After a few slightly ambiguous images over recent weeks, Aston Microphones have finally announced officially what they’ve been teasing.
The Aston Stealth microphone is a dynamic with a twist, literally. At the bottom of the large barrel-body is a switch mechanism which changes the voicing of the microphone itself and not by imparting a different EQ curve. The four voicings consist of Vocal 1, Vocal 2, Guitar and Dark modes and the changes are made via separate discrete signal paths rather than using filters, leaving the signal integrity intact with less phase distortion.
Although chosen for specific roles, Aston suggest experimenting with the various modes and treating it like four microphones-in-one. After a series of blind testing, Vocal 1 was voted as best on male voices, while Vocal 2 was best on female. Guitar is as it indicates, although Aston say this can work on anything from a classical guitar to miking up electric guitar cabs. Finally, Dark is a vintage ribbon-style sound.
The electronics hold other surprises in how it handles +48v. When no phantom power is present, the signal pathway is passive, giving a totally clean sound. However, when present, phantom power is automatically detected by the microphone and it switches an on-board class-A preamp into the signal chain, which dispenses the need for any external gain lifting to be required.
Internally, there is a proprietary shock mount system made up of Sorbothane hemispheres which holds the capsule in mid-air, disconnecting it totally from the outer chassis. Externally, there is a quick release mounting system and the finish is black, instead of the tumbled steel finish of the Origin, Spirit and Starlight.
Finally, the acoustically tuned, end-firing headstock has been developed to enhance off-axis rejection giving a focussed cardioid pattern. I for one will be very interested to hear this, given that, when I reviewed the Origin last year, the pick-up was already tighter than most cardioids I have used.
Aston are billing the Stealth as “revolutionary” and “broadcast quality” and, if it is like their previous offerings, I can’t wait to get my hands on one.