Mojave Audio is the brainchild of microphone wizard David Royer, best known for his line of self-branded ribbon mics. Mojave produces large and small diaphragm microphones that are a blend of American and foreign parts, with all final testing and quality control being performed in California. Mojave produces both tube and solid-state microphones, with the MA-201fet falling into the latter category.
The microphone comes with a small, yet sturdy hardshell case with a foam insert that has slots for both the microphone and for it's shockmount. A thread adapter for stands is included as well. The shockmount is fairly well designed, although the tilt adjustment isn't easy to use in certain positions, due to the lever's length. The microphone itself has a comfortable heft to it and the flat black finish is flawless.
I've owned the microphone for approximately two years and regularly use it on acoustic guitar, piano, and vocals; I've used it with flute, guitar cabinets, and upright bass as well. The mic has performed well on all sources, but I've had exceptional results with it on acoustic guitar, aimed at the 12th fret or directly at the upper f-hole on an archtop and mic'd very close.
On female vocals the mic has the perfect amount of top end and vocals pop out of the mix with very little equalization. On male vocals I've had mixed success; deeper voices benefit from the lift in the upper mids, while breathy voices (such as my own) have a lot of sibilance issues. Most of the middle-of-the-road male voices I've used the mic with haven't had any issues, so I wouldn't stress the potential for sibilance.
As a room mic on piano I've been very happy with it. I wish I had a second one so I could close mic the treble and bass hammers, as I'm sure the detail would be terrific. On upright bass the boost in the low end really helped to capture the thump and with careful positioning I was able to capture both the thump and a smooth mid-range. Flute had some similar issues to the a breathy voice when mic'd reasonably close, but as a room mic it performed quite well.
Overall, I've been quite pleased with the MA-201fet and in new recording situations it's usually the first mic I'll reach for, as I can consistently capture a great sound right off the source. Isn't that we all want from our microphones?
When I first received the mojave it were well packaged, came with a sturdy cradle which grips well and doesn't weigh enough to play havoc with less sturdy stands. The assembly is quick and painless, clipping and locking into place.
Over the last six months I have gotten to know this mic very well. It's characteristics are rather neutral which is a good thing as if you need a goto mic, general workhorses usually are the one's who get the most use time, if you are on a limited budget a neutral mic will work on many sources. If you don't have a decent pre-amp selection it's not to worry, this mic runs hot. Meaning that you can lower the gain and any artefacts or noise that you may encounter with low end pre-amps will dissipate.
In used the FET on a male vocal, the Mojave is thick and smooth in the top end. The quality of this microphone shines through as soon as you start recording, very articulate, decent low and mid range with smooth highs. Which for the price £450.00 / $700.00 in my experience is pretty much unheard of.
It's a slightly darker mic than many I have used, but it's not to a fault, the mic still cut's through well without having any ear piercing frequencies. Only one note, there is a proximity effect like most mic's if you get too close, a good vocal technique as with most condensers is required. It even sounds evil with screams and growls and seem's to ignore any high end harshness that appears with select types of vocal..
Also after testing the Mojave works excellently on guitar cabs and overheads, reducing harsh piercing frequencies whilst retaining a real hi-fi sound.
On construction, it feels weighty and looks solid. The only criticism is the wire mesh connection. I unfortunately did knock over the mic stand on a session and the wire mesh housing covering the diaphragm did break.
So in conclusion, the Mojave Fet is an excellent mic for the money and I wouldn't hesitate to class it as a professional studio microphone. At the price you really can't go wrong and I wouldn't hesitate to place it up against higher priced opponents.
Mojave MA201 fet is an amazing mic. It sounds great, with proper preamp it can be a killer for your studio. I used it only for vocals and acoustic guitar, can't say how it sounds on other sources. It's a little colored mic, It has nice smooth mids, and in my opinion great highs, no harshness to the mic at all. Great on both male and female.
On acoustic guitar it also adds some body, but it doesnt make it muddy.
I can easily say it's the best mic below 1000$ (if not then surely in top 3)
- Built quality
- Lack of HPF or PAD (even tho it doesn't concern me some people would find these options usable)