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Sterling Audio ST55 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Mic
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      Sterling Audio ST55 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Mic (103641361)

Was $199.99

A more affordable way to record high-quality audio.

The Sterling Audio ST55 is an FET condenser microphone that employs a large capsule with an ultra-thin 3-micron evaporated gold Mylar diaphragm. The ST55 mic is built with an exclusive process that extends high frequencies and improves details and depth on both vocal and instrument recordings. The FET Class-A electronics provide smooth, warm sound.

Sterling Audio microphones employ several advanced technologies that separate their large-diaphragm condenser mics from the rest of the pack.

One of the more important advancements is their Disk Resonator system. With it, Sterling Audio is uniquely able to compensate for the 14kHz frequency roll-off that is inherent in large diaphragm mics. As any good audio engineer knows, this deficiency translates to a lack of sparkle from high-frequency sound sources.

Other manufacturers have typically solved this problem by cutting other frequencies and then increasing the entire signal to help even out the frequency range. Unfortunately, this results in increased noise.

Disk Resonator Technology incorporates a brass umbrella that protrudes from the center of the diaphragm in Sterling Audio's ST55 microphone. It gently boosts the diaphragm sensitivity to shorter sound waves, allowing it to respond more accurately to those all-important higher frequencies. The result is optimal sensitivity, full frequency response, and a low signal-to-noise ratio.

Another piece of audio wizardry comes in the form of the ultra-thin diaphragm membrane made of Mylar. While most modern condenser diaphragms are 6 to 12 microns in thickness, Sterling Audio, in association with 3M, has produced a highly resilient Mylar that measures a mere 3 microns. This allows the ST55 to deliver an extraordinary degree of sensitivity.
Requires phantom power.

Sterling Audio ST55 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Mic Features:

  • Disk Resonator design extends high-frequencies naturally
    Large 1-1/4" all-brass capsule, hand-assembled and oven-baked for long-term, stable operation
    Black nickel-plated brass body
    Stainless steel head and grille assembly
    Custom-wound nickel core output transformer
    HM-2 hard mount
    Rugged vinyl zipper case included

Sterling Audio ST55 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Mic Specifications:

  • Preamp: Class-A FET
    Polar Patterns: Fixed cardioid
    High Pass Filter: Switchable 75Hz, 12dB/octave
    Attenuation Pad: Switchable -10dB
    Frequency Response: 20Hz — 18kHz
    Equivalent Noise: 22dB SPL — A Weighted
    Sensitivity: 32mV/Pa
    Maximum SPL: 134dB-144dB (adjustable w/pad)
    Typical Load Impedance: >500 ohms
    Output Source Impedance: 200 ohms transformer isolated
    Dimensions: 7-1/2" long, 1-4/5" max. dia.
    Weight: 1 lb.

Product Reviews
(Based on 16 reviews)
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  • ST55 Affordable Excellence

    As reviewed by Sidney Starkey (Sid Star) on 1/3/2008

    The ST55 is a top performing microphone at a humble price. I bought a used one during a recent stay in the United States. Out of curiosity, not because I needed another mike. First thing you do when you buy a microphone is unscrew it to ascertain it's Chinese allright. Then of course you set it up and perform a listening/recording test. You decide if you like what you hear when listening to the mike alone and in comparison to other microphones, in (their) various applications. Surprisingly, considering its affordability, the ST55 represents an immediate advance over conventional condenser mics in its price range. It is quiet and clear, while the highs are not overpronounced and in balance with the rather warm midrange and very convincing low end. And it doesn't stop there. I have gone as far as putting it alongside the best multi-purpose microphone I have got, regarded by many the king of condensers, which is my Neumann u47. Leaving the technical differences what they are, the ST55 holds up more than nicely, compared to top-end. I rate it excellent.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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  • Like Listening to the Future!!

    As reviewed by Lee Louisville on 3/30/2011

    A real good price for home studio. I've owned it for about two years now and no defects recording is crisp even without the studio foaming. If you are looking for really good mic Sterling Audio is the way to go...I just can imagine how the expensive ones sound...Great buy.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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  • Best value mic ever

    As reviewed by djsaint on 12/20/2006

    I own the Groove Tubes GT-55, which is the same mic. I bought it for $299 3 years ago, and it was the best money I have spent on my home project studio in years. Now that it sells for the same price as all those overhyped Chinese LDCs, I am thinking about picking up a pair, and a ST66 (the tube version) to boot! Before I bought this mic, I had an SM58, SM57 and a Studio Projects C1. I won't bother to compare it with the dynamics, but the difference between this mic and the C1 was immediately clear, even with the pres built into the Mackie mixer I had at the time. And don't try to tell me the C1 is just as good but simply has a different "character". This is not a "character" difference. The 55 is simply a pro mic and the C1 is not. It is clear that this is a much higher quality product, both in terms of build and sound. The 55 is smooth and big sounding, without being boomy or overhyped. The C1 sounds sizzly (in a bad, distrortion-ridden kind of way), thin, and inaccurate. It is clear that the electronics in the the C1 are substandard in comparison with the 55. I recently upgraded to better mic pres and the difference is even more clear. I was hoping to be able to find the C1 more useful with the better pres, and while its sound improved slightly, the 55 improved substantially, ultimately making the difference between the two all the more obvious. The 55 sounds great with any pre, but really excellent with a good one. I recently recorded two men doing group voiceovers to minidisc, with the C1 on one track and the 55 on the other. I solo'd each mic track. The C1 sounded harsh, with fizzy highs. The 55 was detailed without harshness, with smooth, extended (but not overpronounced) highs and powerful but tight lows. The room ambiance was better resolved, too (part of this is due to the C1's slightly tighter pattern, and part due to its lack of accuracy). Don't get me wrong--the C1 has its place. But I don't feel like I got my money's worth. I could do as well or better for $99. But with the 55, I feel like I got more than my money's worth (and when I bought mine they cost $100 more) If you can only afford one condenser, buy the ST55. For those who think it sounds too dark, after you have lived with the distorted sizzle of those Chinese mics, you and your audience will start to get ear fatigue--just like with overhyped studio monitors. The only reason I gave it less than a 5 for features was that it is Cardoid only, but that's a pretty tall order at this price point and quality level. Also it does not include a shock mount or case like the C1, but I'd rather my money go to the mic itself than accessories.

    43 of 49 people found this review helpful.
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