Aston's capacitor mics are fast becoming popular in the studio, and with its four voicing options and built-in preamp, their first ever dynamic model looks set to follow suit!
British manufacturers Aston Microphones have quickly established a loyal following for their modest but impressive product portfolio of high-quality capacitor mics and accessories. Pretty much all of their products have some interestingly quirky and individual features, such as the waveform-style spring head of the Origin and Spirit mics, or the laser pointer and sintered windshield on the Starlight. The latest offering from this innovative and imaginative company continues that trend with another unexpected 'industry first'.
Aston Microphones have always valued and relied upon customer and industry feedback to guide the development of their microphones, particularly in terms of sound character and features. And it was as a direct result of industry feedback that the company decided that their fourth microphone was to be something completely different from previous models: a dynamic microphone — and a great big one at that!
Called the Stealth, this new microphone is quite a beast, measuring 196mm in length and 58mm in diameter, and weighing a substantial 695g. The most immediately comparable mics that spring to mind are models like the Shure SM7B, the Rode Procaster and the Electro‑Voice RE20.
Like these other models, the Stealth is an end-fire, cardioid, moving-coil dynamic microphone. It took around nine months to develop, much of that time being spent on extensive testing in the field. Aston recruited a panel of 92 engineers and artists, who started by shortlisting potential dynamic capsules, before moving on to compare and optimise different mic 'voicings' using 14 different voices and seven other referencee sound sources, all in a double-blind test format to ensure objectivity. The resulting data amounted to something like 9000 test points that revealed some very strong and consistent preferences, which shaped the production microphone.
Painted in a silky black, the plain metal body carries the Aston logo and the mic's name, but is topped by five black plastic rings, which create an attractive milled effect while also providing sound access to the rear ports of the capsule to enable its cardioid polar pattern. The top ring is thickest at about 32mm, while the middle three are 6mm deep and the last just 3mm. These top rings are partially mirrored with two more 6mm rings at the bottom, which gives a nice visual balance. At the business...
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