Oktava MK18 condenser microphone

The Oktava MK18 is the less well known, but more sophisticated older brother of the ubiquitous MK219, which is used and abused by hoards of mic-modders who love to chop and swap grills, capacitors and resistors.

Oktava MK18, front view with pattern switch

In contrast to the cardioid-only 219, the MK18 is a dual diaphragm, multipattern condenser mic, with bass roll off (HPF), a -10dB pad, and pattern selector switches.

Oktava MK18 rear view with pad, HPF and rear capsule switch

It also has a fourth switch with large and small cardioid symbols. This controls the ‘mix’ of the rear capsule, allowing the in-between patterns to be selected, to give hypercardioid and supercardioid response. Clever!

Oktava MK18 inside, front view showing components

The switches are actuated by sprung bits of bent metal, and they make the mic very tricky to reassemble.

Oktava MK18 inside, rear view showing PCB traces

The mic has that typical Oktava quirky build style, with etched PCBs and a small square can output transformer that looks different in size style from the ones in the MK219 and 319. The connector is a push-fit din plug!

Unfortunately this mic is designed to run with 60V rather than 48V phantom power. It will work with a normal phantom supply, but is currently giving erratically output, and may need some small modification to make it behave itself!