AKG C 451E, MXL R40, and WAC DW 12 on drum overheads - Gearspace.com
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AKG C 451E, MXL R40, and WAC DW 12 on drum overheads
Old 25th January 2013
Gear Guru
monkeyxx's Avatar
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
AKG C 451E, MXL R40, and WAC DW 12 on drum overheads

I am not a drummer! But anyway

I played a bunch of clips of these three different spaced A/B overhead pairs in my smallish untreated room with a Pearl Export kit and Zildian A cymbals, Remo heads.

Overhead pairs were run through VP312. Kick and snare were also miked (D112 and e604, Echo Audiofire preamps) and EQ'd to get a more generally familiar drum sound. No tom mics.

The only overhead pair that was EQ'd was the R40s, they needed a big high end boost and some low and low mid cutting to sound even remotely good.

The MXL R40 have Edcor RMX1 transformers installed. The AKG 451 are using CK1 capsules. The WAC DW 12 are completely rebuilt Apex 460s using Peluso CEK12 capsules, Peluso T14/1 transformers, EH 6072a tubes, fancy caps and resistors, etc. They were rewired to be very similar to the AKG C12 amplifier circuit. Tested here in Cardioid polar pattern.

I though the DW 12 reached down deep and captured the whole kit tone, with a fairly lush and warm presentation, with a good drum/cymbal balance, and pleasant brightness. I thought the 451 were bright, tall, with emphasized attack and not as much drum tone, and emphasized cymbals, without sounding harsh. I thought the R40s sounded kind of boxy and odd, without a lot of detail, a bit much midrange emphasis, but I did like the roominess added to the toms from the figure 8 pattern. They had the worst stereo image of any of these pairs.

AKG 451
Old 25th January 2013
Lives for gear
Maybe you should ask some drummer for help next time I like both AKG and APEX, on C451 the hihat is little to bright, but it sounds like an overhead mic should sound as there is still a place for close microphones. APEX is fuller and smoother and could stay as is depending on arrangement. It's really close to Flea 12 in character, how much it costed with all mods?
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
Gear Guru
monkeyxx's Avatar
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Thanks for the kind ribbing and feedback . Despite the horror of hearing it, getting to play drums for an hour was good for me, because I hardly ever make myself practice.

The Apex modifications came out to about $550 per mic, but maybe closer to $600 as I continue to order small parts here and there. I think I'm one small part away from a totally finished build. That's a good compliment, being compared to Flea! I think he uses the Tim Campbell CT12 capsules now, which are double the price of the Peluso ones I used. I would consider that upgrade in the distant future but the Peluso are pleasing me for now, since I've "dialed them in" a bit using high frequency reduction in the circuit. I've also got a small urge to order some old tubes to stick in there.

If you or anyone else is interested, I think I'll whack up a schematic for my exact build as soon as it's finally settled. I am very happy with these mics.

I agree, I would use either the "Apex" or the 451 depending on the arrangement and sound I was going for, with close mics as needed, but, this is most of the drum sound already.

Do you think the modded mics are too revealing and are asking for room treatment? That's one thing I'm thinking about. I'm wondering if the reflections here are sounding boxy or something.
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
Lives for gear
I would love to see what exactly and how you did your mod! The price for mod per mic is also really good, I'm really tempted to try it after hearing the results. I heard this capsule in Peluso P12 and it seemed brighter, you balanced it perfectly.
I am also wondering how it compares to Advanced Audio CM-12SE, it uses the same capsule, as good transformer and the price is roughly the same.
As for the room, I can hear the size of it and it could be less boxy actually, but I'm not experienced in treating small rooms so I don't really know what's possible and what's not.
Old 26th January 2013
Gear Guru
monkeyxx's Avatar
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I will plan on getting a schematic and a little consolidated write up going soon, as I put the finishing touches on these mics.

I think I do want to deaden the room a bit and have it be more of a booth, add ambience with reverbs if necessary, or use other rooms in the house for different sounds by way of snakes.
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