ADK Mics – Vintage Re-Imagined! Beyond a Clone or Classic.
A collaboration between world-class audio engineers and forward-thinking designers. Straight-Wire Approach that retains vintage tone-profiles, with exponentially better specs.
Our Company Story.
ADK Custom Shop creates a multiverse of color options to flatter any and all source material from Hip Hop to Opera, from Heavy Metal to Jazz, Folk to Rock, Pop to Country. Our design team spans three continents and engages the minds and ears of the music industry’s brightest and best. Ray Charles was the inspiration to the ADK Custom Shop Z-Mod, and it required seven years to fulfill this mission. Our goal was to use the vintage mic as the starting-point, not the destination! Do not confuse our products with the typical clone, ADK are Classics Re-Imagined.
The Tone Quest.
Our founder was an Ivy League refugee who decided Music was his life - a Singer-Songwriter who made the rounds of coffee-houses in NYC and Boston in the late 1960’s. While attending Recording School in Boston in 1971, his class did a field trip and spent five nights recording Chick Corea at the Jazz Workshop. So began a quest – to find the best mics, the best pianos, the best guitars possible. After a twenty-year-long relationship with Steinway Pianos culminated in the creation of ADK Microphones, and a single-minded mission to recreate the tone of great vintage mics without the high self-noise and the low dynamic range that plagues the classic valve mics. The ADK Team are Musicians and Recording Engineers, with a mandate to create tools make it easy to create stunning recordings, as well as Sound-Reinforcement Live Mics that captures in a way that flatters each of the highly individual vocalists or specific instruments. Forty-odd years after tracking Chick Corea, ADK 3 Zigma Mics were used to track the Steinway at Jazz at Lincoln Center, with Mr. Corea joining Wynton Marsalis and the JLCO in New York.
What’s Wrong with Vintage Mics?
ADK Microphones and 3 Zigma Audio are not in the business of creating clones. Our Custom Mics take the Vintage Mic and Re-Purpose it for use in Modern Recording. When a/b to Vintage, Tube Mics and Solid-State Mics from ADK almost always work better on stage or in the studio. The historical microphones use bright sounding capsules then EQ the top-end out to rid them of harshness. However, this practice creates phase issues, and is in direct contradiction to straight-wire-theory. Our belief was if we could create the smoother tone of a vintage mic by having that tone in the DNA of the Actual Capsule, then very little if any EQ would be required to sound ‘right’. It took five years to create these capsules and another two years for the best ears in the industry to find the perfect transformer/capsule combinations in our Flagship Z-Mod Tube Mics.
Finding your Microphone Soul-Mate.
Our Bat-Ear Brigade included Chuck Ainlay, Michael Shipley, Terry Howard, Mick Conley and Ronnie Brookshire. What began with Ray Charles was fully realized when Stevie Wonder listened to the Z-Mods at the NAMM Show and said “I’ll take three!” The Quest was worth it!
What sets ADK Apart from other microphone companies is the remarkable way in which we have taken the Art and Science of Sound and used them to create musical “Soul-Mate Mics”! For half a century, ADK’s Larry Villella has been collecting, and using - pianos, guitars and microphones - continually seeking to find ways of improving the musical experience from each. For going on a quarter century, that passion for euphonic beauty can be heard in every ADK and 3 Zigma Microphone. Affordable Audiophile using the best practices in design and materials.