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Reviews Categories | Microphones for ham radio | 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: 24 Average rating: 4.7/5 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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K3ZD Rating: 2/5 Jul 21, 2016 17:50 Send this review to a friend
too muddy   Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Gotta go with KE0EYJ on this one. I've been a radio broadcaster for almost 50 years now. I retired from the major markets and now work part time at a mid-sized station in Florida. The production studio I like to work in has a couple of these and for my voice they are too muddy. They might work better for a female with a high or irritating voice. We have a couple of real good radio mics but not in the studio I like to work in. I think just about any other low cost condenser mic would be better, especially for a resonant male voice.
KH6TA Rating: 5/5 Jun 27, 2016 10:35 Send this review to a friend
Great Performance & Sound  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am using the MXL-990HE with Yaesu FTdx9000D. The 9k is designed for use with a condenser mic, and it not only sounds great, but I also enjoy having a mic on a boom and a soft foot switch for contesting & DXing.

Gentlemen, don't expect a condenser mic to be "plug & play" with all radios, you will be disapointed. ALL condenser mics are not created equal, I tried a Behringer XM8500 and it was terrible! A $15-$20 mic can only give so much. Also I highly recommend a windscreen and foam cover to eliminate voice pops & other room/ambient noises.

KE0EYJ Rating: 3/5 Jul 25, 2015 03:08 Send this review to a friend
Muddy Mids. Only Wows Those Who Don't Know Better  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First of all, I consider ANY condenser mic a poor choice for a Ham operator. Condenser mics pic up every tiny noise around you -- fans, chair squeaks, cars driving by, and so forth. This gets worse with compression and processing. They are created for studio work in a highly controlled environment. I worked in the TV/Radio industry for 9 years, and you are better served by a dynamic mic for Ham radio.

Now, as for the MXL990, I had mine one week before I dumped it. The mids were too muddy. It is easy for people to be impressed with the full sound initially, but comparison to other models outs it as cheap and muddy in the mids.

We tried several "cheaper condenser mics" in studio, and if you are looking for a quality condenser mic for studio work, go with the Studio Projects B1 instead. Almost the same price as the MXL990, too. We were very impressed with that mic, and the quality for the price was outstanding. As stated, however, I do not consider condenser mics a good choice for Ham use.
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.
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