S-47 Microphone Kit
The S-47 is a world-class microphone in DIY kit form. It includes an unbranded microphone body, our custom transformerless circuit, and a swivel mount.
- Acoustic guitar (especially great for small-body, thin-sounding, or brightly voiced instruments that benefit from enhanced weight and body)
- Electric guitar cabinet
- Drum overheads (recommended: build the internal pad option)
- Drum room
The internal switch can be configured at build time as either a Cardioid/Omni polar pattern switch, or as a 10dB pad. All parts for both options are included.
The circuit kit is in its 3rd generation. It is based on the Schoeps transformerless design, with multiple upgrades, improvements, and optimizations. We use high-grade parts throughout the circuit: the JFET is a NOS Siliconix part, which we manually and individually bias in our shop for every kit. Output transistors are Hitachi. Capacitors are low-noise, high fidelity parts from Wima and Panasonic.
The microphone has high sensitivity -- 35mV/Pa -- with low self-noise (<10dBA). It is fantastic on male vocals, strings, percussion, guitar cab.
If you want a 3-pattern version of the S-47 microphone, see the new S3-47 kit.
Paul White, senior editor for Sound On Sound Magazine, built an S-12 (which uses the same circuit as the S-47) and concluded that "it could certainly give some of the boutique mics out there a run for their money." That's high praise for a $329 kit.
"A test recording of speech revealed a warm, smooth character without any obvious presence boost... Plenty of HF detail is present, but not in that splashy, in-your-face way that some mics present it, which suggests that it is likely to be kind to female vocals."
Read the full review here.
Here's a video review from Jeannot Kuenzel, with snapshots of an S-12 build (again, using the same circuit as the S-47). It contains a compelling demonstration of the mic's remarkably low noise floor:
Visual Color Choices
You can choose from a satin black anodized finish or a matte green powdercoat. Both are tough, integrated finishes that resist fingerprints, scratches, dents, and dings.
The powdercoat options costs a bit more because we actually bead-blast the black finish away, mask the body, and apply a 2-stage powdercoat, followed by careful sanding to ensure proper shielding for the circuit.
Please note that the powdercoat colors are applied in small batches. We frequently sell out of these, and do not consistently update availability on the website. If you order an option that is not immediately available, we will notify you via email.
How to Build a Microphone
Every kit includes a comprehensive, full-color manual -- 30+ pages of color photographs with arrows and diaphragms and bullet-pointed steps. Customers tell us our documentation is the best they've ever seen.
Nonetheless, we do NOT recommend this as a first-time DIY audio project. Build a stomp box or DI first, or install one of our capsules into an inexpensive condenser. Learn how to solder without spending $300 on a premium microphone kit. And then come back for this -- you won't regret it.
See also this video from one of our customers, Chris Goode, who filmed his entire RA-23 build on an iPhone and made a video of the result:
What's in the box?
- The RA-23 "Wedge" body kit includes an anodized aluminum body sleeve and end cap, mic chassis, capsule deck, domed pedestal mount, brass mesh grille, and pre-wired XLR3M insert. We provide M2 metric machine screws for mounting the circuit boards.
- Hard mount for the microphone (a new addition to the kit, beginning June 2015); see our shockmount options
- MP-V57 PCB kit: our custom US-made circuit boards, with 100% of components needed to build the circuit, including pre-cut and tinned OFC silver/teflon hookup wire.
- RK-47 capsule, with our proprietary "supersaddle" mount and all necessary screws and wires.
- Full-color, comprehensive installation guide/manual.
We carry an inexpensive shockmount designed to fit this microphone.
What about matched pairs?
We've sold many matched pairs of the S-47 kit. Just add two of these kits to your cart, and then add the matching option. We will supply your two S-47 kits with a matched pair of RK-47 capsules.
What about Figure-8 / Mid-Side ?
The new S3-47 kit is a 3-pattern version of the S-47, with two external switches. The second switch enables a 10dB pad.
One S-47 plus one S3-47 would make an amazing mid-side solution.