You are here

Pearl ELM-T

Valve Microphone By Sam Inglis
Published July 2024

Pearl ELM-T

The ELM‑T is a new microphone that has been 70 years in the making.

If you look up “company man” in an English‑to‑Swedish dictionary, you’ll probably see a photo of Bernt Malmqvist. Since joining in 1954 as a machinist, he’s spent his entire career with Pearl Microphones and sister company Milab. Following in the footsteps of company founder Rune Rosander, Bernt has been responsible for many innovative and successful designs, and on his formal retirement in 2017, the Pearl and Milab brands were reunited under one roof.

After 63 years designing, building and selling microphones, many people would have seen retirement as an opportunity to do something else. Not Bernt Malmqvist, who decided to add to his already considerable legacy by developing the ultimate valve microphone. Several years in the making, the ELM‑T Bernt Malmqvist Signature Edition is a no‑compromise design that draws on all of its creator’s vast experience.

Rectangular Capsule

One of the core technologies at Pearl and Milab is the rectangular capsule. Pioneered by Rune Rosander back in the 1950s, this has some practical advantages over the conventional circular design. The tensioned diaphragm does not have a single, dominant resonant frequency like its circular counterpart, and the same surface area can be achieved using a smaller diameter, allowing some Pearl and Milab models to offer large‑diaphragm performance with the footprint of a small‑diaphragm mic. The rectangular capsule also exhibits different pickup patterns in the vertical and horizontal planes, which can be a useful quality in real‑world recording scenarios. For example, if you’re forced to work in a room with a low ceiling, a mic that has much stronger rejection along the vertical axis can be a valuable asset.

Designed by Bernt Malmqvist and introduced in the mid‑2000s, Pearl’s ELM capsule took the rectangular design, quite literally, to new heights. Previous Pearl and Milab capsules had typically employed a 2:1 aspect ratio, but the ELM capsule dramatically ups that to 7:1. In doing so, it heightens the contrast between vertical and horizontal polar responses. The ELM‑C is a fixed‑cardioid mic, the ‑B is a figure‑8 model, and the ‑A allows the outputs from both sides of the capsule to be recorded...

You are reading one of the locked Subscribers-only articles from our latest 5 issues.

You've read 30% of this article for free, so to continue reading...

  • ✅ Log in - if you have a Subscription you bought from SOS.
  • Buy & Download this Single Article in PDF format £1.00 GBP$1.49 USD
    For less than the price of a coffee, buy now and immediately download to your computer or smartphone.
  • Buy & Download the FULL ISSUE PDF
    Our 'full SOS magazine' for smartphone/tablet/computer. More info...
  • Buy a DIGITAL subscription (or Print + Digital)
    Instantly unlock ALL premium web articles! Visit our ShopStore.

Claim your FREE 170-page digital publication
from the makers of Sound On SoundCLICK HERE