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Blue Microphones Bottle Rocket Stage One/Stage Two Review (Bonus Material)

July 29, 2009

Nine bayonet-mount capsules are available in the Blue Bottle Microphone Capsule Series. These capsules retail for $599.99 each or $3,995.99 for the entire set in a deluxe ATA flight case.

B0: cardioid, large diaphragm, single backplate
B1: cardioid, small diaphragm
B2: figure-8, large diaphragm, ribbon mic emulation
B3: cardioid, mid-sized diaphragm
B4: omni (Perspex sphere), small diaphragm, pressure
B5: omni, large diaphragm, pressure
B6: cardioid, large diaphragm, dual backplate
B7: cardioid, large diaphragm, single backplate
B8: cardioid, large diaphragm, dual backplate (only one membrane active)


In a standard loudspeaker test with the B8 kit capsules installed, I initially thought I heard differences between the Stage One and Stage Two that were consistent with common perceptions of the "solid-state vs. tube" debate. But then I swapped the B8 capsules and realized that many of the tonal variations I heard were due to differences in the capsules themselves. Although multiple variables make it difficult to test and characterize a particular mic/capsule combination''s sound, I don't think of this as a major drawback. It''s just an issue with handmade mics that goes back to the golden age of sought-after tube mics like the AKG C 12 and Neumann U47.

As my testing demonstrated, it is difficult to ascribe a quantifiable tonality to these mics because the variations between the handmade capsules is greater than between the electronics. Although the standard capsule was not my personal favorite (I prefer the B3, B4 and B6), the bright B8 might be perfect for you.

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