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The one and only, amazing cv-12 tube mic
Old 25th August 2017
  #1
The one and only, amazing cv-12 tube mic

I hope this is helpful to my fellow engineers out there, I wish more people would post about gear they're super passionate about. I don't work for Avatone or microphoneparts.com, I just think this is the biggest value of any singe mic on the market and it needs some fresh light. After almost 15 years and hundreds of mics later, I am STILL blown away every time I use this mic, which is every day. No one has yet told the world the true wonder that is the Avatone CV-12 and how special this one single mic is. I've said it before here and there in threads but it deserves its own thread, I hope this doesn't seem like I'm trying to sell it, I just think it can really help anyone who is looking for something very special and absurdly inexpensive.

A properly modded Avatone CV-12 is quite possibly the ultimate microphone ever made under $8,000. Yes there are better mics out there for sure, however this mic costs $400...?!?!?! How is this possible? And what does that say about the handful of caps and resistors in a $10,000 C12?! Why isn't this mic on the lips of every musician and engineer out there? It should be. This is not only my personal fav and go to of all time, but there's a lot of mis-information circulating the web about it so let's set the record straight and pour over what I think is one of the greatest values ever to be offered in the pro audio industry. That's what this is about, value. Maybe it's not the best mic ever, but it certainly is the best value ever, hands down.

Many people say this mic is modeled after a Sony C-800g. It's not, it's obviously modeled after the C12 which is around $7-10k. Also, yes Taylor Swift once used this mic cutting a demo when she was 16 but she no longer does for obvious reasons. This mic can be had around $250 used and with proper mods such as capsule upgrade, transformer upgrade and tube upgrade (listed below); this mic will certainly rival the $10,000 counterpart. How is that possible? It's like changing the tires on a Ford Focus and all of a sudden, it will smoke a Bughatti Veyron.

I think about when I was starting out, and about the up and coming home studio kids and budding musicians who have $300-$800 and are thinking, "what's the very best all around mic I can get for this wad of hard earned cash?" I read a hundred threads, closed my eyes and just randomly bought a few mics but I wish there was a clear, thought out thread like this. This mic is it.

First, remove the shell and head basket. Desolder all three leads to the pcb from the capsule (never ever touch the capsule!). Remember this is a multi-pattern mic so both sides are active. Remove the base-plate with two screws. Replace the capsule saddle with the RK-12 "supersaddle" and route the RK-12 leads. Replace the basket to protect it. Trim them as short as you can to reach the pcb to avoid capacitance and solder them. Clean them with isop (and seal them if you like) and test the mic. Next, let's change out the Russian tube for something that will make this mic sing! I've done quite a bit of research on this, thanks to the one and only Christian Whitmore, I've discovered that the best tube for this particular mic is a hand selected, mic-grade NOS GE 6072. It refines the mic while not altering the tonal balance much and provides a faster response. There is an airy quality in the highs and the overall sound is quite natural and realistic. Super-fine detail and fast response gives what many call a 3D like sense of depth. A NOS Mullard is far less expensive and will give you a British-vintage sound (12AT7) but I find them a bit too muddy for such a mic, even with the C9 and C10 high boost caps in the signal path. Spend the extra cash and spring for the GE. Money tight? I also love the classic Electrohramonix 6072 cause it's cheap and sounds great too. Next, many people change the china built transformer for a US made Cinemag 2480 for obvious reasons but I've never done this mod myself. Lastly some say to upgrade the actual headbasket to that of a C12 styled one. I find this totally pointless and a waste of money. Go for it if looks mean a lot to you, it's just two screws and done. For me, it doesn't affect the sound or functionality of the mic at all so it means nothing.

Lastly, as amazing and knowledgeable microphoneparts.com is, they claim the C9 and C10 caps which boost the highs are a "mistake." They say, "The CV-12 incorporates two capacitors for EMI/RFI suppression. But they're sized incorrectly, and they actually add an unwanted and inappropriate high-frequency boost to the circuit."

I have found this to be 100% inaccurate imho. Leave them in, they are the magic.

I reached out to Avatone about this and they responded, "we do NOT suggest removing these. They do indeed add some high frequency distortion/sparkle to the sound of our microphone. The sparkle is one of the things that people love about this microphone so much. It is one of those cases where specs and logic are not a direct reflection of sound quality."

I completely agree. I also wouldn't say it is necessarily just a frequency boost but an added presence. This mic has something magical about it and this is where part of the magic lies. I like my monitors to produce a flat frequency response but in this case, leave my mic with a slight boost in the highs. I track almost all my clients vocals as well as every live instrument I use through this mic, short of speaker cabs (although it's a great room mic, with multi-pattern select on the power supply). There's very little this doesn't make sound huge and beautiful on.

I hope this post helps those looking for something special for their locker. If you're new to recording and looking for a mic that does it all for under $400, this mic sounds incredible even stock, without any modification at all. Other Avatone products have sadly been hit or miss for me, notably their new mix headphones (PM1's) which are so absurdly heavy it's like strapping barbells around your cranium. Their ribbon mics are also very popular.

I have completed these mods for a few friends if you need this done just PM me I'd be happy to help or talk shop about this awesome mic! Hope other users find this thread useful too. What mic would you say is your holy grail underdog?
Attached Thumbnails
The one and only, amazing cv-12 tube mic-fullsizerender.jpg  
Old 26th August 2017
  #2
Deleted 1846071
Guest
How about some sound clips. Let us hear what you're hearing after all the mods.
Old 26th August 2017
  #3
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Hello... i was in the microphone parts webpage and they have not rk-17 capsule... maybe rk-47. rk-87, rk-7, but not rk-17.
Old 28th August 2017 | Show parent
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexvigore ➡️
Hello... i was in the microphone parts webpage and they have not rk-17 capsule... maybe rk-47. rk-87, rk-7, but not rk-17.
Yes you're right, it's the RK-12 (thanks for the correction, I updated the post). It comes with two saddles actually. If you buy the large diaphram RK-12 (or the RK-47) you'll wan to remove the baseplate and take off the original saddle. They recommend sanding down the saddle and using that with the original saddle post but I found it's better to use the other "supersaddle" they provide because the two screw hole line up perfectly in the base-plate and you can use the single post/saddle without the extra work of cannibalizing the original. They say to use a drop of Loctight on the screws which I also recommend. They also provide two sets of screws. Although they recommend using the screws without the built in washers, I've tried both and I recommend using the ones WITH the built in washers as where they still fit, and seem to fit and hold better. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN as where you will split the delicate plastic supersaddle very easily! And if you under-tighten, they will come loose and ruin the capsule! If you've ever read the classic "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance (every engineer on the planet must read this book, it will change your life) you know exactly what I'm talking about when I say, 'tighten these super fine metric screws until you feel the correct torque. You will know how tight is tight enough if you focus.' Again, if you've read Robert M. Pirsig's cult classic about "feeling" torque in your minds eye, you know just where to put the supersaddle screws This kind of un-quantifyable calculation is what makes living worth while, it's what the entire premise of the book is all about... the feeling of perfection that can't be measured or even barely described but you know it when it is achieved
Old 28th August 2017 | Show parent
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 1846071 ➡️
How about some sound clips. Let us hear what you're hearing after all the mods.
There are two sections in this high res clip of me testing two CV-12's. The first 45 seconds is my humble singing into the fully modded CV-12 I just built for a friend this week and then there's a 5 second pause with silence. Then the same 45 improv vocal test with a stock, unmolested CV-12 which I believe still sounds fantastic. FYI the signal chain is CV-12 -> modified LA-610 -> EL8-X (2:1 very light compression) -> UA Apollo BF -> PT @ 96k dithered down to 44.1 for this thread. This chain really brings out the subtlty in the modification I think. Both tracks are the exact same settings without processing of any kind, the only variable is of course the two mics. As you know, GS doesn't allow wav file upload so it's as high res an mp3 will allow. Pardon the first 15 seconds as I dial in a decent setting. cheers
Attached Files

CV-12 Mic Test.mp3 (3.84 MB, 17438 views)

Old 28th August 2017
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I own one. (stock)

Without being disrespectful, A/B it with a really good tube mic. I bet you feel differently.

Mine gets no use now.
Old 28th August 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Ragan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yeah, sorry. The Avantone (/Apex 460/Alctron HST-11a/ShauiYin SYT-1200/ACM TNC1200/whatever other names this same basic thing sells under) is, in my view, an ok, very bright, somewhat hashy, cheap tube mic.

It is, though, a nice mod platform. Once you replace most of what gives it its sonics (capsule, transformer, tube) it can become really nice.

If you want one that's already been improved, get a Stellar CM-5. Already been upgraded and will eat a stock CV-12 for breakfast.

Not trying to be a contrarian. OP, I'm glad you love the mic. Just putting some balancing perspective in here for the kids. I've got a lot of experience with this mic (and the other names it goes under for way less money) and that's my take.
Old 28th August 2017
  #8
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zohomoho's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
With all that tweaking how can you even call it the same mic? There is only so much lip stick you can put on a pig.
Old 29th August 2017 | Show parent
  #9
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistersully ➡️
Without being disrespectful, A/B it with a really good tube mic. I bet you feel differently.
I agree, but I admire OP's enthusiasm. This'd be a really good Low End thread.
Old 30th August 2017
  #10
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haysonics's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
As Ragan mentioned, the Avantone is basically a stock mic. They paint it red, add a wood box and change the Chinese 12AX7 for an Electro Harmonix 6072. I am not usually a fan of EH tubes, but their 6072 is (to my ears) very close to a NOS GE 6072 so they get some credit for that. The Stellar CM-5 and Advanced Audio CM12SE are fully modded mics and a much better choice. Their AK12 capsules are even a slight improvement over the Microphone Parts RK12 as they are electrically isolated. The AK12 and RK12 capsules are essentially copies of the Peluso CEK12 which is very close in sound to the AKG CK12. Stellar and Advance Audio have removed the C9 and C10 caps as the Chinese added them to block out RF from taxi radios. They have the wrong value to achieve their goal which is the mistake. Anyway they add a lot of distortion at 11khz so shouldn't be in a microphone. The CK12 (and its copies) is a bright capsule with sparkle/magic. I suspect Avantone's recommendation to leave the caps in place is a smokescreen to cover the fact they didn't understand the schematic of what they were reselling and don't want to admit to it now. The Avantone top end jumps the shark which is likely why some think it is modeled after a Sony C-800G. Taylor went on to buy an ELAM 251 so I suspect she didn't find the overly bright Avantone to her liking.
Old 27th March 2018
  #11
Here for the gear
 
Electrableu's Avatar
 
So chomping at the bit to buy one of these CV-12 mics!

We have a Pearlman tube mic that we usually record with, which is AMAZING, but I was wondering if ANYONE here can comment on whether there is ANY possibility to setup this CV-12 to work in a LIVE setting for jazz vocals? We typically play somewhat intimate smaller clubs and rooms. Jazzy bluesy original tunes, a lot of torch/ballands and bouncy jazz and gritty blues as well. I love the presence and warmth of this mic but fear a large tube condenser just isn't gonna work in a live room, too much ambient noise it will pick up and potential for low end mud and feedback. Nevertheless I just love the IDEA of being able to get such high quality sound in a live setting, is there any setup of this specific mic that could make that work-- does CV-12 have enough different adjustable patterns/settings to potentially work for live vocals?

When singing live, I have typically used a Sure Super 55 and Neumann KMS 104, and have experimented with Ear Trumpet Edwina, Blue Spark, Sure 57, and Heil Fin and a few others. So far my favorite soundwise is the Neumann, but we are trying to create a vintage jazzy presence and I'd love to find a mic that stands out in color and/or vintage style. Love the Cabernet of this mic, matches my red dresses and jewelry, LOL!! Though of course the SOUND consideration is king. Now that I have moved to in ear sure monitors for our bigger shows, I find that I am MUCH MORE intensely aware of the sound quality of the vocals so becoming more of a mic snob. ;-)

We typically bring our own PA and run our own sound at most shows, so we have a lot of freedom in how we can configure it. JBL mains and monitor and either a 16 track Presonus digital mixer for larger venues or smaller Yamaha 12 input mixer for most shows, both of which have phantom power. I have a tube preamp but dont often use it, though I guess I could start plugging it in more often if it helps.

Any thoughts on whether this baby could somehow work live, or any suggestions for which LIVE mics have the very best sound and vintage appearance combination? All suggestions welcome!



Cheers!

Electrableu
Old 29th March 2018 | Show parent
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrableu ➡️
So chomping at the bit to buy one of these CV-12 mics!

We have a Pearlman tube mic that we usually record with, which is AMAZING, but I was wondering if ANYONE here can comment on whether there is ANY possibility to setup this CV-12 to work in a LIVE setting for jazz vocals? We typically play somewhat intimate smaller clubs and rooms. Jazzy bluesy original tunes, a lot of torch/ballands and bouncy jazz and gritty blues as well. I love the presence and warmth of this mic but fear a large tube condenser just isn't gonna work in a live room, too much ambient noise it will pick up and potential for low end mud and feedback. Nevertheless I just love the IDEA of being able to get such high quality sound in a live setting, is there any setup of this specific mic that could make that work-- does CV-12 have enough different adjustable patterns/settings to potentially work for live vocals?

When singing live, I have typically used a Sure Super 55 and Neumann KMS 104, and have experimented with Ear Trumpet Edwina, Blue Spark, Sure 57, and Heil Fin and a few others. So far my favorite soundwise is the Neumann, but we are trying to create a vintage jazzy presence and I'd love to find a mic that stands out in color and/or vintage style. Love the Cabernet of this mic, matches my red dresses and jewelry, LOL!! Though of course the SOUND consideration is king. Now that I have moved to in ear sure monitors for our bigger shows, I find that I am MUCH MORE intensely aware of the sound quality of the vocals so becoming more of a mic snob. ;-)

We typically bring our own PA and run our own sound at most shows, so we have a lot of freedom in how we can configure it. JBL mains and monitor and either a 16 track Presonus digital mixer for larger venues or smaller Yamaha 12 input mixer for most shows, both of which have phantom power. I have a tube preamp but dont often use it, though I guess I could start plugging it in more often if it helps.

Any thoughts on whether this baby could somehow work live, or any suggestions for which LIVE mics have the very best sound and vintage appearance combination? All suggestions welcome!



Cheers!

Electrableu
Hi! Typically for the reasons you mentioned you wouldn’t use a condenser for live application but tons of artists do it all the time successfully for a more detailed sound. One thing I’d say is make sure to use proper compression live then so you can reign in the dynamics of the cv-12 but it can certainly work, probably more in your setting than say, a heavy rock band with high ambient SPL. Honestly you might be better off getting a unique looking dynamic tho whereas the cons outweigh the pros for me here: can hold it, can’t bump it, requires accurate compression which may differ from song to song, requires a pop filter, maybstill pick up ambient transients as well as mic stand resonance, may require de-esser, large diaphragm is even less helpful live than SDC, and so on. As far as it being red, don’t let the haters tell you it shouldn’t be a concern. If you want that, get it! You’re an entertainer after all, nothing wrong with admitting that’s important. Every engineer I know talks about how sexy their new ______ peice of gear looks in the rack, ignore the haters. You can remind them they paid $4k for a pultec cause it says Pultec and that costs $400 to build on mouser. I would absolutely recommend upgrading the components as I listed in the original post however. While untrue this is the exact same mic as all the other Chinese mxl type junk out there, this mic does need my listed upgrades to sound stellar. Contrary to what others have said, the low investment it takes to get this mic to get up there to the C12 response it will provide (again, every engineer at electric lady can attest in our AB test, and these guys are best of the best) this DOES get up there, makes it totally worth it. If it was good enough for Bjork and her head engineer (who was my boss as I was the assistant on that session in 2009) then my goodness, why wouldn’t you try this mic? You can get it used for like $250 now it’s a no brainer. You’ll be totally blown away. Avatone should send me another one just for this thread hahaha - if you need help with replacing the capsule or anything I’m here to help. If you’re in nyc I’m happy to do the mod myself for you. I can’t think of a single investment in audio that yields an roi like this. This mod cannot be performed on its stereo sister FYI. Have fun!!!
Old 29th March 2018 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Ragan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jml designs ➡️
Hi! Typically for the reasons you mentioned you wouldn’t use a condenser for live application but tons of artists do it all the time successfully for a more detailed sound. One thing I’d say is make sure to use proper compression live then so you can reign in the dynamics of the cv-12 but it can certainly work, probably more in your setting than say, a heavy rock band with high ambient SPL. Honestly you might be better off getting a unique looking dynamic tho whereas the cons outweigh the pros for me here: can hold it, can’t bump it, requires accurate compression which may differ from song to song, requires a pop filter, maybstill pick up ambient transients as well as mic stand resonance, may require de-esser, large diaphragm is even less helpful live than SDC, and so on. As far as it being red, don’t let the haters tell you it shouldn’t be a concern. If you want that, get it! You’re an entertainer after all, nothing wrong with admitting that’s important. Every engineer I know talks about how sexy their new ______ peice of gear looks in the rack, ignore the haters. You can remind them they paid $4k for a pultec cause it says Pultec and that costs $400 to build on mouser. I would absolutely recommend upgrading the components as I listed in the original post however. While untrue this is the exact same mic as all the other Chinese mxl type junk out there, this mic does need my listed upgrades to sound stellar. Contrary to what others have said, the low investment it takes to get this mic to get up there to the C12 response it will provide (again, every engineer at electric lady can attest in our AB test, and these guys are best of the best) this DOES get up there, makes it totally worth it. If it was good enough for Bjork and her head engineer (who was my boss as I was the assistant on that session in 2009) then my goodness, why wouldn’t you try this mic? You can get it used for like $250 now it’s a no brainer. You’ll be totally blown away. Avatone should send me another one just for this thread hahaha - if you need help with replacing the capsule or anything I’m here to help. If you’re in nyc I’m happy to do the mod myself for you. I can’t think of a single investment in audio that yields an roi like this. This mod cannot be performed on its stereo sister FYI. Have fun!!!
For the record, I don’t think anyone ever said it was the “exact same” mic as the other names it goes under. As has been said, Avantone puts a nicer tube in it.

But they roll off the same factory line. And if you’re going to mod something up (a good idea with this Avantone/ShauiYin/Alctron/Apex/etc mic) why not start with one of the much cheaper versions of it?

That was my only point. It’s a great mod platform.
Old 14th April 2018 | Show parent
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragan ➡️
For the record, I don’t think anyone ever said it was the “exact same” mic as the other names it goes under. As has been said, Avantone puts a nicer tube in it.

But they roll off the same factory line. And if you’re going to mod something up (a good idea with this Avantone/ShauiYin/Alctron/Apex/etc mic) why not start with one of the much cheaper versions of it?

That was my only point. It’s a great mod platform.
Which cheaper model specifically has all the same features, the same guts With fet tube power as a cv-12 for a cheaper starting point? I was unaware one existed cheaper. Also, I was under the impression Avantone designed these themselves around a c-12. I am not convinced those brands are all coming out of the same factory. Anyone know for sure? I’d love to know
Old 14th April 2018 | Show parent
  #15
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Ragan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jml designs ➡️
Which cheaper model specifically has all the same features, the same guts With fet tube power as a cv-12 for a cheaper starting point? I was unaware one existed cheaper. Also, I was under the impression Avantone designed these themselves around a c-12. I am not convinced those brands are all coming out of the same factory. Anyone know for sure? I’d love to know
All of the mics I've mentioned are variants of the ShuaiYin SYT1100, with some component changes. Anyone who can meet minimum volume can order whatever variant they want from ShuaiYin. The Avantone is the same as the Apex/Alctron/etc variants but with an upgraded tube and nicer paintjob. Avantone still uses the stock ShuaiYin 32mm capsule and the stock transformer. Lots of room for improvement. But you may as well start with a cheaper variant.

None of this is a secret. One of the major names (pretty sure it was Telefunken) even got busted for re-badging this mic and selling it for like $1200 or something. That was a real black eye. Pop the mic open and look if you want. All of these use the same CCDA circuit.
Old 12th March 2019
  #16
Here for the gear
 
Thanks for this thread, @ jml designs . It was a great resource that helped me make the decision to swap out capsules on my CV-12's, and was also handy for when I had my mic apart and curious how you went about your mod!

I performed capsule swaps on 2 CV-12's with microphone-parts.com's rk-12. After the first capsule swap, I snagged a comparison of the new capsule mic and the stock mic in hopes that it might add to to this convo. Vid can be viewed here YouTube
Old 12th March 2019
  #17
Gear Addict
 
9xSound's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
I love my CV-12. And I will candidly admit, the main reason I bought it was because it's red. (Ha! They're burnin' money in California.) Okay, one of the main reasons was, yes, the color. It's a gorgeous mic! Nothing wrong with that. But I also wanted to try out a tube mic that didn't cost a small fortune — I never owned one before — and the CV-12 looked like an interesting way to start. That said, companies should put more color into their mics to make them more attractive. Yes, prettier. There. I said it. But I mean, please, silver and black — is that all they've got? How dull.

As soon as I got it, I compared the CV-12 to my other two LDCs, a U87ai and a Rode NT1000. On my vocals — roughly the same pitch as the OP's — it held some ground against the U87. Where it simply does not compare to the Neumann is in the EQ department. The CV-12 doesn't take EQ even half as well as the 87. Both mics are brighter than the Rode. I primarily use the CV-12 as a drum OH mic, backing vocals, as a room mic and certain funny-bunny applications when it's the mic that's the most handy. It's not a great mic, but it's a good mic at a reasonable price. And I would agree with the OP: it's a great value. $500 new is a score. It's biggest downfall is that it has caused me to lust after a genuine C12 with a passion. I'm saving my pennies. I will own a real C12 soon.

The one thing I really do not care for is the shockmount. It requires a flathead screwdriver. I hate screwdrivers if I can't drink them. Flatheads are the worst. It's not a deal killer, just an annoyance. But because of it, unlike my other mics, I tend to leave the CV-12 out for extended periods of time in my studio, covered with a clear plastic sock, which is sealed airtight against the capsule with a rubber band. Safe and sound and it's a good look for when company comes.

Not into modding my mics. I don't want to terminate the warranty and I have always wondered why microphone companies don't make the mods stock if the modifications people make really improved the mic's performance?
Old 12th March 2019
  #18
Gear Guru
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I had a singer do a tune with the Avantone mic and it sounded great. She did another version with a Pearlman and I actually had to intercut a couple of lines which worked fine. The Pearlman sounded much more organic and less pop oriented, but both were fine. The Avantone was the better performance and honestly sounded great. I've heard her thru the Red and that is another ballgame.

Honestly with a great singer, there is no reason the Avantone won't sound good and it is very crisp and detailed. Putting thru a dark tube pre probably would give a bit more heft but I would be happy to record with one.
Old 12th March 2019
  #19
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Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Noooooooooooooooo. I just started building mic’s and the Avatone is on my list to pick up and mod using the mic parts upgrades. I’ve had great results using the Shoeps circuit with large diaphragms and I just bought 2 SDC Shoeps circuits yesterday. The only mic body I don’t have is the Avatone. So much for finding one for $250 used. But hey, thanks for the review. I will do one for sure now.

Brian
Old 12th March 2019 | Show parent
  #20
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zohomoho's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M. Boykin ➡️
Noooooooooooooooo. I just started building mic’s and the Avatone is on my list to pick up and mod using the mic parts upgrades. I’ve had great results using the Shoeps circuit with large diaphragms and I just bought 2 SDC Shoeps circuits yesterday. The only mic body I don’t have is the Avatone. So much for finding one for $250 used. But hey, thanks for the review. I will do one for sure now.

Brian
Get a subzero tube mic for under half the price including shipping to US. It's the same thing, I've had both.
Old 12th March 2019 | Show parent
  #21
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Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zohomoho ➡️
Get a subzero tube mic for under half the price including shipping to US. It's the same thing, I've had both.
There are several options and since you rip all the guts out it really doesn’t matter. I have a friend that’s gonna do custom paint jobs on all my mics. The Avatone is set to be named “The Peppermint Patty.” I liked it for the already red body. It’s just money. Still glad to know the Mic turns out great. I can put those fears to rest.

Brian
Old 12th March 2019 | Show parent
  #22
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DougS's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis ➡️
I had a singer do a tune with the Avantone mic and it sounded great. She did another version with a Pearlman and I actually had to intercut a couple of lines which worked fine. The Pearlman sounded much more organic and less pop oriented, but both were fine. The Avantone was the better performance and honestly sounded great. I've heard her thru the Red and that is another ballgame.

Honestly with a great singer, there is no reason the Avantone won't sound good and it is very crisp and detailed. Putting thru a dark tube pre probably would give a bit more heft but I would be happy to record with one.
Agreed

To those who haven't use one - The CV-12 is not just an Apex 460 with red paint. It has Avantone specific circuitry which imparts a lovely saturation/texture - which is why you shouldn't remove those bits inside that the OP mentioned.

Is it the best mic ever made? - No. But its very good and a great bargain.

I used it quite a lot with good results some years ago. I still own it but I now own several higher end mics so it doesn't get much use. Attached is an audio sample (from back in the day). Listening to this now that I've become accustomed to higher end hardware I'd say it holds up pretty well!
Attached Files

Who Will Comfort02.mp3 (4.51 MB, 11556 views)

Old 12th March 2019 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M. Boykin ➡️
Noooooooooooooooo. I just started building mic’s and the Avatone is on my list to pick up and mod using the mic parts upgrades. I’ve had great results using the Shoeps circuit with large diaphragms and I just bought 2 SDC Shoeps circuits yesterday. The only mic body I don’t have is the Avatone. So much for finding one for $250 used. But hey, thanks for the review. I will do one for sure now.

Brian
The Apex 460 is basically the same mic and can be had for $250 brand new. You might want to read about them and check it out.

IMO the Apex 460 (after mods) sounds exactly the same as the sound clip JML posted above. Same with the clip DougS posted accept that DougS's clip has obviously been mixed. And mixed very well I might add.
Old 12th March 2019
  #24
Gear Guru
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
OK so here's the track I was talking about (w/Doug S' daughter Shelby singing vocal).
YouTube

Figure if Doug would post, I would also......! She has a wonderful voice and believe it or not was a very young teenager singing this.....

I actually don't remember where I punched in the lines with the Pearlman. The Avantone can certainly hang with the big boys and modded must be quite something!....
Old 12th March 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Just my opinion but something like an Avantone BV-1 is a much better tube mic than the CV-12 and it should be considered that no mods are necessary with their B series mics.
Old 13th March 2019 | Show parent
  #26
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haysonics's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougS ➡️
To those who haven't use one - The CV-12 is not just an Apex 460 with red paint. It has Avantone specific circuitry which imparts a lovely saturation/texture
This is true to a degree. The circuit layout is different these days. It would be interesting to compile the different circuit revisions that both the ShauiYin/Alctron/Apex 460 and Avantone CV12 have undergone over the years and compare them. From my understanding they are still both using the CCDA circuit and as long as there is a 6072 tube in the mic you can avoid saturating the output transformer. Stick a 12AX7 in if you want saturation.

Here is the original Apex 460 (below) and "original" Telefunken M16 (above. They put in a better tube and charged $1000 more)
Old 13th March 2019
  #27
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DougS's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
And here's the Avantone CV-12. Notice the custom circuit board stamped with "Avantone CV-12".

Attached Thumbnails
The one and only, amazing cv-12 tube mic-cv-12board.jpg  
Old 13th March 2019
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ok, I have no plans of just swapping caps. Been there and done that. I’m replacing entire circuits with clones. The Mic Parts mod for this is a circuit that is “a copy” of the Telefunken ElaM 251. I’m using Advanced Audio Microphone capsules because they are true 6 micron capsules. I’m considering using BeesNeez capsules as well after I building several LDC’s, SDC’s and a tube mic with the Mic Parts circuits and AAM capsules. BeesNeez are handmade and also 6 micron. The transformer will get changed also. I’m not trying to build copies but usable mics. Whatever they end up sounding like will be just that.

Brian
Old 13th March 2019
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Ragan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Whether Avantone finally made some changes from the ShauiYin/Alctron/Apex 460 or not, it's worth noting that it doesn't mean anything that they paid a little extra to have Avantone stamped on the PCBs.

The main mod to do on these is ditch the piercing ShuaiYin 32mm capsule and Avantone hasn't done that (or hadn't last I checked I should say) and so I still think getting one of the cheaper variants to start with as a mod platform is a much better idea.
Old 13th March 2019 | Show parent
  #30
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haysonics's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougS ➡️
And here's the Avantone CV-12. Notice the custom circuit board stamped with "Avantone CV-12"
Yes, that is their latest revision. But screw off the bottom of your mic and have a look if you want to see what you actually have. I assume you have owned your CV12 for a few years.
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