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
Oktava MK-319 shootout = shocked
Old 20th June 2017
  #31
Gear Guru
To me the Wunder sounds a bit meatier. I really wanted to say the Oktava is there but there's that slight something more real.... Very close tho and really appreciate someone putting their mic up for testing. Thx!
Old 21st June 2017
  #32
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by McIrish View Post
I'm getting ready to start another CD project with my band and we knew we would need two great vocal mics in order to get the his/her vocal parts recorded at the same time. During the last sessions, we had used our Wunder CM7-GTS and borrowed some other good mics to find a match. I can't remember if it was a TLM49 or a M149 that we ended with (yes, big difference) but we were not happy with the sound. It was too forward in the upper mids and we wanted more of the U47/U48 flavor. We eneded up having to do quite a bit of EQ to tame the mids on the Neumann during mixing. For one session, we used an AT4047 and that was a little closer to the sound we needed but still lacked the body we needed. We had borrowed a U48 and found it was closest to the CM7-GTS but we couldn't keep it long enough for the sessions. BTW, the U48 was better than the CM7-GTS. Not by a lot, but it did have a little more air (10k-12k) to it which we liked. A little EQ would have matched them fine.

So anyway... budgets are tight and I started looking to do some tests to see if we could find a match for the CM7-GTS. Our budget was to be $3000. I work as a music director and found an old, abused Oktava mk-319 sitting in a cabinet in the back room. I figured I'd just give it a try and see what I get. I setup both mics on the same horizontal plane, one on top of the other with the grills as close but not touching as possible. I setup a Hardy M1 for both mics and we did some test recording both mics at the same time. We tried both male and female vocals. Each was about a foot away from the mics. When we listened back (Dynaudio Air 6 and Equator D5) we could hear very very little difference. They were so close that we did the test another 4 times because I was sure I messed up the patching and we were hearing the same mic for both tracks. After a while, we just had to believe our ears. Soloing the performance and switching between the two tracks at random proved that we really couldn't hear any difference.This particular, beat up mk-319 sounded closer to a Wonder CM7-GTS than anything we've ever tested. I know my hearing isn't what it used to be but I was shocked by the Oktava. I know many people will roll their eyes and say I'm some noob that doesn't know what he's talking about. That's your call. For me, I was pretty shook up about it. The CM7-GTS cost a TON of money and this Oktava was probably bought for a couple hundred and then discarded in a cabinet. I'm not disparaging the Wunder in any way. It's a truly beautiful sounding mic. Big and round without a touch of sibilance. That's the sound we needed. Both vocalists have a slight forward high mid edge (2k-3k) to them and we needed a mic that would smooth that out. The CM7-GTS did that. Now I find the Oktava mk-319 can do it too. I'm extremely impressed. They didn't even set out to make the mic sound like a U47 clone and yet they nailed it very close.

This mk-319 was not modded. So, after the testing session, I did remove the first layer of screen from the head and removed the daughter board and shortened the capsule wire lengths. I also dampened the inside of the body with a layer of sticky back rubber I had laying around. I did not remove the plastic rings on the mic element. That is said to make it darker, which I didn't want. Testing again showed the top end to have opened up a bit. It's not edgy but it is different from the stock version. Was the mod worth it? Hard to say. It was great sounding before and now it has just a slight bit more presence. I will leave it and use it on the darker of the two voices.

Well, this got long winded. I'm just amazed at the Oktava MK-319. Best bang for buck in the history of U47ish mics. For those who say it's dark and woolly, have you ever used a real U47? They are not bright mics at all. They are smooth and buttery. Nothing at all like the top-crazy mics coming out of China.

Anyway, that's my take. Feel free to agree or flame me, but you really should give it a try if you want the sound of a U47 on a budget.
One of my fave mics
Old 21st June 2017
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by McIrish View Post

Well, this got long winded. I'm just amazed at the Oktava MK-319. Best bang for buck in the history of U47ish mics. For those who say it's dark and woolly, have you ever used a real U47? They are not bright mics at all. They are smooth and buttery. Nothing at all like the top-crazy mics coming out of China.

Anyway, that's my take. Feel free to agree or flame me, but you really should give it a try if you want the sound of a U47 on a budget.
U47s are all slightly different from one another. Yes, I have used a U47. It was surprisingly bright. Quite a bit brighter than an Oktava 319.
Old 22nd June 2017
  #34
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates View Post
U47s are all slightly different from one another. Yes, I have used a U47. It was surprisingly bright. Quite a bit brighter than an Oktava 319.

Years ago, there was a test here in Germany with audio files online in Sound&Recording magazine from Dr. Andreas Hau, who compared his U47 with an AT 4060 and other mics. The U47 was brighter, but with a little high boost, I wasnt able anymore to tell the difference, neither my brother. The files were online. Still got my AT 4060 and wont give it away. The Oktavas really profit from modifying the caps and the mesh for an more natural sound. Then, they play in the Neumann league. The next mic I ll buy will be an MKL 2500.
Old 15th August 2018
  #35
Gear Nut
 

Final update on this thread I started. While I still like the mk319 mic, I have since added a Miktek CV4 with a Beesneez K7 capsule. That (although not cheap) is one of the smoothest mics I've ever heard. The mk319 is an amazingly good deal and with the modifications it becomes a very nice sounding mic. Unfortunately, it gets just a bit harsh on upper range of an alto voice. Not by a great margin, but when compared to really fine tube mics, it shows a little edge.

The CV4/K7 is really something else. On a side note, I hated the CV4 stock. I almost sold it. Then I traced out the circuit and found it to be very much in the U47/49 design and knew it had to be either the capsule or the transformer causing the "zing" on the top end. It was the capsule. If you have a CV4, install a Beesneez K7 in it. Night and day; huge difference. The CV4 is now every bit as good as the CM7/GTS/M7. I still use the mk319 on upright bass and room mics. They are very nice, but not on the highest level.


oops. just reread the thread and noticed I already mentioned the CV4. Oh well...
Old 15th August 2018
  #36
Lives for gear
 
EvilRoy's Avatar
At the prices of good used 319s (got my third recently for $125), is there any reason to not get them? No brainer. Got a third because my first 2 are dedicated to overheads and it makes a great vocal mic also.
Old 16th August 2018
  #37
Lives for gear
 

Fortunately, I have an exceptional stock Oktava 219. On my voice, it's my "passport to 60's/early 70's" Pop/Rock type vocals. VERY close to whatever Johnny Rivers used, for his mid/late 60's classic studio hits. The other one for this type of material for me, is the Soundelux U195, set on FAT mode.

Chris
Old 16th August 2018
  #38
Got a stock MK-319 and it used to share duties as my go-to vocal mic along with my KMS105 and the occasional MD421. Since then I got an old Sennheiser MKH-406 which I find stacks up better and is a bit more versatile as it's more open sounding without the harshness but I record on narrow track reel to reel so yeah, something a bit brighter tends to work for me... but rarely if ever had to deal with sibilants except when I tried a NT1 (that thing never got any use again, sounded like tinny garbage). I never tried a U47 so I can't tell how they compare.
However it's still a great mic for the money and this thread reminds me that I should really get it modded. Mine are currently in use as my "utility second condensor".

The off axis response is a bit funky as an overhead but it does sound great on cymbals, really full bodied sound. Kindda get what a former poster meant when comparing it to ribbons. When I get the chance I use mine as "chamber reverb" for drums on the long corridor outside the studio. Sounds huge and always blend well.

They do indeed sound quite different... my current 319 is the second I got after capsule died on my first. The old one sounded a hair smoother.
Old 10th March 2019
  #39
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyjanopan View Post
Interesting! I tried to match the Oktava file using EQ as close to the Wunder as possible, and it's not that far actually. There's still some wooliness apparent, but highs are quite close. I had a pair of MK319 for some time and really liked them on double bass, but sold them after a year as I became tired of the wool in the midrange (modding didn't really help with that).
that's impressive... I actually prefer to "wool" in the midrange for my needs
Old 31st March 2019
  #40
Here for the gear
 

I have a 319, never really used it until recently when a friend and I did a mic shootout. I never even gave this mic a shot because of the price that you can buy them for. We compared lots of high end mics, all his, Nothing I had was over $1000. He has a classic U87, 1979 or so model. We ran them through a very nice pre and in a blind test we both picked the 319 over the Neauman. At least on that particular voice speaking and singing the STOCK Russian mic in our opinion was just barely better.
I wouldn't have believed that without hearing it myself. Always do those tests blind because like it or not suggestion is very powerful. The winner out of all the mics tested was the Manley Reference Mic. The Manley followed by a U99 with an upgraded Telefunken tube followed in 2nd place but was not leaps and bounds better than the Octava. I couldnt believe it and neither could he. This mic wont do your recordings any harm for sure.
Old 31st March 2019
  #41
Lives for gear
 

I feel like a "poster boy" singer for the Oktava 219/319.

Fits my voice like a glove. Better than U87ai "out of the box"(unless the U87 is EQ'd/processed a bunch-then the U87 is "almost" that good!)).

BTW there's a new Oktava in town... Oktava MK-119. Nice video regarding it, on YouTube. Okatava 219, in a 319-ish body (smaller). Streets around $250 new.
Starting over, it'd be the first LDC under $300 I'd buy-for sure!

BTW HUGE fan of the Bock/Soundelux U99, I hope to get one someday.

Here's me below on a 319, just an off the cuff vocal acapella...
Chris
P.S. Welcome to GS!
Attached Files

Song 60oldwaysdie319final.wav (1.57 MB, 303 views)

Old 4th April 2019
  #42
Gear Guru
I actually sing more into the top of the mic and point the capsule towards my throat which brightens it considerably and keeps low mids. Breaks lots of accepted practice, but works for me....... The 319 is a wonderful mic and the 2500 pairs beautifully with it since the same capsule.
Old 25th April 2019
  #43
Here for the gear
 

We did a mic shootout with bluesy powerful male vocal and the 319 hung with the higher dollar mics. We did the test blind so there could be no preconceived notions about cost or name recognition. We both picked the 319 over a classic u-87. We were both shocked about that because my friend had just ordered the Neumann mic a week before. The clear winner was the Manley reference mic that my friend had in his Studio. You can definitely make professional recordings with the 319. If you don't get a great sound from this Mike then it's a problem somewhere else not with the mic.
Old 25th April 2019
  #44
JAT
Lives for gear
319s are great rock and roll mics.
Topic:
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
Forum Jump
Forum Jump