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CardioidSE Electronics Gemini

Cardioid Tube Condenser Microphone

The Gemini is an innovative dual-tube, large-diaphragm condenser microphone.

The fixed cardioid capsule has been described as having either a 27mm or 35mm Mylar diaphragm. We interpret this to mean that the mic uses a 35mm O.D. capsule, with ~27mm diaphragm diameter (measured inside the clamping rings.

Although we’ve seen references claiming that the capsule is shockmounted within the microphone headbasket, the photo we’ve seen does not support this claim. The mounting post is a standard model, although with a much taller metal post than is usually used.

Gemini microphone tubesThe two tubes are a 12AX7 (ECC83) on the input stage (“capsule preamplification” acc. to Resolution Magazine) and a 12AU7 (ECC82) on the output (impedance conversion). Both are dual-triode tubes and are installed in sockets, easing repair/upgrades. Because the second tube is handling impedance conversion, there is no transformer in the circuit. (Circuit photo credit: SoundOnSound — see sidebar link.)

Sound On Sound

SE Electronics’ Gemini is pleasantly unusual, and while it may not be the obvious choice for smoothing away rough edges, it’s fantastic for placing your vocals right at the front of a mix or for delivering an intimate sound. It has warmth and it has depth, but that’s balanced by its airy high end, and I’m sure the transformerless output stage has a lot to do with this.

Most people buy tube mics because they want something that flatters the sound and, though it doesn’t flatter in quite the same way as most other tube mics, the Gemini certainly paints a big picture, adding gloss and sparkle as well as weight.

sE Gemini capsule and tubes


As you’d expect, there is a fair amount of coloration to the
sound, but this is generally pleasant — and there is a distinct feeling of breathiness and HF lift on both male and female vocals. Low frequency extension seems good, if a little lumpy off-axis, and there is a pronounced, but very usable proximity bump that kicks in about 3 to 4 inches from the microphone’s capsule.

The original Gemini microphone was replaced in the sE product line by the Gemini II.

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Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
Gemini Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (20 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 27mm
Capsule diameter: 35mm
200 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 130 dB
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
n/a 230mm (9.06'') 80mm (3.15'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Includes tube power supply

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