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Michael Joly's Modded Mics - I need firsthand advice
Old 23rd November 2009
  #31
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slymo's Avatar
 

I sent in a 604 to be modded and am so happy with that I'm mailing off a 319 and at GT66 to him today but first I recorded the same song (guitar and vocals) with the 319, the GT66 and a KSM44 for comparison. I'll record them again once I get the mics back.
Old 30th November 2009
  #32
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Michael_Joly's Avatar
 

hey Slymo, you're mics are shipping tomorrow. Interesting thing about the GT-66 - it is a FET / Tube hybrid. The capsule (now an MJE-K47) feeds a FET first, then there is a 5840 subminiature tube stage (same tube Royer uses in his tube mics).

So while the spectral balance of this mic is now determined by the MJE-K47 capsule, the dynamic characteristics will be shaped by both the 1st stage FET and second stage tube. Its a fine sound, just not a minimalist approach like the Royer MA-200.
Old 30th November 2009
  #33
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rty5150's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
hey Slymo, you're mics are shipping tomorrow. Interesting thing about the GT-66 - it is a FET / Tube hybrid. The capsule (now an MJE-K47) feeds a FET first, then there is a 5849 subminiature tube stage (same tube Royer uses in his MA-100).

So while the basic spectral balance of this mic is now determined by the MJE-K47 capsule, the dynamic characteristics will be shaped by both the 1st stage FET and second stage tube.
that gt-66 sounds like it is going to be sick!!!
Old 30th November 2009
  #34
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

I have to 12th, 13th and 14th Senor Joly and his work. I have more Jolymods than you can shake a stick at! (Where did that stupid expression come from... was there a guy looking at alot of items way back, and shook a stick at all of them, saying "Look at all that stuff?") Anyway, Dr. Mic has always been a "take time" dude with me, and many others, and delivers a great product... This is WAY more than I can say for Ken *******, the self proclaimed Oktava king of the western hemisphere.. every time I talk with Mike on the phone, its like talkin' with an old friend.
Old 30th November 2009
  #35
Lives for gear
I've got a pair of 219s, a 319, two 012s, a Lomo LDC, an MKL2500 and a NADY ribbon modded by Mr Joly. All good experiences and all easily audible improvements. I don't have golden ears, but I had an unmodded 012 and a modded one at the same time and recorded acoustic guitar with it. The unmodded mic was virtually unlistenable compared to the modded one (just harsher). The 012s are the only SDCs I have left (except for the Audix drum mic kit that I keep all together). The 319 was my go to mic for my voice, till I got the 2500, which is like the 319 on steroids.

Bottom line, yeah, I'd get it modded, then start cruising Ebay for good deals on more Oktava mics to mod...
Old 30th November 2009
  #36
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Sean0313's Avatar
 

To OP:
MK319mod sounds incredibly good, especially in this price!
You will notice obvious improvement.
Old 30th November 2009
  #37
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chet.d's Avatar
 

I will chime in to 15th or 16th or whatever the sincere props for Michael's work & the person.

I compared side my side my Soundelux U195 with the modded 319 (after it's return) and they were very close to my ear with the 319 being a bit more mid forward.
Before the mod, I didn't find it usable. now, very much so.

My Mk012 came back as a much more usable mic in regards to improved clarity.
I like it a lot it with an omni head.


Curious about that LD capsule for it now as I always toyed with getting a Lomo head some day for it. differences?

...Rob S.- still around this thread? can you comment on that ?
Old 1st December 2009
  #38
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by memphisindie View Post
I turned down a Van Morrison gig once (believe me I regret it). Does that unite me with anyone good?
I suspect if we all compiled what unites good audio guys we'd all come out lookin pretty weird.
Yeah me too! I missed out on several opportunities to see Bob Marley and the Whailers in the late '70s can I climb aboard......
Old 1st December 2009
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneWayOut View Post
Yeah me too! I missed out on several opportunities to see Bob Marley and the Whailers in the late '70s can I climb aboard......
Sure, why not?
Old 1st December 2009
  #40
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ProducerBoy's Avatar
 

Joly is totally pro and his mics are great!
Old 1st December 2009
  #41
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slymo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rty5150 View Post
that gt-66 sounds like it is going to be sick!!!
Wow that does sound like it is going to be interesting....neat. To quote Flounder, "Oh , boy, is this great!"
Old 1st December 2009
  #42
Elk
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chet.d View Post
My Mk012 came back as a much more usable mic in regards to improved clarity.
I like it a lot it with an omni head.
Agreed!

The hypercardiod capsule is a sleeper and surprised me with how good it is as well.
Old 1st December 2009
  #43
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SkunkWorks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drbob1 View Post
The unmodded mic was virtually unlistenable compared to the modded one
No offense but you kind of sound like those kids that write reviews on musiciansfriend...

a stock 012... unlistenable?...

come on, now.
Old 1st December 2009
  #44
Gear Maniac
 

I also disagree. A stock 012 sounds great. I use mine for overheads and in XY on acoustic guitar and I am continually impressed by the results. As soon as I'm able to accumulate enough cash my pair of 012's will be going to Mr. Joly (along with my Apex 205's).

I sent him my 319. The biggest difference in the sound that I heard was that it sounded less cheap, less like a budget "Chinese" condenser (although mine was one of the first 319's manufactured so it's definitely not Chinese). Now my 319 is a smoooth operator. It's a pretty dark mic, so I have a Peluso P12 to complement it, and between those two I've got my bases covered for a while.
Old 1st December 2009
  #45
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rustez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddy View Post
I've got my bases covered for a while.
eh he
Old 3rd December 2009
  #46
Lives for gear
Ooh that hurts! OK, let me put it this way: I had two modded 012 bodies and bought the 3rd with the Lomo head expecting to keep it stock. I recorded two tracks with acoustic guitar and vocals using the modded and unmodded bodies with the Lomo head. I expected subtle differences (I admit I don't have golden ears). The differences were not subtle. The modded 012 was definitely less harsh. Yeah, unlistenable is an exaggeration, but demonstrably better isn't.

As to the Lomo head, it's the Mk102 end address condensor. It has a very flat frequency response, I was trying to get away from the typical condensor rising high frequency response because my voice is harsh. It does that nicely, otherwise sounds good. If you want a condensor that's going to be more like an omni for frequency response, it'd be a good choice. In the end, I'm happier with the sound I'm getting from the MKL2500 for my voice but I'll hold onto the 102 for the moment, see if I can find the right place for it...
Old 6th December 2009
  #47
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slymo's Avatar
 

Got my MK319 back and listening to the before and after what I hear is more open, smooother and less harsh. I wouldn't even consider the mic usable without the mod when compared to my other mics but modded it definitely has a place. Like it was said in a previous post the mic still sounds dark like stock but now does that well. I was not thrilled with the mic to begin with but I also felt that way about my SM7 and I've found lots of uses for that since. Just trying to make my mic cubby hole a little more like a locker. heh
Old 7th December 2009
  #48
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Hmmm. I find it interesting that I'm hearing various stock Oktava mics being described as harsh and unuseable. I do plan on having my 319 Joly modded but I use it all the time in its stock form and the last thing I would describe it as is harsh... which is exactly why I own several Oktava mics... they are known to be very nice sounding and non hyped/non sybilant even in their stock form and I bought them knowing I'd have very useable mics even before I come up with the dough for the mods. I have 4 MK-012's of which 2 are kit modded and 2 stock MK-319's which will be going to Mr. Joly at some point. None of these mics are harsh or unuseable... what exactly do you guys mean by that term... I'm curious? They are a far cry from, say, those run of the mill chinese mics that have no hi frequency de-emphasis circuit.

And there's nothing in the Joly mods that is tamimg harshness... the mods improve openness and clarity as far as I know... there's no modification to the topology of the circuits.
Old 7th December 2009
  #49
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memphisindie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkunkWorks View Post
I find it interesting that I'm hearing various stock Oktava mics being described as harsh and unuseable.The last thing I would describe it as is harsh, they are known to be very nice sounding and non hyped/non sybilant even in their stock form. None of these mics are harsh or unuseable... what exactly do you guys mean by that term... I'm curious? They are a far cry from, say, those run of the mill chinese mics that have no hi frequency de-emphasis circuit.

And there's nothing in the Joly mods that is tamimg harshness... the mods improve openness and clarity as far as I know... there's no modification to the topology of the circuits.
REAL good point.
I like em.
Old 7th December 2009
  #50
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Michael_Joly's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkunkWorks View Post
...Hmmm. I find it interesting that I'm hearing various stock Oktava mics being described as harsh and unuseable.... what exactly do you guys mean by that term... And there's nothing in the Joly mods that is tamimg harshness... the mods improve openness and clarity as far as I know... there's no modification to the topology of the circuits.
All Oktava mics have ceramic disc and electrolytic capacitors in the signal path. Removing those and substituting with higher quality parts removes a layer of harshness these parts are known to produce.

I makes extensive topology changes in the 219 / 319 circuit and moderate topology changes in the '012 circuit in addition to an upgrade of parts in both mic types.

But the key is systemic approach to re-engineering these mics across acoustical, physical and electronic domains.
Old 7th December 2009
  #51
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SkunkWorks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
All Oktava mics have ceramic disc and electrolytic capacitors in the signal path. Removing those and substituting with higher quality parts removes a layer of harshness these parts are known to produce.

I makes extensive topology changes in the 219 / 319 circuit and moderate topology changes in the '012 circuit in addition to an upgrade of parts in both mic types.

But the key is systemic approach to re-engineering these mics across acoustical, physical and electronic domains.
Hi Mr. J.

Maybe topology was the wrong word... you don't change the actual circuit design or add a hi freq de-emphasis circuit, is that correct? Just upgrade to better components, shorten paths, remove discs & switches and mesh layers (where applicable) etc.?

I read your harmony central (user) review (reviews?) a long time ago and, from what I remember, I know your opinion of Oktava is certainly not that they're harsh and unuseable in stock form, but that with modding they can be taken to another level and become something special. I've read alot of stuff from you including your own website that suggests you have a fondness for this company's products before you even work your magic on them... which I guess is why there became an oktavamod.com in the first place?

PS - I still have some things I need to get off to you... including that mal functioning 319 I've mentioned to you a couple of times in email... hopefully the mod will fix it... fingers crossed!
Old 7th December 2009
  #52
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I still wouldn't call them harsh.
They don't sound "hashy" stock, "quacky, boxy", maybe, indistinct lower mids, phasy bass, but not harsh. I'd like to see them have more output without going unstable.
Much more controlled and way better sounding modded.
Mike does plenty to them.
I wish there was a way to put a more normal switch for roll off on them. I like them, but, I use them places they NEED a roll off no matter what. I don't care about switch noise, I never switch them in mid recording.
That's the oNLY problem I have with them.
Old 7th December 2009
  #53
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Michael_Joly's Avatar
 

Oh, topology is the right word - I do change the circuit designs.

re: Stock Oktava - I've always considered many stock Oktava mics to be diamonds in the rough that need some loving care. Usable - but their true brilliance as recording tools hidden behind layers crud.

What attracted me to Oktava mics was the basic timbral integrity of the now-classic 219 capsule - despite several layers of acoustical, physical and electronic haze one could hear an appealing timbre-balance and low phase sound that is the foundation of a great microphone. The task then became to identify each layer of haze, its signature sound, and devise solutions to remove, or reduce to inaudibility, those problems.

I now routinely listen to all microphones with a shifting macro-to-micro focus; overall timbre-balance, presence or absence of HF capsule resonance, headbasket standing wave contribution to coloration, contribution of capsule-to-impedance converter wire type and routing, input coupling cap (if used) type, impedance converter type (FET or Tube) and its topology, signal path coupling caps type, balanced output stage type (transformer / transformerless) and the contribution of the components used and finally body-induced effects. Each element within a microphone system contributes, so a greater or lesser degree, some shading or coloration and some distortion products.

My goal has been to learn the signature contribution of these elements and re-engineer or modify them to bring about a systemic whole that I personally find to be aesthetically balanced - a Michael Joly Edition sound.
Old 7th December 2009
  #54
Gear Maniac
 
slymo's Avatar
 

OK maybe harsh isn't the right word. That was just my first impression when I heard how the sound changed. Perhaps "change in timbre" or rough is a better description like Michael said. But there was definitely a noticeable difference in the quality of the sound.
Old 13th December 2009
  #55
My Joly Modded Apex205 ribbons are my go to drum room mics!
Old 13th December 2009
  #56
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nu-tra View Post
My Joly Modded Apex205 ribbons are my go to drum room mics!
Good, because I bought a pair of 205's that I'll be sending Mr. Joly's way in the near future for exactly that purpose!
Old 13th December 2009
  #57
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BudgetMC's Avatar
I've got a OktavaMod 319 (PE with floating dome), and not only does it deliver wonderful vocals (barritone in particular, IMHO), it also totally smokes for acoustic harmonica... a very tricky instrument to record well.

If you've got an Oktava, you should give serious thought to pulling together the money to mod it.
Old 13th December 2009
  #58
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nu-tra View Post
My Joly Modded Apex205 ribbons are my go to drum room mics!
heh heh


Me too!!! thumbsup
Old 29th December 2009
  #59
Here for the gear
I have really been considering an AKG c414 lately but I'm growing increasingly intrigued by this Oktavamod 319. Would you guys recommend the 319 for a workhorse type of mic for singer/songwriter americana? Mostly acoustic guitar/vocals, organs, mandolin, banjo some electric guitar, etc.
Old 29th December 2009
  #60
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chet.d's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvlowden View Post
I have really been considering an AKG c414 lately but I'm growing increasingly intrigued by this Oktavamod 319. Would you guys recommend the 319 for a workhorse type of mic for singer/songwriter americana? Mostly acoustic guitar/vocals, organs, mandolin, banjo some electric guitar, etc.
Of course it depends on the singer/guitarist but I would say generally, yes. I'd reach for the modded 319 over the c414 in most if not all cases. The 319 went from no use to much use post MJ mod.
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