Recording - May 2018 - 34

Soyuz

Microphones

SU-013 Small-Diaphragm
FET Condensor Mic
Handmade Russian quality in a
versatile pencil condenser
REVIEW BY PAUL VNUK JR.
oyuz ("Union") is a Russian microphone company
whose products are designed, manufactured, and
assembled in the city of Tula. Literally everything in a
Soyuz mic is of Russian manufacture, from the metalwork
of the milled brass bodies to the capsules, from the Sovietera military tubes and custom handwound transformers to
the handmade wooden boxes and shockmounts.

S

In April 2015 we reviewed the flagship tube-based
SU-017, and two years later in April 2017, it was the FETbased SU-019's turn. After those large-diaphragm models,
it's time to look at one of the Soyuz small-diaphragm mics:
the SU-013 FET Condenser.

The mic

Compared to many pencil condensers, the SU-013 is a touch
beefier in size and weight. It measures 4.8" in length, is just shy of
1" in diameter, and it weighs just under half a pound. The SU-013
is available in two finishes. One is the standard Soyuz white baked
enamel body with brass capsules, found in the large-diaphragm
models mentioned above. There is also a textured matte black finish
with capsules to match. Each one features a green diamond-shaped
enamel badge with Cyrillic lettering. Green is the badge color of
Soyuz solid-state mics, while dark blue is reserved for tube models.
Internally the mic features a large custom toroidal transformer
which the company hand-winds on a Soviet-era winding
machine. It takes up over a quarter of the inside space of the mic
and is married to a small circuit board housing the FET electronics.
The stock cardioid capsules are threaded and removable
and can be replaced with optional hypercardioid and omni
capsules. Each capsule uses a 24mm gold-sputtered
membrane with a 20 Hz-20 kHz frequency response, a
sensitivity of 20 mV/Pa, 150 Ω impedance, 143 dB maximum
SPL, and an equivalent noise of 16 dBA.
34

RECORDING May 2018

All three capsules are extremely flat and neutral in the mids.
On paper the cardioid capsule has a smooth low-end rolloff
starting at 60 Hz and down 9 dB at 20 Hz. The omni capsule
has only minimal low-end attenuation with a 3 dB drop from
30 to 20 dB. The hypercardioid capsule has the most low-end
rolloff; it starts to drop at 80 Hz, although that is tempered by
a wide preceding 1 dB rise.
The high-end boost of each capsule is minimal by modern
standards. The cardioid capsule starts to rise gently at 3 kHz
reaching just over a 1 dB peak around 14 kHz before rolling
off. The omni capsule starts its rise at 7 kHz and goes up 2
dB sharply at 14kHz and then drops, and the hypercardioid
capsule is similar to the cardioid but rolls off at 10 kHz.
The SU-013 is available with the stock cardioid capsule as a
single mic or in stereo pairs, with a screw-on, inline 10 dB pad
module and a custom mic clip in a felt-lined artisanal wooden
box. Many retailers also offer single and double packages with
the optional capsules included. For review I was sent a stereo set
of cardioid-equipped bodies in the stock Soyuz colors. The entire
kit is a thing of visual beauty and topnotch craftsmanship.

In use

Holding the mic in your hand, it is instantly apparent how
dense and weighty it is. Like its big brothers, this mic
is designed to minimize stray resonances thanks to the thick
walls of its brass body. At the top end the body is 1/8" thick
and the bottom end where the XLR jack is seated it's 1/4" thick.
Tapping the mic with a finger or even a metal key yields a



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - May 2018

Contents
Recording - May 2018 - Intro
Recording - May 2018 - Cover1
Recording - May 2018 - Cover2
Recording - May 2018 - 1
Recording - May 2018 - 2
Recording - May 2018 - 3
Recording - May 2018 - 4
Recording - May 2018 - 5
Recording - May 2018 - Contents
Recording - May 2018 - 7
Recording - May 2018 - 8
Recording - May 2018 - 9
Recording - May 2018 - 10
Recording - May 2018 - 11
Recording - May 2018 - 12
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Recording - May 2018 - Cover3
Recording - May 2018 - Cover4
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