CAD M179 Microphone
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May 19, 2010

 Review by Ryan Ferris 

Product Features
  • Continuously variable polar patterns -20dB pad
  • 100Hz High Pass Filter
  • Hard Mount
  • Elastic Shock Mount
  • Carrying Case (foam lined)

Product Specs
  • Type: Side Address, External bias condenser
  • Frequency Response: 10-20 kHz
  • Polar Pattern: Variable
  • Impedance: Low (200 ohms nominal)
  • Output Level at 1 kHz.: Open Circuit Voltage: -56 dB (0 dB = 1 volt per microbar). 15.9 mV/Pascal
  • Dynamic Range: 133 dB. * Equivalent Noise Level: 11 dB Equivalent SPL, A weighted
  • Maximum SPL: 143 dB SPL (With pad on)
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: Less than 0.15%
  • Powering: Minimum Requirements are 24, 48 Volt Phantom Power capable of delivering at least 8 mA
  • Connector: Three pin male XLR type
  • Finish: "Titanium" Grey with Nickel Plated front & rear screen
  • Dimensions: 2.25" (57.2 mm) Dia., x 7.00" (177.8 mm) High
  • Net Weight: 17.8 oz. (506 grams)

First Impressions
Being a home studio guy, and spending the past 15 years stretching my dollars to get the best balance between quality and value, I am always looking for solid budget pieces to help expand my options in the studio. Given the features of this mic, the affordability of the mic, and the solid build of the M179, I was expecting it to be a good bang for the buck.

In Use
I have a set test that I do for every new mic that comes into my studio. This test (I believe) is a great way to gauge what a mic is best suited for. Running this test, I put the M179 on everything from various acoustic instruments, to electric guitars, drums, and vocals. Every time, the M179 proved itself to provide a well detailed highly usable take on everything I threw at it. Throw one up on an acoustic set to cardioid, and another in omni, and you will get a very open and spacious recording. And whether recording stereo or mono, the M179 performs very well on mandolin, piano, and berimbau as well. Though I tend to like a little bit softer highs on my electric guitars, this mic will get you a solid take that captures the complete frequency range very well (try in on figure 8 pattern). On vocals, the M179 once again does a solid job at getting an honest and fairly transparent take. And with the variable patterns, you can set it to omni or figure 8 and get dual or group vocal takes that sound really good. The place I find the M179s to perform the best (and this is for my style, on my instruments, in my room) is on drums. Whether it is snare, toms, overheads, or room, this mic does an amazing job on capturing percussive instrument. The handling of high SPL (just engage that pad) and dialing in the pattern that gives you the space you want, this mic proves itself here. Toms are deep, well rounded, punchy, and have a great cut to the attack – the same goes for a snare (if you want to pick up more nuances of the snare rattle, here is a good choice). On a six piece drum set, two M179s in a stereo spaced pair, and a dynamic mic in the kick…… well that was all I needed for a killer take. Put these in wide cardioid and throw them up in the corners of a room at about head height, and add life to your drum mix. Even facing them towards the wall gets a cool dimension to your tracks. And once again, with the variable patterns, placement, position, and pattern choice gives you a ton of options for micing a room – So have at it, and be creative.

PROS
  • Solid build quality
  • Great sound
  • Completely variable patterns
  • Affordability
  • Extended frequency response
  • Included accessories – The carrying case foam is pre cut so you can store the mic in the shock mount! Just pull it out, ready to go!
  • CAD’s outstanding customer service

CONS
None!

Conclusion
For decades the SM57 has been seen as the most utilitarian and versatile dynamic on the market. In my honest opinion, the CAD M179 takes that title for condensers. Every studio should have at least two. The two I own are permanently set up in my home studio.



Buy the CAD M179 Dual Diaphragm Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone at Front End Audio