Home e-mail Oktava online shop Oktava eBay store English Français Русский oktava logo


Google oktava-online.com







Oktava ML-53

Ribbon microphone





This is a famous ML-52-02 housed in a different casing and so more open sound.

Please read user feedback about this mic.


Technical specifications

Polar Pattern Figure of eight
Frequency Response 20hz to 20kHz
Sensitivity > 1,6mV/Pa
Aluminium Ribbon 2.5 micron
Nominal Output Impedance 300 Ώ
Rated Load Impedance 1.5 k Ώ @ 300Ώ
1 k Ώ @ 200Ώ
Maximum SPL @ 1kHz > 135dB
Maximum Output Voltage 1,2V
Weight, g 570
Relative Humidity 85% (25°C)
Accessories included Mic holder
Accessories optional Shock mount

Frequency response

Oktava ML-53 frequency response

User comments

Experimente gemacht habe, beschloss ich, die Gitarre – wie oben gesagt – allein über das MK-220 aufzunehmen und das ML-53 für an anderen Instrumenten zu testen – und dann, wie fast zu erwarten kam die klangliche Überraschung: Für Streichinstrumente, Blasinstrumente und Percussion ein unglaublich faszinierendes Mikrofon! Ein sehr reiner Klang – alles ist da – ich konnte sämtliche Instrumente ohne EQ in den Mix einbauen. Keine aufdringlichen Frequenzen und das schönste: Ein sehr seidiger goldener Glanz ab den höheren Mitten – wow.....

Sascha Schuppert-Raetzer
Sound engineer, Zam Helga

While I'm at it, I want to tell you my last experience with the ML 53: I had
a session yesterday. Jazz combo. For the upright bass (which, by the way,
sounded very good by itself), I picked up my "usual suspect", a U47 fet. And
both the bass player and I were pleased with the sound, and were ready to
stick to it. But the drummer was late, so I decided to try the ML 53, just
out of curiosity. Well, compared to the ML, the U47 sounded midrangey! The
lows of the ML were deeper, and the mids were not so hyped. In other words,
with the ML the bass was ready to sit in the mix, with no further EQ! The
bass player left the studio with the ML 53 references in his pocket...

Gérard Lavigne at 29/09/05

Fantastic! This mic is now my ABSOLUTE first choice for electric guitar. And every guitar player I've used it on so far has noticed the difference. Put your ear in front of the speaker (noting distance and direction), find the sweet spot, and put the mic there. I've been hanging mine upside-down in a carpeted room, completely perpendicular to the floor (to avoid the bright coloration inherent in angling ribbon mics). The sound quality is amazing. The control room sounds just like the amp. Patched into an API 512C mic pre, I've been running these signals straight to tape. No EQ, no nothing, unless I need something like 1176 electronics for a little tonal coloration. Guitar players have been going nuts over these sounds. I've also had good luck recording tenor sax with it and it had an interesting quality with one male vocalist. (He liked it, I didn't.) I went out and bought another one. I'll probably get to try it on upright bass soon and I can't wait.

Even before you consider that it's only $300. I purchased this mic after buying four of the Oktava MC-012s and loving them. I'm a big fan of ribbon mics and have considerable experience with the RCA 77DX, RCA 44, Coles/STC 4038, Royer 121, and Beyer M160. I find this mic to be sonically similar to the RCA 77s that I've used, with slightly higher output. Not a really brilliant top end and nice, smooth low mids. I've always loved the Coles mics, too, but I always try ro buy mics in pairs and I just haven't been able to shell out $2000 for a pair of 4038s yet. As I said I love it on guitar and my favorite setups so far have been a pair of ML-52s about 8" off of each speaker of a 2x12, one ML-52 and an AT 4047, or an ML-52 about a foot back and a pretty audacious room mic (U87, AT 4050, & AT 4047 are faves). This mic is truly a winner. Can't wait to try the tube mics!

Chris Garges at 09/05/2002

What can I say other than it sounds exactly like an RCA 77DX. I've had stellar results in using it on guitar amps. I wouldn't use it for louds hard rock or metal but I don't play or record that kind of music. But...for 30-50watt amps for country, rockabilly, jazz and blues it recreates exaclty what you hear and you don't have to use nay comprssion or EQ, it's a dream. I also use it on female vocals beacuse it rolls off the highs very well, the same for males with a higher range. If you are into doing modern rock, metal or rap music this probably isn't mic for you. It also makes a great room mic, I used it for a live recording and use the Oktava as the main sound source only using the individual mics to fill up the gaps.

If you can't afford a coles, beyer or an old rca ribbon then this is the mic that won't set you back in dollars or that much quality. One thing I would warn anyone interested in buying one of these is that they don't all sound the same. I was todl this before I bought mine and went to guitar center and made them fire all four of them up and listed to each one which were all a little diffrerent.

Johnny Mercury at 05/26/2003

Application notes ML 52

General Comments: Ideal for digital recording as the noise floor is virtually non-existent. The ML 52 is also particularly useful in broadcast and installation due to the negligible sound it picks up from the sides, as well as 90 degree stereo recording

Female vocal: The ML52 had a very warm and soft sound which is perfect for jazz vocals. It gives a rich sound perfect for over sibilant performers. There is an abundance of rich bottom end at very close spacing.

Steinway baby grand piano: The ML 52 produces outstanding results on all pianos particularly Grand and Baby Grand.
Piano is most commonly recorded in stereo with two mics, one capturing the upper musical range and the other the lower, and with the piano lid propped open. Set up the mics inside the raised lid. The first mic 8-10" above the upper strings closer to the keyboard end of the piano. The second mic is placed above the lower strings toward the back of the piano. The first mic track is panned hard right and the second hard left, so that as the player plays from the low notes to the highs, the sound moves across the stereo field from left to right

Solo singing guitarist: The ML 52 sounds great on both vocals and acoustic guitar and its figure of 8 pattern allows flexibility when recording two sound sources at the same time in the same space.
Set up the mics one for the guitar angled to reject to voice and one for the voice angled to reject the guitar.

Electric Guitar: This mic is perfect for electric guitar cabinets. The mic run through a good mic pre amp straight to tape with no EQ gives amazing sound quality
Set the mic up about 8 inches from the speaker, if you are using a 2 cone amp use two mics each the same distance away. Alternatively use the ML 52 in conjunction with the MKL 5000, in this instance place the ML 52 about a foot back from the speaker and the MKL 5000 as a room mic set several feet back and above, depending on the size of the room

Brass: The ML 52 is very adept at recording brass instruments where the warm character of the sound is captured very well by the mic

Trumpets and trombone: These can both be captured with fine clarity and detail using the ML 52, which is harder to achieve with budget condensers
Set-up the mic anywhere from 6-12 inches away from the bell so it doesn't get overloaded.
For trumpets position the mic 45 degrees off axis and about one foot away. This will produce a sound that will mix better with the rest of the instruments.

Bongos: The ML 52 gives bongos a clear and unadulterated sound capturing the punchy attack and warm ring of the instrument
Set up the bongos with the mic in between the two skins at about 6-10 inches away. Alternatively set-up as room mic, placed above and about 5 foot away will leave bongos sounding particularly natural and clear when placed in the mix

Double / Upright Bass:
Set-up the MK 319 6 inches above the bridge and aimed slightly (to taste) toward the sound hole

Toms: see drum kit applications
If the drum set you're miking has six or more toms, individually miking each tom may not produce the clearest sound (due to phasing). Instead, place an ML 52 microphone between each pair of toms, using one half of the figure of 8 pattern directed towards each tom

Clarinet and flute

Steel strung acoustic guitar

Nylon classical guitar


Copyright (c) 2004-2012 Oktava-online