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Mojave Audio MA-301fet
New Media Gear - Youtube Review
Mojave Audio MA-301fet Mic Demo - PART I
Keys Magazin (German Publications)
Mojave Audio MA-301fet
Review of Mojave Audio MA-300 / It Takes Tubes to Tango
Everything Audio Network Home Recording Review!
Mojave Audio MA-300 Multi-Pattern, Large-Diaphragm Tube Microphone
Within his ribbon microphone company, Royer Labs, and condenser microphone company, Mojave Audio, engineer David Royer produces microphones that rank up there with classic American and European microphones. You expect top-tier quality out of the premium priced, made-in-USA Royer ribbon microphones (and you get it). What is amazing is how high-end the affordable USA-designed/Chinese-built Mojave mics are. I am not talking about the "it's good for the money" label you often hear in the world of Far East-made microphones, I am talking about performance and build that is comparable to any high-end microphone ever or currently made.
Case in point, is the new MA-300 multiple-pattern, large diaphragm, tube condenser microphone. This under-$1,300 wunderkind of a mic is so darn good on instrument and voice (and most any other application), that you will want multiples in your mic cabinet.
Studiomagazin Germany PDF
"David Royer, noted microphone designer and creator of the made-in-USA, high-end Royer ribbon microphone line, has created a line of home-studio priced microphones with professional-grade specifications - Mojave Audio. And from the Mojave line, the new MA-101fet is one of the most remarkable instrument microphones I have used in the past forty-five years! In all those years, my mic cabinet has included numerous high-end, small-diaphragm microphone - and many of the large diaphragm microphones as well. These new Mojave mics, however, defy the "small diaphragm vs. large diaphragm" microphone character paradigms.
When I soloed the violins, my mouth dropped open! The two Mojaves sounded like a high-resolution stereo mic - not at all like a pair of typical "pencil" mics put together into an X-Y arrangement. The imaging was rock-solid and, most importantly, the sound of the violin was extremely smooth and true.
Never had I experienced such well-balanced, high-resolution sound from a factory-made, small diaphragm microphone!
The Mojave's forte is to pick up sound faithfully - both on and off axis -with no undue emphasis or lacking in any part of the frequency spectrum except, perhaps, a bit of a broad peak around 5 kHz. And the low frequencies are definitely there, much better than any small diaphragm directional mic I've ever used. David Royer's use of that huge Jensen transformer, which lets all the low frequencies picked up by the high-resolution, small diaphragms come through, is definitely a winning combination!
David Royer's high-quality, thoughtful design with high-grade parts makes the Mojave line a cut above the others. Hence, they cost a bit more money. But in my world of European-pedigree, multi-thousand dollar microphones, $600 for a mic this good is a bargain.
Dr. Frederick J. Bashour - Everything Audio Network Read full review
Mojave Audio's newset offering is the MA-101fet, a small diaphragm, solid-state condenser microphonewith interchangeable cardiod and omnidirectional capsules. The MA-101fet combines the capsules from Mojave Audio's MA-100 with the electronics from their MA-201fet solid-state mic."
Dave Martin - Recording Magazine Read full review
"The MA-201fets found their way onto every tracking session
I had during the test period. They faithfully captured male and
female vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, upright and electric
bass, tenor and soprano saxophones, grand piano, bass clarinet,
bass drum, and full drum sets (as overheads as well as room mics)...
In every scenario, the MA-201s gave me the sound I was looking
for - natural, open, and true. Value (1 through 5): 5"
Eli Crews - Electronic Musician Read full review
"If you were stuck on a desert island, what one microphone would
you be willing to take with you? I'm obviously assuming that
the said island was equipped with a recording studio packed with
preamps and all of the other necessary gear....the answer... the
Brian Threlkeld - American Songwriter Read full review
"David Royer's latest effort, the Mojave Audio MA201fet microphone,
is a graceful, accurate, and well-priced workhorse condenser
for the professional studio."
Randy Poole - Pro Audio Review Read full review
"...an under priced audio gem. The MA201fet can be thought of
as modern day Neumann U47 FET ...works amazingly well with drums
and percussion... With female vocals it has a wonderful open top
end while remaining very smooth and natural."
Russ Long: Pro Audio Review
"Over the past few years, Mojave Audio has established itself
as a manufacturer of quality, affordable microphones with their
MA200 (Tape Op #55) and MA100 (#62) tube mics. MA201fet is the
third microphone in their line".
Scott McChane - Tape Op Read full review
Radio Word (PDF)
"It was immediately evident that this mic sounds fantastic.
I really like the way it was smooth on the top and round on the
bottom, and it really complemented (the singer's) voice in a
way that I had not heard before from other microphones of similar
variety. Maybe it's that JAN tube or the Jensen transformer,
or maybe because David just understands electronics, as the components
are the same as most other 'affordable' studio condensers, and
yet the MA-200 sounds as good as microphones that are twice its
Craig Schumacher - TapeOp Read full review
"I've had a chance to test a pair of the MA-200s in a number
of situations, and the surprises were always pleasant. When paired
with an excellent preamp, this mic is simply gorgeous. The MA-200
imparted smoothness to the cymbal crashes and was never strident
or washy. The stereo image was very good, and the mics gave a
very nice picture of the guitar without being boomy. What I like
most is that when you hit it hard, the MA-200 gives you back
some crunch. The plate-loaded tube stage rounds out transients
nicely, giving it an almost ribbon-like quality. When you have
a mic that can cover instrumental and vocal duties in this price
range, you're playing with house money."
Kevin Becka - Mix Read full review
"I had a pair of MA-200's for my review period and I've been
literally using them around the clock. The MA-200 is rich, warm,
open and it works well with practically any instrument or vocal.
Unlike so many of the modern tube mics that emulate classic transducers,
the MA-200 is a beast of its own. It works in all of the same
applications that I'd use a U 67 but where I almost always end
up boosting the top end and cutting some low mids of the 67,
I find that the MA-200 rarely needs any EQ at all. The Mojave
Audio MA-200 is a wonderful sounding microphone that is well
made, well packaged and unbelievably priced. It is a great consideration
to any studio or engineer looking to broaden their sonic pallet."
Russ Long - Pro Audio Review Read full review
"It's easy to see that this mic is not your average large-diaphragm
condenser (LDC). Its heft instills a sense that you are holding
a solid piece of gear, reminiscent of a vintage European microphone.
The word that came to mind most often while using the MA-200
was silky, as the mic's high-mids are present enough to give
the source definition and a place in the mix, without any of
the harshness or sibilance sometimes abundant in other LDCs .It
often won out over microphones costing two to five times as much.
A lot of readers might not consider a $995 microphone to be a
'budget' mic, and in terms of sonic quality, there is absolutely
nothing 'budget' about the MA-200. In fact, the only thing 'budget'
about it is that you should make room in your budget to buy at
least one. In this humble reviewer's opinion, you would have
to pay at least double, and maybe even multifold more, to acquire
a modern or vintage microphone of similar quality from any other
manufacturer. Anytime you don't have to settle for an inferior
product just to save money, you've found a good value, and the
MA-200 is a very good value."
Eli Crews - Electronic Musician Read full review
"We threw everything we could at the Mojave including male vocals,
acoustic, cello, violin and tenor sax. There was nothing at which
the Mojave didn't seen to excel. The Mojave elicited comments
like 'silky top end', 'warm in the low mids, yet greater clarity'
and 'best sound overall'. This mic represents a leap forward
in quality for this price point. Everything about the MA-200
and it's accessories, power supply, shock mount, etc., speaks
of quality. The mic is extremely versatile and built to last."
Randy Poole - Pro Sound News Read full review
"The MA-200 is a classic in the making and definitely a new asset
in my mic cabinet. It makes an excellent, all-around workhorse
microphone suitable for any application from vocals to backing
vocals to acoustic guitars to pianos or string instruments."
Barry Rudolph - Music Connection Magazine Read full review
Mojave is a condenser microphone line from mic designer David Royer, the brains behind the neo-classic Royer Ribbon microphone. His designed-in-the-U.S. Mojave brand offers superb-sounding condenser microphones at a good price because of their Chinese manufacture. According to Mojave, the parts selection is carefully sourced for the best spec components (American-made Jensen transformer, JAN U.S. military spec tube).
The MA100 small diaphragm condenser utilizes a miniature tube circuit, which adds a slight warm sheen to the sound without taking it outside the accuracy range. The JAN 5840 tube circuit — combined with the excellent cardioid capsule — boasts such specs as a 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response and 129 dB maximum SPL. The MA100 also comes with an omnidirectional capsule, though I focused on the cardioid. Stereo kit includes case and suspension mounts.
I recorded my two small-body Martins and the big Gibson SJ-200 with the Mojave. Despite a response graph that has a series of rises, especially at 5 kHz, this mic does not sound hyped. It really sounded nice with the SJ-200, picking up the bold, tight bass and the picked crispness of the solid maple and sitka spruce woods. Imaging was excellent and the extra sonic info provided by 24-bit recording reveals textures from the guitar that you might not hear with cheap microphones.
The Mojave MA100 proves that U.S. design/innovation and overseas production in electronic transducers can work very well. The Mojave line may not get the publicity of the David Royer-designed ribbon microphones, but as condenser microphones, they are every bit as good — especially for recording guitar in stereo. Definitely recommended for small and large premium acoustic guitars.
Everything Audio Network
"With the glut of large-diaphragmtube microphones past and present
in the marketplace, it is odd how smalldiaphragm tube mics take
a back seat. I can think of fewer than ten, and two are vintage
designs no longer manufactured, and one is a prototype I saw
at NAMM - talk about untappedmarkets... So with that in mind we
introduce to you Mojave Audio's new small-diagram tube condenser,
Paul Vnuk Jr. - Recording Magazine
"I'd describe the MA100 as a mic with a personality that is flattering
to certain instruments with brash qualities. It tamed an oft-encountered
acoustic guitar that has an overbearing upper midrange and balanced
a big rock drum kit with large cymbals that likes to tear your
face off. In these situations, and in others when recording instruments
with better aural behavior, the mics operated like journeymen
transducers, delivering a well-defined stereo image, frequency
range and transient response. Having a mic this versatile come
with two capsules for less than $1k ($795) is a steal. Mojave's
second outing is a must-hear.
Kevin Becka - Mix Read full review
"I miked up my Taylor 514-CE and was blown away. The sound was amazing - it has everything good that the C-28 has except it's quieter and it has more top end sparkle.
Next I put a pair of
MA100s with the omni capsules to the task of recording piano
and again I had fantastic results. I went on to use the mics
to record mandolin, dobro, violin, cello, hi-hat, drum overheads
and tambourine and was never disappointed.
I put the MA100s on toms and I was truly blown away. If there has ever been a magic tom mic then it's the MA100. They require almost no eq and the sound is simply stellar. On my next tracking session I used them on kick (just outside the rear head) and on the snare and again I was blown away. I went on to try it on electric guitar and had good results, though my best guitar sounds were attained through blending the MA100 with the Royer R-122. "
Russ Long - Pro Audio Review Read full review
"By utilizing a tube circuit in the buffer stage, the MA100 is
capable of handling high SPL and transient sources like snare
drums and acoustic guitar with ease. It also mellows the mic
a bit and helps reduce the obnoxious frequencies that can make
things sound 'brittle'. This makes the MA100 a great mic for
any drum application - and it's especially great on hi-hats! We
found the mic reduced the 'bite' of the hi-hat tone and was much
easier to mix into the drum kit later. We did not have to cut
the top end as radically as we usually do with other small diaphragm
condensers and yet there was still plenty of the articulation
we needed to here the stick tip on the cymbal. Since we had such
success with the hat, we next put the mic up on an acoustic guitar
overdub. The MA100 was a perfect fit for what we were looking
for. It had just enough top end to get the pick strike we wanted
and still maintained the mid range thickness of the guitar body.
Next we tried the mics as a stereo pair on the piano. The MA100s
ended up being very nice, capturing the piano very well. They
got all the sound of the piano without feeling overly hyped or
dull and boring and were surprisingly big sounding. We decided
to try it on one of the most difficult instruments to record - the tambourine. With the MA100, we set up the mic a few feet
above the arc of the playing and got a great sound right away.
It was further enhanced when we switched the capsule to the omni
and got some nice room to go along with the direct sound. There
was no messy splatter - just good crisp tambourine that was a
breeze to mix. Finally, we tried the MA100s on the drum kit.
This is where the MA100s really shined. Having a condenser on
the rack tom captures much more of the overall drum sound and
the Mojave's really gave us a really strong tom sound that held
up well in the all session long. It was especially great on capturing
a driving floor tom beat we used,capturing the low end faithfully
without becoming blurry. On snare drum, the MA100 really excelled
as it brought out the crack of the stick while keeping the resonant
ring of the shell under control. It became obvious that the quick
response of the small diaphragm coupled with the tubes ability
to handle the SPLs is a winning combination in a drum microphone.
It certainly made the drummer happy as his drums did sound much
more expansive and fuller. At around $795.00 each, the MA100
is an affordable, great sounding solid studio microphone that
will greatly enhance all your recording needs. It is the biggest
sounding small diaphragm condenser I've had the pleasure to listen
to. I can't wait to hear what Mojave comes up with next!"
Craig Schumacher - TapeOp