That means they’re more likely to need routine maintenance and repair. A small bump at 8 kHz on the EQ added a little sizzle without going overboard. Vocals through Revelation II sounded open, yet present. That’s not so much of a problem for vocalists or for miking instruments. Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5. Its recent tube mics—Genesis, the Genesis II, and Revelation—have aimed to compete with boutique mic manufacturers delivering “vintage” sounds, at not-quite-Neumann prices. I placed it at knee height, about six feet out and to the left of the rack tom (right-handed drummer's perspective). It seems odd that older technology is making a comeback, but there are reasons for this. Next, I used the mic on a 4 x 12 guitar cabinet during tracking for a punk/metal album. It's a good thing MXL didn't send two. It’s a high-quality vacuum tube condenser microphone. While close mic'ing is standard procedure, I was really concerned with capturing the sound of all four speakers coalescing. Eric Strebel 15,784 views Here we are, 20 years after the release of the original MXL 2001 microphone, and the company has maintained its place in the budget microphone game, while making some big moves toward the high-end. Anyone familiar with TAMA drum hardware will have the same reaction to learning that the respected drum maker is now selling mic stands: What took so long? Lewitt LCT-840 Reference-Class Tube Mic | Top Pick, 4. Tube condenser microphones are expensive, though. It’s one of those mics that singers can almost swallow. It’s primarily a vocal microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern, but it also works for some instruments. That’s impressive, but it doesn’t stop there. Let’s check this one out. See, state-of-the-art technology can’t capture the same recording characteristics of these incredible mics. Points to note: Not every condenser mic uses tubes, but most tube microphones are condensers. MXL and Mogami are part of the same parent company, explaining how premium cables don't bump up the retail price. It’s fair to say that the style of this tube microphone won’t appeal to every taste. The BadAax T-11A tube microphone also provides 3 gradient stages between each pickup pattern. This adaptability makes it ideal for vocalists, percussion, and a whole variety of musical instruments. The BadAax T-11A starts us off as the Best Budget tube condenser microphone. The versatility that a variable polar pattern microphone can add to your studio is hard to understate – do not assume that cardioid is the only pattern for vocals. The mic has been around a while now and won the ‘Pro Audio Review’s Excellence Award’ back in 2009. But it’s still out of reach for some fans with a price tag of almost 1000 dollars—at the time of writing. This mic is a must-have audio tool for the serious studio. Adjustable mic patterns can be some of the easiest stepping-stones between the sounds you get and the sounds you're trying to get – all at the simple twist of a knob. The remaining products are by price order, lowest to high. And the ambient noise rejection is impressive with the cardioid and Figure-8 patterns. This pro-level tube microphone behaves exactly as promised. And the power unit’s simple push-button controls allow for noiseless handling and simple operation. A tube circuit inside the mic’s casing amplifies the signal that travels to an audio interface or speaker. MXL’s Revelation tube studio mic comes with a remote power supply and variable pattern control. Lewitt’s LCT 840 is an exceptional dual-diaphragm tube microphone and our Top Pick for this guide. Vocalists who need a close, more direct sound love it. He's the owner of Audio Upgrades,... Vintage King co-founder Michael Nehra shares some of his love, knowledge, and practical advice for diving into the world of vintage audio gear, and then takes us behind the scenes for a walk through... Bill Cheney and Jim Romney are the men responsible for keeping the amazing legacy of Spectra Sonics, a legendary, if criminally unheralded, pro-audio company alive. The NTK Premium has a high-strength heat-treated steel mesh head. Physically, the mic's silhouette is similar to a Neumann U 47fet while remaining distinctive unto itself with a dark violet and black chrome finish, plus a -10 dB pad located on the back of the body. Who knows how I would have resisted a pair of Revelation IIs! Rode NTK Premium Valve Tube Condenser Mic. It’s possible to open this puppy up and modify it to alter the sound—if that’s your thing. Lewitt LCT-840 Reference-Class Tube Mic | Top PickView on Amazon. Your email address will not be published. Best of all is that audiophiles can swap the tube to customize its sound still further if they feel the need. They shine in studio environments but are also versatile tools when used for live performances. That’s invaluable as it gives the user fine-adjustment control over the cut-off frequency. My 7 reviews here look at some of the finest modern examples of these incredible audio tools. Its Class-A valve circuitry gives this beauty its warm audible charm. The penultimate pick goes to the Mojave Audio MA-200. They include the vacuum tube pre-amp, large 32mm gold diaphragm, and minimal handling noise. However, it could go down with a bang if mounted onto a boom stand that isn’t counter-weighted right. It’s a minor complaint considering the overall characteristics of the Rode NTK Premium. When I was in school at the University of Michigan, I did a lot of recital recording of ensembles and piano. They include a dedicated power supply, XLR cables, and a professional shock mount. I love diving into the latest and greatest in emerging technologies and seeing what they can do. It uses a handpicked EF86 pentode tube and a dual, gold-sputtered 6-micron diaphragm. The main exception to this arrangement is some ribbon mics). It can seriously obstruct the view when conducting podcasts or voiceovers. I've been using the same brand of head cleaner for a decade. Some artists may find it a tad gimmicky and incompatible with their approach, though. Also in the box is a 7-pin XLR Mogami® cable, mic cable, a metal shockmount, and a metal pop filter. My guide reviews 7 tube microphones that are in high demand. The MA-200 is a superb choice for anyone who demands that unmistakable vintage sound. Rode NTK Premium Valve Tube Condenser Mic, 5. The only con for me is that I just bought a new interface and am in the middle of paying that off, so the prospects of purchasing this mic right now are bleak. It’s also solvable—if necessary—by upgrading the tube. The dedicated power supply also takes up a little more desk space. Neumann Switchable M149 Tube Microphone. There’s little to fault with the Lewitt LCT-840. It’s awkward, though, if you need a mic in front of a computer screen. And the extended clarity adds an entire range of audio adjectives to its description. Consider the LCT 840 if it provides the tone you need for vocals or for miking musical instruments. Legendary acts like the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and others all used tube mics in their heyday. Tube mics have a certain warmth to them with natural compression and enhanced harmonics. Paired with a signature tone and the ability to sweep patterns, this mic was starting to sound like I could use it on anything.