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Reviews Categories | Microphones | Marshall MXL-990 Vintage Style Studio Condenser Microphone Help

Reviews Summary for Marshall MXL-990 Vintage Style Studio Condenser Microphone
Marshall MXL-990 Vintage Style Studio Condenser Microphone Reviews: 21 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $70
Description: The MXL 990 has changed the way project studio recordings and live amateur radio audios are being created. Until now, condenser microphone prices have been out of the reach of most working musicians and amateur radio operators. Production breakthroughs have brought the MXL 990 into the price range of the home recording enthusiast and amateur radio operator. The 990 is a true, phantom powered, condenser microphone with a 6 micron, 20 mm. gold-sputtered diaphragm. The MXL 990 has a high quality FET preamp and its output is balanced. The sound and the appearance of the MXL 990 is reminiscent of the classic vintage vocal microphones of yesterday. 20 mm. Gold-sputtered, 6-micron, low distortion diaphragm, FET preamp with balanced output. Supplied with shock mount and mic stand adapter. Legendary MXL sonic characteristics, Comes in rugged carrying case.
Product is in production.
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K5DSQ Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2015 12:40 Send this review to a friend
Studio Quality Audio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After spending a few minutes adjusting my Parametric Equalizer and the microphone drive level on my Yaesu FTDX-3000 I put it on the air with one of the local roundtables. The immediate comments were: "What have you done to your audio, it sounds great... crystal clear... studio quality!". Considering the cost of the MXL-990 versus the Yaesu MD-100 it replaced this was a no-brainer. It's well built, has loads of drive and the unsolicited audio comments speak for themselves. A great bargin!
N8WGM Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2014 06:13 Send this review to a friend
Good but great with modifications  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using the Marshall MXL990 now for over a year. I use it for ham radio, skype, podcasts, voice overs, YouTube videos and for commercial talk radio.

In stock form, the 990 is a pretty good mic with a few shortcomings. The audio on this mic is a bit high on the treble. The lows are a bit muffled. Overall, in stock form, it is a pretty good microphone.

I did do quite a bit of modifications to it and the mods are what can make this microphone one of the best. There are tons of articles about how to modify the 990 and where to get parts. The two top things to modify is the circuit board and replace the small capsule with one a bit larger. With these mods, the 990 then has a very balanced high end sound quality. Expect to spend about $200 to modify it with the recommended changes.

I use the 990 for not only ham radio, but also Skype and commercial radio broadcasting from my home. It also makes an excellent mic for podcasting and Youtube video.

I've used many really high end microphones in the past and the price often reflected in the quality of the sound I was getting. With the modifications to this very inexpensive microphone, (often less than $70) it can become a top end performer and can compete with high end mics costing hundreds if not thousands more.
WX0B Rating: 4/5 Jan 4, 2014 11:32 Send this review to a friend
New model of the 990  Time owned: more than 12 months
Nice previous review of the MXL 990, and nice description of modification. But since I have a couple of these for recording that I got new little over a year ago. I wanted to point out the newer models are not able to take advantage of the mods. The screens are now welded into the top cover, try as I could they wont come out. The PCB is now SMD on both sides so some of the caps mentioned are now SMD devices. They have several ICs on the board too, I assume some FET op amps, but they scratch off the part numbers. Another Darn. So don't go run out and buy a new 990 thinking you can make these worth while mods. These 990s are ok not as good as my more expensive AKGs, Heils, Sennheisers. But should be just fine for Radio.
OE504-627 Rating: 5/5 Apr 23, 2013 22:22 Send this review to a friend
GREAT MIC-GREAT PRICE  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got the MXL990 on a good trade for 40US$ used.Once hooked up to my UB802 i immediatley noticed that i had to turn down the "gain" on the 802 to about position "8 o´clock" otherwise the audio sounded completley noisy. After some tweakin on the 802 knobs i could hear the difference to my otherwise vy good Samson Q6 dynamic mic: more bottom end, excellent bass reproduction of my voice, and vy articulate no muddiness, hiss etc. discovered. And i received some vy good audio reports so far. I am not sure if anyone needs a better (higher priced) mic for ham radio. The difference between the Marshall 990 and a higher priced mic is marginal. So if you are looking for an excellent Studio mic at a bargain price, this is it!
AC2AZ Rating: 4/5 Jun 28, 2008 09:25 Send this review to a friend
Good Value  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a pair to record the shuttle launch in FL. Worked great. Solid, so if weight means anything to you this will meet your expectations. I am not an audiofile, so read this accordingly. I had problems with the mic mount (a isolating shock mount comes standard) , the threads are not properly cut and would not hold well when screwed on. As stated previously you will need 48V (phantom power)to operate. Go to Sam Ash (or the internet)and ask for a phantom power adapter, or even a mic preamp for more control. Made in china, you get what you pay for but for a transceiver front end it's perfect.
W1LDD Rating: 5/5 Jun 13, 2008 04:04 Send this review to a friend
Great Microphone!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Shows that you do not have to spend big bucks to sound good.$59.00 from Musicians friends and a ART preamp.Buy one before the price increases.
GM0OTS Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2008 13:48 Send this review to a friend
good value  Time owned: more than 12 months
been using the mxl 990 for a year now and still got it in line with symetric 525e and icom 775 + ibox,have tried loads of other mics including heil but nothing beats this for audio quality for the price, give it a try if you can get one sure you want be dissapointed.
KG6YV Rating: 5/5 May 8, 2008 09:09 Send this review to a friend
Superb sound for ~$50.00  Time owned: months
I bought the MXL990 to try with my Yaesu FT 2000 and Ft 1000D. I already had a Shure SM58 in line feeding both. First of all not all stores carry the 990 anymore, I found it @Musician's friend for ~$55.00.

- The setup I use includes the mic feeding a Belari tube preamp feeding a Behringer 1052 Tube Composer (compressor/limiter/gate) then straight into the transceiver's.

- General Observations: This mic is sensitive and smooth throughout its useable frequency range. It doesn't appear to have any major "humps" in response. The mic is clear and articulate through the midgrange and highs, very transparent, no veil or muddiness in the low bass.

- EQ settings: On the FT 2000 I use the same EQ settings as on the SM58. (100hz/BW2/-10,900hz/BW2/-10, 2100hz/BW4/+8). On the FT-1000D I use a W2IHY box only utilizing the tone controls. I leave the bass at 19 o'clock, treble to 3 o'clock.
- Performance:
1. On air comparisons with the Shure SM58 indicate that the MXL 990 is a good bit more transparent and articulate.
2. The MXL990 does not appear to exhibit the exagerated proximity effect of the SM58.
3. General audio reports from contacts are excellent, even some "wow"s when I run the audio BW on the FT 2000 to 3K. The FT-1000D has INRAD 2.8K filters and reports are "super audio". Doing an A/B comparison with the Shure 58 people prefer the Marshall although they say the Shure sounds fine. The Marshall seems to be significantly more transparent and articulate according to those who give me reports. What bass it has is also confirmed to be tight not muddy.


This mic costs a lot less than
- Yaesu MD1A8X ($200)
- Heil "anything" ($200-$350)
- SM58 (~$130)

Although I do not have a Heil to compare, I think this mic is a steal given its performance. I almost wish I had a Heil (don't want to pay the $$) so I could run a blind comparison....

Oh, and the microphone looks like a vintage ribbon mounted on a boom if you are into appearances.

My recommendation is to try it before spending big bucks on a microphone. For $50.00 you can't lose.

KX5JT Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2008 02:40 Send this review to a friend
Wow!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After reading the reports on this large diaphram condensor microphone and checking the price, I figured I would give it a try. WOW. I am not trying to achieve ESSB. I do like to sound good during ragchews. My Kenwood TS-570 limits TX bandwidth to only 2.4 Khz but I figured why not try to sound the best I can within those parameters. I aquired a Behringer VX-2000 Ultra Voice (compressor, expander, de-esser) on eBay for less than 100 bucks. It feeds the phantom power needed to the MXL-990 and does some nice light processing. I feed this via a balanced TRS cable into my Behringer UB-802 mixer which provides a 3-band EQ and some level control. This is fed into a W2IHY iBox and into my TS-570. I am getting unsolicited great audio reports now. I give this mic with it's awesome full range flat response a definite 5.

de KX5JT
KC0GSB Rating: 5/5 Dec 19, 2007 21:45 Send this review to a friend
Great Mic & Great Price  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I saw the 990 on sale for 50 bucks, including the mount, and figured I couldn't go wrong for that price. I removed the PR-40, didn't change the EQ, and gave it a test. It blew me away! It actually sounded (to me anyway) better than the PR-40. I said to my self "No way"! The Heil cost me over 200 and that was without the spider mount. I kept testing between the two trying to convince myself that I didn't spend that 200 in vain. But guess which mic is now hanging from the boom. Maybe it is just my voice, but the 990 seems to be the best non-ribbon or non-tube microphone I've got. It does need the 48v that the Heil doesn't, but I've got several tube pre-amps so that's no problem. Oh well, it didn't come in a nice wood box like the Heil. Hey, this microphone is the real deal and the price is also a real deal. By the way, it also includes spare bands for the mount. You will not regret buying this mic.
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