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CharterOak SA538B Tube Microphone  From CharterOak

Impeccably clear while possessing a pleasing musicality and depth, the multi-pattern SA538 produces world-class results on vocals and truly any instrument you throw in front of it! The “B” version features a slightly more “open” sound compared to the standard SA538.



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What We Think

CharterOak has built their reputation on a solid foundation of unique mics that take classic engineering elements and adds innovations that improve upon what is considered the standards. The SA538 is a modern 251 style mic with its own voice. Big, open, warm and detailed are descriptive terms that come to mind when I think about the way this mic sounds. When I use it on vocals I often get an interesting reaction from the performer because they've never heard themselves recorded with a mic that has such an incredible 3-D depth and warmth. All without a perceivable sacrifice to detail and clarity. This makes the SA538 a true oddity and one that every studio from budget to pro should have in their locker.

The biggest difference we hear and experience with the "B" version is an extended "openness" and "air", most notably due to its slight boost between 10-12kHz. It makes sense why some engineers viewed the SA538 as a male-voiced vocal mic and the SA538B as a more female-voiced microphone because of these characteristics, but don't treat that as absolutes. We've heard scenarios where the opposite pairings proved best, and even certain clients who insist on having BOTH for their voice depending on the song!

Often used as a go-to vocal mic here at Sound Pure studios, but it's important to note that this mic is far from a one trick pony. It excels on Acoustic guitar, piano and is like magic as a drum overhead. The build quality, versatility, engineering integrity and stunning musicality make this an easy contender for "best in class". Not to mention the lifetime warranty that all CharterOak products carry!

How to Mic a Hammond B3 Organ with a Leslie Speaker - Jimmy Miller Technique

SoundPure's Fletcher demonstrates with a pair of CharterOak 538Bs, how to mic a Leslie speaker - a technique showed to him by record producer Jimmy Miller (Rollings Stones, Motorhead, Traffic). This technique gives the organ that classic, old school sound that has a more open feel to it. The Charter Oak SA538 B microphones were paired with the LaChapell 992 EG preamp. This session features organ player Mark Wells, guitarist Jared Wofford, and drummer Devin Fuller. If you want to learn more about the gear used in this session, or if you have any questions concerning the gear or techniques used, don't hesitate to call the recording engineers here at Sound Pure Studios. 919.682.5552. or 888.528.9703.

Manufacturer's Description from CharterOak

The SA538B is a condenser microphone that employs two large, ultra-thin, side terminated gold diaphragms and a vacuum tube head amplifier using a selected low noise tube, and output transformer. As a result, the model SA538B has very low inherent noise and broad dynamic range. Its timbre is distinctive. Its rich and balanced sound makes it an ideal choice to ensure extremely high quality sound reproduction.

The high standard of quality and affordability of the CharterOak SA538B have been achieved through an extended period of research and development, including beta testing by a wide variety of end users.

The parts of the CharterOak SA538B are machined from solid brass and high quality electronic components are used throughout.

The process of creating a CharterOak SA538B Condenser Microphone is started by hand under the strict supervision of CharterOak personnel. Under that supervision the parts are quality checked and assembled at our facility in Connecticut.

The microphones are finished and the parts are quality checked a second time by experienced engineers. The process involves a seven (7) day burn in of the vacuum tube and no less than 1/2 hour spent with each microphone in a studio environment. Careful listening tests employ high quality microphone preamplifiers and high resolution monitoring systems. Quality checks on every component of each kit complete the process.

It is only after this exhaustive finishing and quality control process is complete, that an SA538B will be cleared for sale to the customer.

From the research and development to the delivery of every SA538B, it is this attention to detail that makes the SA538B truly unique in its class.

The microphone is delivered with a lifetime warranty on all parts and labor and easy access to factory technical support. Don't forget to ask for the mics in FREE matched pairs!


About Manufacturer

CharterOak Acoustic Devices is quickly becoming an industry leader for professional quality recording products for today's musicians and audio engineers. Developed in 2002, CharterOak has independent offices in the US, Canada and the UK and is headquartered in the cozy suburbs of Connecticut. CharterOak was founded by producer/engineer, Michael Deming (Lily's, Pernice Brothers, Mike Ireland) from the need to obtain more control with his studio recordings. Our goal is not to emulate the classics of yesterday but to create the classics of tomorrow. Each CharterOak product is assembled & inspected by hand and tested in the studio before they ship to the customer. Sonic integrity, extreme durability, design simplicity, and serviceability are fundamental values upon which all CharterOak products are built. While our product line continues to grow and receive praise, CharterOak will continue to provide hi quality affordable recording device solutions.


Acoustical Operating Principle: Pressure Gradient

Diaphragm: Dual 1.07" 6 micron thick gold sputtered Mylar

Frequency Response: 25Hz-20kHz

Sensitivity: 12mV/Pa 0dB=1V/Pa@1kHz

Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8, and intermediate stages selectable from power supply

Impedance: < 200 Ohms

Recommended Load: > 200 Ohms

Equivalent Input Noise:20dB A weighted IEC651

Maximum Sound Pressure Level: 125dB for 0.5% total harmonic distortion @ 1kHz

Power Requirements: Custom supply 115V or 230V operation with IEC type 2 AC Cable

Connection between Mic & Power Supply: 7 pin XLR