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New Cad M179 Mod from Mike Joly
Old 17th February 2014
  #1
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New Cad M179 Mod from Mike Joly

Anyone see this new mod from Mike Joly? Apparently it turns the Cad M179 into a stellar vocal mic. Personally, I think the M179 sounds decent stock, but Joly doesn't seem to think so.

Two things I wish he would do with mod samples on his website:
1. Post a before and after of the modded mic and not just a comparison to a U87 with the modded mic.
2. The singer in the examples always has a warm, semi-crooner, midrange focused, James Taylor type of voice. I feel like I'm not sure if I'm really hearing the warmth of the mic or the warmth of the singer. Know what I mean? A sample of singers with more upper range would be very helpful and more revealing, IMHO. Why no female singers, for example? The reality is that a lot of that warm midrange in those samples gets low-passed in busy mixes anyways, so it seems the most important factor in the mods is that the harsh high end is removed.
Old 17th February 2014
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
Post a before and after of the modded mic and not just a comparison to a U87 with the modded mic.
I agree. I know his theory is the U-87 is a standard by which many other microphones are judged. Okay, fine. If he wants to judge his mic mods against something that is the standard, then I think he would do better to use a U-47 since that is the microphone 'voice' he often shoots for. Or at least that is how it appears to me.

I do think a before and after would certainly do a lot to show off the upgrades to the microphones he works on. Or a stock mic shot out with the modded version at the same time so it would be an 'apples to apples' comparison. I know I read threads where folks request he do this and Mr. Joly always chose not to do that sort of shoot out. It's too bad, really, because I have done some mic mods myself and I can attest to the changes that I thought were favorable. I am sure his work has value and would be easily heard in such a shoot out.
Old 17th February 2014
  #3
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TurboJets's Avatar
FWIW I agree as well.

Before and After is what most people need and want to hear. The comparison to a U87 is a bit useless really because there will always be that audible 3% difference between the two and that small difference can be sonically huge to most engineers in studio's that own or hire Neumann mics.

For instance, the Before/After difference in my 012 with Joly's premium electronics upgrade was significant. To his credit, MJ does great work.
Old 18th February 2014
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
Anyone see this new mod from Mike Joly? Apparently it turns the Cad M179 into a stellar vocal mic. Personally, I think the M179 sounds decent stock, but Joly doesn't seem to think so.
Do you have a lot of experience with the M179? I was checking out this thread about the M179 and you were quite down on it in its stock form. You actually said the following:


Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
I'm going to go against the flow and say that the Cad M179 is a great drumkit mic, but that's about it IMHO. I don't think it sounds anything like a "poor man's AKG 414".

Here's where I felt the mic failed miserably:

Vocals: Sibilant, boomy lows and not enough meat in the mids. Overall, just a thin sounding, essy, boomy mess on vocals.
Acoustic guitar: Trebly sounding. All I heard were the strings and no wood. And again, a ridiculous amount of boom.

I' not the only one who's noticed these faults; Mike Joly found the same issues and has a new mod for the M179.
So which is it? "sounds decent stock" or "a thin sounding, essy, boomy mess on vocals" ?

Personally, my limited experience with it would be lead me to agree with your more critical assessment. I can see how it might be good on certain instruments, but I'm not crazy about it as a vocal mic. A lot of people talk about how great it sounds on Toms - I've never tried it as a Tom mic so I can't comment on that. However, I could see it working on the right acoustic guitar. I certainly could see it coming in handy as a side mic in M/S stereo miking (it does have a figure eight pattern). The fact that it has multiple polar patterns makes it pretty versatile (and it's really inexpensive to boot).
Old 18th February 2014
  #5
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I don't get the complaints re the u87 comparisons. Michael does that comparison because he owns a vintage u87 that he was setting out to emulate with his mic mods. there was a blind test on gearslutz that had hundreds of people participate and his modded mic was preferred over the original mic.

that said, not only does he make comparisons for the u87, he also references the u67, km84, u48, coles etc etc. and has shootout files.

I don't see the point with before and after comparisons. what does it matter. the question is does it compete with a vintage Neumann mic. what it was before hand matters not.
Old 18th February 2014
  #6
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I think it's a very decent mic on drums and amps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarmax_99 View Post
Do you have a lot of experience with the M179? I was checking out this thread about the M179 and you were quite down on it in its stock form. You actually said the following:




So which is it? "sounds decent stock" or "a thin sounding, essy, boomy mess on vocals" ?

Personally, my limited experience with it would be lead me to agree with your more critical assessment. I can see how it might be good on certain instruments, but I'm not crazy about it as a vocal mic. A lot of people talk about how great it sounds on Toms - I've never tried it as a Tom mic so I can't comment on that. However, I could see it working on the right acoustic guitar. I certainly could see it coming in handy as a side mic in M/S stereo miking (it does have a figure eight pattern). The fact that it has multiple polar patterns makes it pretty versatile (and it's really inexpensive to boot).
Old 18th February 2014
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gouge View Post
I don't get the complaints re the u87 comparisons. Michael does that comparison because he owns a vintage u87 that he was setting out to emulate with his mic mods. there was a blind test on gearslutz that had hundreds of people participate and his modded mic was preferred over the original mic.

that said, not only does he make comparisons for the u87, he also references the u67, km84, u48, coles etc etc. and has shootout files.

I don't see the point with before and after comparisons. what does it matter. the question is does it compete with a vintage Neumann mic. what it was before hand matters not.
It absolutely matters when he is selling the mod. The question is not does it compete with mics x,y, or z. The question is what has changed sonically after the mod. How do I know if the mod did anything to the sound of the stock mic without an A/B? THAT is what I need to know before I hand over cash for a mod.
Old 18th February 2014
  #8
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...or (as guitarboy already knows) just buy a Studio Projects CS5, an outstanding "utility mic" that already performs well on vocals (for less than the cost of the mod)...
Old 18th February 2014
  #9
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every single one of my jolly modded mics wipes the floor with the unmodded version. there is really not even a comparison anymore. jolly provides test data and sound clips to back that up. hand over ya cash I say......:-)
Old 18th February 2014
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...or (as guitarboy already knows) just buy a Studio Projects CS5, an outstanding "utility mic" that already performs well on vocals (for less than the cost of the mod)...
For sure! Love mine. Would you say the CS1/CS5 is in the modern U87 camp? Or maybe AKG 414?
Old 18th February 2014
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gouge View Post
every single one of my jolly modded mics wipes the floor with the unmodded version. there is really not even a comparison anymore. jolly provides test data and sound clips to back that up. hand over ya cash I say......:-)
I don't disagree with that and I'm not arguing that. I'm just asking him to please add a before and after comparison of the mic. That's all. I simply want to hear how the specific mic changes with the mods.
Old 18th February 2014
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
I don't disagree with that and I'm not arguing that. I'm just asking him to please add a before and after comparison of the mic. That's all. I simply want to hear how the specific mic changes with the mods.
no worries.
Old 19th February 2014
  #13
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
For sure! Love mine. Would you say the CS1/CS5 is in the modern U87 camp? Or maybe AKG 414?
...I've actually posed that same question to the mic's designer, Brent Casey...he told me that while the current 414 variants and 87 were on his radar, the CS5 was designed with it's own unique voicing...the mic went thru extensive beta-testing in high-end studios before it was finalized for production...it uses a center-terminated K67-type capsule (not an edge-terminated like the 414) and the specific high and low-pass settings were chosen based on actual source application testing...that mic underwent lengthy development and it paid off in the final product...stacking tracks with the CS5 is a delight...and it takes treatment beautifully...at the current going price of $299, it's a bargain...mine never leaves it's mic stand...
Old 19th February 2014
  #14
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Interesting info, KidV. Thanks for sharing.
Old 19th February 2014
  #15
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Analok's Avatar
First, I must state that I humbly respect the work that Mike Joly does. However I feel that this is a microphone he doesn't need to place his thumbprint on. Not that I think the mic is perfect as is, oh no far from it. To me it just seems like a ploy to tack onto a vast majority of owners that 'might' be seeking a new flavor in what's been acceptable from day one. It can do a lot right out of the box...but better than what CAD has already presented?? I dunno...
Old 19th February 2014
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
I don't disagree with that and I'm not arguing that. I'm just asking him to please add a before and after comparison of the mic. That's all. I simply want to hear how the specific mic changes with the mods.
I know he posted a before and after of the 384k capsule/adapter for the Rode NT5 FWIW.
Old 19th February 2014
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...I've actually posed that same question to the mic's designer, Brent Casey...he told me that while the current 414 variants and 87 were on his radar, the CS5 was designed with it's own unique voicing...the mic went thru extensive beta-testing in high-end studios before it was finalized for production...it uses a center-terminated K67-type capsule (not an edge-terminated like the 414) and the specific high and low-pass settings were chosen based on actual source application testing...that mic underwent lengthy development and it paid off in the final product...stacking tracks with the CS5 is a delight...and it takes treatment beautifully...at the current going price of $299, it's a bargain...mine never leaves it's mic stand...
Great info - thanks for the insight. Interesting to hear that the CS5 wasn't aimed at emulating either the 87 or the 414.

What I'm curious about are the four low pass filters. From reading the technical specs on it, I glean that there are filters at 15k, 7k, 5k, and 3k which roll off at 6db/octave. Personally, I don't think I'd find a use for the one at 15k (all you'd be rolling off is "air" and "shimmer"). The 7k roll off wouldn't really impact vocal sibilance very much (it would only hit the trouble frequencies of 7-9k by a few db assuming the full 6db rolloff wouldn't be reached until the next octave). The 5k rolloff might be useful in rolling off the sibilant frequencies, but doesn't it kill the high end above 10k? (I'm imagining that this setting would have no "air" at all). As for the 3k rolloff, I'm imagining this setting sounding like my AKG D112.
Old 19th February 2014
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarmax_99 View Post
Great info - thanks for the insight. Interesting to hear that the CS5 wasn't aimed at emulating either the 87 or the 414.

What I'm curious about are the four low pass filters. From reading the technical specs on it, I glean that there are filters at 15k, 7k, 5k, and 3k which roll off at 6db/octave. Personally, I don't think I'd find a use for the one at 15k (all you'd be rolling off is "air" and "shimmer"). The 7k roll off wouldn't really impact vocal sibilance very much (it would only hit the trouble frequencies of 7-9k by a few db assuming the full 6db rolloff wouldn't be reached until the next octave). The 5k rolloff might be useful in rolling off the sibilant frequencies, but doesn't it kill the high end above 10k? (I'm imagining that this setting would have no "air" at all). As for the 3k rolloff, I'm imagining this setting sounding like my AKG D112.
I actually find that I use the 15K rolloff all of the time for vocals. It still has plenty of air with the rolloff. I do find the mic to be a bit too bright on vocals without the rolloff.
Old 19th February 2014
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarmax_99 View Post
Great info - thanks for the insight. Interesting to hear that the CS5 wasn't aimed at emulating either the 87 or the 414.

What I'm curious about are the four low pass filters. From reading the technical specs on it, I glean that there are filters at 15k, 7k, 5k, and 3k which roll off at 6db/octave. Personally, I don't think I'd find a use for the one at 15k (all you'd be rolling off is "air" and "shimmer"). The 7k roll off wouldn't really impact vocal sibilance very much (it would only hit the trouble frequencies of 7-9k by a few db assuming the full 6db rolloff wouldn't be reached until the next octave). The 5k rolloff might be useful in rolling off the sibilant frequencies, but doesn't it kill the high end above 10k? (I'm imagining that this setting would have no "air" at all). As for the 3k rolloff, I'm imagining this setting sounding like my AKG D112.
...Max, from what Brent Casey told me, many of the choices for pass settings were attained based on testing the mic on various sources other than the human voice...I don't think he'd mind if I post his exact response to the question as I posed it:

"The CS5 signal path is nonlinear. There are several networks in the circuitry used to adjust the frequency response - all three are fixed frequencies, but one is switchable (15kHz). In order to arrive at the curves we used for the production mics, I worked with engineer Brian Scheuble, who used the production prototype during sessions on various instruments and vocals. Had he not recorded violin, for instance, the switchable 15kHz notch (actually centered at 12.5kHz) wouldn't exist.
The mic went back and forth from my bench to The Village over about a two week period - I'd get feedback from Brian and his assistant and adjust the networks, using my TEF to measure the response. So, they got to hear a lot of music through the mic, while I got to hear a lot of wooooooooOOOP! sweep tones.
After one particular session, Brian asked if I could make him another CS5 identical to the one we were adjusting, so that he could have a stereo pair on an upcoming scoring session over in London. That's how I knew we were done monkeying around with the networks."

...I can tell you that I've used both the 15K and 7K settings on female vocals with interesting and very useable results (then using a Pultec-style EQ to fine tune top-end response)...imagining what your results might be doesn't quite equate to actually trying various settings on different sources...

...I find the CS5 exceptional as an affordable utility mic that also works quite well as a vocal mic for both male and female voices...if there's a downside to the CS5, it would be it's "truthfullness"...if there is a weakness in your source, it will likely be revealed...the mic captures accurately rather than flattering or coloring the source...but it's clarity allows you to stack numerous tracks without any hint of mud or wooliness...sounds much more expensive than it's price would suggest (though it did debut with a suggested street price of $799)...

...I hope this info helps, and I apologize if my suggesting the CS5 as an alternate option derailed the OP's thread......
Old 19th February 2014
  #20
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Thumbs up

Hi all,

I have a Joly-modded M179. I've actually have been using it in my studio for quite a while...it may be more than 2 years old at this point. I'll have to check the dated certificate that Michael sent me. I believe I may have even been the first person to request/receive this mod from Michael. It’s been so long that I can’t even recall. Haha. In that time I’ve had the opportunity to use it on lots of different sources including front of kick, toms, overheads, vocals, and acoustic guitars. I’ve always felt that the M179 was a decent mic and have enjoyed using it on toms and drum especially. At some point I got the itch for a U87 style mic and decided to see if the M179 could become something that could achieve that kind of classic sound. So I sent it to Michael and he did his thing—U47 style capsule swap, upgraded electronics, etc. The man delivered to me a better mic indeed! Whatever graininess it had is now gone. Any “cheapness” or sibilance in the high frequencies has been replaced with expensive silkiness. It has depth, detail, dynamics, punch. It sounds fabulous on vocals. I keep meaning to bring it to the studio across the street where they have a U87ai for a shootout. As a point of reference my other primary vocal mics are a U67, Gefell UM70, and an SM7B. The modded M179 provides me with a modern/present vocal sound that fills a gap I had in my tonal palette. The quality of sound is easily on par with those other mics. As much as I liked the M179 before it wasn’t on the same level of performance for sources like vocals and acoustics. It now rivals my Gefell UM70 for flexibility and versatility due to the multiple patterns and Neumann-esque voicing. I have three other M179’s and would definitely like to get at least one more done at some point.

Bottom line: the mic went from “bargain value” to “sounds 5 times as expensive” IMHO. My only regret is that it doesn't look as snazzy as it sounds.

I hope that is helpful to someone.

Brad
Old 19th February 2014
  #21
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gravyface's Avatar
I have 3 M179s, but I only really use them on toms; kills in that application (make sure you engage the pad though!).
Old 19th February 2014
  #22
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guitarmax_99's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...Max, from what Brent Casey told me, many of the choices for pass settings were attained based on testing the mic on various sources other than the human voice...I don't think he'd mind if I post his exact response to the question as I posed it:

"The CS5 signal path is nonlinear. There are several networks in the circuitry used to adjust the frequency response - all three are fixed frequencies, but one is switchable (15kHz). In order to arrive at the curves we used for the production mics, I worked with engineer Brian Scheuble, who used the production prototype during sessions on various instruments and vocals. Had he not recorded violin, for instance, the switchable 15kHz notch (actually centered at 12.5kHz) wouldn't exist.
The mic went back and forth from my bench to The Village over about a two week period - I'd get feedback from Brian and his assistant and adjust the networks, using my TEF to measure the response. So, they got to hear a lot of music through the mic, while I got to hear a lot of wooooooooOOOP! sweep tones.
After one particular session, Brian asked if I could make him another CS5 identical to the one we were adjusting, so that he could have a stereo pair on an upcoming scoring session over in London. That's how I knew we were done monkeying around with the networks."

...I can tell you that I've used both the 15K and 7K settings on female vocals with interesting and very useable results (then using a Pultec-style EQ to fine tune top-end response)...imagining what your results might be doesn't quite equate to actually trying various settings on different sources...

...I find the CS5 exceptional as an affordable utility mic that also works quite well as a vocal mic for both male and female voices...if there's a downside to the CS5, it would be it's "truthfullness"...if there is a weakness in your source, it will likely be revealed...the mic captures accurately rather than flattering or coloring the source...but it's clarity allows you to stack numerous tracks without any hint of mud or wooliness...sounds much more expensive than it's price would suggest (though it did debut with a suggested street price of $799)...

...I hope this info helps, and I apologize if my suggesting the CS5 as an alternate option derailed the OP's thread......

Hey Kidvibes, thanks for the info. I really appreciate the insight, as well as your take on the pros and cons. Interesting that the highest LPF is really centered at 12.5 and NOT 15k (although it's a little confusing for those of us who would take it literally). I also appreciate your assessment of the CS5 as being very accurate, yet not necessarily flattering (this makes me think of the AKG 414). To bring this back around to the topic of this thread, I'm thinking that the CS5 is probably a pretty different mic than the modded M179 (which MJ is comparing to the U87).

Anyway, great post. Thanks again for the input.
Old 20th February 2014
  #23
at the expense of sounding like a fan boy, can I just say I LOVE it when KidVybes posts to a thread. Love it. I hope to meet that person in, um, PERSON some day!
Old 20th February 2014
  #24
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Kierkes's Avatar
 

On the CS5:

The first six posts of this thread

Awkward. I still love it, though.
Old 10th August 2020
  #25
Since Michael Joly gave up modding mics 2 years ago, has anyone else offered a mod for the CAD M179?

It is anemic in it's stock form. I have 4 of them and tried to use one yesterday after they've been sitting in the locker untouched for 6 years. They really sound so blech compared to a Neumann U89 for Tom usage.

Or does anyone have a copy of the mod spec? I would like those microphones to be useful again.

Or does anyone have contact coordinates for Mike Joly please?

Many thanks in advance.
Old 10th August 2020
  #26

Maybe you should just sell the mics if you don't like them. There are plenty of people out there that could improve their recordings with a clean, flat, well-controlled mic on various instruments.

MXL mics often have a lot of character for not a lot of money....




-tINY

Old 10th August 2020
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post

Maybe you should just sell the mics if you don't like them. There are plenty of people out there that could improve their recordings with a clean, flat, well-controlled mic on various instruments.
-tINY
That's a good point!
Old 10th August 2020
  #28
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IMHO a pair of 3U Audio Warblers, ought to be nice...
Chris
Old 11th August 2020
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
IMHO a pair of 3U Audio Warblers, ought to be nice...
Chris

...or a pair of KEL HM-7u....




-tINY

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