The MXL 990 is a popular studio microphone, mainly because it is cheap. It is easily purchased from Guitar Center Online with beer money, but does it sound like a $59 mic, or something more?
So as I am sure you can guess, there are thousands of reviews on the web regarding this mic. However, only a fraction of these reviews are actually useful. So in this post we take a look at the 7 most useful MXL 990 reviews from around the web.
Note: The last review on our list shares some info about the MXL 990 you probably don’t know, and how to make it sound way better
Best MXL 990 Review from Amazon
An Amazon customer by the screen name “Bassman” points out that the mic is decent, but a little muddy. However, he is quick to point out that in this price range, it is by far the best mic around. The MXL 990 should work just find for voiceovers and basic song demos, especially if you are on a budget. However for primo work, it might fall a little short.
Best MXL 990 Review from Musicians Friend
This Musician’s Friend customer left a lengthy review, and pointed out several things.
- The MXL 990 sound far better than it’s price range.
- Even $5000 mice can sound terrible, so price isn’t always the measure of quality.
- With a decent preamp, you CAN use this mic to record a commercial album.
- He used it side by side with super expensive mice, and it held up.
- It’s a hot mic, so don’t drive it too hard.
- There is a bit of a bump at 8-10k, so be careful boosting these frequencies.
Best MXL 990 Review from Guitar Center
I’d like to point out that Billy is a hardcore vocalist. Screaming is one of the hardest vocal techniques to record due to the irritating frequencies that can result from the performance.
If it worked well for Billy’s vocals/screaming, I’m sure it will work well for almost anything!
Youtube MXL 990 Review from Trevor
Trevor from youtube demonstrates the MXL 990 pretty well in this video. He let’s you hear the difference between just plain camera audio and the actual mic. He also points out that you could spend $99 on a cheap USB microphone, or you could spend the same amount on the MXL 990 and get a way better sound.
Youtube MXL 990 Review from JordanHumble
This guy certainly has some charm! Jordan Humble had owned the MXL 990 for about a year when he filmed this review. He starts by going through the packaging and showing the mic itself, and how to use the stand.
He points out that he has not had any issues with it, and while it is not the best microphone out there, it is certainly the best for the price.
He also tells you how to make a cheap DIY pop filter out of a wire hang and pantyhose haha!
Youtube MXL 990 Review from CowcarMusic
The reason we like this review is because it features the MXL 990 on guitar, and it done in a condo, not a professionally treated studio. This shows you what the MXL 990 is capable of in a normal home studio environment.
Ryan points out that his audio was recorded with no eq and no compression. Just raw mic audio.
He also point out that the MXL 990 is in fact a low budget microphone, and while it sounds great, it can have a little humming. You shouldn’t hear this in the mix though.
Ryan plays guitar through the MXL 990 from the hole position and the 12th fret position, and also through two different preamps. So this gives you a really good idea of how the MXL 990 can sound in a variety of settings.
#1 Most Useful MXL 990 Review
anxious from Gearslutz forum
This review blew my mind. It is surely the most useful information about the MXL 990 on the web. User “anxious” from gearslutz points out that there is actually a cable loading issue with the MXL 990, and he has verified this with an oscilloscope.
What does this mean? It means the mic needs a minimum load capacitance to function properly.
Ok ok what does that mean? Well it means that when you use a short cable with the MXL 990 (which most people do), it will sound harsh and and generally low quality. However, if you use a long cable, the problem disappears and the mic sounds fantastic!
This could explain why when searching for reviews on the MXL 990, you tend to find either extremely positive reviews, or extremely negative.
Also, if you notice, there are a TON of glowing reviews about this microphone when recording overheads. This is probably because when people record cymbals/drums, it is often through a long snake or long mic cable, which would eliminate the load problem.
Judging from these reviews, if you are a a beginner or have a low budget, the MXL 990 is about the best you are going to find. If you have a large budget or are a pro, it may not be your first choice for vocals, but it could definitely work for room or cymbal mics!
So what do you think about the MXL 990? Leave your thoughts below!
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