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Soundelux Debuts the E250 Cardioid Tube Mic

Conceived and designed purely as a vocal microphone, the Soundelux E250 cardioid tube condenser is a rethinking of classic tube microphone design to address the inherent problems with the modern practice of close-miking loud vocals.

Conceived and designed purely as a vocal microphone, the SoundeluxE250 cardioid tube condenser rethinks classic tube microphone design toaddress the inherent problems with the modern practice of close-mikingloud vocals. Classic tube condenser microphones were never meant to beplaced within six-inches of loud vocalists, yet producers and engineerslove the presence, size and low-frequency boost this adds to theirartist’s sound. However the proximity effect’s low-frequency build upand the upper midrange/treble tilt of many popular old classic cardioidmicrophones can also work counter-productively, causing problemsrequiring extensive outboard signal processing.

Designer David Bock remarks: “I started out designing a moreaffordable and mellow version of the ELUX 251 while still retaining allthe 251’s meat and sound. Something you can’t get from a 47 or any ofthe other vintage mics. The E250 is not as bright as the 251 with itspronounced high-frequency peak. The 250 is mellowed down a bit and Isculpted the proximity effect more towards the middle of the vocalrange than down below it where it usually lives. Basically the 250 is acondenser version of the 251 optimized for close vocals and includesall our modern enhancements with lower noise and distortion specs.”

Another problem with close miking vocals is high-frequencydirectionality or the “beaming effect.” This is where any slight headmovement by the singer can produce a big change in the high-frequencycontent. Bock continues with: “The new E250 has a broader cardioidpolar pattern than our standard 251, which is fairly directional upclose, and that makes it much more forgiving in these cases.”

The E250 is similar looking to the ELUX 251 with the same classiccolor scheme but with a one-piece body and without a chromedwindscreen. The E250 is delivered in a wood box, comes with a customshock-mount and the reliable P251 power supply (same as ELUX 251).

Similarity to the ELUX 251 ends with a whole new capsule design.Derived from the 251, the capsules are hand-picked and individuallytested. They have a one-inch in diameter with a six-micron-thickgold-vapor deposited diaphragm. Again like the 251, the entire capsuleis mounted in a brass holder. Bock also chose a different tube andoutput transformer than the ELUX 251 and kept Soundelux’ Stable Biascircuitry design to prevent the sound of the mic changing withdynamics. The mic’s frequency response stays constant whether singingloud or soft. When asked if he feels he accomplished his originaldesign goal and overall sound of the mic, Bock simply says: “You couldsay it’s huge-sounding.”

Soundelux Microphones is a division of Ascent Media; Soundeluxmicrophones are made in the US and distributed by Transamerica AudioGroup.

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