1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

MXL 603S vs ADK SC-1 vs ADK SC-2

Discussion in 'Recording' started by mrelwood, Sep 5, 2005.


SD condenser pair comparison

  1. ADK SC-1, 90 euro

  2. ADK SC-2, 110 euro

    0 vote(s)
  3. MXL 603S, ~100 euro

    0 vote(s)
  1. mrelwood

    mrelwood Active Member


    I have a pair of Neumann KM84i's. They are marvellous ofcourse, but I need another pair. Imagine this, I'm recording a grand piano in a church. I'd try the KM84i's in the piano, and this other pair for the ambience. If I feel like it, I might try the other pair (that is possibly a bit brighter) for the piano, and KM84i's for the ambience.

    The most important thing is the low noise level, since these would mostly be used for church ambience. Another thing is the sound quality. I know these are all "okay", but I'd like Your personal opinions about the differences. I thought it'd be cool to have a bit of a brighter alternative to the Neumanns, but that's just a thought.

    The difference between ADK's is very unclear for me, except the other has a pad and low roll off. Oktava would be cool, but not available in this price category here in Finland.

    ADK SC-1 90 euro
    ADK SC-2 110 euro
    MXL 603S ~100 euro

    Thanks for any thoughts You might have!

  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The difference in the ADK's is the pad and the roll-off. But you already deduced that. The ADK's will display none of the 'sizzle' that the 603's and the 012's have. They are fairly flat and clean. A great secondary pair to what you already have.
  3. mrelwood

    mrelwood Active Member

    Thanks for the tip! Wouldn't You think that the pad and the roll-off would add up in a slight internal noise? Since those can be added at the mixer end, I don't fancy the idea of having more parts at the mic.

    Can the sizzle in the 603S be described as naturall brightness, or is it artificial sounding? Usually I like bright mics and while the KM84i's are wonderful, I usually do find them just a hair too dark sounding. Then again, it's a lot better to add some 12K at the mixing, rather than to have a mic with unhealthy midrange (or any other range).

    Another thing, modding. I modded my TSM MT87's with the regular cap replacement, and I liked the results. So I'm completely ready to modify any mics I'm buying. People at Prodigy-pro.com/forum have had bery succesfull mods for their 603's.

    Actually, just found a mic comparison that includes both of the mentioned. The ADK sounds quite boxy and midrangey compared to all the others, the 603 works a lot better for a western. The room makes a difference ofcourse, but I have used a few of those mics and they do sound like they did in my use. This definitely adds a point for the 603S's. I know, different usage, different result, but as an overall mic I think the 603 would serve me better.

  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I believe that the ADK's are a better-designed product than the MXL. While both mics might come from the same factory, the ADKs are engineered by a real European microphone manufacturer. I have a couple of SC2s and a Vienna. I find them some of the best-sounding and better-built mics from the Orient. Many of the cheaper LD condensers from the Orient have a "brighter sizzle" due to capsule designs. This doesn't make them "better", just different. The Pad and Filter switches aren't always going to be needed in every application, but they can come in very handily many times. Think ahead!
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    As is always the case....'each to his own,.....' I'm not sure I would go by a sample recording without knowing the room the samples were made in. I agree that in a solo voice situation the ADK's can seem 'boxy', but this illustrates my point, you arent looking for a mic to use on a solo voice in a close mic'd situation. Up on a stand 18 inches or more away from your source and that source being drums,orchestral music,vocal choir, whatever, this lends itself to many more variations in the final outcome of the performance of a mic. You already have a great pair in the Neumanns and you're going to want something complimentary. While I didnt say I didnt like the 603's, they are artifically hyped to the point that you're going to have to apply EQ at some time to tame them a bit. Up goes the noise floor....at least a touch. The 'boxiness' you refer to( I've heard this before and agree to a point) in the ADK's are the very reason I love them in a mix. Especially on a drumkit. They sit well within their own tonal spectrum and usually need very little adjustment to command their position in a busy mix. One thing I particularly like about the ADK's is with such a small amount of artifacts present, they take quite well to use of compression and effects. At this level, however, it is simply a matter of taste and choice as they all are good on particular things. None will be as good as what you already have. My suggestion is to get in a pair of each and with your Neumanns, record something and see how they fit. Lots of luck!
  6. mrelwood

    mrelwood Active Member

    Moonbaby, Davedog, thank You for sharing the marvellous points! I'm happy to recieve this amount of thought since it's always very narrow minded when I try to think these things thru on my own.

    I was already starting to head for the 603's, but I'm turning my boat... again.

    The only thing that still would drag me towards the 603's is the fact of them being more different to the KM84i's than the ADK. I think... Since the Neumanns are very unhyped, it would partially make sence to get a pair that is a bit hyped, to get the other end of spectrum. But then again, I might be simplifying this a bit too much.

    About the samples. I find all other mics being more in the same ballpark while the ADK boxiness stands out. Although, most of the mics in the bunch are cheap chinese ones, and therefore standing out might actually be a good thing. ;o)

    Listening the samples closely once again, I remembered that I had a TSM MT184 for testing some time ago. It sounded terribly harsh, and the MT184 is not that far from the 603 in the samples. This is starting to seal the deal on the ADK's.

    Modifying. I wonder if modding a 603 would make it a lot better. Several people at prodigy-pro have modded theirs, and lift their modded 603's to the same ballpark with SD mics worth almost $1000. Then again, it would be quite typical and really stoopid of me to trust the power of modding this much.... Besides, modding an ADK would prolly make it even better... I know, I'm terrible when I think this way, there is this strong DIY guy inside of me. :eek:P

    I'll go pay a visit to the local dealer and ask if I can choose my pair of ADK's from a bunch. The final debate, SC-1 vs SC-2. Am I paranoid if I think that the switches would rise the noise floor? If not, are the switches worth $50 in a pair? I usually never use the switches, but it is true, it might change some day.
  7. sdelsolray

    sdelsolray Active Member

    Another issue to consider is the effect of placing the mics in the near field versus the free/diffuse field. High frequencies disipate more quickly than lower frequencies as you move away from the source. A mic placed farther away from the source will pick up less high frequency energy and (relatively) more bass energy. Indeed, some mic manufacturers (Gefell and Schoeps for example) make small diaphragm capsules specifically designed for use in the free/diffuse field (i.e., farher away from the source). These mics are intentionally designed with a HF bump to compensate for the loss of high frequencies at such distances.

    Leaving aside the quality of the MXL 603 of ADK mics for some other discussion, the 603 (with it's HF rise) would probably do better than the ADK far from the source. The ADK will likely do better than the 603 in the near field.
  8. mrelwood

    mrelwood Active Member

    Oh man, this is getting difficult. I never thought about the distance issue this closely, but I do want them to work well from a distance. AND be able to yield good results from close distance (a few feet). Seems like I really do have to try them both before making a decision. I'll try and see if that can happen.

Share This Page