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Help with oktava ML-52 II Audio Interfaces
Old 21st January 2011
Here for the gear
aeune's Avatar

Help with oktava ML-52 II


Firstly, I had no idea gearslutz had an OZ/NZ section, but now I know, watch out!

I've spent a fair amount of time over the past year researching and building a a humble recording setup. Lot of research, and some impulse buys. This ML-52 II was one of the later...unfortunately.

Basically, I saw it on ebay advertised as being modded with the Lundahl transformer and like the look of it and threw down 300 bucks US. I got it, plugged it in and it sounded bad, scratchy and bad. But it did work to an extent.

I openned it up, as you do, and found that one of the two ribbons was real slack. Damn. USPS can't really be blamed, 2.5 microns wasn't going to like international post I guess. So to get to the chase, I get more 2.5 micron foil, shape it and install it. Not a bad job if I do say so, looks nearly indistinguishable from the other untouched ribbon. Doesn't touch anywhere, roughly same tension. All good, I thought.

I go to plug it in, (I'm using a Triton Audio Fethead Filter to get the extra gain needed) and..nothing. Absolutely nothing. change leads, remove filter, change to another lead, volume cranked, nothing.

I really don't know enough about these to troubleshoot any further, I'm getting into electronics, but I'm a complete noob in reality.

any ideas on what I can do?

thanks Andy
Old 21st January 2011
Lives for gear
frans's Avatar
If I was in your shoes I'd ask the pro audio guys in your part of the world where/who might repair your mic. IDK.. maybe a short call to a big store or even someone from AudioTechnology (btw, really good recording mag!!!)? The inside stuff of a mic like this cries for someone with some experience, you might completely trash it if you try it yourself, sorry to hear about your troubles...
Old 21st January 2011
Here for the gear
aeune's Avatar

Thanks Frans for the reply, and yeah, AudioTechnology is a good mag, i subscribe to it and learn a fair bit. i spoke with Rob Squire who writes some of the more tech base articles in the chain of people I went through when I was looking at how to repair the slack ribbon. Turns out tech help in OZ mostly on the east coast, which is 3K-4K kms away, though what is there is world class.

I suppose I'm hoping that someone local knows what is going on, like you said, I could make a real mess off it if I keep going. Spending money on it is probably the solution, though it is weird that the mic would not make any sound at all, except if I jiggle the connectors. If there is some contact with the ribbons, then would it go completely dead? I wouldn't have thought so, as that is what was happening when I got it; slack ribbon hitting the magnets.

Anyway, cheers

Old 21st January 2011
Lives for gear
frans's Avatar
Local help: ask around... if nothing turns up you might have to bite the worm and ship it. Fingers crossed you get it going soon! Err.. dont miss looking up a few studios near you in the phonebook or search engine and ask the owners/engineers, I think everyone knows the trouble and will be glad to help.
Old 22nd January 2011
Help with oktava ML-52 II

Some basic continuity tests might be worthwhile?
Old 26th January 2011
Lives for gear
frans's Avatar
Be aware that the usual cable tester or multimeter is very likely to KILL your ribbon mic when you do a continuity test. It's tricky.
Old 26th January 2011
Gear Nut

Hi Andy,

I for one can recommend sending stuff to Rob Squire from Perth. I have done so with 5 or 6 items and each time he has done an awesome job, tho I haven't sent a ribbon mic to him.

If you pack a ribbon mic well, there shouldn't be any dramas shipping one.
Old 26th January 2011
Here for the gear
aeune's Avatar

thanks for the replies.

I ended up pulling it all apart, cleaning everything, re ribbon it, checking all the solder joints, and was able to restore a weak signal. at first I thought it was still pretty useless and was going to give up, but I'm going to cascade the triton fethead into a preamp with input and output controls then into my saffire 56. If this doesn't work, then I'll be weighing up sending it to Rob's mate in sydney (can remember his name right now) but he was the guy Rob recommended anyway.

I haven't had any previous ribbons, so this is all new to me.

thanks again.

Old 2nd February 2011
Gear Nut
Driveby Studios's Avatar
It'd be worth getting that mic checked professionally.
Oktava are kick ass mics, plus a ribbon mic needs TLC.
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