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Vintage Tube Microphones have always been coveted to the point of being unattainable. David Royer of Mojave recognized that users want new versions of these classic microphones and their MA-37 shoots for the Sony C-37a’s style and characteristics and hits a bullseye.
This is a serious (like heart attack serious) piece of kit. The whole package includes a pelican style padded case, dedicated power supply, microphone and connection cables. The microphone itself has two modes: Cardioid & Omnidirectional, selectable by a recessed switch on the mic. It’s a physical shutter, not an electrical version that changes its color. The large 1” diaphragm is 6-microns thick, gold sputtered and resides in a retro style casing mounted on a beefy yoke. The frequency response is 30Hz-18kHz, with a max SPL of 135dB. The power supply sports a EF806 tube and has 3 high pass filter options: Flat (M), 100Hz (V1), & 200Hz (V2). Mojave has been known for using high quality components and the use of a Lundahl transformer is certainly a key piece in this sonic recipe.▼ Article continues below ▼
On vocals this is a dream, there’s no other way to put it. There are not many mics that make a singer sound better, but this is one of the rare instances of magic. Its super smooth response makes us wonder “why haven’t we heard a mic this good before?” The response is hyper rich and dynamic across the board. The high pass filter on vocals is a season-to-taste formula, for higher pitches, let’s say Robert Plant-ish shrieks, the V2 option adds in a musical roll off that doesn’t dull the performance, and a singer will find this mic works with them.
Applying this to acoustic guitars was also super pleasurable as we found using the V1 setting on the high pass filter was great, between the 12th fret and the neck/body joint for clarity and depth but placing the mic close to the bridge with the V2 setting gave it an edge that still had warmth in the top end.
Applying this mic to guitar cabs was really, really, really nice…getting that extra bottom end that still has clarity and definition right from the start, and the midrange sat in a very musical area without a ton of EQ. Even solid-state combos sounded better with this, with no fizz or grit. On its own the MA-37 definitely delivers, but users who can’t just put one mic on a cabinet; it won’t hurt, but the overall fullness will be coming from the MA-37. Forget plug-ins and IR’s, this is the real deal.
This is professional level hardware, with professional level results that are excellent. We’ve never had a real C-37 at our disposal but this feels as close to vintage as you can get, without the hassles of old gear. For a serious mic locker, this is the secret weapon for vocals, guitars, amps, and anything else that just needs to sound warmer, dynamic, smoother and more musical. For users that subscribe to how the original version was legendary, this is the obtainable version that is worth opening up room in your budget. With the results on your next recording, you won’t be overpaying for the sound you get.
wonderful sounding high pass filter is very useful and overall musical
pricey (but worth every penny)