Let’s tackle the MXL 990 vs. MXL V67G! But it’s not like football, so we’re not actually going to tackle anything. We’re not fishing either, lol. Ahh so corny. Instead of listening to my awful jokes, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
So I’ve read through every single amazon review, and can give you a nice clear concise summary of what this bad boy is all about.
It’s a condenser microphone and seems to be at it’s best in voice over type situations. One of the defining characteristics of the 990 is that it has a warm, bassy undertone. Some call it “muddy”, but personally I really enjoy that type of sound. It’s got a radio quality to it.
It has also been known to do extremely well in live situations (choir, etc.) as well as a simple starter home recording studio. If you take away one thing from this review, it should be this: As an entry level mic, this is amazing. If you’ve been stuck using your computer speakers, the 990 will sound like music to your ears. However, as you grow and develop your equipment and sound, it’s flaws and shortcomings will be made apparent.
One other important thing to keep in mind is that it won’t necessarily sound as good without some EQ. This was very common among-st reviewers who needed it for vocals, and applies in most recording situations. As a condenser, it is very sensitive and picks up a lot of sound. Some common techniques I came across, which are pretty standard:
A Noise gate (to block out extraneous sounds, ambient noise, etc.)
A properly treated room. This can mean using blankets, acoustic studio foam, or anything that will deaden the sound and block out noise. Check out my article on Acoustic Sound Treatment for some tips on setting up your space!
All that said, this baby will serve as your go to mic in a bind, and makes a more than serviceable backup if you’re a bit more advanced. If you’re just starting out, you may want to consider it!
Perfect for beginners. Entry level heaven.
Good for vocals.
Well made and durable.
Rich tone, nice bassy undertone. Gives your vocals a pleasant warm quality. Can enhance your voice.
Clear and crisp sound, pristine.
Longevity. Mic will last you a good while before you decide to upgrade.
Picks up a lot of nuance, and subtle sounds in your voice.
Smooth radio sound, great for speech. People loved the fact that it makes you sound like you’re on NPR or something 🙂
Nice durable case with foam padding. A professional looking piece.
Muddy. A lot of people used this term in their review. I counted 10 (at the time of this review). Depends on your taste and opinion I think.
Shock-mount. Some liked it, others did not. The outer ring on it may wear out.
One guy had an issue with the cable, said it needed to be wiggled at times to keep it working. If you have this problem, just send it back and the new cable will be fine.
Not as good for instruments or amps. Some said otherwise, but the low end starts at 30 Hz. It’s better to start off with 20 Hz for instruments.
Doesn’t record loud very well. If this is the case, you may consider standing a bit farther away, and lower the gain on your interface/mixer. There are solutions to most of the 990’s problems. You just may have to experiment a bit…
Who this mic benefits?
I’ve seen it endorsed for all of the following, but keep in mind that it’s at it’s best in a voice over type environment. Some examples:
Video math lessons (very obscure, but cool nonetheless!)
Google hangouts calls
Internet radio hosting/radio broadcasting
Vocals. I found that you most likely will want to EQ it for vocals. For just speech, it does fine without.
That said, the majority of people liked it for voice-over, with vocals coming in second, and instruments third. It will also do quite nicely in a live setting.
48v Phantom power via audio interface or a mixer. Some great options that I came across:
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. I personally recommend this one as I have owned it for awhile now and it works pretty flawlessly. It also looks sexy and is quite durable, and will stick with you as you upgrade mics.. Check out my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Review!
Steinberg U22. Similar to the 2i2, this is also a great option, and will be more than adequate to power the 990.
Behringer Xenyx 802. A very common, more affordable solution if you don’t want to shell out the money for the 2i2 or the U22. It gets pretty nice reviews overall.
XLR cables. These will run from your mic into the interface or mixer. Your interface basically converts the analog signal into digital, so your computer (and ultimately you) can make sense of the numbers.
Shock-mount. Luckily for you, the 990 comes with one!
Pop-filter. These basically protect the diaphragm inside of your mic from getting contaminated from your nasty spit and other germs. It also cuts down on the plosives, or consonants in speech that make the Esses, and P’s sound harsh. Investing in a good one is wise. I recommend the Samson PS01. I’ve had it since 2007 and it’s held up amazing.
Mic Stand. You can either go with a tripod boom stand, desktop stand, or scissor arm. I’ve had good luck with the first two, and prefer the desktop stand because I’m lazy and don’t want to stand up while I record. 😛
A sequencing program. Can’t use a mic without a program to record the vocals with! If you’re brand new to recording, I would recommend getting your feet wet with Audacity. It’s free, simple to use, and very effective. As you gain more experience, my top recommendation would be:
Reaper. It comes with a free trial period, and is almost universally praised in every context.
Bit depth and sample rate. Here I explain the idea of a Digital to analog converter (DAC) in more depth. In other words, how your computer processes all the sound from the mic!
The MXL 990 is the perfect starter microphone if you desire to get your feet wet with audio interfaces and more professional set ups. It’s at it’s best in a voice over type environment, and will give your voice a nice warmth and full body. It also does well with vocals and some recording applications, but it’s at it’s best from a strictly speech standpoint.
The V67G is a large diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone, and a beast of one at that. Some people are saying that this puppy g performs just as well as a Nuemann U87, which is a bold statement considering that microphone out of this world expensive. The V67G shares the same feedback circuit as the U87, and a guy on Gearslutz said that if you compare the schematics, many similarities are apparent. People are shocked when they receive a mic that excels so well at such an affordable price point. This is one of those cases. It does far better than it’s price would indicate, and does extremely well with instrument recordings in particular.
Keep it mind that this picks up sound from one direction (the front). Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people have trouble with sound quality because of this one issue.
Transparent, warm, and clear, and neutral duplication of sound.
Good for voice over, vocals, and acoustic instruments.
Hefty and solid.
Great for instrument recordings, as it picks up a wide variety of pitch.
Unique and clean sound.
Natural and transparent.
Worth way more than the price tag.
Great even without EQ. Instrument recordings sound phenomenal raw.
May pick up some sound behind the mic.
Mic holder and plastic ring that come with it feel cheap, one reviewer noted that he may have to upgrade to a real shock mount in the future.
A little bright at the top end. Some however say that this is one of the big things that isn’t an issue as with most other cheaper condensers.
A couple of reviewers noted that theirs fell apart/stopped working properly after a year or 2.
Who benefits from this mic?
It does great with instruments as mentioned earlier. It also works extremely well as an all purpose mic.
Vocals & Female vocals
People who don’t necessarily want to bother with EQ. It’s raw vocals sound really good.
What will you need?
This boy picks up a lot of ambient noise, so make sure you set up your studio space as best you can before recording. Turn off any fans, air conditioners, and computers in nearby rooms to minimize distractions. Also pray that no one starts mowing the lawn, or taking a huge dump while you’re in the middle of screaming into this bad boy. 😀 Here is my post again on Acoustic Sound Treatment!
Make sure you have a sequencing program to record your vocals or else nothing will happen. Your CPU will register that a device is connected but nothing else! Audacity works great for starting out!
Mic Stand, Pop filter, and Shock-mount (optional).
A great mic in just about every instance, and sounds incredible especially for the price! I couldn’t believe that type of sound came from such an entry level mic after watching the video. May be a little bright at the top end, and some reviewers said theirs broke down after extended use (1-2 years). Overall it’s quite a steal at it’s price point.
Similarities & Differences
They share some very similar specs: Same frequency response, same Max SPL,Output Impedance, and have a roughly the same Signal to noise ratio (80 vs. 74).
While the V67G is best suited for vocals and instruments, the MXL 990 excels with voice-over first and foremost.
The 990 is a small diaphragm condenser and the V67G is a large diaphragm condenser.
The V67G is a very warm mic (but crystal clear), and kind of accentuates the sound a bit. The 990 has a bassy undertone, and has a radio like quality to it. It’s also said to be very neutral unlike the V67G.
The V67G is more versatile than the 990.
Color/Aesthetic. Pretty self explanatory here.
Both mics have their strong suits, but to me it sounds like the V67G is a better all around piece, and does well with vocals and instruments. The 990 is decent, but really only excels in voice-over. The sound is neutral, but some can’t get over that bassy undertone for recording other things. For strictly your bare bones voice, it’s fine. But for other uses not so much. With that, I’m recommending the V67G today. It’s very warm, and will accentuate your voice well. For instruments it does exceptional without EQ. Even though it’s not quite neutral, it still sounds crispy and sparkly, without that sibilance problem. What does Sibilant mean?
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.