To help accentuate a guitar break, you might want to go to the lengths of micing up a cab rather than taking the DI route. Capturing a recording or a reproduction, rather than a faithful direct signal, can add a lot of character.
There are lots of different mic options to choose from. There are also those designed explicitly for the task. Unfortunately, many cost a pretty penny. At around the hundred dollar mark, the E609 from Sennheiser’s Evolution series is a cheap alternative. It’s well-designed to let your amp’s personality shine.
Sennheiser has borrowed the design concept for the new E609 from the company’s impressive, vintage MD 409, an esteemed mic with a solid reputation.
This classic model – that is sadly no longer in production – has been combined with Sennheiser’s original E609 dynamic mic. The polarity has been fine-tuned into a super-cardioid pickup pattern to improve upon what was already a great guitar cab mic.
It’s a well-manufactured choice with a reputable brand behind it. You know that, in spite of its low price tag, you’re going to get some degree of quality. The metal body keeps it protected against knocks, and the mesh is reinforced. It’s excellent quality, regardless of its price.
It’s a side-address form mic with a flattened capsule form. The innards comprise of well-engineered circuitry and components. It’s driven by neodymium ferrous magnets to give it a high-performance response. They’re arranged to provide a hyper-cardioid pickup field, which helps it reject background instruments and focus on the amp in question.
It’s tailored for accurate frequency response. You can tweak your EQ to either end of the spectrum and run a whole horde of effects through your amp without worrying. The response band runs from around 40Hz to 18kHz.
Its most important quality in our eyes is that it can handle high sound pressure levels. This effectively allows you to place it in front of the source in tight proximity. You can crank up your gain and be liberal with distortion because it has been designed not to give feedback. Everything is designed to ignore any off-axis noise or mic bleed.
The other nice thing about it is that it doesn’t require a stand or floor mount to get good positioning. The flattened shape and side-address configuration allow it to dangle from your amp head down to the speaker. It stays parallel to it, and they can meet grille to grille without any rattling issues.
It has surprisingly low self-noise for a budget-friendly microphone. The sound capture is top-notch, the lows end has a good impact, and the highs are bright and colorful. It has a darkish EQ sweep but relatively good accuracy in the mids. There’s no mudding or muffling, so the tones you dial in are the tones you get out of it. This comes without too much of a stamp of its own.
The three-pin XLR connection is powerful, to ensure it can be used in the amp draping manner described. It also only weighs 0.4lbs to keep stress on the cables minimal.