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Product Reviews

Review: Sony C-100 High-Resolution Condenser Mic

By Rich Tozzoli. Check out Sony’s C-100 two-way condenser microphone, suitable for vocal and critical instrument recording in the studio.

Since Sony hasn’t released a new mic in 25 years, the C-100 condenser is worth talking about. Billed as a high-resolution microphone, the C-100 streams directly from the lineage of the legendary C-800G, which I’ve used on multiple occasions with nothing short of stunning results. (There’s a reason they are still back-ordered to this day!) Interestingly, the mic was designed in collaboration with Sony Music, so the “tweaking” went on over the course of literally years.

The dual-capsule, transformerless, multipattern design features front-switchable omni, uni (cardioid) and figure eight patterns, and the rear features an optional 10 dB pad and low cut rolloff. The 25mm diaphragm covers 20 Hz up to 25 kHz, and the 17mm capsule covers 25 kHz up to 50 kHz. 

I know what you’re probably saying—we can’t hear up that high—but this mic is targeted for “high-res” capture, which could potentially take advantage of all that extra “air.” The C-100 is smaller than a C-800G (especially without the Peltier device), but it still has a solid feel to it. It will be launched with a full protective case and shockmount system.

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I was lucky enough to put a beta version through its paces—I and those who I recorded with were more than pleased with its performance. It shined on an acoustic 12-string Guild F-512, where it captured all the highs and shimmer, as well as every drop of booming bottom. It delivered the goods on both male and female vocals, as its should with its C-800 lineage. It also did a great job in two interesting places: on a guitar cabinet and as drum overheads/room mics.

On the guitar cabinet, it was thick and nasty, and had a much more open sound than a ’57 and more highs than a ’421. When I used a couple for room mics, and even as a single overhead (center) on drums, we were almost shocked how much of the kit it got, from the kick up to the tops of the cymbals (sonically). At one point, we had to make sure all the other mics were muted because we didn’t believe the C-100 alone could deliver so much sound. Very impressive, and considering that the C-800G is over $10,000 and the C-100 hits the street at around $1,399, even more so.

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Sony’s attention to detail and focused effort to develop this product was worth it. This is not just a great mic; it’s superb. Whether you’re capturing high resolution or not, the C-100 will undoubtedly find its way into many mic collections.

Sony •