Testimonials / Reviews
“Microphones arrived today and they look and sound lovely. Very happy and can’t wait to put them through their paces in the new studio…
First impressions are they bridge a great gap between the darker, pillowy U47 sound and the bright, presence of a C12 but with a sweet modern midrange to cut through a thick mix.”
Katzenjammer Rec. / Gothenburg, Sweden
“I really love the microphone! It sounds very open on vocals without having a bad topboost. It still sounds hi-fi but not in the supermodern way.
But it really surprised me on the kickdrum! I've recently changed my 60s Premier kit for a smaller and early 70s Slingerland kit, and was totally blown away when I found myself happy with using just the UM17B on BD, together with a pair of Coles 4038 on overhead. I was fully satisfied with that configuration. Didn't even use a snare mic.
It kinda mixes itself.”
Public Enemy, Oasis, Soulwax
“At Red Star Recording last week, we put the UM17B up in a shoot-out against one of our favorites - a vintage SM69 tube. We recorded various distances of acoustic guitar, male and female voices, and room applications (claps, b3 organ, electric guitar...)
During playback, my partners were consistently fooled as to which mic we were hearing. 50% of the time, we chose the Blackspade as ‘the one’ which is quite remarkable considering the history and price difference.
We’re all excited about the possibilities of a matched pair or trio (or quad!) of these beautiful microphones. My partners (and I) are not easily convinced when it comes to new mics, but this one is a no-brainer. It sounded as open in the top and as “physical” in the lows as the Neumann - and it really has it’s own presence characteristics which seem to be missing in many modern re-issues.
You have our attention!”
Outkast, Arrested Development, D'Angelo
“Finally, a microphone that evokes the feeling of purchasing one of the “classics”, brand new. Tight, responsive; what these are supposed to do! Fifty some years later someone is selling that experience again; buying a new classy, useful microphone - not a “tubey” gimmick or a poor imitation. There is nothing sonically overt that says “this is a tube microphone”; and that is a compliment of the highest degree.
Honestly, the first time I have been genuinely impressed with everything offered. I learned on the classics, and have worked with the best examples of the best. This can stand proudly with any of them. Seriously.”
Queens of the Stone Age, Skunk Anansie, Tool
“I used the UM17B quite a bit on the last recording as a room mic for drums and an additional vocal mic. Still experimenting with it, but for the moment I can see it finding a lot of different uses around here – it’s a versatile new microphone and a great addition to my studio.”
The Icarus Line, Giant Drag
“Our custom Blackspade UM17B's kill any mic being made right now at any price. As for vintage tube mics, I end up around large collections of them quite often and this can hold water with any of them.
It’s dry 3D on everything like a classic tube mic should be but it really does something insane on my vocals. The fact that this mic will street at less than 3K is astonishing - this level of pedigree has never been within reach of so many people...”
Green Day, Pinetop Perkins
“I have a matched pair and they are in heavy use daily on amp cabs. I’ve also used them on grand piano and they were excellent. And I’ve used them on drum overheads and percussion.
I haven’t done any comparisons... but they are excellent mics and went into immediate service at yellow DOG. I love this mic... sounds great and tough as nails.”
Rax Trax Chicago
“I have been using them for drum overheads with no less than stellar results. In my career I have used many different mics for drum duties, including many coveted vintage mics, and I can safely say that I am getting some of my best sounds with these mics.
They are very loud mics with a noise floor that is so low you will not even know it’s working until signal starts flowing through it. These mics have a very far focus/reach and they are very loud so I tend to have to pull them up a bit higher off the kit than if I were to use something like an sm81. Being farther off the kit you would think that the cymbals would get smeared and you would inject quite a bit of room in the signal but that has not been the case for me.
The Blackspade stuff are game changers and they have made me rethink what I have in the mic locker.”
Angie Stone, Toshi Kubota
“I have used the UM17B on a few sessions already... It sounds big, warm, detailed, present and has just the right amount of crispness without sounding harsh at all in any situation.
It’s truly a wonderful microphone. I think this is the first time ever I’m truly satisfied with any female voice I record, and that’s a lot to say."
Green Recordings Studio
“They are outstanding mics. We've been using them on vocals as well as overheads, saxophone, and guitar amp room mics on this Aperture session (prog rock). For some of the spacey cleans we found a nice bass null and put one up in omni, panned and phased it against the main amp mic (a 507 I think) and got a great liquid, spacey sound without needing any effects.
There's also a 100' long drum hall where we've put one in fig8 about a third of the way back where the snare and kit really went "whoosh" off the back wall and got great sounds. It's a wonderful sounding, exceptionally crafted, really really useful mic.”
Sound On Sound
September 2012 – Review by Hugh Robjohns
“My first experience of a Blackspade mic, and I’m very impressed with both the company’s design ethos and the sound quality achieved with this particular model. It’s well worth checking out if you are in the market for a high-quality, versatile all-rounder valve microphone.”
To read the full review click here.
September 2015 – Review by Tobias Brandl
“Das UM17B ist eines der besten derzeit erhältlichen Mikrofone auf dem Markt. Es ist klanglich und qualitativ den Mikrofonen in der Referenzklasse ebenbürtig und das erfreulicherweise zu einem Preis, der nicht zu überbieten ist. Das Mikrofon muss man unbedingt gehört haben um sich eine Vorstellung dessen Klangfülle machen zu können.”
To read the full review click here.
Issue 84 , July/August 2011 – Review by Mike Jasper
“For female vocals, background vocals, acoustic guitar and any source where you want to convey a realistic, natural sound, you would be hard pressed to find a better mic in this price range. Best $1000 mic I’ve heard since I bought a used UM70/MV692 combo — and without the hassles of maintaining vintage gear.”
To download the review click here.