Blue Cactus
Old 1st December 2003
  #1
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Blue Cactus

Has anyone tried out this tube mic? I only have seen rave reviews, but we know how much they can mean at times.
Old 1st December 2003
  #2
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

I too am interested. I had the chance to get one for an absolute steal, but opted for a Soundelux U99 instead because none of my fellow engineers had actually used one in a critical situation. I know they are selling. Does anyone have any feedback? If so what applications?
Old 1st December 2003
  #3
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Quite nice actually although a bit on the dark side.

I've only used it on vocals and it has not seen too much use since I got the Korby.
Old 1st December 2003
  #4
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Is it dark like the AKG Solid Tube mic?
Old 1st December 2003
  #5
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I heard it was like a 67. But I could be totally wrong.
Old 1st December 2003
  #6
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Carlos Boll's Avatar
 

I've never heard the AKG.

I believe the Cactus is supposed to be in the ballpark of a u47 - not a copy like the Soundelux e47.

The e47 is alot more open on the top end.
Old 1st December 2003
  #7
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

The E47 does not have a very open top end. Is there some sort of roll off at 10k or something to that extent?
Old 2nd December 2003
  #8
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NathanEldred's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by patrox247
The E47 does not have a very open top end. Is there some sort of roll off at 10k or something to that extent?
I think the E47 has an open top. It's not extremely bright, but it's not dark by any means. I'd say it's a natural sounding mic, for a LDC tube condenser anyway.
Old 7th December 2003
  #9
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Which of the BLUE capsules is used with the Cactus? I know that the capsules arent interchangeable, as with the Bottle, but I think that the Cactus has one of those eight (Bottle) capsules permanently attached - but which one?

(FWIW, I've got the Bottle w/ the B6 & B7 capsules and it is truly god-like)
Old 8th December 2003
  #10
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The Cactus has a mulitpattern B7 . The one review that I found on it of course was stunning. http://bluemic.com/images_reviews/pr...003_cactus.pdf

"the Cactus was developed
to enhance the projection, air and midrange
detail in a voice, while keeping the proximity
effect to a minimum. I found that the microphone has a slight
upper midrange boost that adds a wonderful
presence to a vocal without any increase in
sibilance. The microphone’s bottom end is
tight and full and the top end is airy and open.
I had equally pleasing results using the microphone
to record female and male vocals.

The Cactus did a fine job of capturing the
sound of electric guitars. I had my best results
recording cleaner tones. I found that distorted
guitar sounds have a tendency to be a bit harsh
and piercing."

I am glad the review mentioned something negative about the mic which gave me a little more confidence in the review.
Old 8th December 2003
  #11
Gear Head
 

Hollywood steve-

The cactus uses a B7 capsule... Since I have heard few comments on the B7, would you consider it to be very dark? I know it is supposed to similar to a U47 (not a copy, but just in the ball park), and I was wondering if it suffers from the same thing the U47 capsule on the korby mic does (too dark).
I'm considering purchasing that mic, but I haven't heard much about the other capsules (which is a big reason you'd buy it). I've heard the B0 is killer for backup vocals and the B5 is awesome on acoustic guitar. Did the dealer you bought it from let you demo different capsules or just the B6? Also, have you heard anything about the B3? I was wondering how it compares to other high end neutral mics.
Old 9th December 2003
  #12
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Buddhaman's Avatar
 

I owned the Cactus ($2K) for about two months....

I did not especially like it, at least not for my voice--too dark and mushy (Lyric tenor trying to sing rock, think Vedder with a hint of Buckley)

I sold it and bought a Brauner Phantom C which I absolutely love...(very detailed without being sibilant and harsh...especially thru a neve 1272 preamp, a little too crisp with a daking pre)

Hope this helps someone,

Buddhaman
Old 14th February 2008
  #13
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outUVphaze's Avatar
 

OKay.... Let's get this straight

Quote:
Originally Posted by hollywood_steve View Post
Which of the BLUE capsules is used with the Cactus? I know that the capsules arent interchangeable, as with the Bottle, but I think that the Cactus has one of those eight (Bottle) capsules permanently attached - but which one?

(FWIW, I've got the Bottle w/ the B6 & B7 capsules and it is truly god-like)
Guys.....

I have a Cactus special edition which is an exclusive to Steve's Music in Montreal.


I can assure you that the heads in the Cactus are interchangeable. I own one with 2 heards! (point of order Mr/Mrs. chairperson?)

Mine came with both the B7 and B6 (that is the special edition part) for the same price.

The B6 through the Cactus electronics is very sweet and rich. The B7 is like a u47 to some degree. However, it does not sound like some cheap 47 clone. This mic has it's own character and stands tall against anything in the category.

I have never been nor shall I ever be a fan of the u87. I think that it is a great mic for people who have no body or roundness or size to their voice. It's a great multi purpose mic. But for trained singers who know how to project and know how to support who have some size, control and some dynamic range? I'll take the Cactus.

The exact reasons why I am not an 87 fan is the reason why I go for the Cactus when it comes to working with trained singers with large voices.

Try using a u87 on a heldentenor and you will find it sorely lacking. The Cactus on the other hand takes that roundness, and size from say A2 to a high B flat and can take it and portray it without you asking yourself the typical u87 question; "Where's the beef?"

Except the beef is clear and open and is not constricted nor squashed.

Is it dark? Yes. To a degree. It sounds like a modern 1950's sound for exceptional jazz vocal and classical voice. (kinda sounds like a 47 but not exactly)

Do you like the way that Ella Fitzgerald sounded? To me that is dark and was very classy.

Through a Mercury M72 or an AM 16, Eyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Caramba! The Cactus is anything but prickly.

Again, I would not recommend it for smallish voices, or untrained voices. It's great from classical to jazz. (I think that I have said this like 3 times by now)

If you have a singer who is all over the place then hide him in the mix with an 87.

The Cactus will pull you right to the front and put you right in the middle.

Diminished proximity effect does not imply a lack of low end openness and flexibility. There is more than enough low end there. If you do not have it to begin with, then the Cactus will not hide a small voice via mass coloration. tutt

I have a real leaning towards Blue as a company. I don't think that their shockmounts are the greatest. They do the job (no more no less).

The power supply has changed and gone is the meter that used to be on it that you can still see in the manual (the 9610 power supply).

The cases however are first class.

Again,

The capsules are interchangeable.

(I second the vote for the Korby. > great mic.)

I also love the Bottle. Great mic.

dfegad
Old 14th February 2008
  #14
Gear maniac
 

Cactus capsules

I have a cactus and i had blue make a kiwi capsule for it. If you don't like the sound of the cactus cap, the kiwi cap is airier while still having that big cactus sound.

I've always appreciated that the cactus mic always takes eq really well. If you use a good eq you can bring out tons of air and zero sibilance. It is a very good mic.

Orlando
Old 15th February 2008
  #15
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outUVphaze's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlykeys View Post
I have a cactus and i had blue make a kiwi capsule for it. If you don't like the sound of the cactus cap, the kiwi cap is airier while still having that big cactus sound.

I've always appreciated that the cactus mic always takes eq really well. If you use a good eq you can bring out tons of air and zero sibilance. It is a very good mic.

Orlando
Great point about the EQ. I agree totally. It responds so well to good EQ and your comment about it's top end is so very true.

I use the B6 top quite a bit for the exact reason that you describe.

dfegad
Old 26th May 2008
  #16
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nukmusic's Avatar
 

cool
Old 26th May 2008
  #17
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That's what Mike Piersante (T-Bone Burnett's engineer) used on Alison Krauss for the Plant/Krauss record. Sounds great!
Old 26th May 2008
  #18
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I've not heard that yet but I imagine it would be good...She has a lovely voice but it can tend to get quite 'shrill' when she belts it out.

J
Old 26th May 2008
  #19
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syra's Avatar
I dislike the Cactus as much as I love the kiwi. And that's a lot!
Old 26th May 2008
  #20
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Ruudman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by syra View Post
I dislike the Cactus as much as I love the kiwi. And that's a lot!
Would you care to tell us why?
My impression is that it's a really good mic that needs a good source and the right placement. With those two things in order, it sounds lovely!
I'm with outUVphaze, it's kind of dark when compared to area 251 mics, but not muddy or rolled off. Source and placement.
BTW, I don't dislike the Kiwi.
Old 27th May 2008
  #21
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation View Post
Has anyone tried out this tube mic? I only have seen rave reviews, but we know how much they can mean at times.
Tried it. Quite liked it with the b7 capsule. Smooth. It's supposed to be their answer to a vintage 47ish type thing but while quite dark it's still got the aggressive blue nature which I dont like. Blue mics while they cut well generally have this unforgiving "hardness" even with the bottle with b7 cap I couldn't escape it. For the money I'd try a wunder cm7 gt with either capsule. Compare it with the cactus it will surprise you.
Old 27th May 2008
  #22
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Rob King's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by syra View Post
I dislike the Cactus as much as I love the kiwi. And that's a lot!
Oh Syra...........





The Cactus is a dark mic for sure but I did a whole record with it once and the singer was perfect for the mic. It is a different flavor and sounds nothing like my Wunder CM7's. Actually I think it sounds nothing like a U47. For the right project, it is a good mic.
Old 10th October 2008
  #23
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soundseeker's Avatar
 

Comparision

Can anyone give an idea of how the cactus might compare to a Wagner 47??

Ive got a wagner which has a much brighter top end than the various U47s Ive tried. Its great, but I was thinking of getting the cactus to give me a darker option (sometimes my voice sounds a little brittle though it).

Would the cactus (coming thru a v76 or 72) balance out my highend tube scales, or is this idea a complete regression in terms of musical detail????

thanks 4 ur 2 cents
Old 10th October 2008
  #24
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Just wanted to chime in for a sec on the cactus' dark quality:

This was due to the way the capsule was being tuned. Skipper and Martins seemed to have a difference of opinion on this, and Martins preferred it dark. Eventually, because of customer feedback, they started tuning the capsules differently,and they are not as dark anymore. I found them to be too dark for my taste, too.

I have not heard the revised tuning, so you need to probably listen to one to see how it compares. But I wouldn't compare it to a Wagner anyway: Different capsule, different tube, different circuit, different transformer, different headbasket, etc.
Old 10th October 2008
  #25
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[quote=jjblair;3558837.
But I wouldn't compare it to a Wagner anyway: Different capsule, different tube, different circuit, different transformer, different headbasket, etc.[/quote]

well thats why im comparing them. i wanna know what the difference in sound is according 2 popular opinion, coz i wanna have a different sound option 2 play with. is it the other end of the spectrum, or just the bottom end?

interesting about the capsule. do u know what year it came in with the new?
Old 11th October 2008
  #26
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DrSax's Avatar
Some good feedback here on this mic. I've been meaning to try the Cactus out... I love the BLUE mics and am intrigued by the thought of a darker mic like this.....
Old 11th October 2008
  #27
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jjblair's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundseeker View Post
well thats why im comparing them. i wanna know what the difference in sound is according 2 popular opinion, coz i wanna have a different sound option 2 play with. is it the other end of the spectrum, or just the bottom end?

interesting about the capsule. do u know what year it came in with the new?
Well, considering there's supposed to be only about three Wagner 47s in the US, you'll be hard pressed to find anybody here who can compare them. I don't even know how a Wagner compares to a real U47.

The capsule revision was in the last couple of years. I have no idea what they sound like now. Capsule tuning can change everything.
Old 11th July 2009
  #28
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GURU's Avatar
 

We love ours. Just like Rob King says, not good for all things. I liked it on some acoustic guitars too.
Old 17th July 2009
  #29
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Faderjockey's Avatar
 

Costello used the Cactus for his vocals on his newest CD.

Sounded great.. But was cut live with all other players playing right next to him.
Old 17th July 2009
  #30
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NathanEldred's Avatar
Cactus a nice in between place of the traditional ribbon mic sound and a condenser IMO. Organ, amps, horns, accordian, concertina, brighter/thin voices, drum room or vibey overheads, bright acoustics (like a Taylor), secondary mic to blend with brighter mic.
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