Are MXL 990 and 991 really crap?

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Are MXL 990 and 991 really crap?

Post by otto-bot » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:04 pm

So hear is the deal. I'm new to mics, I'm not sure I want to start out with anything expensive. I was considering just s SM57 to start but I'm also in the market for monitors and will most likely be getting some KRKs and I can across a package with these 2 mics and some other junk to get me going. Are they worth bothering with? I'm mostly looking to use them for vocals.

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Post by chovie d » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:47 pm

$99 for the pair. I use the big one on vocals and the lil guy on acoustic guitars. They work fine for me. You'll need a pop filter and phantom power.
I havent tried em for any other aplication like say micing a cabinet and Im no expert, just making recordings in my home. I dig em.
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Post by Michael_Joly » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:48 pm

$100 for two mics that use a capsule copied from the Neumann KM-84 driving a Schoeps-inspired transformerless circuit and are upgradeable? - not crap by any means. While the 990 looks like a side address, large diaphragm condenser it has the same small diameter capsule as the 991. So this set is really two different flavors of SDC, not a large / small combo. But I've a got a client who loves his modified 990 for voice-over work so it could work for vocals in a pinch by working it close with a pop filter.

But the MXL 2003 / 603 package for $170 at Full Compass would give you a true large diaphragm condenser sound and a small diaphragm mic. Very versatile set up.

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Post by studiodog » Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:19 am

I've used them for overheads - not bad
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Post by otto-bot » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:12 am

Michael_Joly wrote:$100 for two mics that use a capsule copied from the Neumann KM-84 driving a Schoeps-inspired transformerless circuit and are upgradeable? - not crap by any means. While the 990 looks like a side address, large diaphragm condenser it has the same small diameter capsule as the 991. So this set is really two different flavors of SDC, not a large / small combo. But I've a got a client who loves his modified 990 for voice-over work so it could work for vocals in a pinch by working it close with a pop filter.

But the MXL 2003 / 603 package for $170 at Full Compass would give you a true large diaphragm condenser sound and a small diaphragm mic. Very versatile set up.
Interesting mod. I wonder if my money would be better spend buying a $300 mic rather than a $50 mic + paying for the mod?

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Post by KennyLusk » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:00 am

otto-bot wrote:
Michael_Joly wrote:$100 for two mics that use a capsule copied from the Neumann KM-84 driving a Schoeps-inspired transformerless circuit and are upgradeable? - not crap by any means. While the 990 looks like a side address, large diaphragm condenser it has the same small diameter capsule as the 991. So this set is really two different flavors of SDC, not a large / small combo. But I've a got a client who loves his modified 990 for voice-over work so it could work for vocals in a pinch by working it close with a pop filter.

But the MXL 2003 / 603 package for $170 at Full Compass would give you a true large diaphragm condenser sound and a small diaphragm mic. Very versatile set up.
Interesting mod. I wonder if my money would be better spend buying a $300 mic rather than a $50 mic + paying for the mod?
To be honest with you...no. A $300 mic can't even touch what your modded 990 or 603 would sound like. There are a few in the $500 range that could compete (4047 comes to mind) but really only a very few.
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Post by rty5150 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:21 pm

KennyLusk wrote:
otto-bot wrote:
Michael_Joly wrote:$100 for two mics that use a capsule copied from the Neumann KM-84 driving a Schoeps-inspired transformerless circuit and are upgradeable? - not crap by any means. While the 990 looks like a side address, large diaphragm condenser it has the same small diameter capsule as the 991. So this set is really two different flavors of SDC, not a large / small combo. But I've a got a client who loves his modified 990 for voice-over work so it could work for vocals in a pinch by working it close with a pop filter.

But the MXL 2003 / 603 package for $170 at Full Compass would give you a true large diaphragm condenser sound and a small diaphragm mic. Very versatile set up.
Interesting mod. I wonder if my money would be better spend buying a $300 mic rather than a $50 mic + paying for the mod?
To be honest with you...no. A $300 mic can't even touch what your modded 990 or 603 would sound like. There are a few in the $500 range that could compete (4047 comes to mind) but really only a very few.
adk hamburg and vienna are in that category. i love mine and whenever i am just too lazy to pull out my mojave audio ma-200, the hamburg is easily the next mic i reach for. in no way would i even call it a substitute, it is about 80-90% the ma-200. at about 20-25% the price.

rich

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Post by KennyLusk » Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:39 pm

I didn't think about the ADK stuff because I don't have any experience with it but I've been told by sources I trust that they're excellent mic's.
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Post by FrugalGuitarist.com » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:07 pm

Though I haven't heard the 991 pencil, I didn't like the 990 much. Just a bit more expensive at $150 (or less on eBay), I like the AT2020/2021 studio pack better. Similar arrangement, 2 SDCs with one disguised as a side address LDC. Nice crisp resonse and tight low end. Great on acoustic, good on vocals and amps.
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mxl 990-not total crap

Post by snoopy23 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:22 pm

I pulled out the two inner screens of my MXL 990 and was very impressed with the resulting sound. A lot more "airy", well worth the 5 minutes with a pair of needlenose. I would suggest this step to anyone with a 990 before spending more money on a mic with similar results.
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Re: mxl 990-not total crap

Post by naivesound » Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:31 pm

snoopy23 wrote:I pulled out the two inner screens of my MXL 990 and was very impressed with the resulting sound. A lot more "airy", well worth the 5 minutes with a pair of needlenose. I would suggest this step to anyone with a 990 before spending more money on a mic with similar results.
I just did the same thing to my MXL 990 this morning and what a world of difference
it made in the clarity. A "breath" of fresh air on a $100 mic!

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Re: mxl 990-not total crap

Post by Michael_Joly » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:31 pm

naivesound wrote:
snoopy23 wrote:I pulled out the two inner screens of my MXL 990 and was very impressed with the resulting sound. A lot more "airy", well worth the 5 minutes with a pair of needlenose. I would suggest this step to anyone with a 990 before spending more money on a mic with similar results.
I just did the same thing to my MXL 990 this morning and what a world of difference
it made in the clarity. A "breath" of fresh air on a $100 mic!
Now just imagine if the capsule housing was modified to eliminate the diaphragm set-back "tunnel coloration" then mounted in a modifed low-diffraction saddle instead of that brass baffle ring that causes edge diffraction coloration, (with the redundent capsule diaphragm screen removed) then the electronics upgraded with a better input coupling cap to eliminate the harsh ceramic cap bite and hash, then the FET upgraded to improve transient response, then the interstage coupling caps enlarged and upgraded to extend the circuit bass cut-off by two octaves.

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MXL 990 mods

Post by snoopy23 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:13 am

Now just imagine if the capsule housing was modified to eliminate the diaphragm set-back "tunnel coloration" then mounted in a modifed low-diffraction saddle instead of that brass baffle ring that causes edge diffraction coloration, (with the redundent capsule diaphragm screen removed) then the electronics upgraded with a better input coupling cap to eliminate the harsh ceramic cap bite and hash, then the FET upgraded to improve transient response, then the interstage coupling caps enlarged and upgraded to extend the circuit bass cut-off by two octaves.

Huh? You mean put the shiny thingy with the doohickey in a whatchamacallit with the thingamabob? Oh, I see now. I tried to change the cap ( to a nice Red sox cap I have barely worn), but the mic was self-conscious about going bald and wouldn't take the old cap off.

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Post by Michael_Joly » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:48 am

LOL, its sort of a pleasant form of OC disorder. I think I have a touch of musical Turrets syndrome as well.

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Post by kingmetal » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:40 am

I love my 990 - it's a great starter mic. It won't melt your ears with sweet buttery sound out of the box, but for the price I don't think anything can touch it. Buy one, then mod it later instead of buying a new mic!

Never really ended up getting into the 991. I've got one that I believe I traded for the 990 single with the shock mount and I wish I had the shock-mount still instead of the 991.

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