A Quick Review of the MXL 990

When purchasing studio gear, you obviously do not expect the cheapest products to have the best performance. It’s a quite simple logic that can help to avoid some nasty surprises and disappointments. However, this product is still expected to follow a great level of consistency. This review is mainly about the MXL 990 and taking a look at how good it really is. It’s tagged to be one of the most popular recording microphones used in the industry. But why has it grown so popular? What is everyone saying about the microphone?

Microphones are important to every artist. Basically, they are instruments that every artist uses. So, you have to ensure that you pick only the best choice of instruments especially if you want your recording to go viral or be aired on radio. The MXL 990 review shows that it is a microphone that offers you the option of getting some equipment without having to lose tons of cash for it. Surely, you’ll get the XML at lesser than $100, but what does it offer?

General Description of the MXL 990

Let’s take a look at some of the observable qualities of this microphone and look at how they compare with some of the best in the industry. 

Design

By taking a look at the XML 990 from different angles, one thing is sure; the design is plain and simple. This doesn’t mean that it’s unattractive but it has no special aesthetic features. It has an all-metal chassis with a vintage finish. This helps to add some style to the microphone. 

A lot of low-budget are easy to identify as cheap knock-off which is incapable of any serious work but this instrument is different. By taking one look at it, you’re ready to try it out. It’s a respectable quality of the microphone. 

Behind the simple exterior of the MXL 990, you will find some impressive internal components. You’ll find a large diaphragm that has been fitted into a capsule. It is a 20mm gold-sputtered, 6-micron diaphragm. It’s quite effective. This model continues with the reliable FET preamp found in other MXL models too. The preamp is known for its reliability and consistency. 

The microphone boasts a 30Hz – 20kHz frequency respond range while it’s maxed SPL is 130dB. You’ll not find any attenuation or cut switches on the mic. Connecting the MXL 990 will also need an XLR cable. This means that your audio interface is expected to have phantom power. 

When purchasing the XML 990 microphone, you also get a carry case, mic stand adapter, and a shock mount. The shock mount is often used to reduce vibrations and protect the mic from damage. 

Performance

As soon as you start making use of this microphone, you will easily notice a good balance and a good level of sensitivity. The microphone is a great choice for vocals and excels in the midrange. It produces a rich and full tone. In an instant, the mic will make you sound better without having to do many effects. 

It’s also equally as useful and effective when recording acoustic instruments but it does so with a lower max SPL. Due to this, it’s not the first choice used in recording amps and drums. You have no issues with ambient noise with the microphone itself producing little or no noise. By adding a decent pop filter and coupling the shock mount, you’ve got a decent microphone addition to be added to any studio. 

Features

  • Legendary MXL sonic characteristics. When making use of this instrument, you’re making use of one of the best MXL products in the market. It performs well and you can easily trust the quality of sound from it. 
  • FET preamp with a reliable output. Just like you would expect from a range of other MXL products, you also get the FET preamp in this microphone. This ensures that the microphone is able to perform reliably and with consistency. 
  • Vintage body style and champagne finish. The design of the microphone is known to be quite simple; yet vintage. The champagne finish also adds to its aesthetic appeal. 
  • Set of accessories. Whenever you purchase the MXL 900, you also get access to a variety of accessories which make it easier to carry your mic around and protect it from damage. These accessories include; custom shock mount, mic stand adapter, and a case. The shock mount helps to keep the mic steady from vibrations and prevent any damage to it. The mic case is padded and sturdy. It provides a reliable option to use in moving your mic from one location to another. 
  • 30Hz-20kHz Frequency Response. 
  • Cardioid Polar Pattern

Pros

  • The MXL 990 comes in a variety of configurations. These different configurations make a versatile microphone. It can be used for a variety of applications. 
  • The quality of sound from the mic is impressive. Due to this, it can be used to record a variety of voices and instruments. 
  • It has a similar capsule with the MXL 603S.
  • It is affordable.
  • It adds to the aesthetics of your setup.

Cons

  • During certain applications, recordings can sound overly bright and harsh
  • It is not a true-diaphragm condenser
  • It lacks a variety of additional features found on other mic condensers

Final Thoughts

The MXL 990 is a quite unique microphone because it is different from another mic in a similar price range. Unlike another similar condenser mic which is useful only for use for leisure, this mic can be attached to virtually any studio of choice. Aesthetically, it is also impressive and simple. These reasons are why this microphone has gotten so popular over the years. 

It genuinely sounds better than a $200 microphone and the MXL 990 is a great buy. 

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