Audio-Technica AT2020 Mods
The AT2020 is a lousy platform for DIY modification. Here are the reasons:
- Like many AT mics, it uses an "electret" capsule. This means the capsules do not require external power, which in turn means that the circuit does not provide power to the capsule. This means that capsules that DO require external power, like all of the large-diaphragm "true condenser" capsules in the world (including our RK-12, RK-47, and RK-87), will not work with the electret AT circuits. Said another way, most DIY microphone upgrades involve replacing the capsule, but there are zero-to-few options for aftermarket electret capsules that might work in the Audio-Technica electret microphones.
- Many AT mics use proprietary capsule designs with unusual mounts. Even the non-electret AT mics would present challenges in physically installing a 3rd-party large-diaphragm capsule.
- Nearly all AT mics use surface-mount circuit boards that do not lend themselves to circuit upgrades.
Therefore, if you are interested in DIY, don't start with one of these microphones.
All three of the numbered objections above are true of the AT2020. We find it to be a microphone that most people outgrow fairly quickly. If you have an AT2020 you no longer have any use for, sell it and buy something that you like better. Or, sell it and buy something that is easier to upgrade.
For example, here is a short list of sub-$100 "donor" microphones that have many DIY upgrade opportunities:
- MXL 990
- MXL 770
- Monoprice 600800
- MXL V63M
- MXL 2001
- ... or find something else from this directory of mods but be aware that not every microphone listed there has both capsule and circuit upgrades available (you'll have to click through to read the details)
See also the S-25 microphone kit, which delivers incredible performance despite its entry-level price. The S-25 kit includes a world-class audio circuit, a heavy-duty microphone body and grille, a medium-diaphragm capsule that captures impressive detail without hype, and detailed instructions for the build. (Click the image at left to see 20 five-star customer reviews for this microphone.)