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Blue Kiwi verses Blue Bottle w/B6 capsule
Old 30th January 2005
Gear Addict

Blue Kiwi vs Bottle w/B6 capsule

I'm comtemplating a purchase between Blue Kiwi and the Bottle. I know Kiwi has B6 capsule, money aside, can anyone who have compared Kiwi to the Bottle w/B6 tell me the difference in sound ? Are they similar w/Bottle sounding a little tubey? ?
I would really appreciate some opinions. Thanks.
Old 30th January 2005
Lives for gear
hollywood_steve's Avatar

Well, no, the Bottle doesn't sound "tubey". The difference between the Bottle and the Kiwi is that the Bottle has the best amplifier circuit that BLUE could design/build while the Kiwi doesn't. The point of a tube circuit in the Bottle isn't to add some pleasing distortion, that's what you get with $300 tube mics. The Bottle tube circuit is remarkably clear and open with a level of detail unmatched by all but a small handful of mics.

The whole concept of tube circuits being subtle fuzz boxes has given tube circuit design a bad name. Yes, its true that almost all of the tube mics and tube preamps (the ones with the little windows to view the tube) that you can buy at Home Studio Mart are intended to "warm" things up. But that was not the idea behind the U47, M49, C12, etc. or current mics from Brauner, or the Bottle, or recent preamps from DW Fearn, Pendulum, E.A.R., etc. These mics and preamps incorporate tubes because their designers were trying to come up with the best possible designs and they believe that high quality tube circuits are the best way to achieve their goals.

My point with all of this is that if you get the chance to listen to a Kiwi and a Bottle through otherwise identical signal paths, the Bottle won't sound "tubey" compared to the Kiwi. It will sound more open, balanced, detailed .......just BETTER. Otherwise we could all save a few grand by just buying the Kiwi and running it through an A.R.T. tube preamp.
Old 30th January 2005
Lives for gear
DAWgEAR's Avatar

Interesting question. Nice response from Steve.

I own a Kiwi and a Cactus and won't be in the market for a Bottle anytime soon, but I also am curious. I love both and, to the extent that the Cactus's circuitry has any similarity to the Bottle's, I can relate to Steve's comments about the tube circuit sounding incredibly expensive and detailed rather than "tubey". Having said that, the Kiwi sounds fantastic too, at least to me.

The multiple polar patterns on both the Kiwi and Cactus are a nice plus that you wouldn't get with the Bottle and just the B6 and/or B7 which are cardioid only.

Not to hijack this thread, but can anyone comment on the similar question of the Cactus versus Bottle+B7?

Red's debut of the Type B raises the possibility of buying a Bottle with a complement of capsules plus a Type B and essentially having two mics, albeit one of them solid state. Or buying the Type B plus some capsules now and buying a Bottle down the road.

So a corollary question might be: how would a Type B + B6 compare to the Kiwi? Probably too soon to answer this one.
Old 30th January 2005
Old 5th December 2009
Gear Addict
TC Custom Audio's Avatar

I traded two Kiwi's for a Bottle w/ B6 and I haven't regretted it for a moment. It's huge and unwieldy, but I love my Bottle. Many people rave about the Kiwi's and the guy I traded with seemed happy too. But, they never did it for me. It's the same capsule, so the difference must be in the electronics.

My 2 cents.
Old 25th January 2010
Gear Addict

I like the Kiwi quite well. Other mics in my studio may get more use but it shines in the right application.
Old 25th January 2010
Lives for gear
Iggy Poop's Avatar

I think its a bit of a no brainer. I own several blue mics and I can tell you that each one sounds much different from the other. I don't own the Kiwi but have used it a number of times and it is an amazing mic but I can see it not working in certain applications or on certain voices. I've been recorded through a Bottle at another studio and I was extremely impressed with this mic. The Bottle is Blue's flagship model for a reason. Blue has put the best of everything they have into this mic and the price tag reflects that. Its sound and performance reflects it also. If you can afford the Bottle I would view that as a sort of holy grail of mics. Not that there is nothing better out there but because I put in the very top tier of the best mics in the world. Of course I am a big fan of Blue mics and that is just my humble opinion. Good luck with your decision.
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