With its distinct lollipop look and precision machining, the SCX-25 draws attention to itself immediately. This cardioid-patterned mic is cool looking and streamlined, with no roll off or pad switches to be found. The SCX-25 is a large diaphragm condenser with a pronounced high midrange bump around 3.5 kHz and very thin low-end response. This means on a bass amp it sounds raspy and brittle. On a loud guitar amp it breaks up internally, sending electronic crackle down the line, even with an external pad. But on a strummed acoustic guitar (one of the hardest sounds to record well) it was the best sounding mic I've ever heard for this function. And on voice the mid bump adds clarity while the lack of lows keeps the proximity effect at bay - making it a good choice for boomy-voiced singers. On cymbals it also sounds great, clearing up some of the usual room mud on overheads and adding a little boost in the top. A pair on piano was also impressive, but a little more distant sounding than a pair of SM-81s. My observation that this mic didn't like loud sources was confirmed by the literature, which orientates the mic towards acoustic instruments, drum overheads and voice, all things that it performed well at. For $799 (MSRP) the SCX-25 is a good mic for studios that already have another condenser mic that can handle high spl situations but would like more clarity in the recordings of acoustic instruments, another flavor for vocals and really good room or overhead mics. (www.audixusa.com)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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