Apex Electronics 460 by allanploth
I'm giving the stock Apex 460 only 6 out of 10 because it is not a world-class microphone by any stretch of the imagination. But with an upgrade here or there, you will have yourself a very useful mic at a surprisingly low price.
I switched out the stock tube with a NOS Jan GE 6072a (12AT7, I believe) and instantly noticed a huge improvement in the mic's overall character, especially in the midrange. This was after switching the power supply on and immediately hitting 'record' (M-audio Fast Track Pro mic preamp/RNLA opto compressor/cubase 6). I left the mic on overnight and recorded another pass or two of my voice, then listened to the results. Yes, a very distinct and altogether favorable improvement.
I then used a NOS Mullard 12AT7 (a really fine example, BTW) and liked the sound, but surprisingly (or perhaps not so) didn't like it as much as the Jan GE. The Mullard was gritty in a nice way, with really pleasant high end, but the Jan GE had a clarity and thickness that I'm guessing will be more useful when fitting the recorded sound into a dense mix.
Apparently these mics get noticeably better (softer, more U47-ish high end, I'm told) once again when a K47-type element is put in place of the stock element. At just around $200, I'm going to give it a shot someday soon, but in the meantime I shall log some hours with the mic as is, containing the Jan GE tube.
Thumbs up, no doubt, for this affordable mic. Decently built and quiet, it will be money well spent if you invest in one.