SONTRONICS HELIOS variable-pattern valve microphone
No longer in production but still available on the second-hand market, our Sontronics HELIOS is a valve condenser microphone with a continuously variable pattern from omni through cardioid to figure-of-eight and every possible sub-pattern in between.
With a solid, rich low-end response and a smooth, beautifully detailed high-end presence, HELIOS is designed to give perfectly accurate results but with the added warmth of valve circuitry, no matter what you use it on.
"The HELIOS is a stunning mic for all kinds of things but I particularly love it on vocals. It sounds rich in the lower mids with a silky top end and its characteristics are not dissimilar from a C12… but for a lot less money!"
GARY BROMHAM, Producer (Natalie Imbruglia, Zucchero)
With its hand-selected 12AX7/ECC83 vacuum tube and a super-sensitive, gold-sputtered 35mm capsule isolated by a latex mount within the large grille, HELIOS ensures total precision in your recording.
Its design allows you to transparently position your subject within a mix without having to resort to heaps of EQ and processing.
And with the continuously sweepable polar pattern, controlled by a rotary knob on the front of the SPS-1 power supply unit, HELIOS gives incredible results on vocals (sung and spoken) and instruments as well as ensemble, overhead and room miking.
"I'm rarely amazed by anything these days (cynical git
that I am) but I was truly amazed by the HELIOS when using it in a one-mic set-up over a drumkit. The punch, boom, depth, detail and clarity was all there in
abundance and when listening back neither I
nor my students could believe you could get SO much detail and character from just one microphone."
PHIL THOMPSON, Producer/Engineer/Lecturer (Portsmouth University)
For ultimate versatility and based on user (and reviewer) feedback, we supplied the HELIOS not only with its yoke mount but also an angled mount that sits between the Helios and the mic stand, allowing you to position the mic however you want, simply and easily.
HELIOS is supplied in a velvet-lined wooden box and this, along with its SPS-1 power supply box, power cable and mic/PSU connector cable, is packaged together in a sturdy aluminium flightcase.
Although HELIOS is not currently in production, if you do find one on the second-hand market or you find yourself with the opportunity to get hold of one then grab it! We're not sure how likely it is though, because most HELIOS owners won't want to part with their mic because it's so versatile, flexible and beautiful sounding.
If you already own a HELIOS, let us know how you're using it and share your music and pictures with us!
PLEASE NOTE: Sontronics HELIOS is not currently in production. If you have any queries about your own HELIOS or you are looking to purchase a second-hand HELIOS, please contact us.
click for hi-res images
• valve condenser microphone
• continuously sweepable polar pattern from omni to figure-of-eight
• comes with SPS-1 power supply
• vocals (sung and spoken)
• choir & backing vocals
• acoustic guitar & guitar amp
• solo strings, woodwind & brass
• instrument ensemble
• percussion and drumkit
• room and overhead miking
Polar pattern: Continuously variable from omni to cardioid to figure-of-eight and everything in between!
Pad: 0dB, -10dB
Filter: Linear, 75Hz
Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
Sensitivity: 20mV/Pa -32dB ±2dB
(0dB = 1V/Pa @ 1,000Hz)
Impedance: ≤200 Ohms
Equivalent noise level: 18dB
Max SPL (for 0.5% THD @ 1,000Hz): 125dB
Power supply: SPS-1 unit with selectable 115/230V, all cables supplied
Connector: Mic = 8-pin connector, Power supply = 3-pin XLR-M
Dimensions: 204 x 86 x 50mm
Weight: 1,243g (in shockmount)