Conceived and designed purely as a vocal microphone, the Soundelux E250 cardioid tube condenser re-invents the classic tube microphone design, and addresses the inherent problems with the modern practice of close-miking loud vocals.
Designer David Bock remarks: "I started out designing a more affordable and mellow version of the ELUX 251 while still retaining all the 251's meat and sound. Something you can't get from a 47 or any of the other vintage mics. "
Classic tube condenser microphones were never meant to be placed within six-inches of loud vocalists, yet producers and engineers love the presence, size and low-frequency boost this adds to their artist's sound.Rather than boosting the vocals, the proximity effect's low-frequency build up and the upper mid-range/treble tilt of many popular old classic cardioid microphones can work counter-productively, causing problems requiring extensive outboard signal processing.
"The E250 is not as bright as the 251 with its pronounced high-frequency peak," Bock explains. "The 250 is mellowed down a bit and I sculpted the proximity effect more towards the middle of the vocal range than down below it where it usually lives. Basically the 250 is a condenser version of the 251 optimized for close vocals and includes all our modern enhancements with lower noise and distortion specs."
Another problem with close miking vocals is high-frequency directionality or the "beaming effect." This is where any slight head movement by the singer can produce a big change in the high-frequency content. "The new E250 has a broader cardioid polar pattern than our standard 251," Bock continues, "which is fairly directional up close, and that makes it much more forgiving in these cases."
The E250 has the same classic color scheme of the ELUX 251, but with a one-piece body and no chromed windscreen. Like the ELUX 251, the E250 comes with a custom shock mount, the reliable P251 power supply, and the entire capsule is mounted in a brass holder.
Although derived from the 251, the E250's capsule has an entirely new design. They have a one-inch diameter with a six-micron thick gold-vapor deposited diaphragm. Bock also chose a different tube and output transformer than the ELUX 251 and kept Soundelux' Stable Bias circuitry design to prevent the sound of the mike changing with dynamics. The mike's frequency response stays constant whether singing loud or soft. The new design creates a microphone that gives great sound, as Bock says, "You could say it's huge sounding."
Patterns: Cardioid only
Freq. Range: 20Hz-18kHz +/-2dB
Equiv. Noise: 9dB "A" weighted
Dynamic Range: 110dB
Max SPL: 109dB for 0.5% THD @ 1kHz
Impedance: 200 Ohms