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Charter Oak 538 or 538 B for drum room
Old 10th September 2012
Gear Head
3singes's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Charter Oak 538 or 538 B for drum room


I'm interested in buying a Charter Oak 538 for drum room mic.
I'm wondering which version would be the "best", the 538 or the 538 B...

Any suggestions ?

This is my setup, so far :
Gretsch Round Badge kit (20,12,14,16, 14x6,5 snare), "jazz" sound, nothing in the bass drum, everything tuned quite high with ambassador coated heads.

Over : 2 Coles 4038 -> Neve 1073DPA
Snare : SM57 -> Neve 1073DPA
Kick : AKG D12 or U87 in front -> Neve 1073DPA
Kick inside : Beta 91 -> ULN-8 pre
Toms : AKG C214 -> ULN-8 pre

I have to test the kick front mic with the bass, to choose between the D12 and the U87 (which works great in my case).
If I use the U87 for the kick, I have a Royer 121 left for the room, but I'm not really happy with the sound. I've heard many good things about the Charter Oak. Did someone use it as room mic ?

Thanks !
Old 10th September 2012
Gear Addict
payne104's Avatar
1 Review written
๐ŸŽง 10 years
I have the 538 and I feel it's a little bright and thin for a room mic so probably the b version would be better... But I may be after a completely different sound than you cause unusually i want a nice thick meaty room mic which sounds completely different that what you are
talking about
Old 10th September 2012
Gear Head
3singes's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
An engineer from a "big" studio here prefers the 538 for vocals and the 538 B for room.
I forgot to mention, my room mic will go in a Mercury M72s pre.
Old 26th September 2012
Gear Head
DougW's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
I think it kinda depends on if you need the 538/538b for other purposes. I personally prefer the regular 538 for most vocals as well (tends to have a bit smoother and slight pushed mid) while the 538b tends to have a flatter response.

If you need a "go to" mic for just about anything, and you want more detail from the room, I would lean towards the 538b.
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