Music Gear Review: The Soundelux Bock U195 Condenser Microphone

The Soundelux USA U195 FET microphone has a new improved 1-inch dual back plate K67 capsule with a fixed cardioid polar pattern. For protecting the capsule, the U195 uses a large mesh screening similar to the original Neumann U67 mic along with an internal fine mesh screen.

Handmade in California, the U195 features a gigantic, customized Cinemag CM-96322A output transformer and retains the popular and unique FAT switch. The U195 has a frequency response of 20Hz to 16kHz +/- 2dB, 111dB of dynamic range and a sensitivity of 8mv/PA.

I was pretty excited to give this new mic a shot on lead vocals. We had been using a Neumann U87 but sometimes the U87 sounded slightly compressed when my singer sung loud in his upper range. In Normal mode, the U195 sounds something like the U87 but better; it’s more open and full sounding. The Fat mode worked perfectly for thickening up high notes that had “thinned out” on the U87; there was an immediate “chesty” quality and thickness we all loved.

For a mono drum overhead mic about three feet above the toms, I had great results with or without using the mic’s -10dB attenuator pad. Using the pad or not really depends on your mic pre-amp. I found using combinations of the Fat switch on/off and the low frequency roll-off, I have four different options when recording any source.

An awesome utilitarian microphone and compared to the U87, the Soundelux U195 has a flatter frequency response, more low frequency headroom and two distinctly different sounds via the Fat switch.

With the included SDX metal threaded stand mount, the Soundelux USA U195 sells for $1,249 MSRP.

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.