Oh, but do use capitals for good readability, please.



Henk
#87
1st August 2012
Old 1st August 2012
  #87
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Any theories on why NVrecording chose not to do the FET to capsule cap replacement?
#88
1st August 2012
Old 1st August 2012
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Microphone parts will be selling the parts kit, but you are the brains behind the kit.... Yes?
#89
1st August 2012
Old 1st August 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Maybe he likes the sound of ceramic capacitors?

Microphone parts will be suppling upgrade kits for 990's and MCA SP-1's with their capsules. Those kits include J305's jfets and Renesas 2SA1084 transistors along with Dale resistors and oscillator mods. The input blocking cap C13 is removed and the capsule is directly connected to the jfet gate.

A complete before/after mods schematic is also provided. The results are first rate and dependent on the quality of the capsule. This will make all of this very easy and understandable.
How much will the kit cost?
#90
13th August 2012
Old 13th August 2012
  #90
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Is it only me that's getting nasty tones in the 5-10k range on overheads?
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