Alctron MC320 FET Cardioid Condenser Microphone
It arrived last week, my Alctron MC-320, while I was up at a friend's. This is Alctron's clone of a Neumann U87, and last night, I put first noise through it. Just my voice into my console (Yamaha MG20x), no compression, dry and then sweetened with a large hall reverb. Hand claps, solid. Finger snaps, crisp and dry, like a blonde lager. My voice singing my most common test, The Kids Are Alright, oh wow! 300mm off mic and dry, I'd so track that! MY VOICE! I'd track that! Holy s***! I don't mind at all, thank you. Immediately images flooded into my brain of Pete, John and Keith standing around a single U87, singing, "WHO WHO, WHO WHO!" as per the original clip from 1978.
So, first impressions. Sounds great, no buyers remorse AT ALL! The weight is good, I doubt there are many plastic parts inside. The cradle and bag are good quality. The finish is like burnished silver. It looks, sounds and feels like any expensive mic I've ever used (27 years with the ABC - they have a very sweet mic locker in every capital city), but is it as good as the mic it copies?
It's 95% there, no really! This mic, at AU$135 from Swamp, is 95% of the microphone it nicks all its cues from but at less than 5% of the prices I've seen online for a U87!
Look, I'm not saying a pro studio could use this mic. There's reputation to consider, along with after sales support, warranty, grade of components and all that stuff people hire a pro studio for. You just would not get bookings with a mic cupboard full of Alctrons, and that's kind of how it should be. If you're building a project studio at home, on a home studio budget, 20 of these for the price of a U87 starts to look seriously goooooood!
I also tried the pick drop test. Passes with flying colours! Was listening on closed cans and it even lit the first light on my Yammy's metering! At the same level I was using for voice at 1 foot distance, which had channel gain barely off minimum and fader at reference. I just need to figure out if I could 3D print a believable Neumann badge
14 June 2021