Marshall 603s

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by DarrellDon, May 28, 2001.

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  1. DarrellDon

    DarrellDon Guest

    This was going to be a private e-mail to Harvey, but I decided to make it an open letter here instaed.

    I hope you aren't sick of this subject and/or question Harvey. I have been off the 'net for several weeks and I know this has probably been covered before but...

    I know you recommended the Marshall/MXL/ Mogami 603s as a bargain. I inferred later that some folks thought they got some bad ones. I just bought one, and I got it for $69.00 so no matter what I am not complaining.

    Here's my question: what, if you know, were the characteristics that people were complaining about in the "bad" ones? I only picked up one, so I can only compare it to other mics in my limited collection.

    On accoustic guitar, compared to an AT4033, I prefered the AT4033 (well, okay, it cost 4 1/2 times as much). The MXL603s and the SM57 were simply different, with more high end on the 57, but with more body on the 603s. This is not what I expected, but I'm not unhappy at all.

    Self noise is what promted my question. The 603s and the SM57 were comparable and the 4033 was much quieter. I record mostly (load) rock, so the noise is going to be buried, lost among the memories of accurate-hearing-youth (to my ears at least).

    Do these observations match your experience, or am I cursed with a "bad" 603. I hope to try it soon on a drum kit (I bought it for an overhead) to take advantage of the expected better transient response.

    As I stated before. This is a whopping $69.00 investment, so I am happy with a different mic for some difference in tonal nuances no matter what. These mics are now at the SM57 level in price, and since I already have a dozen 57s I wanted to try the Marshall out.
  2. DarrellDon

    DarrellDon Guest

    Okay. I meant instead instead of instaed.

    Also, I record loud rock, although I have also been known to load rock.

    I need a new keyboard where the vowels aren't all right next to each other.
  3. hargerst

    hargerst Active Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    The basic problem with some of the early batches of 603s was related to how the bias was internally set for 48 volt phantom power. With some mixers, it could result in unusually high self-noise levels. It's an easy fix if that's the problem.

    As far as uses and expectations, I found the 603 to be a very wide-range smooth condenser mic selling at a rediculously low level for what it was. If I were "Consumer Reports", I'd rate the 603S and the V67G as "Best Buys". They are not a "cure-all", or the best mic for everything (no mic is), but as a small condenser mic goes, they're really amazing, and easily beat the AKG C1000 or the AT4041 for many applications. I'd recomend it for anything you might use a Meumann KM184 on, although the Neumann would be the best choice, but at a lot higher cost.

    Like a lot of other inexpensive mics that are out there these days, it's a Neumann KM184 "wannabee", but IMHO, it comes a lot closer than many other mics that cost a lot more. In it's price range, there's nothing that can touch it in terms of performance and value, at least nothing I've found so far. It doesn't have the spitty high end of the AKG C1000 or the AT 4041; it's just a nice, smooth, fairly quiet mic that was surprisingly good for this price.

    The SM57 does sound brighter at first, because of the built-in presence peak, but after a while, you'll begin to hear that the 603 is flatter and actually has more top end than the 57.
  4. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    Where did you guys buy a 603 for $69???
  5. DarrellDon

    DarrellDon Guest

    That was at 8th Street Music in Philadelphia. I actually got it in an e-Bay auction from them. Their "normal" price was $79 at that time.

    Others have bought the mics from them even cheaper (but some complained about QC issues). Mine is fine, with about as much self noise as you would expect for $69.
  6. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    Cool, I'll keep checking it out... I have one 603s but I cannot tell nothing about the noise... I haven't tested well yet...
  7. B3Nut

    B3Nut Guest

    How are these things in the self-noise department? I currently have a pair of AT Pro37R's...not the quietest mics around, especially the one that likes to have fits of noise bursts. :(

    These 603's at ~$80 a pop seem almost too good to be true. How do these lil fellas compare to the Crown CM-700? I see those recommended quite often on r.a.p. and have been looking into them. Sweetwater sells a matched set for less than $500, I think.

    Primary uses for the mics will be X-Y micing acoustic guitar and micing the horn-rotor compartment of my Leslie. Currently using a Behringer (urp) mixer as a mic pre, straight into an old blackface ADAT.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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