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CardioidSterling Audio ST51 FET

Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The Sterling ST51 is a side-address FET cardioid condenser made exclusively for Guitar Center and affiliated stores.

Unlike most Sterling Audio microphones, the ST51 does not appear to be the reincarnation of a Groove Tubes model. Unlike most other GT/Sterling large-diaphragm mics, the ST51 uses a 6-micron diaphragm rather than the 3-micron material common to the ST55, ST59, and ST66.

This capsule measures 33mm O.D., with 25mm diaphragms. Only the front diaphragm is metallized; the rear is clear Mylar. The backplate drilling pattern is characteristic of the Neumann K67 type.

ST51 FET PCBIts high sensitivity (30 mV/Pa) and transformer-coupled output are characteristics shared with the other Sterling models. The impedance-conversion circuit is made of a combination of through-hole and surface-mount components.

The jFET is a 2SK30A, somewhat unusual for an inexpensive microphone. (Most such mics use the 2SK170.)

We have seen PCB photos of the M-Audio Nova that look identical to this.

The ST51 has a heavy cylindrical brass body, with a headgrille made of painted stainless steel mesh.

The mic ships with hardmount and zippered case.

Permalink: Sterling Audio ST51


Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (30 mV/Pa; 20 - 18,000 Hz)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 25mm
Capsule diameter: 33mm
Diaphragm gauge: 6 microns
200 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 134 dB
Self-noise: 22.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
499g (17.60oz) 190mm (7.48'') 45mm (1.77'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48v

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