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Drum over heads AT2020 VS MXL 603
Old 20th February 2009
  #1
Drum over heads AT2020 VS MXL 603

Ok So I currently have a at2020 and enjoy it and have used for percussion. Now I'm at a loss trying to decide between another at2020 or purchasing a pair of the 603's. Anybody have experience with both of these? I have also considered a pair of the Behringer ECM8000's. This is for a metal band and they are really tight on a budget so I dont want to go out of my way for nice over heads. Any thoughts and/or opinions welcome!
Old 20th February 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
wirenut's Avatar
 

Get a pair of MXL 603โ€™s. Then save a little money and send them to Michael Joly for a mic mod. They will come back as close to a Neumann 184 as youโ€™re going to get. For a total of $300.00 you get an $850.00 mic. http://www.oktavamodshop.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_48&products_id=119. I have a pair of stock 603โ€™s and they sound pretty good on overheads now however I am planning on getting the mods done also when I get the bucks up.

Wirenut
Old 20th February 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
superiorsound's Avatar
 

Gauge ECM 87's You can get two for 300bucks and they sound stellar on OH's! GAUGE MICROPHONES - CALIFORNIA, U.S.A. No I dont work for them just a shmuck who bought a pair and uses them.
Old 20th February 2009
  #4
Well i just ordered a ecm 87 a few days ago and am waiting for it. I'll try it out but I am still leaning in towards the 603's for some odd reason... any other thoughts?
Old 20th February 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
rackdude's Avatar
 

I have at2020's though I use naiants more often for overheads. Great on a tight budget.
Old 20th February 2009
  #6
Ok let me clear this up...Current mic list...
1 Audio Technica at2020
1 Gauge Audio ECM-87
1 Kel Audio HM-7U
1 Heil Pro PR-40
2 Karma K Micros
2 MiLabs MP30s
1 EV Raven
1 EV Cardinal
1 EV PL78
2 Shure SM57
1 Shure SM58



Now knowing what I have....I could use tons of these but I am looking for something new. Either add a mic to one of my single mics, use these over or take this recording as a excuse to buy another set of mics I dont currently have. I have been looking at the Naiants and will probably order the X-Q and the X-T but will probably hold off uinless you think they are better than the at 2020 and the mxl 603's for overheads.
Old 20th February 2009
  #7
Quote:
me: i picked up a few mxl's & am not really happy with any of em.
the 2001's sound hollow & the 603's pick up more air than tone.
I've since picked up a couple AT2020's & am pleased with their performance. very clean sounding.

AT
dfegad MXL 603, maybe someday i'll try spending another $200 a pop on em to make them suck less.
Old 20th February 2009
  #8
Ok so far....
at2020 - 1
603 - 1
naiants - 1
ecm87 - 1
Old 20th February 2009
  #9
Here for the gear
 

MXL 603's sound good to me for acoustic.

I have been using them in various stereo configurations for classical music and am pleased with the results.
Old 20th February 2009
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by violinbf View Post
MXL 603's sound good to me for acoustic.

I have been using them in various stereo configurations for classical music and am pleased with the results.
Have you tried them for drum over heads though?
Old 20th February 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by superiorsound View Post
Gauge ECM 87's You can get two for 300bucks and they sound stellar on OH's! GAUGE MICROPHONES - CALIFORNIA, U.S.A. No I dont work for them just a shmuck who bought a pair and uses them.
I was wondering if you have any samples (MP3 or WAV) of those in action. I had been considering a pair. Though I might just get a pair of AT4041 for acoustic guitar and overheads since I found em for $420 new.
Old 20th February 2009
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
wirenut's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
AT
dfegad MXL 603, maybe someday i'll try spending another $200 a pop on em to make them suck less.
Do you own a pair of MXL 603's and have actually worked with them in a studio or is this just โ€œyourโ€ opinion. I own a pair of Neumann KM184โ€™s that I can use to compare them with.

I use different types of overhead mics depending on the style of music and drummer. I choose from the following pairs: Shure sm81, AKG 414, Neumann KM184, MXL 603s (Stock). The MXLโ€™s although a little hyped on the high end can be tamed with a little EQ. The MXLโ€™s hold their ground.
Old 20th February 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obitheincredible View Post
Have you tried them for drum over heads though?
I used to use the MXL603 on overheads. I sold em cuz I needed money, I'm considering them again only I'll likely get em modded by Oktavamod. I didn't hate them but they definitely have a hyped high end that can be a good or bad thing, I'd prefer them after the mod since it improves upon all the flaws I found in the mic.

Check out myspace it should be in my signature line. I think a couple of the songs on there feature them on overheads (stock versions). The tracks would be Who Am I Supposed to Be and Carry Me Away.

I can't comment on them vs the AT2020 though as I haven't used the AT2020 on anything before.

Right now i'm using the CAD M177 and I like them quite a bit they might be worth checking out as are the M179. I will be recording with them on overhead this weekend. I really bought them to use on my toms though, but I didn't have the money to buy everything at once (story of my life lately).

The CAD GXL1200 is pretty much an MXL603 and it's usually cheaper brand new, you could probably score a pair for $100-$120 online and Michael Joly can mod those up like the MXL603 he posted samples of. That may be another worthwhile investment especially after the mods. But I haven't used em, I'm just going by what I've read and heard about them from other people.
Old 20th February 2009
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Grab yourself a couple of these guys and you won't regret it. Really good on many things.

MXL SP1 Condenser Studio Microphone With Clip*-* Large Diaphragm Condenser Mics*-* Studio Mics*-* Microphones*-* Pro Audio Accessories*-* Accessories*-* PSSL.com

Do a search and check them out for yourself.
Old 20th February 2009
  #15
Ya I've heard of those, Now I'm off to do my homework on em. I remember seeing those in tape op but couldn't find them. Thanks for the link!
Old 21st February 2009
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by wirenut View Post
Do you own a pair of MXL 603's and have actually worked with them in a studio or is this just “your” opinion.
it's my opinion based on experience using & owning 603's & 991's (very similar to 603's) for use as drum overheads.

hey, heres a pic from about 3-4 years ago of them being used as overheads in me olde music room in one of my early drum micing experiments.

notice the amazing lack of acoustic treatment. good times though.

anyways, one of the 603's now has a perpetual squeal that comes on every time phantom power is engaged.
if youve had a good experience with MXL mics then it's a very different experience than mine.
Old 21st February 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 

well did you try contacting MXL because they are actually pretty good about standing behind their products. I knew someone that had that problem and he sent his MXL603 back and rather than repairing it and returning it he got a brand new one in a box all at no cost to him except for shipping one way. I'd say that's a pretty good deal considering the cost of these mics practically makes em disposable.

Really for the price there is no contest for acoustic guitars and drum overheads. At least in my experience. Yeah they aren't my favorite mics but they certainly aren't my least favorites. You can get very good results with X/Y and ORTF using the MXL603. I've seen some good recorderman things done with them too, not my preference to miking a drumkit though.

To do better you really have to spend more. And the fact that once they are reworked they are in the league of KM184 says a lot. I thought the modded MXL603 sounded better than stock Oktava MK012s.

I mean really how much can you expect from a mic this cheap? I've used much much worse mics.
Old 21st February 2009
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithMoonwannabe View Post
well did you try contacting MXL because they are actually pretty good about standing behind their products. ...
I thought the modded MXL603 sounded better than stock Oktava MK012s
i do consider them disposable so i didnt bother contacting MXL & moved on to other brands i'd already had positive 'low end' results with (AT, CAD). i've also got a MXL 2001 that sounds thin, gritty, airy & hollow to me, so i figured thats just the way their mic's sound.

i'm gonna try the mod on one of em as soon as i have a spare few bucks & if the results are as staggering as the consensus here i'll prolly end up sending in the rest.
Old 21st February 2009
  #19
at2020 - 1
603 - 3
naiants - 1
ecm87 - 1
SP1 - 1
Old 21st February 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
i do consider them disposable so i didnt bother contacting MXL & moved on to other brands i'd already had positive 'low end' results with (AT, CAD). i've also got a MXL 2001 that sounds thin, gritty, airy & hollow to me, so i figured thats just the way their mic's sound.

i'm gonna try the mod on one of em as soon as i have a spare few bucks & if the results are as staggering as the consensus here i'll prolly end up sending in the rest.
well really the problems the mics have are kinda shoddy electronics which is the main address of the mods. From there he opens up the sound by removing all the layers of the grill leaving a single layer. On the 603 ultimate mod he actually shortens the piece that extends out from the diaphragm so there isn't a tunnel anymore.
Old 21st February 2009
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Corran's Avatar
 

The Naiants are cheap enough that if you don't like them for OH then you can keep them around for the times when you need some more mics. Since they are omnis you need to have at least a decent room/

However from your original choices I'd choose the 603. I hated the 2020 when a friend showed me it and we tried some recordings. Just was boring and dull, and not in the good, flat frequency response kinda way.
Old 21st February 2009
  #22
My only problem with the naiants is that I already have the K micros. Is there really that big of a difference?
Old 21st February 2009
  #23
Old 21st February 2009
  #24
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevil View Post

anyways, one of the 603's now has a perpetual squeal that comes on every time phantom power is engaged.
if youve had a good experience with MXL mics then it's a very different experience than mine.
I have a 603 which does the same thing but only with devices that don't quite supply enough phantom power. Do you know if your mic-pre supplies the full 48v? The 603 seems a thirsty mic and might need more than 48v. It only ever worked without the "squeal" on 1 of the 3 phantom power providing devices i've owned.
Old 21st February 2009
  #25
at2020 - 2
603 - 3
naiants - 2
ecm87 - 1
SP1 - 1
----
Ok so Either way I'm gonna buy the naiants and the sp1's. So we can get those out of the way. So now its down to the 603. at2020 and the ecm87.
Old 21st February 2009
  #26
Lives for gear
for me, anything other than the 603s. that would be a vote for at2020s (I own them and have used 603s some recently and am still not impressed with 603s. I've heard one with extensive modding (physical modding, changing the design entirely) that sounded good on acoustic guitar. that was just a clip though. in working with stock 603s currently with my friend I still dislike them. They appear to be and sound identical to the old apex pencils I used to own and also disliked for most things.

603s aren't terrible mics, they're just not nearly as flat as I like and the low end is quite thin, the highs are quite strong, not something I find useful in most cases.

2020 is much flatter and more useful for me. the others on that list all have great reps and I'm sure would do you very well.

603s can work but will likely need some serious eq or a pretty dark compressor afterwards. and if you want some deep tones from your overheads (lower drum resonances, not just cymbals) then 603s won't do it very well. however you may not want that from your overheads.

so for me +1 2020 and +1 everything else on the list other than 603.

:-)
Old 21st February 2009
  #27
Lives for gear
 
DamnYankee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obitheincredible View Post
Ok let me clear this up...Current mic list...
1 Audio Technica at2020
1 Gauge Audio ECM-87
1 Kel Audio HM-7U
1 Heil Pro PR-40
2 Karma K Micros
2 MiLabs MP30s
1 EV Raven
1 EV Cardinal
1 EV PL78
2 Shure SM57
1 Shure SM58



Now knowing what I have....I could use tons of these but I am looking for something new. Either add a mic to one of my single mics, use these over or take this recording as a excuse to buy another set of mics I dont currently have. I have been looking at the Naiants and will probably order the X-Q and the X-T but will probably hold off uinless you think they are better than the at 2020 and the mxl 603's for overheads.
Have you tried that EV Cardinal as an overhead? I know of a few people who's used them for overheads with good results. Give 'er a try...
Old 21st February 2009
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DamnYankee View Post
Have you tried that EV Cardinal as an overhead? I know of a few people who's used them for overheads with good results. Give 'er a try...
I have and it is decent but I only have one and I want a stereo image. With that being if I did the cardional and the 2020 or any other mic I do not want a unbalanced or awkward sounding stereo image for over heads. Also, on another note I'm just not that impressed by the sound its decent but not good enought for me to want another.
Old 21st February 2009
  #29
Lives for gear
 
KRStudio's Avatar
 

Get a pair of Studio projects B1's. Very neutral, great for overheads. I also have a pair of 4050's and 414tls and the B1 holds it's own. These are also killer on bass and guitar cabs. They would be a good addition to your mic collection. Have fun recording.

Jeff
Old 22nd February 2009
  #30
at2020 - 3
603 - 3
naiants - 3
ecm87 - 2
SP1 - 2
B1 - 1

So I'm back where I started. But I'm leaning towards the 2020's
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