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continuously variable pattern selectionCAD Audio M179

Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone

The M179 is a side-address, large-diaphragm condenser mic with continuously variable pickup pattern selection and switchable high-pass filter and -20dB pad.

CAD, 2001

The CAD M179 combines a vintage capsule design with advanced electronics. The M179 features the dual-pattern version of the original Equitek E-300 capsule, an externally biased capsule with a gold sputtered 1.1'' diaphragm.

The M179 was designed and originally built in the US, at CAD’s facility in Ohio. Production was moved to China during the early-to-mid 2000s. Current production M179s use Chinese K67-style capsules, rather than the original E-300 capsule.

CAD, 2001Typical FET condenser microphones use … individual transistors that must be carefully matched for proper characteristics. Even with careful matching, discrete designs are inherently nonlinear. Instead, [CAD’s M series mics] use advanced high speed OpAmps. These OpAmps are individually laser trimmed for optimum performance and have very high gain. This allows a large amount of negative feedback to be used to significantly reduce any non-linearity. We have also integrated a new discrete high efficiency power supply circuit allowing greater dynamic range and lower self noise.

CAD M179 CircuitryThis amplifier circuit was a next-generation Equitek design, in the sense that it uses op amps in place of individual transistors. The M179 version required less power than earlier designs, and as such did not need the onboard batteries to operate — and yet it still draws relatively high power, and may not operate to spec with phantom power supplies that cannot deliver a full 48V.

The mic is known for its extended low-frequency response and generally flat response curve, and is somewhat remarkable for offering continuously-variable pattern selection at this price point. This is not a “color” mic; it aspires to a reproducing a neutral tone.

Hugh Robjohns

At 11dBA, these mics are 3dB quieter than the AKG C414, 1dB quieter than the Neumann U87 and only 1dB noisier than a Sennheiser MKH80 — impressive company indeed!

Warren Dent, Zen Pro Audio

[T]he M179 is one of the few mics I’d be willing to put anywhere on a drum kit… period. On overheads the sound is beefy, transient response is good although not super razor sharp, the highs have a nice presence to them without being harsh or bright…

Outside kick drum use is a dream come true. With response down to 10hZ and plenty of snap, a well tuned drum is going to sound downright beautiful with the M179 positioned correctly…

My favorite use on drums is toms… All of the stick attack, punch in the mids, and deep lows are delivered… and better than any mic I’ve used so far on toms. It’s a big, open and clear sound and eliminates the need for a bottom mic for me. Dialing in hypercardioid with the pad engaged equals a killer tom sound that has never had me looking back.

The mic’s original published frequency response show it to be flat to 10Hz. Subsequently, the company revised its measurement and testing methods. Currently the mic’s published frequency response is truncated at 40Hz.

The mic ships with both a spider-style shockmount and a more-traditional clip (pictured), in a well-padded and very large hard-shell plastic carrying case.

The mic plus shockmount weigh over 650g (1.4 lbs), presenting a strain for inexpensive mic stands.

Permalink: CAD Audio M179

The mic was released in 2000.


Frequency Response - OmnidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
M179 Omnidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
M179 Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Frequency Response - BidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
M179 Bidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Omnidirectional (16 mV/Pa; 40 - 20,000 Hz)
Cardioid (16 mV/Pa; 40 - 20,000 Hz)
Hypercardioid (16 mV/Pa; 40 - 20,000 Hz)
Bidirectional (16 mV/Pa; 40 - 20,000 Hz)
  • Pad: -20dB (Via Switch)
  • Filter: -6dB @ 100 Hz (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 27mm
Capsule diameter: 33.5mm
200 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 143 dB
Self-noise: 11.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
506g (17.85oz) 178mm (7.01'') 51mm (2.01'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 24, 48v

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