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Gentlemen... the Bruce Swedien signature microphone Condenser Microphones
Old 16th November 2009
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Kantola View Post
These microphone bodies are much less sensitive to humidity and temperature changes than say acoustic guitars or pianos, they are more like electric guitar bodies. With the Swedien model, there's no tube inside that generates heat either. In any case, there's a 10 year warranty on the microphones (including the body).

Martin
Is there any sonic benefit to using a wood body? What type of wood is used?
Old 16th November 2009
  #32
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looks great!
Old 16th November 2009
  #33
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Wood = warm

wood wont ring
Old 16th November 2009
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS View Post
Wood = warm

wood wont ring
I've been leaning towards the purchase of a BeezNeez T1 for about a month, for vocal and voice over work. Then along comes this, which just looks cool. Given the Swedien/Kantola reputation, I can take comfort in knowing that I'm not just choosing fashion over function.

...but I'll wait for a little more data before I make a decision like this...
Old 16th November 2009
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS View Post
Wood = warm

wood wont ring
Correct. Tapping the body you'll hear a different sound than many other microphones. How much this gets into the recording is hard to say, but my approach is that every little thing is important in the end. Personally I just like the way the microphone feels in your hand. The body of the Swedien is walnut BTW, and we use wax, not varnish, to avoid a plastic feel and look.

Martin
Old 16th November 2009
  #36
Is there a metal chassis inside the wood, i.e., is the wood purely decorative?
Old 16th November 2009
  #37
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Kantola View Post
Plush had a great question already, why give up the tube? Several reasons: Good microphone tubes are becoming scarce or at least ridiculously expensive, and at some point we'll need replacements too. Unfortunately any mass-produced Chinese tube won't do the job as you've all probably noticed.

The limits of my tech knowledge have been reached here so I'll just ask: is there something special about tubes for microphones as opposed to other tube circuits?

I ask because what is possibly the most euphonic, detailed, and musical pre I've ever experienced --- the Peach m196se --- is tube based, which is not a shocker as it sounds like tubes. But what *was* a shocker was popping the top and seeing a bunch of decidedly unspecial, stock Sovtek 12ax7's in there.

According to the designer, it's all about the implementation, the tube itself is not the source of the magic. I doubt I'd have believed him if I hadn't used the pre rather extensively in several studios.

So is there something different about mics that makes them an exception to this idea? If someone can take a bunch of 12ax7's and make them sound like god in a pre, is the same thing not possible in a mic?

Thanks for indulging me!


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
Old 16th November 2009
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Dawkins View Post
Is there a metal chassis inside the wood, i.e., is the wood purely decorative?
There's heavy metal shielding for the sensitive electronics, and both the electronics and capsule are decoupled from the outer wooden shell. An internal shock mount system if you like, so not only decorative.

Martin
Old 16th November 2009
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
The limits of my tech knowledge have been reached here so I'll just ask: is there something special about tubes for microphones as opposed to other tube circuits?

I ask because what is possibly the most euphonic, detailed, and musical pre I've ever experienced --- the Peach m196se --- is tube based, which is not a shocker as it sounds like tubes. But what *was* a shocker was popping the top and seeing a bunch of decidedly unspecial, stock Sovtek 12ax7's in there.

According to the designer, it's all about the implementation, the tube itself is not the source of the magic. I doubt I'd have believed him if I hadn't used the pre rather extensively in several studios.

So is there something different about mics that makes them an exception to this idea? If someone can take a bunch of 12ax7's and make them sound like god in a pre, is the same thing not possible in a mic?

Thanks for indulging me!


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
Have you heard the Peach with a NOS Telefunken tube in it, perchance. I bet it would sound even more sweet :-) I have swapped a lot of tubes in mics and outboard in my day. There is no doubt different tubes color the sound in different ways and that the good old ones unfortunantely sound better than the new stuff.
Old 16th November 2009
  #40
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I can tell you my immediate reaction to the Swedien No. 1 microphone was, "Wow... I wonder what transformer he uses in there... this sounds really big and expensive." It is a mic that has the goods that many commonly attribute these days with tubes and good transformers.

So, is there a transformer in the Swedien No. 1? Nope. As Martin explained to me, there would be a transformer if it was necessary or if it actually improved the sound. Martin (like Bruce) is not the type to cut corners, ever. The implementation of his design is purposeful and if the inclusion of a transformer had a sonic benefit you can bet it would be there. Omitting a transformer is not a cost-cutting measure, design philosophy or religious move. This circuit just doesn't need one. Martin designs for sonics, not specifications.

We should note that Martin has not abandoned tube-based microphones so this isn't really a question of which is better. With proper implementation and some creativity, both can be excellent.

In fact, one of Martin's newer offerings is the NU-49, which is a multi-pattern tube microphone. Bruce ordered the first pair. Tubes are great, and they have their place in our hearts already. What I think everyone will be impressed with is Martin's ability to capture that essence and excitement in a completely different circuit design as implemented in the Swedien No. 1.

Feel free to email me ( [email protected] ) if you are interested in a listening session in your area. The goal is to get these microphones in front of people to experience firsthand and judge with their own ears.
Old 17th November 2009
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by World Studios View Post
Have you heard the Peach with a NOS Telefunken tube in it, perchance. I bet it would sound even more sweet :-)

I would take that bet! My position is that it might sound different, but it would not sound sweeter, and I would lay serious money that attempts to sweeten the sound would come at the expense of the detail.

But my point wasn't that stock 12ax7's make the sweetest sounding circuits, my point was that stock 12ax7's can be implemented in a way that is utterly beyond reproach by any measure or standard; the Peach is world class and, imo, in a league occupied by very few other pieces. So when the broad claim is made that new tubes don't cut it and only the rare old gems will do, it seems to fly in the face of my experience.

But I say 'seems to' because I admit to the possibility that microphones are different and have requirements that set them apart from (e.g.) preamps, and that the above claim is therefore true with regards to them. My tech knowledge is still in its infancy compared to the men who can actually design things from the ground up, so I figured I'd ask.

I await the answer!


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
Old 17th November 2009
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I would take that bet! My position is that it might sound different, but it would not sound sweeter, and I would lay serious money that attempts to sweeten the sound would come at the expense of the detail.

But my point wasn't that stock 12ax7's make the sweetest sounding circuits, my point was that stock 12ax7's can be implemented in a way that is utterly beyond reproach by any measure or standard; the Peach is world class and, imo, in a league occupied by very few other pieces. So when the broad claim is made that new tubes don't cut it and only the rare old gems will do, it seems to fly in the face of my experience.

But I say 'seems to' because I admit to the possibility that microphones are different and have requirements that set them apart from (e.g.) preamps, and that the above claim is therefore true with regards to them. My tech knowledge is still in its infancy compared to the men who can actually design things from the ground up, so I figured I'd ask.

I await the answer!


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
With regards to guitar amps, I've seen a number in a number of places the proposition that the reason NOS tubes sound so good and make such a difference in older "classic" circuits is that these circuits were designed around their performance characteristics. New tubes supposedly perform quite differently and for that reason don't "sit" right with these older amps.

I'd imagine that the same is possibly true for the Peach, that the circuit was tweaked around the performance of newer tubes as opposed to newer tubes being used in a circuit optimised for older models.
Old 17th November 2009
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark714 View Post
In fact, one of Martin's newer offerings is the NU-49, which is a multi-pattern tube microphone. Bruce ordered the first pair.
I got a chance to use the NU-49 as well--it's a wonderful mic. A bit darker than the SWE-1, but just gorgeous overall. It takes EQ really well, in much the same way a ribbon does.
Old 17th November 2009
  #44
That wood grain... man that is one arousing microphone. I think I'm wet.
Old 17th November 2009
  #45
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Martin Kantola's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
The limits of my tech knowledge have been reached here so I'll just ask: is there something special about tubes for microphones as opposed to other tube circuits?
A couple of things come to mind right away. 1) The tube inside a microphone has to deal with impedances up to a billion Ohms. 2) You might have up to 60dB of pre-amp gain following the microphone.

Martin
Old 19th November 2009
  #46
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Acoustic guitar sample

Here's a couple of acoustic guitars recorded with the Swedien #1, no processing. We'll try to post some other samples of various instruments later if you're interested.

http://www.nu47.com/samples/swe1-acguit.wav

Martin
Old 19th November 2009
  #47
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Knastratt's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Kantola View Post
Here's a couple of acoustic guitars recorded with the Swedien #1, no processing. We'll try to post some other samples of various instruments later if you're interested.

http://www.nu47.com/samples/swe1-acguit.wav

Martin
Good Lord - I need endorsement!
Old 19th November 2009
  #48
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Kris's Avatar
Really sweet sounding clip
Old 19th November 2009
  #49
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Michael Maeurer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Kantola View Post
Here's a couple of acoustic guitars recorded with the Swedien #1, no processing. We'll try to post some other samples of various instruments later if you're interested.

http://www.nu47.com/samples/swe1-acguit.wav

Martin
Unfassbar... awesome... thumbsup
Old 19th November 2009
  #50
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bigbone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Kantola View Post
Here's a couple of acoustic guitars recorded with the Swedien #1, no processing. We'll try to post some other samples of various instruments later if you're interested.

http://www.nu47.com/samples/swe1-acguit.wav

Martin
Very nice sounding, and nice playing also......... Bravo
Old 19th November 2009
  #51
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Nice clips...

Is this mic end-address or side-address? The cage design looks decidedly end-address to me...look how dense the cage gets near the body. If side-address, I'm wondering what led you to this cage design.
Old 20th November 2009
  #52
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Thanks for the positive feedback guys! We've booked another test session for next week, it'll be drums... Have a couple of answers for your excellent questions, will get back to that soon.

Martin
Old 20th November 2009
  #53
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Kantola View Post
Here's a couple of acoustic guitars recorded with the Swedien #1, no processing.

The 'no processing' part makes it even more impressive. Great sound! There are few things in the world as lush as double-tracked acoustic guitars, but getting a 'soft' sound on that instrument is an elusive bird. You got it!

That clip has a similar roundness on top to the Milab VIP50, which also has a rectangular capsule and a simlarly unhyped, solid, almost syrupy tone. I miss mine, sold it years ago before an old guy sonned me and said "NEVER sell your mics". I've sold comps, eqs, consoles, and tape decks and regret none of it, but I miss every mic I've ever sold.


Gregory Scott - ubk
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Old 21st November 2009
  #54
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Michael_Joly's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
The limits of my tech knowledge have been reached here so I'll just ask: is there something special about tubes for microphones as opposed to other tube circuits?...is there something different about mics that makes them an exception to this idea? If someone can take a bunch of 12ax7's and make them sound like god in a pre, is the same thing not possible in a mic?
I've been doing some comparisons of increasingly hard-to-source (getting almost impossible) New Old Stock ('50s-'60s) GE 5 Star 6072 tubes and brand new, self-selected for low noise, gold pin, Russian-built 12AY7 tubes sold by Electro Harmonix (New Sensor corp) in microphone circuits. I mean I love the old **** - I'm totally into the metaphysical "time capsule" concept of audio (you know, the "vibe" of another time and place sealed in a vacuum tube)

But let me just say that capsule, headbasket design, circuit topology and component types far outweigh any perceived benefit of really expensive NOS tubes - GE, RCA, Mullard or Telefunken. I say let the effete pipe-smoking audiophools have them, lets keep prices real in tube mics, use current production tubes and get on with making some music.
Old 21st November 2009
  #55
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We did a little mic shoout with the Swedien No.1, Neumann U67 and 87, Sony C800G, AT4050 and the Flea 47 at the gearslutz party last October. I uploaded some sound files: mic shootout with incl. Bruce Swedien N.1
Old 21st November 2009
  #56
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I posted another comparison with the Swedien mic, Flea 47 and U67 and a male singer: here it is
Old 21st November 2009
  #57
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Joly View Post
But let me just say that capsule, headbasket design, circuit topology and component types far outweigh any perceived benefit of really expensive NOS tubes - GE, RCA, Mullard or Telefunken. I say let the effete pipe-smoking audiophools have them, lets keep prices real in tube mics, use current production tubes and get on with making some music.

I feel the same way about active, buffered IC design.

I love the designs from the past, there's gold in them thar hills. But modern topologies offer incredible possibilities, and imo you can do the most extraordinary things when you have both the crazy colored gear alongside the beautifully pristine stuff.

Hats off to making genius with the current technology. thumbsup


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
Old 21st November 2009
  #58
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IMO with today's modern topologies and IC design its easyer to make/design a very clean "distortion-less" high spec,low noise microphone then a colored one with tons of mojo.
On the other hand with tube/transformer design its almost "instant" color most of the time. Making it clean is the hard part (see how much manufacturers and designers strugled with this issue back in thos years)
Old 27th November 2009
  #59
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New sound clips!

http://www.nu47.com/samples/swe1drums.wav
http://www.nu47.com/samples/swe1tamb.wav
http://www.nu47.com/samples/swe1shaker.wav
http://www.nu47.com/samples/swe1acgtr.wav

Drums were recorded with only an OH pair + another Swedien on the kick. As before, no EQ or processing applied. These 1 min files line up and play together.

Martin
Old 27th November 2009
  #60
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Note that the drums and percussion files start with a few bars of silence...
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