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Stellar CM-6

Stellar Professional Microphones CM-6

4.8 4.8 out of 5, based on 5 Reviews

Let's see what this bad boy can do against similarly priced microphones.


30th March 2012

Stellar Professional Microphones CM-6 by theozzy

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Stellar CM-6

This is the first valve condenser microphone I have owned. It is a budget microphone by valve microphone standards ($300). There has been a lot of talk and hype about these on gearslutz and elsewhere about how they can hold a torch to much more expensive mics. It comes in a nice flightcase with PSU, 5 pin XLR, windshield and shockmount. The build quality of the accessories is a bit on the cheapside and the mic itself is not perfect – the threads that hold the body of the mic on are degrading a bit now after 6 months use and it never fully tightens to the body. But for the money you must expect some corners to be cut, particularly as they come straight out of a Chinese factory, built to a spec order. There are other small companies doing this too. There’s one that has just started in the UK called the Opal OM7 that looks very similar to the CM-6, but sounds different probably as it is built to different specifications. By way of comparison I have used many microphones and own a smallish selection of lower end stuff – EV PL20, little blondies, all the shure dynamics, Audix I5, ATM25 etc, but I have used a lot of high end mics.

I would describe the CM-6’s overall character as modern sounding with somewhat of a ‘hifi’ sound in cardioid mode and it has that big 3D larger than life sound – that is quite big and ‘blossoming’ in the low end and low mids, a slight recess in the mids (600Hz to 3KHz) and quite a big top end boost from about 5KHz up to 20KHz. On a singer that can sound quite honky and harsh in the mids, this mic really supresses those traits. This mic never sounds woody, boxy, nasal ie all those descriptions of when the mids are too prominent. That is one of its strengths, it’s ‘smile’ EQ profile really suits anything that is a bit harsh in the mids, but therefore won’t suit other sources. I tend to work with one singer most of the time and previously I was using an Audio Technica AT2020 budget condenser on her. The singer has a massive dynamic range – a very powerful vocalist, who can become harsh in the mids and be quite sibililant. The stellar copes with ease on her, taming the mids and warming up the bottom end, but unfortunately because of the large presence and high peak, it really emphasizes the sibilance in her voice. It was so bad that I contacted the Stellar mics owner, to see if he would recommend a valve change to dull the top a bit. He suggested changing the stock valve for a Valvo E80F. I got one from ebay and burned it in. The results are the ‘smile’ EQ curve is lessened somewhat – the mic now sounds a bit flatter, although it still has all the lovely qualities of a valve mic. This has reduced the amount of sibilance somewhat, but with this singer being very sibilant anyway, it is tricky. I have experimented a lot with microphone positions and I have found that with the capsule at upper lip height, then angle the mic downwards about 40 degrees then twist off-axis a slight fraction, this reduces the sibilance to a manageable level and picks up lots of chest which is nice. I still have to use a de-esser at the mixing stage though. The other selectable pickup patterns on the PSU give the mic slightly different characters as well as a different pick up response. In figure of 8 mode the mids really come forward and saturate. In omni the mic opens up in sound, flattens up and saturates less. It has a very low self noise. I have found the mic sounds very nice as a drum room mic.

At the end of the day, this is a very nice sounding microphone, especially considering the price, it will suit a lot of sources and flatter them in that way that only valves can. But as with all microphones, some tools suit some jobs better. I will probably try something different in the future for the singer I mainly work with.

1st April 2014

Stellar Professional Microphones CM-6 by PapaConductor

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Stellar CM-6

This is a great tube mic if you're looking for a big sound at a lower price. I let the original tube warm up and it was already pretty good sounding, then I got a NOS Telefunken from Bowie and it made it even smoother in the high end and warmer in the mids. I use it with my GAP-73 mkII and into a Duet 2 and it sounds amazing. I've used it on vocals, acoustic guitar, and as a room mic for drums. It's a little bright, but not sibilant, and I think the better tube helped smooth that out a bit. Stellar is making some great mics at a great price. I'm planning to get a CM5 next.

3rd July 2014

Stellar Professional Microphones CM-6 by emotionsequencer

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Stellar CM-6

I have to say, when I pulled the trigger to purchase this mic, I wasn't too hesitant because of the price. I have heard great and good reviews saying that this mic is good by itself, and can be better with a different tube.

OK. So I ordered the mic. I got a personal email from one of the guys at Stellar saying that he is doing a burn in of this mic. At this point, I already assumed that I will not receive a DOA or a crappy mic. When I received the mic, it was in a nice aluminum case with the accessories stated on their site.

Now, let's talk about the sound. I ran this through the Cherry Picker (allows you to pick one of 4 mic pres to a Mic, and I connected the Mic end to the Gold Digger (allows you to connect 4 Mics.)

Up against the Stellar CM6 was the Neumann TLM-103, Neumann M149, and Telefunken U47.

I passed it through a series of Mic Pres: SSL, Neve, Avalon, Shadow Hills. I did pass the Stellar CM6 through more mic pres after the Mic comparisons.

I won't say that one is better than the other, I love all my mics. However, the stock Stellar CM6 is very nice. I constantly chose it over the TLM-103. And often chose the CM6 over the U47 and the M149. I probably got tired of listening to the same track that sounded so very close to one another, my selections may have been skewed.

After I recorded a few passages (they are not exact because I nor the other vocalist that helped me can't be exact after 20+ passages of singing), I do love the Stellar CM6 for vocals. I am not going to pull the various words that describe nice mics (transparent, flat, etc.) I will still continue to use the U47 and M149 for vocals, but the CM6 is a great mic for the price. I can buy quite a few of these for the price of one M149.

Notice, I did not mention any EQs. I can record without EQ with all of these mics and achieve great results. Minor tweaking in the final mix will suffice.

I also ran an acoustic guitar and a guitar amp through the CM6, and I was pleasantly surprised with the recording results.

All I can say was, "Wow…Really?! From a mic that is this price category?"

A great all around mic to have in your cabinet.

7th August 2015

Stellar Professional Microphones CM-6 by jaydev

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Stellar CM-6

My first time buying a tube microphone,
did a lot of research on it,
Thnx to Gearslutz & Kiddyvibes for there recommendations.
bought the STELLAR CM-6 - Ran it thru the GAP PRE 73 MK2 (preamp)
" Jaw dropping - Fire - Killer - Warm - Upfront- New generation " microphone!!!
NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE, how awesome it sounds.
Even with the standard tube it sounds amazing.
Definatley has a lot of musicality to it.
I rarerly leave any feedbacks, but this is special.
SHOUT OUT to the Developers/Manufacturers
you guys have developed a master piece.

15th September 2015

Stellar Professional Microphones CM-6 by shanetsh

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Stellar CM-6

Ok. So i went to the SAE in Adelaide today to do a shootout and comparison between multipattern LDCs between 300-600 USD:

Mics placed in front of me and properly gainstaged + level balanced.
All microphones switched to cardioid for this test as i was doing mainly male vocals.

1. Rode NT-2a
2. Studio Projects C3 (discontinued)
3. Stellar CM6

on male vocals in both Baritone and Tenor and here are my observations:

1. Rode NT-2a:
Sounds extremely scooped in the mids with emphasis in the low end and high end. I sound like i was singing with a veil in front of my face. While switching on the high pass fixed the boomy low end for baritone parts and it improved a little, when i switched to my higher register in tenor, the problem represents itself.

2. Studio Projects C3:
Pretty nice sounding with relatively detailed highs and mids. A little too much emphasis in the low mids but totally useable with some corrective EQ.

3. Stellar CM6
It has the warmth of a tube mic with a little more detailed highs than i would have expected. Clarity was better than the other 2 microphones (the Studio Projects C3 sounds a little similar to it but just inferior in almost all fronts). Alot more vocal presence. I can see how this can be used for male vocals with minimum work done post.

TBH, i have been reading too much stuff on gear slutz lately about microphones. Sure, i like my Stellar CM6 ever since i first got it after reading kidvybes's review. But i was uncertain about how it would compare to other microphones in its class. Today, i breathed a sigh of relief as i left the studio with an unintentional grin on my face.

  • 1
13th November 2015

Stellar Professional Microphones CM-6 by Bcsteene

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Stellar CM-6

I got this mic awhile back and I have to say that the more I use it the more I like it. For pop / rap / hip hop vocals is where this microphone really shines the most and I choose it over a U87 ai and a TLM 103 for those applications. It just sounds perfect adding a little warmth while maintaining good clarity in the highs. I don't really know what other microphone to compare this too - it is its own beast and a good one to have in your microphone locker.

Always my test in microphones is to see how well they stack in the mix - cheaper microphones won't stack well and after recording multiple tracks with them you'll hear mush in the mix. I have to say this microphone stacks very well and I'd happily keep this as my primary tube microphone for now.

It's a heavy microphone and you'll need a robust stand for it - the microphone shock mount is good quality and I didn't have any issues with it falling or moving during recording. The overall build quality of the microphone is solid and tube replacement is easy if you want to try out different E806 tubes. Personally I find the stock tube it comes with sounds great. It's a tung sol E806 - and these tubes get great reviews from many sources as being the new high quality tubes in town. My only complaint would be that the windscreen mesh surrounding the capsule on the microphone. I think a further upgrade to that mesh could improve the sound even more. The capsule in the microphone is a 34" instead of the standard 30" I think that's interesting and not sure what that does to the sound, but I'll leave that up to the experts to explain. overall I think this microphone sounds great - its a wonderful deal and you'll get plenty of use out of it in your studio!

  • 1
 
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