So, mods ‘n’ sh*te

I mean, it is fun to change out tubes on mic’s and amps and pre’s. I’ve coil-tapped and split and phase-reversed and changed out pickups and tone-caps, I’ve added better or replaced input jacks and pots and trannies and the odd resistor, etc.

I’ve certainly improved the functionality of stuff by, say, replacing tuners or bridges or switches or jacks or removing mesh from a windscreen or death-caps, or adding shielding or ground-wires or even paint, and I fix stuff and even make my own patch cords.

When I think about it tho’, and not too, too much disrespect, I just can’t understand the mod “scene” as a reason for joining it.

I mean, it’s one thing to have a thing and it ain’t quite the thing you want the thing for – so you mod it to make it that thing you want.

I get it.

I just have a problem at this point with the mod “scene” what seems to exists to get you to mod things just for the purpose of modding the things they sell things to mod them with. I mean, it even seems they encourage you to buy a thing that’s a not-so-good-thing to use their things to mod it into a better thing than it was, while all the while it ain’t quite the thing you want it to be and mod it toward.

I mean, I want my Tele to sound like a Tele, not a Strat, and certainly not a Paul, y’know? And that cheap Chinee thing? Use it, abuse it, sell it, purposefully lose it, but don’t try to make it something it ain’t never gonna be.

Like, if I want a “warmer” pre, I’ll change to a “warmer” pre, or the same re a mic, or amp or whatever. I’ll just change guitars.

Mebbe I just have a little too much money, what gives me choices?

But I work hard to be able to have choices, and if I have bad shite, I’ll get rid of it (sometimes) to get good shite, if I just don’t outright just buy more shite, keeping that “bad” shite for the very limited thing(s) the “good” shite can’t do, even if that is only because it’s being used elsewhere.

But mod it?

Especially just to say I mod’d it?

Unless I have a piece of bad shite, and nothing better to do, I’d rather just replace it.

You?
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Bustout’s drum session, 3-23-14

Aiight:

Zoom R16 (before cabling) & M-Audio powered monitors & headphone amp (the paper is me explaining sound envelopes and why we need to dampen the kick; the book by the awesome Ainglish police procedural writer, Nick Oldham)


Cabled …


The warbler in the makeshift (scratch) vocal booth constructed of carpet pad on top of tires – the drums are to the right, the recorder behind the photographer


The mic’s I brought – some were even utilized!


Drum kit – the kick mic (Sennheiser E602) is all the way in about 6″ from the beater – the “vocal booth” is behind and to the right of the photographer, the recorder behind and to the left


Mic placement: 1&2 are AT4040 OH’s; 3 is EV RE320 splitting the floor toms; 4 is Sennheiser MD421II splitting the rack toms; 5 is Shure Beta58 on snare; 6 is the E602 in the kick; the other two tracks are scratch vocal and scratch (DI) guitar


My phat arse (no, that’s not a dick mic)


Why my arse is phat
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Another E-bog battle …

Posted at TOMB:

So I bid on the E-bog and got a ADK TC mic from ’07, from a music store seller in New Jersey.

Preliminary power-up and it works fine, I think.

But when I take off the body there’s rust on the side rails, rust on the tube holder, the tranny, and various screws. There’s also some fine powder-grey corrosion on some of the solder.

The body itself has water-marks where its edge fits into the headbasket – if the marks are to be believed the mic was mebbe laying sideways in about 1/2″ of water …

I emailed the seller for history, etc., and to ask permission to open it and check the capsule because there’s paint on the headbasket screws and/or corrosion which will make it obvious if I open it.

What risks do you forsee if I keep this?

Is there anything I can do to prevent future problems?

Also, while the “Turbo-Tube” power box seems 100%, there is rust on the welds of the shock-mount and the screws on the pop-screen.

The case seems fine and there’s no smell, as if the thing was caught inna flooded basement, mebbe, and then washed quickly but not quite completely dried, and they failed to take the mic body off or else missed completely cleaning it …
Confused
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Yeah.

I got a good price on it (US$310 shipped) but the seller just responded with some apparent anger, and offensive denial.

Based on that attitude, I’ll wait for response to my reply, and then probably demand a refund.

Then I’ll probably have to fight about who pays return shipping … Rolling Eyes

As requested by the seller, I sent some photo’s as evidence, and here are 2:

Note the rust on the side rails, the tube-holder and glass, the screws, and the powder-corrosion on the solder.


The white stuff is water residue especially visible along the edge where it fit inside the headbasket assembly; the inside of the cover is filthy.

If anyone is interested in the dialogue, I’m happy to post that, altho’ I expect I’ll again get flamed for being mean to the seller. Twisted Evil
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Further evidence that it’s not natural humidity corrosion, but from immersion:

The seller, tho’, is insistent, “Our qualified electronic technician went over this microphone, with all of its accessories, and everything tested perfectly.”

Glad it/he/she is not my “qualified electronic technician”! Twisted Evil

=========================

After the initial push-back, the seller agreed to a full refund and paid return shipping. Good on him.

Of course, I call his shipper, UPS, and they want US$7 to pick it up, so I had to contact the seller again …

I appreciate his/its situation but for any sellers reading this, please consider why someone in my position is less than thrilled/satisfied:

1. I am not your QC guy to test your item, and I further resent your questioning my immediate report of your self-created problems as tho’ I’m scamming (Other buyers have scammed you? Consider: other sellers have tried to scam me, too – or been so oblivious/incompetent/unconcerned/stupid that they have made mistakes at my cost, like you);
2. It is extra work for me to take and upload photo’s to prove that your “experienced tech doosh” didn’t open your item and check for damage (glad he’s yours, I don’t need another assault charge);
2. Many of us, with larger items, have to arrange add’l transport after receipt; ex., I had to pay for two cabs to get the item from my office to the train, and back (I ain’t carryin’ that un-padded-handle case for a mile thru the city along with my other shite, in my suit and tie).
3. In this instance, since your shipper, UPS initially said I don’t exist, I had to return a long-distance call to you to confirm my Pay-Pal listed address (tho’ you already rec’d my money from that account);
4. I have over an hour involved just in emails/PM’s and posting pic’s to assuage your baseless suspicions that I am the bad guy (when it was you fucked up);
5. You have had the use of my US$300+ (in this case) for about 3 weeks, at a minimum (Who’s the scammer? How about some interest? Go borrow $300 atta check-cash place, see what they charge!);
6. You treat me like the bad guy by refusing to return my money until you receive the defective item you fucked-up in sending in the first place, and I have to wait patiently and trust you to do so (See no. 5, above).

Anywhat, next week? I still want a ADK Tc or like-level tube mic … Twisted Evil
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Some mic notes

Digital Reference DR-KX1 Kick/Bass Drum Microphone; it’s prob’ly not too good on kick, but it’s nice and small and sounds aiight on bass (here) – I’m thinkin’ for toms, tho’.

Sterling Audio SP50 and SP30: not sure why I bought these other than they were so cheap, but they are interesting in that the “LDC” and “SDC” styles have the same small diaphragm. The 50 is actually pretty solid feeling, but the 30 records a cuppla dB hotter. Not unusable mic’s, but nothin’ to make me wanna use ‘em, either (they are the response vox on this, 50 on the left, 30 on the right.)

ADK TC Mk9 TUBE Condenser Mic: I have the Sputnik (all vocals and guitars, here) and really like it but – is there something the matter with me? (other than the obvious, I mean) – I prefer the MXL V69ME with a nice RCA 6072 (stacked vox here). So I got Friday-night rich (see the latest DBT album for the reference) and bid on this and got it for 1/2 the street price of the Mk12. Shipped today, so I may report back if anyone’s interested …
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“Budget” Tube Mic’s

Aiight, so I been indulging my passion/addiction/GAS/OCD with buying mic’s for a while now, and have accumulated some tube mic’s.

In order of preference, on my vocals:

M-Audio Sputnik
MXL V69ME
GT MD1B
Apex 460
MXL 9000

A bit of detail: there are no mods except replacement tubes in the two MXLs and Apex. The Sputnik & GT are mini-tubes, and very similar in construction, but the Sputnik just seems to record cleaner, a bit less hyped, with less artifacts. Of them all, the Sputnik is the most natural sounding. The MXL is obviously tube-sounding, a bit hyped in that respect, but musically colorful. I like the GT a lot, just not as much as the first two. The Apex is useable, but a little bright and lo-fi, the only multi-multi-pattern of the bunch, altho the Sputnik has 3 patterns. The 9000 is the most lo-fi of the bunch, and I wanna start using it on guitar & mebbe bass amps, mebbe kick …

I really like tube mic’s, altho’ they are a PITA to set up and warm up – what is what I’m waiting as I write this (V69).

Appearance-wise, BTW, I’d rank ‘em the same.

It strikes me that I have about US$1,100.00 invested in these 5 mic’s (all bought used offa the E-bog), where mebbe I coulda bought a Neumann or a Peluso or sompin’, but I like having the various sounds as I find ‘em inspiring.

I’m playing with the idear of modding the 460 and the 9000, also …
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Some more mic posts

I posted these at TOMB re someone asking about LDC’s:

 

I have that MXL [Mogami Edition] tube mic, and it really is very good, but not very spontaneous to use. But I do love it on vocals, and especially on acoustic guitar.

If it has to be a condensor (and there are some awesome dynamics out there), I tell friends that the ADK A51V and the CAD GXL3000 are both pretty alright for under US$200 used.

The best buy, and multi-pattern, could be the CAD M179 for around the same money. I also have a Samson C02 mult-pattern that I used for M/S drums for a while that was OK for that purpose.

The next level up for me would be the AT4040, KSM27 and I really like the kinda vintage trannie sound of the M-Audio Luna; all can be US$300 or less.

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+1 on the dynamics tip!

I find I use ‘em at least as much as condensors on vocals (and more than anything on amps, followed by ribbons); I really only tend to prefer condensors on acoustic guitars, altho ‘ a 635a or a 57 sometimes works, also.

Lead vocal-wise, then, I like the the old MD421n I bought here best, but also like the 421 II, the RE320, and the (not large dia.) Beta 58, and my ancient EV 664.

Also, the SM7b and it’s cheaper clone the Peavey 520i, and the AKG D5, and I think some of the EV N/D mic’s are technically large dia., and many are very useful; even the N/D267 is worthy on vocals and amps.

FWIW, I frequently use inexpensive omni dynamics for backing vocals (Shure 63L 635a, Rat Shack 33-1070d, AT802, etc.) as well as room and even close mic’s on amps and percussion.

As for those old AKG’s, they are so cool, and I use them on amps, BV’s, snare, etc.

I’ll stop now, not talk about ribbons or PZM’s or even phantom-powered dynamics unless ya ask. Twisted Evil

Evilbog issues, again


Bought a Altec 1589b on 8-31-13 after winning the bid, paying within a few hours, deliverable last Friday, the 6th, by priority mail.No response to 3 “Shipped yet?” inquiries, I hadda “open a case”.

Is it just me, or does it seem about 10-15% of purchases of used music equip. fall through?

Someone told me music equip, cars and, I think watches, get the most complaints.

Special thank you to the seller, turkboys who can’t even be bothered to offer an excuse for taking my money without sending the item.
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Re the preamp pad

Just following up re the above (DRL STP-1); a totally worthy concept, so worthy that if my newly-purchased Altec 1589b ever gets here and functions, I’ll buy another.

Here is how I have it located for use, just velcro’d to the rackrail and wired to the patchbay:


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EHX Bass Metaphors

These things  get mixed reviews but I used it two nights ago atta audition into another guy’s little 40 watt or so S/S Kustom bass amp.
This thing is like three preamp sections that you can use in parallel:
1. straight pre (gain only);
2. Distortion pre;
3. EQ pre.

So I started with the EQ section, added the straight-pre, and then put a touch of distortion on top (has its own switch) for leads.

It also has a master volume, and a compressor that’s just on or off, but I gotta say, this thing really made a shite amp sound good, and made it very easy to play with a light touch, slap-n-pop, etc.
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Wanna see inside a EV 664 I repaired?

Aiighty, so I bought a EV 664 offa the e-Bog, and after doing the dooshie-seller tap-dance and getting a full refund and keeping the mic (seller wanted me to pay the return shipping on this heavy mofo so I fought ‘em), I decided to try and fix it

Took me 5 hours but I kludged it, and here’s a photo gallery:

here

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