The Gefell M 1030 studio condenser microphone combines modern large diaphragm capsule technology with the latest in semiconductor circuit topology. The size of the microphone housing is optimized with regard to the expectations of a large diaphragm microphone for studio applications.
The microphone is specifically designed to meet the needs of professional and semi-professional users who demand the highest performance. The microphones are ideally suited for universal miking applications in broadcast and sound studios. Applications include vocalists, announcers, dialog pickup and as spot microphones for recording guitars, keyboard, percussion, wind and string instruments.
The pick-up pattern is perpendicular to the direction of the microphone axis (side addressed). The model number and pick-up pattern symbol mark the front of the microphone. The green LED inside the protection grid operates as optical ready indicator.
The condenser capsule exhibits a smooth frequency response with a slight presence boost in the 8 to 14 kHz range. The polar response exhibits an exceptionally high degree of rejection for sounds impinging from the rear (cardioid) or sides (super-cardioid) of the microphone. The electronic impedance converter uses a newly perfected circuit topology. This design reduces the noise floor to an extremely low level while also raising the maximum output capability. As a result, this microphone have a clean, distortion free sound over an extremely wide dynamic range. RFI susceptibility is very low.
The microphone capsule and electronics are elastically suspended inside the compact metal housing. This reduces the sensitivity to mechanical impact and structure born noise.
The microphone stand holder MH 93.1 can be exchanged for an elastic suspension EA 92 with the adapter A 93 to further attenuate noise in extreme situations. The M 1030 connect to the microphone cable with a standard three-pin XLR plug. Powering must be provided by an external 48 V phantom supply according to DIN 45596 and IEC 268-15.
The microphone is finished in satin matte.
|Unit Weight||355 g|
|Tube or Solid State||Solid State|
|Number of Microphones||Single Microphone|
|Frequency Range||20 Hz - 20 kHz|
|Sensitivity||-33.6 dBV/Pa (21 mV)|
|Max. SPL||142 dB|
To being with, let’s acknowledge who Microtech Gefell is: in short, the original Neumann. As a practical matter this means everything they make is worth owning for the process of recorded sound. So, what’s left to talk about is only nuance and personal preference, not any deal-breaking issues.
In the research that led to the purchase of this mic, I read much about how the M1030 was nothing more than an M930 in a larger body; that everything about the 2 models except size was identical, from capsules to electronics. Since I already owned an M930 and loved it, I didn’t really need another mic that sounded just like it. So, I went through several other microphones in my search for different sounds to compliment the mic selection in my VO studio.
Eventually I was offered an incentive on the M1030 (something that rarely happens) and decided that I could justify it as a replacement for the M930 rather than an addition to it. While both mics were in my possession I A/B’d them in several VO sessions. Whatever the truth may be about them being technically identical, I discovered that the 2 mics are not nearly as similar-sounding as we are led to believe. To my ears anyway, the M1030 always sounded bigger and more 3D than its smaller sibling, but even better was the degree of “reach” demonstrated by the bigger mic. It seems to actually reach down your throat and pull the vocal out of you, while you had to work the M930 a bit harder to sound authoritative.
Could this all be just a psychological response to the size of the 2 mics? Certainly, so let’s just address what the M1030 is, instead of any comparison to the M930. The Gefell M1030 fits squarely in the category of a “modern” and technically excellent microphone; perhaps even the gold-standard for it. It’s not thick like a “vintage” mic, but no one would describe it as lacking either. Instead, it is a mic for contemporary recording tools and processes; adding little if any artificial frequency hyping or harmonic distortion. In every situation, the mic exhibited a high degree of detail and accuracy. Proximity effect is noticeable but not drastic, and the mic never gets overly boomy in the process of closing the distance between source and capsule.
You can tune the sound even further by some judicious mic placement: up/down, on-axis/off-axis, high/low, they all produce slightly different characteristics in the tone. Being a cardioid-only mic with no on-board switches ensures a couple of things: a clean signal-path from capsule to pre-amp, and that it will be used primarily for vocal duties. Not a bad thing, but “primarily” doesn’t mean exclusively. Creativity in the studio often means defying the legacy constructs of the recording process, and I’m certain that this mic will see a wider-range of duties than I’m giving it credit for. A couple that I can see myself are piano and string instruments. Discuss.
I really like the feature of the green “go” light on the address-side of the head basket that indicates the presence of Phantom power. Such a simple thing, but very reassuring. Not sure why more mic makers don’t do this. It has the added benefit of insuring that you’ll never speak into the wrong side of a cardioid mic.
But does the feature-set and sound of the M1030 justify the additional money over the M930? As someone who has owned them both, my answer is "yes". While this mic exceeded my expectations by a fairly wide margin, and is as near-perfect for VO applications as any mic I’ve had the pleasure of speaking into (including the venerable U87), someone who lusts after the creamy goodness of the vintage tube sound may find it on the sterile side. What no one will accuse it of is being cheap by any measure. It is a substantial, well-crafted, and state-of-the-art instrument. Just plug it in and point it in the general direction of some sound; it may reproduce that sound differently than you expected, but it will never reproduce it badly.
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