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Old February 25th, 2005, 05:10 PM   #1
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Rode NT1a vs. NT2a

Anyone heard them both? I guess the 2a
has the pad, bass cut, and variable pattern,
but other than that, do they sound any
different?
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Old February 26th, 2005, 05:13 AM   #2
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Dave, we all went throught this last year and I thought I had sent you all the files. Matt and I had files on Matts personal site

The NT1a is a basic bargain and the NT2a is a totally different product. The NT2a is crisp and very transparent. It also has a variable pattern , pad and roll off. It's a big step up from the 1a in my opinion. It does have it's obvious limitations.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 05:48 AM   #3
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Hi Bryan.

It's been awhile, hasn't it. I see we're both
still kickin'.

I don't believe those NT2a files are around anymore,
are they? Did you and Matt feel that the "2" sounded
better than the "1" (putting aside pad, pattern, and
roll off features)?
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Old February 26th, 2005, 06:38 AM   #4
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Re: Rode NT1a vs. NT2a

<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Largent : Anyone heard them both? I guess the 2a
has the pad, bass cut, and variable pattern,
but other than that, do they sound any
different? -->>>

yes. nt2-a better


ty
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Old February 26th, 2005, 07:36 AM   #5
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I'm sorry but I don't remember any conversation regarding the NT2-a... I thought this was a really new mic design. This mic looks just like the nt1000s I have, but with adjustable pattern, cut-off, and output.

My experience with Rode includes the nt3, NTK, nt1000s, and nt2000. My summation of it was that the NTK was definitely the best sounding Rode mic of all the ones I had...

I didn't care for the nt2000's sound much at all. (Not at all "lively".) After owning the NTK for a while it took just three weeks to send the nt2000 packin'...

The nt3 is a great little bargain for what it is... a heavy mic with battery power option and it can cross over from studio to a location mic, but stand or hand only... too heavy for anything else.

The nt1000 turned out to be the compromise that I needed to satisfy me for the NTK sound without the NTK hassle. (The NTK uses a dedicated power supply and this gets you a massive black box and a half-mile of cords.) I don't think the nt1000 is as good a mic as the NTK... which I still like about 15% better... but it's just too convenient in comparison... so for now, the nt1000 is my favorite practical Rode mic and the NTK is my favorite sounding Rode mic.

The nt2000 experience turned me off so much that I don't have the confidence to even try out their new variable pattern offering. I couldn't have been more excited to get the nt2000 after being so happy with the NTK... and then my bubble was burst when the nt2000 didn't have even half the life of the NTK... Thankfully the nt1000 has 85% of it... which was enough for me.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 08:27 AM   #6
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I'll disagree with Matt. Rode has (thankfully) been on a trend of putting out mics without an overly bright top end. The NT2-a and NT2000 are fine examples of this.

The NT2000 has a more natural top end than the NT1000 or NTK. Over time, I learn to dislike the poke in the ear that the NTK and NT1000 have. The NT2000 and NT2-a are still lifted in the top end, just not as much.

I think too many people get jazzed by elevated top ends, like getting hooked on sugar, and don't want to give it up.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old February 26th, 2005, 09:46 AM   #7
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Thanks, Ty, for the comment on the NT2a
having a better sound than the 1a.
If I'm not mistaken, you did a bit of a test
on the AT2020? At any rate, the 2020
test I heard was certainly way below what
I heard out of the NT1a. From what I
heard of the 2020, I wouldn't pay over
$150 for that mic.
Since I'm considering a purchase, Ty, I
would be curious as to what difference
you noticed between the 1a and the 2a.
On another note, just to put my thoughts
out here, I didn't think the NT3 is really all
that. Now, maybe for the price, you may
be right, but the NT5 kicks the NT3
right, left, and every which way.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 12:40 PM   #8
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Well my test was an mp4. That's compressed audio.

The 1a was edgier, brighter.

Don't think I reviewed the nt3.

What I did review is in the archive on my site.

Regards,

Ty
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Old February 26th, 2005, 05:32 PM   #9
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Perhaps you're right Ty... I may be hooked on the sugar. If I get a chance I'll give an nt-2a a try. I really WANTED to like the nt2000... I anticipated that mic's arrival even more then the 416, but I guess I still had the NTK taste in my ears.

Basically what it came down to was this... I have a friend with a freaky deep voice and he sounds a little like Don Lafontaine... and with the NTK he sounded even closer... On the nt2000 he wasn't even in the ballpark. With the variable pattern mic I never got the "you are there" feeling that I had in the other two... but then again you gotta' realize that I'm not using anything else in my audio chain. It's just mic and camera.

...Well thanks, now you've gone and done it... I gotta' go buy another mic.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 06:00 PM   #10
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Matt,

It took me close to five years to get my preference for a LOT of compression and limiting out of my head. When I listen back to those mixes now, I think, "What was I thinking."

I know what I was thinking. I was thinking it sounded good.

As for your V/O guy. He may have had a very dark voice and the added peak works for his voice. This can happen.

All I'm saying is that, I have an NTK and NT1000. Both have a +5 dB peak at 11 kHz. At first it sounds quite crisp and in your face. Over time though it scratches at your ear. For spot work, it may help to cut through. For sung vocals, guitars andf the like, it can get mildly annoying.

As for getting another mic. Try a Schoeps cmc641 on vocals. Expect to think you need to add some 6k. Resist until you get the track in a mix. Then see if you need any.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old February 27th, 2005, 10:48 AM   #11
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I checked it out and you're right... they have smoothed out the top end significantly over previous generations. CLICK HERE for Rode's graphs on the nt2-a. or CLICK HERE for Rode's graphs on the nt2000. and then CLICK HERE for Rode's graph on the nt1000. or CLICK HERE for Rode's graph on the NTK.

That last bump from 8k to 11k does look rather sudden in comparison to the newer mics... kind of makes me wish I hadn't judged the nt2000 quite so fast. The end of the nt1000 and NTK graphs does resemble a spoon full of sugar.
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Old February 27th, 2005, 11:46 AM   #12
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It is VERY easy to be persuaded towards a brighter sounding mic in any comparison. I think our brains are pre-wired for "brighter is better." It took me a while to realize that fact.

Again, in the old analog tape days, after a 2" master sat on the shelf or was wound and rewound a lot, it lost some of the original HF content. That doesn't happen with digital.

This fact has been slowly accepted in the market and among the manufacturers. Once I realized what I was hearing (about three years ago) I began to challenge the usefulness of the brighter mics. Many of them were the chinese condensers which are not only brighter but also edgier. The combo of bright and edgy is even nastier.

Anyway, I had recorded an acoustic guitar track with the NTK that I was pretty happy with. Over time, though, it began scratching my ear.

A friend sent me a copy of his band's new CD. The lead vocals were recorded with an NTK. She had sort of a smokey voice with its own edge. Again, my ear was being scratched. I asked what mic he used...NTK.

Now, having said all this, go back to your NTK mixes, insert some EQ and center it at 6kHz and pull it back a dB or two. How does that work for you?

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old February 27th, 2005, 03:52 PM   #13
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Re: Re: Rode NT1a vs. NT2a

yes. nt2-a better


ty -->>>



What would be a range of distance (talent to mic)
that it would be acceptable to use the NT2a with a singer?
Would a pop filter be necessary, or is that
only for real close distance?
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Old February 27th, 2005, 05:16 PM   #14
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Re: Re: Re: Rode NT1a vs. NT2a

<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Largent : yes. nt2-a better


ty -->>>



What would be a range of distance (talent to mic)
that it would be acceptable to use the NT2a with a singer?
Would a pop filter be necessary, or is that
only for real close distance? -->>>


Hmm, questions that evoke more questions. :)
Depends on singer, the intimacy/projection desired and acoustics of room; Thee inches to 12 inches.

Pop filters are usually a good idea. I hate losing a take just because someone popped the mic.


Ty
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Old February 27th, 2005, 08:13 PM   #15
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Ty,
I was over at your site and have read some reviews
you have of mics that seem to be of a similar
type and price as the NT2a. There's
the AT4040 and the AT4047. Also, there's
an AT3035 side address that goes for
about $200. I wish I was close to a pro
audio shop like Bryan is, but unfortunately
I'm not, so I can't go and listen for myself.
Would you have any comment about how
the AT mics I've mentioned here might
stack up to the NT2a?
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