This is a very nifty piece of gear, and I've been hearing stellar reviews from players for years. I inquired a few years back, and at the time, they were only supplying their microphones direct to the end-user. Now that Ear Trumpet Labs has expanded their distribution to also sell through retailers, I'm very pleased to add the Nadine to our offerings!
Nadine is a medium-large diaphragm condenser mic that has been specifically designed by ETL just for upright basses. Its special mounting system is easy to use and pretty much "dummy-proof" - it's designed to go exactly where it goes, with no fuss or annoying variables, goosenecks, or college courses in acoustic design required. And it has been sonically optimized for that specific placement on the bass.
How, you ask? For one, they've dialed in the low end response so that - when installed on the afterlengths (as shown in the photos) you get a flat response, with no concerns about overly boomy tone that can often come from the "proximity effect" of close-mounting a large-diaphragm mic.
Meanwhile, the cardioid pickup pattern "hears" a wide "spread" of area, so that it gets a large enough swath of the bass top's surface to capture the full-bodied, realistic sound of your acoustic instrument. Yet, there’s still an excellent rejection off the back of the mic, so the likelihood of feedback from stage monitors or the picking up of other instruments is minimized.
The form factor of the mic is great, too. A clever bit of forethought has the mic element and mic body in two separate pieces; unlike a traditional "ball" shaped mic, this means that you won't have a large barrel pointing off the bass when the mic is aimed at the instrument's body. Instead, you securely strap the mic's body to the tailpiece with velcro elastic, and the separate head/element mounts easily between the strings above the tailpiece, using an included rubber grommet. The 14-inch high-quality, studio-grade Mogami cable that connects the two parts makes it easy to place the mic ideally on any bass.
This uniquely clever mounting system makes the Nadine microphone easily shared - without tools - between multiple instruments. At the same time, it's also secure enough to leave on one bass all the time, even when packing up and traveling to and from your gigs inside a gig bag or case.
There's a very good reason some big-name bassists (and plenty of "regular" players like you and me) are fired up about using this mic. It's got killer sound, a well thought-out design, and a really cool hand-made look, to boot.
- Handmade microphone with unique appearance
- Unique, easy-to-use mounting system designed specifically for upright bass.
- 14” Mogami cable and washer-mounted head to fit all sizes of upright bass.
- Capsule and electronics tuned for live use with excellent feedback rejection
- Internal shock dampers for minimal handling noise
- Transformerless FET fully balanced electronics
- Highest quality hand-wired electronic components - film caps, precision resistors, hand tested and matched transistors, with component values tuned for the individual circuit.
- Packed in metal tool case with custom-cut foam padding.
- Lifetime manufacturer's warranty.
TRANSDUCER TYPE: condenser, large (26 mm) diaphragm
POLAR PATTERN: cardioid
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20 - 15K hz (-3dB)
SENSITIVITY: -38.9 dB (11 mV/Pa)
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE: <50 Ohm
NOISE LEVEL, A-weighted: <17 dBA
POWER REQUIREMENT: +48V phantom power
WEIGHT: 1 lb (4 lbs cased)
DIMENSIONS: 8” x 2” x 2”; head is 2” in diameter
PREAMP/PHANTOM POWER Options
Complete Package with Mic Preamp also available!
If you'd like to use a specialized condenser microphone like the Nadine with a "standard" bass amplifier, you can't just buy a cable and plug it in, for several reasons:
- The Microphone is "Active" and requires Phantom Power to operate - most amps don't provide this phantom power
- The Microphone puts out a "Mic-Level" signal, and most amps expect an "Instrument-Level" signal - you'll end up with a less-than-optimal signal
- The Microphone has an XLR (three-pin, balanced) output, and most amps have a ¼" input - an adapter cable is a less-than-ideal way to connect the mic to an unbalanced connection
To solve this problem, we can offer a bundled package with the ART Tube MP/C Microphone Preamp, which provides the needed phantom power so you can integrate with your exisiting setup and get studio-quality microphone sound.
The Tube MP/C preamp can accept mic-level signals, line signals, or high-impedance instrument signals; it has both a balanced XLR and a ¼" input - you can even use this as a high-impedance pickup preamp! The unit outputs both on a balanced XLR and an unbalanced ¼" jack (XLR for the mixing board, ¼" for your amp!)
The preamp is affordable, yet offers a wealth of really useful features:
- The unit puts out enough gain (up to 80 db) to drive most amps even when bypassing the internal preamp
- There are meters to monitor the levels
- Separate input and output gain controls
- Transformer-isolated XLR and 1/4" outputs can feed the house P.A. and your stage amp without adding noise
- Low cut filter to reduce low end rumble and feedback
- 20dB gain boost switch
- Inline 12AX7 preamp tube provides subtle warmth as well as adjustable drive for tonal coloration
- Phase inverter can help with feedback or clarity/tone issues
- Configurable Optical Compressor-Limiter to even out the peaks and provide a fuller, more consistent sound
- Lightweight, sturdy aluminum chassis is only 2.9 lbs, 6" x 6.5" x 1.75"
- Full product info at ART's product page
Just need simple phantom power?
Alternatively, if you already have a microphone input on your amp or mixer, but your issue is that it doesn't provide phantom power, we have an affordable, easy option for that, too: a two-channel SignalFlex branded phantom power supply. It simply goes in-between the mic and the amp/mixer, and provides the phantom power to the mic without altering the sound or signal in any other way. Inexpensive, effective.
Also included is a FREE 20ft. Microphone Cable so you can hook it all up!
Please note: If you have never used a microphone with your bass before, please realize that there are limitations to microphone use - that's why transducers were developed! There can be greater feedback potential, and using a mic will usually require greater care to position your bass, mic, and speakers -- and adjust EQ -- to avoid feedback, "squeal," or unwanted resonances. We include a helpful sheet with tips for avoiding feedback with every mic and pickup order.
Ear Trumpet Labs offers a lifetime warranty! Click the tab, above, to read the details (also found on the Ear Trumpet website).
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This. Sounds. Killer! Just plugged it into Logic Pro X (via an RME audio interface with no plug-ins) and it sounds amazing, both pizz &.arco. The sound of my bass coming back to me thru the speakers, with a bit of "air" in there to boot. Nice to have something so sturdy for taking on the road and slapping onto a rent-a-bass du jour. With its metal carrying case, it's adding a few extra pounds to my carry-on luggage, but it's worth it. It'll be nice to have on my own bass when gigging around town and sending a direct signal to the board too.