The latest mic in the Mojave Audio lineup, the MA-301fet, is a multi-pattern version of the company’s large-diaphragm, solid-state MA-201fet condenser microphone.
The MA-301fet ($895) weighs 1 pound and measures 7 5/8-inches long by 2-inches in diameter. As with most of the other mics in the Mojave family, the MA-301fet has a sexy black finish with a head basket shape reminiscent of a classic Neumann U-87. The large diaphragm, FET (Field Effect Transistor) preamp, condenser microphone features a 20 Hz to 20 kHz, ±3 dB frequency response and employs a hand-selected double-diaphragm, gold-sputtered, 3-micron, 1-inch diameter capsule, Jensen audio transformer, military- grade FET and custom-designed low-noise resistors.
Mojave Audio MA-301fet Multi-Pattern Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone The MA-301fet’s polar patterns are omni, cardioid and figure-eight. The bass roll-off provides -6 dB per octave attenuation with a 100 Hz corner frequency. The mic has a 550 ohm output impedance, an 80 dB (A-weighted) signal to noise ratio, 14 dB self noise and can handle SPL levels up to 124 dB. With the MA-301fet and its included shock-mount packed into a foam lined, 10-inch by 9-inch by 4.5-inch carry case, it weighs 4 pounds and will easily hold up to the rigors of every day use.
The MA-301fet is easily adaptable to virtually any recording application. The mic does a wonderful job of capturing vocals. I found the mic’s bass roll-off to work well with vocals, sucking out the low-frequency muddiness without eating into the body of the vocal sound. Acoustic guitars record brilliantly with the MA-301fet.
While I found the mic’s forte to be vocals and acoustic guitars, the MA- 301fet works well in nearly any situation. I tracked drums using one MA- 301fet on the snare and one on the kick. The snare sounded fantastic: a big warm body and just the right amount of crack without the need for any additional EQ. The only downside is the mic’s size, making snare placement a bit tricky.
I also utilized the MA-301fet as a kick-out mic, placed about six inches in front of the center of the kick drum (along with an AKG D112 positioned just inside the hole in the front of the drum) and the sound was massive. I’m a long-time user of Mojave MA-300s on toms and I found the MA-301fet to perform equally well. In several tracking instances, I used the mics through the Manley Langevin Dual Vocal Combo to capture drum overheads and had wonderful results. I used them to record congas, bongos, shaker and tambourine with excellent recordings in every instance.
Piano records wonderfully through the MA-301fet, sounding full, rich, smooth and present. It also worked well for recording violin, viola and cello.
If there’s a perfect new LDC, this is it, as it can easily replace a Neumann U-47fet or U-87, and its price tag is staggeringly low.