3U Audio GZ251fet by MYN
When a mic designer who has decades of experience, a successful business making and tuning capsules for other well-known brands and his own factory decides to create and build a boutique line of vintage-inspired mics, the potential for something special arises. In this case, that something special is the birth of 3U Audio, created by Guosheng Zhuang. If you've been to the Low End Theory section of Gearslutz, you've probably noticed a massive thread entitled, "Affordable LDC Microphone With Multiple Voicings" I was one of those who noticed it last spring and followed it as the information about 3U Audio began to trickle out. As someone who had been searching for "my sound", I was intrigued to say the least. And boy, I'm glad I followed it.
You see, I do VO's for a living. Finding the mic that could turn my voice into that of a living god, well, that is no easy task. Or so I thought. After taking the leap of faith and trying the 251-inspired Warbler IV from 3U Audio, I was impressed. It took the natural nasal-ness out of my voice and delivered heft. Sibilance, the enemy of all good recordings, especially voice over, became a non-issue.
I loved the Warbler IV. It had tone and depth. So having been convinced that these 3U Audio mics were indeed the real deal, I decided it was time to step up to their premium 251-inspired offering the GZ251.
The GZ251 gave me that rich, transformer-fed tone that I loved from the Warbler IV, but it also offered more clarity and articulation. The sound I get from the GZ251 is more 3D than I expected. On narration, it really jumps out how clear these tracks are. The top end is smooth like a tube mic and even with my sibilant-prone voice, sibilance is not an issue. On the types of reads that require a tone of "confidence" or a movie trailer style heft, I wasn't forcing my vocal cords to deliver the goods, the mic gave me what I wanted in the way a good axe should.
I had asked Guosheng what the difference was between the GZ and Warbler series and he said the GZ series was packed with the best possible components he could find. A look inside this beast shows it, too. WIMA caps, AMI transformer, etc. When you hold this mic, it feels very solid and is built like a tank.
At $599 this mic is a steal and punches way, way above it's price class. Like other followers of the original thread, I was able to purchase it directly from Guosheng at a wholesale price. Because he's the designer and has his own factory where he builds these mics, there's no middleman markup. If you bought this mic from a Guitar Center or Sweetwater, you'd easily pay twice as much or more.
I have tried and gone through many, many mics. None have delivered the way the GZ251 does. I use this mic in the booth every day and I get a lot more compliments on the sound of my deliverables with the GZ251 than I ever did with my Neumann or my 461 or Lewitt. This mic makes me money and I love it.