PSA: Rode NT1 Ground Issue

To semi-quote from The Album of the Soundtrack of the Trailer of the Film of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 'purchasers of the Executive Version* of the NT1, the newer, charcoal-colored, flatter-response model, there is a failure mode you should know about. Purchasers of nickel-plated standard version (NT1A) need not read on - your unit is built differently. This is only for purchasers of the Executive Version*.'

The middle, "NT1A" version featured a different construction method that had this cone pressure-fit and then held in by a pair of set screws. The new charcoal-colored Rode NT1 features a simplified body construction. In this new version the cone simply screws onto the bottom of the body tube. Once you remove the mounting flange that holds the mic into the stand adapter the cone also unscrews and can be removed. Note the internal shock mount tension ring that is within the cone and be sure to return it to its rightful place when you reassemble it. With the cone off, a little tug on the interior frame will slide out the nicely-built works as a unit if you care to look at it. The cone is only screwed on hand-tight so that it can be removed for service. Lovely. BUT.

If that cone becomes slightly loosened you may experience intermittent hum, a raised noise floor, and general mayhem including static noise when the mic is handled. It seems that tying together the envelope of the mic securely contributes to the mic's ironclad shielding and thus to the best production mic self noise in the industry that the NT1 series is known for. If you get these audible effects, remove the mounting flange and hand-tighten your end cone. Betcha the noisel goes away.

We've got a "self-serve" booth in one of our studios that uses one of these mics. The mic is handled mercilessly by unskilled hands and it began to exhibit all the symptoms mentioned above. How someone worked the cone loose I can't tell you. I suppose some things are better left unknown.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

*Just kidding about the executive version stuff. Both NT1s are great mics.