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CardioidSilvia Classics SC-5C

Cardioid Ribbon Microphone

The SC-5C is a cardioid ribbon microphone inspired by the classic RCA BK-5 (also a “uni-axial” microphone). Both mics employ an acoustic labyrinth coupled to the rear of the ribbon; the labyrinth creates a unidirectional pickup pattern by introducing phase shifts to incoming audio. Therefore, unlike most ribbons (which provide a bidirectional or “figure-of-8” pickup pattern), the SC-5C attenuates off-axis sounds by 18dB.

The ribbon is protected from blasts by two layers of perforated metal lined with cotton fabric, mounted 0.15'' apart from one another. The holes in these screens are offset to prevent a direct airway to the ribbon.

The ribbon measurements are given as 1.4mm x 25mm; the material is corrugated, 2-micron Duralumin. (Duralumin is an aluminum alloy, made of ~94% aluminum plus copper, manganese and magnesium.)

The magnets, as within most modern ribbon mics, are Neodymium — a combination of the rare-earth metal neodymium, iron, and boron.

The mic was designed by Jerry Silvia.

Shortly after its introduction, exclusive distribution rights to the SC-5C were acquired by Telefunken USA; the mic’s color and model number were changed, but in all other respects the Telefunken USA RM-5C is identical to the SC-5C.

Silvia Classics’ relationship with Telefunken USA ended in January, 2009, and Silvia began retailing the SC-5C directly for approximately Telefunken USA’s wholesale cost.

Note that the stated specs for the two models differ, most likely due to the relatively fluid nature of mic specifications. For example, the max SPL for the SC-5C is confirmed by Silvia Classics’ staff to be 140dB, whereas Telefunken USA’s RM-5C is claimed to withstand up to 160dB. The reality is that both these numbers are very likely theoretical, rather than empirical.

As of January, 2009, the $789 price includes the mic, a shockmount, a mic clip, foam windscreen, and a carrying case.

Electronic Musician

The RM-5C has unique, unribbon-like characteristics, such as an aggressive upper midrange and a less substantial low end… The RM-5C achieves a tighter directionality than the [RCA] 77DX, picking up significantly less ambient room sound when close to the source. Additionally, the two mics have complementary frequency responses, with the 77DX accentuating the lows and low mids and the RM-5C heavy on the high mids and highs.

Barry Hufker

The RM-5C has a very tight cardioid with some tonal change at 90 and 270 degrees. The rejection at 180 degrees was excellent.

The 4038 is of course very smooth and silky, with much more bass and a recessed treble. The RM-5C is a more “present” microphone, with a well-boosted mid-range, a rise toward 10k and a recessed bass. It is the bass bump at 200 Hz that creates some bottom, preventing the mic from being too bright overall. I think it’s important for me to stress that in no circumstance did the RM-5C ever sound harsh, strident or unpleasant.

The Silvia Classics SC-5C is also known as: SC5C, RM-5C.

The mic was released in 2006.


Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (2.8 mV/Pa; 30 - 18,000 Hz)
Ribbon Construction Impedance SPL/Noise
2 micron, 1.4mm x 25mm, duralumin alloy ribbon 250 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 160 dB
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
600g (21.16oz) 260mm (10.24'') 63mm (2.48'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications

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