David Royer and his company Royer Labs have a great reputation for their fine line of ribbon mics. When the time came to manufacture David’s designs for non-ribbon mics, Mojave Audio was formed to create and market that brand exclusively. And my God what an amazing microphone it is...
The MA-200 is the new company’s first production mic. It’s a cardioid condenser mic with a 3-micron thick, 1'' capsule; a JAN 5840 tube; and a Jensen transformer.
Dusty Wakeman, famed producer, bass player, and studio owner, is the president of Mojave Audio, and I was fortunate enough to work with Dusty on a record recently.
We initially set up the MA-200 as the vocal mic for the tracking session. Even though this was a scratch vocal, I thought it would be fun to hear what the microphone sounded like while recording basic takes. It was immediately evident that this mic sounds fantastic. I really liked the way it was smooth on the top and round on the bottom..
The MA-200 capsules are of Chinese origin. It is a 3-micron, dual-diaphragm design, although the rear diaphragm is neither sputtered nor wired into the circuit. The presence of the rear diaphragm is required to put the proper acoustic load on the capsule. The front diaphragm is center-terminated; David Royer has commented that Chinese copies of the Neumann K67-style (large-diaphragm) capsules are more consistent and higher quality than other Chinese LDC capsules.
The MA-200 uses a 5840 pentode vacuum tube in a plate-loaded circuit configuration. The output is transformer-coupled, using a Jensen transformer.
The tube power supply can be switched for 115V or 230V operation, at 50 or 60Hz.