Tube microphone shootout

Matthew McGlynn emails with news about a new video and blog post that features three tube microphones in head to head to head comparison.

The full story is at the Recording Hacks blog. By the way, as part of that blog post, you can download the uncompressed WAV files for each of the microphones to you can hear for yourself the full audio details.


  1. Bob, I love shootouts like this. Some thoughts on what to listen for:

    I’m always concerned about what the “s’s” sound like – are they harsh, or silky?

    A newbie mistake is to focus too much on frequency response – highs and lows. Listen also for depth. Does the voice seem to have a sense of front-to-back?

    Make sure the levels are matched. You will always prefer the loudest file.

    Finally – a tip I got from our mutual friend Don Miller – put some compression on the recordings and listen again. Since that’s the way the mics will usually be heard, what they sound like “processed” might be even more important than what they sound like “raw.”

    Thanks, Bob!

    Comment by Dan Popp — April 17, 2010 @ 10:57 am

  2. Dan,

    Thank you for those excellent insights.

    Be well,

    Comment by Bob — April 17, 2010 @ 11:25 am

  3. I like the MXL best! The Telefunken sounded muddy, the Gemini didn’t have the warm bottom end of the MXL. I’m listening through a good pair of Event monitors, by the way.

    I wonder how they would compare to my Rode NTK with an NOS Amperex tube in it – I LOVE how that sounds! Thanks for sharing this, Bob!

    Best regards,
    Tom Test

    Comment by Tom Test — April 17, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

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