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it took 3 years but i'm beginning to hate the MXL 603
Old 7th February 2007
  #1
Gear Nut
 

it took 3 years but i'm beginning to hate the MXL 603

maybe if i was recording guitar or some other manageable-transient stuff, they'd be cool, but dammit-- i'm a percussionist and there's a very fine line between 'acceptable' and 'really eating it' on these guys. there's none of that front-end 'nicerizing' when they get od'd from a random too-hot hit... they just get ugly, and fast.

i'd really, really, really like a clean, honest (but bright enough) stereo pair of SDC's. borrowed a friend's joesephson c42's. they were amazing. any thing else i should be in consideration of? those peluso SDC's? are those SE tube LDC's actually that good? are 141's sexy at all? 4051s? rode nt-5's? neumann's are really, really expensive.

unfortunately i'm not into the oktava's. at this point, considering how inexpensive the MXL's were, i'd love to get a pair of mic's i'd keep w/ me for a while. something accurate and GOOD ON DRUMS.

advice?

gracias!
D
Old 7th February 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

Why dont you like the Oktavas? ( I assume you mean the 012)

I have a 141 pair, and I dont record drums, but I love both of them for different sources.
Old 7th February 2007
  #3
Gear Nut
 

I like the NT5s a lot. They can be harsh and overly-bright on the cymbals as some SDCs are, but they are far from brittle and glassy sounding. We put a pair up the other night as overheads and after hearing the results we took down the tom and snare mics, didn't even need them.

I use a pair of modified Oktava 219's. Mellow on the cymbals and they pick up a GREAT snare sound nearly every time.
Old 7th February 2007
  #4
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
451's if you like bright.

84's if you like warm and open.

692/M70 Gefell's if you want in the middle with a little color

end of story.....
Old 7th February 2007
  #5
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 

Oktavamod.com has a new mid size condensor, the MK-011. It's more detailed than the MK-012, and sounds really smooth. I compared it to a KM184, and the Neumann was all high end sheen, compared to the Oktava, which was all natural sound, with a touch of air on top.
One theory is to use dynamics or ribbons on percussion - the theory being that the sound you want in the mix is not so much the sizzle, but the midrange. Dynamics and ribbons suck up the transients, giving you a more 'mixable' sound. Tubes do that too, but I tried the Sterling ST44 (rebranded Groove Tubes tube sdc sold at GC) and it sounded almost identical to a KM184, except a touch thicker.
The Beyer M160 ribbon, or it's cheaper cousin, the M260 (built-in low cut for close micing) might be good. Except you'd need a preamp with mega-gain. Another would be the Heil PR series dynamics. The PR20 is supposed to be a stage mic, but the response is pretty close to flat, and they give you 2 extra metal windscreens (silver, black, and gold) so you can pull the foam out of one of them and use it for instrument micing. They have a really detailed high end, and at $150 each, they could be worth a shot. War at Front End Audio would probably let you audition a Beyer and a Heil, and send back the one you don't want.
Old 7th February 2007
  #6
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

Attachment 30821

Here is a sample I did with a modded 011.

I think Uncle hit the 011 description on the head!
Old 7th February 2007
  #7
Gear Nut
 

wow! a couple of completely-unexpected suggestions... thanks gslutz!

will def. look into the heills and the oktava mods. i didn't like the orig. mk012's... they felt a little 'splatty' for lack of a better term.

yeah skin drums are all about the midrange... an extended low-end response would be nice, but the high end of stuff is often where the garbage, the unintended sounds of hands moving, etc, lives. hyped-up chinese condensers don't work nice. i've had some luck w/ dynamics, but need something a bit more... accurate... i guess is the word.

i have the tape-op ribbons, and while they're fun for re-creating a vintage vibe, the high-end can be surprisingly brittle, while still attenuated. nice mids and transient response on those suckers, though.

if i could afford a stereo pair of royers, you know...heh
Old 7th February 2007
  #8
Gear Addict
 
svart's Avatar
 

are they old or new 603's?

the older ones are supposed to sound better than the new ones!

Not to take this topic OT but if you want to get rid of them, I'll take em off your hands..
Old 7th February 2007
  #9
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

I had beautiful results last week with the 011 in front of a clients guitar, and a 012 overhead pointing at the bridge area. The OH mic was maybe a foot above his head out in front of the bridge. These mics sound nice together, and of course arent the same models, much less matched.

The 012 had a funny blurb at 3 places that sounded like plosive-stand kick-floor stomp. I didnt realize it till I was mixing the 2 tracks after he left. We are going to redo it friday, and Ill post a small section if it gets done. Hes a one take guy almost every time, so thats cool!
Old 8th February 2007
  #10
Gear Nut
 

awesome. i emailed w/ michael and the 011's are definitely in the running; nicely-priced for the quality. still sorting in my head.

i got the 603 back in '03, so i guess that'd be an older one?
Old 8th February 2007
  #11
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

just upgraded my mxl 603 to Audio Technica ATM450...comments next week ! But the good reviews are all over this site.
Old 13th February 2007
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeReKeTe View Post
are those SE tube LDC's actually that good? advice?
gracias!
D
As far as the sE mics are concerned, you'd be pretty impressed with the stereo SE3's as overheads.
I have a friend who is a drummer/percussionist and forum moderator for Tape Op who heard my SE3 as overheads and really loves the sound. They are not as bright as the AT Pro37R so there is no problem with sizzling cymbal issues per se and they provide a warmer richer tone than the Pro 37R's. They do a nice job of picking up the toms and snare in an even-handed balanced way.
Warren Dent (WAR on this thread) has compared the SE3 to the old Neuman KM84 and he would know as he has A/B'd them.
(By the way, I love my sE Z5600A tube mic!)
Old 13th February 2007
  #13
Gear Head
 

MOD IT!

ive found mine only be good on, as you mentioned, guitar...but GREAT on trumpets
Old 13th February 2007
  #14
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Chris's Avatar
I agree about the 603s on overheads. They clip all the time on random loud snare hits. Gets really annoying. I think my next SDCs will be the Josephsons. No idea when I'll have a grand for mics, though. I'm still paying off all of my other gear. :D
Old 13th February 2007
  #15
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lpkyer View Post
just upgraded my mxl 603 to Audio Technica ATM450...comments next week ! But the good reviews are all over this site.
I found my ATM450 to be pretty darn bright. Not in a bad way, but not phat at all. Those Heils are definitly detailed. I have the PR40 and the PR20. The 20 (stage mic) is cardioid, the 40 is some version of hypercardioid, if that would have any bearing on your situation. The 40 supposedly goes down to something like 20hz, if you're into low end. The oktava MK-011also sounds like is has plenty of low end, and the response curve says it doesn't take a dive till about 40hz. (-1.5 at 100, -3 at 50)
Old 13th February 2007
  #16
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan View Post
The oktava MK-011also sounds like is has plenty of low end, and the response curve says it doesn't take a dive till about 40hz. (-1.5 at 100, -3 at 50)
That mic just rules, period. I would say it rocks above many for drum OH, but I havent used mine in that manner.

The detail and non harsh highs I experience with it, are awesome!

I really detest the 101 though, but YMMV!
Old 13th February 2007
  #17
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Bounce's Avatar
I've never had my 603's clip as overheads and I beat the snot out of my drums. I run them through 2 PM1000 gain blocks. Killer. I have other sdc's but really like the 603's for many things. Got the pair for $100 new. That's bizarre. Maybe it's your 603's or the preamp? Dunno...

As for the Oktava 012's, it's truly hard to say you don't like them if you've only heard one or 2 because their quality is SO ALL OVER the map! I went through 10 mics (tested on the same source- acoustic guitar- at the the same distance through the same pre playing the same G chord) to get the one I have and they all sounded DRASTICALLY different. It wasn't subtle. Mine sounds very nice :-)

On other percussion, I probably use something else depending on the source. Never tried the key jingle test with mine.
Old 13th February 2007
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadSkillzMan View Post
MOD IT!
Yeah, I modded mine a while back. Replacing the ceramic cap [closest to the capsule] with a polystyrene one seemed to help smooth the top end. I changed some other components as well but the polystyrene cap had the most dramatic improvement.
Old 13th February 2007
  #19
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

I believe the QC for the 012 "story" has been handled for a while now. I wont rehash the reasons, as many know them.

The pair I have were bought a month apart. I asked the vendor to hold the second one in the pair, and offered them a very decent return compensation if I didnt like the sound of the mic. (This was about 2 years ago, and I didnt know what they sounded like yet)

I bought the second one, and they sound identical....many blind taste tests also.

Thats not to say that some arent, Im not implying that either. I just think the Oktava problem they had at one time lives on too long, in all fairness.... especially if you have heard it online, and like to repeat it.
Old 13th February 2007
  #20
Gear Nut
 
projuice's Avatar
 

I'm realy happy with a pair of 451e i've scored. I do have to say that they are a bit bright but in a nice way to me. And if you get some redmic lollipops for them you can use them for a bunch of other stuff aswell!
Old 13th February 2007
  #21
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Chris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAVD View Post
Yeah, I modded mine a while back. Replacing the ceramic cap [closest to the capsule] with a polystyrene one seemed to help smooth the top end. I changed some other components as well but the polystyrene cap had the most dramatic improvement.
Do you have any links to modding 603s? I'm interested.



Found it! For any interested:

http://www.prodigy-pro.com/forum/vie...ht=polystyrene
Old 13th February 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Do you have any links to modding 603s? I'm interested.



Found it! For any interested:

http://www.prodigy-pro.com/forum/vie...ht=polystyrene
Try this one as well.
http://www.prodigy-pro.com/forum/vie...hlight=mxl+603

Also, I was able to fit 1uf 63v AVX caps in place of the .22uf but it was extremely tight and there's a trick to it. You might want to go smaller to avoid stressing the pcb.
Old 14th February 2007
  #23
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BradM's Avatar
The new 603's pretty much have all the internet mods in place. I went to mod the 604 I bought and was surprised that all the work had already been done for me at the factory. The ony thing I did was swap out the FET to capsule cap for a polystyrene.

Brad
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