Soyuz Microphones

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Soyuz is a high end, boutique microphone company based in Russia that specializes in handmade tube microphones.

History[edit]

Soyuz Microphones[1] was founded in 2013 in Tula, Russia by American singer/songwriter David Arthur Brown and Russian entrepreneur Pavel Bazdyrev.

David had the idea that by combining American design, marketing and quality control with Russian science, technology and machining, it might be possible to create a studio microphone that exceeded what either country was able to create on their own. This idea is embodied in the company’s name, Soyuz, which in Russian means union or alliance.[2] David believed that it might be possible to design a new tube microphone that was built using the same production methods as the classic Neumanns and AKGs but without being a copy of them.  He believed that by drawing from the long Soviet technological tradition, it could be possible to build a microphone of very high quality but with it’s own distinct character.[3]

In the Spring/summer of 2013, David and Pavel assembled a small group of experts and began work on the SU-017[4], Soyuz’ flagship LDC tube microphone. The physical design of the SU-017[5] was meant to echo some of the iconic images of Russia: the golden domes of the Orthodox churches, the Sputnik satellite, the Soyuz rocket and the elegance of the Tsarist period.  They were able to produce 4 prototypes of the SU-017 and send them for testing to various high level engineers including Nigel Godrich, Al Schmidt and Ryan Hewitt. The response was overwhelmingly positive and Nigel became their very first customer, ordering a matched pair.

As is often the case with start-ups, it was very difficult to find funding. The company began in a small shared workshop in Tula, relying heavily on outsourcing for machining and painting. Eventually, Soyuz was able to find an investor in NY and purchase their first machines that enabled them to move the majority of operations in house. The lathes used by Soyuz are IZH 250 manual lathes from the Kalashnikov factory in Izhevsk. They are extremely accurate and the fact that they are made by Kalashnikov adds a certain “swords into plowshares” appeal to the company.[6]

Soyuz has become a very well respected microphone brand throughout the world, selling in more than 19 countries and used by many of the world’s top recording engineers.

Models[edit]

Since developing the SU-017, Soyuz has expanded its line of microphones to 5 main models with various configurations:

SU-017[edit]

The SU-017 large-diaphragm tube condenser microphone delivers sound that is as rich, warm, solid, and beautiful as its hand-crafted, polished design suggests. Swappable capsules make this high performance microphone at home in a wide range of critical recording applications, from vocals to orchestral instruments.

Features a cardioid capsule with gold-sputtered, hand-tuned 1 inch diaphragm; optional capsules include omnidirectional and figure 8 patterns.

SU-019[edit]

FET large diaphragm condenser microphone. Featuring the same handmade K67 style capsule as the SU-017, point to point/wire wrap and a proprietary toroidal transformer, the SU-019[7] has the smooth, rich sound that people have come to expect from Soyuz microphones.

SU-023 (The Bomblet)[edit]

The newest member of the Soyuz family, the SU-023, aka The Bomblet.

The Bomblet is a unique large diaphragm condenser microphone that, like all of our mics, is 100% handmade at our facility in Russia. It features a rare Soviet era triple back plate capsule, a proprietary toroidal transformer, a beautiful wooden box and a custom mounting ring. The sound and build quality of The Bomblet is unmatched by any microphone in its class.

SU-011[edit]

Boasting the same hand-crafted workmanship as its larger sibling, the SU-011 small diaphragm condenser microphone features an original "dead stock" sub-miniature tube, manufactured in the Soviet Union in 1986. The included cardioid capsule can be swapped for hyper-cardioid or omnidirectional models.

Seeking more adventurous sonic possibilities? The SU-011 can accommodate the capsules the SU-017, giving you both large and small diaphragm options in a small body format.

SU-013[edit]

Small diaphragm condenser microphone. The SU-013 features the same capsule as our SU-011 tube microphone but with a FET pre-amp. We worked very hard to develop our own proprietary transformer, which gives the SU-013 a rich and beautiful sound. It comes in Soyuz’ signature cream and brass as well as in classic black.

Artists and producers[edit]

Soyuz has been adopted by many leading artists around the world including Radiohead, Coldplay, Shawn Mendes, The Lumineers, Paramore, Nils Wülker etc.[8]

References[edit]

  1. "Soyuz Microphones official page". Soyuz Microphones. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  2. "US musician makes mics in Russia using Kalashnikov machinery". AP News. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
  3. "Missiles To Microphones: Mic Maker Moves Russian Jobs From Arms To Audio". RFERL. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  4. "Soyuz Microphones: SU-017 Large-diaphragm Tube Mic". Tape Op. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  5. "Soyuz SU–017". Sound On Sound. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  6. "Soyuz Mics: How One Russian City Became Home to a World-Class Microphone Maker". Sputnik International. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  7. "Review - Soyuz SU-019 Condenser Microphone". Production Expert. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  8. "What Do Sputnik, Coldplay, Radiohead and Kalashnikov Have in Common?". Sputnik International. Retrieved 2018-06-27.

External links[edit]

  1. Soyuz Microphones


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