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Author Topic: One-Side-Only Grill Snip-Out OK for Oktava 219 Mod?  (Read 5891 times)

john abney

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One-Side-Only Grill Snip-Out OK for Oktava 219 Mod?
« on: November 02, 2009, 07:35:18 pm »

The stock MK 219 is almost there for a particular singer. The modification to snip-out the ribbed grill makes sense, but does it need to be done on both sides of the capsule?

best,

john
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Michael_Joly

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Re: One-Side-Only Grill Snip-Out OK for Oktava 219 Mod?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2009, 08:48:31 pm »

In some sense it would work. It would reduce diaphragm to grille reflections, but the polar pattern is bound to get wacky. Why not just do the job right and do the mod to both halves of the body? But 219 mods really require a systemic, rather than piecemeal approach, and that means everything from HF resonator removal, capsule shock mounting, capsule wiring upgrade, switch circuit removal and complete electronics upgrade.
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john abney

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Re: One-Side-Only Grill Snip-Out OK for Oktava 219 Mod?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2009, 09:03:35 pm »

So would 'wacky' sound OK or not? Have you tried address-side-only ribbed-grill removal for any period of time? Should I? I like the stock MK219 sound but the grill-removal seems to make a lot of sense. Would front-side-only grill removal be stronger than a both-sides grill removal?

best,

john
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David Satz

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Re: One-Side-Only Grill Snip-Out OK for Oktava 219 Mod?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2009, 10:33:50 pm »

I would suggest discussing this with someone who has actually studied physical acoustics and microphone design before modifying a microphone in the way you're describing. The effects could be quite different from what you might suppose.

I recently saw one microphone in which the removal of what someone apparently thought was an "obstacle to transparency" actually caused the microphone's high frequency response to decrease. In another case, a manufacturer's deliberate simplification and opening up of a capsule's grille design had most of its effect on that microphone's low-frequency response, with only a small effect on its high-frequency response. There are clear enough explanations for both of these outcomes in physics, but if you don't know the relevant physics, you're spitting in the wind.

As someone who has spat in that wind myself, let me also say that a few years back I had a pair of AKG microphones modified, and as part of the service the gentleman removed one layer of their multi-layer mesh grilles. This made the microphones extremely vulnerable to radio frequency interference from then on. I'm glad that I no longer own them, but when I sold them of course ethically I had to explain everything, and that made their resale value less.

Again, if you don't know all about the design in the first place, and don't have (or don't use) the test equipment to check what the heck the consequences are of what you're doing, the odds are strong that you will only make the microphone(s) worse. This is not a field for amateurs, unless it's people who are looking to sacrifice their microphones in order to learn what not to do.

--best regards
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Marik

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Re: One-Side-Only Grill Snip-Out OK for Oktava 219 Mod?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2009, 11:48:26 am »

I am with David Satz on this.
The Oktava 219/319 is one of those "strange" designs where designers made problems in one part and then desperately were trying to overcome created limitations in another one.
The main problems are 1) Lack of DC/DC converter, and 2) smallish transformer of poor quality lamination and design. Both lead to much lower than optimal S/N ratio and apparent lack of HF response--much worse of what the capsule is capable of.

The "fins" on the grill, as well as resonator discs on the capsule itself serve to "take care" of that HF roll off. You cut them off and the microphone will sound almost like a ribbon--thick and extremely dark.

If you like the microphone the way it is--leave it alone! If you would like to modify it then there should be a systematic approach, which takes care the source of the problem, first.

Best, Mark Fouxman
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Mark Fouxman
Samar Audio & Microphone Design
www.samaraudiodesign.com

Galil

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Re: One-Side-Only Grill Snip-Out OK for Oktava 219 Mod?
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2010, 11:40:06 am »

I think the experts have spoken on this. To address a tool as a system with an understanding of the basic physics and related engineering is the best way to proceed with modifications.

As I was reading the thread, it occurred to me that someone who read this thread quickly might think that Michael Joly's mods to Oktava microphones would make them "thick and ribbon like" by reading Marik's comments and applying them to a product that it seemed he did not intend to review.

As an owner of a collection of Joly modified MK-219/319s (with no other commercial ties than that of a customer), the systemic (or systematic) approach of OktavaMods does not result in a thick or ribbon like microphone but results in a clear and transparent sounding tool that does not have an obvious presence peak in the upper midrange or high frequencies.

This may or may not be what a customer is looking for, but anyone who overlooks these products because they think it might be "ribbon like" may miss a useful tool. Likewise if someone orders these looking for a "ribbon like" microphone, I would expect them to be disappointed.

Sorry if the above description sounds like ad copy.  I considered changing the description, but anything else I could come up with was worse.

The OktavaMods do have an appreciated place in my collection.

Galil
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compasspnt

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Re: One-Side-Only Grill Snip-Out OK for Oktava 219 Mod?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2010, 12:05:05 pm »

I agree with everything stated above by David and others following.

Michael does do an ENTIRE system upgrade, not something piecemeal.

But as you are "almost there," I have a simple mod that may help you:

Outboard hardware equalisation.
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jetbase

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Re: One-Side-Only Grill Snip-Out OK for Oktava 219 Mod?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2010, 04:48:55 pm »

I have one Oktava MK219 which I never used because it sounded 'boring'. Eventually I clipped off the front & back grilles, removed the plastic discs from the capsule & dampened the casing. I made no electronic modifications. It sounds like the same mic (characteristically) but somehow in a more natural way & not so boring. Whilst it may be improved further by electronic mods I am happy enough with it now not to desire to do so. I use it regularly where it suits & have other mics for where it doesn't.

If you're close to what you want & want to do the mod I would remove the grille on both sides. Best to do things evenly, I reckon.
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jdier

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Re: One-Side-Only Grill Snip-Out OK for Oktava 219 Mod?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2010, 04:49:46 pm »

Not sure what is not there in your "almost there" deal, but I have the 219 with Joly premium upgrade.  I have never heard a 219 without the upgrade, but in my very unscientific tests comparing the 219 to my stock SP C3 and my stock AKG 414 the Joly seems to tame the highend sizzle that I get with my C3 and seems to round off the very clear detailed high end that hear on my 414.

Of my condensers it is the one that most reminds me of the sound of my SM7.  Obviously much different, but good on male vocals with little EQ in the same way.
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archtop

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Re: One-Side-Only Grill Snip-Out OK for Oktava 219 Mod?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2010, 11:56:39 am »

Using the term boring  seems like more of a source issue than a mic issue.
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Richard Williams

jetbase

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Re: One-Side-Only Grill Snip-Out OK for Oktava 219 Mod?
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2010, 06:22:05 pm »

archtop wrote on Sun, 28 March 2010 02:56

Using the term boring  seems like more of a source issue than a mic issue.


Then substitute the term 'boring' with 'slightly dull or at least slightly muddy in the lower mids & lacking in depth'. Regardless, I was in fact talking about the microphone, not the source.

Cheers,
Glenn
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