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Barry’s Toolkit: Thumbs Up Or Down For The Marshall MXL V89 Studio Condenser Microphone?

It looks pretty. It's priced right. But how does the V89 actually sound? Studio veteran Barry Rudolph provides an in-depth look at this condenser mic.

Using the proximity effect (singing within one or two inches) on this mic worked well when I wanted a fatter sound from my usually thin-sounding singer.

Of course you’ll need a pop filter screen.

I liked that even at six inches away, I started to hear proximity—good news for singers in general.

The cardioid pattern is very wide making for a wider area for acceptable pickup for a singer who moves around the mic!

Drums and percussion sound very warm using the V89. A diaphragm this large will not respond as quickly to transients as a small diaphragm condenser so the sound is thicker and less spiky.

I also prefer the larger pickup pattern of large diaphragm condensers like the V89 for drum kit overheads.

The Marshall V89 comes with a beautiful and sturdy storage box—Click to enlarge

You get the whole picture of the kit and not just some quadrant of cymbals—wish I had two of them for L/R.

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All This And You Won’t Break The Bank!
I was pleasantly surprised by the sound, look, and build quality of the V89. I’ve had clients come into my Tones 4 $ Studios and immediately appraise the V89 as an “expensive” mic—I probably could have sold my review sample for twice the $599 MSRP ($399MAP)!

But even at twice the money, there is no other mic that comes close to its great sound. It’s a big keeper for me!

The Marshall V89 in its shockmount—Click to enlarge

V89 Specifications
Type: Pressure gradient studio condenser mic
Capsule size: 32mm/1.26 in.
Diaphragm: 6 micron gold-sputtered
Frequency Range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Sensitivity: -32 dB re 1 V/Pa
Impedance: 150 ohms
Max output into 1K load: +13 dB
Equivalent Noise: 14 dB (A-weighted IEC 651)
S/N Ratio: 80 dB (Ref. 1 Pa A-weighted)
Max SPL for 0.5% THD: 138 dB
Dynamic Range: 124 dB
Power Requirements: Phantom Power 48V +/- 4V
Size: 64mm x 185mm
Weight: 1.85 lbs
Metal Finish: Grey
3-year warranty
Marshall Electronics MXL Website

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Barry Rudolph is a veteran L.A.-based recording engineer as well as a noted writer on recording topics. Visit his website at www.barryrudolph.com

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