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Rode K2 Tube Condenser Microphone

The Rode K2 is a groundbreaking tube mic that's characterized by its rich warm tube sound and performance, high maximum SPL, and wide dynamic range. (60) Read 13 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
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For recording vocals, guitar amps, bass cabinets, horns, and more, there's nothing like a vacuum-tube large-diaphragm condenser microphone. Some tube condensers sell for many thousands of dollars, but thanks to the Rode K2, engineers on a budget can capture lush, rich recordings with tons of tube-driven character. Though the K2's price tag puts it within reach of project studios, there's nothing "budget" about its performance. Rode is known for studio microphones that deliver incredible low-noise specs, and the K2 is no exception, with self-noise of only 10 dBA thanks to Class A valve circuitry. And not only is the super-quiet K2 great for tracking delicate vocals and acoustic instruments, it can handle a respectable maximum SPL of 162 dB -- so feel free to try your K2 on a cranked-up amp. As you'd expect from any pro tube mic, the K2 has a continuously variable pattern knob that lets you dial in a pickup pattern to suit your source. Try a tight, focused cardioid for a larger-than-life, in-your-face sound -- or twist the dial to an omni pattern for that more natural, you-are-there quality. However you choose to use it, the Rode K2 is an ideal first tube microphone for the small studio looking to expand their sonic palette without breaking the bank.

The Perfect Balance Of Warmth And Detail

Most engineers-on-a-budget are recording digitally through a USB or FireWire audio interface. And most engineers-on-a-budget are probably using that interface's built-in microphone preamps. Typically, these preamps are designed to be neutral-sounding -- and in the digital recording realm, that often means clinical, lifeless, and sometimes harsh. The Rode K2 reintroduces a touch of that classic analog character into your recordings, feeding a signal into your interface that's extremely detailed, but sweetened by genuine tube-driven circuitry. There's not a plug-in in the world that can emulate this sound; with a K2 at the front of your signal path, you'll be capturing more character, right at the source.

Continously Variable Pickup Pattern

Being based on a classic tube circuit in no way makes this a one-trick mic. Quite the opposite -- the classic external power supply features a continuously-variable polar pattern selector, making the Rode K2 one of the most versatile studio tools in any price range. In the cardioid pickup position, the K2 is a stunning vocal microphone -- smooth, airy, and flattering for both male and female voices. At figure-8 bidirectional, it's the perfect choice for a wide range of acoustic instruments like guitar, strings, or piano, and is particularly nice to sonically aggressive instruments like banjo or sitar. At the omnidirectional position the Rode K2 makes a phenomenal room mic, or can accurately and pleasingly capture the most notorious of instrument sources like harp or upright bass. Moreover, between these three major positions is an infinite variety of subtle sonic signatures. As the polar control travels across its range, the frequency response and pickup pattern transform smoothly, granting savvy engineers access to unorthodox but wholly usable response profiles. Chances are, if it makes noise, there's a position on the K2's pickup pattern knob to capture its essence.

Impressive Specs; Professional Results

Rode microphones are found in pro studios around the world -- and are responsible for a significant layer of dust build-up on other, more expensive microphones -- because they're up-to-spec for even the most demanding professional applications. The K2 is no different, boasting impressive numbers: 10 dBA self-noise, 150 dB dynamic range, and a whopping 162 dBA max sound pressure level. Because of Rode's dedication to quality manufacturing practices, the K2 shines in even the most extreme conditions, from orchestral recording to broadcast voiceover. More than likely, when you've got a recording source you've never heard before, the Rode K2 will become your go-to-mic.

Features:

- Large-diaphragm tube condenser microphone with exceptional price-to-performance ratio
- Dedicated power supply with continuously variable pickup pattern -- sweepable from omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-8 and everything in between
- Wide 150 dB dynamic range and 162 dB maximum SPL
- 10 dBA self-noise -- exceptionally low for a tube mic
- Satin nickel finish and durable steel mesh head
- Class A valve circuitry
- Includes power supply, low-noise microphone cable, case, and shock mount
- User-serviceable, with field-replaceable tubes -- great for customizing your mic with "new old stock" tubes
- Gold-sputtered large diaphragm

Tube condensers are classic recording tools -- indispensable in any pro studio's mic locker. The Rode K2 quite simply delivers professional-grade sound, specs, and versatility at a price that any serious recording enthusiast is sure to swoon over. Whether you're just building your project studio or adding to a fully stocked mic collection, the Rode K2 can help take your recordings to the next level.

zZounds is an authorized dealer of RODE products.
Specifications
- Acoustic Principle: Externally polarized 25 mm (1 in.) condenser
- Active Electronics: Thermionic impedance converter with bipolar output buffer
- Pickup Pattern: Multi-pattern
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
- Output Impedance: 200 ohms
- Sensitivity: -36 dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (16 mV @ 94dB SPL) +/- 2 dB
- Equivalent Noise: 10 dBA SPL (per IEC651, IEC268-15)
- Maximum Output: > + 30 dBu (@ 1% THD into 1kOhms)
- Dynamic Range: 150dB (per IEC651, IEC268-15)
- Maximum SPL: 162 dB (@ 1% THD into 1kOhms)
- Signal/Noise: > 81 dB (1kHz rel 1 Pa; per IEC651, IEC268-15)
- Power Requirements: Dedicated Power Supply (110 ~ 120V/220 ~ 240V, 50/60Hz)
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Shipping Weight: 15 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 26 x 13 x 6 in
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 805-566-7777

Product Description

The Rode K2 delivers the ultimate in pure rich tube sound and performance, super low self noise (10dBA), high max. SPL (162dBA), and mega wide dynamic range (150dB). Featuring totally variable polar pattern control for an unbeatable combination of flexibility and power, the K2's legendary sound quality literally inspires those magic takes.

The TYPE HF1 dual diaphragm capsule represents Rode's finest transducer technology. Coupled with their most advanced high output tube circuitry, the K2 brings out every little detail, nuance & whisper, while handling even the loudest source material. The K2 is literally in a class by itself. Includes shock mount, case, power supply and 30 ft. cable.

Features

- Continuously variable polar pattern
- Class A valve circuitry
- Dedicated power supply
- Superlative class condenser microphone
zZounds Expert Review
When you've spent time and money fine-tuning and tweaking your rig to sound sweet to your ears, a microphone to capture the fine details should be next on the list for the do-it-yourself engineer. "Warm" and "punchy" fall short of describing this mic's personality; the word on your mind should be "resolution." A dual-diaphragm condenser, the K2 boasts a continuously variable polar pattern, from omnidirectional, to cardioid, to bidirectional -- and all the shades in between. In the cardioid pattern, you get amazing detail and clarity head-on. In omni mode, you get a real sense of your recording space's sonic characteristics, and in figure-8 bidirectional mode, your instrument's presence and proximity jump out with a smooth, life-like response. Your vintage Martin, Marshall cab, and drum kit all have a sweet spot, and this Rode's ability to blend in between polar patterns makes sure you find that spot each time. The K2 sports a very rugged chassis and power supply which is sure to deliver session after session. Try one -- you'll probably want two for your mic locker.

- Bert, zZounds Guitar Expert

... see more
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 (60 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "The BEST mic for the price!"
Sound: CHANGE THE TUBE FIRST!!! Get a hold of a vintage 1960's Siemens Tube (with grey plates) and it'll turn into a totally different microphone. It has a nice deep, warm sound without the sibalence you usually get with other mics in this price range. It is perfect for vocals. It's not a U47, but it is similar (for the price). Feature: The multi-pattern works great. Put it in figure-8 at 90 degrees with it's cousin the NTK, and you've got a great MS Stereo setup. The figure-8 also sounds KILLER on upright acoustic bass! The proximity effect fattens it up like crazy, and rejects muddy reflections from the floor! Ease of Use: Very easy to use. Just don't unplug it before it is turned off...then wait a few seconds for it to power down. Quality: Very high quality for the price. I don't believe that it's transformer and caps are on par with microphones that cost up in the thousands, but it's TOTALLY great for the price (ESPECIALLY if you change the tube! Siemens is the best for this mic. Mullards are too deep, Amperex are fine) Value: AWESOME value. CANNOT beat the value of this mic for the price. Manufacturer Support: Called once, and got some great help. The Wow Factor: It looks great. Everyone turns their heads to get a glance of it! Overall: It is such a great mic. Change the tube, run it through a high quality preamp, and it'll find a place in your mic closet. Regardless of how expensive (or budgeted) your studio is, you WILL find a place for this mic! Obviously, no mic is perfect for everything. Great for vocals. And it's great for instruments that might sound harsh on other microphones. It's perfect on banjos!
Style of Music: Bluegrass, Country
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This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful. "Only a Neumann can beat this mic, but i don't think others can."
Sound: WOW!!! I compared this mic to the new Mojave MA-200, which i thought was a pretty good mic, but it seemed a little peaky. I then tried the K2, and it had this smooth sound that i could just sing to. It has this buttery upfront sound that sticks out of he mix. I bought this mic to record ballads and pop tracks in the style of Dido. On females this mic sounds beautiful. On male vocals this mic adds soul and add a crisp bite to make the vocals sound upfront and in your face. Sibilance hasnt been a problem, it sounds tamed when used with a setting between omni and cardiod. Also a little top shelve eq tames it off if you feel any sign of sibilance. It comes down to the voice and type of singer. Compared to the SE range (Gemini), the K2 kills it flat out. The Gemini has nothing but pure sibilance, it doesnt even have any tube warmth. Feature: Feature wise the mic has no such switches or pads. What i like about this mic is the solid performance. No thrills and add ons. Its a superlative quality valve mic, which doesnt sound fake, or over eq'ed like all the horrible chinese mics. Ease of Use: Very easy, its plug and play, you dont even need 48v power. Quality: Compares to mics 10 times its price...The famous Neumann U67 comes to mind (specially in the lower midrange), and a hint of modern finesse with the smooth crispness. Value: Worth 10 times the asking price...no kidding. Manufacturer Support: Rode now comes with 10 years i think. But i havent needed any support so far. The Wow Factor: Looks impressive. Very 'Pro' looking mic. Its big, cylinder shaped, and lovely warm silverish colour. Overall: I love this mic for everything it put in front of it. For vocals you cannot find a mic thats sounds as lush as this one. Its very silky on the top that would suit most voices. The midrange is smmoth and not hyped. the bottom end is fairly flat and un hyped, so no boominess.
Style of Music: Pop / Ballads / RnB / Swing
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