Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

  1. #1
    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    10
    Posts
    12,652

    Default Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    For the past couple of years I've had an ongoing problem with my NTK in that it would emit a high pitched howl after about 10 minutes of use. I tried several things and couldn't find the source of the problem. I didn't want to ship it all the way to Australia without at least trying a new 6922 valve in it, but as I was recording using an iso cab at the time, I put it into a closet and semi forgot about it. Last year I started recording guitar tracks again without using the iso cab (it changes depending on who our downstairs neighbor happens to be at the time) and I turned my attention once again to the NTK. Fired it up and, sure enough, the high pitch howl came back. Now this mic is barely 5 years old and only had a couple of hours' use but I guessed it was possible that there was a problem with the valve, so I ordered a JJ6922. The new valve arrived on Friday and I had a chance to replace it on Saturday -- and it works! I ran the microphone recording just general room sounds for about an hour and it remained noiseless the entire time.

    It's been years since I've fired up the NTK and never did any serious recording with it, so a few things stood out straight away - a) the noise floor for this microphone is VERY LOW; I would have expected some thermal noise from the valve but this mic is really quiet!; b) the dynamic range of the mic is really wide; it is quite sensitive but seems to prefer being a bit further away from the source; c) the low frequencies are very tight and authoritative -- I think this mic will blend very well with a ribbon mic; d) overall, the sense of depth and space with this microphone is exemplary.

    Looking forward to recording guitar with this mic during the Summer months; I will try pairing it with my Fathead II at first and see how they complement each other.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	NTK new valve.jpg 
Views:	27 
Size:	108.0 KB 
ID:	98684

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	NTK old valve.jpg 
Views:	28 
Size:	103.7 KB 
ID:	98685

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	NTK power supply.jpg 
Views:	27 
Size:	67.5 KB 
ID:	98686
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
    My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.
    FACEBOOK page for As Follows.

  2. #2
    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Evil Volcano Lair
    Age
    50
    Posts
    3,320

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    Sure - microphonic tube. Howling in the night.
    Lefty Lounge Lizard's Guitars & Amps Extravaganza



    Fastest ears in the West

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgecrusher View Post
    I thought it sounded great, until I heard something that sounded good.
    Guitaramped.com

  3. #3
    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    10
    Posts
    12,652

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL View Post
    Sure - microphonic tube. Howling in the night.
    Musta been! But it didn’t sound microphonic, more like a leaking cap causing an oscillation. Glad it wasn’t, though it’s a bummer that a brand new mic shipped with a bum valve.

    It’s working now, will post some tests soon!
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
    My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.
    FACEBOOK page for As Follows.

  4. #4
    Mojo's Minions
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    In a Studio with your Mom
    Posts
    3,454

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    hey OP, if curious, that Mic can take almost a direct element swap with several Neumann mics. and then that mic sounds unreal.

    I've done A/B comparisons in the studio

    a couple googles will probably give you the step by step if you wanted to get wild.
    “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

  5. #5
    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    10
    Posts
    12,652

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    Quote Originally Posted by NegativeEase View Post
    hey OP, if curious, that Mic can take almost a direct element swap with several Neumann mics. and then that mic sounds unreal.

    I've done A/B comparisons in the studio

    a couple googles will probably give you the step by step if you wanted to get wild.
    Oh, thanks for the heads up, I may do just that. I have read that the NTK is quite easy to pull apart and reassemble.
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
    My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.
    FACEBOOK page for As Follows.

  6. #6
    Mojo's Minions
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    In a Studio with your Mom
    Posts
    3,454

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    Oh, thanks for the heads up, I may do just that. I have read that the NTK is quite easy to pull apart and reassemble.
    Costs way less than $100 dollars to turn that mic into something super special -if you cant source the Neumann element online (it might be hard) -get and authorized Neumann repair store to order it for you.
    “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

  7. #7
    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    10
    Posts
    12,652

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    Quote Originally Posted by NegativeEase View Post
    Costs way less than $100 dollars to turn that mic into something super special -if you cant source the Neumann element online (it might be hard) -get and authorized Neumann repair store to order it for you.
    Man, what a deep rabbit hole looking into that was lol.
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
    My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.
    FACEBOOK page for As Follows.

  8. #8
    Mojo's Minions
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    In a Studio with your Mom
    Posts
    3,454

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    Man, what a deep rabbit hole looking into that was lol.
    If you need some info DM me. I know someone who does it all the time.
    “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

  9. #9
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    14,288

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    How close do you mic a guitar cab with an LDC? I've found with a small diaphragm condenser like my SM81 I can't get closer than a foot or two or it starts to distort.
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  10. #10
    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    10
    Posts
    12,652

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    How close do you mic a guitar cab with an LDC? I've found with a small diaphragm condenser like my SM81 I can't get closer than a foot or two or it starts to distort.
    I use a ribbon and an LDC in phase and probably about 1-2" from the grille. If I want a more 'roomy' sound, I will back it up to 7" or so. Are you distorting the input to the preamp, or the microphone capsule is distorting? Most modern LDCs should be able to handle a single guitar amplifier just fine.
    Looking at the specs, the SM81 can handle 138-148dB SPL; very unlikely a guitar amplifier is playing that loud.

    If the capsule is distorting, you may have a faulty one and will have to replace it. Otherwise it sounds like you are applying too much gain on the preamp side.

    Have you tried using the 10dB pad?

    Oh, a trick with using an LDC is to angle it; you may want to try that.
    Last edited by TwilightOdyssey; 06-01-2019 at 01:56 PM.
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
    My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.
    FACEBOOK page for As Follows.

  11. #11
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    14,288

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    I use a ribbon and an LDC in phase and probably about 1-2" from the grille. If I want a more 'roomy' sound, I will back it up to 7" or so. Are you distorting the input to the preamp, or the microphone capsule is distorting? Most modern LDCs should be able to handle a single guitar amplifier just fine.
    Looking at the specs, the SM81 can handle 138-148dB SPL; very unlikely a guitar amplifier is playing that loud.

    If the capsule is distorting, you may have a faulty one and will have to replace it. Otherwise it sounds like you are applying too much gain on the preamp side.

    Have you tried using the 10dB pad?
    With the -10 pad, I get distortion when I've got the SM81 1-2" from the grille of my amp. There's lots of headroom on the preamp (more than 10 db), that's not the issue. It sounds great on acoustic guitar. Would a bad capsule be noticeable only at high volumes? I was recording pretty loud when I noticed the distortion.
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  12. #12
    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    10
    Posts
    12,652

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    With the -10 pad, I get distortion when I've got the SM81 1-2" from the grille of my amp. There's lots of headroom on the preamp (more than 10 db), that's not the issue. It sounds great on acoustic guitar. Would a bad capsule be noticeable only at high volumes? I was recording pretty loud when I noticed the distortion.
    Yup, it may only manifest itself at high SPLs. However, before you go down that road ... What do you mean by 'more than 10dB' of headroom?
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
    My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.
    FACEBOOK page for As Follows.

  13. #13
    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    10
    Posts
    12,652

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    You may find this helpful: https://www.shure.com/en-US/support/...-amplifier-use

    Question:
    Could you let me know if is not completely insane to try a SM81 on my Electric Guitar Amp for recording? What should I take care of to do it and get good sound and without any damage for my SM81?
    Answer:


    You will not damage the SM81 with high SPL, but it might produce a distorted signal.
    Suggestions:
    1. Use the 10 dB pad.
    2. Use the lo-cut filter in the steep position.
    3. Place the mic capsule at a 45 degree angle in relation to the speaker cone.
    4. Experiment with different mic positions and distances.
    Basically everything i said above.
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
    My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.
    FACEBOOK page for As Follows.

  14. #14
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    14,288

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    Yup, it may only manifest itself at high SPLs. However, before you go down that road ... What do you mean by 'more than 10dB' of headroom?
    Like the peaks have 10 dB of headroom according to the monitoring lights on the input of the preamp. The preamp also has a built in limiter with an LED that will flash if clipping is occurring (now that I think about it, this is probably supposed to prevent clipping from the input) which is not flashing.




    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    You may find this helpful: https://www.shure.com/en-US/support/...-amplifier-use



    Basically everything i said above.
    Yeah, I actually googled the same thing when I was trying to record with it. This is not a popular mic for guitar cabs. :P I was trying XY with my Beta 57 about an inch from the grille of the amp, both mics at 45 degrees to the speaker. Had the -10 db on as suggested. I did get the mic used years ago (was just trying to record acoustic at that time) so it's certainly possible that it's bad.
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  15. #15
    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    10
    Posts
    12,652

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    You had the mic at a 45 degree angle on the XY axis, or the Z axis? It's supposed to be on the Z axis, no the XY; though I admit I am not sure that will make a difference with a speaker radiating in every direction at once!

    If you look at photos, you will see most LDCs are set low on the cone, below the horizon of the voice coil, and then angled upwards.
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
    My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.
    FACEBOOK page for As Follows.

  16. #16
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    14,288

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    You had the mic at a 45 degree angle on the XY axis, or the Z axis? It's supposed to be on the Z axis, no the XY; though I admit I am not sure that will make a difference with a speaker radiating in every direction at once!

    If you look at photos, you will see most LDCs are set low on the cone, below the horizon of the voice coil, and then angled upwards.


    I had one mic pointing 45 degrees left and one pointing 45 degrees right. My goal was to combine two different close mic'd signals to hopefully get a more accurate representation of the sound of the amp than just one close mic, so both capsules were as close as I could get to each other. It's a 1x12 combo with a 1x12 extension cab on the bottom. Both were about an inch and a half above the cone of the lower speaker, and about three inches to the right. Would that make a difference for distortion?
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  17. #17
    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    10
    Posts
    12,652

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    I can honestly say I've never used XY on a guitar cab!
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
    My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.
    FACEBOOK page for As Follows.

  18. #18
    Mojo's Minions
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    In a Studio with your Mom
    Posts
    3,454

    Default Re: Rode NTK -- resurrected!

    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    I can honestly say I've never used XY on a guitar cab!
    I only use it if i commit to stereo miking guitar if EVERY main or rhythm guitar is miked into the stereo spectrum as well.

    I think albums sound weird with stereo or room mics placing them in a stereo temporal and spacial dimension, but other things in the same mix placed into position via a Mono source pan in the mix.

    for rhythm instruments like Guitar, Organ, and Drums, mixing both methods makes for a confusing and muddy record often.

    -but for things like flying in and out lead guitar locks and such it doesnt matter if you mix it up.
    “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •