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Is a Modded Matched Pair Still a Matched Pair?

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by ClarkJaman, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    I have my eye on is the Octavamod MXL 603 Ultimate SDC mod:
    Award-winning microphone engineering from Michael Joly

    They sound great, and I know people who are very happy with these mods. Since I don't have any modded mics or any matched pairs I think this might be a good purchase. The question I have though is this: If a matched pair is handpicked from hundreds of microphones, and you mod both the mics by swapping out a couple parts, are they still a perfectly matched pair? My intuition tells me not. What do you guys think?
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The Joly mod is more than switching just a few parts. In the case of a reputable company, the consistency is pretty much inaudible to the human ear. Now as the capsules age and are subject to different abuses and hours of use a "matched" pair will cease to be matched anyway. The matched moniker is for the most part a relic of days passed.
  3. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    So you're saying that I shouldn't worry about them being matched?

    Do you consider MXL to be a reputable company? And if they are, do you think they put that much effort into matching a low end mic like the 603 anyways?
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Yes. And yes. Mike Joly by all reports does excellent work and in a very consistent fashion.

    They don't have to "match" it per se because of the manufacturing process itself. Many of the components for even top name major microphone brands come from China already and are machine manufactured not hand turned on lathes. Even Neumann uses CNC lathes to cut parts that were formerly hand turned. This creates components that do not exhibit the variances that used to be found within even high end gear. A U87 made in January of 1965 sounded different than one made in October of 1965. They both sound like U87's and both sound(ed) good but not "matched". The average pair of AT4047's purchased new together today sound as identical as a matched pair of C414's from 1970. Heck, that's also true for a pair of new C414's versus a matched pair from 1970. Before someone gets their panties twisted, that doesn't make new better than old or modified better than <insert name here> high end brand. It is just a comment of the manufacturing process itself.

    Again, any pair of microphones will age differently. Exposure to noise, impact, pollution, moisture and irregular voltage from preamps/mixers are all factors that might affect a "matched" pair.

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