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Anyone out there own a MK-012, and if so, have you had the Michael Joly modification done to it? Curious to know how differently it performs and if it's worth the $$. Also, your thoughts on the omni, cardiod, hyper and figure-eight capsules is appreciated. (Those specific capsules, not the polar patterns and their applications in general.)

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    Where's Noise Jockey? I'd hate to spoil any wisdom he'd share here, but he's got some comments and praise/gripes on the OktavaMod on his site that you could check in the mean time: noisejockey.net/blog/?s=oktava – Matt Cavanaugh Aug 31 '10 at 5:11
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Hah, what a setup, Matt! You rock. :-p

Jay, I bought my Oktava directly from Michael at OktavaMod.com. I think the mic's omni and cardioid capsule have a wonderful, warm, fairly true sound, but the high frequency attenuation really is audible in the cardioid and the hypercardioid capsules - I think the directional capsules are great for dialog or if you like your dialog EQ'd by your mic, which can work for certain voices. The omni capsules sounds the most transparent and, heck, you get ANY mic close enough to a source and it'll be directional. Of course, all Oktavas are extremely susceptible to heavy handling noise. Shock mount 'em at all times, even on mic stands.

But I still feel like the self-noise isn't great, even with Michael's work. I use 'em for "stunt mics" and loud-source material where a small condenser mic is the right thing. If multi-capsule mics are your thing and you're on a budget, I'd argue that you should only use modded Oktavas, and Michael (and his wife) are absolute joys to deal with. If you don't need multi-capsule mics, then for the price, brands like Rode repesent a far better value, in my opinion.

They're cool tools to have if your needs fit the niches they fill. Personally, I reach for mine infrequently, but everyone's usage and needs will vary, and it wasn't a huge investment to put one in the bag o' tricks for when they make sense.

(Side note: I also was on a thread over at Gearslutz that I can't find now that had a guy named Zack who got a stock Oktava mid-side rig going. For hot sources it'd be fine, but for ambience recording, it wouldn't be my choice.)

  • @NoiseJockey In terms of better S/N, what do you prefer over the modded Oktavas? Thanks. – Internet Human May 30 '12 at 16:30
  • Depends on usage, budget, and personal preferences, Mviljamaa. I tend to be anal about self noise in my mics because I record a lot of close-miked quiet sources and natural ambiences. That's not to say that they're better mics for certain uses...every mic sounds better or worse based on what source you're recording. For example, people LOVE Oktavas on cymbals and high hats! It's up to each recordist how they prefer to weight a mic's character to its self-noise levels to its weight to its physical color. ;-) – NoiseJockey Jun 3 '12 at 22:33
  • Sure. Just had to ask in case another interesting brand/model would've popped out that I've not heard of. – Internet Human Jun 4 '12 at 0:40

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