This low-cost mic can help add some warmth to your vocal recordings.
Item: sE Electronics sE X1 T, Tube Microphone
Price: $399 (US), £189 (UK)
At A Glance: The sE electronics X1 T is a large diaphragm condenser microphone aimed musicians who record vocals and acoustic instruments in their home studio. It is based upon their low-cost X1 microphone; however sE have added analog tube circuitry and a specially-selected ECC83 valve to add rich, valve warmth to the sound of the microphone. The mic has a cardioid polar pattern, and features a low cut switch and a -10dB pad. The X1 T uses its own custom power supply (it doesn’t work using phantom power from your mixing desk like some other condenser mics do), and it also comes with a basic mic clip (although using a shock-mount would generally be advisable) and carrying case.
High Notes: The microphone is ideal for recordings vocals and spoken word if you are looking for a microphone that will give a subtle lift to the low-mid frequencies and add sparkle to the high end. This can help vocals to have a slightly larger-than-life sound that dominates in a mix. It can also work well on acoustic guitars pianos, percussion, or any instrument you might want to add a bit of warmth to while recording. The microphone is available as a discounted bundle with the SE Isolation Pack shock-mount and pop shield if you do not already have these (or a comparable product).
Off Pitch: Because of the included tube, the microphone is more expensive than a regular X1; however when compared to many other tube microphones it is a low price to pay. As the X1 T isn’t the flattest sounding mic, the added warmth of the tube might not be the perfect choice for all voices and instruments.
VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The microphone is well built and produces a good sound that is on a par with models that would typically cost more. When compared to high-end tube microphones it doesn’t have the same richness and depth of sound; however for its price there is little to complain about. The X1 T represents an affordable way for singers to get a valve sound in their home studios that can to bring a hint of warmth to their digital recordings. It faces competition from other similarly priced tube microphones, such as the MXL v67, Oktava MKL 2500, Studio Projects T3 and the M-Audio Sputnik; however sE Electronics’ reputation for well-built and well-engineered microphones will no doubt help the X1 T compete in a fairly crowded marketplace.
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.seelectronics.com