Marshall MXL 603s Microphone Review

MXL 603s Condenser Microphone

The Marshall MXL 603s is a small-diaphragm condenser microphone well-regarded for use in typical Small Diaphragm Cardioid microphone applications such as capturing acoustic instruments and percussion.  The 603s works well on the high end, making it a great choice for overhead micing.  It performs well – picking up an instrument’s natural acoustics and providing a full, solid bottom and a wonderfully open top end sound.  The MXL 603s can be purchased in pairs for stereo recording for around $80.

Designed with professional working musicians in mind, the MXL 603s is an attractive, small-bodied pencil microphone with a satin silver finish and a detachable cardioid capsule.  Based on the Schoeps CM4 design, the 603s features transformerless circuitry and uses a 2SK170BL FET.  Like other microphones in Marshall’s MXL series, the internal wiring of the 603s uses Mogami cables and boasts a gold-sputtered, 6-micron gold diaphragm.

The intent in designing the MXL 603s was to replicate the sound of Neumann’s KM-84 unit.  So while Neumann uses a crossed-slit backplate capsule design, the MXL uses circular grooves and achieves a similar effect. The 603s ships with just a cardioid capsule but it is compatible with the omnidirectional capsule that comes with the 604 model.  Mounted to the 603s, the cardioid capsule is said to be a bit less sensitive (10 mV/Pa) than when used on the 604 (15 mV/Pa).

The MXL 603s can be purchased for under $100 a pair, and ships with a carry case and two shock mounts. Marshall’s MXL 603s is a great performer with a bit of versatility and for the price, it’s worth having in your microphone locker.

-By John Redick

Marshall MXL 603s Microphone Shockmount

Marshall MXL 603s Shockmount

 

Make sure to check out my review of the MXL 604 condenser microphone as well!

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New School Audio Line Break

Marshall MXL 603s Manual Resources:

New School Audio Line Break

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Make sure to check out my review of the MXL 604 condenser microphone as well!

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