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MXL V69 Tube Condenser Mic

Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:50 pm
by SawzAll
Been reading countless reviews on tube condenser mics. Today, I got my courage up and made a selection. I went to 'Guitar Center' ('shameless plug') and asked them if they would match 'Musician's Friend' (yet another shameless plug) for the price of this mic. They agreed, and sold it to me for $219 instead of $299. Which cinched the deal for me. So I pulled out my plastic and handed it to the nice man behind the counter that had tatoos all over his face and head. With tax, it came to ~$240.

What I bought is the MXL V69 Mogami Edition Tube Condenser Mic. It comes with an acoustic mic suspension, foam wind screen, the power supply, a special 7-pin Mogami cable (mic to power supply), a Mogami 3-pin XLR cable, and a nifty aluminum flight case. Plus - a three year warranty from MXL.

I hooked it all up and ran it into the Behringer 2200. But then, I realized there was a GE 5-star 5751 tube in my tube collection that didn't have anything to do. So taking the mic apart became the next high point of the day.

Never can keep my hands off a screwdriver - it seems.

It came apart easily enough. Rolled the stock 12AT7 tube out carefully, and in went the 5751. The original 12AT7 sounded quite nice in the mic, and for recording - which I don't do any more - that would be leaving well enough alone. The stock tube has a nice bass roll-off, but a Mullard 4024 would be the real upgrade replacement giving it an overall better recording quality. No Mullards in my collection right now <sigh>. However. the GE 5 star 5751 that I do have gives it a real punch without losing the mics subtle qualities on the highs. The bass has been much improved without making the mic lose any quality whatsoever.

Got some audio reports, and everyone noticed the difference in my sound without me fishing for compliments. Not to mention, I put another tube back into the audio chain. I may update this as the week goes on, as I need to see how well it works out with DX. Clarity and punch were easily recognized over my favorite mic until this time, the MXL V88. The V69 may yet work out to be part of my audio Voodoo. So far - it's amazing for the bang fer buck quality.

We will see . . .

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:05 pm
by !KANT
Niiiiice... Can we look forward to some sound clips of the comparisons??

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:19 pm
by SawzAll
Before I do that, I will hook up the DEQ 2496 and set it up.

This way, I can give an A/B comparison with and without EQing.

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:28 pm
by Dave457
Was thinking about one of these mic's, Did you ever get a audio clip?

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:17 pm
by SawzAll
Dave457 wrote:Was thinking about one of these mic's, Did you ever get a audio clip?
No; too many other fish to fry.

If you go that route with this mic, pop a Jan 4024 tube in it.
That should be a direct replacement for the cheap Chinese 12AT7 that comes with it from the factory.
Or; you could use the same tube that I used if you can find/get one.
But if/when the GE tube I have in it fails; I will go with the Jan tube - next time . . .

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:30 pm
by Dave457
Hi Sawzall

How does it compare to other mic's once it was all dialed in?

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:38 am
by SawzAll
Well Dave, it works pretty well as far as a mic in its price range. Great uncolored response is the real plus. Being a condenser mic it tends to be too sensitive and picks up every little possible noise or sound in the room: computer fans, powers supply fans, etc. But a very flat response that is easy to tweak with EQing if one has a quiet enough room to work with.

Probably not for everyone, and a hypercardioid dynamic mic would probably work best for others whose radio rooms aren't studio quiet . . .

Posted: Sat May 03, 2014 9:36 am
by JJ2013

I bought a V69 ME recently and after spending a little while with the stock tube in it I replaced it with (quoting what the seller had communicated immediately below):

" ...a 6201 / CV4024 / E81CC gold pin tubes were made by Valvo in Western Germany and are were relabeled by Amperex!

This is a "New Old Stock" (NOS,) Hamburg, Germany factory tube that is sometimes marked or made for "Phillips," "Amperex," "Valvo," and sometimes "R/T!" It is a VERY RARE tube and thay all have early 1960's date codes on them! These are Military spec. tubes with gold pins...These excellent tube that is very similar to the "Telefunken ECC801S" in build quality!"

I did notice a marked difference in the audio


Now, have you changed the microphone capsule? I hear that the V69 ME may be a tad bright and a capsule swap to an RK47 may make this mic even better!? Matt at wrote the following (and, I am quoting him without asking for his permission to do so.....),

"If you're not happy with the V69, then changing the capsule will
definitely make it sound different. In most cases, replacing MXL's
capsule with an RK-47 will give you a dramatic improvement in the
mic's sound. So, again, if you're not happy with the V69, especially
if you find it to be too bright or sibilant or hissy or spitty
sounding, then the RK-47 will make the mic sound better."

Whether changing the capsule makes a difference or not depends on many things and I would think that it also depends on one's natural voice characteristics, but I would still be glad to hear from anyone out there who's done the capsule swap!




Posted: Tue May 20, 2014 2:43 pm
by SawzAll
From Gearslutz:
"Replacing the ceramic input cap with polystyrene does wonders. To extend the low end, use 1 uf caps in place of the 2 .22 uf caps, use mylar or polypropylene if they fit.

Capsule polarization voltage is a bit low around 40~42 volts. Replace the 6.2v zener diode that feeds that circuit with a higher value until you reach + 60 volts.

Installing a rk-47 or ck-12 capsule makes them sound very good."

So if you have the modding bug, I would consider changing out some caps in it first. Cheaper route. The RK-47 mod isn't that expensive either, about $110 w/S&H.

Let us know how you get along. Would be interesting to see what you think.

Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 8:38 am
by JJ2013
Hey SawzAll!

Thanks for the email and suggestions :)

Now, although you have a completely different set-up, I wonder what your EQ settings may be? Also, someone who appears to know mics from an engineering perspective told me that the published frequency response curve of the V69 is not accurate and that there is a noticeable boost at around 4 kHz although the curve does not reflect that.

Sure would be interested in knowing what your EQ settings are?



Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 12:36 pm
by JJ2013
Hey SawzAll!

Again, thanks for the mod info in your earlier response.

Not sure if I will be doing any of the mods right now as I am also contemplating purchase of the mic below (yes, I realize it does not feature a tube - GASP!!). It is made by Michael Joly Engineering and I am really intrigued by this mic. ... cts_id=200