Apex 460 Mods
The Apex 460 is one of the best mod platforms on the market. We have multiple mod options for this mic, both sonic and cosmetic.
#1: Capsule Replacement
The 460's capsule is a common 32mm K67 type, found in nearly every inexpensive large-diaphragm condenser ever made. It is not a great-sounding capsule, due to its uncorrected high-frequency peak. And it's the wrong capsule for this circuit, in any case.
Our favorite (and best-selling) capsule for 460 mods is the RK-12, which is our version of the capsule in the famous C12 and ElaM 251. The RK-47 is another perfectly viable choice, if you're going for a U47 vibe.
See all of our large-diaphragm microphone capsules.
#2: Grille / Headbasket Replacement
Our C12-style grille for the Apex 460 provides an easy cosmetic and sonic upgrade. The chrome grille not only looks sharp, but is more acoustically transparent than the stock grille, giving the mic a more open sound.
#3: Circuit Replacement
We make two distinct circuit replacements for the Apex 460. Both offer user-controllable high-frequency EQ, so that you can adjust the high frequency response at build time. Both include custom circuit boards, best-in-class components, and custom transformers.
The Fox 460 circuit mod kit is a cathode follower design; it offers low noise and high output. The transformer is a custom-wound 6.5:1 ratio. We have sold hundreds of these kits, with many positive reviews.
The new V-251 circuit kit is a single-stage triode design, more closely modeled on the original Telefunken ElaM 251. It uses a Cinemag T-14 transformer (12:1 ratio). It has approximately 6dB lower output than the Fox 460 circuit, but at least 6dB more headroom. It also offers an internal high-pass filter switch, and your choice of HPF behavior (rumble filter vs. high pass).
Both circuits offer excellent performance. When combined with our RK-series capsules, both will allow your Apex 460 to compete with, if not beat, commercial tube microphones in the $1500-$2500 range.
The Fox 460 has higher output, which means you'll have less preamp noise in your vocal tracks. It benefits from 3 years' worth of refinements and hundreds of customer installations. The V-251 has more headroom, switchable HPF, socketed high-frequency EQ cap, is easier to build, and has a nicer output capacitor, but it costs more, and it needs more preamp gain on quiet sources.
Both these circuits will significantly outperform "capacitor swap" and "tube swap" and "transformer swap" DIY upgrades. Only by designing the entire circuit, end to end, can the performance of any microphone be truly optimized.
#4: Case Upgrade
Have the latches broken on your Apex 460's cheap plastic suitcase? Or maybe you're just tired of the fact that you can't stand it up without it falling over?
We've commissioned a short production run of custom suitcases for the Apex 460 and similar mics. These are made of aluminum, with locking latches, and CNC-milled internal foam. The case is more durable than the stock design, and provides better protection for your tube microphone.
We do not intend to carry this product forever; once they sell out, they'll be gone forever. If you intend to purchase a case, we recommend not waiting.