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OmnidirectionalCardioidBidirectionalBIG Sound Microphones Big

Multi-Pattern Tube Condenser Microphone

The Big Sound “Big” mic is a large-diaphragm tube condenser mic, designed to give a warmer, more colored, “larger than life” sound than competing models.

Big Sound Microphones

The concept of BIG Sound Microphones is to get as much color out of the front end before the AD conversion.

Big Sound mics were among the first on the market to reduce manufacturing costs by importing metalwork, including capsule parts, from China. Powder-coating, component and mic assembly, and testing were done in the US.

The mic’s amplifier circuit borrowed design elements from several vintage microphones. BIG Sound founder John Downs spent nine months of research and development, using some of Nashville’s best audio engineers for critical listening and feedback.

The tube is a Telefunken ECC803S, which is a premium 12AX7 dual-triode. John Downs purchased a cache of these tubes in Austria in the early 2000s.

The output transformer was developed by AMI/Tab-Funkenwerk in Gaylord, KS, to best match the tube and circuit design.

Unusually, the tube and transformer were cryogenically frozen (to -150°C/-238°F), “to ensure extra-long life.”

The mic’s capsule was a hybrid of familiar designs. Diaphragms were made of Dupont Mylar, mounted to backplates manufactured in China.

The BIG Sound “Big” mic is still manufactured in Nashville, TN, on a special-order basis.

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The mic was released in 2004.


Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Omnidirectional (n/a mV/Pa; n/a)
Cardioid (n/a mV/Pa; n/a)
Bidirectional (n/a mV/Pa; n/a)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diameter n/a
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
n/a n/a n/a
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Includes tube power supply

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