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Is it the tube in the NTK that sounds bad, or other stuff?
Old 3rd July 2005
Gear Addict
celebritymusic's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Is it the tube in the NTK that sounds bad, or other stuff?


I have a Rode NTK mic, which I think is too harsh and not thick enough (rushed purchase).

I've read that some people get good results modifying their mics with new tubes.

Would this help the NTK? Is it the factory tube that is causing the problem here, or other electronics?


ps if it's the tube, can you please recommend a tube replacement?
Old 3rd July 2005
Gear Addict
Zooey's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Originally Posted by celebritymusic

I have a Rode NTK mic, which I think is too harsh and not thick enough (rushed purchase).
People get sucked into the tube thing, thinking they're buying something warm and round sounding. I have heard the NTK sound very good on the right voice, but it is a very strident sounding mic. "Harsh" is not a bad adjective.

You can try swapping the tubes. The tube type is a 6922. The most common replacements you'll find are the Sovtek it shipped with and a JAN Philips. I tried a Philips--it seemed to have less noise, but less gain, too. Don't expect any miracles if you try it.
Old 3rd July 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
doorknocker's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
IMO, the RODE NTK is a genius piece of marketing.

It looks nice and 'vintage', it's got that upper midrange spike that a prosumer engineer might interpret as 'quality'.

Imagine the same sound coming from a nondescrepit small dynamic mic, we wouldn't even bother discussing it.

I DID buy one few years ago, I'm afraid to say. Talk about wasted money.

Old 3rd July 2005 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
VO-Guy's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Tube replacement

I replaced the tube in my Rode NTK with a Mullard 6922 and it made a real difference. Picked it up at
Old 3rd July 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
bigbongo's Avatar
🎧 15 years
been a NTK user for about 4 years, I think it's quite a forgiving mic.
I agree that it depends on the voice although having recorded quite a few vocalists with the NTK it's never made anyone sound terrible just sometimes they've sounded better with something else.
worked with a female singer and had NTK and U87 to choose from... U87 made her sound nasty and thin, the NTK was full and warm. vocal went on to be a minor radio hit in uk and shows that the NTK can produce extremely pro sounding results.

having said that, adding a new tube that improve it still further sounds great to me.
Old 3rd July 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Doublehelix's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I think the NTK is a good mic and has its uses, but as has been mentioned, too harsh at the upper end for my taste. I just sold mine on Ebay since it wasn't getting any use any more, I was keeping it "just in case" it turned out to be the magic bullet I needed for a specific source. Finally decided to part ways...

I just had the stock tube in mine, but I am pretty sure the harshness that I hear is in the capsule, but that is just my opinion.
Old 3rd July 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
insomnio's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Here a message I've got from GYang, who seems to know a lot from tubes.
Thanks again Yang!


In my case NTK was slightly harsh sounding and overly bright. Anyhow, this mic is very good on some male vocals, so to improve situation on lower end and make it more pleasant on higher end tube can tune the mic..
I tried and found as exceptionally well Telefunken ECC 88 cc, Mullard 6922 ('59) and Cryovalve Amperex.
Reasonable price range 150-250 $ for the best NOS examples.
I tried plenty of Chinese, Russian tubes, but no success.
Cheaper tubes are either newer or fakes or used (short life expectation).
What's improvement?
More space, wider scene, nicer bass and less harsh in the mix later. You cannot change the character of mic, but it will be definitely refined.
Is it worth the price? Depend on how much you use it.
How to found? Very often patience is needed, as good tube rarely stays long time in stock.

Some of specialists could be found at:

Happy tuning.

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