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AKG C577 Miniature Microphone (part 2)

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Taking a close look at the mic (you’ll have to), Dr Watson’s first
reaction might have been to say, “Holmes, it’s a cardioid!”.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the first miniature mic to have a directional
pattern, but it would be unusual. Watson was of course judging from the mic’s
external appearance, and slots behind the diaphragm are always a tell-tale give-away
that a mic is directional. Except in this case. Holmes would of course have
deduced that the tiny holes in the end of the mic were just for show, and that
the slots cover what appear to be twin side-facing diaphragms. In fact, I really
do think the holes in the end are for show since I couldn’t discern any
vast difference in the sound quality when I covered them with my finger. This
of course has a bearing on how the microphone is positioned, even though it
is an omni. Anyone with an interest in current events will have noticed how
the BBC newsreaders always have their mics clipped on upside down. This is because
in practice, it reduces the possibility of popping. But if the AKG’s diaphragms
face outwards from the sides of the mic it doesn’t really make any difference
which way up the mic goes. Unfortunately, the opportunity to make an individual
statement in how one positions one’s mics on TV goes out the window, but
that’s progress for you. The C577 is pretty hard to pop anyway.


You may be wondering how I know all of this without the benefit of a jeweller’s
tool kit to cut a cross section through the casing. I just unscrewed the cover!
It would seem that replacing the cable is going to be an absolute doddle with
this mic, and a certain amount of cleaning could also be undertaken. Mics used
in theatre have a very limited life span due to being ‘sweated out’
and are treated almost as consumables. I’m not sure whether one could actually
clean the working parts of this mic, but you could certainly clean the grilles,
which might put off disposal day a little longer. Anyway, don’t buy any
secondhand miniature mics from theatre sound engineers, that’s my motto.


No miniature mic would be complete without a selection of miniature accessories.
You know – the things that you use once and then lose. This was my only disappointment
with this mic. The clips fix onto the mic’s cable rather than onto the
body of the mic, which I suppose is inevitable with a mic this small. But you
really have to press the cable hard, and the temptation to force it with a fingernail
may prove irresistible. Although the cable could be replaced, I don’t think
that it is right that it should be so easy to stress and possibly damage in
normal use. Having said that, the cable seems to be moderately tough, and it
has the right degree of stiffness to make it fairly resistant to tangles. The
cable isn’t significantly microphonic either so you won’t be troubled
too much by noise from this source.


All in all. I liked this mic and I don’t mind recommending it, although
with mics that have to take a lot of punishment, the proof will come with real
life use.

Specification

  • Type: Self-polarised capacitor
  • Polar pattern: Omni
  • Frequency range: 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Sensitivity (1kHz): 15mV/Pa
  • Signal/noise ratio ref. 1Pa (A weighted): 68dB (A)
  • Max. SPL (1% THD @ 1kHz): 118 dB SPL
  • Supply voltage: 9V to 52V phantom power
  • Size (mic): 5.5mm diameter x 14mm
  • Finish: matte black

David Mellor

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David Mellor