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The Oktava Microphone Thread!
Old 4th September 2018
  #1
The Oktava Microphone Thread!

Just thought it would be cool to "Centralize" conversation, Oktava audio clips "in action", etc.
All diaphragms big and small welcome!

We don't have to wait until October, OktavaFest is now!

I've got a mint stock 319, due to arrive within 10 days. It'll be fun to compare it to my beloved 219.

Gotta go work shortly, but can chime in later.

Here's a question. How did you first learn about them?
Chris
Old 4th September 2018
  #2
Really interested to hear some clips. I heard some stock MK-012 samples I absolutely loved. Some stock 319 clips too.
Old 4th September 2018
  #3
Thanks! Within the next couple of days, I plan to post some 219 vocals here.

I'd love to hear more about the tube LDC's & ribbons too.
Chris
Old 4th September 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 
elektrovolt's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have been really happy with my pair of mk-102 mics (large capsules). Pin 2 and 3 wires on the XLR were wired 'wrong', a simple soldering job did the trick. These mics are quite nice and clear and less noise than my Schoeps.

Too bad the gold sputtering on the membrane is flaking and Oktava simply tells me to buy new ones so you can imagine I am not very happy with their service.
Old 4th September 2018 | Show parent
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by elektrovolt ➑️
I have been really happy with my pair of mk-102 mics (large capsules). Pin 2 and 3 wires on the XLR were wired 'wrong', a simple soldering job did the trick. These mics are quite nice and clear and less noise than my Schoeps.

Too bad the gold sputtering on the membrane is flaking and Oktava simply tells me to buy new ones so you can imagine I am not very happy with their service.
Yeah that sounds like a pain, especially if you got them during the Guitar Center clearance sales. I was looking at the MK-102 capsule (LDC capsule thst screws onto the MK-012 right?) but I don't know which mics to consider. Thinking MK-012 though.
Old 5th September 2018 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
elektrovolt's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dohreetoh ➑️
Yeah that sounds like a pain, especially if you got them during the Guitar Center clearance sales. I was looking at the MK-102 capsule (LDC capsule thst screws onto the MK-012 right?) but I don't know which mics to consider. Thinking MK-012 though.
Yes, that's the LDC capsule I mentioned. It sounds different from the small 012 capsule: a slight extension in the high frequencies (bright but not sibilant) but a bit more flat in the 7-8 k range. The off axis response of the 102 is better than the 012 too.
Old 5th September 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I had a pair of mk012 for a couple of years. which I think sounded very good and preferred them to many mid-priced sdc, including Km184, peluso cemc6 etc.

I now moved on to highend but would advice anyone to check them out if you're on say a 300-1000$ budget for a pair of sdc's.

Never heard them modded but people praise the jolly mod
Old 5th September 2018 | Show parent
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen ➑️
I had a pair of mk012 for a couple of years. which I think sounded very good and preferred them to many mid-priced sdc, including Km184, peluso cemc6 etc.

I now moved on to highend but would advice anyone to check them out if you're on say a 300-1000$ budget for a pair of sdc's.

Never heard them modded but people praise the jolly mod
I have no experience with them yet, but I've heard that the iSK SDCs are similar to modded MK-012s which leads me to think I might want to keep them stock if I get one or a pair.
Old 5th September 2018
  #9
Gear Guru
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Joly is a good guy. I modded my 2500 and it sounds great. Didn't do a before and after, but don't regret the money!
Old 5th September 2018
  #10
Lives for gear
 
BM Grabber's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I have two Oktava ML-52 ribbon mics, one original and one with the Lundahl Transformer upgrade.

I use them mainly on guitar cabs, on which I LOVE the ML-52... and I honestly like the original better than the one with the Lundahl Transformer.
My original ML-52 also have the wiring wrong... but as it is a ribbon/figure-8 microphone, I just turn it 180 degrees

I absolutely LOVE how it sounds on my guitarcabs, as a supplement to the SM7 (I prefer the SM7 way before the SM57 btw)... I use these in a two mic on one cab/speaker scenario, and it is my fav mic combo (yes even before the Royers)
Old 5th September 2018 | Show parent
  #11
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BM Grabber ➑️
I absolutely LOVE how it sounds on my guitarcabs, as a supplement to the SM7 (I prefer the SM7 way before the SM57 btw)... I use these in a two mic on one cab/speaker scenario, and it is my fav mic combo (yes even before the Royers)
That reminds me... I used an SM7 alongside a Royer 121 on a session a good few years ago now and it was a very very nice sound indeed. Somehow bright but woody for lack of a better term. Gonna have to try that again.

R.
Old 5th September 2018
  #12
Gear Guru
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I've used the 319 on guitar amps, male vocal, and acoustic. A little slicker feel than the 2500 which I've used on horns, vocals, and acoustic. Tube is more organic sounding. Through a UA 610 Solo and an FMR PBC6a comp, sounds really good and a lot of variety. Singers and horn players have commented on the 2500. They are pros and have worked in real places, so feel pretty good about the mic. Replaced the tube with a Seimens (dropped the mic), a real pain to do. I do think that did good things, but wouldn't advise doing that unless you have to. No maven (singer/Songwriter) here, but I did have a AT3035 which I liked a lot. It didn't have the character of the Oktavas and I really wasn't using it, so I gave it to a friend. I do have an engineer friend who told me to jump on the GC blowout sale and best money I've ever spent.....
Old 5th September 2018
  #13
On a number of LDC's, particularly the 219, it sounds like my vocal was done on an classic RCA
ribbon ala 77 or 44. I'll see if I can post a brief example tonight, after work. Chris
Old 6th September 2018
  #14
Brief excerpt of me singing "Nancy with the Laughing Face", going for the vintage ribbon vibe, via 219>Mbox2 Mini.
Chris
Attached Files

Song 54nancylaughingface.wav (1.82 MB, 8907 views)

Old 6th September 2018
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dohreetoh ➑️
I have no experience with them yet, but I've heard that the iSK SDCs are similar to modded MK-012s which leads me to think I might want to keep them stock if I get one or a pair.
I really like my stock MC012s on a number of things, especially on overheads. They're pretty great on the soundboard of my upright piano as well.
Old 6th September 2018
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 20 years
Where are people buying their MC012's these days?

I seem to remember a point, going back years now admittedly, of there being some kerfuffle about where certain mics were being sourced?

Not sure if that was just sour grapes by distributors/marketing or if there was something behind with build/quality issues?

Cheers,

R.
Old 6th September 2018
  #17
Lives for gear
 
elektrovolt's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thomann is a good source for new Oktava mics
Old 6th September 2018
  #18
Anyone here ever only just do the "Sitler electronic mod" by either DIY, or Bill himself, regarding the 219/319? How did the sound improve/change?
Thanks, Chris
Old 7th September 2018
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
I have a pair of MK-012s with cardioid and omni capsules and have used them mainly on acoustic instruments. I'm pretty pleased with the dark sound I'm getting. They're keepers.

I'm also thinking of getting a 319 for my main vocal mic, since my Rode NT2a isn't suitable for my voice, but I'm reading a lot about their inconsistency, so I'm starting to lean to something like the Wa47 Jr. Looking forward to reading more opinions regarding the 319 and how do they compare with similar price/sound mics.
Old 7th September 2018 | Show parent
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Betsey ➑️
Where are people buying their MC012's these days?

I seem to remember a point, going back years now admittedly, of there being some kerfuffle about where certain mics were being sourced?

Not sure if that was just sour grapes by distributors/marketing or if there was something behind with build/quality issues?

Cheers,

R.
Couldn't tell ya where people are getting them, but eBay might have some deals, there's also Oktava Shop but I think that's more expensive.

As far as build quality issues go, from my understanding it stems from Guitar Center using another company to make Oktava microphone copies because the Russian factory couldn't meet demand. So there are the Chinese MK-319 and MK-012 which may sound fine or may sound like crap, while a lot of people say that the Russian ones should be fine. This is all second hand information though since I've never owned any Oktava mics.
Old 7th September 2018 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Guru
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dohreetoh ➑️
Couldn't tell ya where people are getting them, but eBay might have some deals, there's also Oktava Shop but I think that's more expensive.

As far as build quality issues go, from my understanding it stems from Guitar Center using another company to make Oktava microphone copies because the Russian factory couldn't meet demand. So there are the Chinese MK-319 and MK-012 which may sound fine or may sound like crap, while a lot of people say that the Russian ones should be fine. This is all second hand information though since I've never owned any Oktava mics.
FWIW I dropped my 319 and it survived fine. I also had a mic stand that was loose and crashed my 2500. Had to change the tube but fine also. Mine are Russian. The whole Chinese thing came about because McKay the British firm that was working with Oktava did decide to try chinese manufacture. I guess their signing a deal with GC put a lot of demand on them, and they by several accounts weren't particularly concerned about ethics. AFAIK the Chinese mics still had the Russian capsule.

They are wonderful mics and a staple of the Russian recording industry. Nothing to be sneezed at, since Russia needed an answer to high level western mics. Not saying they are Neumanns, but that is what they were shooting for. They are vintage sounding but modded, can sound more modern. People like Mike Joly wouldn't have made a career modding them. JJ Audio also......Figure before the GC blowout the 319 was around $400- and the 2500 around $1K. The mods upgrade the electronics.
Old 7th September 2018
  #22
Lives for gear
 
EvilRoy's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Just bought another 319 after one was stolen, $125 on eBay, mint. Use them as OH because I like them better than my AT 4050s. They sound great on most everything too but I've never liked any close condenser on electric guitar, always sounds fizzy no matter which mic I use or where I put it. Wouldn't mind a second pair because they're so versatile, maybe a pair of MK-012s too. I'm sure the 219 sounds good too, just never liked the look of them.
Old 7th September 2018 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Guru
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy ➑️
Just bought another 319 after one was stolen, $125 on eBay, mint. Use them as OH because I like them better than my AT 4050s. They sound great on most everything too but I've never liked any close condenser on electric guitar, always sounds fizzy no matter which mic I use or where I put it. Wouldn't mind a second pair because they're so versatile, maybe a pair of MK-012s too. I'm sure the 219 sounds good too, just never liked the look of them.
I've actually had good results on micing amps with the 319. I am going thru a UA 610 so maybe that's helping w/the fizzies. I also took out a headbasket layer and the resonator disc. It could also be you have much better ears than me....!
Old 7th September 2018 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dohreetoh ➑️
I have no experience with them yet, but I've heard that the iSK SDCs are similar to modded MK-012s which leads me to think I might want to keep them stock if I get one or a pair.
i have a pair of the iDK's here .. the Pearls .. my Oktavas have been modded by Michael Joly .. they both sound good !!!
Old 7th September 2018 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
EvilRoy's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis ➑️
I've actually had good results on micing amps with the 319. I am going thru a UA 610 so maybe that's helping w/the fizzies. I also took out a headbasket layer and the resonator disc. It could also be you have much better ears than me....!
...or maybe I'm an idiot because lots of other people have success, tube mic pre probably doesn't hurt. Or maybe I'm just lazy, an SM 57 anywhere near an amp sounds somewhere between good and great for me. Anyway, not my favorite thing to do. Not keen to mod the 319s because I like the sound just fine as is.
Old 7th September 2018
  #26
Gear Guru
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Honestly I put the 319 close up against the side of the speaker cone at a bit of an angle with the pad on. FWIW....
Old 7th September 2018
  #27
Anyone got audio clips, they'd like to share, of their Oktava "in action"? Thanks, Chris
Old 7th September 2018 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 ➑️
Anyone got audio clips, they'd like to share, of their Oktava "in action"? Thanks, Chris
i will see if i can dig up some .. in the meantime here is a dropbox link to some iSK Pearl Mics .. all these are a stereo pair in the same room .. Taylor one day .. the perc items a different day .. same position though, mics were not moved .. i would just sit down in front with a track in Cans and different Perc toys for fun ..

Dropbox - ISK Mic's examples recordings - Simplify your life

acoustic was a Taylor .. about 2 feet back - wide XY (not the capsules together - the stacked on top of each other veraion of XY or whatever it is called) - tracked that for someone here at GS .. not sure if it was ever used ..

a collaboration on lyrics and melody on this we can share a tune !! the chords cannot be copyrighted and it is probably the arrangement / changes of 25 songs .. haha

different song ..

perc 1 - conga and a spring drum (with the spring taped down) .. about 3 feet away

perc 2 - same song, added part .. spring drum alone this time .. 4 feet away

shakers - i had several shakers in my hands at the same time, and swirling them around for effect ... has this weird phasing thing going on but it worked really well in the track .. was dancing around your head ...
Old 7th September 2018
  #29
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Any more comments on the other capsules available on the MK012 ?

Steve
Old 7th September 2018 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
EvilRoy's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis ➑️
Honestly I put the 319 close up against the side of the speaker cone at a bit of an angle with the pad on. FWIW....
AHA! Never tried it with the pad, just kept the mic pre low. Probably messed up my gain staging. I'll have to give it another try, thanks.

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