When was the last time you had a moment of epiphany when first firing up a mic? Call me jaded or just used to what I have, but I haven’t gotten that “wow, this thing rocks” running through my head in quite some time. Recently though, I had just that feeling when using the new Miktek CV4 ($1,299).
A large-diaphragm, multi-pattern tube condenser, the CV-4 is supplied with a wooden mic case, swivel mount, shock mount, power supply, and 7-pin XLR cable, all packed tightly into a sturdy aluminum case. The mic itself is quite large, and the capsule (developed by Miktek in Nashville and called the MK9) features dual diaphragms with 5-micron-thick Mylar and a 0.4-micron layer of evaporated gold. These diaphragms are mounted to carefully tuned back plates, and set back-to-back to create the final capsule, helping to create its wide frequency response. Then it is encased in a sleek-looking silver basket with a two mesh grilles (one fine and one coarse), which are made of brass and chrome-plated.
Other features critical to the sound include a custom-built AMI BT4 transformer and original NOS (new-old-stock) Telefunken EF800 tube. The knob for the nine selectable pickup patterns is located on the power supply and, to keep the signal path as clean and pure as possible, they opted not to include any kind of filtering or pad. It can handle up to 130 dB SPL with a 20 Hz to 20 kHz range. Miktek sources components from the U.S., Europe, and Asia and each mic is tested and packaged in Nashville, Tennessee and includes a mic-specific frequency-response graph.
That leads us to the truly important factor: the sound. When the headphones go on, the CV4 will impress, simply because whatever instrument it’s on, sounds so good. My first test — using a Groove Tubes Vipre set on 2,400 ohms with an old, jumbo Guild 12-string — sold me immediately. Without trying to sound cliché, the top was crisp without being brittle, the mids were strong and present and the bottom huge, but not loose.
Simply put, the guitar sounded gorgeous, and I’ve recorded it countless times before. Normally, a large mic like this would not be my first choice for a guitar, but this was right on the mark. Literally, I felt like I could hear “into” the instrument.
With a female R&B vocalist, the impression was also immediate. Her exact words were “with this sound, it’s just so easy.” Just to make sure, I plugged in one of my other large-diaphragm vocal mics and did a test, and the CV4 had more air, clarity, and simply sounded better. I hate it when that happens! On a highstring guitar, as well as an old Gibson amp with a Tele, the CV-4 (in omni) again was a winner.
The Miktek CV4 is a fine microphone and is sure to turn some heads. I’m breaking out the credit card, as I have to have one in my collection.
Contact: Miktek Audio | 615-250-2434 | www.miktekaudio.com
Rich Tozzoli is a composer, engineer/mixer, and the software editor for PAR. www.richtozzoli.com