Soundelux Debuts the E250 Cardioid Tube Mic

May 10, 2004 12:00 PM, Editors

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Conceived and designed purely as a vocal microphone, the Soundelux E250 cardioid tube condenser rethinks classic tube microphone design to address the inherent problems with the modern practice of close-miking loud vocals. Classic tube condenser microphones were never meant to be placed within six-inches of loud vocalists, yet producers and engineers love the presence, size and low-frequency boost this adds to their artist's sound. However the proximity effect's low-frequency build up and the upper midrange/treble tilt of many popular old classic cardioid microphones can also work counter-productively, causing problems requiring extensive outboard signal processing.

Designer David Bock remarks: "I started out designing a more affordable and mellow version of the ELUX 251 while still retaining all the 251's meat and sound. Something you can't get from a 47 or any of the other vintage mics. The E250 is not as bright as the 251 with its pronounced high-frequency peak. The 250 is mellowed down a bit and I sculpted the proximity effect more towards the middle of the vocal range than down below it where it usually lives. Basically the 250 is a condenser version of the 251 optimized for close vocals and includes all our modern enhancements with lower noise and distortion specs."

Another problem with close miking vocals is high-frequency directionality or the "beaming effect." This is where any slight head movement by the singer can produce a big change in the high-frequency content. Bock continues with: "The new E250 has a broader cardioid polar pattern than our standard 251, which is fairly directional up close, and that makes it much more forgiving in these cases."

The E250 is similar looking to the ELUX 251 with the same classic color scheme but with a one-piece body and without a chromed windscreen. The E250 is delivered in a wood box, comes with a custom shock-mount and the reliable P251 power supply (same as ELUX 251).

Similarity to the ELUX 251 ends with a whole new capsule design. Derived from the 251, the capsules are hand-picked and individually tested. They have a one-inch in diameter with a six-micron-thick gold-vapor deposited diaphragm. Again like the 251, the entire capsule is mounted in a brass holder. Bock also chose a different tube and output transformer than the ELUX 251 and kept Soundelux' Stable Bias circuitry design to prevent the sound of the mic changing with dynamics. The mic's frequency response stays constant whether singing loud or soft. When asked if he feels he accomplished his original design goal and overall sound of the mic, Bock simply says: "You could say it's huge-sounding."

Soundelux Microphones is a division of Ascent Media; Soundelux microphones are made in the US and distributed by Transamerica Audio Group.

For more information, go to www.transaudiogroup.com.






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