Measurement mics are necessarily neutral and accurate, and that's often just what you want when recording music too. Gefell's newest offering, based around a measurement capsule, has those characteristics in abundance.
It was around six years ago (SOS June 2013) that I reviewed Microtech Gefell's M221 omnidirectional microphone. In addition to being a particularly well-designed mic — combining the company's 12.5mm MK221 measurement capsule with the MV225 impedance-converter preamp body — the M221 is also supplied with a pair of 'acoustic pressure equaliser' (APE) spheres. These fit over the capsule to introduce different levels of directionality at mid and high frequencies, making the M221 a particularly versatile and impressive microphone. The APEs shape the polar response in a frequency-selective way, much like the classic Neumann M50s capsule, making the M221 an attractive option for use in Decca Tree-style mic arrays.
I mention all this because the latest addition to the Gefell range — the new M102 microphone — follows a similar theme: it combines another of the manufacturer's established measurement capsules with the same transformerless MV225 preamp body. However, in this new incarnation the capsule (the MK102) is a one-inch omnidirectional design originally intended for use with IEC Type 1 sound-level meters, and it lacks any APEs or other sound-modifying accessories.
Gefell's engineering is frequently innovative and unusual, and the MK102 is no exception. The capsule is made almost entirely from nickel, and the large diaphragm is actually 'grown' in place — a manufacturing...