On this Soyuz 1973 Assessment, SonicScoop’s Kallie Marie places Soyuz’ under-$1000 FET massive diaphragm condenser (LDC) microphone to the take a look at.
Soyuz just lately launched elegant matte black and silver variations of their tackle a transformerless FET microphone, the 1973. I made a decision to take the matte black 1973 for a spin, and take a look at it towards its predecessor, the basic Neumann U 47 FET.
For those who’re unfamiliar with the historical past of FET (Discipline-Impact Transistor) microphones, they initially helped change most of the tube mics of their day — their tendency for low impedance helped popularize them. Who higher to design this mic than Soyuz, who concentrate on each tube and FET microphone architectures?
Soyuz 1973 Microphone Options:
A few of the foremost options of the Soyuz 1973 are the smaller housing, which makes it lighter, and extra importantly simpler to maneuver than its Neumann counterpart for miking in sure functions, like inside a kick drum.
The 1973 options the identical capsule as Soyuz’ 023 Bomblet, with the addition of a constructed in-resonator. The resonator ring mitigates plosives and eliminates undesirable resonance (this was noticeable in motion, and we get to that under). When the 1973 was designed by Soyuz, they elected to handcraft the resonator to create an setting for the 023 capsule for use within the utility of this particular microphone. The housing, as all the time, can form and alter the sound and this was their innovation and distinctive contribution to this design.
Lastly, the 1973 mic has a cardioid polarity sample, and in addition has each -10dB and -20dB pads, plus ships with a mic stand attachment. This comes together with some very private touches like small playing cards with photographs and names of all of the those that crafted your microphone.
The 1973 In Use:
I used to be fortunate sufficient to take the Soyuz 1973 FET for a little bit of a shootout, and examine it towards a basic Neumann U 47 FET, over at New York Metropolis’s Shelter Island Sound, with the assistance of studio founder Steve Addabbo. (Hey, somebody needed to sing and play guitar and it wasn’t going to be me!) I examined the mic in some frequent use case situations:
- inside a kick drum
- exterior a kick drum
- male singing vocals
- acoustic guitar — each strummed and finger-picked
With a spectral analyzer on every microphone you possibly can see that the curves on each are fairly matched, which was spectacular. Usually the Soyuz 1973 sounded practically similar, however with a barely extra ahead and pronounced 1 kHz-1500 kHz vary, to essentially make it pop in some functions (which I’ll dig into under) which might save me needing to achieve for the EQ in some functions. The aforementioned attribute can be seemingly because of the resonator ring constructed into the Soyuz 1973 FET, which helps get rid of undesirable resonance, which supplies it a extra targeted presence.
The primary take a look at was inserting each mics exterior of a kick drum, with every having a -10dB pad. The U 47 had a spherical, deep sound with a slight after-ring. In the meantime the 1973, having related colour, lower by — one of the simplest ways to say is that the 1973 sounded a bit of clearer, not brighter.
Contained in the kick the basic FET was each heat and spherical, sounding virtually jazz-like in its utility, whereas the 1973 FET had extra presence on the assault, and you may actually hear it within the 1-1500 kHz vary. On this utility you want the -20dB pad on, because the Soyuz does are likely to run hotter, and I can see why they’ve added the choice for not simply -10dB however that extra -20dB.
If I had to decide on between the 2 on this kick utility, I’d select the 1973 as it might completely save me having to EQ something. That is, instantly, a kick with chew. We did a number of rounds of blind testing, and had been so enthused that we ran and obtained Mike Mazzota (Windfall Music Group), from the adjoining studio room, asking one other pair of engineer ears to do this blind take a look at. Nonetheless the identical conclusion: We’d choose the 1973, and skip needing to EQ.
On a male vocal, no pad was wanted for both mic. The basic U 47 FET exhibited barely extra physique within the decrease mids, whereas the 1973 was current and crisp. On this occasion we didn’t use a pop filter, given the singing type and materials, but it surely’s fascinating to notice right here that the 1973’s built-in resonator ring helps mitigate plosives, saving us that step in addition to the potential activity of coping with them later. In fact, use circumstances could be largely based mostly on singing types and volumes, however this was a pleasant bonus to probably not have to consider.
On acoustic guitar, once more the pad wasn’t wanted. The basic FET was heat and wealthy however had much less sparkle on the highest finish, and fewer presence. The 1973 was noticeably fuller bodied (It’s wine now?), with highs that aren’t too shiny, they didn’t poke out and had been particularly nice on the fingerpicked enjoying exams. The two-4 kHz vary has loads of vibrance and vitality on this space, and in a great way — not in a harsh fashionable method. (I ought to be aware I didn’t get to attempt it on an amped electrical guitar, however given the exams I’ve carried out I can guess that for any fizzy, trebly, distorted guitar, these frequencies already tend to be pronounced, however then that’s what EQ is for.)
All in all of the Soyuz 1973 runs sizzling — I discovered myself constantly needing to show the achieve down on the enter. It is sensible that they’ve added a -20dB pad, as this mic is highly effective and responsive.
To Be Vital:
Its exhausting to be important of one thing so astonishingly good sounding.
My criticisms could be ergonomic. After I was setting the 1973 up as a kick drum mic I discovered that the XLR placement makes the usage of a proper angle XLR cable a bit awkward on this utility, and probably in others.
Adjusting the path/placement of the XLR orientation would profit the mic. For instance, after I tried to place the best angle XLR cable on in order that I might simply match it contained in the kick drum, it was not aligned in a method that it might be used with that. So I needed to change the cable ultimately, to the standard form, which modified the footprint of the microphone. (Thank goodness it’s half the scale of its predecessor!) Later nonetheless, I went again to the best angle cable in one other use case, and after I wanted to examine or change the pad, the best angle cable blocks the pad change, however I used to be in a position to form of get in there with a pencil.
The one different criticism I might leverage at this mic, isn’t even the mic itself. The case that the mic is available in is a cardboard field, which is, to be honest, properly designed, and comes with a foam housing, so it’s certainly protected sufficient for delivery and transport. I form of longed for a field with a bit extra longevity, however truthfully it’s tremendous.
I can perceive the cardboard field as a result of it retains the price down, which I don’t assume I’m alone in appreciating. This nice mic is on the market for the aggressive value of $799. A special case would have run the price up. Over time I can spend money on a substitute case, because the field and foam are prone to deteriorate in time, but it surely’s well worth the funding — and that’s a Future Kallie drawback!
Soyuz has captured one thing basic that’s properly revered for a great cause, and given it a barely, not over pronounced, fashionable twist. You would say they’ve improved an already good factor.
For $799 the 1973 is a steal, and I additionally suspect it’ll save folks loads of EQing relying on the type of music you’re working in. It’s all the time nice to have the ability to get an ideal sound on the supply, which is the way it ought to be. Additionally, in accordance with Soyuz no different microphone on this value vary is totally handmade together with the capsule, which is able to add to the attraction for a lot of.
I’m formally a fan of this mic, and in case you’ve all the time dreamt of proudly owning a basic FET 47, however haven’t been in a position to get your palms on one, attain for the 1973 as an alternative. You’ll have all the specified qualities, in a smaller extra reasonably priced design, with a barely totally different and — in my view — higher presence in a spread of frequencies that make it indispensable on kick drums, guitars, and vocals.
— Kallie Marie is a contributor to SonicScoop.com. She is the writer of “Conversations with Girls in Music Manufacturing“, obtainable now from Backbeat Books.
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