New Gear Review: MXL CR89 Condenser Mic

MXL_Cr89The CR89 is part of the new black chrome MXL CR Series and is designed for any recording task from vocals to close in on instruments and guitar amps. With home/project studios, there is a lot to spend money on, so getting the most out each microphone is important.

The MXL CR89 has a wide cardioid pattern with a 6-micron gold-sputtered diaphragm that is center-terminated and features a FET-based low noise head amp circuit. It has a very low proximity effect; when I got it up close to my vocalist—I got a clear sound with presence and just a slight bass buildup—not the huge bump I normally hear when singers get close to other cardioid condenser mics.

The CR’s large, beefy body reduces microphone body resonances, and its broad cardioid pickup pattern is perfect for singers who move around while singing on studio microphones—there is less noticeable change in sound caused by their movement.

I then put the CR89 on my Fender Blues Junior amp and cranked back the microphone gain on my Sunset Sound S1P mic pre-amp down to about 10 dB of gain (I was at 30 dB for my singer) and got a solid sound.

The CR89 comes with a durable aluminum flight case, a matching sexy flat black shock mount, and microfiber cleaning cloth. It sells for $349.95 MAP.


Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs, and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com