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Oktava MK 012 - phase is reversed!


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Just wanted to mention to anyone thinking of, or buying an Oktava MK 012 to check the phase on their new microphones.

 

I have had a pair for about 10 years and decided to buy another 2. Testing the new ones alongside my old pair I noticed some serious phasing issues between the microphones. It drove me mad for an hour or so thinking that it was my cables or my Sound devices 442... but finally I opened the new Oktava "preamps" up and there it was: XLR Pin2 is connected to the boards Pin3 out and XLR Pin3 to the boards Pin2 out! (My older "preamps" are wired correctly.)

 

It was a very easy soldering job to swap the two short cables, and afterwards everything was fine.

 

Looking at the audio waveforms of the recordings I made before doing the repair they looked exactly like inverse phase waveforms look: lobsided or bottom heavy!!

 

I dont know if this a specific preamp batch problem or not as my 2 new preamps with the problem have serial numbers thousands apart!

 

Anyway, hope this might help anyone.

 

Many thanks for a great site.

 

Siddho

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Be aware that with some phantom power supplies, such as a Lectrosonics plug-on transmitter, an Oktava MK012 needs to have its phase reversed in order to power up properly. 

Thanks for that tip John. I'll bear that in mind.

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Be aware that with some phantom power supplies, such as a Lectrosonics plug-on transmitter, an Oktava MK012 needs to have its phase reversed in order to power up properly. 

 

This might explain why they are wiring them with reversed phase.

Had the same issue with a Denecke PS supply. Might just be every other preamp though...

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Many of us here have modded Oktavas. I have four hand-selected and modded 012s. As I have mentioned in other threads, under studio conditions they sound surprisingly close to a Schoeps (with an Oktava cardioid cap -- with the hypercardioid cap, a little less),. However, in the field, there is a huge difference.

In my experience, under real world conditions, an Oktava compared to a Schoeps is like a Ford compared to a Ferrari -- they'll both get you there, but the difference is immediately apparent.

I refer to the Oktavas as my Schoeps' stunt doubles -- to be used when a Schoeps might be endangered.

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Be aware that with some phantom power supplies, such as a Lectrosonics plug-on transmitter, an Oktava MK012 needs to have its phase reversed in order to power up properly. 

 

This might explain why they are wiring them with reversed phase.

 

 

Oktava is not intentionally wiring microphones pin-3 hot in anticipation of polarity reversal down the line for phantom supplies that cannot provide enough current. I guarantee this is the result of poor quality control - the very same reason two of the exact same microphones can sound so wildly different.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In my experience, under real world conditions, an Oktava compared to a Schoeps is like a Ford compared to a Ferrari -- they'll both get you there, but the difference is immediately apparent.

 

 

i dont mean any disrespect John but that is not quite fair.

what does "real world" mean?

 

i have a pair of Schoeps and 4 Oktavas.

last week, for example, we were shooting a dialogue in a tiny room full of books, between a large man with a loud voice and a small woman with a quiet voice. i put the Schoeps on as always first. the man's voice was fine but the woman was distant, bland and quiet as i expected. i wasnt happy so i tried the cardioid Oktava: the woman was still quiet  but suddenly her voice had character and could hold its own alongside the much louder man...

 

yes, Oktava quality control is not good, and i would never rent one, but sometimes, or often, it has that extra something i cant quite describe.

 

still, and here you are certainly right, i wouldnt give up my Schoeps. :-)

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Siddho, what's the polar pattern of the Schoeps you used in that scene?

 

Cardioid too.

 

i know the situation i have described goes against the grain. i wasnt booming and had to be outside the room with my cart so a slight change in microphone position could also have played a part. this often is the reason why things suddenly sound different but, still, it has happened once too often with the Oktavas so i do try them in situations when i feel something could be improved. and not always, certainly, but sometimes, they do work better. why? i don't know. its probably the vodka! ::)

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Bill Sitler sells the mod kits, or will mod them for you with premium parts.

 

http://www.billsrecording.com/BSRS/Mod012.html

 

 

you can also find a 'collette' and a gvc for oktava mics that are fairly inexpensive.

 

these mics are very good for situations when a mixer needs a good sounding mic, but cannot afford a schoeps or MKH-50.

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