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mattayl 19th December 2011 03:40 PM

Rode ntk
I got this mic about a year and a half ago and let me say it is a fantastic mic for the money. However in order to get the most out of the mic, swap out the stock tube and chuck in a NOS amperex, valvo, mullard, philips, siemens or JAN - preferably an earlier model. With a NOS tube this mic really warms up and gets rid of all the high end sizzle. It works a treat on female vocals and excellent for micing acoustic instruments however male vocals can be jut a tad hit and miss otherwise its fantastic.

Highly reccomended for the money as it demolishes the MXL genesis which is even pricier!

eroldus 28th December 2011 04:37 PM

Rode ntk
I've owned a Rode NTK for about 3 years. I managed to pick it up for under £200 when Turnkey (London) had its closing down sale. It has been my main microphone since then.

This mic had been on my shortlist for a good year or so based on Paul Whites review in SOS so I was pleased to be able to get such a good bargain.

I tested it out originally on a few unfinished tracks and found it lent a nice amount of weight and warmth to my vocals.

I used it on some voice over work that a friend of mine was doing and I found on a females voice it added a subtle character but maintained clarity and focus.

I also used it on the main vocals for a hip hop track that another friend and I worked on. He has a few hits in Australia and he loved the NTK. He has a naturally low end hollow tone to his voice so I was surprised to find this microphone worked well for him. The valve seems to add more harmonic saturation and distortion than just warmth. A nice sticky quality which I have found works well in most mixes I've done since.

I have used it on acoustic guitar a lot and it has always given a responsive and accurate image. I have also used it as an overhead (even though it's in fixed cardoid) on drum recordings and gotten good results, mainly as a nice contrast to some fairly thin sounding microphones on the rest of the kit.

I have to admit though, as my main microphone for a long time I have desired something less coloured. This is not a multi-purpose utility microphone, it is a tool to lend character and gravity to some tracking applications. I am happy to say that recently I have made some more microphone purchases and the NTK is now part of an arsenal rather than my main work horse.

BluegrassDan 28th December 2011 07:03 PM

NTK Review
The Rode NTK has proven to be a good quality tube mic within its price range. The cardioid tube mic differs from it's big brother, the multi-pattern K2, both in functionality and tone.

The NTK tends to have pronounced sibilance on certain voices and a general rise in upper mid frequencies. It does exhibit low mid coloration.

While this might not be the go-to vocal mic on all sources, I have found it to be a great outside-kick drum mic. It handles high SPL quite easily.

Swapping the stock tube for a NOS Mullard, Siemens, Amperex, or Telefunken for better tone is a good option for this mic.

Brickwerks 19th January 2012 04:46 PM

From quality-to-value standpoint, the NTK is tough to beat. It has low self-noise and is well-built, though it is a pretty heavy mic so make sure your mic stand is sturdy.

I use my NTK primarily for voiceover. I've found the NTK to be pretty versatile for this use. It handles louder hard-sell reads like auto deal commercials with no problem. It also does a very nice job of picking up the nuances of quieter reads like documentary narrations. I agree with another reviewer in definitely recommending upgrading the tube to smooth out the sound. It didn't sound "bad" with the stock tube, but I have a mid-rangey voice and the mic sounded a bit too bright. After trying NOS Mullard and Amperex tubes, I settled on a NOS Telefunken tube that really suited my voice. (I am by no means mechanically inclined and even for me swapping out the tubes is easy to do.)

When I bought my NTK 5 years ago, I also tested out a Neumann TLM 103. Even with the stock tube I thought the NTK sounded much better, at least on my voice, and at less than half the price picking the NTK was a total no-brainer for me. (I'd give a higher bang-for-buck score but buying the different tubes negated some of the value.)

peaksofvalleys 12th March 2012 01:03 AM

I picked the NTK years ago as a good match for my voice and in my price range at the time. Since then I've used it as one of my main large diaphragm condensers, mostly on vocals, but on a few other sources as well.

Sound quality is good. Great for the price. Mine shipped with an electro harmonix tube and, while fairly sibilant, is less harsh than others seem to describe this mic. Still, the presence boost is fairly large and may turn off some.

Ease of use? It's a mic... but it does come with a large brick of a power supply. It also should be warmed up prior to use, so it isn't exactly plug and play if you want the best results. The mic is only cardioid and there is no pad or high pass filter. It's a mic. :)

The NTK, in my opinion, is made for vocals, and it excels at recording them, especially for the price. It isn't the best vocal mic, and for twice the price you can find a better one. But in the $500 range I think it has the potential to beat out most others in a wide range of singers. I've also enjoyed recording a lot of percussion, shakers, tambourine etc., and I have really liked the results. Possible because of the presence boost.

I'd try before you buy, to make sure if fits your needs, but if you are looking for a solid affordable vocal mic this should be on your short list.

cmorg 14th March 2012 01:24 PM

Rode NTK
I'm currently in possession of a Rode NTK microphone which has been kindly lent to me by a friend. I'll be using this mic as my main mic for the next year, at least.

I am a jazz guitarist who has just begun recording at home on a regular basis (I've always recorded at home but this is the focus for my current project) so I am very discerning when it comes to recording my guitar. The Rode NTK records my guitar sound with great clarity and warmth.

I've found it really shines on vocals (particularly female vox). Vocals are very detailed and warm.

Overall I have not had one issue with this mic so far, I have a feeling it will sound even better when I get around to upgrading my interface. I will be using it from everything to vocals, guitar, percussion and any other sound-producing objects worth sampling!

The mic includes a power supply and a mic clip (might be worth looking into a shockmount if that were to be an issue), and a cable from the supply to the mic. I'm not sure what else is included as its borrowed from a friend.

A very affordable mic which would be a great multi purpose condenser for the home or studio.

Mark_Andrasko 30th March 2012 04:03 PM

Rode NTK
I've had the pleasure of using the Rode NTK for nearly a decade. In college it was my go to microphone despite not being the most expensive mic in the studio's arsenal and after graduation when I saw one over Craigslist I jumped on it for my home studio.

Simply put. The Rode NTK is amazingly transparent for a tube microphone. I've had a lot of success with the transparent way it records vocals, acoustic guitar, drum overheads, and ride cymbal.

Tracking vocals is the main thing I fuss about. I also own a Neumann TLM 103 and I believe that between these two mics I've got everything I need. The TLM 103 is reviewed to be good at recording female voice and I have found that it does indeed beat the NTK when I sing higher or in falsetto. However. The NTK destroys the TLM 103 with lower, baritone singing or spoken word. I've also found that the NTK is less preamp dependent than the TLM 103 and can provide you with a pretty great sound regardless of the quality of the preamps you use.

One negative is that the sleeve end fell off the cable that links the NTK to its power supply. The cable still works it's just a bit of pain to fit the 7 pin connector into the mic now and it would be nice if the cable had been sturdier made since it's customized for the NTK and K2 series.

Overall. This is a basic, no frills tube large diaphragm condenser that does its job extremely well. The NTK might be missing a lot of the features of the higher priced Rode mics but the Rode NTK is a steal in the $500 range of microphones.

rocksure 9th April 2012 12:20 PM

I have owned a Rode NTK for about 9-10 years. It has seen a heck of a lot of use over those years, and is a wonderful mic on a number of sources. On many male vocals it sounds great. On some females it works nicely too, though on the occasional woman's voice it can be a touch sibilant. I have not had problems with it being sibilant on male voices however.

Paired with a small diaphram condensor mic on acoustic guitar it gets a sound that works well for me, having done hundreds of recordings this way, it is my first port of call for this ( paired with an AKGC451EB, Shure sm81 or Octava MK-012 usually).

I have used a pair of these as drum overheads to good effect at times. The lack of a pad switch can be a bit of a drawback on loud drum recordings though, but the sound is very good as long as not too close to the drums. Handy as a mic back a way from a kick drum also.

Though sometimes other microphones find their way in ahead of the NTK for some acoustic instrument duties here, I have at times used it as a second mic back in the room as well and had pleasing results.

As with the previous reviewer, my only criticism is the plastic casing round the special XLR type cable that supplies power as well as taking the signal back to the power supply. Mine also broke a long time ago and is held together by insulation tape. It is obviously a weak plastic.

Overall the NTK is a fine mic that will always have a place in my collection.

dorkjackson 19th November 2019 10:55 PM

I bought one used for $400 with the Electro Harmonix tube. It sounded really good on a couple of sessions, but I replaced the EH with a NOS Mullard and it really made a difference. Great on lots of sources if placed correctly. Highly recommended.

I gave an N/A for features. It's a mic.

The only complaint I have is negligible. The 7 pin connectors are really tight. I leave the PSU cable connected to the mic & PSU unless I absolutely must separate them.