mxl 603 vs. oktava mk-012

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by wooldl, Jan 16, 2006.


  1. wooldl

    wooldl Supporting Member

    Messages:
    863
    Joined:
    May 23, 2003
    Location:
    NE 1/4 Section 35
    I am looking for a small condensor mic for recording acoustic guitar and mandolin. I've heard good and bad on these two options and both fit my budget (no more that $200). What are your thought, experiences and recommendations?

    Thanks

    Dale
     
  2. onemind

    onemind Member

    Messages:
    3,588
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    Oceanside, NY
    From what I've hard the Oktavas are no longer Russian made, the earliest ones were, and some of them were quite good (though some were quite awful!) I had a matched pair which worked nicely though the machining on the bodies and threads for the capsules was poor. I think now it's a push use price as a gauge they should perform very similarly. If you can swing it a pair of Rode NT5s (under 400 street price) is a good value.
     
  3. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,452
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MD
    I have a pair of 603s. One sounds better than the other. Both are bright.
     
  4. justicetones

    justicetones Member

    Messages:
    641
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    So Cal.
    I have two Russian made and two Chinese made Octava's MK012.

    The Russian one's do sound better to me than the Chinese. That said the Chinese don't sound bad.

    I would agree with
    onemind on the Rode's. I have heard good things about them but have not used them yet.
     
  5. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    Messages:
    13,258
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    On Your Mother's Couch
    Have you considered a Studio Projects C1 (retails for $199)? I have a C3 on the way and can't wait to give it a work out.
     
  6. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,448
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    >>From what I've hard the Oktavas are no longer Russian made, the earliest ones were, and some of them were quite good <<

    The real Oktavas are not Chinese.

    Oktava's Russian factory is still making the real ones. The problem is that their former Britain-based importer thinks they own the Oktava name and designs, and have (perhaps unlawfully?) licensed a Chinese factory to produce them.

    The Russian factory is, needless to say, very upset about this.

    The MK or MC012 Russian mics that I own are very nicely finished and machined, and I think they're excellent mics. In fact, they often turn up in very serious, high end studios, and are used on lots of label projects.

    You can still get Russian product at the Sound Room, and other places. The matched sets are an excellent buy.

    I've got a lot of mics, and have owned Neumann KM 140s and KM 184s, and have often recorded with the older KM84s, and I like the Oktavas just as much, though they are different sounding, with a softer and rounder high end (I like to describe them as having a less overemphasized high end). They are currently my overhead mics of choice, over the Neumann and the Bruel & Kjaer sets, which gives you an idea of how natural I think they sound.

    The B&Ks are better on acoustic guitar, IMHO, and the Neumanns are about tied (tho different), but they are many times the price of the Oktavas. I actually prefer the Oktavas on my grand piano. Although I feel that mics are more important than preamps, I have found that the Oktavas match up better to some preamps than others.
     
  7. wooldl

    wooldl Supporting Member

    Messages:
    863
    Joined:
    May 23, 2003
    Location:
    NE 1/4 Section 35
    Thanks guys,

    I actually bought one of each and am going to A/B them myself. I found some good prices on eBay and (after reading on OktavaUSA about the physical difference in Russian and Chinese MK012) chose a mic. I also found a good price on a 603S w/ Mogami wiring for cheap. I'll check em out and report back, maybe try to post an mp3 or two.:BEER

    Adios.

    Dale
     

Share This Page