The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
When to change tube in my mic ? Condenser Microphones
Old 5th November 2008
  #1
Gear Head
 

When to change tube in my mic ?

I am the very lucky owner of a Manley Reference C microphone,
now this is my question:

When do I know when to change the tube in my mic ?
The mic is about 8-9 years old now, and it has been used on a regular basis.

What are the signs on a worn out tube ?

This particular mic has a Sovtek 12AX7LPS Tube, but would it sound even better with an other tuber installed ?

Thx

Sieber
Old 5th November 2008
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

On my tube mics the usual symptom is intermittant sputtering or general noise.
Old 5th November 2008
  #3
Lives for gear
 
BOWIE's Avatar
Along with the above, you may notice a poor high frequency response, sometimes a weak low-end, lacking dynamics and an overall spongy sound, eratic jumps and dips in volume, ringing, humming, and pops.

You can do MUCH better than a Sovtek. I usually recommend a Telefunken in a microphone such as yours.
Old 5th November 2008
  #4
Gear Head
 

Thanks for your replies

I think my mic need tube change, it makes a weird noisy sound when singing with an airy vocal to clase to the mic.

Could someone recommend a REALLY high end tube that could replace my Sovtek ?
Old 5th November 2008
  #5
Lives for gear
 
World Studios's Avatar
Bowie just did... :-)

I sent my Manley Ref C off to the Swedish rep for repair, because it sounded very dull and mushier than ever. I hoped a new tube was all I needed, so I borrowed one from my man next door. No luck. Same sound. The capsule had to be replaced. It made a world of difference.

The grille is VERY open and dust an human exhausts come together in an unholy alliance to wreck the capsule in no time. Mine was a mere 4-5 years old... But I use it every day and have yet to find a better sounding mic for male pop vocals :-). The capsule was 400 usd-ish plus the repair and shipping costs - But I have a "brand new" mic! I will still try Bowies suggestion for a Telefunken tube. They are quite good, I hear ;-) The stock tube is not the best option, plus mine and my friend's tubes are both very noisy. (mics have consecutive serials...)
Old 5th November 2008
  #6
Yup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sieber View Post
Thanks for your replies

I think my mic need tube change, it makes a weird noisy sound when singing with an airy vocal to clase to the mic.

Could someone recommend a REALLY high end tube that could replace my Sovtek ?
Dont be a dullard fit a Mullard!
CV4004 Mil spec all copper traces and pins, wont get a better signal to noise or midrange tone than a good Mullard. Telefunken are good so are the old Brimar, GE, GEC, RCA.
Just run the capsule under the tap on steady dribble for a bit (if you want to get real posh use distilled water) to get the worst of the snot off, let it dry a bit and get tube swapping.heh
Old 5th November 2008
  #7
Lives for gear
 
World Studios's Avatar
Seriously?

Is it really that simple to clean the capsule? You won't get the corrosion out that way for sure, tho! :-)
Old 5th November 2008
  #8
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
Gold does not corrode.

BTW, personally, I'd make the applicable resistor changes and use a GE 5 star 6072. As expensive as they are, they will be cheaper than a Tele 12AX7, and probably better suited for a microphone.
Old 5th November 2008
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

under the tap

Personally , I would never put a microphone " under the tap" ....cleaning capsules isnt rocket science, but this is NOT a good suggestion.....in general , mics with bad tubes get hissy and low level.....the deal with the Manley mic is that the diaphragms use very thin mylar, and this makes them susceptable to longevity issues...
Old 6th November 2008
  #10
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by World Studios View Post
! I will still try Bowies suggestion for a Telefunken tube. They are quite good, I hear ;-)
Not It was a the running joke at AES Telefuken had their mics set to compare them against vintage ones. Even on the noisy AES I picked the vintage ones (twice in a blind test ) over the new Tely's.
i think the Telefuken guy got mad at me, even when I talked to other friends at the show they all had picked the vintage ones too. I you want a new new tube mic try out the Wunder Audio ones they sound amazing to me.
Old 6th November 2008
  #11
Lives for gear
 
World Studios's Avatar
I got a vintage T-funk one from Bowie last night...
Old 6th November 2008
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
Gold does not corrode.

BTW, personally, I'd make the applicable resistor changes and use a GE 5 star 6072. As expensive as they are, they will be cheaper than a Tele 12AX7, and probably better suited for a microphone.

When I've bought my Tele USA Ela m251 I've got it equipped with a European ECC83 (or maybe 81 it was ?), anyway the tube has died after 20 hours of use (!!!) making this awful "sea sound". Tele USA immediately agreed to send me replacement tubes so I've asked for a GE 6072a to keep the Elam as original as possible and it sounds MUCH better than the European tube. so I've bought a stock of 6072a's to have some spares for the Elam and the Lawson L47, Tele USA didn't send me the 5 stars version and I've bought another 6 tubes from the same stock Tele USA is using which according to Tele was the last run of GE 6072a tubes boxed in 84. should i buy the GE 5 stars version ? what is the difference exactly ?
Old 14th November 2008
  #13
Gear Head
 
chrisD's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmec View Post
Just run the capsule under the tap on steady dribble for a bit (if you want to get real posh use distilled water) to get the worst of the snot off, let it dry a bit and get tube swapping.heh
Just wanted to jump in here - this is probably NOT a good idea, at least with our capsules at Manley. When we clean a capsule (and this is something we do NOT enjoy doing because of how delicate a process it is), we've found it best to use a mixture of 1/3 pure (99%) alcohol and 2/3 distilled water. 50/50 might be okay too, but don't use more than 50% alchohol. Get some of this mixture on a Qtip and barely - I mean that, BARELY - skim the surface of the capsule on the areas where residue may have built up.

You really only need about 1 drop of alcohol and 2 drops of water. Don't get the Qtip soaking wet, it just needs to be "misted"...

These capsules are pretty sensitive to moisture, and I'll forewarn you that cleaning them can be difficult (and will NOT make you eligible for a free, brand spankin' new capsule were you to accidentally damage the one you have...), but if you've got that increasingly prevalent and most-certainly-excellent "YesWeCan!" mentality and want to try, we can't legally stop you. Good luck with it!

Oh, and re: tubes, we've been having excellent luck with 12AX7EH tubes lately. There are some really super quiet ones out there, but make sure you TEST them before you pay big $$$...
Old 14th November 2008
  #14
Lives for gear
 
World Studios's Avatar
Hi!

I just tried the Telefunken tube that Bowie sold me in my Ref C and there is a big difference from the stock tube that came with the mic. I now get more air, firmer low end and a generally more clear sound, like the capsule had been cleaned - only the cap is brand new... I would not go as far as to say it sounds like a different mic, but it sure sounds like a more expensive one. Probably the best spent 75 USD in the history of my studio. I also have connected the mic with a very short xlr cable straight into the preamp, avoiding the multi cable and patchbay completely and that, too, gives a sound that is more "clear", but the difference is not by far as big as with the tube swap.

Just Do It!
Old 14th November 2008
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

sorry, not so.......

at"AES Telefunken had their mics set to compare them against vintage ones. Even on the noisy AES I picked the vintage ones (twice in a blind test ) over the new Tely's. "

I was running the comparisons at AES. When comparing the new 251 to a vintage one ( which, by the way, just was sold for 18,000!!) at least 9 out of 10 people picked the NEW ONE over the vintage one; this was done blindfolded, the listeners did NOT know which was which until I told them ........the comparison of the vintage vf14 47 to the new vf14k 47 was more like 40% for the new one but everyone agreed that they were extremely close......much closer in fact , than any number of old u47s would be if you compared them ......anyone who wishes to do the comparison at their studio to their old mics should contact me and we will arrange it....dan alexander 510 5271411
Old 14th November 2008
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan alexander View Post
at"AES Telefunken had their mics set to compare them against vintage ones. Even on the noisy AES I picked the vintage ones (twice in a blind test ) over the new Tely's. "

I was running the comparisons at AES. When comparing the new 251 to a vintage one ( which, by the way, just was sold for 18,000!!) at least 9 out of 10 people picked the NEW ONE over the vintage one; this was done blindfolded, the listeners did NOT know which was which until I told them ........the comparison of the vintage vf14 47 to the new vf14k 47 was more like 40% for the new one but everyone agreed that they were extremely close......much closer in fact , than any number of old u47s would be if you compared them ......anyone who wishes to do the comparison at their studio to their old mics should contact me and we will arrange it....dan alexander 510 5271411
I have a Tele USA Ela M251 and like it.. Dan, I'd like to know why Tele are keeping the VF14K such a big secret.. what's inside it ??
Old 29th July 2016
  #17
Lives for gear
 

I put a Mullard NOS PCC88 in my rode K2 and it did improve the overall sonic quality of the mic: however, my AT 4060 with a mullard NOS tube and all of my four stock Peluso tube mics are much much better to my ear.
Hugh
Old 29th July 2016
  #18
Lives for gear
 
mbvoxx's Avatar
If it gets noisy or dies change it. Telefunken tube is a good upgrade
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
HIGHENDONLY / So much gear, so little time
8
GitWizards / So much gear, so little time
2
Chris Williams / Geekslutz forum
4
dejacky / Geekslutz forum
4
not_so_new / So much gear, so little time
2

Forum Jump
Forum Jump