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CardioidJosephson Engineering C42

Cardioid Pencil Condenser Microphone

The Josephson Engineering C42 is an all-purpose cardioid condenser pencil microphone. They are finished in satin machined stainless steel for durability.

C42 electronics feature a selected discrete FET driving a fully balanced symmetrical transformerless discrete class-A output stage. The output impedance is low enough that very long cable runs may be used without signal degradation. Although the microphone is specified for full P48 phantom power, it will function with phantom power as low as 24 volts, with some limitation in maximum SPL.

A stereo kit, the C42MP, includes a matched pair of C42 microphones in matte black chrome finish and a protective hard shell case, with a pair of shockmounts.

Steve Albini lists the C42 as one of his favorite bass microphones.

See also this discussionfrom about using the C42 as drum overhead mics:

David Josephson

The C42 was intended for more distant pickups than close-up. I think that the flatttering comparisons people have made with respect to the KM84 might be due to the C42’s excellent off-axis response tracking, which is what we were aiming for. It is definitely a brighter sound than the KM84, particularly close-up, and might be too bright for some people. EQ helps. But really we were intending it for more distant pickups like ensemble work, overall stereo pickups, drum overheads, etc. and in this application the slight HF boost on-axis makes the whole stereo picture sound more balanced.

Electronic Musician

I… thought the C42s did something unique to the drum kit, adding immediacy by sharpening the direct transients and separating foreground details from the reflected room ambience… At times the Josephsons might have been too sizzly around 7 kHz, but the sound was never too bright or thin. These drum tracks sounded crystal clear when mixed in with the guide track at varying levels.

The Josephson Engineering C42 is also known as: C42MP, C42H.


Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
C42 Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (8.5 mV/Pa; 40-20,000 Hz)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diameter n/a
50 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 135 dB
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
80g (2.82oz) 98mm (3.86'') 21mm (0.83'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 24-48v

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