Quantcast
EV RE320 - Mods - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
EV RE320 - Mods
Old 25th March 2020
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
EV RE320 - Mods

Hi guys,

I recently put up this video: https://youtu.be/Pz5aoRrRU5c

Where I took an EV RE320, measured the response, and then worked on a replacement filter to get things more linear in the kHz range.


I'd like to expand a little on what was said in the video. Here goes...


I don't think the RE320 is a good-sounding mic when it's left stock. I listened to a lot of shoot-outs for vocal use among other things, and found the mountainous kHz range to be a consistent problem. After trying/hating it for myself, I had planned on simply selling it on and trying to recoup my investment but I'm glad I did some work and came up with a new filter for it.

The PCB that EV installs has around 20 components on there and while I can sort-of see where they're heading, IMO they missed the mark. The results aren't that great. Maybe they wanted to keep the RE20 as the king.

The software I use is all free. XSim is used for speaker crossovers, but if you get creative, you can use it to simulate the effects of passive filters on dynamic microphones. I use REW to measure stuff, and I have another video on there about how to measure microphones.


If anyone has an RE320 that they don't like, the components needed can be had for around Β£10, and IMO transform the mic into something much flatter and more usable on a wide range of sources. I've included an audio comparison of modded RE320 vs MC930 on acoustic guitar.

I'd be interested in any feedback on the video. I'm planning on releasing more in the future, so if there are any topics that you'd like to see covered, I'd be happy to give it a go.

Thanks for reading and/or watching!

Chris
Old 5th April 2020
  #2
Gear Addict
 
Dr. Jule's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Hi Chris,

well that's a really good idea!
Maybe you can offer RE320 replacement pcb's and I might buy a RE320!

I thought the 340 rex from Lewitt would make a good SM7B alternative with a little mod on the filter pcb...
Old 24th November 2020
  #3
Here for the gear
Chris- very interesting. Would you be able to update the Youtube description with more details of what you used to mod the mic with or how you did the mod? I assume you did not record the mod itself or else you would have used that footage?
Old 31st December 2020
  #4
Here for the gear
 
I'm also super interested in how you accomplished this.

I'm hesitant to straight up replace the PCB so I'm guessing inline pad or in the cable path? I've got the same thing for my DT1990's.


Edit, looking at the link in the OP's signature, it looks like he did in fact replace the PCB.

"The components I used were physically small, even with 4x inductors in series, so they were easy to place inside the mic, replacing the existing PCB. I used some electrical tape to hold everything together, which resulted in a snug fit."

Last edited by rudbear; 31st December 2020 at 10:28 AM.. Reason: Updated with answer from OP
Old 1st January 2021
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I should've checked back to this thread!

Apologies to those I kept waiting.

Rudbear has it right - I just wrapped the components up and they were a snug fit inside the mic. It really is a very simple bit of work: the old PCB has 2x wires in (capsule +/-, labelled as M+ and M- on the board) and 3x wires out (XLR connector). All of the workings of the EV PCB and my own notch filter happen when you connect them across the capsule.

ie, put the 13mH inductor, 150ohm resistor and 82nF cap in series as a group, and wire that group across the capsule.

It's easily done, and easily reversed.


The modded RE320 is actually out on demo at the moment, and is in the hands of another forum member. I'm waiting on their feedback, and will encourage them to post their thoughts here on this thread for all to see.

Chris
Old 2nd January 2021
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If I am understanding this correctly, what you're doing is basically what one would do inside passive speakers, tuning their frequency response. Wonder if adding something like a speaker style baffle step thing would do, and whether it could fatten up a thin but otherwise cool sounding mic some......sort of like a bass up treble down tilt. I have an EV DS35 which comes to mind, but not sure whether there is room for parts in there.

EDIT: just watched your vid, yes that is what you are doing. Awesome thinking!! And from the very short clip of acoustic through it sounds very nice indeed! Damn it, you cause more GAS :-)
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 ➑️
The modded RE320 is actually out on demo at the moment, and is in the hands of another forum member. I'm waiting on their feedback, and will encourage them to post their thoughts here on this thread for all to see.
I most certainly will do.

And I will be shooting it out directly against an RE-20 as well!

Thanks for your patience Chris!
Old 2nd January 2021
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Hey James,

A direct comparison with an actual RE20 would be great. I've tried both, but not had them in the same room together.
I have my expectations, but don't want to bias you.


Karl, you can also mount components in an inline XLR barrel.
It's kind-of like a passive crossover for a speaker, but backwards. Fortunately, the software I use (XSim, freely available online) is flexible enough to make it work. Your high-shelf cut would require a cap and a resistor in series across pins 2&3.
The parts are cheap. I tend to use a potentiometer wired as a variable resistor so I can dial in the cut. Once the response is where I want it, I check the value with a meter and replace the pot with a fixed value.


The difficulty with the RE320 is that there's filtering happening with the switch in either position, and neither of the switch positions sound good (IMO). Perhaps, with the right mod to the PCB, I could get it so that the "flat" position has my notch filter, and the "kick" position has EV's processing. Difficult, but not impossible.


I'm currently working on making a new Sennheiser 421 sound more like the vintage ones. The vintage one I have here is nice and smooth, but fairly extended at each end. Useful. The new 421 is just another "colourful" dynamic, and I'm not a fan of those.

If I can get one to match the other, would anyone fancy an XLR barrel thing?

Chris
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Addict
 
weave's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 ➑️
I'm currently working on making a new Sennheiser 421 sound more like the vintage ones. The vintage one I have here is nice and smooth, but fairly extended at each end. Useful. The new 421 is just another "colourful" dynamic, and I'm not a fan of those.

If I can get one to match the other, would anyone fancy an XLR barrel thing?

Chris
Hell YES!
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 ➑️
Hey James,

A direct comparison with an actual RE20 would be great. I've tried both, but not had them in the same room together.
I have my expectations, but don't want to bias you.


Karl, you can also mount components in an inline XLR barrel.
It's kind-of like a passive crossover for a speaker, but backwards. Fortunately, the software I use (XSim, freely available online) is flexible enough to make it work. Your high-shelf cut would require a cap and a resistor in series across pins 2&3.
The parts are cheap. I tend to use a potentiometer wired as a variable resistor so I can dial in the cut. Once the response is where I want it, I check the value with a meter and replace the pot with a fixed value.


The difficulty with the RE320 is that there's filtering happening with the switch in either position, and neither of the switch positions sound good (IMO). Perhaps, with the right mod to the PCB, I could get it so that the "flat" position has my notch filter, and the "kick" position has EV's processing. Difficult, but not impossible.


I'm currently working on making a new Sennheiser 421 sound more like the vintage ones. The vintage one I have here is nice and smooth, but fairly extended at each end. Useful. The new 421 is just another "colourful" dynamic, and I'm not a fan of those.

If I can get one to match the other, would anyone fancy an XLR barrel thing?

Chris
Hi Chris. My name is Boris by the way. I know, I know....lol

Love the way you think and am inspired to redialling some existing mics. But when you say an XLR barrel, that would obviously be outside the actual mic, so on the other side of any transformer it might have. Would that still work?

But man, if you can get an XLR barrel that is basically a passive tone dial for dynamic mics that works just stuck between the mic and cable, man you should make that a product! I would vote for an option of a switch instead of a dial, with a less than vast amount of position choices, like say 5. Less faff and repeatable. Plus when in a position, likely to stay there until recording finishes without being nudged.

On a slightly different angle, but while we're in 'getting the most from mics' bubble, I for one have always fancied an impedance selector to go between mic and preamps without impedance selection to be able to control how you load the mic for different behaviours, reach and frequency response. Not much on the market, only one I have seen, but hard to find and just outside the sweetspot of appeal money wise. If that is something you could magic up, with like 4 or 5 options of what the mic sees for a reasonable price, I would be a customer for sure!
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
On a slightly different angle, but while we're in 'getting the most from mics' bubble, I for one have always fancied an impedance selector to go between mic and preamps without impedance selection to be able to control how you load the mic for different behaviours, reach and frequency response. Not much on the market, only one I have seen, but hard to find and just outside the sweetspot of appeal money wise. If that is something you could magic up, with like 4 or 5 options of what the mic sees for a reasonable price, I would be a customer for sure!
You can patch up one yourself. A Switchcraft barrel connector can be used. Drill a hole and glue in a 5k ohm trimpot. 10 turn is easier to adjust. Wire that across pin's 2 and 3. Place a 300 ohm resistor in series.

Now you have a variable load for your mics, 5k down to 300 ohms. Be aware it may affect some condenser mics at the lower settings, they may not work properly.
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➑️
You can patch up one yourself. A Switchcraft barrel connector can be used. Drill a hole and glue in a 5k ohm trimpot. 10 turn is easier to adjust. Wire that across pin's 2 and 3. Place a 300 ohm resistor in series.

Now you have a variable load for your mics, 5k down to 300 ohms. Be aware it may affect some condenser mics at the lower settings, they may not work properly.
Bloody hell, Jim! Thank you!! Any idea if I can get it to go down to 50ohms with a value change?
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
Bloody hell, Jim! Thank you!! Any idea if I can get it to go down to 50ohms with a value change?
Sure, try 50 ohms in place of 300. Most pre's that had adjustments didn't go below 300 ohms, you will attenuate the mic level affecting the signal to noise ratio.
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➑️
Sure, try 50 ohms in place of 300. Most pre's that had adjustments didn't go below 300 ohms, you will attenuate the mic level affecting the signal to noise ratio.
Awesome, thank you very much indeed!! This is a major gift for me, wow. Exciting! Nerd horn activated!

Indeed, I already have 50 Ohm as an option on the ADM and it does the most delicious oldschol tone. Warm and dark and relaxed, like dark chocolate. Can't wait to find out what tones I can find with this little marvel between mics and V272.

Sorry to derail the thread for a second.
Old 2nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by weave ➑️
Hell YES!
Here's a teaser. Blue is vintage, red is a modern 421 with some filtering. A couple of clicks on the low-cut should get it bang on, but I'll confirm.

With regards to moving towards production, I'll start a new thread for some market research.



Boris, the pot-in-a-box should do the job for you. It's cool to see ideas sparked.


Chris
Attached Thumbnails
EV RE320 - Mods-preview.png  
Old 2nd January 2021
  #16
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm just going to leave this photo here as a 'placeholder post' and wait to see if I am in slightly better voice tomorrow morning for the modded RE-320 vs RE-20 shootout on voice-over.

I am otherwise itching to roll tape!

The first point worth making is that the RE-320 is a good 6dB hotter than the RE-20. Is this part of your mod Chris or is this an inherent property of the 320?

I'll be using a Cranborne EC-2 preamp with the gains set to max at +68.5dB and recording straight into Logic at 24/48k via a Metric Halo 2882 3d.

The other thing that comes to mind is how useful it would be to have an unmodded RE-320 for comparison so we can hear what Chris' mod has achieved in comparison to a stock unit. Of course, he has the freq graphs to show this more or less on paper. Hmm... I'm more than tempted to just order one and return it after testing, unless anyone has one they could send me.

I will edit this post by adding in some WAVs tomorrow, I promise!

---

EDIT - here are the WAVs as promised!





It's not my finest voice-over work but it meets the purpose of the test in terms of an illustration, I think.

No processing of any kind, except some gain adjustment in Logic. (So yeah - mouth clicks galore!)

- RE-20 switch was obviously set to 'flat'
- Chris has removed the switch on his RE-320 so I'm guessing that is 'flat' as per his mod as he'd like you to hear it

(You can download the original files at 16/44.1k direct from Soundcloud)

Just a reminder that this is the same take with the same preamps, and I stood between the two mics as accurately and precisely as I could at about 4" away (see photo). I would therefore say the capsule alignment and source/distance consistency is about as good as it gets in the real world, but I'm sure we can expect a visit from the Gearslutz test-police who make it their business to trash the methodology of just about any shootout not performed under lab conditions in an anechoic chamber, so to them I say... scroll on, nothing for you to hear here.

I think I will hold off on my own impressions until a few other people have had a listen. I know what I'm hearing in my Amphion One15s and my Sennheiser HD600s, but then I'm the creator of the clips and intimately familiar with my own voice (duh!) so it's a bit easier for me to pick up on the differences.

What do you think?

---

PS Abject apologies to Chris for being so slow with this!
Attached Thumbnails
EV RE320 - Mods-8f68c32c-fdeb-4168-9cff-1b1040e6eb4f_1_201_a.jpg  

Last edited by James Lehmann; 3rd January 2021 at 10:53 AM..
Old 2nd January 2021
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
James,

That'll be the neodymium capsule giving a stronger magnetic field = more voltage output. My mod reduces the output in a specific range, that's all.

I can put the EV PCB in the post if you want to reverse the mod - you'll need a soldering iron and a couple of screwdrivers.

You'll only need to remove the bottom - https://www.jeffgeerling.com/blog/20...tro-voice-re20

Really interested to see what you think!

Chris
Old 3rd January 2021
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I've started a new thread here: Market Research - Passive Mic Filters

For the passive filtering discussion. Bit of market research. It'd be cool to get this off the ground, and there's lots of opportunity for forum members to shape the direction of that project.


James,

Many thanks for the clips. I'll dig out some headphones and have a listen. I'm really curious to hear the difference.

If you want an impression of the RE320 without mods, you could simply cut one of the wires to my notch filter.

All the best,
Chris
Old 3rd January 2021
  #19
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 ➑️
If you want an impression of the RE320 without mods, you could simply cut one of the wires to my notch filter.
Eek! Not going to do that!

But... I was wondering if it would be possible to employ the now otherwise redundant switch on the RE-320, so you could switch between 'stock' and 'mod' versions in the same body?

Just an idea for the next one!
Old 3rd January 2021
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
You're welcome to do it if you like - I really won't mind!

I was trying to come up with a way of keeping the switch. Maybe between my flat setting, and EV's "kick" curve. It'd need some modification of the circuit board, but could be done.

Chris
Old 5th January 2021
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Wow. For me the modded RE320 quite comfortably beats the RE20 on that voiceover. And in a cool sort of vintagey sounding darker/smoother way.

FFS, now I want a 320 to mod hahahaha
Old 5th January 2021
  #22
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm just listening back to these clips after a couple of days and I think it's quite remarkable what Chris has achieved here.

He's basically turned an RE-320 into an RE-20 with a 6dB hotter output and a slightly smoother top end. With a bit of standard processing (EQ/Comp etc) that most of us would engage anyway, I would say it will become almost impossible to tell these two mics apart.

So aside from now being a killer voice-over mic in its own right, Chris' modification for the RE-320 surely makes it of serious interest to folks with slightly less 'gain-rich' preamps who would like 'the RE-20 sound' but without having to add a 3rd-party hardware boost (e.g. Cloudlifter etc).

Unfortunately I'm not a bass player or I would stick the mic on a bass cab. but I might try some percussion later as well.

Amazing job Chris!
Old 5th January 2021 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann ➑️
I'm just listening back to these clips after a couple of days and I think it's quite remarkable what Chris has achieved here.

He's basically turned an RE-320 into an RE-20 with a 6dB hotter output and a slightly smoother top end. With a bit of standard processing (EQ/Comp etc) that most of us would engage anyway, I would say it will become almost impossible to tell these two mics apart.

So aside from now being a killer voice-over mic in its own right, Chris' modification for the RE-320 surely makes it of serious interest to folks with slightly less 'gain-rich' preamps who would like 'the RE-20 sound' but without having to add a 3rd-party hardware boost (e.g. Cloudlifter etc).

Unfortunately I'm not a bass player or I would stick the mic on a bass cab. but I might try some percussion later as well.

Amazing job Chris!
Try whatever you have, pretty please! Acoustic guitar? Anything.

To me it plain sounds better than that RE20. By a good margin. But then to me there is also such a thing as a great RE20 and a not so great one. The older ones and PL20's tend to sound delicious to me whereas the newer ones a little pointier. Yours is a little pointy up top. But the modded RE320 is smooth af and creates a dreamy place. Wow.

I have to agree, pretty remarkable stuff. Might make the demand for these go up. Should do.
Old 5th January 2021
  #24
Lives for gear
 
chet.d's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Agree w James & Boris. Top end is clearly nicer on the modded RE-320 on these clips. Interesting.
I have an RE20 and agree, they seemingly vary a bit so, ymmv depending the RE20 being compared I reckon.
Old 6th January 2021 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
The older [RE-20's] and PL20's tend to sound delicious to me whereas the newer ones a little pointier. Yours is a little pointy up top.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chet.d ➑️
Agree w James & Boris. Top end is clearly nicer on the modded RE-320 on these clips. Interesting. I have an RE20 and agree, they seemingly vary a bit so, ymmv depending the RE20 being compared I reckon.
Yep - as you guys surmised, my RE-20 is brand new just out of the box. Probably the stiff diaphragm still needs ironing, or perhaps it's the 'crumbling foam syndrome' of the vintage models that eventually smooths out the top end over time.

But I agree - in its raw state, if someone asked me to choose one of these mics for a commercial job tomorrow, I'd be reaching for the modded RE-320 rather than the RE-20.

Either way, these clips are basically so close you'd think there's the same mic design in there but that Electrovoice have deliberately added some components to 'hype' the sound and make it more 'modern'; it's these added and seemingly unnecessary components that Chris seems to have done such a good job of hunting down and destroying/replacing so that the sound of the raw (and better) RE-20-like mic comes through.

RE-320s are quite a bit cheaper than RE-20s.

It's all very interesting!

Last edited by James Lehmann; 6th January 2021 at 09:31 AM..
Old 8th January 2021
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
It's really nice to read those comments. Thanks, all, for the kind words.

At the mo, RE320s are slightly over half the price of an RE20. The parts to do this mod cost less than Β£10, so it's great value for money in that regard.

James, when you've finished trying out the RE320 (no rush, really!), I'll see about re-introducing the "kick" curve for some more flexibility. Likely keep the 300Hz dip, and maybe allow some of the 5kHz peak through..? - Undecided.

For now, I really appreciate the fact that people have taken the time to listen and compare, and of course huge thanks to James for posting the clips.

Cheers, all.

Chris
Old 8th January 2021 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 ➑️
It's really nice to read those comments. Thanks, all, for the kind words.

At the mo, RE320s are slightly over half the price of an RE20. The parts to do this mod cost less than Β£10, so it's great value for money in that regard.

James, when you've finished trying out the RE320 (no rush, really!), I'll see about re-introducing the "kick" curve for some more flexibility. Likely keep the 300Hz dip, and maybe allow some of the 5kHz peak through..? - Undecided.

For now, I really appreciate the fact that people have taken the time to listen and compare, and of course huge thanks to James for posting the clips.

Cheers, all.

Chris
To me on that clip the modded one really sounds rather special. The high mids and S's are classy af for voice. Maybe more so than I normally feel about RE20's, even the good ones. Makes me want one, although I don't need it.
Old 9th January 2021
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Well, once James has finished with the RE320, I'd be happy to post it down to you for evaluation.

PM me if you'd like to set that up.

Chris
Old 15th January 2021
  #29
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've done a little bit more recording with Chris' modified RE-320 vs my own RE-20.

Normally I would have invited a drummer in to record some Kick, but for obvious reasons this isn't permitted at the moment so y'all will have to make do with my percussion and my own poor playing. (Don't have a drum set here myself.)

I have four clips for you - 2 using a Sri Lankan Daula and 2 using a Malagasy Djembe.

The Daula was miked on the top skin and the Djembe was miked right by the foot near the floor to get maximum boomy low end, both around 20cm away.

Please note - neither of these are 'performance miked', it's just for comparative purposes (as is my playing!).

Daula, head - RE-320 (modded)


Daula, head - RE-20


Djembe, foot - RE-320 (modded)


Djembe, foot - RE-320 (modded)


(SoundCloud clips are all downloadable at full res 24/48k)

Recording chain exactly as before, ie Camden preamps (Cranborne EC-2) >> Metric Halo 2882 3d >> 24/48k Logic

Preamp gain was obviously drastically reduced from the previous vocal clips down to +35.5dB and 41dB respectively, the RE-320 being a good 6dB hotter than the RE-20, as previously noted.

No processing of any kind except files levelled to -10dBFS.

PS Here's a pic of the Daula just for interest (obviously that's not how I miked it!). It's a Sri Lankan drum used in religious ceremonies and is unusual in that one side is played with a beater and the other side with the hand. It's a mighty fine drum!
Attached Thumbnails
EV RE320 - Mods-e9cd3e1b-9355-4e10-8c12-e9fc2efe96c0_1_201_a.jpg  
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 5901 views: 1897000
Avatar for Paul_G
Paul_G 4 days ago
replies: 62 views: 68745
Avatar for Alex Kretov
Alex Kretov 27th May 2019
replies: 79 views: 46130
Avatar for Stewix
Stewix 20th November 2017
replies: 4 views: 789
Avatar for yolo123
yolo123 11th November 2016
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump