Our Story

Years ago, I was researching the best microphones on a budget for recording studios (for my own studio, Silent Sky Studios) when I discovered MXL. MXL makes some very affordable mics, and many of them offer good results, especially considering their relatively low prices. But after doing more research, I discovered that many of MXL’s models can be made even better by simply replacing some of the cheap, low-quality components (capacitiors) with better-quality parts. Here’s how: high-quality capacitors can remove artifacts that lesser caps produce. You only begin to notice once they’re gone, because you thought they were part of the original signal. Transient response, frequency response, and distortion levels can also be improved by using higher quality capacitors.

Soon after, I discovered that MXL and a number of other manufacturers (CAD, Nady, Cascade, Apex, etc.) have released the same basic mics under dozens of different models and form factors (sometimes, the only difference is the paint job). But remarkably, all of them share the same (or a very similar) circuit. This allows the same modification procedure and parts to be used for many of these mics. After being pleasantly surprised by the quality of these budget mics with a few simple mods, I began to offer the mod kits and services found on this site for other studios, recording engineers, and live sound enthusiasts looking for the maximum bang for their recording buck.

I offer these kits for people who were like me: you’ve got some tools, know how to solder, and want to try your hand at an easy, do-it-yourself mic mod. But you’re unsure of which specific parts to replace, or what to replace them with. When you do find the parts that you need (which can take many hours of research), you end up paying ten times the price of the parts just for shipping and handling! That’s where our kits come in–we save you the time and trouble of identifying and sourcing the parts (some of which are out-of-production, and very hard to find), and even provide you with detailed, illustrated instructions that you aren’t going to find anywhere else. I’ve spent many long hours studying these mics, sourcing the replacement parts, and documenting the modification process in pain-staking detail, so you don’t have to. After performing these mods, you can be confident that your mic isn’t what’s holding you back from recording your next masterpiece! Our kits work on dozens of popular mics, so you may already have a few extras lying around.

Also note that while the circuits in these mics may be the same, the stock capacitors may vary from one make and model to the next, and may even vary from one mic to the next for the same make and model! That’s why installing our kits in a pair of mics may give you more consistent results for stereo recording applications (drum overheads, room mics, acoustic guitars, etc.), since the most critical caps in the preamp section of the audio circuit will now be precisely matched.

We also make it a point to ship your order on the same day that we receive payment, so you will most likely receive it much sooner than you would from major electronics suppliers, who often take several days before your order ships–especially on such a small order.

PLEASE NOTE: Our mod kits do require some basic tools and soldering skills. If you have little or no experience soldering, you could damage your mics, and this may not be a good first-time project for you. Feel free to ask questions first if you are unsure. We also offer mod services for all of our kits if you decide that you would rather us perform the mods for you instead of doing them yourself.

IMPORTANT: We ship only to the Domestic U.S.–no International orders, please.

At this point you might be wondering, “if using just a few higher-quality parts really makes such a difference, why don’t the manufacturers use higher-quality parts to begin with?” The answer to that question is simple: profits. First of all, if a mic manufacturer can use a ceramic capacitor that costs a penny or less (and still get acceptable results) instead of a higher-quality capacitor that would cost them exponentially more than that (15, 20, 30, or 50 times that amount), it could mean a cost savings of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars when you figure a production run of several thousand mics. Lower costs equals higher profits.

Second, since the production of these mics is often outsourced to a Chinese factory, the mic company has little or no direct oversight over the production process. So the factory may substitute cheaper parts in the production runs, since that means they (the factory) get to keep more of the money from the job, meaning higher profits for them. So even if the manufacturer’s original design, specs, or prototype calls for higher-quality parts to be used, there’s no guarantee that those parts will ultimately end up in their mics.

In the end, these market conditions have produced many mediocre-to-decent quality mics that make a great “mod platform” for people like you and me. For very little money, you can purchase one of these mics, replace a few key components in the circuit using one of our mod kits, and wind up with a much better mic than you could normally get for the same money.

Have more questions about our mod kits and services? Please visit our FAQs Page.