MXL is an established brand that has been in the microphone manufacturing domain for more than two decades.
The brand has a huge inventory of premium microphones.
Now, if you choose to use the MXL brand, it’s inevitable the microphone decision would at some point come down to MXL 770 or MLX 990.
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF MXL 770
The MXL 770 utilizes a high-quality FET pre-amp with transformerless balanced output for dynamic range as well as low noise.
This microphone features a low frequency low-off responsible for reducing unwanted rumbling as well as a 10db pad used in facilitating sound sources.
The 770 comes with a viable shockmount that can reduce the mechanical vibrations as well as rugged carrying case.
It is definitely an ideal combination of flexibility as well as value for professional recording studios.
Has a low frequency roll-off
Multipurpose condenser microphone
Low noise FET preamp coupled with a balanced and transformerless output
It excellent for vocals such as pianos and strings
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF MXL-990
The MXL 990 is a condenser microphone that features a Preamp and a large diaphragm for truly professional sound quality in both digital and analog recordings.
It’s a revolutionary microphone that boasts of several premium features including:
- A balanced output
- Vintage body style
- Custom shock mount
- Sweet high end and midrange production
Similarities between MXL-770 and MXL-990
Design and build quality
Both of these microphones have similar design features, which include a matte-like finish, alongside a golden front finish for a complete classy look.
The material construction for both the mics is metal, and so, you’re assured of durability and longevity from the mics.
Dimension wise, the two mics are fairly similar with only a few minor differences. The MXL 770 is slightly longer than its counterpart while MXL 990 is broader.
Sound and performance
Both microphones house a micron low distortion diaphragm coupled with a rather similar frequency response range altogether.
The MXL 990 will often tend to sound slightly flat as well as neutral coupled with minimal coloration to the audio production.
Both mics have a sensitivity of 15Mv/Pa
Both mics have a frequency response of 30 hz to 20 khz. They are pressure gradient
Signal to noise ratio
They have a signal to noise ratio of about 74 to 80 dB
Both mics have a tube type with a pressure gradient condenser
Differences between MXL-770 and MXL-990
|Nuts and bolts||0.87 inches||1.26 inches|
|Sound||Smooth with enhanced clarity||Flat and neutral|
|Signal to noise ratio||74 decibels||80 decibels|
The Capsule Size
One major difference between the two mics is their capsule size. While the MXL 770 comes with 0.87 inches which is technically a larger condenser capsule that is slightly smaller than 1 inch, MXL 990 has a full frequency response.
If you think that a bigger capsule is better then you are mistaken because even though the diaphragm capsule is an important part of your mic’s performance, it is just a small part of a complicated electrical system altogether.
Also, a quality capsule is pretty much easier to waste or sabotage using a crappy circuit.
Sound and Performance
While both mics house a gold-splutter with low distortion diaphragm, MXL 990 sounds flat sounds flatter than MXL 770.
Silk vs. Silver
MXL lists a frequency response of the two mics. However, when you take a quick look at the two, you will realize that the graphs create a different impression such that the actual numbers reside in the marketing templates.
The MXL 990 graph makes different techno heads raise eyebrows. And although the accuracy of the graphs generates some suspicion, the straight-line is primarily attributed to MXL 990.
When looking at the SPLs of the two mics 990 has a rather higher SPL 130 decibel while 770 has a lower decibel of about 137.
Besides, the S/N ratio is different for the two microphones with that of MXL 770 being about 74 decibels and 80 decibels for MXL990.
As with every product on the market, value is always of a major concern when buying a microphone.
The MXL 990 is a bit expensive than the MXL 770. Other than that, it comes with a multi-mic package which easily pairs MXL 990 with a small diaphragm condenser.
On the other hand, MXL 770 is a multi-purpose condenser mic priced lower than the MXL 990. But this does not mean that it comes with substandard features. It actually comes with excellent vocals especially for pianos and stringed instruments.
If you would like to have a definitive evaluation regarding the two mics, it is almost impossible. For your home studio use, the two are ideal choices, particularly with the affordable price points discussed above. Technical specs will always favor the MXL 990. Even so, the sharp speaks volumes via a dense mix. More buyers prefer the MXL 990 even though it is easier to reach for that sleek MXL 770 when the front end brightness demands a boost. Simultaneously, the MXL 990 can tame an ideal sound source which overwhelms the 770’s sizzle. And if you are sitting on about $220 budget for a mic, then you should realize that there is a strong case for purchasing the two mics.