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MXL 770 Review: Unleashing Studio Brilliance On A Budget!

by Stuart Charles Black
Published: Last Updated on
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Greetings mate and Welcome aboard! Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear) all over again, so…

In this forthcoming review, we’ll be delving into an in-depth analysis of the MXL 770 condenser microphone.

Our focus will encompass an exploration of its build quality, sound capabilities, versatility in various use cases, essential requirements for optimal usage, recommended mic positioning techniques, and an assessment of its overall value proposition.

By the end of this comprehensive examination, you’ll have a clear understanding of whether the MXL 770 merits consideration for purchase, and, if not, I will provide an alternative recommendation that is.

Deal? Cool.

Let’s dive in!

MXL 770

Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H! | Check eBay!

In The Box

MXL 770 Multipurpose Cardioid Condenser Microphone (Black)

High-Isolation Shockmount

Rugged Carrying Case

Limited 1-Year Manufacturer Warranty

Specifications

What Is It?

MXL 770 Review

MXL’s black and gold 770 stands as a versatile studio condenser microphone featuring a cardioid polar pattern. Its FET output electronics guarantee minimal noise and elevated output gain.

This microphone accommodates both single and multi-voice recording while excelling in capturing instruments like pianos and strings.

Whether for seasoned professionals or newcomers in the music realm, the 770 proves to be a reliable option for those seeking a high-quality condenser microphone.

Build & Features

The first thing you’ll notice about the 770 is how much larger it is in person vs. images online.

When I finally purchased one for myself, I was a bit shocked at how large it was.

It stands exactly 6″ on your desk and, coming in at roughly 375g, feels rugged and durable.

There are 2 switches on the side of the microphone: One is a 0dB/-10dB switch, and the other is a High Pass Filter switch.

I’ll provide sample recordings of both settings in a bit!

What You Will Need

Because the 770 is an XLR microphone, you’ll need the following items:

Audio Interface, Mixer, etc.

Condenser microphones like the MXL 770 output a weak signal on their own and need the Phantom Power from an Audio Interface or Mixer to reach line level.

I’m using the Universal Audio Volt 2, a fantastic entry-level interface with plenty of gain (55dB) and some nifty onboard features.

It also won an award in 2023 which I think is well-deserved. This is a fantastic product.

XLR Cable(s)

To connect the mic to the Volt 2, you’ll need an XLR cable. I always like to have a few around for backup.

Shockmount

MXL 770 Review

This is optional, but fortunately for us, the 770 comes with one (pictured above).

If you were unaware, a shock mount is a device designed to isolate a microphone from vibrations, handling noise, and mechanical disturbances, thus minimizing unwanted noises and ensuring clearer audio recordings.

Pop-Filter

Also optional, but recommended. I’ve used both Filters and Windscreens in the past. Here’s a windscreen specifically made for the 770.

I find windscreens to be a lot more convenient, but the beauty of a pop filter is that it physically separates you from the mic, ensuring you’re not right up on it.

Most condenser microphones typically prefer you to be around 6″ away for best and cleanest results, and having g a pop filter between you and the mic acts as a sort of barrier; helping to mitigate the issue of getting too close which can result in plosives and the like.

Mic Stand

This is pretty much mandatory, and I’ve had a lot of experience with various types over the years.

Boom Stand

These are kind of annoying in my experience and rather bulky.

My advice is to find one sturdy enough to hold any type of mic.

I say that because the one I owned had trouble supporting my Samson C01 barbell. And yeah, the 770 is just as heavy as that wonderful mic; maybe even heavier.

I think a lot of these stands suffer from that sway issue (the stand swings around by itself due to the weight) and my experience was similar.

Desktop Stand

Next, I tried a desktop stand with my AT2020 (pictured above), which was the complete opposite – it was incredibly heavy and robust!

The problem with it is that it was too bulky for my setup.

I had a place to put it, but the spot was kind of awkward and not really all that ideal.

Scissor Arm

MXL 770 Review

Like Goldilocks and the porridge, this stand from the fine folks at InnoGear is just right.

I can mount it to my desk and keep it out of the way when not in use – plus the adjustable arm is great for varying heights and angles.

So I can sit on my rump and record, or I can stand up. It’s just so incredibly convenient and easy to use.

Sound Quality

MXL 770 Review

It’s pretty cool that a mic this cheap can output such good sound.

In addition, it just so happens to be fantastic for Rap and Hip-Hop.

It has a nice natural low-end response that does well with both husky male voices but can also add some weight to a higher-pitched voice – in effect making it sound a bit more gruff and weighty.

Other great uses for the 770 include Podcasting, Voiceover, Female Vocals, Instrument Recording, Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle, and Drums.

MXL advertises it as an all-purpose mic and I would have to agree. It sounds incredibly natural, clean, and clear.

Vocal/Rap Test

Female Vocal Test

Demos

What Is 48v Phantom Power?

Here I will provide a few recordings with several different microphones so you can get an idea of how they sound in relation to the 770.

For these tests, I did not use a windscreen/pop filter and was about 6″ away. No gain or EQ was applied either. These are all raw recordings from the same position and distance.

DAW used: FL Studio. For those just starting, Audacity is free and Reaper has a 60-Use Free Trial. Both are great!

MXL 770:

MXL 770: High Pass Filter

MXL 990:

MXL V67G:

Fifine K669C:

I don’t necessarily think any one of these is “better” than the other, although the K669C is brighter than the rest.

The 770 without the HPF also sounds slightly warmer to me – imitating that radio broadcast type of sound.

It’s subtle, but I think the 990 is a bit brighter in the highs.

As for personal preference? Out of the 2 modes, I like the 770 with a High Pass Filter, but all sound pretty great!

Overall Value

MXL 770 Review

The MXL 770 offers commendable value, boasting a solid build that speaks to its durability and longevity, making it a reliable long-term investment.

Despite its relatively affordable price point, this microphone doesn’t compromise on essential features.

The inclusion of the -10dB switch allows for handling high sound pressure levels without distortion, catering to various recording scenarios. Additionally, the High Pass Filter/Flat switch is very useful as certain users prefer some low-end roll-off while others like that radio-ish sound.

Additionally, the rugged carrying case is great for on-the-go users, and the included shock mount further elevates its value by providing effective isolation from vibrations and handling noise, contributing to consistently clear recordings.

When it comes to sound quality, the 770 impresses with its ability to capture crisp and clear audio across a range of applications, whether recording vocals or instruments, making it a compelling choice for both beginners and experienced musicians seeking exceptional performance without breaking the bank.

Final Verdict

MXL 770 Review

The MXL 770 emerges as an impressive package, offering exceptional value for both budding musicians and seasoned recording artists alike.

Its sturdy build, and inclusive features like the -10dB and High Pass filter switches, along with the added advantage of an included shock mount, make it a standout choice.

Combining these attributes with its ability to consistently deliver clear and detailed sound across diverse recording scenarios, the MXL 770 stands as a reliable and cost-effective option in the realm of studio condenser microphones.

Learn More:

 

Well, that’s about it for today my friend. I hope you enjoyed this MXL 770 Review and came away with some valuable insight.

What are your thoughts on the 770? Which of the mics sounds best? I would love to hear from you…

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

If you love what I do here and want to support the blog and channel in a more personal way, check me out on Patreon and discover all the value I have to offer you.

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

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