The latest addition to Audix’s microphone line is the VX-10, designed as a handheld vocal condenser microphone that can also be used for a wide variety of applications in live, studio and broadcast situations. My previous experience with Audix is with the CX-111 large-diaphragm mics, which I use as drum overheads. Since I am pleased with those, I was looking forward to trying the VX-10 mic. At a suggested retail price of $599, it is worthy of consideration by anyone desiring a quality handheld condenser at an affordable price.
The VX-10 is a cardioid-pattern condenser microphone requiring 48 to 52 V of phantom power. The microphone features a 16mm gold vaporized diaphragm and a frequency response of 40 Hz to 20 kHz. With a maximum SPL rating of 138 dB without distortion, a signal-to-noise ratio of 73 dB, and a floor noise of 19 dB SPL (A-weighted), it is a quality product.
The Audix VX-10 is designed with a field-replaceable threaded capsule, enabling the user to carry spares to service the microphone in unexpected situations – a well-thought-out feature. Simply unscrew the capsule and replace it. The male XLR connector is gold plated.
The microphone, available with a flat or round grille, has a steel-mesh screen in a black satin finish and weighs 11.24 ounces. A carrying pouch, acoustic foam windscreen and microphone clip are supplied accessories.
I first listened to the VX-10 through the sound system and monitors that I set for a Tony Bennett show we were doing with a symphony in an arena. The microphone had a uniform response, especially in the bass and mid range, with a slight rise in the top end that was noticeable in the 6.3 kHz to 10 kHz range.
In a room that had the tendency to accent low frequencies, this microphone was impressive in its clarity. I liked its minimal proximity effect and its frequency response. The VX-10 also performed well off axis. And, when I pulled it away to a distance of 18 inches, the microphone exhibited a very uniform response.
I also used the VX-10 on a corporate show that featured a dance band with male and female vocalists. They used the VX-10 as their main vocal microphone. The main PA for the show was a Turbo-sound Floodlight system with EAW monitors. The PA and monitors were tuned using pink noise and a CD to a relatively flat curve.
Both singers sounded natural and full with no required EQ on the console input. The contoured rise in the top end provided a nice intelligibility to the sound without any sibilance problems. This also provided a nice cut for the singers in the monitors. The VX-10 provided a hot level in the monitors that was very stable with minimal EQ contouring required. Both singers commented that they would like to use this mic again.
On another occasion, I used the mic- rophone with an orchestra, miking a flute at a distance of eight inches. It accented the instrument with a natural realism and made the flute sound as good as the other condensers I use in this application. The modest presence peak enhanced the sound of the flute well. I ended up using five VX-10 microphones to mic the full woodwind section.
I also tried the microphone on a guitar amplifier. Placed close to the speaker, it provided a nice clear sound as a result of its minimal proximity effect. The dynamic mics that I usually use on guitar have much more low-frequency emphasis at close range, requiring more EQ.
The Audix VX-10 is a good-sounding microphone for vocals that is also well suited for a variety of instruments. It is a microphone that provides all the right characteristics and sturdiness to survive the rigors of live performance; the field replaceable capsule is a bonus. Whether used in a live performance, recording or broadcast, this microphone at this price point will not disappoint.
Contact: Audix at 800-966-8261; 503-682-6933; www.audixusa.com