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Oktava Vs Oktava
Old 12th July 2005
  #1
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Mark's Avatar
 

Oktava Vs Oktava

I notice that the UK based Oktava mics has six of the same models in its product line as Oktava Tula: namely the MK012, MK219, MK319, ML52, MKL2500 and MKL5000. I also see from their eBay store that the new German based distributor doesn't ship to the UK.

So, can I take it from this that any Oktava mics sold in Britain are the work of the Chinese rather than the Russkies?

I sense one almighty law suit is in the pipeline
Old 12th July 2005
  #2
Gear Nut
 
jakerbean7's Avatar
 

Following the links that you left I found this:

"Because of numerous violations of contract terms by the "Oktava Ltd " company (Great Britain), and unlawful usage of our trade-mark of microphones manufacturer, JSC "Oktava" declares that by official notice dated October 13, 2004, "Oktava Ltd" company is deprived of rights of exclusive distributor all over the world."

Old 12th July 2005
  #3
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Mark's Avatar
 

Which doesn't explain why they've left the UK market to them.
Old 12th July 2005
  #4
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Mark's Avatar
 

I mean, how hard would it be for Oktava in Tula to get a C&D order against Oktava GB?

Methinks there're more than a few shades of grey in this picture
Old 13th July 2005
  #5
Gear Nut
 
jakerbean7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark
Methinks there're more than a few shades of grey in this picture
I own a few MK-012's but Octava has never been a company that I get all warm and fuzzy about. They've always seemed more like that weird uncle you don't talk about.

Jake
Old 15th January 2006
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Dirty Gear Pimp's Avatar
 

i personally had to deal with the guys running the oktava in great britain. right before the whole lawsuit and when they were dropped. (which they neglected to ever mention to their clients... they just continued sales as usual. ) this was back when they were still selling the russian ones. i used to sell some of their mics here in the US as a dealer. ill tell you this...dealing with them wasnt fun. in my opinion, they seemed sneaky and only wanted money. they would send shipments really late (really late), and you wouldnt even know how many i would have to send back to get replaced by working ones. granted, in the end, the ones i used to sell were good working units and i would get what i would order, but i had to fight for them to send them out and to send replacements....what a pain in the butt it was to deal with them!!!

as for the chinese ones floating around these days...i think they are complete garbage. i picked up one of the chinese mk012 at GC and opened it up to have a peak and they were not even worth the metal they were made of. the pc board was a thin strip of plastic about as think as a few pieces of paper (no joke). nothing like the russian ones.
Old 15th January 2006
  #7
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A LaMere's Avatar
 

Oktava's are a little wierd and inconsistent anyways in my opinion...

I've owned a few... and only kept a single mk012. It sounds great in my opinion. I wanted to keep a stereo pair but couldn't find a single that sounded as good as the one that I already owned... (I hadn't initially ordered a matched pair)

I DID order two more russian made mk012 and they sounded different from one another AND (here's the kicker) were different sizes?!
The second (one I didn't like as well) being brighter in actual tone and also being about 1/4" longer than the first.... The distributor told me that Oktava has begun making them in a different size VERY recently to distinguish the Russian made ones from the imposters...

November of 2005... not too long ago.
Old 15th January 2006
  #8
I got a pair of Mk-012's that I've fashioned into an ORTF, it's the backbone of all the concert stuff I do... and the manual was in Russian, does that prove anything? I mean, you'd have to be a really sneaky Chineseperson to print a Russian manual... even tho they used to be allies and all...
Old 15th January 2006
  #9
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by A LaMere
I DID order two more russian made mk012 and they sounded different from one another AND (here's the kicker) were different sizes?!
The second (one I didn't like as well) being brighter in actual tone and also being about 1/4" longer than the first....
LOL! heh

That must be a Gearslutz first - ordering a pair of mics and finding they aren't even the same size!
Old 15th January 2006
  #10
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Curtis Franklin's Avatar
 

i made the guy at GC order 12 mk-012 mics (a good friend). then i "bought" them all and tried them out. i ended up with 2 decent mics for $100.

im sure they sold the other crappy ones to kids with 001 rigs so it worked out peachy-keen.
Old 15th January 2006
  #11
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A LaMere's Avatar
 

Hehe...

You should've seen the look on my face when I opened the packages to compare the two mics... I had a couple of friends with me and they were both looking at me saying... "Umm... what's wrong?"

The longer of the two mics was obviously of a different build quality.. The capsule fit on strangely, the mic was 1/4" longer, the xlr jack was a different brand I think... I'm getting a little OT..

The listening tests WERE the real eye opener though...

For the price, if you find a decent one... I really do think that they're great mics.
Old 15th January 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Chinese ones are pretty easy to identify from the capsule. The Russian capsules use a sintered brass delay network in the capsule, and you can see that when you take the capsule off.
Old 16th January 2006
  #13
Gear Addict
Hey, who said they ve left the UK market ??(the real oktava that is)..
It says so on the ebay page, but do try emailing them, theyre pretty flexible..
thumbsup

The ridiculous thing is if you ask KMR who sell oktavas in london, they ll swear they re the real russian mics..
ah, the greed..
Old 16th January 2006
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pumadrum
im sure they sold the other crappy ones to kids with 001 rigs so it worked out peachy-keen.
as that was at one time me... i don't find the anecdote funny. ripping off anyone trying to learn this stuff is just not funny. sorry, not laughing here.
Old 16th January 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Michael_Joly's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark
I notice that the UK based Oktava mics has six of the same models in its product line as Oktava Tula: namely the MK012, MK219, MK319, ML52, MKL2500 and MKL5000. I also see from their eBay store that the new German based distributor doesn't ship to the UK.

So, can I take it from this that any Oktava mics sold in Britain are the work of the Chinese rather than the Russkies?
In a word, yes.

UK-based McKay brothers, the original solely-authorized distributors of Oktava mics, turned to a Chinese manufacturer to make nearly identical copies of the Russian mics in an attempt to get lower pricing demanded by their biggest customer - Guitar Center.

The physical differences between the Russian and Chinese MC-012s are now obvious as the posts above show. The MK-319 is a different story.

The Chinese version of the MK-319 is an exact physical copy of the Russian mic. Build quality is very consistant. It is impossible to tell one from the other by looking at the exterior. There are sonic differences though.

The Chinese version is missing that special lower midrange magic a good Oktava LDC produces. I haven't analyzed yet whether this is due to capsule tuning, transformer nonlinearities or a combination of both.

I would not lay the blame for the missing magic at the feet of the Chinese manufacturer. I'd say that honor goes to the McKay brothers who didn't know how or care enough to instruct their Chinese vendor to copy the original Russian sound exactly - something I think the factory is capable of doing given the consistency I've seen in MK-319 copies.

A safe bet in a large diaphragm Oktava is the MK-219. I have yet to spot a Chinese manufactured one. Oktava in Tula was cranking them out by the thousands through 2002 - the largest production run year. Or, if you can determine a 319 was Russian-made either by date of purchase, location of purchase or existance of a serialized Russian language manual that matches the mic you'll have a good mic.
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