S3-87 Microphone Kit
The S3-87 is a world-class FET condenser microphone suitable for all audio sources. Key features include:
- Our renowned RK-87 capsule
- Our finest transformerless circuit, with "Variable EQ"
- 3-way pattern switch (Cardioid / Omni / Figure-8)
- -10dB pad switch
- Includes shockmount and storage case
The S3-87 is essentially a 3-pattern version of our best-selling S-87 microphone kit, with a larger body and two external switches. Like the S-87, the S3-87 is based on the sound of the Neumann U87, but delivers higher output, lower noise, and lower distortion than the U87 -- that is, higher output and lower distortion than the current production U87 Ai, and 12-15dB higher output than the older U87i (and the various so-called "DIY U87" kits on the market).
The S3-87 is an all-purpose microphone. The list of applications below are sources for which the mic shines -- but due to its neutral voicing, it can be used on a wide variety of sources with great results.
- Voiceover (both commercial and narration)
- Drum Overheads
- Orchestra / Ensembles
See also the "S-87" column of the application guide.
Note - If you wish to record very high-SPL sources with this mic, we can recommend two simple mods to lower the mic's sensitivity and increase the pad value.
Circuit Description and Options
The S3-87 uses the latest version of our premium transformerless circuit. It is made entirely with superior parts and practices. For example, every JFET is individually selected and manually biased in our shop to ensure maximum gain and minimal distortion. The primary signal caps are polypropylene types, because they sound better. Resistors are 1% tolerance, audio quality, low-noise parts. The two switches are long-life C&K parts. All the "mods" and upgrades that people like to do to the Schoeps transformerless circuit have already been done.
New in this kit is our "Variable EQ" feature. The circuit kit includes a socketed EQ cap, enabling you to fine-tune the high frequency response of the mic without soldering. If the mic is too bright, plug in one of the included EQ capacitors... if it is then too dark, replace the cap with a smaller value.
The S3's circuit is unique for not using internal wiring. The switches are soldered directly to the main circuit board, rather than mounted to a small standalone board that would need to be wired to the audio board, introducing complexity and possible signal loss. We've kept audio traces as short as possible, and as we always do, isolated the high-impedance circuit above the circuit board. We do not compromise the sound or performance of the mic for convenience!
What's in the box?
The S3-87 kit includes:
- A low profile foam-lined storage case.
- The S3 microphone body, complete with tapered grille and XLR3 insert.
- Our TL3 circuit kit.
- The RK-87 capsule.
- Comprehensive, full-color, step-by-step installation instructions.
The S3-87 is compatible with the Rycote USM-VB, which we use and recommend.
We made custom die-cut foam that puts the USM-VB and S3 microphone into the world's best microphone case, the SKB iSeries 1209-4; see details on the SKB microphone case page.