What to do with this Røde NT1A? Suggestions?

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Deadly Mix

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I (obviously) have a Røde NT1A. I have no use whatsoever for such an unremarkable "bedroom studio" level mic. We have high-end mics from Neumann, Sony, and RCA that do pretty much all the work.
Throwing it in the trash seems like a waste and they don't go for enough money to waste the effort selling it. So I came to the conclusion a few years ago now that it might be cool to gut it and try to make something great enough that it might get used. Maybe even good enough to use on vocals if I'm lucky.

Since then, it hasn't been cared for. It was left on a mic stand in someone's basement after a jam session for an entire summer and forgotten about.
A month or so in, somebody decided it was a good idea to open the basement windows and never closed them for 2 humid months.
Tried plugging it in after I picked it up at the end of that summer and it didn't work. Since then, it's been an occasional toy for my 2yr old.

So...
Here's where we're at:
- Haven't tried it since that day but I assume the circuitry sustained some sort of damage from humidity or even fog rolling down in that basement.
- Got 1 screw out and the other appears stripped. Kit for removing stripped electronics screws (I forget the brand name but undoubtedly the same one you have in the blue plastic sleeve) didn't work but I'm confident I'll figure out a way to remove the stripped (and locked tight due to corrosion on the screw or whatever that I cant see... idk) flush screw at the base and open it up.

Assuming I get it open soon, any suggestions for building a dream mic?
Remember that we have actual dream mics so a U87 knockoff is of no interest BUT I'm perfectly willing to pay for an ACTUAL vintage C12/U47/Elam251/M50 capsule-- if whatever capsule we're talking fits in the basket and it can be matched with worthwhile circuitry. I haven't gotten it apart but I live in reality and understand if there isn't enough room inside to add a tramsformer/tube or whatever else would be ideal (though that'd be amazing).

Anyway; that's the background on it, how high standards would need for satisfaction, and the financial limit... There isn't one.

What is the pinnacle of what could possibly be achieved to make this mic desirable with little to no limit on the budget?

A Røde NT1A is useless here but something truly special would be worth the time, money, and effort.

Worst case scenario, a Neumann TLM series mic might be worth doing but only if there was no better option and it would have to be simple to be something like that and still worth it.

[I don't expect any here but PLEASE no "Hey, NT1A is a good mic" comments. I'm not being a snob, I'm being practical. There's no need for an NT1A in a studio with a C800-G available. No sane client would ever choose the Røde over the first gen U87, let alone the Sony.]
 

kingkorg

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So, you are a pro who has access to C800 etc... You don't want to waste time and effort selling it. The mic doesn't work because someone left the window open, and you can't even open it. No sane client would ever use it, but maybe if you put a 400$ capsule, transformer and tube inside?

My suggestion is go make money and music with those awesome mics you have, dont waste precious time on a rubbish mic with bipolars, crapy harsh capsule in a body that rings like a church bell, headbasket that everyone mods. There is nothing good about that mic, it's a door stop. It's not really the quietest mic ever. Not even worth using it as a talkback mic, it looks unprofessional.
 

Bo Deadly

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dont waste precious time on a rubbish mic with bipolars, crapy harsh capsule in a body that rings like a church bell, headbasket that everyone mods. There is nothing good about that mic, it's a door stop. It's not really the quietest mic ever. Not even worth using it as a talkback mic, it looks unprofessional.
Really? Easy now.

I have never performance tested that mic (have you?) but Rode does not make "crapy" microphones. With the exception of a few really old mics, you do know that they all have bipolar transistors in them right? You do know that the self noise of a mic will be well below the ambient noise of a recording even in a relatively quiet space right?

Could it be that you're bashing the NT1A because it works as well as your overpriced mics and you're just trying to come up with excuses for paying for a name? The Rode NT1A is apparently the Toyota RAV4 of microphones and I would be happy to own and use either. Use a label maker to make a label with some cryptic numbers about dB SPL and SNR and put it over the badge. If an artist can't sing properly because they think an NT1A isn't good enough for them, then I'm pretty sure they're not good enough for an NT1A.
 
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kingkorg

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Sorry Bo Deadly, i was hoping the irony in my post would be obvious. But as the original author didn't want for anyone to praise the mic i went the other way.

I love Rode mics, this one included. I even dedicated a thread with in depth analysis, and possible mods. If Deadly Mix only used the search function, he might have stumbled upon it.

I sold the mic i modded to a known norwegian producer who asked me how many more i could make and said that he would buy as many as i can mod. I don't have the time or resources to do serial mic mods, but i did share this link with him, or just about anyone who is willing to try.

 
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Bo Deadly

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Sorry Bo Deadly, i was hoping the irony in my post would be obvious. But as the original author didn't want for anyone to praise the mic i went the other way.
Aaahhhhh, ok. Yeah, sarcasm does not translate without the inflection of spoken word. You have to add a [disclaimer] at the end if you do that in a written comment.

Glad to see you're not bonkers.
 

Ricardus

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Have another engineer in the studio make recordings with all of those mics, and listen to the samples in a double blind test, then decide what you want to do with it.
 

Deadly Mix

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Have another engineer in the studio make recordings with all of those mics, and listen to the samples in a double blind test, then decide what you want to do with it.
I'd like to point out that this topic revolves around mics we actually own, not hypotheticals. I'm very familiar with how all of these mics sound. We've shot them out for fun, we've tried different variations of using which for what, and heard them all countless times. It's simply not as good of a mic as the better mics. The NT1A is a "good for the price" mic. The other mics are simply great.

This is precisely the thing I mentioned I didn't want the discussion to turn into.
You won't convince me the NT1A is great as is because I've used it enough to know I'll never agree.

I'm just wanting to discuss ideas for mods.
I thought it could be interesting to see what ideas more experienced builders, like most of you here, might come up with.
What electronics? What capsule? Will it fit? Those type of things. I only gave the rest of the information to stress the point of how good its gotta be to be worth doing and how high the budget can be.
 

Khron

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Shot them out for fun? Double-blind, as Ricardus suggested? Sighted tests are nullified by confirmation bias, so... All your great mics are great, because you "know" they are.

Ignoring that, selling it would be a waste of effort (ie. getting a little bit of money out of it), but you're willing to shovel money INTO it... Hmm...
 

Deadly Mix

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Shot them out for fun? Double-blind, as Ricardus suggested? Sighted tests are nullified by confirmation bias, so... All your great mics are great, because you "know" they are.

Ignoring that, selling it would be a waste of effort (ie. getting a little bit of money out of it), but you're willing to shovel money INTO it... Hmm...
Yes, blind. Never letting the person who's choosing know what they're picking obviously or there'd be no purpose or even any fun to it. That's pretty basic. Can we just assume I'm neither an idiot nor recording my first song here and just assume from this point that iconic mics earned their reputation for a reason, so we can discuss interesting mods?
As for the 2nd part; dumping any money or time into repairing an NT1A, given its low cost and lack of use before it needed repair, isn't worth the trouble.
If its modified into something that is no longer an NT1A but, instead, something that sounds great and just looks like an NT1A-- That seems like an interesting project.

Have any ideas? Ever taken one apart and thought "Hey, this could fit a _____ from a ______ in here. I wonder what that would sound like"? Ever taken one apart and actually started swapping parts and ended up with something you really like? Did you settle for a more affordable component when you did it and wondered how much better it might still sound if you'd shelled out for an actual Neumann/AKG/Sony/Telefunken/etc component? Did you shell out for the vintage component and it sounded amazing?
That's the kind of response I was looking for.
 

CFB4

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I've an Aussie NT1A — replaced the capsule with an AA AK47 — sounds very good now. There's a big difference between the originals and the current ones (circuit wise), or so I am told.
 

Deadly Mix

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NT1-A has no internal structure other than a thick PCB holding capsule part with few caps and smd components. No good for mods.
Anyone got behringer tm1?
Thank you. That's actually incredibly helpful.
I suppose I'll just use it as a practice piece then. Maybe just try to repair whatever the humidity killed on it and, if I still feel froggy, replace the capsule with a knockoff 47 capsule or something.
 
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