Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pearlman Resurrects Church Microphone

Source: PRO AV News ServicePublication date: October 1, 2008
By Pro AV Staff

Pearlman Microphones, a boutique manufacturer of handmade tube microphones, launched a meticulous remake of the Church mic, a revered microphone originally created by Stanley Church for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in the mid 1950s. The Pearlman replica adheres to the original schematics, including the use of the authentic Triad transformer that has been out of production for nearly 50 years.

Church served as the studio's chief sound engineer during that era, producing no more than 200 of his custom vacuum tube condenser microphones strictly for in-house use at MGM. Over the years, however, the mic's reputation and resale value skyrocketed, with originals in decent condition going for up to $20,000 on the vintage market, says the company.

"The Stanley Church MGM mic is widely considered an engineer's Holy Grail, delivering a vibe that is reminiscent of the best U47s and C12s," said Dave Pearlman in a statement. "But the original mic's transformer had been unavailable until just recently, so we're now finally able to replicate the critical combination of the original capsule, tube, and transformer. I'm also making each amplifier by hand, using all point-to-point, old-style wiring. So, essentially, I'm not recreating this classic legacy microphone--I'm simply continuing it."

Like its predecessor, the Pearlman Church mic uses a Neumann M7 (or optional K47) capsule, hand selected GE five-star 6072 dual triode, (12AY7) vacuum tube, and "new old stock" Triad transformer, currently exclusive to Pearlman.

"We put this mic up next to a couple of U47s the other day and people were absolutely freaking out about how good it sounded," Pearlman said. "They couldn't believe their ears. It's not exactly the same, of course--the mic has a different sonic flavor--but it's every bit on par with the sound of those amazing mics of yesteryear, yet available at a fraction of the price."

Encased in the same housing as Pearlman's TM-1, the new Pearlman Church mic is equipped with a handmade power supply, custom Mogami/Neutrik tube microphone cable, heavy-duty shock mount, and aluminum shipping case. Available to order, the Pearlman Church mic lists for $4,500.