Can this high-end live microphone justify the high-end price?
Item: Earthworks SR40V – Live Vocal Condenser Microphone
Price: US $999, UK £870
At A Glance: The Earthworks SR40V is a hand-held vocal condenser microphone that aims to offer the best performance on stage that money can buy. Its flat response produces a neutral sound so it can work well with all types of voices and it has a wide frequency range from 30Hz-40kHz so no detail is missed. The microphone produces a very accurate sound with fast transient response, meaning that it can be used both in the studio as well as on stage. It requires 48v phantom power and comes with a rugged plastic touring case.
High Notes: The SR40V is capable of studio-like sound quality on stage that honestly reproduces the nuances of vocal performances. It is quite forgiving to singers who tend to stray away from the centre of the mic, yet it still has good off axis-rejection due to its hyper-cardioid polar pattern in order to minimise feedback on stage. The microphone has very low self-noise and can handle up to 145 db SPL – so it will still produce great sounding vocals no matter how loud you sing.
Off Pitch: Although it is hard to fault the sound quality; it is very expensive for a live microphone, especially considering the prices of its competition. It is also relatively cheaper in the USA than in Europe. Also, some singers may prefer a character microphone that enhances the sound of their voice rather than the accurate and honest sound produced by the SR40V.
A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The Earthworks SR40V is possibly one of the best live vocal microphones money can buy and unfortunately this quality does not come cheap. On the other hand, if you are not going through a seriously high-end PA system the difference may be quite minimal when compared to a microphone costing a quarter of the price. It is also around twice the price of its main competition from Neumann, Sure, and Sennheiser, who all make great high-end live microphones that have been used by top artists for many years. If vocal quality is your only concern, then the Earthworks SR40V is unlikely to disappoint, however unless you are also planning to also use it as your main studio microphone, the price will make the SR40V hard to justify for the majority of singers.
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.earthworksaudio.com