Gauge 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; sound clips on the vendor’s website give listeners an opportunity to compare the mic to a Neumann U-87, an AKG 414, and a Neumann TLM-103 on male vocal, female vocal, and acoustic guitar.
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.
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.
As a budget mic, the ECM-87 has no switches for a pad or high-pass filter, but there is a filter switch on the circuit board, accessible by spinning off the ring at the base of the microphone and sliding back the body.
The mic 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:
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!|
|Pickup Patterns||Pads & Filters|
(12.5 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
| Diaphragm diameter: 25mm
Capsule diameter: 32mm
Diaphragm gauge: 6 microns
|200 Ohms (Low)||Max SPL: 128 dB
Self-noise: 17.0 dB(A)
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