MCA SP1 mic as reviewed in Tape Op #60

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

User avatar
digitaldrummer
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2104
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: Austin, Texas
Contact:

Post by digitaldrummer » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:01 pm

I just ordered a pair - why not at $70? Anyone had the Jim Williams mod done? I've looked a bit but have not found info on it yet. Is it more than just replacing a few caps?

What I have seen so far says that it is probably the same "Schoeps" circuit and same capsule as the MXL 603/991/990 - actually I'm curious to see if they are just like the 990, which has that big body around the tiny capsule. lots of stuff here:

http://www.prodigy-pro.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21005

Mike

Jim Williams
tinnitus
Posts: 1135
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:19 am
Location: beautiful Carlsbad, CA
Contact:

Post by Jim Williams » Fri Aug 10, 2007 8:56 am

The mods to these include new, fast RF jfets, fast bipolar transistors, Dale RN55 military resistors, MIT multiCap signal capacitors. The bandwidth is raised 3 octaves on the tops, low end is flat to below 20 hz. The DC converter is reworked to allow 55 volts to polarize the capsule, up from 40. This increases the output about 5 db while the very low noise transistors lower the noise floor. This is a very quiet mic.
Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

User avatar
linus
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 674
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Post by linus » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:33 pm

Jim,

Thanks for chiming in. What is the cost on upgrading a pair?

Jim Williams
tinnitus
Posts: 1135
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:19 am
Location: beautiful Carlsbad, CA
Contact:

Post by Jim Williams » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:16 pm

Those are $125 excluding shipping.
Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

User avatar
rhythm ranch
mixes from purgatory
Posts: 2793
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: Corrales, NM

Post by rhythm ranch » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:33 pm

linus wrote:What is the cost on upgrading a pair?
Jim Williams wrote:Those are $125 excluding shipping.
Just confirming: $125 for a pair?

Jim Williams
tinnitus
Posts: 1135
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:19 am
Location: beautiful Carlsbad, CA
Contact:

Post by Jim Williams » Sat Aug 11, 2007 6:47 am

Sorry, it's $125 each.
Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

hairylarry
audio school
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:17 pm
Location: Jonesboro, AR
Contact:

I bought two MCA SP-1s

Post by hairylarry » Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:30 pm

Hi,

It's my hobby to find mics cheap that work good so when I read the review I was definitely interested.

I bought two from PSSL and they came in less then a week. In spite of the 100 degree heat I set an x/y stereo pair up and recorded some acoustic guitar.

I am very pleased. I would describe the sound as open, clear, and detailed. In some places I got too much pick noise or it seemed overly dynamic (a loud chop very loud indeed). The room, however, is small and hard and in spite of my gobo could be contributing to this percussive nature.

I am looking forward to using the SP-1s again in the future. Maybe on some videos when I come back inside.

I would also like to hear what other people have used them for and how they work for them.

Thanks,

Hairy Larry

User avatar
digitaldrummer
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2104
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: Austin, Texas
Contact:

Post by digitaldrummer » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:21 pm

I just used one (stock--haven't even had a chance to mod it yet) on flugal horn yesterday - through an ART Digital MPA (retubed) and it was surprisingly nice. Initially I had an AT4033 up and it was so brittle sounding. yuck. I also tried a Nady RSM-2 through an OSA MP1c - OK, but not the one. I tried the SP1 (through the MPA) for kicks and ended up leaving it up for the remainder.

hairylarry
audio school
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:17 pm
Location: Jonesboro, AR
Contact:

Bad ground to case

Post by hairylarry » Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:27 pm

Hi,

On one of my two SP-1s I was getting some hum. I waved my hand at it and it hummed more. I touched it and it hummed loud.

PSSL couldn't exchange it but did send me warranty info.

I did a careful dissassembly. Easy enough. A little loose. I reassembled it tight and hooked it back up. It still hummed. Experimenting I could touch the head or the xlr connector fine. Just the body of the mic hummed. (The black cylinder with MCA SP-1 written on it)

There is a key slot in this cylinder which is supposed to tighten against a shiny piece of metal to ground it.

I stripped about an inch of wire and twisted and folded it into a shim. I folded it over the body where it is keyed and is supposed to ground to the chassis. Then I reassembled it tight.

Ground good. Hum gone.

With this mic it is easy to loosen the body when positioning the mic. Loosening the swivel mount may actually loosen the body. This could cause the same hum problem.

Thanks,

Hairy Larry

User avatar
Dr Rubberfunk
pushin' record
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:01 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Post by Dr Rubberfunk » Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:06 pm

Hello folks - my first post on the boards, and I hope it won't be my last! Only just started getting the magazine in the UK, and I too was intrigued by the SP-1 review - anyone got the scoop on where to buy them in the UK? (or Europe?)

I know a few stores (PSSL included) will ship internationally, but payment isn't always that straightforward. I'm keeping an eye on ebay too ...

Short of that, I might have to get a friend stateside to pick up a pair and ship them over to me ....

Anyway - enjoying the magazine immensely, and learning just as much on the forum already. Hope to be able to contribute some of my meagre knowledge at some point too :wink:

Trick Fall
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 413
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:09 pm
Location: Long Island

Post by Trick Fall » Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:51 am

Bought a pair for 70.00 how could you not? So far have only used for vocals and I actually like them a lot. I am hoping to try them out on some percussion and acoustic guitar this weekend. Was definitely glad to have seen that review.

cashed checks
gimme a little kick & snare
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 2:11 pm
Location: chicago
Contact:

Post by cashed checks » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:15 pm

can someone familiar with this mic help me diagnose a problem i've been having? it might just be a design issue but i'm a musician, not a techie.

i posted a thread in the gear forum:
http://swan.he.net/~tapeop/viewtopic.ph ... 614#425614

aitikin
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 424
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:30 am

Post by aitikin » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:58 am

I consider them great for the price tag. Mark Rubel gave me 2 of them for helping him out and he commented that he finds them to be quite usable.
"It's not a recording studio without a lava lamp"
~Mark Rubel

"Don't meddle in the affairs of a patent dragon, for thou art tasty and good with ketchup." ~ohcrapitssteve

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 135 guests