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Product 271090

Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone

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The ST51 is an affordable, true-condenser large diaphragm recording microphone with outstanding sound and construction. The ST51's 6-micron, gold-eva...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Vocal or instrument condenser offers excellent transient response and detail.

The ST51 is an affordable, true-condenser large diaphragm recording microphone with outstanding sound and construction. The ST51's 6-micron, gold-evaporated Mylar diaphragm is optimized to capture definition and detail for both vocal andinstrument recordings. Class-A FET circuitry provides unparalleled smoothness and warmth to your recordings.

Requires phantom power.

FEATURES
Disk Resonator design extends high-frequencies naturally
Large 1.25" all brass capsule, hand assembled and oven baked for long term stable operation
Black nickel-plated all brass body
Stainless steel head and grille assembly
Custom-wound nickel core output transformer
HM-2 hard mount
Rugged vinyl zipper case included
SPECIFICATIONS
Preamp: Class-A FET
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Frequency Response: 20Hz”18,000Hz
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: 7.5" long, 1.8" max. dia.
Weight: 1.2lb.
Power: Phantom Power
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Sterling AudioST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone
 
4.5

(based on 29 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (24)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

90%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good audio (9)
  • Easy to use (7)
  • Versatile (6)
  • Durable (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (7)
  • Professional recording (6)
  • Amateur recording (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (6), Professional musician (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Buy It. In Fact, Buy Two.

This is my second ST-51, both from M/F. I ordered the first one as a test while researching inexpensive vocal and instrument microphones, and I was so pleasantly surprised by it...Read complete review

This is my second ST-51, both from M/F. I ordered the first one as a test while researching inexpensive vocal and instrument microphones, and I was so pleasantly surprised by it that (after using for a while to make sure I was hearing right) I bought this one to have a stereo pair. I've used high-end mics in the studio for pro vocals and this mic every bit stands up to them in almost all ways, and it of course beats the heck out of the 9 or 10 other budget mics I've ordered over the past 4 years. You're gonna get a bit more depth out of the expensive mics, but not that much, and I personally like the response curve of the ST-51 better for female vocals and acoustic guitar. Smooth and even sound, built well. Me like. For the price it's a no-brainer. Make sure you have a 48-volt phantom supply available from your mic pre before ordering this - it's a condenser, so that's a must.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Sounds Harsh

This was my first condenser mic and I thought it was pretty great for a while but then I picked up a used MXL V67G (green one) and it quickly became apparent that the...Read complete review

This was my first condenser mic and I thought it was pretty great for a while but then I picked up a used MXL V67G (green one) and it quickly became apparent that the Sterling mic has a harsh brittle quality to it that the MXL does not.

I don't know what the reissue is like but for a little bit more I would go for the MXL V67.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/condenser-microphones/mxl-heritage-edition-of-the-v67g-w-shkmntpf-case?pdpSearchTerm=mxl%20v67#productDetail

Reviewed by 29 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Buy It. In Fact, Buy Two.

By 3MinuteWindow

from New Smyrna Beach, FL

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Easy To Use
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home Studio
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

    This is my second ST-51, both from M/F. I ordered the first one as a test while researching inexpensive vocal and instrument microphones, and I was so pleasantly surprised by it that (after using for a while to make sure I was hearing right) I bought this one to have a stereo pair. I've used high-end mics in the studio for pro vocals and this mic every bit stands up to them in almost all ways, and it of course beats the heck out of the 9 or 10 other budget mics I've ordered over the past 4 years. You're gonna get a bit more depth out of the expensive mics, but not that much, and I personally like the response curve of the ST-51 better for female vocals and acoustic guitar. Smooth and even sound, built well. Me like. For the price it's a no-brainer. Make sure you have a 48-volt phantom supply available from your mic pre before ordering this - it's a condenser, so that's a must.

    (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    A Great Choice

    By Popa Chuck

    from P'cola, Fl.

    Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

    After going thru a half dozen mics. in this price range, I came across the ST51. Wow, I was blown away at the clarity, low noise and sensitivity. I use it for Vocals, Acoustic Guitar and Acoustic Bass and Drum overheads.It quickly has become the "Go To" Mic in my home studio. This realy is a Great Mic, Try it, You'll Love it!

    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Best Bang for the Buck

    By Studio engineer

    from Indiana

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Clear Sound
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

      I use these on my acoustic drum kit, one as an over head, the other as a side fill. Incredible mic for the money. I have a locker full of mics, and I choose these over my Rode NT1A, Blue baby bottle and bluebird. I have akg mics, audix, a long list of great mics. Not just good for the money, just plain good. Super Clear, low noise, and very very detailed.

      (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      It really depends.

      By Matt-mf8MU

      from Germantown, MD

      Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

      Reading the reviews, I had to take the chance to buy this mic. The only problem was that the reviews did not include an acoustic guitar review. If buying for acoustic guitar recording, find a different mic. The midtones are so dominant and it drives the bass crazy.. while the low and high tones are perfectly recorded and just get ruined by the midtones.I was playing in a tuning of D F# B# E A DThe sound was overpowered on the F# string, in which it was bad from the open fret to the 6th fret. The mic just didn't have the consistency I needed even when trying to play those notes much quieter than the high tones.Recorded Vocals on this thing though, definitely handles those great!

      (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Updated Review

      By Paul-Saftl

      from Chicago - N. Suburbs

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

      I originally reviewed this Mic on Mar 2, 2010, since then I have beat on it constantly, it did hit the floor once, and it continues to put out a distinct sound from my other condensers, I have also compared it against the new Blue Spark which is also a very nice mic for the $$. The Blue was slightly brighter and more detailed, but not enough to get me to spend twice the $$ to get one.I use this exclusively for vocals and I really like the sounds I get from it.

      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Gamble paid off

      By SR37212

      from Nashville, TN

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

      I was looking for a new condensor mic when MF first started to sell Sterling products. The specs looked good, but I wasn't about to spend too much money on a product I didn't know. So I bought the ST51 as a product try out. I was totally suprised in a great way. As mentioned by others, it has a clean uncolored result. I can get different coloration from pre-amps. It also happens to work great for my vocals which have a lot of color naturally. There is one downside for MF and Sterling. The ST51 does the job I thought I was going to need the ST55 for.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent

      By GetThisMic

      from Memphis

      Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

      After being dissatisfied for years with the sound of dedicated BD dynamic mics like D112 and B52, I read up on the old Glyn Johns Bonham method...using a Neumann U47FET. Well since I don't have a gazillion bucks for vintage mics and the Sterling advertised a 20-20K frequency respinse, I said what the hell. Awesome.Placed about a foot or two from the solid kick resonant head, it captures the thud and chest-feel of the bass drum, and combined with a close-mic like the B52 for the tone of the front skin and more attack, it can't be beat! This mic would actually do fine on it's own as a solo outside kick mic. Very clean tracks. The only thing is it will probably stratch out the diaphragm over time, but so what? That's all i got this mic for, took a chance on a "cheap" mic and hit the jackpot! I plan to get another one for vocal and/or other lighter duty, if they don't start charging an arma and a leg...

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Get one before the price increases!

      By TrueReviewMan

      from Los Angeles

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

      I have tried numerous mics in this price range over the past several years. This microphone blows away MXL, Samson, Nady, Rode and AKG's within $200-$300!! I'm not kidding. I've been an engineer for 15 years, and the low cost mics out there today sound okay, but they don't even compare to this one. This mic could easily be priced at $400, and it would sell great. Don't let the price fool you, it's low cost but far from cheap. PLEASE take my word for it (no, I'm not a paid endorser), buy this mic. Don't buy anything else in this price range (or a couple hundred more), for your vocal or acoustic guitar tracks. This mic is great. However, don't mic your guitar cab with it.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Without a Doubt!!!

      By Emilio Gonzales

      from Misawa Airbase, Japan

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Pros

      • Accurate Sound
      • Clear Sound
      • Quiet
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio
        • Vocals

        Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

        A great mic' for the price. I plugged the ST51 in and the clarity and quietness blew my mind! I spent years with a Behringer B-1 as my main mic. Oh, such wasted productivity trying to take my work seriously with such a NOISY mic. Do yourself a favor, get this mic!!!

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Fantastic microphone for the money

        By Moose-8Vf_5

        from British Columbia, Canada

        Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

        I was a little bit unsure about this microphone at first, but after reading several reviews I decided to go ahead with it, and am I ever glad I did. I use the mic for voiceover work and I am incredibly impressed with the clarity and tonal range of this piece of equipment. One review I read commented on how the mic doesn't really come with any features or accessories because at this price, everything went into the mic itself - and I believe it. If you want an affordable mic that sounds great, this is it.

        (3 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Dave S.

        By Manderhan

        from Ocala, FL

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

        Used the mic one time, never used it professionally, stored it for a year and now it doesn't work. Sterling support will not respond ( thier website isn't very support oriented you either leave a message or write them at thier address, there is no phone number to contact them) so I'd like any one in the market for a good condenser mic to know that before buying one. Get a Rode mic you may spend a little more but they sound "great", they give you a ten year warranty and they stand behind thier product one hundred percent.
        Bought this mic one year ago tried it out when it arrived and seemed it to work fine, wasn't quite as impressed with the fidelity as some of the reviewers here at MF. Bought it as a backup mic so I have had it in it's case and stored in a safe place, when I hooked it up the other day the signal was breaking up and the mic sounded terrible. Tried contacting Sterling support and haven't heard a thing so go figure. The mic looks great and has a really nice case, if it doesn't work it isn't worth a darn. Might make a good hammer.

        (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Sounds Harsh

        By Guncho

        from Oakville, ON

        About Me Novice

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

          Cons

          • Poor Sound Quality

          Best Uses

            Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

            This was my first condenser mic and I thought it was pretty great for a while but then I picked up a used MXL V67G (green one) and it quickly became apparent that the Sterling mic has a harsh brittle quality to it that the MXL does not.

            I don't know what the reissue is like but for a little bit more I would go for the MXL V67.

            http://www.musiciansfriend.com/condenser-microphones/mxl-heritage-edition-of-the-v67g-w-shkmntpf-case?pdpSearchTerm=mxl%20v67#productDetail

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great Mic

            By Butch Vig

            from Los Angeles, CA

            Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

            This is a great microphone. Especially for your money. Has the fullness and warmth of any super expensive.

            (2 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

             
            1.0

            This sucks

            By Karen Wikstrom

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

            Dont buy this.
            worked beautifully for about three weeks, then just died.
            Apparently very poor quality
            What a waste of money

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Quality

            By Bean-KbJUa

            from Utah

            Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

            Right from the beginning you can tell it's a great product. I was a little skeptical but I was looking around, even went into guitar center, rep there told me out of some product testing the sterling audio won over m audio, audix and a lot of other companies, I actually work at musicians friend and I couldn't be more satisfied with this mic. Condenser feels solid in every way. and records like a gem. My buddy compared this a-b to an audix (one of their best lines of overhead mics for drums) This blew it out of the water, and at more than half the price. he's now going out to buy three for himself and at 100 bucks a pop. it's a steal. Completely recommend this to any beginner to serious musician. (I use for all instruments. very versatile. Mostly vox guitar and drums.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Fantastic Mic!

            By Jon A

            from San Diego

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Clean
            • Clear Sound
            • Durable
            • Easy To Use
            • Sweet Sounding
            • Versatile
            • Warm

            Cons

            • Too Many Highs

            Best Uses

            • Acoustic Instruments
            • Drums
            • Room mic
            • Vocals

            Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

            I got this mic as a present for my birthday last year. boy was I stoked. it sounds clean, sweet, and very detailed. acoustic instruments sound warm and full, drums sound fantastic. i use it as an overhead and get a nice room sound, plus good ping from the cymbals. Its super durable as well. I've dropped it coutless times to the floor and its still going strong! i recommend this to EVERYBODY! the price makes it awesome, the quality makes it perfect. the only problem i have is the transients. there is too much highs naturally being picked up. i have a pretty trebly room, so i use my closet as an iso booth. its works great! just get a pop filter and you will be golden baby!

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Clearly awesome!

            By Anonymous

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

            Don't let the price of this mic fool you! I was so suprised of the sound when I first bought it! Since then I have gotten 3 of these mics. I record acappella music and I use this mic for every voice part. I'm telling...it is nice! Buy this one.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Beautiful and Clear

            By Nick-L6ikE

            from Hoboken, NJ

            Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

            Excellently responsive, this mic is excellent for the price tag, and very good in general. Recordings are crystal clear with excellent direction isolation. It's not hard to get a perfect take in a room that's less than silent.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            ST-51 Comparison

            By Paul-Saftl

            from Chicago - N. Suburbs

            See all my reviews

            Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

            I had GC set up 3 mics to compare the ST-51 against the AKG Perception 120 and the Audio-Technica AT2020. All 3 mics were very good for the $$ but the AKG and AT sound a lot like the MXL I already own. The ST-51 I feel has better articulation and detail and it is a very good looking mic whereas the others are bulky. I only gave a lower rating in the features category because the AKG is the same price but has a bass roll off switch (there is some proximity effect with the ST-51).

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Escellent Buy

            By spykat

            from Denver, Co

            Comments about Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone:

            This microphone far exceeds all others in this price range and also those at a more mid price level. High and low are well defined and the fullness of this mic make it a perfect buy for and studio application.. A must have

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