Close Up: Mojave Audio


World Class Sound For Working Class Prices: One of the most trusted and technically advanced boutique microphone manufacturers in the industry, Burbank, CA-based Mojave Audio is currently celebrating its 10th Anniversary–yet founder David Royer’s history extends back much further. Renowned in the manufacturing industry for his ribbon microphone designs with his company Royer Labs, the three-time TEC Award and Technical Grammy winner launched the company’s first incarnation in his Fullerton garage in 1985. Mojave’s 2005 rebirth grew out his blueprint on how to create an affordable, great sounding high-end mic by modifying the era’s popular, inexpensive Chinese-made mics with a high quality transformer, a tube and other components.

Setting Mojave Apart: Royer is one of an elite group of mic designers who knows that music and sounds are inseparable from electronic design. Jensen transformers, NOS (new old stock) tubes and other critical components are shipped offshore from the Burbank headquarters and joined to capsules and bodies, according to his design specs, at a highly respected factory that he has worked with for over 15 years. After assembly, they are shipped back for extensive QC inspections. Prior to packaging, every mic is burned in for 24 hours, tested and personally listened to by David. The hybrid of domestic and overseas manufacturing allows Mojave to make state-of-the-art mics that are affordable without compromise.

A Wide Array of Mics: Mojave’s basic mics are the MA-100, the MA-100SP, the MA-200, the MA-201fet and the most recent models, the MA-300, MA-301fet and MA-101fet. The MA-300 is a multi-pattern large diaphragm, vacuum tube condenser mic; based upon the popular MA-200 designed by Royer, it adds a continuously variable pickup pattern selector, 15dB pad and switchable bass roll-off. The small diaphragm tube MA-100 is also available as part of a matched pair with the MA-100SP with a dual power supply, as well as a solid-state version, the MA-101fet and MA-101SP. This October, Mojave Audio will roll out two new mics at the AES in New York, including a “My First Mojave” starter mic, the best sounding mic available for under $500.


By Jonathan Widran