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Sontronics Orpheus Multi-pattern condenser microphone

Dolphin id:5776 Product SKU:STORP-200

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With omni, cardioid and figure-of-eight patterns, as well as a 10dB cut/boost function, the Orpheus is the perfect workhorse in practically any studio or live sound application. Its low self-noise and unmistakable presence allow you to record the subtlest of instruments or voices without the need to edit afterwards.

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With omni, cardioid and figure-of-eight patterns, as well as a 10dB cut/boost function, the Orpheus is the perfect workhorse in practically any studio or live sound application. Its low self-noise and unmistakable presence allow you to record the subtlest of instruments or voices without the need to edit afterwards.

The highly sensitive 1.07-inch dual-diaphragm capsule is suspended in its own special mount, almost floating in the large, sppherical basket. The body is cast from zinc alloy, which gives almost zero resonance and helps to keep the signal crystal-clear.

The Orpheus comes supplied in a luxury wooden case, lined with black velvet, and really does sound as good as it looks.

Technical Data

  • Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 20mV/Pa -32dB ±2dB (0dB = 1V/Pa 1,000Hz)
  • Polar pattern: Omni, cardioid, figure-of-eight
  • Impedance: ≤200 Ohms
  • Equivalent noise level: 16dB (A-weighted)
  • Max SPL (for 0.5% THD @ 1,000Hz): 125dB
  • Power source: Phantom power 48V ±4V

Typical Frequency Response Graph

Image: Sontronics Orpheus Multi-pattern condenser microphone

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Sontronics Orpheus Multi-pattern condenser microphone Reviews

8/10

Sontronics Orpheus Multi-pattern condenser microphone

I'm pleased with mine, it has a nice clean warm sound, almost valve-like and I'm finding the switched patterns very useful (all my other mics are fixed cardiod). I'm not sure of the usefulness of the +20dB switch and the knurled knobs for the yoke are difficult to tighten, especially since the daft XLR socket on the back makes the cable plug stick out at right-angles and tilts the mic backwards if they aren't very tight. I expected more LF noise because of the lack of a shockmount, but the capsule seems to be well cushioned and this isn't a problem, even though there isn't a low-cut switch provided. It's also quite pop-resistant, although you do need a filter most times. At this price it competes with a few decent mics with similar specs and it does it well.

9/10

Sontronics Orpheus

I saw my Sontronics Orpheus in its lovely wooden box while I was visiting my local music store. I'd only gone in to pick up a cable I'd ordered. I wasn't going to buy anything - I'd promised myself I wouldn't. But, I said to myself, there's no harm in having a look is there? After all, it's only a microphone - and I've seen plenty of microphones before.

Well, actually, I haven’t seen anything quite like the Orpheus. It is named after the greatest musician and poet of Greek mythology, whose songs could charm wild beasts and coax even rocks and trees into movement. Well I’m not a tree, but it certainly moved me to pick it up with more than just a little reverence.

It’s a reassuringly solid object with retro lines and, as you’ll see from the pictures, it’s quite striking. The zinc coating looks highly professional and stops fingerprints blighting its surface. The case is designed for very low resonance with the gold-plated diaphragm cosseted in its own little basket. No need for a separate shock mount I was told but, as with all large diaphragms, a separate windshield is a good idea. The XLR output is on the back plate, which faces the same direction as the stand’s boom – that’s a neat idea.

Now a microphone doesn’t really need to score highly on looks, although this one does very well on that count. It’s all about its sound, and I was a little dubious having never heard, or even heard of one. I was told by the friendly folks in the shop that if it didn’t cut it, I could bring it right back – no questions asked. So it somehow slipped back into its box and into a bag, while my battered credit card slipped out of my wallet and over the counter.

I have tried a few sub £500.00 microphones in my studio before – all borrowed for vocal and acoustic guitar sessions. I really liked the Rodes NT1 while it lived here. I had nothing of much quality to compare the Orpheus with directly, although I have previous recordings with other mics to give a fair comparison. I know my voice well, and have only really like the sound of it through Neumanns and the like. Until now that is.

I didn’t even bother to A/B test this microphone with the recordings. I just kept grinning as I swapped between it and my old workhorse: the AKG C451 with a CK5 vocal capsule. The Orpheus sound is just beautiful. The presence and air on vocals just makes you want to hear them all over again. I tried it with acoustic guitar and it’s stunning with that too.

The three selectable polar patterns (omni, cardioid and figure 8) are highly useful and there’s a 10dB cut/boost which I’ve not had to use yet. This microphone feels like an instrument in itself. The proximity effect is so playable. I’m sure you’ve guessed – it’s not going back to the shop. No way. Never.

My only criticism is the lack of a bass roll off. So I rate it 9 out of 10. For its quality at this price level - I give it the full 10.

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