Premium Small-Diaphragm Capsules
After several years' worth of R&D, we are excited to announce the availability of custom small-diaphragm condenser mic capsules. These provide significantly superior sound to common alternatives.
Options & Models
We have Cardioid, Hypercardioid, and Omni capsules, as singles or as closely matched pairs. See the matching criteria below.
All of our SDC capsules have the "MicParts" name engraved inside the capsule as a sign of authenticity.
These capsules are compatible with the CAD GXL1200, MXL 603S, MXL 604, MXL 991, MXL 551, MXL V67N, MXL 840, and Avantone CV-28.
They are not compatible with the Joe Meek JM27, which requires coarser threads. They are also not compatible with the MXL 993, which has a larger diameter. They are also not compatible with the Schoeps CMC5 or Neumann KM84, although you can build near-clones of either of those using our DIY SDC microphone kits.
Compatibility with other models is unknown. We do not have a longer, secret list of compatible models here. If you wish to ask whether your obscure SDC is compatible, we'd love to help, but don't have an answer. You should first measure the outside diameter of your mic; if it is different than 22mm, it is not likely that our capsules will fit. If it is 22mm, you have the option of buying the capsules and trying them, or, send us your mic and we'll test it here.
To make matched pairs, we select Cardioid capsules that are within 0.3dB in sensitivity (measured at 1kHz) and 1.5dB in frequency response (50–15kHz). Choose these for the most coherent stereo image when using a pair of pencil microphones in ORTF, AB, or XY configurations.
Frequency Response (Cardioid)
The graph illustrates the sonic differences between common Chinese-made SDC capsules and our new premium capsules:
- The MicParts SDC capsule has fuller, flatter, smoother low-frequency response.
- The MicParts SDC capsule lacks the 5dB suck-out in the upper mids (4–7kHz) that is common to every typical Chinese-made SDC capsule we've tested.
- The MicParts SDC capsule has a smoother, flatter, more natural top end response that will never sound hyped, shrill, or peaky.
Note the sharp peak in the blue trace: the response jumps +8dB between 5kHz and 9kHz. The MicParts capsule has much smoother output in this range, resulting in much more natural-sounding tracks that need less EQ to sit easily in a mix.
Frequency Response (Hypercardioid)
The HC capsule sounds very much like the Cardioid capsule on axis, as you would expect. It has slightly higher bass response: +1.5dB @ 100Hz, +3dB @ 80Hz.
At 90 degrees, the HC capsule has 5.5dB less response. This is an indication of its directionality. If you are close-miking a source and wish to have greater isolation, the HC capsule is a good choice, because its off-axis sensitivity is lower than the Cardioid capsule's off-axis sensitivity.
Frequency Response (Omni)
MXL's standard Omni capsule has a remarkably smooth response, but it is fairly bright on-axis: +4dB at 6kHz, and fairly dark off-axis (-3dB @ 9kHz).
We voiced our Omni to be more neutral on-axis, so it is more likely to be useful close to a source than the MXL capsule.
Because Omni capsules have no proximity effect, close mic placement can be used to accurately capture the sound of a source. The smooth and neutral response of our Omni capsule makes it a unique tool for such applications.
DIY Schoeps CMC5 Alternative
Start with an MXL 603S, 991, or 551. Replace the circuit with our transformerless (Schoeps based) circuit kit. Replace the capsule with our custom Cardioid capsule. Total cost: less than 1/3 of what you'd pay for a used Schoeps mic on Ebay.
We now carry the Rycote INV-7HG pencil mic shockmount. The Lyre suspension design provides superior mechanical isolation to every other elastic or silicone shockmount that we've tested. If you're building an SDC mic or pair with our capsules, we strongly recommend picking up the INV-7 too.