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CAD Equitek e1002, January 2005

Jan 1, 2005 1:13 PM, By George Petersen

CONDENSER MICROPHONE

After a too-long absence, CAD's popular Equitek studio condenser series is back. The first mic in the new Equitek Series is the e1002, a supercardioid electret.

The e1002 has a side-address body with a brass-plated stainless grille protecting the medium-diameter capsule. The front panel has switches for a -20dB pad, 80Hz LF roll-off and power. Like its predecessors, the mic uses internal batteries to provide more current than phantom power alone, and automatically recharges the batteries whenever phantom is applied. Fully charged, it can run six hours without phantom power — great for DAT recording or sampling in the field.

The mic retails at $399, with shock-mount. The latter is elaborate, and putting the mic in/out is a chore due to the tight access to the locking screw and its fine threads. A heavy yoke cradles the mic body, and if the mic is tilted back more than 10 degrees, the yoke contacts the suspension ring, thus defeating the purpose of the shock-mount. Also, when in the mount, access to your cable's XLR unlock button is difficult. [Note: At press time, CAD was working on a solution for this — Ed.] However, the capsule's internal suspension is very effective, so using the mic's standard swivel mount is perfectly acceptable in nearly all applications. The swivel mount ships with the locking screw in backward (!); unless you insert it the other way, mic positioning is limited to 45 degrees rather than 180-degree rotation.

So with an upright shock-mount or with (reversed screw) swivel, I dove in. The mic's tight supercardioid pattern offers great isolation, but requires vocalists to stay mostly on-axis. (The off-axis response is consistent, but if you get too far off-center, the level drops.) The mic remains flat throughout most of its range (HF rises gently between 6k and 10k Hz) — just right on female vocals. Male vocalists needed a bit of upper MF boost (between 4 and 6 kHz) for a bit more punch — my preference here is for CAD's M9 tube mic, which has a more aggressive sound on male vocals. The proximity effect was slight: The mic sticks to its mostly linear character without LF muffling or undue boominess.

On toms, the mic's 148dB handling was an asset (as was the tight pattern) and the sound was smooth and round, but with a nice attack. On kicks, it sounded very RE-20 to me — you'll have to do EQ shaping on rock kicks, although it's just the thing for a woolly jazz sound. On overheads, response was natural and airy, with clean upper transients. Sax was nice — smooth and not edgy at all.

Once past a few shock-mount issues, the e1002 is a versatile studio mic and its affordable price makes a good argument for buying two.

CAD Professional Microphones, www.cadmics.com.

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