Skip to main content

LD Tube Condensers for OH...on a budget

Member for

21 years
I've always preferred recordings that have used LD Tube Condensers for drum overheads...whether it be U67's or C12's...expensive taste I know, it's a flaw. :wink:

I know it's always an outrageous thing to do in any aspect of life to say 'give me this mic's sound for $x.xx'.

All I can say is that I have about a $600 budget per mic, and I'd like to achieve quality results with preferably a LD tube-based condenser OH setup.

With the original mics in mind, what are my options?

I haven't heard any examples of the Rode K2's used as overheads. Anyone have experience with these?

Thanks!

Comments

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Sun, 01/28/2007 - 01:15
I have a nice pair of U67's and my suggestion to you, if you like that sound would be to look into the M-Audio Sputnik. What makes that microphone different from all of the other tube microphones? If you read the fine print in their advertisements, you'll see that the Sputnik does not contain a dual triode 12AX7 or any other similar permutation. It indicates it has a mil spec Pentode tube. Now that kind of tube, will not be as quiet as a dual triode but it will sound considerably different, since the gain structure is so different. That happens to be a similar tube that is used in the U67, which I believe is an EF86 if my brain cells are still intact?

I had a friend who had a new converted U87 to a dual triode. He didn't like that anywhere near as much as my U67, even though his microphone had a new capsule and mine is probably 30 years old? He thought my microphone sounded way better. So I chalked that up to the Pentode?

Those damned Russians! I'll take the Glenlivet
Ms. Remy Ann (hic) David

Member for

16 years 3 months

CoyoteTrax Sun, 01/28/2007 - 07:30
A pentode is essentially just a smaller version of a dual triode (which is already considered a miniature tube) and is handy when there's very little design space available in the pcb's housing (like when modifying an mk012 to include a tube). It's still just a preamp tube. You retain far greater control over changing the voicing of a tube mic with a mic that employs a 12AX7 type tube in it's preamp. With regard to the Sputnik, everyone claims to load their mics with mil spec tubes - only to find out the stock tube is still som soviet made or chinese made crap. So, just like eny tube mic pre under the $1000 price range, the first thing you'll want to do is upgrade the tube anyway. Kinda like cheap guitars, what's the first thing you do? Yank out those cheap pickups and solder in some nice replacements.

With any tube mic where a 12AX7 type tube is employed, you have an opportunity to change the voicing of the mic by rolling in lower gain tubes - AT7's, AU7's, and AY7's. For instance, one of the first mods that help a low budget tube mic is to simply roll in a 12AT7 which reduces gain, smoothing out some of the high freq response and tighten's up the bottom end a little so it's not so spongey. Reduce gain a little further with a 12AY7 and you get silky high's, smooth lows and there's no hype or coloration in the mids whatsoever. It's a very flat response but one that can usually be described as silky.

More than likely Remy's friend liked her 67 better than his 87 because of the 30 year old capsule (sweet!) and aged, quality components (capacitors, power supply cable, power supply transformers, etc.) along with 1,000 other varying factors.

Member for

20 years 1 month

alba359 Tue, 02/06/2007 - 15:08
Be advised!!!!

If you're going to get a mic modded from Dave Thomas be prepared for a long wait. I sent my mic to be modded for what was susposed to be a two week turnaround. That was November 3, 2006. It's Febuaury and I still have not received my mic. I've received a lot of excuses from him. He's very hard to contact as he hasn't been answering the emails I sent him trying to find out the shipping status of my mic. It's almost like he's holding my mic hostage. A real headache.

Member for

20 years 1 month

alba359 Tue, 02/06/2007 - 15:09
Be advised concerning Advanced Audio!!!!!!!!!!

If you're going to get a mic modded from Dave Thomas be prepared for a long wait. I sent my mic to be modded for what was susposed to be a two week turnaround. That was November 3, 2006. It's Febuaury and I still have not received my mic. I've received a lot of excuses from him. He's very hard to contact as he hasn't been answering the emails I sent him trying to find out the shipping status of my mic. It's almost like he's holding my mic hostage. A real headache.

Member for

21 years

Member Tue, 02/06/2007 - 15:50
I'm quite used to working with one-man-shop deals, and have a good perception of standard turnaround for such operations.

My guitar tech/amp builder Chris Siegmund is a one-man-shop, and builds archtop jazz guitars, solidbody guitars, hi-fi jazz amps, 2 blues amps, hardwood cabinets, a hardwood practice amp, and 2 pedals....somehow in his spare time he finds time to homebrew and make jam...go figure

I've got an african mahogany 1x15 cab being made right now...the wait is a good 6 months. Not bad at all.

Member for

16 years 3 months

CoyoteTrax Sat, 01/27/2007 - 16:10
This is just my opinion FWIW but you could save yourself a whole lot of money and just use 2 mxl 990's. Pull the first 2 layers of grill off (there are 3) to expose the capsule to more air, use no mic trim/gain - just bump your output levels on the pre and viola. No kidding, I'm serious.

If you want to enhance that, preamp the mics with a pair of EHX 12AY7 tube mic pre's at $189 per channel or line your existing pre's through a pro vla loaded with NOS Jan Philips AT7's and crank the vla to max limiter settings.

Don't waste your money on low budget tube mics, it's not worth it.

Member for

21 years

Member Sat, 01/27/2007 - 16:34
Uh...I'd rather resort to the Rode NT5 SD's before I'd stick those Marshall mics over some drums.

Call me crazy but I think a set of K2's would have a bit better of a result as OH's than with some hacked/modded MXL's through the EHX tube pre.

Seems like you're trying to make up for the lack of mic with a 'tube' warmth out of the pre box. How does that mic sound running straight through the board? Probably like crap, no? I'd rather not try and makeup for what is lost going in.

Along that MXL line, wouldnt the V67 be closer to the desired sound?

Member for

16 years 3 months

CoyoteTrax Sat, 01/27/2007 - 18:42
mikecornett wrote: Uh...I'd rather resort to the Rode NT5 SD's before I'd stick those Marshall mics over some drums.

Call me crazy but I think a set of K2's would have a bit better of a result as OH's than with some hacked/modded MXL's through the EHX tube pre.

Seems like you're trying to make up for the lack of mic with a 'tube' warmth out of the pre box. How does that mic sound running straight through the board? Probably like crap, no? I'd rather not try and makeup for what is lost going in.

Along that MXL line, wouldnt the V67 be closer to the desired sound?

It was just a suggestion. I was speaking from experience so...

The mxl990 is actually a decent mic and if you take a few moments to do a little diy modding you end up with a very nice mic when used correctly - even through a mixer (even a cheap mixer or cheap hybrid pre). 990's are capable of excellent air and detail and pretty fast with room transients when the capsule is more exposed. Of course when you plug it into an EHX 12AY7 is becomes gold.

There are a lot of mics that can emulate the C12, one of the cheapest ones is the Apex 460 especially when modded by Dave Thomas at Advanced Audio. That's not a bad alternative for $330. But to be honest a 990 will get you there in combination with a 12AY7.

Doesn't matter, as I said, it was just a suggestion from experience.
x