When you pay a lot for a brand name mic (that is, if you even have the money in the first place) you are paying for a quality design, build and components, right? For the most part that’s true. But it is frustrating to know that you are also paying more simply for the brand name and in some cases the vintage of the mic, which implies a certain quality. Conversely, you may save money on a cheap mic, but it’s even more frustrating to hear the poor sounding results. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just take your cheap mic to a mic guru and have him soup it up into a super high-quality, boutique mic? Well, that’s exactly what Michael Joly of OktavaMod in Springfield, MA does. This boutique service from OktavaMod is the biggest step forward for home recordists in a long time and it’s the next big step up for your recordings. In fact, this aftermarket modifying and upgrading service is part of a bigger trend in audio products that I believe will become a huge part of the market in the next few years.
OktavaMod offers an array of awesome mods for Chinese and Russian-made condenser and ribbon microphones, as well as selling new modified mics. The newest product available is the first one to be offered under the Michael Joly Editions brand
– the MJE-K47H large diaphragm capsule head for popular 22 mm small diaphragm condenser mics (a.k.a. pencil condensers) like the MXL 603, the Nady CM95, etc. Michael Joly, President and founder of OktavaMod, sent me one to check out and it was totally amazing. The first thing I noticed about it was an extraordinarily clear, balanced signal. It was notably true-to-life. Working at a major studio I have access to many of the greatest mics ever made, and we’re especially strong in classic condensers. I put the MJE-K47H up against some of our more modern classic large diaphragm condensers – like the Neumann U 87 and the AKG 414 – and it was every bit as rich in the bottom and even more open and clear in the top end. In the time that I borrowed the MJE-K47H it became one of my favorite mics and certainly my go-to for all non-tube condenser tasks. If you’re looking for a smooth, velvety vocal mic I would generally go for a tube condenser. But when you need something crisp and accurate I would go for a more modern condenser design, and the MJE-K47H is my new favorite amongst some very tough competition in this realm. – read Michael Vecchio’s full review here – check out this thread about the MJE-K47H on GearSlutz.com.