This stylish Russian-made microphone certainly looks the business — but can it compete with the classics?
When I reviewed the Russian-made Soyuz SU-017 ‘bottle’ microphone back in May 2015, the company’s product portfolio only had two entries: that lovely large-diaphragm valve mic, and a small-diaphragm valve ‘pencil’ mic, the SU-011. However, it seems the catalogue has doubled in size since then, with Soyuz adding solid-state versions of both models. The FET-powered equivalent of the SU-017 is called the SU-019, while the transistorised version of the SU-011 is called the SU-013 — and it is this latter mic that is the subject of this review.
As you might expect, the new SU-013 is virtually identical in size to its valve counterpart, and both models share the same set of replaceable capsules. These are currently available with cardioid, hypercardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns. So the core difference between the SU-011 and SU-013 really is just the replacement of the former’s valve for the revised impedance-converter circuitry in the latter, built around an FET stage coupled to a custom-wound output transformer.
Soyuz mics are entirely hand-built, and to emphasise and personalise that point, the mics are supplied with a little envelope containing small cards bearing the portraits and names of those responsible for manufacturing the mics. In this...
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