Violet Design The Amethyst Vintage by cheu78
The Amethyst Vintage is a dual diaphragm condenser microphone with trasformerless output utilizing a proprietary capsule, the VD67. Despite the "Vintage" denomination, which actually implies the use of a different capsule form the "Standard" model, I find that this mic is a "modern" sounding mic..in a good way. So it's clear and open rather than dark and smokey..
It's a wonderful mic, it has a very deep and solid low end, it sounds huge and tight without being muddy, the mids and highs are very clear, defined and open in a natural way, it is bright but not in a bad way, clean without "coloration" but not at all sterile. I find this mic useful for just about anything.. it's a workehorse mic..kind of a U87..just "better"! I mean that it has a better low end and a pristine top end, but not harsh.. and in every application you might use it it works very well..(in that sense I feel that is U87 like with a "better" sound).
I've used this mic for just about anything.. female vocals, gtr cab, doublebass, accordion, drums, room mics.. and it was very nice sounding in all of these applications. As room mics (I have a matched pair) the drums sounded HUGE, the lowend was very big and tight..just wonderful..it added a lot of depth.
Of course you might want a different "tone" or "color" for a certain application, so you might prefer a ribbon or a tube mic for some specific sources/sounds, but if you want to capture an acoustic instrument (drums, ac gtr, doublebass, accordion,etc..) or a vocal in a very natural way this is the right mic.. it always works fine.
I think that every source has his mic, and this particularly true with vocals, so every singer has his mic that really works best for HIS vox, but this is very personal and specific to your taste/genre and to the source..so in this context you might or might not like the Amethyst Vintage.. but it's a great all around mic and you'll never find something where it sounds bad, as I said maybe you might find another microphone that SUITS better a particular singer.
The quality of the mic is very high, the body finish and the grille mesh are very well done with attention to the detail. The look is also very unique, it looks like it was built in another era, with the craftmanship of the good old days, where quality was the priority. NO OEM bodies or capsules rebranded or built in quantities to low the price point..these are very unique products built in Europe..IMO underrated gems and unsung heroes of today.
the optional shockmount is a must IMO, and due to its construction make very easy to place the mic very close to the source without being bulky or bothering the player.. it's a very smart and effective solution.
The specs of the mic are pretty stunning, especially the low noise..There's no pad and no hpf, and the polar pattern is a fixed cardioid.. I guess that these were choices made to mantain the pristine audio quality of the mic and not degrading the signal and probably contain the costs without affecting the quality. Personally I don't find an hpf or a pad indispensable, so it's not a biggie for me.. I could always choose to cut the lows later (on the preamp side or when mixing).
The model described here was the "Vintage", there's also the "Standard" which to my ears is brighter sounding..
I think that in this price range there are several mics that could be considered, but this one definitely should be on your list. His quality is well beyond its price and there's also a 5 year warranty, which should tell you how Violet feels about their products.
Other Violet models worth considering are the very inexpensive Black Knight and the Globe Vintage..different price ranges of course, and different sonics/voicings, but all these shares the same quality and attention to the detail that Violet has in all his mics.
Just my 0.02$,