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Best Oktava MC 012 mod?
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College_Records
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#1
24th August 2012
Old 24th August 2012
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Best Oktava MC 012 mod?

I'm interested in modifying a stereo pair of Oktava MC 012 microphones. I am aware of several modifications that you can do this microphone: the Bill Sitler modification, the Scott Dorsey modification, and the Michael Jolly modifications...

My question is, which modification is the best? I know that it's up to people's opinions, but being a college student I would really hate to send my microphones to Michael Jolly for a whopping $240 if I could do a similar (if not better) Bill Sitler mod for $50 at home.

Do any fellow slutz have experience with these modifications and have opinions on which one would best fit my limited college student budget?
#2
24th August 2012
Old 24th August 2012
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Sitler did a great job on a pair of mine, and a 319. All sound great.
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24th August 2012
Old 24th August 2012
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I didn't realize MJ had increased his price by almost $30 per mic. Seems excessive to me - and I'm a big fan of the PE mod myself.

The one 012 I've had him mod was spec'ing much lower than it's paired partner and the MJ mod corrected it and noticeably smoothed out response and performance. However, my non-modified 012 is a fantastic mic and doesn't warrant paying for a mod IMO.

For $240, if you're relatively happy with your 012's I'd think about buying an ADK or similar quality LDC to complement your 012's in stereo configs where you need a smooth balance of lows and high's (i.e., AC guitar).
College_Records
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25th August 2012
Old 25th August 2012
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I have a tlm 102 which I find smooth as butter. Do you think that'd be a compatible LDC? And are you referring to a stereo matched pair in the same placement configuration as the oktava's so that you can blend a mixture of the same source? Or are you referring to a single mono or a room mic placed differently from the oktavas?

I am not familiar with ADK, what microphones would you prefer?
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25th August 2012
Old 25th August 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by College_Records View Post
I have a tlm 102 which I find smooth as butter. Do you think that's be a compatible LDC?
The TLM102 is like a layer of icing sugar with not much inside the cake. Superslick surface though, and if in a modern production one would carve out all the inside anyway, it gives you that ready made sugarcoat shape.

An MC012 is more like a cat's warm belly. With the hair on it. Soft and warm. But a bit diffuse. Blurry, even. Unlike the 102, which is pointy.
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31st August 2012
Old 31st August 2012
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I ended up splurging $250 for Joly's PE mod. More expensive than I'd like, but I figure with the multiple capsules of the 012, I'm actually upgrading 4-6 mics. If it sounds as close to the km84/km184's as people claim it does, I will be happily peeing my pants.

What do you guys think about blending a stereo pair of CAD m179's with the 012's? What would be a good LDC blend?
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31st August 2012
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It was my understanding, and I may be wrong here, but they are all the same mod. The mod was first pioneered and published by Scott Dorsey, who doesn't offer any mod services, as far as I know. He just wrote up an article on it that got published in Recording Magazine that others have followed. I believe some of the original components he suggested as replacements are no longer available, but there are other replacement components available today that should give you the same, or extremely similar results. So there may be some differences between say Jolly's and Sitler's choice of components, but I doubt you'd hear much, if any, difference in the final product. These microphones vary a bit from unit to unit anyway, and I bet the difference between two mics will vastly outweigh the difference between two mod services.

For the record, I ordered a parts pack from Bill Sitler's and did the mods myself. I just found it easier to buy all the components at once. Otherwise, I would have sourced out each individual part through Mouser or something. In any case, I'm very happy with the results.
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31st August 2012
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I ordered the parts from Bill Sitler and did the mod to two MK-012 mics myself. It was easy and the results were good.

Keep in mind, though, that part of the value of sending the mics to Joly is that you can say that Joly did the work when you later try to sell the mics. Self-modded mics are probably not going to fetch as much on the used market.
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31st August 2012
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I was always under the impression the Dorsey mod included a tube (a pentode?).

The PE mod really makes the 012 smoother in response and the mic gains a little clarity. I just noticed an overall bump in quality with an emphasis in smoother transient response.

To the OP, combining the 012 in stereo with an LDC like your 179 is fantastic. The LDC I use is the 4033 and I love the combo of LDC and SDC in combination for AC guitars especially. The LDC handles the lows really well while the SDC takes on the highs. A nice blend.
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1st September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by College_Records View Post
I ended up splurging $250 for Joly's PE mod. More expensive than I'd like, but I figure with the multiple capsules of the 012, I'm actually upgrading 4-6 mics. If it sounds as close to the km84/km184's as people claim it does, I will be happily peeing my pants.
You'll be more than happy. I hope you saved up an extra $20-30 for a new pair of pants. They are about as close to a KM84 as you can get without buying a KM84. Hope you enjoy them. I love mine.....

One thing to note : although the "mods" may be essentially the same, the "parts" used are not necessarily matched or the same. Joly does an excellent job, and he's been doing dozens if not hundreds of these mics a year for a decade. He's got it dialed. I don't find the price excessive at all.
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1st September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doncaparker View Post
I ordered the parts from Bill Sitler and did the mod to two MK-012 mics myself. It was easy and the results were good.

Keep in mind, though, that part of the value of sending the mics to Joly is that you can say that Joly did the work when you later try to sell the mics. Self-modded mics are probably not going to fetch as much on the used market.
How was it working on the 012 board? I have modded three MK-219 mics with Sitler kits (as well as modded the bodies) and could not be happier with the results. I have considered picking up a pair of MK-012 mics and tricking them out with new electronics, but was a little concerned regarding the much smaller board in the 012 body. Your thoughts on that subject, if you would be so kind to share? And you too, Silent Sound if you have experience on the subject! Thanks.
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2nd September 2012
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Everything is small, but it was a pretty easy switchout of parts. If you have the right tools, it really should not be a problem. The directions were very good.
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3rd September 2012
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Originally Posted by doncaparker View Post
Everything is small, but it was a pretty easy switchout of parts. If you have the right tools, it really should not be a problem. The directions were very good.
Thanks.
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3rd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puffer Fish View Post
How was it working on the 012 board? I have modded three MK-219 mics with Sitler kits (as well as modded the bodies) and could not be happier with the results. I have considered picking up a pair of MK-012 mics and tricking them out with new electronics, but was a little concerned regarding the much smaller board in the 012 body. Your thoughts on that subject, if you would be so kind to share? And you too, Silent Sound if you have experience on the subject! Thanks.
Having modded two MK219, a MK319, and two MC012's, I can tell you that the MC012 is a definitely harder. If you've already modded one of the other mics, then you can handle the MC012. You basically doing the same stuff, but since the board is smaller, it takes longer to do it all. Probably twice as long. Make sure you have some good needle nose pliers and good tip on your soldering iron. It'd also be nice to have one of those tiny clamping devices to hold stuff, but I did it without, so it's not necessary.
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3rd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Sound View Post
Having modded two MK219, a MK319, and two MC012's, I can tell you that the MC012 is a definitely harder. If you've already modded one of the other mics, then you can handle the MC012. You basically doing the same stuff, but since the board is smaller, it takes longer to do it all. Probably twice as long. Make sure you have some good needle nose pliers and good tip on your soldering iron. It'd also be nice to have one of those tiny clamping devices to hold stuff, but I did it without, so it's not necessary.
That's pretty much what I expected. If I pick up a pair of MK-012 mics, I will for sure mod them. Even if it's a minor improvement, I am okay with that. The price of Bill's kits just make it such an easy choice since I know I can do the work myself. Now I just need to sit back and see where life and my gear needs take me in the next year...
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