Ma 300 is great
Warm big and George great for vocals
Warm big and George great for vocals
I've been recording for years but never had a solid mic I could throw on nearly anything. I was looking for a variable pattern mic that didn't have the cheap top end I'm so tired of mixing around. This mic was on the list with several others (Atlantis, Advanced Audio's 47 clone, etc). I'm glad I chose this one. It sounds fantastic. The top end is dreamy and not that harsh sound you get from cheaper mics. I've used this on vocals, drums, upright bass, guitar cabs, piano, and sax and it really does the trick. It's nice not having to EQ as much when I start mixing.
Sounds amazing on vocals, acoustic guitar and for drum M/S in figure 8. Full, rich, warm, not overly hyped. Makes a great alternative to the AKG C414 XLII which tends to be brighter and crispier on the high side. Extremely well built and cased.
I had been going back and forth with my awesome sales man Steve C. about a tube mic for the studio and the final 2 were the Mojave and the Telefunken 47. And for several reasons we settled on the Mojave, especially after it was recommended to me by Sylvia Massey when we were there for Gearfest. From the get-go after this mic warmed up it was amazing. I used it on a folksy /acoustic session and I put it on vox, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, harmonica and a shaker. WOW! Its warm and beautiful! It made the session mixable in about an hour. This mic is amazing. You need to have this versatile gem in your box of mics!
Amazing quality gear...and not just for this price. If it was double the price it would still be more than worth it. Extremely happy! I was initial gong to get the ma200, but Derek Senestraro, my go to guy at Sweetwater, recommended I spend a few more dollars and get this one for the versatility of the switchable polar patterns. Very glad I did! SATISFIED.
This is a must have if you record vocals. Stunning clarity. Vocal tracks cut right through the mix. It is as good if not better than the TLM-49 but adds the continuously variable polar patterns to cinch the deal. You can open up the pattern between cardioid and figure 8 to get this added top end from that extra vocal getting picked up as it passes around the backside of the mic. I'm convinced that no mic currently in production can best it on vocals and it also shines on acoustic instruments. David Royer is one hell of mic designer.
I have been using the AKG 414 XLS for just about everything. It's a wonderful mic but it lacks in delivering strong full vocal mid range for me.
A friend recommended the Mojave MA-300 as the next best thing to a Bock. And it is. This is a well built tube mic that has plenty of mid range power and is affordable. There is a marked difference in the recorded vocal track. Strong and full. I highly recommend this piece, you won't be disappointed with the professional sound it will deliver.
In my first review of this mic, I had mentioned that it had great potential. At the time I had tried it with Manley and Avalon preamps. Since then, I have used it with Neve 1073, Neve 88RS, API 512, LaChapelle 583 and RND 517. Different behaviours, all great and interesting, but was specially impressed by the 1073 an the LaChapelle. You will not be dissapointed. In the market now for a MA-1000. I really like David's mics.
This microphone sounds ridiculously good and is very versatile! Like every other mic, it won't sound great on every source, but having said this, the top end is very open and has a sheen to it that adds a lot of air without any harshness!
I have titled this review 'Vocal Mic' because I've only used the Mojave on it's Cardoid setting for mainly vocals. Even so, it was a steep learning curve to get the preamp, compression, and eq right for both the cue and the mix.
In the end, though, it is well worth it. With the right settings, this mic provides an incredible clarity and warmth that surpasses my Avalon CV-12 so much that it just lost it's job and even my Neumann TLM 102 (for male vocal, not for instruments).
There may be an equally steep learning curve for acoustic instruments for this mic but so far, the Mojave is kind of boring for direct recording of acoustic guitar although it works fine as a second ambient mic. Again, I feel like I may be at the beginning of a long slope towards getting this mic to shine in other settings so we'll see.
Excellent pro mic not for plug-and-go weekend warriors.
This product is an excellent choice for a number of applications however it is flying under the radar as this price point is getting saturated with more name brand competitors. All the better to pick one up as it will give your studio a powerful and versatile weapon with gorgeous results. I am using this to track a large portion of my next album. I use it with an Aphex, UA and Blue Robbie pre's and nearly all combos were dynamite. From a service perspective I once called Mojave about some hiss I experienced using it on a session with my Guild-D55/UA 610 and they were swiftly responsive (another plus dealing with a small company) but couldn't offer any insight and chalked it up as a fluke. Overall a good experience.
My finest recording using the MA-300 was an old resonator from the 50's that sounded nothing short of phenomenal. The mic is a fair price alone for the quality but the multi-pattern versatility really adds top value and allows latitude for great experimentation. The mic picks up everything and the results produced by the Mojave MA-300 are of genuine, professional quality. I would happily recommend this mic.
I've tried many studio mics as a performer (not an engineer) and simply fell in love with the Mojave ma300.
First thing you MUST realize is that your voice is unique and mics respond differently to the natural characteristics and tone of your voice. Simply using a mic based on reviews, renowned legacy and studio favorites is not a good way to determine the BEST mic for YOUR voice. You have to try lots of different makes and models and compare results before coming to a solid conclusion.
I did just this. The Mojave came up the winner based on the way I sing and the minute details of my voice. I found the ma300 responded nicely to the fluctuations in my range and power, meaning when I got louder the wave patterned remained consistent and the tube warmth soaked up the gain while remaining extremely audible and smooth. You have to determine if a tube "warmth" is pleasing to your ear or if you prefer very crisp, very articulate mics instead. The Mojave ma300 is not as "bright and upfront" as a non A model u87 but it's also more forgiving, allowing some gentle transparency. Again, it really comes down to your voice and what you're expecting to hear during playback.
All said, I found the mic, packaging, construction and components to be all very high quality and 100% to my satisfaction. For under $1500 you truly get your moneys worth here in the ma300 and end up with one hell of a great sounding, versatile studio mic.
I've been working at another studio lately, singing into an utterly amazing vintage U47, valued at approximately $15,000.00. It's destroyed any affection I had for my exceedingly modest personal mic collection, and I've been listening to tons of mics, trying to find something, anything, that I can afford, that approaches it in quality and character. The most recent was the Lauten Atlantis, which I found too 'smudgy' - it just did not seem to have the fine detail, what I call 'articulation'. I've been on a quest to find a cheaper mic than the 8K Telefunken U47 that has this sound. I have actively considered the Flea U47 clone, which is FANTASTIC. But also costs over 4K. I just don't have the money. I've since read that Peluso makes a 'credible' U47 clone for about 1900.00, but a) that's more than I want/have to spend, b) the variable polar pattern on the MA-300 has proven oer the course of two days that this is a much more all-round 'workhorse' mic. than any genuine '47 or clone.
So, I am comparing a vintage U47 worth somewhere around $15,000.00 with a $1300.00 mic. Not a fair comparison at all. And yet, it did surprisingly well!
Vocals (male, baritone - mine): head to head, same signal chain (ISA828 through Apogees, into Pro-Tools) this is what I found. The U47 is slightly more 'open' and slightly 'closer' sounding, the MA-300 is slightly 'boxier' and slightly more 'compressed' and slightly more... 'transistor-y' (or 'modern', if you will) - i.e. it was warm/smooth, but not quite as warm/smooth. Oddly enough, it was also bright but not quite as bright as the '47. This was using the cardioid setting (trying to compare apples to apples, after all). And I am talking SLIGHT differences here...
The settings between cardioid and hypercardioid were not useful for my voice (or, later, for acoustic guitar)- very boomy and seemingly muddy - almost liked overdone proximity effect - not sure what I'd ever use this for - perhaps for a female vocalist with a thin tone). The Omni setting was quite nice, but perhaps the best sound (and closest to the U47 in terms of both brightness and open-ness), was midway between cardioid and omni - perhaps the MA-300's cardioid is in fact closer to a hypercardioid).
Guitar: we mic'd my Martin Concert sized acoustic with the U47 and the MA-300, again, with the MA-300 in that sweet spot between (Hyper?)cardioid and omni. Again, VERY close results - exceedingly close when you take into account that this mic is not even attempting to copy the '47, just inhabit a similar warm, tubey, accurate place.
Like the U47, it's a very SMOOTH AND SWEET-SOUNDING mic. Just not *quite* as much of either - but close!!! Like the U47, it's warm, though not quite as warm. Like the U47, it feels very 'articulate', detailed, as if less 'grainy' than my other mics, also less 'grainy' and more detailed, than the Lauten Atlantis (the ginormous diaphragm on the Atlantis my just not be fast or precise enough).
There is a *slight* advantage to the '47 in terms of this elusive 'fine detail' or 'articulation', and an even slighter advantage in terms of high end and the equally elusive open-ness. Was it a $14,000.00 difference? No. Was it even a $3000.00 difference? To me, no. I daresay that two of these mics would do me more good, be more useful, than any single U47 or U47 clone. The infinitely variable polar pattern looks to be VERY useful, and offers FAR more variability in tone and timbre than the gimmicky-seeming three-position 'forward/neutral/gentle' switch on the Atlantis.
The veteran engineer I was working with was also quite impressed. And he agreed with the next sentence: As another reviewer said: There is no better mic at this price point!
Bottom line, this mic sounds WAY more expensive to me than the Atlantis, or anything else I've personally auditioned in its price range. It is really the first 'pro' versus 'pro-sumer' mc I've ever owned (my 'best' mics are a Rode NTK and a pair of Blue Baby Bottles). Well, I have owned other good mics, like AKG 414's, but not lately. It's a giant leap up for me, for only a modest increase in price, and its proof that really good mics are getting cheaper - if you let go of the need for a Neumann, Telefunken, or other fancy-pants name badge.
So why 4.5 stars instead of 5? A quibble: The only thing I don't like about the MA-300 is its pimped out black body with too-shiny chrome mesh and big, big company logo splashed across the body. A mic is a tool, not a toy, and not (for me) something to impress the rubes with. I prefer a no-nonsense, more understated look - so much so that I really didn't initially consider this mic as it seemed to be 'trying too hard' in the looks department - I felt it was over-compensating for a middling sound. But after reading some reviews, I decided to give it a shot and bottom line, although it was an initial turn off, in the end, who cares?
The damn thing works (VERY) well, and is, to my mind, a real bargain!
I use this mic for vocals paired with the Grace M103 Channel Strip. It gives my voice depth and bottom (that I don' have) that sounds natural and takes the EQ that I use for my voice beautifully. My vocals stand out in the mix. I also use it as a room mic for my Acoustic guitar, also paired with the Grace M103. It adds a very nice open and warm sound to blend with the close micing.
Most Expensive Mic I've bought & the value seems justified. Versatile,
would like an ON Light on front of control box.
Tried it with 2 preamps, Manley TNT and an Avalon 737. Much more transparent, clear and clean with the Manley cool side than the tube. The Avalon I got a warm sound , but not as transparent. Actually it sounded a bit dull, but interesting.
All in all a good mic with great capabilities.
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