DIY Microphone Kits
The products on this page are all-inclusive DIY microphone kits. Just add solder and a few hours' time, and you'll be rewarded with an exceptional piece of audio gear.
We have kits to satisfy all three of the major microphone topologies: transformerless JFET, transformer JFET, and transformer/tube, with 3 different large-diaphragm capsules modeled after the famous European designs.
Vintage Mic References
|If you're looking for...||Check out this kit:|
|Neumann U87i / Neumann U87 Ai||The S3-87 is a 3-pattern mic with a K67/K87 capsule, and a variable EQ feature that lets you target any of 3 voicings from this family of mics: flat and rich like the U67, mild presence like the U87i, or pervasive presence like the U87 Ai. We use a different circuit than Neumann because it gives higher output, lower noise, and lower distortion, plus the ability to fine-tune high frequency response via EQ capacitors.|
The S-12 would be similar in sound to the modern transformerless TL, XL, and XLR versions of the C414.
The T-12 provides a similar frequency profile but injects vintage mic 'mojo' thanks to its transfomer-coupled circuit.
|Telefunken ElaM 251||
The 12-251 is a slightly modernized take on the 251 idea, with higher headroom and just a hint of even-order harmonics.
The V-251 is a more historically accurate recreation of the 251 circuit, with higher levels of even-order harmonics for a more vintage sound. The V-251 adds a pad and high-pass filter too.
|Neumann U47||There is no such thing as a true "U47 clone" because the critical VF14 tube has been unavailable for 50 years. To achieve the coveted U47 sound, we've paired our K47 capsule with a very nice tube circuit that gets you into the sonic territory of the original mic at a fraction of the cost. See the V-47 kit.|
|Neumann TLM103||The TLM103 has become a very popular vocal/voiceover mic for project studios. We find it painfully bright for many sources, but if that's the sound you're after, try the S-87. The build guide describes in-circuit EQ options; just omit the EQ, and the mic will retain the exaggerated presence peak that the TLM103 has made famous.|
|Schoeps CMC5||We have recreated and upgraded the CMC5 circuit, and paired it to a custom SDC capsule that customers say rivals the original mic. See the SDC microphone kit.|
|Neumann KM84||We have recreated and upgraded the KM84 circuit. We developed a custom output transformer that delivers superior harmonics and low-frequency linearity. Paired with our SDC capsules, this circuit is capable of stunning performance. See the SDC-84 microphone kit.|
You might also appreciate seeing the Application Guide.
The S Series: Transformerless JFET
We've hot-rodded the famous Schoeps circuit. Choose this for high sensitivity, low noise, and a clean-and-pristine signal path. The S-series kits (formerly called the "RA-23" kits) are named for the capsule and voicing. See the S-47 (TLM49 voicing), S-12 (C12/C414 voicing), and S-87 (U87 voicing), below.
The S3 Series: Multipattern Transformerless JFET
We've taken all the sonic magic of our acclaimed S series circuit, and added two external switches. The switches enable a 10dB pad, and a 3-way pattern selection (Cardioid/Omni/Fig8).
Looking for mid-side or Blumlein? The S3 has you covered.
The S3 series maintains the same high sensitivity, low noise, pristine signal path of the S series, built into a robust body. The S3 kits include a hard case and shockmount.
The T Series: Transformer-coupled JFET
We took a vintage Neumann circuit, then optimized it for large-diaphragm capsules and even-order harmonics. The result is a spectacular vintage-circuit microphone with an extraordinarily simple signal path and a ton of texture. Choose this for vintage vibe.
The V Series: Transformer/Tube
Our tube mic is an adaptation of the Telefunken ElaM 251 circuit, although with higher headroom. We use a low-noise tube and a custom-wound transformer. The finished mic competes with commercial boutique offerings in the $1500-$2000 range.
See also our custom tube mic power supply, which is available as an upgrade option for both these microphone kits.
The SDC Series: Small Diaphragm Options
We have recreated the circuits from the two most famous pencil microphones in history: the Schoeps CMC5 and Neumann KM84. Our custom SDC capsule is closest to the Neumann KM84 capsule in tone, but works beautifully with the transformerless circuit too, giving rich tone without high-frequency hype.
The '25' Series: Medium Diaphragm Kits
While the products listed above offer world-class performance at a fraction of comparable retail prices, we wanted to provide a lower-cost kit that did not compromise performance. Based on years of research, we came up with two different complementary flavors that set new standards for price/performance ratio.
Both these kits are suitable for students and first-time DIY builders, yet neither of them will be outgrown, as evidenced by the fact that both models are in regular use at numerous commercial studios.
Why These Kits are Superior
You might have seen other DIY microphone kits that are comprised of indifferent, low-grade parts and a photocopied schematic that supposedly serves as the installation guide. The products on this page are in a different league -- as are the finished microphones. We use parts equivalent to what you'd find in commercial microphones costing over $1500.