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Any thoughts on the MXL 9000?
Old 23rd June 2005
  #1
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JimmyPills's Avatar
 

Any thoughts on the MXL 9000?

Anybody tried this thing? I'm planning on purchasing a tube mic soon, possibly:
MXL V69 Mogami
Rode NTK2 Tube
MXL V77 (if I can find one)
Or the MXL 9000

Anybody?....
Old 6th March 2006
  #2
Here for the gear
 

A few thoughts on the MXL 9000

I was at Guitar Center (just seeing it in writing makes me feel shameful) buying cables a couple of weeks ago, and noticed this on sale for $150. I had had a quasi-sucessful experience with Dave Royer's Mod for the 2001, and so I decided to buy the 9000 and try a couple of mods.

To be perfectly fair, the mic was not wholly unusable from the factory. In simple home recording situations, I felt it could probably do a decent job on most acoustic instruments (acoustic guitar was my test subject). However, when I swapped out the tube (a chinese (I presume) 12ax7), with a good NOS tube, the difference (especially in the high end) was amazing. And each tube I tried of (subjectively) higher quality, the better it sounded. First, I tried an old RCA grey plate with the halo getter, then an old Amperex (branded Hammond organ, but made in Holland), then, a very old RCA Black plate with the D-getter, then, the coup-de-gras, in my opinion, a Dynakit branded Telefunken (later model by the looks of it, specifies "made in West Germany"). Anyway the tube alone, most of which I scavenged, but none of which couldn't be had for less than $50 anyway, made a VERY noticeable difference. At this point, I was finding the mic far superior (on the acoustic guitar, anyway) to any of the others we tested from my, admittidly humble, collection (AKG 414XLII, 414XLS, and 451b, AT 4033,and EV RE20 (just for fun).

Really quite cool.

However, the real shock came after deciding to replace the factory transformer with the Jensen transformer used in the 2001 mod (I took the one out of my half-operational 2001). The mod took me about an hour, which was a lot considering how intimately (and frustratingly) familiar I was with the build of this mic after my other project, but still not much, considering that I stupidly soldered one of the wires to the wrong location TWICE before I finally realized my absent-minded mistake. Once it was back together and running, though... My Lord did it make a difference. The first thing we noticed was that the noise floor dropped considerably, and the next thing we noticed was how absolutely everything else improved dramatically. Without attemting
to use all the normal terminology (tight, smooth, crisp), I'll just say, it was great.

Really great.

If this mic was being sold off the shelf at $150 (for the mic, with shockmount and a flippin' Mogami cable)+$65 (for the Jensen DB-E/U transformer)+$50 (conserveitively, for the Telefunken or generally equivilent tube), for a total of $265, no one could possibly keep it on the shelf. Needless to say, insofaras I haven't done any serious comparisons with other tube mics, especially high end varieties, I can't say it would hold it's own in that respect. However, I can say that, although I am no super-experienced expert, I am also no stranger to nice mics, and regularly use some well respected ones (partially listed earlier), and I am really happy and impressed with this mic (particularly in it's modified form), in that context.

Next, I am eager to buy another and try some other combinations of tubes (just got an old stock Mullard) and transformers (possibly Cinemag, or Sowter), and see what I can come up with.

Hope that helps, and I'd love to hear if anyone else has any experience with this,
Tim

P.S.- Tried this as Drum room mic, super-driven through a Daking pre, and nuked with a Distressor, and it is the coolest, nastiest, and most suprisingly well-balanced result I've ever acheived in this application. Awesome Flaming Lips Soft Bulletin sound to my ear.
Tim
Old 4th June 2012
  #3
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Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by timothyeyster View Post
I was at Guitar Center (just seeing it in writing makes me feel shameful) buying cables a couple of weeks ago, and noticed this on sale for $150. I had had a quasi-sucessful experience with Dave Royer's Mod for the 2001, and so I decided to buy the 9000 and try a couple of mods.

To be perfectly fair, the mic was not wholly unusable from the factory. In simple home recording situations, I felt it could probably do a decent job on most acoustic instruments (acoustic guitar was my test subject). However, when I swapped out the tube (a chinese (I presume) 12ax7), with a good NOS tube, the difference (especially in the high end) was amazing. And each tube I tried of (subjectively) higher quality, the better it sounded. First, I tried an old RCA grey plate with the halo getter, then an old Amperex (branded Hammond organ, but made in Holland), then, a very old RCA Black plate with the D-getter, then, the coup-de-gras, in my opinion, a Dynakit branded Telefunken (later model by the looks of it, specifies "made in West Germany"). Anyway the tube alone, most of which I scavenged, but none of which couldn't be had for less than $50 anyway, made a VERY noticeable difference. At this point, I was finding the mic far superior (on the acoustic guitar, anyway) to any of the others we tested from my, admittidly humble, collection (AKG 414XLII, 414XLS, and 451b, AT 4033,and EV RE20 (just for fun).

Really quite cool.

However, the real shock came after deciding to replace the factory transformer with the Jensen transformer used in the 2001 mod (I took the one out of my half-operational 2001). The mod took me about an hour, which was a lot considering how intimately (and frustratingly) familiar I was with the build of this mic after my other project, but still not much, considering that I stupidly soldered one of the wires to the wrong location TWICE before I finally realized my absent-minded mistake. Once it was back together and running, though... My Lord did it make a difference. The first thing we noticed was that the noise floor dropped considerably, and the next thing we noticed was how absolutely everything else improved dramatically. Without attemting
to use all the normal terminology (tight, smooth, crisp), I'll just say, it was great.

Really great.

If this mic was being sold off the shelf at $150 (for the mic, with shockmount and a flippin' Mogami cable)+$65 (for the Jensen DB-E/U transformer)+$50 (conserveitively, for the Telefunken or generally equivilent tube), for a total of $265, no one could possibly keep it on the shelf. Needless to say, insofaras I haven't done any serious comparisons with other tube mics, especially high end varieties, I can't say it would hold it's own in that respect. However, I can say that, although I am no super-experienced expert, I am also no stranger to nice mics, and regularly use some well respected ones (partially listed earlier), and I am really happy and impressed with this mic (particularly in it's modified form), in that context.

Next, I am eager to buy another and try some other combinations of tubes (just got an old stock Mullard) and transformers (possibly Cinemag, or Sowter), and see what I can come up with.

Hope that helps, and I'd love to hear if anyone else has any experience with this,
Tim

P.S.- Tried this as Drum room mic, super-driven through a Daking pre, and nuked with a Distressor, and it is the coolest, nastiest, and most suprisingly well-balanced result I've ever acheived in this application. Awesome Flaming Lips Soft Bulletin sound to my ear.
Tim
Hi Tim,

Any news about how the mod turned out in the long run?

I was thinking about maybe going a similar route. Where can I find some instructions for doing this mod?

Cheers,
B
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