Josephson C42MP – The Tape Op Review

TapeOp Issue #34/March, 2003 | by

I borrowed a friend’s Josephson C42‘s and am having a hard time returning them. I like a small-diaphragm mic with extended, smooth highs and good detail, full midrange, and lows without any boom or big bumps. This mic does all that. Overheads are exactly what I was looking for and acoustic guitars sound like themselves. The mic has lots of detail and very little sense of coloration, yet enough life that it’s not sterile.

Electronically, it’s a FET driven class-A path. The plotted curve, much like a C12, has a big peak in the right place that captures sources in a real way. The cardioid pattern is very even around the axis, and that’s rare for any mic. On a ’47 Gibson LG2 with a Great River NV, a Hardy, or a UA 2108 preamp, the Josephson sounds like you’re standing right there. Very emotionally compelling — that’s what hits me most.

And for any use requiring a pair, they’re giving me the best sound of any small diaphragm condensers I’ve heard. Great imaging and tonality. Moving the mics around the drums and the various X/Y positions gives different options — all good. The polar pattern and frequency response is present yet not too bright or too boomy, just a good sound that’s musical in many locations.

On their website, you see some gigsters playing live acoustic guitars with them. I can see that working with this tight and even cardioid, so live use is a good option as well. I prefer these Josephsons to the AKG, Audix, Audio-Technica, Oktava, MXL, and Shure small-diaphragm mics. Most small-diaphragm mics are either too smeared, too flat, or cheaply boomy. This is right in the middle. The pair matching is excellent, as well. For a bit more then the cheapies, around $1000/pair, the Josephsons balance the detail/clarity/fidelity elements with the musicality/
liveliness that simply makes things sound good. I’ve only used a few of the high-end staples of this style, yet these things are sounding very high-end; and for what you’re getting, the price/performance is righteous. (matched pair $1060 MSRP; Josephson)

Read more about the Josephson C42 condenser microphone.

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