The SCHOEPS Tube Microphone M 222

Why A Tube Microphone In The 21st Century ?

Thirty years ago nearly everyone expected solid-state electronics to bring about the demise of the vacuum tube. But a hard core of music aficionados has remained faithful to the tube, citing its special properties. They realize that digital processing gives the highest quality, at least according to currently available measurement techniques, but they consider all such measurements inadequate by comparison with the educated human ear. The measurable shortcomings of vacuum tube circuitry (e.g. somewhat higher self-noise and harmonic distortion) are gladly accepted for the sake of a warmer, softer, more musical sound - the typical tube sound. Sometimes tubes are even overdriven deliberately so as to obtain the desired extra overtones. Absolute precision in rendering the original sound is considered less important than the overall sonic character.

The Concept Of The M 222

For this group of users SCHOEPS has added the new tube microphone M 222 and its power supplies NT 222 DC and NT 222 AC to its product line. Both components are built by ELVO, the SCHOEPS-affiliated supplier which can produce a small to moderate number of units with the high quality expected by our customers, at a reasonable price.

Modern Tube Design

The new approach to tube design does not merely recycle techniques from the sixties. Rather, it unites a first-quality tube from the original AEG-TELEFUNKEN production with up-to-date circuitry. Since there is no need for a modern vacuum tube microphone to be bulky, the dimensions of the SCHOEPS CMC series have been utilized (diameter 20 mm, length 116 mm without capsule). The model number M 222 is based on the name of the legendary SCHOEPS tube microphone M 221 B, though the specifications and performance are significantly improved. All switches and plugs are gold plated. Modern XLR connections ensure high reliability, the audio signal path is transformerless.

M 222 Application Notes

Not only can any capsules of the Colette Series be used, but also all the active accessories such as the CUT1, KC, RC, GVC and the BLM03C. Depending on the powering unit you can switch on a preamplfier in five steps from microphone level up to line level (with NT 222 DC) or a line driver that allows cable runs up to 300 m to the mixing console's microphone input (with NT 222 AC).

Important for purists: The power supplies offer a "TUBE DIRECT" switch setting with which there are no semiconductors in the signal path whatsoever. A "HARMONICS" switch alters the Q-point of the tube, causing the gradual increase of harmonics to set in earlier, to emphasize the typical tube sound.


Photo: The M 222 and Included Accessories

Next page: The Two Power Supplies for the M 222

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