New Toys: MXL Microphones Revelation II Condenser Microphone

The MXL Revelation II is the latest version of this tube condenser mic with a hand-selected EF86 pentode tube, and a dual capsule with gold-sputtered 6-micron thick diaphragms. It comes in an aluminum flight case with included world power supply, shock mount, IEC power supply cable, and Mogami® cables. The Revelation II is darker and cooler looking with a dark violet case and black chrome accents—it nearly disappears in dimly lit studios!

It has a sensitivity rating of -40dB, a -10dB attenuator pad, 138dB max SPL, 125Hz 12dB/octave high pass filter, 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response, and weighs 907-grams.

I put the Revelation II to work recording lead vocals at my studio; I tried all the pickup patterns available. The power supply has a control pot you can adjust anywhere and in between omni, figure-of-eight, and cardioid.

I recorded three vocal takes each using cardioid, omni, and figure-of-8 patterns. I like singers to be close in so I always use a pop filter. Cardioid has the proximity effect—a bass buildup when singers are close to the diaphragm. If you like the presence of your singer close in but find bass buildup too much, switch in the high pass filter on the power supply.

The omnidirectional pattern has no proximity and your singer will sound “thinner” by comparison. If I am looking for more room tone in a lead vocal sound or recording several background singers, I use omni. Figure-of-8 is awesome for two singers facing each other, one on each side of the Revelation II.

For my lead vocal track I went with cardioid and love the big sound of this mic. I heard all the nuance and tone of my singer with clean highs and tight lows.

Better than ever, the Revelation II costs $499 MSRP and also comes with a basket shock mount, spare elastic bands, and cleaning cloth.