This microphone is a large diaphragm condenser with selectable pick-up patterns. It has a 10db pad.
The pick-up patterns are cardoid, omnidirectional and hypercardoid. This is easily switchable with a small knob on the microphone. It’s a shame it doesn’t have figure of 8 but at this price you can’t have everything. It is a very quiet microphone also so it has a variety of uses. It comes with a shock mount which works great.
The sound of the microphone is clear and precise, especially in the top end. I found the top end to be smooth and clear with a lot more detail than the 57 I had been using before this microphone purchase. (To be expected going from a dynamic to a condenser) The lower end I found to be less clear or muffled but still with plenty of detail. I used the microphone on: Voice (male and female), piano, guitar amplifier, trumpet and keyboard amplifier.
I found it to be most effective on the amplifiers but it was useful on the trumpet which is good as it can be a tricky instrument to record.
At $499 US (Amazon 2012) it is a worthy purchase for someone who is looking for their first large diaphragm condenser as it is versatile and sounds about right for the price. The quality of the build is excellent. And if well looked after could serve the user for plenty of years.
I am a proud owner of this microphone for nearly 4 years. Ever since, it has been used heavily in live sound environments. It has been dropped and abused for so many times. Even, after four years of abuse, after hard-core heavy treatment, the capsule looks banged up and crooked really bad. The microphone looks worn out and scratched--and it still works flawlessly!
Its natural sound makes this microphone very versatile in any situation. It is all-around microphone. I have mostly used it for brass, overheads, Violins, Vocals, etc.
The versatility of this microphone is well suited for any use at any demanding situation. My favorite use of this microphone is on some of the female vocals because it adds top end air quality to the sound. If you are on a budget (500$) this microphone is a great buy. It can stand out in it's price range (AT4033, TLM103 and so on)
It will last you for many years and you will have a solid reliable microphone in your arsenal.
Selectable patterns and -10db pad expand the flexibility of this microphone.
The only flaw that I can think of is that figure 8 pattern(bi directional) is missing. Overall, it is a very usefull microphone in any demanding situation.