NEW KIT ALERT – CAD VX2 Microphone

On August 29, 2013

I’ve FINALLY got my hands on one of these monsters! I’ve always admired the CAD VX2 microphone since a colleague brought his in and spent the session putting it in front of everything and it doing a stellar job. It’s a beast of a mic; dual capsule, dual valve, spun alloy – and with this high quality build comes a fantastic sound.

CAD VX2 Microphone

 

This mic is one of those diamonds in the rough for a company like CAD. In 2003, CAD moved manufacturing to China from the USA and shifted their all of their focus on the mid-range market. Some of their mics are still pretty good, such as the M9, but the VX2 mic was created before they made the leap. They retailed close to £2000 in the UK on release and you can see where the cost goes. It comes in an air tight flight box fit for military gear, and has a proprietary 30m 7-pin gold XLR cable.

The unit also shipped with two different capsules, giving you some different flavours when setting up.  The difference was discussed in a Sound On Sound review by Hugh Robjohns in 2000:

“The ‘standard’ unit, known as the OS125, has a diaphragm measuring 1.25 inches in diameter (within a 1.5-inch frame), and the alternative is a slightly smaller capsule, denoted the OS110 (presumably a 1.1-inch affair, although no details were supplied to confirm this hypothesis!). The standard capsule, and presumably the alternative too, are from CAD’s ‘Optema’ series and feature a 3-micron-thick, gold-sputtered polymer diaphragm manufactured and damped by hand at the company’s clean-room facility in their Ohio factory.” 

I spent the weekend playing with signal chains in the studio. We do have a tube lust in the studio, so the options of preamps were LA610 or Groove Tube Vipre, and compression through the LA610 or the Tubetech CL1b. The jFunc 1176 was the only FET piece available, but hoping that will change soon ;-) The LA610 still surprises me regularly in how clean and controlled it can be. The Tubetech was as transparent as ever. But forgetting the outboard – the mic just worked with everything. Clean in the mids; not honky or nasty. High frequency detail is lush, without being shatteringly bright.

CAD VX2 Microphone Signal Chains

Putting the CAD VX2 through some other toys

Sadly I didn’t think to record any of the outcomes, which means I’ll just have to go and do it all again… not that I’m complaining. The mic has the usual odds and sods: -8dB and 16dB pads, omni/cardiod/figure of 8 patterning and a nice high pass filter at 80hz. The shockmount is fixed into the unit by 3 large screws and is very robust.

CAD VX2 Microphone in Shockmount

CAD VX2 in the robust shockmount

Although I already own quite a few LDC mics and have access to lots of others, this mic adds another weapon to the arsenal. It’s flexibility and versatility allow it to be used from vocals to kick drums, guitar amps to acoustic. Although it has the CAD label, frowned upon by some, it resonates of a high quality build from days gone by.

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