Over the past several months, I've been using a pair of Peluso P12 microphones. I can't say enough good things about them. They sound great no matter what the instrument. I love them as drum overheads. I love them on guitars. I love them as a vocal mic for males and females. I absolutely adore them on acoustic grand piano! As a matter of fact, just last week I used them on jazz piano wizard, Geoffrey Keezer. The difference from the former mics I have used on this piano was substantial. Before I had become accustomed to pairs of AT4050, AKG C 414, Peluso P28, Royer R-121. No, none of them were C 12 or U 87s, but in comparison with the mics I mentioned, there was no competition. The P12 gives a full harmonic range that's warm and open. (For testing I used a Metric Halo ULN-8, often recording at 192 kHz. On some files I also used a Millennia HV-3 mic preamp). The Peluso P12 is modeled after the legendary AKG C 12. I've never used a C 12, so I cannot compare this mic to that legendary one. But I'm not interested in comparisons with classic mics. A mic is what it is. You either like it, and it can help you with your recordings, or you don't, and it doesn't. Many of the vintage mics don't compare favorably with each other of the same models. There are nine polar-patterns. The mic comes in a handsome, silver carrying case. There's a nice wooden case containing the microphone, shockmount, and 7-pin cable. I've used this on many recordings. I started with the acoustic guitar, my standard starting place-my two Taylors. There was a full range and very sweet sound. I've used it in figure-8, so I could sing, or croak. I mainly used it on my Taylor with a drummer to isolate the sound. Cardioid also sounds wonderful, of course. I have a dreadnought which has a tendency to be a bit boomy, but I didn't notice it with the P12. Presently, I'm using the pair for a recording I'm doing at Folsom State Prison in California. It's being used on 12-string, 6-strings, mandolins, overheads, lead vocals, background vocals, and a choir. Stunning is all I can say. These mics shine on vocals. They shine on everything. I was completely wowed on the 9 ft grand piano. Have you ever tried a new microphone on an instrument that suddenly makes you go "WOW?" That's exactly my reaction to this mic. I had been happy with the sounds I had gotten before, but I actually didn't know what I was missing until I pulled out the P12s. And I have to say, I have a lot of mics and a lot of Pelusos. I like them all, but my favorite has been the 22 47 LE (Tape Op #62). So I wasn't necessarily overwhelmed at getting these mics for review. I had heard others raving about them, and I was like, "Okay." But I couldn't justify another Peluso! Now I have got to tell you, this is a wonderful mic, and a pair of them are just nuts! One is a given, but if there's any way you can swing two, go for it! ($1,525.99 direct; www.pelusomicrophonelab.com)

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

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