By R. Maxwell
Burbank, CA (May 26, 2005)–As yet another indicator that the professional audio market is gaining strength, Mojave Audio, a new firm specializing in microphones and related products, is launching its sales and marketing efforts with the introduction of its first product, the MA-200 tube condenser microphone. Industry veteran David Royer, best known for his ribbon microphone designs with Royer Labs, is the primary engineering resource behind Mojave Audio, though company officials stressed that Royer Labs and Mojave Audio are two independently operated businesses.
According to John Jennings, director of sales and marketing for Mojave Audio, “David Royer has been building and modifying professional audio equipment for a number of years, and the new company is a natural outgrowth of those activities. Royer Labs specializes in ribbon microphones. We believe that focus is key to maintaining a strong company identity, so Royer Labs will not release non-ribbon microphones. Mojave Audio affords David the opportunity to branch out by providing a platform where he can work on and release his non-ribbon ideas.”
David Royer actually started Mojave Audio in 1985, fine-tuning circuits and capsule designs. His various self-built microphones, mic preamps, and compressors are in the hands of a number of prominent L.A.-based producers and engineers. For the past few years, the company offered do-it-yourself tube-microphone kits. The company is now moving away from kits and focusing its efforts on fully assembled products.
Mojave Audio’s first shipping product is the MA-200, a tube condenser microphone with a cardioid pattern. Designed by David Royer, with the assistance of Rick Perotta (whose production expertise dates back to Matchless guitar amplifiers), the MA-200 employs a 3-micron, hand-selected capsule used in conjunction with a specially designed American transformer and a military-grade JAN 5840 vacuum tube. The microphone is manufactured in China under strict supervision and quality control, and the final processes, including QC, testing and burn-in, are done in Burbank. Perotta, president of the new company, stated, “People have come to expect a lot from Dave Royer, and we believe the MA-200 lives up to those expectations.”
Company officials were quick to stress those factors that differentiate the MA-200 from other Chinese-manufactured products. “The design is 100 percent David’s,” noted Jennings. “We supply the key components to ensure the quality is up to David’s standards. Outsourcing the manufacturing enables us to deliver a highly capable microphone at a very competitive price.”
The MA-200 is being marketed as an upper mid-level design targeted for use in project and professional recording studio environments. Perotta noted, “The MA-200’s workmanship is impeccable, and we back the microphone with a 2-year warranty. It’s Dave’s answer to the best of both worlds in terms of performance and value.”
In the future, Mojave Audio will release a variety of microphones and other products, several of which are currently in the prototype stage.