Recording - October 2015 - 44

B Y PA U L V N U K J R .

Cathedral Pipes Saint Jean Baptiste
Vintage FET Microphone
The maker of the world's most eye-catching
tube mics premieres a FET design
1. Bright LED lit capsules. The mic literally glows with a beautiful
white light from inside the grille. (Charles Dickinson told me that the
idea started with a joking response to a client who wanted his mic
to be "brighter"!)
2. French Gothic Chrome exteriors. Each Cathedral Pipes mic features lots of shiny chrome mingled with varied white enamel
designs, most of which have a vintage family crest / medieval look.
3. Possibly the best included accessory packages in the business. For
instance, the previously reviewed Notre Dame mic came with a large
Geiger counter-styled power supply with a voltmeter-styled pattern sector,
a large robust flight case, and more. These accessories are of the highest quality, look, and build, and you don't pay a penny extra for them.
Inspiration without slavish imitation
While the tube equipped Notre Dame and Regensburg Dom offer
modern variations on the Neumann U 47 tube mic design, the Saint
Jean Baptiste is Charles' take on the U 47 fet model (recently reintroduced-see February 2015 for that review, too).
All three mics fall into the "inspired by" category, rather than the
clone category. In the case of the Saint Jean Baptiste, the mic's diameter and head basket are a match to the original. Everything else,
inside and out, is a completely new design.

Back in February 2015, I had the pleasure of
introducing our readers to mic maker Cathedral
Pipes, thanks to a review of its glorious flagship
tube condenser mic, the Notre Dame. Cathedral
Pipes also sells the Regensburg Dom tube condenser and the Seville ribbon, but this month we're
looking at its newest baby-the Saint Jean Baptiste, the first
Cathedral Pipes FET condenser mic.
Cathedral Pipes microphones are handmade in California by
Charles Dickinson. I'll say that again: when you order a
Cathedral Pipes mic, Charles will build it for you, by hand. Keep
that in mind as I walk you through what the Saint Jean Baptiste
can do... and definitely keep it in mind when you see its price.
Well, ain't that shiny
Setting aside build and sound quality for just a moment,
Cathedral Pipes microphones have three unique defining features
that set them apart from most other boutique mic companies.
44

RECORDING October 2015

Inside: capsule and components
It all starts with the microphone's M7 capsule. Many current mics
on the market use Asian capsules that are tuned and tweaked in the
States (or used as is to save money). In contrast, the M7 capsule in
all Cathedral Pipes condenser mics is handmade in the company's
Orange County headquarters.
It is based on the original Gefell M7 design and is a center-terminated
32 mm dual diaphragm capsule. The diaphragms are made of 6-micron
thick Mylar. They are 26.5 mm in diameter and are glued onto a single
brass backplate.
Of course, the original U 47 fet used a K47 capsule, not an M7, so
right off the bat there were some design differences that Charles needed



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - October 2015

Contents
Recording - October 2015 - Intro
Recording - October 2015 - Cover1
Recording - October 2015 - Cover2
Recording - October 2015 - 1
Recording - October 2015 - 2
Recording - October 2015 - 3
Recording - October 2015 - 4
Recording - October 2015 - 5
Recording - October 2015 - Contents
Recording - October 2015 - 7
Recording - October 2015 - 8
Recording - October 2015 - 9
Recording - October 2015 - 10
Recording - October 2015 - 11
Recording - October 2015 - 12
Recording - October 2015 - 13
Recording - October 2015 - 14
Recording - October 2015 - 15
Recording - October 2015 - 16
Recording - October 2015 - 17
Recording - October 2015 - 18
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Recording - October 2015 - Cover3
Recording - October 2015 - Cover4
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