Review: RØDE NTK
Positives:Crisp full body sounding mic. great customer service
Negatives:Delicate, high output* (see review)
So you’re looking for a nice big warm tube mic to round out that locker, but not a lot of money to spend. Here’s one with some serious potential. Introduced over 10 years ago, the NTK has been a mainstay in the Rode lineup. A single tube mic, cardioid polar pattern and thats is. The mic is big and heavy and requires (comes with) a power supply to provide the mic the heater and high voltage lines the mic needs via a 7 pin cable (also included). The mic has an SPL of 158dB (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load) and what that means to you is that you can put it in front of just about any source without damage to the unit. There is one common “mod” that can be done to the stock mic (without voiding the warranty) by changing the cheap-o tube that the mic comes with. Though it didn’t initially sound bad, there was a tonal difference when i changed out the tube to a NOS American made tube. One minus is the lack of a bass roll off or pad on the mic. Since the output of the mic is all transistor based with no transformer (rather odd for a tube my in my experience). The output of this mic is something fierce, talking LOUD!! So loud in fact that it is VERY easy to clip the input of your mic pre from a light breath on the diaphragm without a pop filter (which this mic desperately needs to have in front of it). I usually have to run this mic into a pre with a pad on because of the ridiculously high output or have the pre set to almost minimal gain (which in the case of tube pres and transformer based pres, is not a good thing tonally) Overall though, the mic is nice and bright, theres a bit of a bump I can hear around 3-5k range making it a little more syllabant than I prefer. Being cardioid it has a great proximity effect to get a real boomy voiceover vocal track, but again be careful with syllabants at that distance to the mic and always watch your levels. I should mention that I have had to return the mic for servicing a couple time, and both times Rode covered the cost of repair, even though it was already out of the warranty period, so HUGE kudos for Rode’s customer service, top notch!!!