Rode NT1-Kit by Sim
This review is of the original Rode NT1 not the NT1A also note that manufacturer of the diaphragms changed some years before the NT1a was released. The earlier model being the most preferred of the lot I have used all three and own the original and the mk2 to put a name to it. The original can be distinguished by their white body with a black ring around the bottom of the mic containing the serial number, rode and made in australia. The mk2 doesn't have that black band and the nt1a is silver.
The mic comes new with a double walled hard plastic case that is lined deeply with foam and a small section for the mic clip. The shock mount was an optional extra but they take any generic ldc shock mount.
The mic has a off white to grey enamel looking finish that has turned out to be very hard wearing. A gold dot denotes the front of the mic, the grille is made up of 2 to sorts of mesh the thick and more structural and another thin mesh that probably helps out on the shielding front.
The spec is 135db spl, 48v phantom power needed, FET Preamp, excellent build quality.
So the sound, well this mic generally has clear mids that seem to have a good amount of detail. The mic does go down low but it seems to role of pretty quick to what sounds like it's completely rolled off at 40hz even tho it goes down to 20hz. There's 1 or 2 db boost around 120 to 200 that seems to work on male vocs and female vocs nice and warms the up naturally. The hi's get a bit crispier and sser and that's where this mic rystrics it self on what it can be used on we'll back to than in a minute.
If you think of using the mics as drum overheads be aware that their max spl is 135dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1K? load) so you have to carefully choose who/what you use em on and how. But they do actually make a pretty good pair/ mono overheads and where i found them to be best at was drum room mics.
They can be great on some vocs and terrible on others. Some times this will suck ess out of nowhere and whack it on top of you sound. Sometimes it has the perfect amount. If you find a female singer that naturally doesn't have to much ess this mic can sometimes be THE mic. It doesn't like dull voices and low voices. It kinda likes a high alto or high tener that doesn't have to much natural ess themselves. It also likes a consistent timbred singer not an edgy shouty quite singer.
On guitar amps the mic grabs all frequencies but doesn't realy pump like a dynamic it tends to cream the sound out a bit with a little fizzyness I can work on cleans but results are ok.
On acoustic guitars It can sound pretty great if you careful with position so you can loose most of the hi end fizzy and get a really clean honest sound. Yet with no magic it can do the job.
This mic retailed new for £329 in 1997. The new modern mk3 version if you like, cost anything from £130 to £150 now. There is a big difference in sound between the mics and the one I 'm reviewing I would say it is much better and a comparison would double this posts size.
Best thing I like about this mike:
- it responds well to compression really well and if you ever want that super crushed comp effect these mics will let you do it without loosing to much detail and lows, it cuts off the sometimes troublesome hi's but the hi mids make up for it and get all crunchy and pumpin.
-The cardiode polar is actually pretty tight at quite a few frequencies so you can pickup the sound your after or not-after, so you have a good amount of control over your bleed.
- I'm assuming this mic compresses well and records acoustic instruments (epecially drum room mics) that it must have a pretty good transiesnt response as it seems to keep its clarity at most frequencies except 60hz and below and around 10kz up.
- it's has warm low mids that work great on acoustic instruments mainly acoustic guitar, vocals and drums.
-There's no pads or roll offs a -10 pad would make this mic so much more handy for louder sounds sources such as kick close micing.
-The hi frequencies on this mic if pushed sound very unnatural so be care full the rest is very well balanced and warm.
If you look around for the right mic (this one) you be able to grab one around £80 with a case and shockmount and that's been the going rate on ebay, gumtree, craigslist and sos readers ads. Obviously you can't buy them new anymore