I was very surprised the first time I saw an MXL V67 in a studio. Its green and gold appearance is distinctive, to be sure, and I found it rather garish, not to my taste at all, though I am sure many with more bling-friendly tastes will love the look. I had only passing familiarity with MXL as a brand then, and my perception was inexpensive and low quality, so it was surprising to see this on a boom stand, obviously the studio’s go-to vocal mic. It was a smaller studio, so I started to make contingency plans in case the V67 couldn’t cut it.
To my surprise, not only was the mic able to handle vocals for the classic rock band I was producing, it did it with some elegance. The band had two singers, both tenors and while neither had particularly strident voices, the V67 was clear and full on both. No need for the contingency.
I found out later that this particular microphone had some custom work done. Later still I discovered that there is a market of hobbyists who take these cheap Chinese mics and upgrade both the electrical components and in some cases the entire circuit to make some serious and reliable large cap mics.
MXL mics, it turns out, are popular with those hobbyists. It’s not hard to see, or hear, why.
SO SHOULD I BUY THIS OR NOT DEPT.: I can’t tell you. There’s gambling involved. Read on.
Setup and Usability
Standard side-address large diaphragm condenser mic with no surprises in the setup department. A cardioid polar pattern, XLR-connecting, 48V phantom power-using studio design mic. It has no attenuation pad, switchable patterns or bass roll-off on the mic. The manufacturer used to recommend this mic for drum overheads and close-miking guitar amps as well as vocals. There is no longer an MXL V67G listed on the company’s website, only a V67i Tube mic, which is an entirely different beast. However, the V67G is still listed on a number of websites including Amazon. There are so many letter versions of MXL V67 that it’s a bit confusing to track, and the MXL site is not particularly informative.
I’ve worked with other MXL V67s since that first encounter and while I don’t know how exactly that original mic was modified, I suspect it was merely the component upgrade, since each one I’ve worked with since displayed the same characteristics: clear, but not harsh and warm without too much coloration.
I’ve said before that no mic is the best mic for every situation. That’s certainly the case with the V67G. When it flatters a voice, it’s right up there with the best of them. When it doesn’t, it’s very blah. For example, a bass or baritone voice would probably get lost with this mic, but I’d put it up in front of a strident soprano as a first choice. There are always exceptions to every rule, but that will give you a quick idea. I can definitely see this mic used for drum overheads and guitar amps. It has a flavor that would smooth out excessive sizzle.
As a large-cap mic under $100, this is a beautiful sounding mic that has plenty of potential jobs waiting for it. It would be a whole-hearted recommendation if it weren’t for the user reviews and reputation that MXL mics have made for themselves.
I have not personally had an issue with a V67G, and I’ve probably used four or five of them in total. Their popularity with mic-mod hobbyists says something. Something loud and clear that you should pick up on. This is a mic that needs mods.
As we will see in the User Reviews section, there’s a pretty good chance you will open the box and your V67G won’t work. Send it back and get another and you’ll probably be fine, but many users don’t want this hassle. It makes me very wary of purchasing a V67G sight unseen and signal unheard. If you make a buy decision on this mic, be sure to check out both warranty and return policies from the seller. There’s a better than usual chance you’ll need that info.
Usually, the one and two-star reviews for any piece of audio gear tell more about the complainers than they do about the product. I tend to write those off when I encounter them. When the same problem is mentioned over and over, there’s less reason to think a reviewer has an axe to grind, and I don’t mean in the heavy metal sense.
The recurring problems are mics that arrive inoperable and damaged, or fail within a year’s use. This is a clear case of you get what you pay for, unless you don’t. Still, despite the unreliability, the V67G represents a very tempting gamble.
Since your tolerance for gambling is crucial in a buy/don’t buy decision, I can’t recommend either way. If you’re willing to go through the returns process, I don’t think you’ll lose out twice. If you or someone you know can replace components or build new circuits, there’s plenty of information out there to upgrade or mod the mic. That’s a lot of extra steps to get what can be a very usable mic, but which might not be when it arrives. If you need it for a session next Thursday, have a contingency.
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