Blackspade Acoustics UM25C
Multi-Pattern Tube Microphone, Upgraded with Tim Campbell CT12 Capsule, Gotham Cable, AMI USA Built Power Supply
Status: Usually Ships Same or Next Business Day
Blackspade UM25C Tube Microphone Description
For the second installment in our UM Series, we looked to move in a different direction from the 47/49 inspired UM17R, towards the historic Ela M250/251 microphones. The aim was to create a true high performance microphone with the demanding professional in mind, custom built with a design focus placed solely on sound quality and reliability.
The UM25C's design process began with the selection of a suitable tube and circuit. For the tube we opted for an NOS Telefunken model that has so far not been used in any other microphone. It approaches the tone of the historic 6072a with similar sound quality and performance, and more importantly, is easier to source as good quality replacements remain more available. For the circuit we made minor modifications to the original to accommodate the different tube whilst remaining true to the 250/251 tone. For optimum sound quality we chose to go for point to point assembly of the circuit on a Plexiglas board. The transformer choice was straight forward, with the AMI "Hiller" style T14 already an industry standard and a great match for the design. Finally for the capsule we contacted Tim Campbell and asked him to make some modifications to his handmade CT12 to tune it to our circuit, and increase the performance of the microphone system as a whole through customization of his already very well known product.
For the accessories, a beefy vintage "NG" style power supply handmade by AMI power the mic, providing 3 different polar patterns; omni, cardioid and figure 8. The cable provided is a Gotham GAC-7 and every mic ships with a Rycote shock mount built to the exact weight ratings of the UM25C. The entire system is covered by our 5 year limited warranty with all units burnt-in and tested for 3 days prior to delivery.
In terms of its performance as a guideline, the UM25C sounds remarkable similar to an historic Ela M251 with a smooth top end and the ability to capture details even as a room or overhead mic.
Blackspade UM25C Features
Blackspade UM25C Specifications
- Oliver Archut designed amplifier circuit (USA)
- Tim Campbell custom built capsule (Denmark)
- AMI T14 transformer (USA)
- Telefunken tube (USA)
- AMI NG style power supply (USA)
- Rycote shock mount (UK)
- Gotham GAC-7 cable (Switzerland)
- Neutrik / Switchcraft connectors (CH/USA)
- Built in the USA
- 5 year transferable warranty (tube = 6 months)
- Type: Condenser pressure gradient
- Capsule: Tim Campbell CT12, CK12 style
- Polar Patterns: Selectable omni, cardioid and figure 8
- Frequency Range: 20hZ to 20kHz
- Impedence: 200ohm
8/1/2013 2:32 PM
I got this microphone almost on a whim. I say almost because I've been wanting a 251-style mic for such a long time, it almost seemed out of reach. Most "clones" or "reissues" are upwards of $6000-$10,000, and that's not even for an original, which can be twice that! I just assumed I would never have the cash to afford a mic like that. I stumbled upon these mics and started to hear some buzz about them. I decided, you know what, I'll give it a shot, and if it doesn't sound good to me, or I feel like it wasn't worth it, I'll sell it off.
First of all, this mic is beautifully made, and comes with a solid setup - the case, the shockmount, the wooden box, and cables are all great. I hooked up the mic and just tried singing through it. On playback I could not believe how smooth and beautiful sounding this mic was! I mean, what was I expecting, it's not the cheapest of mics, but I can legitimately say that this mic beats out every mic in my collection, and is one of the finest mics I've ever had the pleasure of using on a session. Perfect top end, perfect proximity effect (not too much, not too little), and exceptional midrange that the 251 is known for. Very upfront, very clear, and thankfully, not prone to handling noise. Also, the operating noise of this mic is quite low for a tube mic, which is great. Allows you to get an intimate vocal sound without tons of noise.
I was initially worried about the shockmount, because it looks sort of cheap, but to my surprise, it's actually very sturdy and holds the mic well. The elbow clutch could be a little stronger, but the actual pins that hold the mic are very solid and sturdy. The mic feels completely stable inside the mount.
Overall I just can't say enough good things. I've already tried it on acoustic, vocal, drums, electric guitar, and as a room mic, and it's just 100% solid on every one. It's pretty remarkable, actually, a mic that doesn't just "work for everything," it's a mic that sounds GREAT on everything!