Soyuz Microphones SU-019 FET by Dowsed
Price: £1,540.00 plus VAT
Website: Soyuz Microphones
Soyuz are a newcomer to the microphone business. As their name might suggest they are proudly handmade in Russia. The SU-019 is a FET condenser and the younger brother of their flagship tube condenser microphone the SU-017 and both microphones have a slight visual familiarity to the Soviet-era spacecrafts the brand is named after. This is mainly due to their long body with separate capsule. Both microphones similarities don’t end there, they use the same K67 style capsule and transformer, as stock they come with a cardioid capsule but can be switched with additional omni and figure-of-eight options too.
My first impressions of the mic are solid, in more ways than one. The design and aesthetics of the mic and its shock mount are fantastic and the mic really has weight to it, whilst it may be a slightly dubious preconception on quality but I trust a microphone with weight! Visually the mic has been a big hit with my clients too, to the point where I’ve had more than one client comment on it from across the room in the short time I’ve had it.
The most important part is that the microphone sounds incredible; it has a dense rich tonality whilst simultaneously having a great level of detail without becoming hyped. The cardioid capsule also feels more directional than some other large diaphragm condensers I’ve had, which in most cases is a blessing. It is the sort of mic, which sounds great on almost anything but shines on acoustic guitars and vocals, particularly adding a nice weight to some problematic female vocals. We recently used the mic on a female solo artists folk project and it did such a stellar job I just couldn’t do without it until the album was finishing.
As you can probably tell I have very few negative things to say about the mic, however, I feel that the usability of the SU-019 is impaired mainly by its lack of a pad switch and means that the mic is useless on extremely loud sources. In fact, if it has a pad I’d be interested to hear what it sounds like on percussive sources like Kick and snare drum. Luckily, the gents at Soyuz have already have this problem in hand and I've been told that from March '17 it will be shipping with a -20 dB screw on pad!
The only other negative is that it that its cost will put some off, but handmade microphone manufacturing especially to this spec means that it was never going to be suitable for the budget conscious.
Sound Quality (5/5)
Rich, detailed and warm without ever sounding boxy or dull. It really belongs in the mic locker of any top-end studio.
Ease of use (5/5)
Point and shoot, nothing too complicated. However, some care needs to be made on loud sources.
The current lack of a pad makes it hard to give it full marks. It is not ideal to have to purchase additional capsules but completely understand that decision from a fiscal point of view.
Bang for buck (5/5)
It is hard to ignore the fact that the SU-019 is costly. However, this is a high-end microphone which justifies at a high end price, so it would be unfair to mark it down.