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Oktava MK012s or Studio Projects C4s?
Old 3rd June 2006
  #1
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KrisNY's Avatar
 

Oktava MK012s or Studio Projects C4s?

I'm getting predictable with these VS. mic threads now. Heh.

I'd be using them for overheads and acoustic guitar primarily. Which would you choose?
Old 3rd June 2006
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
commaKaze's Avatar
 

Both...they're pretty cheap enough to have both. I'm broke, and I do. Most say the C4s are limited to overhead use, though do it pretty well, where as the MK012s are better on acoustic and other sources, and still good on overheads, but a little more colored and harsh...well harsh-er, they're not terribly harsh mics, but definitely a ton of character and some good color. C4s are crisp and clean in a good way.

I have done nice acoustic tracks with C4s...one especially in XY on a 1978 Martin D-28, which worked well because the C4s are clean and bright, and that guitar is a tank...so thick and super-dark. Good on other heavy acoustics too. I do think they're a great price/performance mic.

Having both, and realizing you're asking one or the other...Oktavas.

I'm sure you've done your research, but be sure that they're real Russian-made. Chinese copies are running loose out there. So go through www.soundroom.com only.

Some cool things about the MK012s is that you can Dorsey mod them if you want... although I think(not positive)supposedly the new ones have taken Dorsey's mod into consideration, so they really don't need the mod.

Nonetheless they sound great as is, and you can down the road get a collection of all the caps(C4s do come with both cardiod and omni), and more importantly the LOMO heads. That's the stuff. Red just came out with a "lollipop" LOMO style cap for the MK012s. It's $199. Me want. Check it: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/product-alerts-older-than-2-months/72950-red-mic-introduces-new-capsule-oktava.html

Yeah get the Oktavas...
Old 3rd June 2006
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by commaKaze
I'm sure you've done your research, but be sure that they're real Russian-made. Chinese copies are running loose out there. So go through www.soundroom.com only.

Some cool things about the MK012s is that you can Dorsey mod them if you want... although I think(not positive)supposedly the new ones have taken Dorsey's mod into consideration, so they really don't need the mod.

Yeah get the Oktavas...
The Sound Room is an excellent source, but you can also get true Russian MC012s from OktavaUSA. And they, too, offer a large diaphragm capsule for them.

As for the Dorsey mods, yes, you definitely want to take advantage of those improvements to get rid of that "harsh" texture that you mentioned. I haven't actually looked at any recent Octavas, but I suspect that they have not done everything in Scott's article. In particular, I doubt that they are using the better FET, and that is a big part of the improvement. I suspect that all they've done is to switch to the cleaner capacitors. I also don't think that they've improved the leak resistors, and that's what provides the better frequency response. But if you get some, it's easy enough to open them up and see what's inside.
Old 3rd June 2006
  #4
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Oktava for a slightly darker top and somewhat grainy sound, can be very sensitive to low end (woofy stuff can just totally crap them out for a second). I love this mic on acoustic guitar for a woody / thwacky sound! On overheads, they're OK but nothing great.

The C4 are fairly natural on top, not a bright mic but more open than the Oktava. Pleasant mids and lows, the OMNI caps will deliver a HUGE bottom end sound! On overheads I really like these mics, on acoustic guitar I find them a little too clean for my tastes.

So since you're asking for opinions on the two...I'd say Oktavas if you're doing far more ac guitar work and C4 if you're doing far more drum overhead work. Of course getting both would net you tons of choices in sound, these mics don't sound anywhere near alike so they complement each other very well having both. Cardioid, hypercardioid and omni caps are available for the Oktava as well, and of course the C4 have you covered on two of those choices so yeah...versatile sets that far exceed their price range in my experience.

War
Old 3rd June 2006
  #5
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead
Oktava for a slightly darker top and somewhat grainy sound, can be very sensitive to low end (woofy stuff can just totally crap them out for a second). I love this mic on acoustic guitar for a woody / thwacky sound! On overheads, they're OK but nothing great.

my sentiments exactly. they can do wonders on agtr when paired with a mid-forward dynamic like the 421 or 57. also, they sound 100x better with some iron in the pre, but then again what doesn't?

with oh's they need to be in a good room with a little distance between them and the kit, as the top end will harsh out QUICKLY if the spl's are too high. the top doesn't take eq very well either, which is another mark against their use on oh.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 8th June 2006
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
T-rex's Avatar
 

I haven't used the C4's, but I just bought a pair of MC-012's used cheap - the russian ones - and I think they do an excellent job on OH's.

Note: I like mic's with a lot of character so that's where I am coming from, so for me, for OH's they rule. I have tracked on and off with them for the last week in a small room with a bunch of different configuarations and they seem to deliver a rich sound, detailed but not overly bright with a nice low end that doesn't get muddy. With the pads on, I really haven't had a problem with the high end crapping out even tracking some loud rock but I am using darker cymbals, mostly K's. Just my 2 cents, YMMV.

Looking forward to tracking some acoustic guitars at the end of this week.
Old 8th June 2006
  #7
Gear Head
A swedish magazine made a shootout test some time ago with most of the cheap small membrande microphones available - and the MK012 was regarded as a whole other ballgame and was the clear winner in the shootout on all points.
Old 8th June 2006
  #8
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swafford's Avatar
 

Red Mic's just starting selling a capsule for the 012's. $200....
Old 8th June 2006
  #9
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Matti's Avatar
Did the test include GA Project sdc mics and if so, how did they rate?
Matti
P.S. Wich magazine?
Old 8th June 2006
  #10
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meteor's Avatar
 

Used both extensively... could go either way. The C4's are crisp, clean, and real sounding and take the SPL better. The Oktavas (another vote for SoundRoom) have more character and vibe as long as the SPL doesn't get too intense.

If you have character Mic Pres already or if you want a more open accurate sound - C4's. If you tend to do projects that have a more focused vibe maybe the Mk's would be better.

I say, buy a used set of C4's. If they work for you keep them. Then save up and buy a new matched set of SoundRoom Mk-012's.

I say that because a used set of C4's would sell for as much as you paid if you didn't like them, but you would want to buy the Oktavas new or from a reliable used source.

cheers,
Old 9th June 2006
  #11
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by MATTI
Did the test include GA Project sdc mics and if so, how did they rate?
Matti
P.S. Wich magazine?
I don't believe the GA Project microphones were in the test - but they're standard branded chineese models, so it wouldn't have made any difference...

The magazine was "Studio".

Another alternative could also be the swedish Line Audio Design CM3, which is a very neutral small membrane model, which is built in Sweden too and not a branded chineese model.thumbsup
Old 9th June 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Matti's Avatar
Line audio seems to be an interesting option for a flat good quality mic, I
recently noticed them -Jam sells them in Stockholm?
Regards
Matti, Helsinki
Old 9th June 2006
  #13
Gear Nut
 
jeff deff's Avatar
 

I just bought the lomo large diaphragm capsule for my Oktavas and am very pleased with the results on drum overheads, vocals and guitar cabinets. I think in the long run the oktavas are a better investment and more versatile.
Old 9th June 2006
  #14
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atma's Avatar
i also have the c4s and i think they're an absolute bargain for the cost. i wanted something flat and accurate and that's pretty much what they are, very clean and clear--i was even surprised how well vocals sounded through them (if you can get around their extreme tendency to react to plosives).

but now i'm also pretty interested in the oktavas as well, the fact that you can get the lomo U87 replacement caps, the blue bluebird style cap and the oktava 101 and 102 large diaphragm caps (all those aside from the standard omni, cardioid & hypercardioid) makes them almost irresistable at that price range.. has anyone had any experience with any of the large diaphragm oktavas?

i also noticed oktava-usa is selling factory matched stereo pairs of the mk-012s with 6 capsules for $545, whereas the sound room sells the same set (albeit in a nicer box, i guess) for $659. is the extra 114 bucks worth it for the soundroom's quality control?
Old 9th June 2006
  #15
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meteor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by atma
i also noticed oktava-usa is selling factory matched stereo pairs of the mk-012s with 6 capsules for $545, whereas the sound room sells the same set (albeit in a nicer box, i guess) for $659. is the extra 114 bucks worth it for the soundroom's quality control?
It was for me. Soundroom provides graphic proof of freq. response on every cabsule set. For example, one old trick for Oktavas was to wait until GC was selling them cheap, buy 6 or 7, try to pick the two that sounded best and also sounded similar to your ears, and then return the others. GC always had the bottom tier of Mk-012 production and they could sound substantially different and even pretty mediocre, but you could get a decent set that way. I say decent cause most studios are not equipped to even remotely accurately test the full spectrum Freq response, S/N ratio, distortion, gain, etc... of a condensor mic.

Finally, Taylor (I'm pretty sure that's his name - I haven't had my coffee yet so it seems a little fuzzy) is a super good guy and extremely knowledgable guy (one of the designers of T.H.E. mics). Oh yeah, and a Soundroom Oktava mic package will tend to hold a lot more value.

my .02. I'm sure Oktava-USA is a fine company.

cheers,
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