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Review: MXL Genesis FET Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

MXL sells a lot of good microphones at great prices, including the Genesis FET.

MXL sells a lot of good microphones at great prices. As of late, the company has unveiled a number of mics that offer super performance at incredible prices. MXL’s Genesis tube mic has been very successful—enough so that they have released another version of it, this time with solid state FET electronics for a different sonic take on its most popular LDC transducer.


The cardioid-only Genesis FET is striking in its simplicity. Gold trimmings highlight its big red chassis that reveals no variables: no switches, pads or patterns. It comes a gold/ metal clip-on windscreen and shock mount. It handles up to 111 dB SPL, has -13 dB self-noise, offers a frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and 150 Ohm impedance. The Genesis FET comes with a padded wood case and a certificate of authenticity.

In Use

My typical vocal sessions begin with three or four mics placed and ready: my current favorite, my dark-horse favorite and a couple under review for PAR. The Genesis FET received this treatment for two months at Catalyst and won the gig several times—no small feat with stiff competition. I found its lean bottom end to be well suited for a tight, concise vocal sound, one that was often ideal for BGVs. The Genesis FET has a pronounced top end that is a little too sibilant for my tastes, yet much smoother than many condensers in this price range. The overall balance wasn’t so much suited to sopranos, but indeed was a better fit for baritones and tenors.

I don’t do much rap/hip-hop, but when I do, I like my vocals crisp, defined and edgier than a sung vocal. The Genesis FET was a fine fit for such tracks with quick response, midrange definition and good cut up top.

I tried the Genesis FET on sources like hand perc, electric guitars, acoustic guitars and piano. The bottom line: it’s clean and quick, forward but not pushy, with top-emphasis yet not bottomless. It’s a good fit for full, darker instruments and not for crisp, bright ones; and a matter of taste on guitars and keys. I didn’t dig Genesis FET on any drums or perc, but then again (with LDCs) I seldom do (other than overheads, where I would need two for testing).

To My Ears

The Genesis FET is a moderately versatile, defined condenser that excels on vocals. And for $400? It’s a bargain-priced, worthy choice. With a nice little kit and a metal shockmount that really works, I will recommend it.