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Author Topic:  Room mics
Jerry Gleason


From:
Eugene, Oregon, USA
Post Posted 8 Aug 2017 2:17 am     Reply with quote

Many MXL mics, specifically the older 603's and 990's are good candidates for easy DIY mods that can improve the sound dramatically. The capsules are actually pretty good, and the circuit is basically a clone of the Shoeps circuit, or so I'm told. The sound quality suffers because of a few low quality components in the audio path. If you're handy with a soldering iron, a few simple capacitor changes can turn a rather shrill, grainy sounding condenser mic into something that sounds very nice.

The mods I did were pretty basic, just a few capacitors, but there are kits available online that are more extensive (and cost quite a bit more), as well as capsule mods if you're really into it. The photos below show the mods that I performed on my 603’s. Cost about $5 per mic for the capacitor upgrades when you buy from Mouser or other supplier. (These are not my photos, I lifted this from a website, but I can’t recall which one now).

Interestingly,I did the same mod on the MXL990, and the difference seemed even more dramatic. The qualifier here (at least for the 990, I don't know about the 603) is that the ones made after 2011 or so can't be modded because they changed to surface mounted components instead of the discrete components of the earlier versions.





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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 8 Aug 2017 9:02 am     Reply with quote

Here's an article and review on modding the 603:

http://tapeop.com/reviews/gear/70/ultimate-mxl-603-mod-mxl-603-premium-electronics-m/


There is definetly an underground thrust to mod mics, especially the cheap Chinese mics.

I have the MXL 2001, the mother of the bundle that came with the 603 from Musician's Friend in 2000.

With a good preamp the 2001, a large diaphragm condenser isn't half bad. I used it through a tube preamp and got some usable tracks out of it recording bass rotor on a Leslie speaker. In fact just switching preamps to a tube going to the 2001 brought it to life from the last time I used it, using a transistorized pre for the three mics on the Leslie. There was more lower rotor growl now up against the 603's on the top rotor in stereo with the tube pre on the 2001.




You can buy mod kits for these for $11.00.

It's all about not using the same mic on everything. Things become sterile that way.
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