Recording - May 2018 - 16

ADK Custom Shop 12 Series
and any of these microphones could be used on any source
where one might place a C 12-style mic. A prime application is
vocal tracking, where each mic excels. I also like the Z-12 quite a
bit on acoustic guitar, and the TC-12, being so close to the Z-12
in cardioid mode, is also great. I consider the TC-12 the best of
the bunch on clean or slightly overdriven electric guitar amp, and
it makes a nice bass amp mic in tandem with a dynamic mic.
The Vienna 12-T is a favorite on acoustic guitar for its glassier
yet solid tone that highlights strums nicely. It's also well-suited to
percussion like congas, bongos, and doumbek-in other words,
percussion with a more midrange and upper-end focus. Finally,
if I was doing classical or jazz sessions, I would reach for the
C-12-LOL without hesitation for strings, winds, and even as a
nice open room mic.

Conclusion

The 3Z-12S is also used in the C-LOL-12 lollipop capsule for 3
Zigma Audio's hybrid mic system, and Larry included a C-LOL-12
mounted on a transformerless HA-TLII body as a fourth mic to try.
This was a nice refresher for me, as I reviewed the entire 3 Zigma
Audio line-including this combo-in our May 2017 issue.

C Familia

According to ADK's website, while none of these mics are
intended to be 1-to-1 clones, the Z-12, along with the ADK's
Z-251, are "possibly the most historically accurate of the six
mics." It's also worth noting that the 251 models have more
15 kHz air, while the 12s are a tad brighter and more
forward thanks to a 5 kHz boost.
The first thing I noticed when using the mics side by side is
that ADK has done a fantastic job with tuning and consistency.
All three of the Custom Shop mics are very close in sound, and
it's obvious that they share a family of origin. The Vienna 12-T
is the most solid and tight of the group. Interestingly, it seems a
touch brighter than the tube models, which are more sparkly while
the FET mic is more glassy. I also found the low-end punch of
the Vienna 12-T a little sharper, while the Z-12 and TC-12 are
still tight, but just a touch rounder.
If you are wondering if the TC-12 is essentially a cardioid-only
Z-12, the answer is "yes and no." In some of my recording/
listening tests, they could be almost indistinguishable in a mix,
but on solo instruments the Z-12 has a touch more 3D depth
and dimensionality in the upper frequency range.
Bringing the transformerless 3 Zigma C-LOL-12/HA-TLII
into the mix, I found it to be sonically in the same ballpark,
but a touch cleaner and clearer with a slightly more open
low-end depth.
I need to emphasize these differences are slight and only in
detailed comparison to each other. All of them sound great,
16

RECORDING May 2018

How do I sum this up, and how does one decide which mic
to choose out of this bunch? Some of it comes down to finances,
and the rest comes down to individual needs and applications.
At the top of the line, the Z-12, while not cheap, offers such
impeccable sound and so much flexibility (9 patterns!) that it's
definitely worth saving up for. I've now had a chance to work
with all of the Z-MODs, and they most definitely hold their own in
the $3000 boutique market; it's no wonder that they're the secret
weapon of respected engineers like Chuck Ainlay. These really
are some of the best-built customizable mics on the market-when
Larry says "no compromise," he means it. If the Z-MOD is beyond
your budget, it's hard to argue with the price of the TC-12,
especially since it's scary-close in sound to the Z-12 in cardioid.
The Vienna 12-T has a nice glassy cleanliness that is hard to
beat, coupled with a great full presence. There's a reason there
are still various Vienna models in the ADK line after almost two
decades. Still, I'm torn, because if I was going to choose a
solid-state 12-style mic, I think the versatility and expandability
of the 3 Zigma Audio system might push me in that direction. As
readers of that review might recall, the flexibility of the 3 Zigma
package is immense, and I really enjoyed being able to try one
aspect of that package against the three purpose-built mics with
the same capsule. While the tone isn't identical, the C-LOL-12 gives
users of the 3 Zigma system a very useful take on that "12" flavor.
Their sonic consistency and budget-friendly range of prices
and features make ADK Custom Shop mics hard to resist, and
whichever model you choose, you'll have the powerful forward
character of the famous "12" close at hand.

PRICES: Z-MOD Z-12, $2697 (Copper) or
$2997 (Silver); T-FET Vienna 12-T, $997;
TC-12, $697; 3 Zigma C-LOL-12 with
HA-TLII body (as reviewed), $649
MORE FROM: ADK Microphones,
www.adkmic.com


http://www.adkmic.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - May 2018

Contents
Recording - May 2018 - Intro
Recording - May 2018 - Cover1
Recording - May 2018 - Cover2
Recording - May 2018 - 1
Recording - May 2018 - 2
Recording - May 2018 - 3
Recording - May 2018 - 4
Recording - May 2018 - 5
Recording - May 2018 - Contents
Recording - May 2018 - 7
Recording - May 2018 - 8
Recording - May 2018 - 9
Recording - May 2018 - 10
Recording - May 2018 - 11
Recording - May 2018 - 12
Recording - May 2018 - 13
Recording - May 2018 - 14
Recording - May 2018 - 15
Recording - May 2018 - 16
Recording - May 2018 - 17
Recording - May 2018 - 18
Recording - May 2018 - 19
Recording - May 2018 - 20
Recording - May 2018 - 21
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Recording - May 2018 - 25
Recording - May 2018 - 26
Recording - May 2018 - 27
Recording - May 2018 - 28
Recording - May 2018 - 29
Recording - May 2018 - 30
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Recording - May 2018 - Cover3
Recording - May 2018 - Cover4
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