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Sterling Audio mods? Condenser Microphones
Old 28th January 2010
  #31
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Liam Judah's Avatar
 

Hey Michael,

Not sure if anyone has asked you previously, but do you have any thoughts on a mod for the ST66 tube mic?

Thanks,

Will
Old 28th January 2010
  #32
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Another mic I haven't heard so I'm unable to offer a comment other than my standard response - if a K67-type capsule mic is too bright and sibilant in the 8kHz area a K47-type capsule will rebalance it mic toward a more midrange focused sound with less sibilance. There may be ST-66-specific mods to the signal path that are called for, but I don't know yet.
Old 4th February 2010
  #33
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Hey All,

Sorry for being out of touch.. I've had to use my ST77 recently for a project that will be continuing through until February 15th, '10 - so I won't be able to send it until then..

Sorry to have kept everyone waiting in the dark, wondering what the hell happened...

cheers,
Paul
Old 6th February 2010
  #34
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Mike Joly, you need to purchase a st79, theyre 199 again at guitar center, free shipping. I am curious about the 8 micron thick capsule.
Old 6th February 2010
  #35
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Ha! I can always count on you folks to dangle the carrots and feed my microphone jones.

huh - 8 micron diaphragms, discrete circuit FET / transformer-coupled output. Sounds interesting. Must be a slow-seller if they're running a clearance on it. That doesn't mean its not good, just that it never got any buzz and traction in the market.

That's the thing about "house brand" retailers and "mic of the month" marketing companies - they come out with new "models" (different colors, body/basket styles and model numbers) quickly, purchase the minimum order quantity from their Chinese vendors, promote the model on their retail sites and see if it takes off. Its sort of like the old days of 45 rpm singles - record companies would put out lots of product, see what generated some buzz, then promote only the songs that seemed likely to be chart-toppers.

I've got an ST-79 on order and will report back.
Old 6th February 2010
  #36
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I just did a shootout on a vocalist with the following mics

NTK
SM7B
SM57
Oktava MC012
MXLV67
AT 4050
AT4033
ST79

The ST79 was the winner with a beautiful upper midrange that sounds very open. The rest sounded dull and flat in comparison. I was very surprised given the low cost of these mics. Looking forward to see if any mods improve on the sound.

I was told today that GC is getting a new shipment of the ST79s in and will be moving them at $199 for the foreseable future. Get one now. A studio owner I know said his TLM49 has been setting gathering dust since he started using his ST79.
Old 6th February 2010
  #37
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Exciting news! I'll get right on this as soon as it comes in.
Old 8th February 2010
  #38
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I've often thought an ST77 / ST79 combination would be great for middle/side ... My new G.A.S. warning light is flashing (though)...
Old 8th February 2010
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
I was told today that GC is getting a new shipment of the ST79s in and will be moving them at $199 for the foreseable future. Get one now. A studio owner I know said his TLM49 has been setting gathering dust since he started using his ST79.
Well, I'm bummed. A month ago I paid $218 for an ST-77 in-store demo w/o the wooden case.
Old 8th February 2010
  #40
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I paid 499 for my ST77 so dont feel so bad!
Old 10th February 2010
  #41
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Joly have you gotten the mic in yet?
Im excited to hear what you have to say!
Old 10th February 2010
  #42
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May have arrived in today's shipments. Haven't opened yet.
Old 11th February 2010
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-3 View Post
Hey Michael,

Not sure if anyone has asked you previously, but do you have any thoughts on a mod for the ST66 tube mic?

Thanks,

Will
I sent my GT66 (supposedly the same as ST66) to Michael and he MJE-K47 mod to it and I was really happy with the results. Got rid of the scooped sound and made the mic much punchier. He said the mic is a tube/FET hybrid, not a true tube mic. Looking forward to hearing about what can be done with that ST79......was already doing an order from GC so had them throw one in.
Old 11th February 2010
  #44
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Any word Michael?
Old 12th February 2010
  #45
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Got the Sterling ST-79 today - metal work is the same as the MXL 4000 but the circuit is different with transformer output. Same K67-type capsule with its edgy, non-deemphasized top end sound driving a sluggish K107 FET. Why did I believe this would be any different that the usual low end stuff? This is just a way for Guitar Center to make more money with a house brand than with the MXL 4000 where they have to share the profits with MXL.

You guys are going to have to raise the bar if you want me to buy more mics to check out for you, my ears can't take much more of this treatment
Old 12th February 2010
  #46
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So what would you suggest to fixing the circuit? I already paid 500 bux on mine. BUMMER. Oh well. Id like to upgrade the circuit at least. What fet would be the upgrade and would it be worthy to upgrade the film cap?
Old 12th February 2010
  #47
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Aside from the FET (which is not my, nor Jim Williams preferred part) the circuit is OK. It does have polypro capsule-to-FET capacitors which are better than the low end ceramic disc types usually used. Though I don't use ceramic nor polypro in this location.

The biggest issue, once again, is the use of a K67-type capsule with a flat, non-HF deemphasized circuit. I just put an MJE-K47 capsule in and the usual improvements were heard - better timbre balance (a more midrange focus) and reduced sibilance.

I like the black body and transformer-coupled output better than the blue body / transformerless design of the MXL-4000 however.
Old 12th February 2010
  #48
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Hi michael

I see two boards on the pictures of the ST-79, one seems to be a DC converter for capsule polarization, and the other looks like the head-amp, I'd like to know more about the amp topology, would you be so kind to elaborate on this? or even giving to us the schematics (I guess you've traced down the circuit already dontcha?), I'd really appreciate it. I'm trying to figure out why and how the amp board uses two transistors Instead of the classic 1FET+2bipolars, and trying to evalute how interesting would be swapping the capsule and keeping the original circuit (even if I have to swap some caps and the FET)

The ST-77 looks to me like a very attractive and simple single FET design with a step down transformer and no DC converter, in a similar KM84 fashion. I guess it would be a nice candidate for a M7/K47 capsule and perhaps a new trannie in order to get some kind of u47FET sound, but it is just my guess.

BTW is the capsule on the ST-79 a 34 or 32mm chinaK67?

thanks for your comments michael!
Old 12th February 2010
  #49
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The audio portion is a typical single FET -> single bipolar -> transformer topology like an MXL v67 etc. It has a honk'in huge 4.7 uF polypro coupling cap into the transformer. Nice to see they didn't use an electrolytic in this location. The capsule is a 32mm K67-type.
Old 12th February 2010
  #50
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Thanks again Michael!


Old 17th May 2010
  #51
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I own a ST79 and am interested in a mod. I'd like to keep the capsule, I don't know why, and get the upgraded 'other stuff'. Can this mic with the stock capsule be modded to Neumann U87 type sound?

Thank-you .......
Old 17th May 2010
  #52
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If you want to keep the stock K67 capsule with its designed-in HF boost at 8kHz, you're right - the circuit will have to be changed to a U 87 type that incorporates negative feedback and low pass filtering. I'm philosophically opposed to that approach and don't offer it.

But that is the type of work JJ Audio does, you should contact them.
Old 9th April 2012
  #53
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Wow...I have to disagree with Joly on this one.

Going by my ears and not specs, nothing about this mic needs modded. Who cares if it's a U67 type capsule without the hi-fi de-emphasis circuit? That doesn't always have to be the gold standard for what constitutes a good sounding mic. I happen to like mics with nice air and sheen....something you might be sacrificing if you get the capsule mod. Not everyone wants a mid-heavy, rounded sound. Save the modding for the cheapie mics with brittle high-end. I dig Joly's work, but he seems to be barking up the wrong tree on this one.
Old 10th April 2012
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
Wow...I have to disagree with Joly on this one.

Going by my ears and not specs, nothing about this mic needs modded. Who cares if it's a U67 type capsule without the hi-fi de-emphasis circuit? That doesn't always have to be the gold standard for what constitutes a good sounding mic. I happen to like mics with nice air and sheen....something you might be sacrificing if you get the capsule mod. Not everyone wants a mid-heavy, rounded sound. Save the modding for the cheapie mics with brittle high-end. I dig Joly's work, but he seems to be barking up the wrong tree on this one.
It's actually a really nice complement to an Sm7b in my opinion. Whereas the Shure excels in the mids, the st77 shines in the highs. Helps you cover all your bases.

Also- modded items don't retain value very well. I'd much rather spend $180 on the Sterling than a modded Oktava that all said and done is probably at least twice that price and will never get its value back if you don't like it.
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