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Studio Projects TB1 Tube Microphone
PMI Audio Group (designer and distributor of Studio Projects microphones and preamps) sent me three more mics, all from the company's new B series, to review. Sadly, two out of three got lost in UPS! Only the TB1 made it. I was initially disappointed, as I wasnt really interested in checking out a tube mic with a separate power supply, even one that only costs $299 on the street. But fair is fair, so I set out to get comfortable with this piece of gear. And its a good thing?I basically loved it right away, with a few slight reservations.
The B-series mics from SP seems to be their new "budget" line. Interesting that a company that is already perceived by a lot of us as providing impressive bang for the buck would bother to dip down into this price point--the cheapest B series mic is a knockoff of the C1 and it runs about $79, competing with the least-expensive large diaphragm mics Ive seen. Of the three Bs available, the TB1 is the most expensive?it's sort of a less-expensive version of Studio Projects' $699 T3, and it has dual-triode hand-tested tubes and a multi-pattern variable power supply and a faux-anvil "road case" just like the one the C1 comes in.
The TB1 comes with an almost petite-looking mic clip that I thought was going to be a joke, but it turned out to fit like a glove, causing me no real concern that the heavy mic would slip out and crash to the floor. Still, I think the mic is a little too heavy for this clip?I tried to do some tricky positioning at one point and the clip kept rotating until I tricked gravity by manipulating the stand.
But in talking with Alan Hyatt of PMI, he showed me how to tighten a hidden screw on the clip which should make it stay in place. He also mentioned that there will soon be a special shock mount holder for the TB1, though I don't know if it will be included in the purchase price.
The mic comes with a special 5-pin mic cable to hook into the power supply. This cable was a bit of a pain?the pins were tiny and thin, and it didn't take much effort to bend them trying to insert the cable into the supply initially. I eventually got it in, but it started off as a hassle.
The mic sat untouched in my studio for over a week, not only because I was waiting for the other two to find their way (they never did), but also because I was kind of nervous?this time, I wouldn't be doing a blind comparison like the last time, but instead focusing on a single mic. I'd prefer to evaluate without knowing what I'm hearing, because I think the knowledge of the brand and model can influence me too much. But hey?I had to get on with it so I could send it back...at least that was my plan!
Related Keywords:Studio Projects TB1, Tube, Microphone, Studio Projects C1
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