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Sontronics Saturn 2

Capacitor Microphone By Neil Rogers
Published June 2024

Sontronics’ unmistakeable Saturn is back — with digital pattern control to complement its vintage looks.

Sontronics Saturn 2Sontronics’ original Saturn was reviewed way back in SOS October 2010, when Paul White found much to like about this distinctive, retro‑looking large‑diaphragm capacitor microphone. Despite it being a very successful product, Sontronics made the difficult decision to officially discontinue the mic in 2015, as a key component of the circuitry was no longer available or easily replaceable. The microphone was close to designer and Sontronics founder Trevor Coley’s heart, so it was always the plan to re‑release the Saturn at some point. A new version was seemingly set for release just before the pandemic struck in 2020, which put their plans on hold. Finally, nearly a decade after the original Saturn was discontinued, the Saturn 2 is now available, and I was very much looking forward to putting it through its paces in my studio.

Polar Exploration

The Saturn 2 is hand‑built in the UK, and comes with a reassuring lifetime guarantee. Sontronics’ aim with this new version was to preserve the character of the original Saturn, whilst seeking to enhance it wherever possible. As such, the sonic nature of the capsule remains broadly the same, with the headline change being the new digitally controlled internal electronics — which, Sontronics explain, have been painstakingly engineered to provide extremely close control over the voltages sent to both sides of the capsule. These accurate voltage adjustments allow precise adjustment of the polar pattern, and whereas the original offered a choice of cardioid, subcardioid, hypercardioid, omni and figure‑8, this new version includes four additional patterns that sit between the five main options. With a total of nine polar patterns to choose from, the Saturn 2 should more than satisfy engineers who like to dig deep into really fine‑tuning their mic’s directional response.

Another key benefit of the new digitally controlled design is the consistency with which the mics perform. Different Saturn 2s are precisely matched out of the box, which is obviously important for anyone planning to use multiple mics in stereo or immersive arrays.


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