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Roswell Mini K87

Cardioid Capacitor Microphone
By Paul White

Roswell Mini K87

Inhabiting the same 150mm long housing as Roswell's Mini 47 (https://sosm.ag/apr16-roswell-k47), their fixed cardioid–pattern Mini K87 is designed to have a more neutral voicing than the former, but still with a hint of vintage character. The capsule is a purpose-tuned, centre-terminated K67/K87-style component, teamed with a circuit that's designed to bring out the best in it; we're told the final voicing of the microphone is done manually to achieve consistency.

Roswell recommend this mic for vocals, guitars, acoustic stringed instruments, and drum overheads, and that suggests that it would make a good all-rounder for those who don't own a large collection of mics. The Mini K87 ships in an aluminium case with Roswell's Cutaway shockmount, which is both a rugged and a practical design — and the mic base is threaded to fit to the mount securely. The elastic elements look like O-rings, which should be easy to replace if necessary, and a microfleece mic 'sock' is also included for reducing wind noise. Matched stereo pairs of Mini K87s are also available.

The capsule is quite large, at 34mm in diameter, and is skinned with gold-plated Mylar. Roswell boast audiophile-grade components used in a transformerless, electronically balanced output circuit designed to minimise coloration. The bodywork is fabricated from steel, and the styling looks like many classic side-address mics — it's just a little smaller in scale. By way of technical performance, the K87 has a quoted frequency response of 20Hz to 16kHz — though there's plenty of useful output above 16kHz, as the roll-off is fairly gentle, with its -5dB point at 20kHz. Roswell's smoothed response plot shows the merest hint of presence bumps at around 4 and 10 kHz, rising only a couple of dB above an otherwise nominally flat response. A sensitivity of 14mV/Pa is quoted, with a self noise figure of 12dBA, so the mic is more than adequately quiet for typical studio applications. No maximum SPL is stated, and there are no pad or roll-off switches, so use as a kick drum mic may not be top of the list. As this is a capacitor mic, standard 48V phantom power is required for operation.

Aiming the mic where the guitar's neck meets its body produced a great result with no need for EQ — just the right balance of wire and wood with no undue boom, and plenty of detail in the highs...

My first test was with violin, from which I obtained very usable results. (I needed only a hint of top cut to smooth out the highs — but don't infer from that that this is a bright-sounding mic; I've recorded the same player and instrument with other mics, and a little top cut has always been needed.) Switching to acoustic guitar, using the 'safe' mic position of aiming where the guitar's neck meets its body produced a great result with no need for EQ — just the right balance of wire and wood with no undue boom, and plenty of detail in the highs but no harshness.

On voice, the mic also works well, giving a natural-sounding result on speech, which is always a good test. Given its modest coloration, it should work for a wide range of voices (though it's still worth auditioning as many mics as possible if the mic is mainly for one person — you really never know what mic will best suit a particular voice until you try it!). Overall, then, this is a very capable studio microphone that combines a natural sound with just a little gentle flattery, and it can be obtained for a very sensible price.

information

£399 including VAT.

sxpro.co.uk

roswellproaudio.com

Published February 2020