FET Giant Diaphragm Condenser Microphone within the Studio

On this Soyuz 1973 Overview, SonicScoop’s Kallie Marie places Soyuz’ under-$1000 FET massive diaphragm condenser (LDC) microphone to the check.

The 1973 options Soyuz’ prized Bomblet capsule in a extra reasonably priced microphone.

Soyuz lately launched elegant matte black and silver variations of their tackle a transformerless FET microphone, the 1973.  I made a decision to take the matte black 1973 for a spin, and check it in opposition to its predecessor, the traditional Neumann U 47 FET.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the historical past of FET (Area-Impact Transistor) microphones, they initially helped change most of the tube mics of their day — their tendency for low impedance helped popularize them. Who higher to design this mic than Soyuz, who concentrate on each tube and FET microphone architectures?

Soyuz 1973 Microphone Options:

Among the primary options of the Soyuz 1973 are the smaller housing, which makes it lighter, and extra importantly simpler to maneuver than its Neumann counterpart for miking in sure purposes, like inside a kick drum.

The 1973 options the identical capsule as Soyuz’ 023 Bomblet, with the addition of a constructed in-resonator. The resonator ring mitigates plosives and eliminates undesirable resonance (this was noticeable in motion, and we get to that under). When the 1973 was designed by Soyuz, they elected to handcraft the resonator to create an surroundings for the 023 capsule for use within the utility of this particular microphone. The housing, as all the time, can form and alter the sound and this was their innovation and distinctive contribution to this design.

Lastly, the 1973 mic has a cardioid polarity sample, and likewise has each -10dB and -20dB pads, plus ships with a mic stand attachment. This comes together with some very private touches like small playing cards with photographs and names of all of the those who crafted your microphone.

The 1973 In Use:

I used to be fortunate sufficient to take the Soyuz 1973 FET for a little bit of a shootout, and evaluate it in opposition to a traditional Neumann U 47 FET, over at New York Metropolis’s Shelter Island Sound, with the assistance of studio founder Steve Addabbo. (Hey, somebody needed to sing and play guitar and it wasn’t going to be me!) I examined the mic in some widespread use case situations:

  • inside a kick drum
  • outdoors a kick drum
  • male singing vocals
  • acoustic guitar — each strummed and finger-picked

    (l-r) Neumann U 47 FET and Soyuz 1973 face off inside a kick drum.

With a spectral analyzer on every microphone you may see that the curves on each are fairly matched, which was spectacular. Generally the Soyuz 1973 sounded almost similar, however with a barely extra ahead and pronounced 1 kHz-1500 kHz vary, to actually make it pop in some purposes (which I’ll dig into under) which may save me needing to achieve for the EQ in some purposes. The aforementioned attribute can be seemingly as a result of resonator ring constructed into the Soyuz 1973 FET, which helps eradicate undesirable resonance, which supplies it a extra centered presence.

The primary check was inserting each mics outdoors of a kick drum, with every having a -10dB pad. The U 47 had a spherical, deep sound with a slight after-ring. In the meantime the 1973, having related colour, lower by way of — the easiest way to say is that the 1973 sounded slightly clearer, not brighter.

Contained in the kick the traditional FET was each heat and spherical, sounding virtually jazz-like in its utility, whereas the 1973 FET had extra presence on the assault, and you could possibly actually hear it within the 1-1500 kHz vary. On this utility you want the -20dB pad on, because the Soyuz does are likely to run hotter, and I can see why they’ve added the choice for not simply -10dB however that further -20dB.

If I had to decide on between the 2 on this kick utility, I’d select the 1973 as it could completely save me having to EQ something. That is, immediately, a kick with chew. We did a number of rounds of blind testing, and had been so enthused that we ran and acquired Mike Mazzota (Windfall Music Group), from the adjoining studio room, asking one other pair of engineer ears to do this blind check. Nonetheless the identical conclusion: We’d decide the 1973, and skip needing to EQ.

In motion on acoustic guitar.

On a male vocal, no pad was wanted for both mic. The traditional U 47 FET exhibited barely extra physique within the decrease mids, whereas the 1973 was current and crisp. On this occasion we didn’t use a pop filter, given the singing model and materials, however it’s fascinating to notice right here that the 1973’s built-in resonator ring helps mitigate plosives, saving us that step in addition to the potential process of coping with them later. After all, use circumstances can be largely primarily based on singing kinds and volumes, however this was a pleasant bonus to not likely have to consider.

On acoustic guitar, once more the pad wasn’t wanted. The traditional FET was heat and wealthy however had much less sparkle on the highest finish, and fewer presence. The 1973 was noticeably fuller bodied (It’s wine now?), with highs that aren’t too shiny, they didn’t poke out and had been particularly nice on the fingerpicked enjoying checks. The two-4 kHz vary has numerous vibrance and vitality on this space, and in a great way — not in a harsh trendy means.   (I ought to be aware I didn’t get to attempt it on an amped electrical guitar, however given the checks I’ve performed I can guess that for any fizzy, trebly, distorted guitar, these frequencies already tend to be pronounced, however then that’s what EQ is for.)

All in all of the Soyuz 1973 runs sizzling — I discovered myself constantly needing to show the achieve down on the enter. It is sensible that they’ve added a -20dB pad, as this mic is highly effective and responsive.

To Be Vital:

Its arduous to be essential of one thing so astonishingly good sounding.

My criticisms can be ergonomic. Once I was setting the 1973 up as a kick drum mic I discovered that the XLR placement makes using a proper angle XLR cable a bit awkward on this utility, and doubtlessly in others.

Adjusting the path/placement of the XLR orientation would profit the mic. For instance, once I tried to place the precise angle XLR cable on in order that I may simply match it contained in the kick drum, it was not aligned in a means that it could possibly be used with that. So I needed to change the cable in the long run, to the normal form, which modified the footprint of the microphone. (Thank goodness it’s half the dimensions of its predecessor!) Later nonetheless, I went again to the precise angle cable in one other use case, and once I wanted to verify or change the pad, the precise angle cable blocks the pad change, however I used to be in a position to type of get in there with a pencil.

The one different criticism I may leverage at this mic, isn’t even the mic itself. The case that the mic is available in is a cardboard field, which is, to be honest, properly designed, and comes with a foam housing, so it’s certainly protected sufficient for delivery and transport. I type of longed for a field with a bit extra longevity, however actually it’s advantageous.

I can perceive the cardboard field as a result of it retains the associated fee down, which I don’t assume I’m alone in appreciating. This nice mic is on the market for the aggressive worth of $799. A special case would have run the associated fee up. Over time I can spend money on a alternative case, because the field and foam are prone to deteriorate in time, however it’s well worth the funding — and that’s a Future Kallie downside!

Summing Up:

The handmade 1973 makes it simpler to get ahold of a Soyuz microphone.

Soyuz has captured one thing traditional that’s properly revered for a superb cause, and given it a barely, not over pronounced, trendy twist. You possibly can say they’ve improved an already good factor.

For $799 the 1973 is a steal, and I additionally suspect it’s going to save individuals numerous EQing relying on the model of music you’re working in. It’s all the time nice to have the ability to get a fantastic sound on the supply, which is the way it must be. Additionally, in keeping with Soyuz no different microphone on this worth vary is totally handmade together with the capsule, which is able to add to the attraction for a lot of.

I’m formally a fan of this mic, and in the event you’ve all the time dreamt of proudly owning a traditional FET 47, however haven’t been in a position to get your arms on one, attain for the 1973 as a substitute. You’ll have all the specified qualities, in a smaller extra reasonably priced design, with a barely totally different and — in my view — higher presence in a variety of frequencies that make it indispensable on kick drums, guitars, and vocals.

— Kallie Marie is a contributor to SonicScoop.com. She is the creator of “Conversations with Ladies in Music Manufacturing“, obtainable now from Backbeat Books.

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