Rode NTK Vs NT1A Comparison
What are the differences between Rode NTK and Rode NT1A? Which is the model best for my preferences, needs, and requirements? These questions may be what you are having in your head right now. Of course, both of them are condenser microphones that are tailored for vocals. However, they are being priced significantly differently. Rode NT1A is quite considerably more affordable and budget-friendlier than Rode NTK. Below, you can find the comparisons of the two, along with the recommendation about which to purchase. (Take a look: Rode NTK Vs K2)
If we try to put the two products next to each other, we may notice that Rode NTK is a little bit bulkier than Rode NT1A. Both are silver with some hint of creamish hue. Weighing 760 grams, Rode NTK is also quite heavier than Rode NT1A, which is barely 326 grams. For the sake of easy and comfortable handling, Rode NT1A may be more pleasant and friendlier to the user. However, there are still a lot of things that factor in usage.
Rode NTK and Rode NT1A both are pressure gradient cardioid condenser microphones. However, they are designed very differently from each other. Rode NTK is significantly heavier because it uses a valve/tube impedance converter with bipolar output buffer. At the contrast, Rode NT1A is tubeless! Rode NT1A utilizes JFET impedance converter with bipolar output buffer. Such configurations greatly affect their output, and we will delve into this further in the next section.
|Rode NTK||Rode NT1A|
|- Large 1 inch capsule with gold plated diaphragm||- Large 1" (25mm) capsule with gold plated diaphragm|
|- Internal capsule shock mounting||- Internal capsule shock mounting|
|- Ultra low noise||- Ultra low noise, transformerless surface mount circuitry|
|- Wide dynamic range||- Wide dynamic range|
Features and Performance
Rode NTK and Rode NT1A have the same frequency response range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz so that they can capture similar low, mid, and high frequencies. However, Rode NTK comes with a higher impedance of 200 ohms, while Rode NT1A’s impedance is 100 ohms. A mic with higher impedance may require more power, but, as the effect, can deliver better sonic accuracy and sound solidity. Rode NTK also has a higher maximum SPL handling than Rode NT1A, which means that it can tolerate louder sounds and perform better in close-up recordings. The NTK can take up to 158 dB SPL at 1kHz, 1% THD into a 1KΩ load, while the NT1A can only take up to 137 dB SPL.
Rode NTK has a very low equivalent noise level, which is only 12 dB-A. However, being a tubeless, transformerless condenser microphone, Rode NT1A boasts an extremely low noise level of barely 5 dB-A. Indeed, Rode NT1A produces such an unbelievably quiet recording, but Rode NTK is already considered superior compared to many other microphones.
Furthermore, being tubeless, Rode NT1A may sound way too bright to some people. It may sound too raw and too harsh. On the other hand, Rode NTK is quite warmer and less bright. It sounds sweeter and more pleasant to the ears.
Rode NTK Vs NT1A
In general, Rode NTK is the best choice here. The tonal characteristics of being warm and only slightly bright are very useful to vocals. It sounds more pleasant and convenient to the ears. With Rode NT1A, you may need some EQ to smooth the audio reproduction a little bit.