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Bock 195 Fet Condenser Microphone

Bock Audio 195

4.35 4.35 out of 5, based on 3 Reviews

Great studio all-rounder that provides incredible quality at a reasonable price point.


3rd December 2011

Bock Audio 195 by halcyo

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Bock 195 Fet Condenser Microphone

The Bock Audio 195 is a versatile and character-filled microphone at a price point that puts it within reach for many project studios, but will hold its own in even the most impressive microphone collections.

The 195 is the updated moniker for what was called the Soundelux U195. When David Bock left Soundelux, he carried the mic with him. It is the exact same microphone. As you may or may not know, David Bock makes extraordinary mics that are held in extremely high regard among boutique microphone users. Instead of setting out to emulate classics of the past, he has always imbued his mics with a wholly original character, while using the highest of expertise and components, in hopes of creating what will no doubt become classic models in their own right.

The 195 is the most modestly priced Bock microphone, but it is also arguably its most versatile. It has fast become known for its versatility on vocals and instruments, and is one of the most sought after boutique 'all-rounders' on the market for pro and project studios alike.

The 195 has a classic FET design. No tube power supplies to mess with, and a single cardioid pattern. It is a mic that definitely has a 'sound', which is very classy and clean, yet imparts a sort of glassy sheen to many sources, which gives this mic a character all it's own. The top end is fairly bright, yet smooth enough to sound expensive. The mids are nearly transparent, and very accurate to the source.

One of the most distinctive features of this microphone are the switches that allow for manipulation of the low end frequencies. It has both a lo-cut switch and a 'Fat/Normal' mode switch, which when engaged boosts the low end response, giving a very 'fat' sound. This switch has the uncanny ability to allow this mic to sound like a few different beasts altogether. The low end boost can take you to some very vintage places when activated, and can allow the mic to sound very modern when disengaged. And then, in combination with the lo-cut switch, you have even more options. Try the 195 about 2 feet in front of a kick drum with the 'Fat' switch engaged AND the lo-cut switch engaged and you will provide a chest pounding thump of a low end without the need to scoop out all the sub frequencies come mix time.

I have used this microphone on many sources, including lead and background vocals, acoustic guitars, drum kits, and pianos. It is a remarkably versatile microphone that allows for easy capture of almost any source. It somehow also retains the character to sound anything but boring, like many other famously versatile mics.

I believe that in the years to come, this mic will still be a favorite of many for being their first foray into the world of high end boutique microphones, and it will still be in their collection for it's versatility even if they acquire even more expensive pieces.

29th January 2012

Bock Audio 195 by barforama

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Bock 195 Fet Condenser Microphone

Initial impressions;
This massive side addressed large diaphragm condensor come in a wooden box - and with a clipmount.
The microphone is fairly heavy and build like a tank. It has a low pass switch and a "fat" switch.

In use;
For vocals this is absolutely a killer mic. It works like a charm for male vocals, but especially for female vocals you will have a very good chance that it does the job quite a bit more than satisfyingly! The lowcut cleans up the unwanted rumble easily and the FAT switch gives a low end boost. With both filters engaged you get a full sounding low end without any annoying rumble. Detailed mids and no artificial high end and it cuts good through a dense rockmix.
It works extremely well as stereo pair for overhead. Good overall balance, crisp snare and full sounding toms. They'll come to their right best when used to capture the whole set.
For kicks it is also stellar sounding. My favourites condensors for this application is the 195 and Neumann's M147. Place it around 10-20 inches outside the hole in front of the drum and you're good to go!

Conclusion;
Definetly a great sounding at a very good price. You be challenged to find a more versatile, or better sounding vocal mic at this price.

Get one - and then - get another one

You could also substitute it with a Soundelux U195 which is the same mic with another name.

14th February 2014

Bock Audio 195 by GRiFF

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Bock 195 Fet Condenser Microphone

Since selling my 'proper' studio some 5 years ago and believing I was going to only ever want a minimal setup and a half decent LDC from here on, I have been happy to use a sub £500 microphone for some vocals, acoustic guitars and percussion.
I didn't miss my once impressive collection of vintage U87s, AKGs, C12s etc at all.

But I've found myself working in a commercial capacity once more and became uncomfortable with the microphones I was using. The small collection of Rode, Avantone and an impulse purchase experimental Stellar CM6 were interesting, but they each have tonal / frequency issues and for my taste some lack of build quality.

I missed the dependable, assured feeling of handling quality microphones that would deliver a commercial grade standard without fuss.

So the quest began for a well made, high quality microphone that could be used day in day out in just this way. Not having the kind of budget I used to have and the fact that a used 70's U87 was double my budget, I have had to consider a compromise.
I didn't want to go the modded route as its rather esoteric - I wanted something standard. I considered the Neumann TLM102 for a while - essentially a U87 without any features, but I couldn't muster the enthusiasm to buy one, not least of all because I know what a real U87 sounds like and I found the 102s pedestrian - of quality, but neither inspiring or impressive.

Also in the running for a long time was the Lauten Audio Atlantic and the Brauner Phantera - sadly these companies were backlogged with orders and without being able to get hold of one for many weeks, they were by far my first choices - I found I had to change gears and pull the trigger on something I had not done nearly as much research on.

Which is why I have the Bock 195.
This microphone is regularly described as a hot-rodded U87 and like the U87 unprecedented in its versatility, able to turn in a great result on just about anything you put in front of it.
I figured - it was probably a pretty safe bet -I needed what it claimed to be able to do and since the FAT/NORM switch was similar to the Atlantis in offering different tones, I rather recklessly threw my cash down.

My impressions are that it is extremely smooth, bright but not harsh, its definitely a microphone with mojo and its very flattering.
The range of possible configurations further enhance its appeal - the FAT switch will give the microphone a darker, more vintage flavour, NORM is brighter and modern.
Combining this switch with the 10db pad and the bass cut gives you a really broad range of useful tweaks.
Engaging the pad and driving my Focusrite RED 8's harder cleaned up the mids in a very striking way, applying the bass cut, didn't just remove unwanted low end rumble but actually revealed a very punchy mid range.
Playing with these settings you soon realise you can modify this microphone to suit a broad range of voices and instruments - that much I love about it, I guess this is what others have enjoyed about it too.

I'm not convinced however that it is exactly the right microphone for my purpose, while the original U87 may not be known for being natural, the Bock is even less so. It will sound great on everything but it will impart is signature on everything - in a short space of time I feel I know exactly what it will do to whatever I use it on - in some ways this is cool, but sometimes you want flattery without any obvious colouration. I still feel that I need a more honest microphone.

I do though think it would be great on pop and rock records with a chart agenda, it'll make a not so good vocalist sound better than they are and you'll find you won't need to process it a great deal to fit it in mix.

I've never quite heard anything like the Bock, before so its possible my reservations will be obliterated if it makes my life easy and my clients adore it.
For the purposes of a useful review though I would suggest this is a microphone you really should demo first. Unlike me!

 
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