The Equitek E100S ($799 list, $599 street) is a supercardioid, large-diaphragm condenser (LDC) microphone by CAD Audio, that established its pro audio reputation in the late 1990s as CAD Professional Microphones, the makers of the nice and very affordable Equitek studio mic line. Like the original Equitek mics, the new E100S is American-made.
The E100S features a one-inch, nickel-plated diaphragm and includes an integral “stealth” shock mount in a lovely cherry-stained wood box. Its frequency response is a nearly flat from 40 Hz to 14 kHz with a 4 dB bump between 4K and 12K and a slow rolloff above 14 kHz, 8 dB down at 20 kHz. Maximum SPL is 150 dB with the mic’s front pad switch engaged (10 dB attenuation); to the right of the pad is a second switch for an 80 Hz high-pass filter. Self-noise is a low 3.7 dBA (“best in class,” boasts CAD literature).
I used the E100S to record acoustic guitar alongside a DI line and small-diaphragm condenser, ultimately scrapping the DI and SDC tracks at the request of the guitarist upon playback. I agreed with his decision; his alternating arpeggiated and strummed chords were fully served by the E100S, sounding natural with equal measure of full, musical tone and necessary percussive effect that sat in some basic rock tracks just right. Elsewhere, in a very live room with only acoustic stringed instruments present, the E100S captured a mandolin and just enough of its surrounding air to make it sweet, while sufficiently rejecting its guitar and upright bass neighbors.
In higher SPL applications — most notably lead vocal tracking, percussion, and drum room (the latter of which used two in wide spaced pair) — the E100S also shined. Not ideal for every voice, the E100S worked very well when I needed a polite smooth interpretation of a vocal performance; it’s not a mic for an aggressive, forward sound in my opinion. I love the E100S on percussion; as it did on acoustic guitar, the mic offered smooth transients and the complete body of each source: large and small shakers, tambourine, handclaps, and finger snaps. And I really love the E100S pair on drum room/overheads; full, punchy, and warm, these mics nicely translated the room’s acoustics for a rich, organic, overall drum sound.
In summary, the E100S has an uncanny knack for sounding great on a wide variety of sound sources, yet delivers a defined sound of its very own — fairly uncommon behavior for fixed-pattern LDCs at this price point, in my opinion.
Contact: CAD Audio | 800-762-9266 | cadaudio.com