Aston Microphones Stealth Active Dynamic Microphone
Amazingly Versatile Dynamic Mic
The Aston Stealth is a revolutionary, broadcast quality, microphone for studio and stage. With 4 switchable voices delivering unparalleled performance in almost any situation, a Class A built in mic preamp with autodetect 48V Phantom power (a world’s first!) and featuring a unique Sorbothane internal shock mount system and Aston’s legendary build quality, we reckon Stealth is the world’s most versatile microphone.
Stealth was developed in partnership with 92 top engineers, producers and artists (the Aston 33 development panel) who participated in a series of blind listening tests designed to create the best possible sound… the resulting four voice settings, Vocal 1, Vocal 2, Guitar and Dark, offer a range of world class sounds to suit almost every application.
The Aston Sound
Right from the start of ‘project Aston’, we engaged with some of the top audio professionals in the industry to create a development panel to be our ears, while we focussed on perfecting every tiny detail in our mics, to finally produce what we believe to be the very best products in their class. Read more about The Aston Sound
Four settings, four different voices
Think of Stealth as four professional microphones in one. Each setting has been voiced by a panel of more than 90 top flight audio engineers and producers on the Aston 33 panel through a series of double-blind listening tests, beating not only every mic in its class, but some far more expensive ‘industry standard’ mics.
There are 2 vocal settings, optimised for different vocal tones, a guitar setting which is equally suited to Spanish guitar, Electric guitar cab and steel string acoustic, and a dark, vintage setting, reminiscent of classic ribbon mics.
Mics which apply ‘flattering’ – but destructive – pre EQ make professional post-processing almost impossible. Stealth, however, provides a choice of four pure, high quality signal paths. The voice settings are not EQ filters, they are contour networks, meaning the bulk of the signal does not pass through any sort of filter circuitry. The whole signal is slightly attenuated, with some frequencies being added back in at a higher level. This results in much lower phase distortion than conventional filter designs.
Active & Passive modes with 48V Autodetect function
Stealth works with or without 48V phantom power. In passive mode (unpowered) the active circuit is completely bypassed and Stealth operates with the simplest possible signal chain to give a beautifully clean sound.
A unique (world’s first!) built-in Autodetect function senses the presence of 48V phantom power and will automatically switch the mic to active mode to utilise the onboard class A mic Pre.
In passive mode Stealth behaves just like a stage dynamic mic and will handle pretty much any levels you can throw at it; screaming vocals, maxxed-out guitar cabs, even drums.
Engage active mode and there’s a massive 50dB gain lift giving you all the headroom and sensitivity of a studio condenser; back off just a little for smooth vocals, spoken word and acoustic instruments, or get close-up and personal for breathy intimacy and crystalline detail.
If you want to get loud and gnarly… back it off baby!!! You should leave the same sort of distance for loud source mic placement as you would a condenser mic without a pad… about 30 cm in most cases.
Built-in Class A Mic Preamp
When in active mode Stealth features a high quality built-in Class A Mic Pre, dispensing with the need for an expensive external gain lifting device.
Stealth features a fully balanced signal path from capsule to output, yielding a superior reduction of ‘Common Mode’ noise compared with single-ended (unbalanced) designs.
Unique Sorbothane internal shock mount
Aston Stealth includes a proprietary internal shock mount design with the capsule suspended in mid-air, completely isolated from the mic chassis, and supported at 3 points by Sorbothane polymer hemi-spheres.
Sorbothane is a synthetic viscoelastic urethane polymer used as a vibration damper and acoustic shield used in computing, hi-fi and many industrial applications.
Exceptional side rejection
Stealth’s acoustically tuned headstock provides a highly focused cardioid polar pattern with enhanced off-axis rejection.
Excellent rejection of electromagnetic hum
Stealth’s capsule is fully enclosed in a Stainless Steel Faraday cage – an enclosure used to block electromagnetic fields (named after the English scientist Michael Faraday, who invented them in 1836)
A Faraday cage operates because an external electrical field causes the electric charges within the cage’s conducting material to be distributed such that they cancel the field’s effect in the cage’s interior. This phenomenon is used to protect sensitive electronic equipment from external radio frequency interference (RFI).
Of course, if you ever get stuck for a teabag it can double up on duty for a good brew!
Custom Stand Mount
Yet another unique design element of the Aston Stealth is the use of custom moulded end caps with integrated XLR and a special design quick release stand mount. An included stand mount allows you to simply click the mic into place, and release it just as quickly for storage, and can angle the mic perfectly for any application.
We have put our hearts and minds into creating the most beautiful performance pieces possible with each Aston product. When it comes to packaging we believe simplicity is king. Protective, re-useable, environmentally sensible packaging that doesn’t cost the earth.
The making of Stealth – The Aston 33 and the blind testing process
The Aston 33 (so named after the original members) is now a panel of more than 120 top producers, engineers and artists who work with Aston on new product development to ensure every mic is best in class before it is released to the market.
They perform blind listening tests on a range of possible versions of each new mic, plus ‘industry standard’ models from key manufacturers and vote on performance on a variety of sources (vocals, guitars and so on). In tests the panel do not know which mics they are listening to, so the resultant votes can’t be affected by brand reputation, or an expectation of how a certain microphone should sound.
Some surprising results arose from the Stealth project testing. For example the prototype Stealth voicing that consistently came top in the voting for female vocal takes came off worst for male vocals and vice versa, regardless of the pitch of the singer! Furthermore a different voicing came top for ALL guitar sources, from finger picked acoustic through to mic’d distorted guitar cabs.
These discoveries, derived from more than 9000 data samples, were the catalyst for the Aston team to set about reimagining the microphone from the ground up. Stealth truly excels at capturing professional quality audio in almost every situation, and masters them all.
Aston Microphones Stealth Active Dynamic Microphone Features:
- Active/passive dynamic mic with 4 voicing modes
- Built-in Class A preamp increases mic sensitivity in active mode (requires phantom power)
- Auto-detects 48-volt phantom power to engage active mode
- 4 different voicings optimize mic response: Vocal 1, Vocal 2, Guitar, and Dark
- Internal Sorbothane shockmount minimizes low-end rumble
- Includes quick-release mic stand mount
- Purple LED phantom power indicator can be disabled for Stealth mode
- Capsule is enclosed in a stainless steel Faraday cage for maximum interference rejection
Transducer Type : Moving coil
Directional Polar Pattern : Cardioid
Frequency Response : 20Hz – 20kHz (+/-3dB)
Equivalent Self Noise Level : 10dB A-weighted
Sensitivity at 1kHz into 1kohm – passive mode : Average 1 mV/Pa (varies across 4 voices)
Sensitivity at 1kHz into 1kohm – active mode : Average 150 mV/Pa (varies across 4 voices)
Maximum SPL for THD 0.5% : 140dB
Product length : 196 mm / 7.72 in
Product width : 58 mm / 2.28 in
Product weight : 692 g / 1.52 lb