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Trolls aside...a new mic worth mentioning

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by BDFitz, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. BDFitz

    BDFitz Active Member

    I hope the trolls sticky wasn't directed at me. I posted questions on clocks and had over 200 people read them but no responses. I found the answers on another site and thought it was worth posting in the event the lack of response was due to (like me) not knowing the answer.

    Along with the Apogee Big Ben, I purchased what may be the best value in a tube mic on the planet ($499.) the Cascade v55 valve tube mic is nothing short of amazing and truly able to keep pace with name brands costing well over $1,000. Anyone interested in details can respond or go to http://www.cascademicrophones.com or http://www.bayviewproaudio.com

    As I said, I'm a customer, not affiliated in any way.
  2. dynomike

    dynomike Guest

    Thanks! Any particular observations? The off-axis response doesn't look great.. do you have any other similar mics to compare it to? All I found was that PAR review .. and wasn't too impressed by his observation that the mic lacked mids. But I trust amateur reviewers more for some reason.

  3. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    The M37 looks like it is trying to compete with a KM184? Even the "off axis" response looks simular. I'd surely like to hear more "in the feild" reports and comparisons...

    Thanks for the heads up.

  4. BDFitz

    BDFitz Active Member

    As I mention below, I love the Neumann TLM103 but it has off-axis issues as well. I only tested the v55 on vocals and I am a musician/engineer but I offered this as feedback to BayviewProAudio.com

    Dear BPA/Cascade folks,

    Just a follow up on the v55. Having given the mic time to get warmed up, I am ecstatic about the presence, quality and good vibe this mic gives off. It does not seem to take long to reach the optimum performance either.

    For a vocalist, engineers know that a mic has to sizzle right out of the box. It has to emit that intangible warm and fuzzy and it must, in my mind, retain that velvet hammer at higher volumes. Singers usually like to hear their vocal loud and many mics fall short in the digital environment and become brittle and coarse sounding when cranked. You can hit this mic extremely hard, even without a compressor! Unbelievable consistency, just through a solid state Pre.

    One thing that comes across immediately is depth and dimension. How a mic picks up and/or separates the surrounding room and its interfering noise is essential. Some mics are simply amazing (the Royer R-121) for close micing loud sources while canceling out a great deal of background noises (I've even recorded with the monitors on and had very little bleed) Mics like the Neumann TLM103 are excellent but tend not to have a great off-axis quality and many large diaphragm mics are guilty of this. The v55 can capture an acoustic guitar better form the vocal position than many mics do close up. The v55 is a bit noisier than say the TLM103 but the big, dimensional sound more than makes up for it and the v55 is far quieter than any vintage tube mics as their noise floor is often a victim of older technology.

    There is a proper application for every mic but let's compare a few I've run through an Avalon M5, solid state mic pre for vocals:

    • Groove Tube GT66. Interesting mic with far too much "color" and artificial enhancement for everyday use.
    • TLM103, a great all around workhorse, consistent if not quite enough shimmer but a nice midrange bump for most vocalists.
    • Rode NTK Tube. Another versatile mic but a bit fragile and very susceptible to moisture.
    • Rode NTV Tube. A quality tube mic, extremely well built but unspectacular for a tube.
    • AKG 414 (modified by Mike Williams) another legendary mic but IMHO better suited for Instruments.
    • Neumann U47. A classic but a bit noisy and let's not even talk about price.
    • Blue Dragonfly. In your face (in a good way). Extremely cutting for rock tracks. Very bright.

    The v55 KILLS this competition and I would be very confident in how this mic stacks up against much pricier large diaphragm mics with household names. I would put this in front of any discerning vocalist and it sits better in the mix than any mics in memory other than some vintage Neumanns I was lucky enough to work with but again, these were the analog days at the Record Plant. Noise, cost, condition, longevity. The v55 is built and I am confident it will be in my mic cabinet for many years. I'm not selling this one! If there are any shortcuts, the cable length (not the quality) and the spartan design of the power supply may turn off a few gear-snobs. It's not going to turn any heads with the heavy duty toggle switch, low budge connectors and lunchbox styling but you know what? It's clean, it's quiet and I'd much prefer the money be put into the mic, shock mount and circuitry which is evidently where it went. Outstanding product in a crowded market of me-too microphones. The v55 may be Cascade's flagship product for a long, long time. Nice job guys!

    Mindful Eye Music
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    smells like spam in drag to meeeeeee.
  6. BDFitz

    BDFitz Active Member

    Hey, speaking of trolls. From what little I've read at this site, you seem like a very knowledgable guy to me. I don't want this to reflect in any way on the people who made this mic. They surely don't need my endorsement but having owned and recorded with the above listed mics and being pleasantly surprised by this one....someone asked and I shared it. oh yeah, nice photo
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I have nothing to say about the mics, I'm sure they are very good, and I could be wrong. But that almost seems like a review of the mic .... and it smelled a little like potted pork shoulder. Sorry didn't mean to offend.
  8. BDFitz

    BDFitz Active Member

    Kurt, I meant to respond the other day. No harm no foul. I thought i'd be able to sing the praises of the Apogee Big Ben too (just came yesterday) but I'm having a very tough time trying to get it to slave my mackie gear (d8b & HDR24/96). The mic's a winner and I'll keep it regardless but the ABB may not have enough Wordclock signal to drive this old (2001) mackie board. The Big Ben looks sweet and the VSO was something of a bonus but it has little added value if it's not the master clock and I'll have to talk to Mackie & Apogee on Monday.

    i'll try to keep the enthusiasm down but try the mic if you can and let me know.
  9. dynomike

    dynomike Guest

    I don't usually jump into other people's arguments, but lighten up Kurt. Is the purpose of this board not to share our experiences and knowledge about pro audio gear? There's nothing wrong with a glowing review. There's nothing wrong with a scathing review either, as long as each is genuine. Simply labelling people "spammers" or "trolls" because they happen to be enthusiastic, one way or another, about a product is no way to encourage user contribution or goodwill in a messageboard community.
  10. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    i agree with Kurt.
  11. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I always want to hear others opinions. And I will remember the positive review from BDFitz. However I also would like to say that, just because 1 person says a mic is "the best value on the planet" certainly does not mean that a lot of people agree. If 4 people came on here within a weeks time and said "he's right, it is the best value on the planet". Then yes...maybe it is. But if no one has even heard of these mic's, I guess I would have to give some credit to BDFitz. Maybe they are, maybe they are not.
    My only b!tch is...Why start a post out with, trolls this or trolls that. That's like walking in a room and saying, "O.K. you sh!tbags, who wants some?!"--- :lol: (Sorry I had to make a joke)
    I am quite sure that it was not directed towards you. I totally understand what your point is however. I really do. Sometimes a post enters Recording.org and no one answers it. And it makes you wonder if you asked something the wrong way or if you pissed off the wrong group of people or whatever.
    And of course there are a few guys on here that can give you a bad feeling, about recording.org and you really do have to learn who to listen to and who to ignore (because they just don't know any better).
    Kurt is a damn fine moderator, and I really like the fact that he is sooo skepticle. And unlike most people on here, if Kurt says it, well then it most likely is true.---Not that he said you or anyone else was a troll. But I am talking about equipment in spec.
    And IMO Kurt is doing what needs to be done and "scare" off the trolls before they get to comfortable here at recording.org
    As far I am concerned...piss off the trolls, they know who they are! :shock:
    Woodzee the Owl says...
    "Remember, only you can prevent troll's from making fires"
  12. BDFitz

    BDFitz Active Member

    I have no problem with any of this rhetoric. I wouldn't (and don't) trust one person's opinion. This actually started with a post about the Apogee Big Ben. I have a huge thread going with guys at the Mackie board that have saved my a$$ more than once. It seems the ABB can't slave either my d8b or hdr24/96b and this is extremely disappointing having plunked down $1400 for the Big Ben. I'm working on it but consensus is the Wordclock signal from Apogee is not strong enough (even though up to their specs) to clock the Mackie gear. I'll have to talk to Tony Shepperd (EM Interview).

    I am sure there are many new mics that offer value. I've heard great things about the new valve Marshall mic, the SE mics. I loaned my entire mic cabinet to a band and they ended up using their new Studio Project C1 over my NeumanTLM 103, Rode NTK'S and vintage AKG 414 (modified by Mike Willams). The market is flooded with name brand mics in the $200-$500 price range. Look at the new AKG mic line at Gui-Target or the Blue Baby Bottle. The early Oktava deals. I guess my main point (not expressed) was this. The v55 is one of the best mics I've "heard" coming out of China with what appears to be excellent craftsmanship and quality for the money. I pointed out the less than sleak power supply unit and the short cords. all minor "if" this line sticks around. The risk is in the company not making it and finding support for an orphan mic but this is a company (to my knowledge) with limited distribution (now) and liitle pub. i.e., a chance to get what I have compared INHO to mikes approached 2 grand. I bought the Neumann M147. After A-Bing it to the TLM103 I returned it. At $1600 it didn't thrill me. At $1600 this one wouldn't either but at $499. I'm just saying it's worth a listen. Problem is you won't see it at GC or anywhere else (maybe NAMM) and I thought I'd share this.

    When CAD first started I ordered a mic (around $1500) and almost a year later, no mic. I bought something else and stuck with the AKG. Look at CAD now. I'm hoping Cascade makes it. As I said, I've never tried any other Cascade mic but you can get them FREE! in bundles form BayviewProAudio when you buy gear like the Apogee Big Ben. I guess that sounds like a commercial. I wish people would tell me where I can get free gear. Sorry for another long post. I'm done.
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Unlike some other BBs, RO doesn't allow reviews to be posted on the board. Opinions of products in use are acceptable but not 700 word, full blown reviews with introductions, descriptions and in use observations.

    Does anyone know who BDFitz is? I have never seen them here before. 14 posts is a very short history. I'm not saying it's so, but for all we know this person could work for Cascade or some marketing agency on their behalf ...

    Reviews by anyone are accepted for consideration to be run in the Reviews section and in the RO E Mag. This is a way to insure that any product recommendations made on RO are substantiated. I like it when people say things like:

    ... and when RM weighs in and says he agrees with me ... well I know I'm on the right track.

    Cucco has a review of a Microtech-Gefell M296 mic coming up .... Keep an eye out for that in the RO E Mag and in the Reviews sidebar.
  14. sdelsolray

    sdelsolray Active Member

    Gee, is there a list somewhere of all the things I can't do here on RO? Is there a list of things I can do? We certainly don't want to do something against the well thought out rules, which keeps RO the pinnacle of forums on the net.
  15. BDFitz

    BDFitz Active Member

    Hey, First and foremost I will apologize for breaking any written or unwritten rules on "reviews", "endorsements", "long posts" or other offensive material. I didn't think I wrote a review. I stated that it was an email to the folks at the company as feedback on their product. I made a major recent purchase and would have greatly appreciated even ONE response to the Big Ben. I got ZERO. So I found the answers elsewhere and posted for the hundreds of people that READ the post but didn't answer. I "thought" they might appreciate it.

    Secondly, I mentioned a mic (all told, 51 words). Someone asked for more info and I copied my email to the company. I have no idea what they thought about it. I also added the websites because I have gotten some great deals from these guys and they have never asked me to talk about, promote or endorse their products. I stumbled upon this mic and to my knowledged there is only one place you can buy them, so I shared that.

    Who is BDFitz? I am a studio owner and musician and admitted gear slut with a passion for microphones and a demo budget. My site doesn't have my last CD on it because I am busy working on my 3rd. I am not upset in the least with the comments here but if someone's going to whack me upside the head for sharing good news (no one here evidently needs a high quality mic under $500.) I'm going to crack back.

    Again, no hard feelings. I didn't know opinions were limited to 30 words (oh, I'll be banned now) and you can check out my site if you want but please don't buy a CD because I may be banned here for life.

  16. tedcrop

    tedcrop Guest

    Has anyone checked these out?


    CEO Everlast
  17. Operadragon

    Operadragon Guest


    Brad Venable
  18. ericbarthel

    ericbarthel Guest

    Uh. I'm new here. I have the mic. I like it alot. Through an Avalon M5 and the Summit AudioTLA 50 it sounds really nice and open. That's all...
  19. tmcconnell

    tmcconnell Guest


    Bayview Pro Audio gives away Cascade mics with almost any purchase. I got one that I basically gave away. Then I got a VX-20, which was quite good for the incremental 25 dollars I paid for it, in the league of the Studio projects c1.

    I would like to believe the Cascade tube mic is really special. I'm about to pay 2 grand for a tube mic - so I'm looking for something just as good for less money - but so often you get what you pay for.

    Maybe Bayview pro audio would send Kurt a mic for him to review. In all my dealings with them they seem fair and willing to work with me.
  20. BDFitz

    BDFitz Active Member

    I'm glad to see someone else owns the v55 and likes it. I also use it through an M5 as well as Trident and DBX Pres and I've given my opinion. I have seen many mics that are in the $699 to $1000 range but nothing in the $499 category I've tried that comes close to the v55. I didn't realize my "planet" comment would cause such an uproar. It's my opinion and it's not based on having heard everything out there. It's an opinion.

    As for tmcconnell, I passed on the free mics and opted to buy the v55 because I anticipated the experience you had. The M37, VX-20, etc. may be great mics but I heard the v55 was special. I wasn't disappointed. The Big Ben went back, the v55 didn't. It took a long time and many mics (GT, Rode, Studio Projects, AKG, Royer) to supplant my Neuman TLM103 and the v55 did it nicley. Not in U47 or C12 style but hey, it's 5 bills and "if" it's reliable (very well built) it's worth over a grand to me.

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