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MJE "Hulk 990" Microphone set - Hear it vs. U 87ai
- Nady TCM1050 Mod - (for your mic) Hear it vs. U 48 & U 67
OktavaMod Fights U 48 to a Draw in Iconic LA Studio
"...beautiful, natural sound. Big, fat, meaty and with a nice "air" up top...It was
so close to the U48 that it was often very difficult to tell between them
- and for all intents and purposes, they were in a dead heat."
Grammy Winner - Bill Pearson,
Sound Samples - Listen for yourself. Can you spot the crooner' mic?
Here are four clips, combined in sequence into one 32MB WAV file. The unidentified mics are the Michael Joly mod'd TCM1050, the crooner's Neumann U 48 and a stock U 67. Questions?
- Michael Joly, Founder - OktavaMod.
Singing is Oren Waters who has worked for Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, John Fogerty, The Temptations, Neil Diamond... He is singing Bill Pearson's composition "Seashells" - a sibilance torture test.
Phrases have been separated out to demonstrate similarities between the mics. You'll hear phrase 1 - mic 1, phrase 1 - mic 2, phrase 1 - mic 3. Then phrase 2 mic 1, phrase 2 mic 2, etc. Mic 1, 2, and 3 are always the same mic in each of the segments.
SOUND SAMPLE: LA Session Great Oren Waters working a
Michael Joly mod'd TCM1050, "the crooner's" U 48 & a stock U 67
For those of you who would like to import and listen in your DAW's - here are the 3 mics with the song in it's entirety.
*Answers found at the bottom of this page
Michael Joly mod'd TCM1050
(With MJE-K47D capsule & full signal path and acoustical upgrades )
How can a low cost tube mic stand up to the classics?
- the heart of the mic!
Details below, but first...
...Here's the back-story of the mods that make these classic-sounding results possible...If you're like me, you may have grown tired of excessively bright, sibilant or harsh top end that seems disconnected from the fundamental "body" of the source being recorded. This condition arises from a mismatch of the stock K67-type capsule used in many mics and the flat frequency response circuit that follows it.
The original K67 capsule was designed by Neumann to have a rising high frequency response. Its rising HF response was then compensated in the U 67 microphone by a HF deemphasis circuit.
This design created an acoustic pre-emphasis / electronic de-emphasis noise reduction system that offered the additional benefits of headroom extension, sibilance reduction and mid-focused response tailoring. Great U 67 sound in other words.
The K67-type capsule was never intended to be heard through a flat response circuit as used in the TCM1050 and so many other low cost mics. To my ears, the stock TCM1050 exemplifies what happens when a K67-type capsule is used in a flat response mic circuit - excessive brightness.
This is Michael Joly writing, founder of OktavaMod. Click "buy now" to purchase a full suite of modifications developed for your TCM1050 that deliver classic, mid-focused and sibilance-free top end. Or read on then click "contact me" below and send me your questions.
Neumann U 48 similar to the one heard above
The Modifications -
Some good news - the design of stock TCM1050 headbasket harkens back to the size and shape of the one used on the Neumann U 47 / 48. This gives the TCM-1050 a bit more "Neumann-esque" lower midrange presence than say another popular tube mic - the Apex 460, which is a bit "leaner" in the same frequency range due to its headbasket design. But to deliver more openness and less standing wave coloration your mic's headbasket will be converted to my signature single-layer design.
Introducing the MJE-K47D Large Diaphragm Capsule
The K67-style capsule is simply too bright to be used in a flat response circuit. The MJE-K47D (Michael Joly Editions K47-style, double-sided) capsule is the result of my painstaking search to find a capsule producer who could manufacture a flatter, K47-style capsule to my quality control and timbre-balance standards - and do so at an affordable price.
Actual Unsmoothed MJE-K47D Capsule Frequency Response
Note Classic K47 Timbre-Balance
(180 degree response shown below on-axis response)
Each MJE-K47D capsule is
in an anechoic chamber and tracks an actual K47 capsule response within +/- 1.5 dB up to 12kHz - the cutoff frequency of the original K47 capsule.
Your mic will be returned to you with a modification Certificate of Authenticity and your individual capsule's anechoic chamber response.
The MJE-K47D capsule will re-voice the TCM1050 by removing the 8kHz peak created by the stock K67-type capsule and shift the timbre balance to a more midrange-focused "Neumann-esque" sound with a subtle "presence mound" instead of a sharp HF peak. In addition, the MJE-K47D capsule has all the wonderful low end proximity effect we've come to love from classic K47-equipped mics.
The modified headbasket and MJE-K47D capsule will work together as a system to provide a more balanced and natural frequency response without a HF peakiness or sibilance.
The stock tube will be upgraded to a 6072a hand-selected for low noise and low microphonics. The critical input coupling cap (the entire low level signal from the capsule passes through this one part before being amplified) is upgraded to a specialized USA-manufactured type that's been field-proven in my Premium Electronics mods to deliver a smooth and sweet top end without harshness or edginess. Finally, all polarized electrolytic capacitors will be replaced with non-polarized types that offer "edge-free" yet detailed sound.
Great Results, Easy to Order -
The end result - your TCM1050 will be transformed into a boutique mic featuring the MJE-K47D capsule and full signal path upgrade that oozes classic tube mic voicing without excessive high end boost. Your digital recordings will be better and more classic-sounding as a result.
Click "Add to Cart" below to purchase the OktavaMod MJE-K47 mod suite developed for your TCM1050. This includes installation of a new MJE-K47D capsule, the 6072a tube, all non-electrolytic signal path capacitors and headbasket modification. Once you order you'll get an immediate confirmation email. By the close of the next business day you'll receive a personal email with your scheduled modification and return ship dates. Questions? Just click "Contact Me" - And remember your purchase is
. best, Michael
- a rare form of gear acquisition syndrome (GAS) characterized by frequent and uncontrollable urges to purchase classic microphones when better value options are available.
mic one is the U 67, mic two is the U 48 and Mic three is the MJ 1050
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