Microphones too have come out of age, and it is evident from the kind of advancements observed with their recent developments. In the new era of wireless microphones and the like, opting for a Tube Microphone may appear to be a thing of the past, or more so – an antique possession. But, the fact remains that the age-old microphones still have a saying in some cases. In fact, they are considered to be the best options for some specific occasions. For instance, recording vocals or some musical instruments would need that particular feel or connection which can only be assured of by using Tube Condenser microphones. With that backdrop, we present the Best Tube Condenser Microphones in 2018 you can get hold of.
What Are Tube Condenser Microphones?
A Tube microphone is a form of a condenser microphone that would indeed have a physical Tube. In fact, the tube is referred to as Valve Amplifier.
The tube microphones come with a host of features that would make them stay ahead in competition even after the considerable improvements in the arena. The receivers offer you better natural compressions and tonal responses. Though most of us call them old school or vintage, they have their advanced features. No matter how much the microphones have grown beyond technology and offer the new generation effects, but the true and real feeling that we have been experiencing with the tube microphones will never fade.
Best Tube Condenser Microphones in 2018
The Tube Condenser microphones are not so easy to find, though there are a few good options still available. Let us check out a few of the options you have at your disposal. Before you can embark on your journey to find the best Tube Condenser microphones for your requirements, the collection of a few select tube microphones should aid you in your venture.
Rode K2 is undoubtedly a great option regarding the performance and functionality. In fact, it would be the first option you would find in any list of tube condenser microphones.
The best microphones with ultra-low noise performance, it comes with a more substantial 1-inch capsule. The smooth and deep sound that you would experience on Rode K2 should make it an excellent and affordable choice for your versatile recording needs. Some of the features that would make it an attractive option can be summed up as –
- High level of SPL at 162 dB.
- It offers you a full dynamic range.
- The high SPL makes it best suited for a versatile approach. Use it for recording drums, vocals, percussions, well – practically whatever you want.
- Durable with a high degree of craft should make it an ideal option for all requirements.
- The warmer sound quality is what attracts guitarists, vocalists, and violinists (and many more artists who play stringed instruments) to Rode K2 microphone.
Price – $699.00
Neumann M 147
In case if you are looking for a high-end tube condenser microphone, check this out. It offers you a clearer and crisper sound that amplifies the sound as it really should be. The most natural music is what it would provide you with.
If you are an artist or a musician – Neumann M 147 should be the best option you can opt for. In fact, it is one of the most expensive tube condenser microphones, and that should speak enough for its high-end performance.
Well, what are the features that would make it an excellent choice? Let us list a few-
- It offers you high level and low noise function.
- The high dynamic range should be what would enhance your music experience.
- It offers you a frequency response between 20Hz to 20 kHz.
- A balanced bass response offers a better tenor range.
Price – $2,899.95
AKG P820 is one of the highly rated tube condenser microphones. It comes with a design that comes with multiple polar patterns, thereby making it one of the most versatile options you can go with.
The multiple polar patterns would make it work with practically any kind of instrument in addition to the vocals. The durable design is yet another feature that would make it an excellent choice.
Some of the features that would make it an excellent option are –
- The low cut filter offers a 20dB pad.
- It can handle up to 155 dB sound pressure level.
- The high SPL levels would make it one of the best options for drums.
- AKG P820 s one of the most durable tube condenser microphones you can go with.
- It has garnered a name for itself for the high degree of creativity.
- Customisation options to tweak your sounds are what would make it an excellent choice.
Mojave Audio MA-200
If precision and design expertise is what you are looking for, the Mojave Audio MA-200 should be the best option you can go with. It features a large diaphragm vacuum tube condenser. It focusses on a complete reproduction of vocals and instrumentals and thus ensures the best results.
It is one of the high-level microphones you can expect among the tube condenser microphone options you may have. Some of the features that would make it an exciting choice would be –
- The receiver comes with a hand-picked 3 micron 1inch capsule.
- The Jensen audio transformer technology helps you create beautiful sound at its best.
- It is made of military grade JAN 5840 vacuum tube. This can go a long way in ensuring a better signal path.
- The power supply capacity of 115 V and 220 V. The internal switchable power supply option should provide you an exceptional functionality
- Mojave has earned a name for itself, thanks to the compatibility for a good performance – no matter whether you are a vocalist or a musician.
Price – $1,095.00
Looking for a cheaper and cost-effective model in the Tube Condenser microphone for your needs? Nady TCM-1150 can be the best option for enhanced sound performance.
Yes, if you do not want to spend a fortune for your needs, yet get excellent performance, your search should end with the Nady’s best offering. Warmth in your recording is what it would offer as the best feature on this microphone.
Some salient features worth the attention can be –
- It is made of 6072 vacuum tube that would create the best performance regarding analog saturation.
- You can choose from a host of polar patterns. In fact, the vast choice of models lets you get the best options for versatile functionality.
- It comes with a built-in output transformer. This ensures great transparency.
- The microphone comes with a 3-micron gold-sputtered mylar diaphragm that improves the top octaves and provides the best transient response.
- The microphone offers you a low distortion performance.
- Low sensitivity to mechanical vibrators and a high signal to noise ratio should be the features that make it an excellent choice.
Price – $279.99
Why Should You Opt for A Tube Condenser Microphone?
Well, that would be a valid question. It is because the tube condenser microphones are treated to be vintage given the new options available in the condenser genre of receivers itself. Though they are entirely an old school from the technology point of view, they come with their advantages.
One of the best features that would make them a great option is the warmth and rounded sound effect that they tend to add to your recordings. They provide a real feel to the kind of music you play, whether vocals, stringed instruments or even drums. The natural feel is what makes them still prevalent in studios and other professional environments.
However, they do have a few disadvantages like a dedicated power supply, a mixer, and other few additional requirements. However, the real feel is what the musicians prefer the tube condenser microphones worldwide.
Well, if you are someone who has been on the lookout for the best tube condenser microphone, they may not be much easy to find. In fact, even if you could manage to find one, it may not be as easy to choose the one that perfectly matches your needs. From that perspective, the microphones featured in this compilation should go a long way in helping you out in selecting the best alternatives you have.
Choosing a microphone, whether a Tube Condenser microphone or otherwise – it should be a good strategy to adopt the established manufacturers. In fact, it has been observed that many low priced tube condenser microphones offer a higher and better functionality in comparison to the more top priced models.
Have you used any of the microphones featured in this compilation? If you have used any of them for your needs, do share your experiences, thoughts, and opinions with them. Your feedback should go a long way in helping our readers make a better choice.