MXL 550 Microphone Mod
The MXL 550 is a low cost microphone which is normally sold with a companion MXL 551 SDC mic. It’s a good microphone to modify and rebuild. The stock MXL 550 can be transformed into a high quality vocal or instrument microphone. The 551 SDC can be separately upgraded with an improved capsule from mic-parts. The body and headbasket are lightweight but perfectly adequate for a rebuild. Read more about our Mic Mods here.
The 550 is a typical SDC in an LDC body from MXL. It uses their small 24mm single-sided capsule which has a very thin, shrill and sibilant tone. The Circuitry is a Schoeps style circuit constructed from low cost Surface Mounted Components. Every corner possible is cut to hit the price point.
Custom Mic Options
Like all of our mic mods, we can rebuild your MXL 550 as a Transformerless or Transformer-Coupled type. What’s the difference? Our Transformerless jaSb (just another Schoeps board) circuit is a very pristine accurate circuit with great transient response and relatively little extra color. Our Transformer-Coupled BFM circuit is based on the classic Neumann KM84 circuit adapted for a Large Diaphragm Capsule. We typically use a high quality CineMag Transformer but there are other options as well. In general, the BFM gives us an extra bit of transformer color or mojo. There is some extra fatness in the lows and low-mids due to the harmonic distortion of the transformer as well as a subtle bit of dynamic compression on transients.
For capsules, we can use a Center Terminated k47 style or an Edge Terminated CK12 style. What’s the difference? The K47 gives us a harmonically rich mid-forward classic tone that you think of coming from the great Neumann microphones. Our k47 capsule is a high quality approximation of the Neumann Capsule. Never sibilant or harsh but with a wonderful clean top-end. The CK12 is the AKG-ish flavor and has a more hi fi extended silky top end. The CK 12 works great in both of our circuitry variations, but are more commonly used with Transformer Builds as the extended top end tends to balance out the beefy lows and low-mids of the transformer.
Choose your rebuild and options below or contact us for more information!