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CardioidMXL M3

Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The MXL M3 is a large-diaphragm FET condenser microphone. Part of MXL’s “Silicon Valve” product line, the M3 is said to “provide the sound of a tube” with its solid-state design.

M3The mic is a fixed-Cardioid design with a relatively high sensitivity of 22 mV/Pa and somewhat high self-noise of 18dBA.

Based on photos we’ve seen, the mic’s capsule was MXL’s standard 32mm K67 type (25mm diaphragm), with only the front diaphragm metallized. The capsule is center-terminated. The diaphragm clamping rings were made of clear plastic, with a thin brass shim on top.

The MXL M3 and V6 were manufactured in MXL’s facility in Southern California.

The M3 shipped with a ring mount (MXL p/n MXL-V6-H) and a padded storage box. Two versions were available:

  • M3 - “standard” version
  • M3-P - optimized for female vocals

MXL M3 PCBThe amplifier circuit for the M3 utilized surface-mount components, a few of which are reportedly disguised with black epoxy to prevent identification.

Both “Silicon Valve” models were discontinued in 2010, reportedly due to the high cost and low availability of several critical components.

PCB photos: DJS~NJ

The MXL M3 is also known as: M3, M3-P.


Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (22 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 25mm
Capsule diameter: 32mm
Diaphragm gauge: 6 microns
120 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 130 dB
Self-noise: 18.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
522g (18.41oz) 195mm (7.68'') 48mm (1.89'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48±4v

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