Microphone Mod Service

There are thousands of low cost condenser mics floating around from MXL and others. Every one of them can benefit from our microphone mods. We do extensive rebuilds replacing the circuitry and capsule with high quality discrete components. We’ve worked on many different mics including MXL 990, MXL 910, MXL 550, MXL 440, MXL v250, MXL v63m, MXL 2001, Sterling Audio ST55, Rode NT2 (and more) and transformed them into amazing performers. Questions? Contact us.

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Hear the improvement to a typical low cost MXL microphone (in this case a MXL 990). The stock mic has a small diameter capsule (despite looking like an LDC) and a mass-produced surface-mount circuit board.

We replace the capsule with a quality LDC (K47 or CK12 style), and the circuit with our all discrete jaSb board. Each board is hand assembled, component-matched and tested.

Why do a Mic Mod/Rebuild?

Entry level mics are fine for getting started. To hit the price point, they are often using Small Diaphragm Condenser (SDC) Capsules. The circuits are mass produced with low cost surface mount components. The result is often a thin, dull tone with an over-hyped over-sibilant top end. The photo shows a typical mass-produced MXL board next to our hand-assembled discrete board. The circuitry is similar but the performance is vastly improved!

microphone mod circuit with discrete components
Typical MXL board (L) and my jaSb (R)

How it works

  • Choose the rebuild you want and select the options. As always, if you have any questions about options or want help choosing, contact us and we’re glad to help.
  • Add to your cart and check out. (apply any Coupon code you may have at this step)
  • An email will come with our thanks and shipping instructions. There is a link in that email to enter tracking information when you ship it.
  • When we receive your mic, we’ll send you an acknowledgement email and we’ll get right to work on it!
  • Normally within a few days, we will ship the mic back and send you another email with our outbound tracking information and any special notes about your build.

The Capsule

mic mod capsule
MXL Capsule on left. My k47 on the right

We replace the capsule with a high quality LDC capsule. Our standard is a K47-style center terminated capsule but we can also put a CK12-style edge terminated capsule into most builds. MXL mics are often marketed as Large Diaphragm Condenser mics when in fact, the capsule is really an SDC in their entry level models like the 990, 910, etc.

The Circuits

Our transformerless all-discrete jaSb circuit fits in most cylindrical mics from MXL and others. It also fits any “BM800” style mic (even the cheap-o ones from Amazon!) We designed a special version of the jaSb for the MXL 990 and MXL 920. We use high quality components including low noise resistors and WIMA film capacitors in the audio path. Based on the Schoeps CM5 circuit, the jaSb (just another Schoeps board) is our take on this classic elegant design.

Our transformer-coupled BFM board fits in most cylindrical transformer mics from MXL and others such as the MXL 2001. With an adapter board, we can also convert (transformerize) most transformerless mics! We designed a special version of the BFM for the Sterling Audio ST55 (or Groove Tubes GT55) which supports the Pad and Filter switches (and has an internal pattern switch). The BFM is based on the Neumann KM84 but adapted for LDC capsules. We offer the choice of CineMag or Tab-Funkenwerk (AMI) transformers.

All boards have an optional internal pattern switch for selecting between Cardioid and Omni patterns. Without the switch, the mic is fixed as Cardioid.

MXL 990 Mod

The 990 is a great mic to rebuild. It is built like a tank mechanically and the result is a mic with a very boutique sound, weight and look. Our special version of the jaSb board is designed specifically to fit in the 990 (or 920). Like the standard board, it also has an optional internal pattern switch. We optionally replace the headbasket with a high quality one from mic-parts.com. That is something you can do yourself at any time too. At this time, the 990 rebuild can only be done as a Transformerless mic.


“Normal” Shaped Mic Mods

This is the everything else category. The standard versions of the jaSb transformerless or BFM transformer-coupled boards will fit in most mics from MXL, CAD and others.

Transformerless Models in this group are: MXL 2006, MXL 2008, MXL 910, MXL 990, MXL 870, MXL 550, MXL 440, MXL V250, MXL V63M, Tascam LD-74, MCA SP-1, Nady SCM-800, CAD Audio GXL2200, CAD Audio GXL2400, Scarlett Studio, Other “BM800” Amazon cheap-o mics. Ask about your mic.

These mics can be rebuilt as transformerless with the jaSb board or transformer converted with our BFM board and an adapter board.


Sterling Audio ST55 (Groove Tube GT55) Mod

The Sterling Audio ST55 is a fantastic Transformer-Coupled mic to rebuild. The mic features a heavy solid construction and switches for Pad and Hi Pass (low cut) filter. Our BFM-T-55 board is designed for these mics and has an internal pattern switch. We replace the standard Sterling “Resonator Disk” capsule with our standard k47 style capsule. The HP filter switch kicks in at about 135Hz. We have several Transformer options to offer.

Capsule-Only Mods

The Rode NT2 is a well built microphone. The electronics are a nice implementation of the Schoeps circuit designed by Jim Williams with premium components. The Studio Projects C1 also has a decent circuit. The problem with both of these is that they paired a linear circuit with an overly bright k67-style capsule. These mics are very bright and sibilant. We can swap this capsule with one of our k47 style LDCs and make this mic really useful again.