MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

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goldenechos
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MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by goldenechos » Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:39 pm

I chose the PPA LD-tube because it was the only mic in the $300 price range offering multiple patterns, tube preamp and transformer coupled output. It also had 30-day money back guarantee!

The mic arrived promptly and well packed. The included case not too classy, but instead quite Top Secret styled. It will def. protect. All packed up it weighs about 15lbs! The mic itself weighing at least 4lbs. It seems well constructed and I was able to easily remove grill and casing to expose the capsule and electronics. There is not much in there. Aside from the capsule and necessary wiring, there are 10 caps, 10 resistors, 1 6072 tube and a transformer of unknown make. All the wiring and soldering appear solid and well done.

The shock-mount is OK. I must admit that the mic weighs quite a bit and I WOULD think twice about leaving it in the mount for long periods of time without checking the tension and overall condition of the shock-mount.

The power supply is OK. Not the military grade found with vintage mics, but it seems to work well and it is well constructed.

Inmy mobile studio I have only the Oktava MK-219 to compare this mic against. I honestly thought that I would not be able to notice the difference between the MK-219 and a $300 mic. I can.

The output is CONSIDRABLY HOTTER. The sound has more presence. The additional gain and sensitivity make it MUCH easier to get vocal and acoustic guitar sounds that I am happy with. In the past I relied upon the Bombfactory/ Digi BF76 (1176) plugin to get happy, using it on every track recorded with the MK-219. The PPA LD-2ube does not require the BF76, and even when I do use the BF76, it is much more subtle in manner.

The 9 patterns are very usable, and def. one of the biggest assets of this mic. You can control the amount of room in the recording, opening and closing the pattern to suit your needs! I have not used figure 8 yet, but I look forward to experimenting with it.

I wish I could compare it to a Peluso 251 or something... I thought about spending the cash for that mic instead, and I might still do that. Though I just became an Uncle last night, and so I might save the money to buy a plane ticket so I can go see the little guy!

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tiger vomitt
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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by tiger vomitt » Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:50 pm

thanks for the review, sounds like a good purchase

best of luck with it

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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube UPDATED

Post by goldenechos » Thu Oct 14, 2004 8:30 am

Ok, I have been using this mic (PPA LD-2ube) for almost a week now. Trying to use it as much as possible (doing the 9 to 5 in Manhattan, so still not enough!). I have recorded several songs, arranged for acoustic fingerstyle guitar and vocals, tracked with one mic, using both the LD-2ube AND the MK-219 simultaneously.

I can tell a major difference, and surprisingly I often prefer the MK-219!

Keep in mind that I searched high and low for my MK-219 (purchased 2 years ago as a pair w/ consecutive serial numbers and identical components from eBay $150). I am not implying that I have a magical pair of MK-219 mics, but I think I got some nice ones (took me 2 tries). I also added a FMR RNP to the equation (I was previously recording straight into the MBOX focusrite pres which have minimal gain and little headroom).

While the LD-2ube has a MUCH hotter output, I found that using both mics through a FMR RNP with gain adjusted to get similar RECORDED levels produced great results in the favor of the MK-219. I think the RNP really gives some muscle to the MK-219, and I was especially happy with the MK-219 response when I had the HIPASS Filter on…

I also cut some takes straight into the MBOX to compare with the RNP cuts. Again I tried to match the record levels of the two mics. This was harder with the MBOX pres, as the focusrite pres have much less headroom, making high gain settings tricky (without the use of a limiter). My results were not as striking, but I was still very happy with the MK-219.

Overall, I would say with a little work in the areas of placement and gain settings, the $75 Russian mic holds up strong to the $300 Chinese tube mic. The PPA LD-2ube is a good mic for the money. It is well built, transformer coupled and the multi-pattern selection is GREAT (though cardiod setting sounds best for what I am doing, my recording room/ apatment is small and unflattering). It does not have that over-hyped high-end common in Chinese mics. It is easier to get good sound from the LD-2ube (than with the MK-219), HOWEVER, as I already own the MK-219, I am not sure if it is a good upgrade for me. It is not enough of a step up to merit the cash spent. I think I will save my money and go for a hand built, American made mic when I can.

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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by slowblue » Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:33 am

Nice summary of the differences between the two. I'm leaning towards a 4050 based on your rec, or lack of one with the PPA.

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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by Mason » Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:34 am

I've been using the hell out of my LD-2ube for the last... it must be almost two years. Having a longer term perspective on this mic, I state that I am very happy with the sound and reliability of the mic.

The mic is normally in operation about twice a week for 12-hour stretches and, with changes in pattern, gets used for every instrument on the track: drums, guitars, electric bass, vocals, percussion... I move it from room to room, turn it on and off, unplug it, plug back in, swing it around on it's stand, use it to tenderize tough cuts of meat...

I record on a 424mkIII and the addition of a LDC was huge step forward in terms of sound quality. For those of you with a cassette 4-track and dynamic mics, I'd recommend stepping up. Also, I've brought it along to proper studios and the LD-2 always found its way onto the track.

On the downside: I don't think it's great for vocals. The 7-pin mic cable has been showing signs of age and will probably need replacing in a few months.

But I've had no problem with the shock mount, which is a common complaint with heavier, inexpensive mics.

In short: I've had my LD2 for a while now and I love it. It makes my little 4-track sound a thousand times better than it did with 57s and 58s. It's tough, it's serious, and the case has some serious 007 appeal. Best $300 I ever spent.

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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by goldenechos » Thu Oct 14, 2004 1:55 pm

I want to add that I discovered that a elastic was not properly fitted into the shock-mount in a couple of places. Once properly in place it feels quite secure. I now agree the shockmount is of good build.

I also agree with the what was said concerning vocals. for MY voice (which is the only voice I have recorded), the MK-219 sounds better. THOUGH, I must add that I did some backing vocals on a track for a friend and I chose the LD-2ube over the MK-219 for those...

I think my point is that, already owning a pair of MK-219 mics, I do not really see the LD-2ube (which is far cooler than other chinese tube mics I have tried) as enough of an upgrade. I have decided to try to save some more money and go for a Peluso 251, or maybe the AT 4060 or 4047 or....

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tiger vomitt
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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by tiger vomitt » Thu Oct 14, 2004 1:58 pm

4047's not a bad deal at all. theyre discontinued now so theyre a little cheaper than they were

i bet the 4060 sounds really good too

i wanna believe on the peluso tip... seems like a lot of people are scared to jump in the water

brooklyn yah

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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by jajjguy » Thu Oct 14, 2004 3:11 pm

Mason wrote:For those of you with a cassette 4-track and dynamic mics, I'd recommend stepping up.
I agree that condensors, even bad ones, are often a better match with 4track cassette recording. A lot of this is just because they have a hotter output, and the preamps on the 4track aren't up to the task of amplifying a dynamic mic cleanly. When I first got my C1000 to use with my old 4track, i thought it was the best mic ever.

This doesn't mean that condensors are better in general. Since upgrading my little recording setup (computer DAW w/ decent preamps&converters), i've found new use for dynamic mics. And i almost never use the C1000.

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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by b3groover » Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:00 pm

goldenechos wrote:I chose the PPA LD-tube because it was the only mic in the $300 price range offering multiple patterns, tube preamp and transformer coupled output.
Not really.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 3754670237

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 3755059558

goldenechos
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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by goldenechos » Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:20 am

b3groover wrote:
goldenechos wrote:I chose the PPA LD-tube because it was the only mic in the $300 price range offering multiple patterns, tube preamp and transformer coupled output.
Not really.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 3754670237

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 3755059558
Good Eye. I might pick-up one of those Apex mics to compare...
The ADK Generis LOOKS IDENTICAL to the PPA LD-2ube. The "spec sheet" is also identical, and I would not be suprised if they are made in the same factory, from and IDENTICAL design.

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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by supafuzz » Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:15 pm

is this the same mic as the nady 1050?

I have that and put a nos tube in it and it came to life..much much warmer
H
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goldenechos
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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by goldenechos » Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:45 pm

supafuzz wrote:is this the same mic as the nady 1050?

I have that and put a nos tube in it and it came to life..much much warmer
H
The 1050 looks different to me. But I just looked at the Nady site and the NADY 1150 is identical in both appearence and specs to the APEX 460 (not that too much info is available on either of them).

NADY is to microphone what Peavey is to guitar amp. :ar15:

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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by trodden » Wed Oct 27, 2004 3:13 pm

The apex stuff is junk.

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tiger vomitt
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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by tiger vomitt » Wed Oct 27, 2004 6:14 pm

goldenechos wrote:NADY is to microphone what Peavey is to guitar amp. :ar15:
fuck that - peavey, on occasion, has made some really awesome amps.

classic 50 2x12!
classic 30!

both are mega cool amps. granted, theyve made some total shit too..but not all of it was bad

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Stephen Horsley
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Re: MIC Review: PPA LD-2ube

Post by Stephen Horsley » Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:29 pm

"fuck that - peavey, on occasion, has made some really awesome amps. "


hell yes, ive got a classic 100 and love it to bits! apparently the roadmasters from the 80s are good too

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