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OmnidirectionalCardioidBidirectionalElation Mic Lab KM901

Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone

Elation’s KM901 microphone is a multipattern large-diaphragm condenser mic with an unusual sensitivity selection switch, allowing three output levels:

  • 0 dB (25 mV/Pa)
  • -10dB (8 mV/Pa)
  • +6dB (50 mV/Pa)

…which presumably means the mic can be used without a preamp.

A second switch enables either of two high-pass filters, operating at either 150Hz or 300 Hz. A third switch selects the pickup pattern: cardioid, omnidirectional, or figure-of-8.

The frequency-response graphs for the figure-of-8 mode show identical traces for 0° and 180°, suggesting that this mic would work well as a “middle” channel in a mid-side setup.

The mic’s capsule is an unusual design. The capsule is center-terminated, but the membrane appears to be covered by two passive acoustic filters, one made of perforated metal (much as found in the rectangular-diaphragm capsules from Milab and PML), and the other, smaller cover made of solid material.

The relatively scarce availability of Elation mics in the US is the likeliest explanation for the equal scarcity of reviews; the one we can find dates to 1999:

Bill Roberts,

The Elation KM901 slaughtered the TLM193. Dead. Bloodbath.

This was a blind test: all I knew was “red mic cable” or “blue mic cable.” I was surprised that my Neumann (surely the red one had to be the Neumann) was sounding so fine: it sounded very nearly as good as recordings on the VTL label using the Manley Gold Stereo Reference with the all-amplification-in-mic, [transformerless] mod.

I mean, wow.

This review sparked a discussion of its validity — can good mics be tested with low-end pres? Was the Elation simply brighter? What about placement and source material?

KM901 CaseThe KM901 ships with an elastic shockmount and a padded oak storage case.

The Elation Mic Lab KM901 is also known as: KM-901.


Frequency Response - OmnidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
KM901 Omnidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
KM901 Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Frequency Response - BidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
KM901 Bidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Omnidirectional (25 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Cardioid (25 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Bidirectional (25 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
  • Pad: -10dB (Via Switch)
  • Filter: HPF @ 150 Hz (Via Switch)
  • Filter: HPF @ 300 Hz (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 27mm
n/a Max SPL: 140 dB
Self-noise: 13.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
610g (21.52oz) 210mm (8.27'') 51mm (2.01'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48v

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