Mojave Audio MA-100
Detachable-Capsule Pencil Tube Condenser Microphone
Designed by David Royer, the MA-100 is a small diaphragm, tube condenser microphone with interchangeable cardioid and omnidirectional capsules.
The MA-100 began life as a tube mod for the MXL 603 / ADK A-51SC; both are small-diaphragm FET condenser mics with decent capsules. David Royer published a tube mod for the ADK mic in Tape Op Magazine (see PDF here). The concept of a cathode-follower tube SDC mod kit morphed into a commercial microphone with the advent of Mojave Audio.
Its “cathode follower” design allows use on high-SPL instruments such as drums and guitar amplifiers, as well as the more common applications of a small diaphragm condenser. It also allows the output transformer to be located in the power supply rather than within the mic body itself.
High-end components include:
- hand selected 3 micron capsules
- high quality Jensen audio transformers
- military-grade JAN 5840 vacuum tubes
The MA-100 power supply can be set for either 115v or 230v via an external switch. Each MA-100 microphone, power supply and cable set is burned in for 24 hours, carefully tested and evaluated, then packaged in its protective case.
The frequency response plot of the Cardioid capsule reveals a ~6dB boost around 5.5kHz. Coupled with the mic’s ability to withstand high SPL, this prompts Mojave Audio staff to describe the MA-100 as an “SM57 on steroids.” The mic can be used on snare drums and guitar cabinets, much like the SM57. On other sources, the strong high-mid boost from the Cardioid capsule colors the sound in ways that are not always flattering. David Royer recommends the Omni capsule, which has a flatter, broader presence boost, for recordings where a more neutral sound is required.
I have fallen in love with the MA-100 over the past few months. It sounds great on a multitude of sources, and having two polar patterns to choose from expands its usefulness further.
The Mojave Audio MA-100 is also known as: MA100.
|Pads & Filters||Impedance||SPL/Noise|
|n/a||450 Ohms (Low)||Max SPL: 120 dB
Self-noise: 16.0 dB(A)
|181g (6.38oz)||140mm (5.51'')||23mm (0.91'')||
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