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Mic Pre for Rode K2

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by KB, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. KB

    KB Guest

    Anybody have the good solution for this Combo?
  2. badkick

    badkick Guest

    i use appogee track two

    i use appogee track two with K2,,,good but not hi-end
  3. boheme6

    boheme6 Guest

    I'm using it with a Vintech X73i... works great.
    Have also used it with an older TL Audio mic pre.. also sounded good - but nowhere near as good as the Vintech.
  4. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I've tried it with a grace and a sytek- it actually sounds better with the sytek with the bb option- I imagine this mic will sound fantastick through any high end pre as its a great sounding mic
  5. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Mee too with the Sytek BB.
  6. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Hey Dave, you have an NTK, don't you? How does it compare to the K2?- Also the tube SP T3- have you made a comparison?
  7. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    No idea, never heard either. I'd guess that the NTK and the K2 are highly similar.
  8. miks

    miks Guest

    i use my k2 with a sebatron vmp2000e. It sounds awesome!
  9. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    I just bought a 2000e. It will be arriving in early December, so that is good news to me miks. Nice to meet another champion of the all Aussie vocal chain!
  10. miks

    miks Guest

    yeah you'll love the vocal chain using those two together. Very nice combo. Hope it works for ya.
  11. KB

    KB Guest

    I didn't have an access to those 2 mic pre .Acctually I'd like to listen to the sample files of sebatron and Vintech (Vocal Application) anybody know the link?
    Thank you
  12. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Kurt has a bunch of stuff done with a Sebatron posted at Nowhere Radio.
  13. Blenn

    Blenn Guest

    I get excellant results with my K2 and NTK through my AMEK CIB pure path. Costly but it sounds like it's costly also.

    Paul Blenn
  14. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Hey Blenn, you have both NTK and K2.., have you noticed any difference between the two while the K2 is in cardioid?
  15. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Yeah Blenn, what's the difference between the NTK and the K2? I love the k2 but haven't heard the NTK. If you go by the rode ads they supposedly spent a lotta $$$ in R&D to come up with the K2 so- is it really that much better than the NTK?
  16. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    I'bm betting it's the same PCB with a different capsule. That's like how they did the NT1000 vs. NTK... different amplification stage, same capsule. Very economical.
  17. Blenn

    Blenn Guest

    Hello guys. I find the K2 smoother in the top end than the NTK in the Cardioid position. The mics specs say it's quiter than the NTk but I could'nt tell much since everything I tend to do is close mic'd and the Amek preamps into the Lynx 2 I use are so quite as to be unreal.

    There is not a million miles of difference here! In fact so my NTK see's hardly any use at all these days. The multipatterns are what makes this mic for me - that and the fact it's a little smoother on the top. It's quite similar to the classic actually. Great mics both the NTK and K2.

    I have heard about mods for them by using Telefunken tubes that apparantly has them coming up an entire level.

    Here is a review actually:-

    Paul Blenn
  18. Blenn

    Blenn Guest

    p.s They can tend to be quite sibilant on some voices but glorious on others. But the sibilance can be tamed drastically with the old pencil technique!

    Paul Blenn
  19. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    can not access the review- they ask you to subscribe- could you elaborate on the mods? What tube to replace the one on the K2 and what is the difference?- thanks- :D
  20. Blenn

    Blenn Guest

    Shoud'nt do this but here we go - copied and pasted. Sorry SOS if I have done wrong. Wont do it again! Oh as for the mods that was a different Link. I will hunt that one down and get it you soon as.

    It's almost two years since I reviewed the Rode NTK valve mic, and it turned in such an impressive performance that both SOS's Debbie Poyser and myself ended up adding one to our respective mic collections. Valve mics inevitably cost more than their solid-state counterparts, but they are far more affordable today than ever before and they remain popular because of their flattering musicality. At first, fixed-pattern tube mics such as the NTK were about as much as the home user could be expected to afford, but as Rode have developed more sophisticated means of production in their native Australia (the new K2 is entirely designed and manufactured in Sydney), they are now able to offer the multi-pattern K2 at a very attractive price.

    From NTK To K2
    Physically, the mic is almost exactly the same size as the NTK, but has a different grille design with a heftier support frame. It features a large (one-inch diameter) dual-diaphragm capsule with gold-sputtered, edge-terminated mylar diaphragms. As with the NTK, the onboard circuitry is based around a selected 6922 dual-triode tube operating in a Class-A configuration, working in conjunction with bipolar output transistors so that no output transformer is required. The tube is held in place in its porcelain socket by means of a plastic spring clip, and the standard of mechanical and electrical engineering is up to Rode's usual very high standard.

    All the electronic components are mounted on a glass-fibre circuit board, while the capsule itself is shockmounted. Such wiring as there is is very neatly executed. The double-layer, stainless-steel grille mesh provides the necessary screening from radio frequencies, while also protecting the fragile capsule from physical damage, and the all-metal housing is beautifully machined and finished with a matte nickel plating. Access to the tube compartment is achieved by unscrewing the main body sleeve, and a knurled locking ring is used to secure the included SM2 shockmount.

    The K2's internal valve can be replaced without any soldering.
    The mic comes in a tough moulded RC2 plastic travel case of the type normally associated with power tools, and includes not only the shockmount and power supply, but also the necessary multi-pin XLR cable to connect it to the power supply. The mic itself has no switches or other controls and the mic pattern is adjusted using a continuous rotary control on the power supply. This provides everything from omni, through various widths of cardioid, to figure of eight. A gold-plated stud indicates the 'hot' side of the capsule, in Rode's usual tradition.

    There are no pad or filter switches on the PSU, but this shouldn't be a problem, as most mic preamps and mixers have the necessary low-cut filters and, with a maximum SPL handling of an incredible 162dB, you'd probably have to shoot this mic to get it to distort! I always like to remind potential purchasers that the paper spec tells you precious little about the sound of a mic, though it can help to establish how quiet or sensitive it is. The quoted sensitivity figure is -3dB (reference 1V/Pa) and the equivalent noise figure is just 10dBSPL (which means there's a signal-to-noise ratio of 81dB) — rather better than some solid-state mics, and a little quieter than the NTK. The frequency range is 20Hz-20kHz, with little deviation other than a very deliberate, but still suitably subtle, presence peak centred at around 12kHz in omni mode. Another lesser peak at around 5kHz is evident in cardioid mode, which is very reminiscent of the NTK's response shape. This is about the only part of the spec that might give a clue as to how the mic might sound, as this type of presence peak often results in an open and airy high end.

    Recording Performance
    If anything, the Rode K2 is a hint sweeter-sounding than the NTK, and it definitely does the 'subtle flattery' thing — which is, after all, why we tolerate tubes inside our microphones in the first place. The way in which it flatters is hard to describe, but, in addition to adding weight to what I call the 'chest' frequencies of the voice, it also captures the high-end detail in a way that sounds noticeably smoother and less aggressive than is often the case with solid-state mics. As with the NTK, the lack of a bass roll-off switch means you'll probably need to engage the low-frequency filter on your preamp or mixer when recording vocals, and you'll certainly need a pop filter. In fact, pop filters are such essential components of any vocal recording system that I'm surprised more mics don't come with them — they're just as important as shockmounts, yet we seem to get those thrown in with nearly every mic we buy these days.

    As a vocal mic, the K2 sounds very classy indeed, and it has been deliberately engineered to be reminiscent of classic studio mics. It is, however, rather quieter than some of these tube classics, and probably a lot cheaper to service given that the tubes used in the Rode mics don't belong to an endangered species. This is a great mic if your voice needs a bit of filling out, or if the high end of your voice needs rounding off. I also tried the mic on the usual acoustic guitar and hand percussion, where it turned in a solid performance, combining warmth with evenness of tone. I particularly liked this mic for strummed acoustic guitar played in a pop style, as you get a punchy, no-nonsense result that sounds almost as though it's been slightly compressed, with no ragged edges.

    Peak Of Achievement?
    Rode's K2 is a great performer, offering multi-pattern functionality at a very affordable UK price. Rode have risen well above the bargain-basement dog fight that seems to be going on at the moment, so the K2 isn't the cheapest tube mic on the market by a long stretch, but it offers quality, both mechanically and sonically. Anyone in the market for a large-diaphragm multi-pattern mic should audition the K2, if only to find out what the others have to live up to.

    Published in SOS July 2004

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