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Mods for the ECM-87

  • Microphone PartsMicrophone Parts
    The ECM-87 Mod Kit from will significantly upgrade the mic’s audio quality: sensitivity is raised, distortion is reduced, self-noise and hiss are lowered, frequency response is extended in the bass region. The circuit can be modified to provide corrective high-frequency EQ for the stock capsule, or a replacement capsule with different voicing can be installed.

CardioidGauge Microphones ECM-87

Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The ECM-87 is a large-diaphragm, transformerless FET condenser mic built in China for Gauge Microphones. It is positioned as an inexpensive competitor to high-end German microphones, although it shares the same circuit design and capsule as are found in dozens of other inexpensive models.

The mic’s capsule is a 6-micron, 32mm center-terminated design, and is the same K67-style capsule used in many other imported Chinese LDCs. It has a fixed cardioid pattern.

Rob Chiarelli

Although our capsules are made from the same place [as the capsules in similar mics], they are made to higher tolerances and are stamped with a unique serial number on the capsule housing from QC.

A internal switch on the circuit board enables a high-pass filter. To access the switch, the ring at the base of the microphone must be unscrewed, and the body sleeve slid away.

The same circuit, including the HPF switch, can be found on the CAD GXL2200 and GXL2400, and the t.bone SC-400.

The ECM-87 ships with a padded bag and an elastic shockmount.

Unlike most budget mics, each ECM-87 is tested in California by Gauge principals Chandler Bridges and Rob Chiarelli. From their FAQ:

Gauge USA

What happens to the microphones that don’t meet your quality control standards?

If a microphone doesn’t sound great, we send it back to China. That way, they can paint it black and sell it to another company.

That line may be a reference to the Nady SCM-900, a ~$50 mic that is nearly identical to the ECM-87. Michael Joly of OktavaMod published photos of the ECM-87’s circuit board on Gearslutz showing that the board was actually labeled “SCM-900.”

Note, however, that Nady does not perform individual listening tests on the SCM-900.

Further, as Rob Chiarelli (Gauge CEO) states, the capsules used in the ECM-87 are built to higher tolerances, and undergo more testing, than do comparable capsules even from the same facility.

Therefore, Gauge’s version of the mic is likely to sound better than the less-expensive Nady.

The Gauge Microphones ECM-87 is also known as: ECM87.

The mic was released in 2008.


Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
ECM-87 Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (12.5 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
  • Filter: HPF: -6dB/octave @ 100Hz (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 25mm
Capsule diameter: 32mm
Diaphragm gauge: 6 microns
200 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 128 dB
Self-noise: 17.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
411g (14.50oz) n/a n/a
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48v

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