Is the Oktava MK-012 mod worth it?
« on: November 29, 2019, 02:18:00 AM »
Assuming the mod is just the normal capacitor, resistor, and FET swap, is it worth it in a fully functional MK-012? I'm thinking I might buy a couple newer preamps to replace the Chinese ones I have, and I've heard varying things about them, and the mods in general.

I've heard that the newer Oktava mics include the mod changes, I've heard they don't, and I've heard numerous things about the Chinese ones, like them not working with Russian capsules (this has been proven to be false, my Chinese pres are using the hypercardioid capsules I bought from Oktava USA).

TL;DR is there anything better about the modded MK-012, and is it worth the money? Assuming it's the normal component swap Joly used to do.


Gus

Re: Is the Oktava MK-012 mod worth it?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2019, 09:19:07 AM »
Search this forum and the web you should find your answers.

IIRC the Scott Dorsly article is what that started the 012 stuff.

What did  Joly change?

IMO depending on what part were used to build the stock 012 the sound can change and you might not like it with the part changes(modded).

OneRoomStudios

Re: Is the Oktava MK-012 mod worth it?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 10:29:46 AM »
I've done a few of them. It's not a night-and-day difference - the original circuits are pretty good. I do notice a slight decrease in noise/graininess though. I think the best option is to get a new board from Russell Technologies  (http://russelltechnologies.co.uk/rt-012.html). His pcbs incorporate a few other mods and are easier to work with than the originals. Plus, you can keep the original board intact and pop it back in if you decide want a more "vintage" flavor at some point.

EmRR

Re: Is the Oktava MK-012 mod worth it?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 11:03:48 AM »
I have a pair of Bill Sitler's 'premium' version and a pair of stock preamps.  While Sitler's totally clear up the top end, they now lack something in the bottom as compared to another stock pair.   You'd only notice it through direct comparison. 

 I had a Neumann KM 140 for years, and.....it was the best of both worlds.  The Sitler matched the top of the Neumann, but did not have the bass quality.  The stock version matched the bass of the Neumann but lacked the clarity in the top.   
Best,

Doug Williams
Electromagnetic Radiation Recorders

"I think this can be better. Some kind of control that's intuitive, not complicated like a single knob" - Crusty

"Back when everything sounde

Gus

Re: Is the Oktava MK-012 mod worth it?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 01:45:27 PM »
I've done a few of them. It's not a night-and-day difference - the original circuits are pretty good. I do notice a slight decrease in noise/graininess though. I think the best option is to get a new board from Russell Technologies  (http://russelltechnologies.co.uk/rt-012.html). His pcbs incorporate a few other mods and are easier to work with than the originals. Plus, you can keep the original board intact and pop it back in if you decide want a more "vintage" flavor at some point.

J201?

Rocinante

Re: Is the Oktava MK-012 mod worth it?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2019, 02:26:56 PM »
Has anyone tried the Russel MXL 991 pcb? He seems to think its a good mod and might be a better candidate than the Oktava. Fwiw I modded mk-012 with a few cap changes and it definitely sounded better to my ears but not night and day.
If there's a harder way to do this, I haven't found it yet.

Re: Is the Oktava MK-012 mod worth it?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 08:21:55 AM »
Has anyone tried the Russel MXL 991 pcb? He seems to think its a good mod and might be a better candidate than the Oktava. Fwiw I modded mk-012 with a few cap changes and it definitely sounded better to my ears but not night and day.
I don't think the 991 would be as good. The Oktava capsules are really nice, and of course they have multiple patterns (and even some large and medium capsules for it). I don't know what the Russell board circuit is like, but the 991 definitely needs HF attenuation, or you need to use better capsules like the Mic-Parts ones (I have the 3U Audio ones, I believe the MP ones are the same, and if the 3U ones work on the 991 body they're the ones to grab because they're cheaper), or the Shuaiyin ones on the cheap end, and you'd have to do something about the vents on the body. I've heard of people taping them up, but I don't know how well that works since tape isn't hard like metal.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 08:26:26 AM by Icantthinkofaname »

Re: Is the Oktava MK-012 mod worth it?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2019, 01:00:33 AM »
Where do you buy the 3U audio capsules?  I can only find complete SDC mics for sale

—Mark

mutterd

Re: Is the Oktava MK-012 mod worth it?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2019, 02:10:36 AM »
I have a pair of early early 012’s that I modded and have loved for years, but recently I got a tube conversion kit that the AEG guys used to sell so I bought a new 012 with the intention of using it for the doner body and capsule for the mod...

The problem is - it’s amazing as is - quieter and more articulate than my modded ones, plus the build quality is worlds better...

I spoke with Marc from Microphone Boutique in Maine, he’s is an AEG and Oktava dealer, he sold me both the mod kit and the 012 - he explained that Oktava is now doing all the things people were doing as mods in the past in the new 012’s...

Marc is a great guy and can talk tech to so he’s a good resource - if you have any Oktava questions - he’s the guy.

Hope this helps.
Timothy


 

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