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AES 2009 Show Report

Oct 15, 2009 3:39 PM

Mics Gone Wild!

New mics were everywhere. We counted at least seven new ribbon models alone! AEA’s A840 ribbon mic promises less proximity boost than other AEA ribbons and handles a blistering 141dB SPL. The phantom-powered active mic features a 4.7mm pure aluminum ribbon and a captive 9-foot, cloth-covered cable. Audio-Technica unveiled its first ribbon mics, the AT4080 and AT4081, with onboard phantom-powered electronics bringing their output to near-condenser levels. Cloud Microphones’ $1,299 JRS-34 is designed by Stephen Sank and named for his father, legendary RCA designer Jon R. Sank who created the classic BK-11 ribbon mic. Independent Audio showed the Coles model 4050 stereo mic, which adjusts for a variety of stereo miking angles and can physically separate the capsules for spaced-pair placements. Shure generated a lot of interest with its Crowley and Tripp–rebranded El Diablo and Naked Eye ribbon mics, now offered as the $2,695 KSM353 and the $1,295 KSM313.

In other mic news, Neumann previewed its TLM 102 large-diaphragm condenser with 143dB SPL handling and small form-factor body for tight placements; street pricing is around $700. Also new are the KMR 81 D digital shotgun and the KK 120 figure-8 capsule—perfect for M/S stereo recording.

C 414 XL II

C 414 XL II

AKG’s C 414 line just keeps getting better. The new C 414 XLS offers the sonic imprint of the C 414 B-ULS, while the C 414 XL II has the presence boost and the spatial reproduction similar to that of the C 12. Both have nine polar patterns, three HP filters and three pads.

Bock Audio’s ( AM 50 omni tube mic updates the vintage M50 design, with a half-inch diaphragm mounted in a sphere offering unique frequency-dependent directional characteristics.

CAD Audio is now shipping its U.S.-built E100S 1-inch diaphragm condenser with a Quadra-FET™ front end delivering a whisper-quiet 3.7dBA noise floor.

Another large-diaphragm entry, the Josephson C715 ( offers a range of polar patterns achieved through a mechanical adjustment. A discrete cascode front-end circuit and Lundahl nickel-core output transformer complete the package.

The David Royer–designed MA-101fet mic from Mojave Audio has interchangeable, 3-micron small-diameter cardioid and omni capsules; low-noise FET electronics; and a full-sized Jensen output transformer.

Wunder Audio’s CM7 FET microphone is a multipattern—cardioid, omni, figure-8—version of the classic, but single-pattern U47 FET. The CM7 FET has a new K47 dual-membrane capsule; retail is $2,495.

Eigenmike em32 from MH Acoustics is a scalable mic array with 32 capsules embedded into a rigid sphere, with directivity pattern (shape, steering and direction) controllable in real time or stored for post-soundfield processing over FireWire. 

JZ Microphones BT-201 is a small-diaphragm condenser with a variety of interchangeable capsules that were both visually arresting and sonically impressive.

With all those mics in your collection, you may need the Manley MicMAID, which lets you connect up to four mics and preamps, match their levels and silently switch between any combination for instant, simple auditioning of mic/preamp combos—no patching or replugging. Every studio needs one! Shipping begins Q1, 2010.

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