Blue Microphones Spark
Cardioid Condenser Microphone
The Blue Spark is a FET condenser microphone built into a “bottle” style body. It has a fixed Cardioid pickup pattern.
It uses an edge-terminated true condenser capsule with a 23mm diaphragm (25mm capsule). This is a new capsule design for Blue, not found in any of its other products to date.
The capsule is mounted in a “lollipop” head, behind a 2-layer metal mesh grille whose faces parallel the microphone capsule. (Although some early product photos show a perforated metal plate at the front of the capsule, this plate is not used on production units.)
The mic produces only 10dBA of self-noise, measured with the capsule attached to the amplifier circuit. Given the mic’s low self-noise and high high sensitivity (28 mV/Pa), the Spark would appear to be well-suited to pickup of quiet instruments.
A single switch on the mic body, called the “Focus” switch, alters the response of the microphone in several ways:
According to the published frequency-response graphs, the switch incorporates a high-pass filter: approximately -15dB/octave @ 150Hz. Reviewers describe tonality changes as well.
We believe the switch incorporates a change to the capsule’s polarization voltage. If true, this would affect the microphone’s sensitivity and dynamic range. Blue has applied for a utility patent, following which fuller details of the circuitry can be explained.
The amplifier uses a transformerless output circuit.
The mic ships with a pop filter, a shockmount, and a wooden storage case for the microphone. It comes with a 3-year warranty.
Electronic Musician, 2011
I miked a variety of acoustic instruments with it, including acoustic guitar, dobro, mandolin, and shaker, and it provided me with solid results in virtually all cases. If I had to fault its sound, I would say that it lacked a little bit in warmth, at times feeling a tad metallic. For the most part, I was quite happy with the results on all sources on which I tried it.
Sound On Sound, 2011
On vocals, the Spark delivered a well-balanced sound with just the right amount of presence… There was certainly nothing about the sound quality that gave away the fact that this is a low-cost microphone. The low end, for example, came across as very warm and full, but without sounding muddy. With the Focus button pressed in to reduce low-end sensitivity, any proclivity to popping disappeared, while the reduced low-end contribution gave the mid-range and high frequencies more of a chance to shine through.
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The mic was released in 2010.
|Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!|
|Pickup Patterns||Pads & Filters|
(28 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
| Diaphragm diameter: 23mm
Capsule diameter: 25mm
|50 Ohms (Low)||Self-noise: 10.0 dB(A)|
|567g (20.00oz)||197mm (7.76'')||45mm (1.77'')||
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