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DPA 2012 & 2015

Small‑diaphragm Capacitor Microphones By Mike Crofts
Published September 2023

DPA 2012 & 2015

These live‑oriented pencil mics offer excellent performance at a very attractive price.

Talk to almost any sound designer who makes their living in live theatre or large live concerts and shows, and it probably won’t be long before DPA mics are mentioned in some context or other. Their product line has become widely known and respected for high quality, reliability and physically robust build, and a new model is invariably a source of professional interest. In this case we’re looking at not one but two new microphones, both primarily aimed at the live sound market but equally at home in studio or location recording setups.

Look & Feel

The 2012 and 2015 are pretty much identical in appearance apart from the model number, which can be found on the side of the body down near the XLR end. They are very compact mics, and although light in weight, they do have a kind of substantial feel to them. The supplied clips add a bit more heft.

You can buy both types of mic singly, although I suspect that most purchasers will go for matched pairs, and these come in attractive and strong moulded zipped cases with DPA branding. ‘Matched pair’, in the case of these and other DPA 2000‑series mics, means that their sensitivities are within ±1.5dB. Whether buying one or a pair, each mic comes with a foam windshield and a rather wonderful mic holder. To describe it as a clip isn’t really doing it justice, as it’s a two‑piece compression screw clamp (model UA0961 to be precise) that holds the mic body securely so that it can’t possibly come loose no matter how it’s angled.

The 2012 and 2015 mics are designed to be tough, both in terms of their physical construction and ability to handle very high sound pressure levels. The wisdom of the past used to regard capacitor mics as more sensitive than dynamics (which they generally are) and therefore more delicate (which these are definitely not). The outer body tube is quite thick and there’s a nice little cutaway drawing on the DPA website showing how they are built; in terms of what you can safely put them next to, both models will happily handle SPLs in excess of 150dB (156dB for the 2012, 153dB for the 2015), so pretty much anything on a live stage is on the menu.


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