Oktava MK-012 repair - loud pops and bangs

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Nov 2, 2015
Hi everyone!

I have a bunch of Oktava MK012s in my live mics case. 12 of them, to be more exact. 8 regular and 4 Oktamics. They're all pretty old and have done a lot of gigs but have been well taken care of.
On a few recent gigs I have noticed some of them starting to have some odd symptoms. They produce random loud pops and bangs. Not with vibration or being moved, regardless of signal level. They can be perfectly still and in a quiet room and then BANG. First time it happened I tried a different cable, still did it. When I got back I took the mic apart, re-soldered everything, tightened all screws, cleaned XLR and capsule contacts. Still does it. And now some others have developed this as well. Can't take them to gigs anymore, been using AKG C451EBs instead but I do love my Oktavas, that's why I have so many.

Anyone had this issue before? I would suspect either the FETs are going or coupling caps? What would be a good replacement FET? I have seen modders use ye olde 2SK170BL. Is it a drop in replacement when the rest of the circuit is stock? Or is there some other common issue with these? I have heard of others having this issue but can't find anything online. I'm not really looking to mod the mics, to me they sound great as-is.

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