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Rode ntv

Rode NTV

4.4 4.4 out of 5, based on 3 Reviews

The NTV from Rode is a discontinued tube-mic comparable to their NT'x' line of mics. A good value, and possibly a great sound all rapped up in a nice package. Relatively moderate color and presence would define this mic, with slightly bumped mids and a round and open low - end.


21st January 2012

Rode NTV by asdfdsa

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Rode ntv

The NTV is a fixed-pattern (cardioid-only), large-diaphragm capacitor microphone featuring a one-inch diameter capsule that utilises an edge connection system rather than the more usual centre element. The military-spec multi-pin connector that links the mic to the external power supply box is designed and built by Rode, while the valve itself is an ECC81 dual triode.

Some designers believe the output transformer contributes as much to the sound of a mic as the valve itself, and Rode have had theirs custom built by Jensen, probably the leading name in the field of audio transformers. Even the capacitors are of audiophile provenance, from companies such as Solen, Wilma and Black Gates.

The NTV is the predecessor to the Rode NTK, and was most likely discontinued for being too costly to produce, though they share similar characteristics, the NTV is considered to be a little nicer and uses some better components. It has been highly raved about from the likes of Ray Bensen in an early 2000's TapeOp interview, where he trades the tube out for a telefunken valve, and claims the mic is on par with such contenders as the U-47 and C-12.

I have never had the chance to do the tube swap, but stock (and now a decade old) I would not rate the mic as highly as a U-47 or C-12, but the sound can be stunning in certain instances, especially with a lush pre.
I have found there can be little bit much sibilance some times (watch your s's when singing close), though other times, this characteristic can add a bit of shine to the sound. For vocals the mic can work very nicely up close, for a real 'in you face' type of sound, not harsh, not truly clear and open, but a little compressed, and kind of a mildly 'pressured' airiness. Sometimes I find a little 'honk' in the mid tone, but some EQ can cut that out, and it'll vary from source to source.

On electric guitars I really didn't find the mic pleasing, but a bit shrill (ymmmv) and couldn't get it to work well for distorted tones, though for a drum room mic it works nicely with some dirt and compression but try positioning it low so it doesn't pick up too much high-end / cymbal noise. On bass, the low-end actually seemed to be there, nice and round with a little warmth... it's not my first pick on bass (guitar) but it does fill out nicely with a dynamic mic and can hold its own rather well. In my experience with acoustic guitar, the mic seemed pretty accurate, in my case recording a boomy guitar it replicated it well, the mic has a good bit of 'air' to it, but be careful, as it can be a little thin in some instances, other times its great and fits great in a mix.

The stainless-steel body looks fantastic and certainly well-constructed, and can handle as much abuse as any LDC. The PSU and accessory bundle it comes with (metal foam-lined case, shock mount, psu, cable) are a nice addition, and all high-quality. The frequency response is 20Hz to 20kHz, and self noise is better than 19dBA, which is pretty typical for a tube mic of this type, as is the sensitivity at 15mV/Pa. I'd consider it a sensitive mic, picking up very quiet noises from across the room and having a quick 'reaction' or response to details.

Overall it is a very good mic, and some consider it great. It can be used for a wide variety of sources, but as all mics, has its limitations. For the price I'd consider it a deal if you can find one as they're getting harder to come across, and if you're looking some-what of a low-cost utility tube mic, that isn't too colored, but has enough character to not be 'dull' on anything really, and has the ability to add a little pop and sizzle in the right places. I'd reccomend running it through some-what of a 'thick' and colored pre to get the full robustness and character out of the mic, though the nice thing is, the mic itself isn't so colored that it can pass for clarity if you match it accordingly. No polar-switching options, but cardioid alone covers the majority of circumstances, though I rate it 7/10 for features because of this.

If you're looking to pick up another LDC or get started with a tube-mic, I don't think you could go wrong with the NTV, so long as you have a few dynamics at hand to cover the rest of the bases. Good value, good performance, and very workable sound.

5th March 2012

Rode NTV by brill bedroom

Rode ntv

I bought this mic from a dear friend who has since passed away and always had a sentimental attachment, but it really wasn't very useful until I replaced the stock tube with an EF86 and paired it with a Distressor. This combination smoothed out the harsh high end and made it a really nice sounding mic. Previously, i had used it with a UA 610 and found the tube on tube combination to be a bit much with this mic. It was really hard to get a strong, clean sound. Now going through a Vintech x73i (with no EQ) and the Distressor, I find it to be a really compelling mic with a lot of character, but all useable.

Rode no longer sells these mics, but they pop up used frequently and can be had for $400- $600.

20th January 2013

Rode NTV by s12512

Rode ntv

One of my buddies used this mic on a guy several years ago. he ran it thru a joemeek pre (don't know which one), and it sounded fantastic! so i went out and bought one. mine is all stock. no tube replacements. i used it on many records and it didn't disappoint. has very good body and clarity. it is a bright mic but doesnt sound harsh. i usually use it thru a neve-ish type pre (Vintech x73, 573, gap pre73). that seems to be a very good combo for this mic. i usually don't have to add any highs when using this mic. i think this is one of rode's best mics ever! even though it doesnt have different patterns and a pad switch, etc, its a great mic. don't know of any tube mics under $1000 that has the clarity and air this mic has!!

7th October 2015

Rode NTV by BOWIE

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Rode ntv

In the late 90's, before Rode was an established name, and even before affordable tube condenser market blew up, Rode was out to impress. The NTV was their cardioid tube offering, using truly high-end parts and quality craftsmanship. They sold for around $1k, which was a lot at the time, but not nearly as much as the traditional offerings we had to choose from. Rode earned great reviews for mics like this, the first Classic, etc, and established their name. After which, they spun a more budget-friendly line such as the NTK (which replaced the NTV) and Rode became known as a maker of pro-sumer mics. Make no mistake though, the NTV is not a budget mic. It's comparable to many of the modern offerings in the $1,500 to $2k range, if not better.

The tone is unmistakably airy and "forward" sounding with a wide sonic image. You could loosely call it a C12~ish tone if you must make that type of comparison. It excels on male vocals, particularly those with a breathy or gritty quality. The mic brings out much of the breath and fry in the voice, presenting it in a silky way. On female vox, care must be taken to avoid sibilance as it is a fairly bright mic. It's still very much capable of recording female vox though.

I've perhaps been most impressed with it on acoustic and classical guitars. The mic's ability to capture subtle details and bright them forward gives a lot of depth and articulation. And, it's extended highs and wide image can really fill a lot of sonic space. I found I didn't have to do a lot of mixing when using it on acoustic or classical.

I would not consider this mic a good candidate for electric guitar cabs, though I've never tried. It is a wonderful drum mic, in front of the kit or as a room/overhead mic.

They've been around for a while so very few of them have the stock tube in place, which is good because the stock tubes were raunchy in the top end. The review that mentioned using an EF86 concerned me because someone might actually try this. Please don't. A 12AT7/ECC81 (or even a 6072) is the correct tube to use.

I've used a wide variety of high-end mics and even compared the NTV directly with a couple of them. At one point, I sold my NTV in a fit of gearsluttery and spent 8 years regretting it. The only piece of pro-audio gear I ever regretted selling. Recently, I picked up another because I wondered if it was a good as I had remembered now that I had used (and built) a lot of high-end gear. I thought maybe I was just overly-impressed with it because it was one of my first quality mics. Now that I have another, I realize it's a better mic than I had remembered and though it isn't incredibly versatile, it's fantastic at what it does.

3 weeks ago

Rode NTV by ZEF

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Rode ntv

Its 2018-2019, the price on this obsolete "gem" is $450-$550 avg.
1999 retail was $1,199 per MixOnline. Rode put in all the quality parts on this NTV mic it seems.

The sound:
For my male vocal the NTV is perfect. Clarity and solid mids, the normal nasal lower eliminated and my shrills'ssss spikes well handled, its great. Putting it on acoustic guitar it had the same clarity and impressive sound. Ive had Shure KSM 27/44 as my "best LDC" and have tried many other CAD,MXL, AT,AKG and so many other <$300 mics. The NTV really is another league in my opinion due to the fullness and clarity, depth whatever words it is to describe quality? maybe I understand what depth means now. For being on the lazy side, its awesome to just turn on a mic like the NTV and it needs no help, its just right.

Ease of Use:
Hookup was the mic and its 25 pin cable military connector to the powersupply box, with a normal ac cord and a standard XLR to my preamp. (UALA610). The power box blue led comes on once the unit is ready to be used, which takes a few seconds or so. The blue led is somehow inline with the mic tube and as it warms up it indicates its ready to be used. Everything about this mic is overbuilt in a good way. There was little issue with pop's and plosives, as I said earlier for my use this mic was exceptionally easy to get a great sound.

Features:
It comes with both the spider web mic holder and a quick/simple standard holder. The Tube Mic is a single Cardiod pattern, no filter. This one came with the Telefunken tube in it ECC881. To change tubes is simple as unscrewing one piece and two small screws if desired.

Gear soup talk...
I went for a few years looking for a Tube Mic to own. U47 and the like were way out of my price range others came close. The NTV with its special edition components caught my attention. The reviews over the years are understandably from people paying $1200 to $500/ home recordist's and some real pro's. Rode is now well past its early days of 1999 with top Billboard examples now locked in and the designs in the upper professional level proven.

From the Rode family of Classic's and K2, the NTV is a kick ass designed "hot rod" with the Jensen transformers , Telefunken ECC81 tube, WIMA , SOLEN, BLACK GATES caps, military connectors, stainless steel casing, with a 15mv/pa, 200 Ohm. 130db. a truly hi-end mic...and its also affordable!.

 
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