The legendary studio condenser microphone, the t.bone SC450, is celebrating an anniversary: the microphone has been available, and highly-accessible to many people, for over 20 years!
In 2002, when the SC450 was first available for purchase, anyone looking for a high-quality microphone for recording instruments, speakers and vocals only had a limited choice. What’s more, most studio mics were still very, very expensive around the turn of the millennium.
the t.bone was one of the first microphone companies to offer high-quality products at reasonable prices. As our own brand, there are no costs thanks to direct sales, and large quantities have been produced over the years. This reduces the price for the individual product without the quality having to suffer.
the t.bone SC450 – a success story
The t.bone SC450 is an absolute success story: it is valued as an inexpensive but excellent all-round solution and is used by beginners and professionals alike. The microphone can be found today in many recording studios as well as in bedrooms of producers or podcasters. One of the reasons for its success is that it provides exactly what you really need. Things that are not always necessary or unnecessary have been left out. The capsule concentrates on the most commonly used directional characteristic, cardioid, because this is almost exclusively used by the majority of users, even with switchable microphones. However, because a high-pass filter is very useful and pre-attenuation also allows use with really loud sound sources, these functions are, of course, part of the SC450.
the t.bone SC450 – A studio standard
The shape and casing of this t.bone mic corresponds to that of studio standards. The microphone has a microphone basket in the upper part, which, unlike hand-held microphones, is addressed from the side. The two switches are located in easy access at the transition to the body. Like the basket, this is made of metal and contains the electronics of the SC450. The socket for the cable is on the underside.
Sound characteristics and sound quality are of course important for a microphone. The t.bone SC450 can really score here. Many buyers are enthusiastic about the sound character of such an inexpensive studio microphone. As in many much more expensive microphones, an output transformer is built in instead of electronically balancing the signal. This creates a very restrained but noble coloring of the signal.
the t.bone SC450’s large-diaphragm condenser capsule
A true large diaphragm condenser capsule is used in the SC450 to convert sound into voltage. This is the same technology used on expensive classics and almost all of today’s finest studio vocal mics!
The richness of detail is high thanks to this condenser capsule. The SC450 sounds clear and transparent, but despite the fine highs it is not sharp and snappy, for example when singing. The sound gets warmer when singing close to the microphone. This is by design and can be used to get an intimate sound. If you don’t want that, you simply switch on the high-pass filter, which tames the bass.
Due to the cardioid characteristic, the t.bone SC450 is the least sensitive from the backside. Sound sources from there, or disturbing reflections from a wall, can thus be avoided. But not all cardioids are the same: The area in front of the microphone in which the sound does not change is very large. This helps a lot when the sound source is moving. So when it comes to vocal and voice recordings, nobody needs to feel “pinned down”.
the t.bone SC450 – a few technical details
The sound quality can also be represented technically. The self-noise is only 18 dB(A). At the same time, the maximum sound pressure level is 126 dB SPL. Most loud signals can therefore be transmitted very well. For example, the bass drum of a drum kit can be recorded on the resonant head without peaking or distortion.
The t.bone SC450 is connected using a standard microphone cable with an XLR connector. For operation, it is necessary that the microphone preamplifier, the mixer or the audio interface output 48-volt phantom power – otherwise it remains silent. However, today almost all of these devices have this option.
The scope of delivery of the condenser microphone has always included a small case in order to be able to stow the good piece safely. The SC450 is mounted in an elastic shock mount (sometimes called a spider mount). This ensures that deep noises, from vibrations, do not find their way into the recording. If you hit or kick the mic stand while singing, the shock mount can effectively dampen the noise.
The t.bone SC450 can be purchased individually for a very low price. Case and elastic holder are always included. However, various bundles are also available in the Thomann shop. There are bundles in which the SC450 is combined with the t.bone MS 180 pop filter or the Roadworx PF-1 pop killer. The set includes a the microphone, pop filter, tripod and microphone cable. You can even combine them yourself under this link to put together a set! Preamp, cable, tripod, pop filter and reflection screen for recording in acoustically suboptimal environments can be selected – all according to your desired type and budget.
the t.bone SC450 – now also with USB!
In 2006, however, the SC450 faced a lot of competition from its own category. The t.bone SC450 USB does not require a microphone preamplifier, but can be connected directly to a computer via a USB cable. Connection to mobile devices is also usually possible, provided the appropriate adapter is available. The USB version of the SC450 is also available in bundles:
The desktop bundle includes a pop killer, desktop tripod and mic screen, while the podcast bundle includes the microphone with tripod, pop filter, USB cable and the Samplitude audio production software.
Our t.tbone SC450 – with and without USB – has long since become a real studio classic. Have you tried it or do you use it regularly? Tell us about your experience with a comment!