AES 2010 Product Picks

Nov 11, 2010 5:56 PM, By Mix Editors


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Every AES brings a load of new mics, and this show didn’t disappoint. There were plenty of new ribbon models. Royer showed its affordable ($895) R-101, which started shipping last month. But the big AES news was cardioid ribbon mics. AEA’s KU4 is a nod to RCA’s legendary unidirectional KU3A, with the smooth sound of a 44, a wide sweet spot and less proximity bass boost than traditional figure-8 ribbons. Features include NOS RCA ribbon material, custom AEA transformer and a high-quality anodized/nickel-plate finish. The beyerdynamic RM 510 is another cardioid ribbon design, but built into an interchangeable capsule head for use with the company’s Opus 600 and 900 handheld wireless systems.

beyerdynamic RM 510

beyerdynamic RM 510

Mic designer Ben Sneesby brought his entire BeesNeez Microphones line of Australian-made condenser mics. The construction is first-class throughout, using point-to-point wiring, Cinemag transformers and NOS European and American tubes. After a quick headphone listen on the show floor, we definitely want to check these out in the studio. Microtech Gefell’s M 1030 features a cardioid pattern with a large-diameter capsule feeding a newly designed solid-state circuit topology. This transformerless design reduces the noise floor to a low 7 dBA while raising the maximum output capacity, resulting in a 135dB dynamic range.

Making its U.S. AES debut, the Schoeps SuperCMIT digital shotgun mic uses a unique dual-capsule design approach coupled with digital signal processing to minimize extraneous noise, increase range and retain the transparency and integrity of the source audio.

DPA launched its Reference Standard Mics, a new series of interchangeable mic capsules (omni/cardioid/shotgun/wide cardioid) and preamp bodies (compact, standard or standard with low-cut/high-boost switches). The range lets users create various combinations for specific applications (such as compact bodies for close-in piano miking) or simply have the versatility of having several capsules available without the expense of purchasing complete mics.

We love previewing stuff at AES that’s months away. Cascade showed a prototype of a large-body (about a foot long/3-inch diameter) tube studio condenser mic with a 1.25-inch capsule and custom output transformer. And Mojave Audio offered a peek at the MA-300, a very 67-sounding, multipattern version of its popular MA-200 tube mic, due out next year.

Neve’s 1974 2264A mono limiter/compressor

Neve’s 1974 2264A mono limiter/compressor

Millennia Media launched the HV-35 mic preamp, a 500 Series module based on its HV-3 preamp. Speaking of 500 Series, Vintage King showed Neve’s new 1073LB, which puts the discrete Class-A preamp from the classic 1073 (sans EQ) into a 500-format module. Also new is a reissue of Neve’s 1974 2264A mono limiter/compressor, offered in horizontal/vertical D.L.1-format modules, using the same architecture, components and hand-wound transformers as its historic counterpart.

Pulse Techniques LLC unveiled a near-exact re-creation of the Pultec EQP-1A3

Pulse Techniques LLC unveiled a near-exact re-creation of the Pultec EQP-1A3

Pulse Techniques—the creators of the original Pultec line some 60 years ago—is reborn by design engineer Steve Jackson and mastering engineer Dave Collins. Their new company—Pulse Techniques LLC—unveiled a near-exact re-creation of the Pultec EQP-1A3 program equalizer, produced to the same specs as the original—except now with XLR I/O and removable IEC AC cord. Retail is $3,495.

Retro Powerstrip

Retro Powerstrip

The Retro Powerstrip puts the tone of a tube mixer, Pultec-style EQ and British tube compressor into a two-rackspace chassis. Features include a Class-A tube mic pre with phantom power; industry-standard passive EQ; and transformer-balanced mic and line inputs, and line output to eliminate ground-induced hum and noise.

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