Review: Electro-Voice ND66 Condenser Mic

In the December 2016 issue of Pro Sound News, I reviewed the entire ND Series from Electro-Voice, a workhorse line of stage and studio dynamic and condenser microphones with a wide range of cool proprietary features.
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In the December 2016 issue of Pro Sound News, I reviewed the entire ND Series from Electro-Voice, a workhorse line of stage and studio dynamic and condenser microphones with a wide range of cool proprietary features. [Read that review by clicking hereEd.] However, the ND Series lineup I received from E-V did not include this model, the ND66, a unique small diaphragm condenser (SDC), and it may be my favorite of the bunch.

The cardioid ND66 features a self-biased, small diaphragm condenser element. It is clearly built for wide-ranging studio or live applications with a 50 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response, 146 dB maximum SPL and 126 dB dynamic range. It’s aesthetically plain yet attractive, with black polyurethane paint and a zinc die cast body measuring 5.63 inches in length and well less than an inch in diameter, weighing in at 16.4 ounces. The ND66 provides selectable -10 and -20 dB pads to increase flexibility, and selectable 75 Hz and 150 Hz high-pass filters for eliminating low frequency muck at the source.

Uniquely, the ND66 offers a locking rotating head, or hinged elbow, approximately two inches from its diaphragm-end tip. As such, the ND66 can go from straight to a 90-degree bend with five positions in between. Its robust unlocking button feels strong and trustworthy to the touch, too. Squeezing an SDC into tight positions—especially on drum set but also in orchestral and various other acoustic instrument miking tasks—is often a challenge; this is where the ND66 may certainly be a first-choice application.

Sonically, the ND66 is no flat measurement-type microphone. With two HPFs built-in and a bumpy 0 to +6 dB rise and fall from 3 kHz to 20 kHz, the ND66’s sound is carefully sculpted; I say “carefully” because it almost universally flattered the various wind, brass, stringed and percussive acoustic instruments I employed during the review process. With the highest frequency peaks between 5 and 10 kHz, high-end transient details were emphasized, yet not harsh (unless the sound source itself was) or overly unnatural. Especially in live settings, the ND66’s frequency signature allows such instruments to project and very comfortably sit in the mix.

Best of all, at $199 street, the ND66 rivals standard SDCs costing hundreds more, yet its rotating head makes it a unique choice in the microphone marketplace. In all, the ND66 is a superb microphone and a star within Electro-Voice’s already-impressive ND Series lineup.

Electro-Voice
www.electrovoice.com