Friday, October 30, 2009
The RE20 is probably the best all-round mic I own. I have condensers, dynamics, 57s, 58s, etc. But no mic seems to work as well on different sources as the RE20. It's great on a bass cab. It sounds great on a kick drum, especially if you're after a vintage sound, or something not metal. It kills on guitar cabs, meaty, with just the right edge. And it is far and away, the vocal mic I turn to the most. I don't know why, but it seems that anytime I have a vocalist who doesn't sound great on a condenser, they sound awesome on the RE20. So, what's my repair story?
A while back, I was looking around at RE20s, they were selling for around $450 new, so I thought, what the heck, I'll buy a used one. Got it off eBay for $250! Sweet!
So, it shows up and seems fine, it even came with the funky spider mount that you see in radio stations. I sold that on eBay for $50 or so. But then I notice something. When I tilt the mic, I hear a thud inside. Like something heavy moving around. The mic still sounds fine, I think, but that thud is a problem! I do a little research and find that Telex is the only place that services them or sells parts. I can't find an allen wrench that will open the thing, but I'm convinced that it's the deteriorating foam issue that I've read about. So I call 'em up and order replacement foam, and they throw in the required allen wrench for free. That all costs around $25.
It comes, I open the mic, sort of, but it's not at all easy to do. After breaking the XLR connector, and never actually getting the thing open enough to replace the foam (there are two pieces) I decide to send it back to Telex, to have them do the repair.
A week or so later, a box arrives! My RE20 is back and looking good! The paperwork indicates that they replaced the foam (which I'd included in the package) along with the XLR and the Capsule (which was presumably damaged by all the powder from the deteriorating foam.) All good.
Then a while later, I get an invoice indicating how much this had all cost, over $200. They went ahead and charged my card since they had it on file from the foam order. I was a little irritated that they hadn't bothered to check and see whether I was ok with that, but I understand they were working under the assumption that I wanted the mic fixed, so whatever.
End of story, I got a used RE20 for about $25 more than I would have paid for a new one, and it only took about a month longer!
Even so, I love my RE20, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a versatile mic that sounds as good as anything out there. Hey, Stevie Wonder uses one!