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Reviews Categories | Microphones for ham radio | Audio-Technica AT2035 Help

Reviews Summary for Audio-Technica AT2035
Reviews: 1 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $128
Description: Designed for critical home/project/professional studio applications and live performance, this side-address cardioid studio condenser delivers exceptional detail and low noise. Equipped with a switchable 80 Hz high-pass filter and 10 dB pad, the AT2035 handles high sound pressure levels with ease. Along with its rugged construction and high-performance specifications, the AT2035 provides an exceptional level of consistency from model to model. It comes equipped with a protective pouch and a custom shock mount.
Product is in production.
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W6LBV Rating: 5/5 Dec 28, 2018 03:46 Send this review to a friend
Bright Condenser Sound and Good Directional Performance  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Although they take a bit more effort to use successfully in Amateur work, I like condenser microphones for their greater sound pressure level sensitivity and brighter sound, compared to the usual dynamic microphones. So I was very interested when I read a product description for the Audio-Technica AT2035 microphone. This is a side-addressed condenser microphone with a cardioid response pattern. The 2035 is a member of the same Audio-Technica series as the popular AT2020, but the 2035 has better specifications. The slightly higher price for the 2035 is, IMHO, well worth the extra few dollars.

In my customary microphone testing, during which I record my voice (and others) directly to a computer hard disc with no external speech processing, the 2035 showed higher than typical sensitivity and output voltage. The 2035 delivers more than a 20 dB sensitivity increase compared to an inexpensive A-T cardioid dynamic microphone. If needed, an internal, switchable 10 dB pad in the 2035 will knock down some of the increased sensitivity. A second internal switch provides very low frequency (< 80 Hz) roll-off.

The 2035's microphone self-generated (electrical) noise was almost unnoticeable during recording. The resulting voice output was indeed “condenser mike bright” with a slight amount of warmness in this reviewer’s basso voice. The off-axis room noise rejection of the mike’s cardioid pattern was easily apparent, as all recordings are done at the ham station operating position.

The 2035 features a rugged metal case structure, and it is supplied with an acoustic suspension microphone mount that has industry-standard mounting threads (the 2035 is not a hand-held microphone!). The mike has no internal provision for transmitter keying.

Several observations follow, offered as general suggestions that are not necessarily specific for the 2035 product.

1. As with all condenser microphones, including electrets, it requires a “phantom” power supply bias voltage to operate (48 volts d.c. @ 2 ma in this case). The 2035 provides balanced audio line (XLR connector) output, which balanced line configuration many modern transceivers will accept. Older rigs may require a small audio transformer to match the balanced line to an unbalanced line transmitter audio input. A small and inexpensive Pro-Audio grade pre-amp or microphone processing package could also handle these requirements and could provide some voice shaping, but is not absolutely required. All of this is not difficult technology to use.

2. Most modern Amateur transceivers have well-engineered microphone speech amplification and modulator circuits. Any average-or-better modern microphone will “sound good” with these radios; the design challenges for transmitters to “cleanly” transmit 300 Hz to 3,000 Hz audio on-air are not great. Acceptably “good transmit audio” is now “standard at no extra cost,” doesn’t depend very much on the exact microphone used, but does depend on the operator’s skill at setting up his radio properly. There are no longer any “one-and-only, ‘magic’ microphones” needed for producing memorable voice radio transmissions and Donald Duck has retired from ham radio!

3. The AT2035 microphone is capable of producing fine work in other audio areas in addition to Amateur transmitting. It should be considered when a ham station microphone is also shared with public address duties, or live performance recording, or voice-over work, or home studios, or podcasting tasks.

4. IMHO, since even inexpensive general purpose dynamic microphones (in the $25 class) can sound good with modern transmitters, there is an upper limit (now $75) that I will pay for any new microphone which will be used exclusively for ham applications. In this case, I have some non-ham duties in mind for the 2035, and so its higher-than-my-limit purchase price was justified.

5. The (frankly) overpriced “ham-use-only” microphone products (from both the transceiver OEMs and the “Rock’n’Roll Sound Company”) are not cost justified if they are used solely for ham service. For the prices charged for these products a microphone should also be usable for higher quality work as well. Inexpensive mikes can provide good ham grade (only!) performance without the inflated prices.

Overall, I’m very pleased to have the AT2035 in my collection, and I look forward to using it for several different audio applications.

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