Sontronics HALO

The capsule is actually based on that of the Sontronics STC80 hand‑held dynamic model, but with some tweaks to the frequency response to allow it to emphasise the bite of an overdriven guitar.

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Description

Sontronics’ Trevor Coley always manages to come up with something a little different in his mic designs, both visually and conceptually. The latest addition Sontronics HALO is a cardioid‑pattern dynamic microphone designed specifically for use on guitar amps and cabinets. It’s no SM57 lookalike, however — nor a soundalike, for that matter. The mic assembly is a stubby, barrel‑like affair suspended via four springs within a circular frame (the halo) that offers some measure of low-frequency isolation from stage‑borne vibrations when used live.

The capsule is actually based on that of the Sontronics STC80 hand‑held dynamic model, but with some tweaks to the frequency response to allow it to emphasise the bite of an overdriven guitar. According to Sontronics, the aim was to get close to the sound you need in a mix without having to use EQ. The mic’s frequency-response curve shows it to have a generally hump‑shaped response rolling off above 10kHz and below 100Hz, with the ‑3dB points being at 50Hz and 15kHz. However, the mid‑range hump rises to around +5dB at around 4kHz, and is so broad that there’s nowhere on the response curve that you could lay a ruler: this is most definitely a mic designed to achieve a specific sound rather than being tonally neutral. Its sensitivity is rated as ‑53dB (±2dB), but then high sensitivity is never going to be an issue for a mic sitting in front of a guitar combo or stack. My tests showed the output to be comparable with that of other dynamic mics. No maximum SPL figure is quoted, but I never had any problems, even when sticking the Sontronics HALO very close to the speaker grille of my 120 Watt Vox combo.

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