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CardioidViolet Design Ltd. Amethyst Standard

Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Violet’s Amethyst Standard is one of a pair of lookalike large-diaphragm FET condenser microphones.

Both models have low-noise (7dBA) amplifier circuits and transformerless outputs.

The differences are in the color of the mics, both literally and figuratively. The Amethyst Standard is purple (or, really, amethyst), whereas the Vintage is blue.

The Standard uses Violet’s VD26 capsule: a single-diaphragm 6-micron capsule that delivers a “modern sound — with airy highs, extended vocal presence, accented low end response.” The capsule’s response has mild (+1dB) emphasis at 50Hz and 2kHz and a brighter HF peak (+1.5dB) above 10kHz.

The Amethyst Standard ships in a padded wooden box. The company’s compatible shockmount, p/n ASM, attaches via elastic cords to the chrome knobs protruding from the sides of the microphone; it is available as a separate purchase.

Sound On Sound

Both [Amethyst] microphones sound very open and natural, with fast and accurate transients, extended bottom ends and modest proximity effects, the Vintage model being slightly better in this respect. Comparing the two models side by side quickly revealed their sonic differences. The Standard version has more ‘air’, with a noticeable lift at the extreme HF end compared to the Vintage. It also has a mild ‘suck-out’ at upper-mid frequencies — around 800Hz or so — which emphasizes its brighter aspect. In addition, there seems slightly more bass, but I suspect that’s a proximity issue rather than a frequency-response characteristic…

The Standard version is noticeably brighter and may well tend towards a sibilant sound with some vocalists. With percussive sources such as pianos and acoustic guitars, the extra ‘air’ of the Standard model seems to help tracks cut through in a mix better, giving a lovely, precise, detailed sound quality. However, with harmonically complex sounds such as orchestral string sections or brass, that enhanced air tends to upset the spectral balance and I preferred the flatter response of the Vintage model every time.

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Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
Amethyst Standard Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (21 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 26mm
Capsule diameter: 26mm
Diaphragm gauge: 6 microns
50 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 134 dB
Self-noise: 7.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
350g (12.35oz) 168mm (6.61'') 63mm (2.48'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48v

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