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APEX 787 mystery mic
Old 24th June 2018
  #1
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razorboy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
APEX 787 mystery mic

The 787 is a cheap ($230ish) active ribbon mic. It exists, but barely, as I can't find much info about it. I'd like to know if it's new, or old, or terrible, or why info on the mic is so limited. More important though: has anyone here used that mic so as to offer an opinion about the thing?
Thank you.
Old 25th June 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
That's a newer mic with a vintage design, that's came out in 2016 I believe. It sells in the $300 range so I suspect its similar in quality to any other low end ribbon mic being made today.

Not allot of information? I googled the model and found several sites that gave the basic specs. You cant expect much on a mic so new. They have to sell some then get reviews on them first. Given how the market is so saturated with low end mics, its questionable whether this mic will ever become popular. Its got a good branding with the Ampex name at least, but I'd suspect its just another low cost Chinese build.

Even with that, the quality of even low end mics is generally pretty good when compared to similarly priced mics from 25 or even 15 years ago. There's also a gazillion different choices in those price ranges so not seeing allot of reviews on them is no big surprise.

Question really is - why would you need someone to tell you if its any good or not. Most articles written are by salesman advertising them for the manufacturer. My advice is simply use the thing and determine if its any good. You'd have to do that anyway, even if it was revered by the best. Once you know what its good for, then visit some sites and be the first to reviews it so others know whether its worth buying.

MMR magazine - Apex747 and Apex787

https://www.frontendaudio.com/APEX-7...99-01407-2.htm
Old 27th October 2020
  #3
Here for the gear
I randomly picked up an Apex787 last week for $99 at Long & McQuade. So far I've only briefly recorded myself with guitar, mandolin, and a kalimba. I was worried about a ribbon mic needing more gain than the pres on my interface would have however at 12 o'clock on my Scarlett 18i8, I was easily clipping while playing acoustic guitar within 24". It sounds really great for the price. Its weight is noticeable and is well built. Does not feel cheap. I have the cheapest mic, this is not that, the Apex787 sounds great. I haven't used a ribbon mic before, it is very sensitive to any tapping feet near the mic stand. So far I really like it. A great addition to my mic collection.

Last edited by Elmtree3000; 27th October 2020 at 06:56 AM.. Reason: more detail
Old 27th October 2020 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmtree3000 ➡️
I randomly picked up an Apex787 last week for $99 at Long & McQuade.
. I was worried about a ribbon mic needing more gain than the pres on my interface would have however at 12 o'clock on my Scarlett 18i8, I was easily clipping while playing acoustic guitar within 24". It sounds really great for the price. Its weight is noticeable and is well built. Does not feel cheap. I have the cheapest mic, this is not that, the Apex787 sounds great. I haven't used a ribbon mic before, it is very sensitive to any tapping feet near the mic stand. So far I really like it. A great addition to my mic collection.
You really shouldn't have been surprised by the gain as this is an active ribbon not a passive one.

The 787 has a sensativity of -39dB (7.9 mv) which is about what many small diaphragm condensers put out.

Many of the passive modern ribbons are considerably lower and have output somewhat similar to a dynamic mic like a Shure SM57 or SM58, low-ish but still not crazy low.

Old passive ribbons like the Coles 4038 which has an output of -65db is the kind of mic that gives ribbons their low output reputation.

Most of the new passive ribbon mics put out 10-12db more than that and actives another 12db or so beyond that.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 
Hello.

Hope all is well with everyone.

Just starting to get into this whole world of gear and home studio for voice over, voice acting, audiobooks, singing, and maybe eventually podcasting etc, and so for I have rented and tried out a Samson C1, RE20, and Apex415B as were recommended by a sound engineer friend of mine. Currently I am working on my first of six audiobooks from a local author and am going to be working on an animated film soon, so I am trying to find a reasonable priced good sounding microphone.

So as per the sound engineer recommendation, I just rented this active Apex787 Ribbon mic and compared it to my prior recordings from the other mics, and those listening to it and critiquing it, all find the Apex787 to sound fuller, smoother, richer, and better at picking up all of the characteristics of my basso profundo speaking and singing voice. It sounds the best out of all of the microphones tested.

But we've noticed that once the gain on the 2i2 is set to 12 o'clock or more, there is noise.

So although I am going to try using the gain only set at 11 o'clock or less, I know that will make the mic quieter, so I will speak 6-inches or less away from it and try to get the levels hitting a reasonable number.

However, given that I have a naturally soft spoken voice, though I can project more and will when required, I am wondering if using a fethead or cloudlifter would be an option to amplify the mic signal or not. It seems that they are recommended a lot on YouTube videos for many high gain mics, but I couldn't find anything regarding using then on ribbon mics and definitely nothing on this specific mic, so just curious as to you thoughts on that folks.

Let me know.

Thank you for taking the time to read this message.

Stay safe, stay sane, keep on making the most of this ongoing staycation on destination isolation, keep busy, and keep on being awesome.

Have a nice day.

Yours Sincerely,

Gerry
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Lives for gear
First thing to understand is that you have your terminology reversed. Low gain mics sometimes benefit from a mic booster like a Cloudlifter not high gain mics.

Passive ribbons are fairly low gain mics but active ribbons are medium to high. This Apex is an active mic with a pretty decent amount of output, like I said here last year it's output level is similar to many small diaphragm condenser mics.

An active ribbon requires phantom power to work and most mic boosters block phantom from the mic so they would not work with an active ribbon. On top of all of this even one that does pass 48v is not going to improve the self noise of a noisy mic or your background room noise. I would not recommend a mic booster in the situation you are suggesting.

As to your situation audio books often have particularly high expectations of very low noise and excellent sound quality. An Apex mic is not what I would suggest for such a job because the work you are looking to do is usually very critical about quality and the Apex is a budget mic that is probably fine for a home studio doing vocals for a song or guitars or drum overheads but audio books is a different deal altogether.

I don't see a self noise figure listed anywhere for the Apex 787 but the SE Electronics VR2 is a decent active ribbon that goes a bit over $500 and is probably higher quality than anything made by Apex and it's self noise (18dba) is still on the questionable side for work like audio books.

I would suggest you look at the Neumann TLM102 which is $699 new but you might find a used one closer to $500 if you look around. This mic has a high output and a self noise of 12dba, not as good as the TLM103 at 7dba but pretty respectable and good for what you are doing while coming in at $500 less.

If you really need cheap the Rode NT1 has an impressive self noise of 5dba and sounds pretty smooth. Coming in at only slightly over $200 I would suggest getting a new one as the older versions are not as good sounding and will cost nearly as much anyway.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Here for the gear
 
Thank you.

Hello JLast.

Thank you for the very informative, useful, and helpful response.

When it comes to my budget for equipment, as I am doing this as an extension of my artistic side hustle and hobby, and there is currently no pay associated with any of the work I am doing unless the books really take off, although I have heard good things about the TLM102 & TLM103, they are not something that I can purchase at this time. Especially when you factor in the currency exchange rate (I'm not in the US, I'm in Canada).

Interesting that you mention Rode. That is a company that I have been looking into a lot based on youtube videos and research. The Rode NT1 ($400 CAD) seems to be rather solid and is something that I am contemplating. But I am also contemplating either the Rode PodMic ($150 CAD) or Rode Procaster ($350 CAD), and Rode NTR ($1100 CAD) active ribbon microphone based on my experiences with the Apex787, and wonder if any of those would be a good idea to consider for the various applications I am and/or will be doing.

Any comments that you have would also be welcomed and appreciated.

Thank you again.

Stay safe.

Gerry
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #8
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12ax7's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
How about a Shure KSM32?
New they're around $500, but used ones pop up every so often for under $250.
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