One of the most revered vintage microphones that you hardly ever see cloned is the Sony C37a. It’s a tube mic that sounds distinctly different from those offered by Neumann and AKG at the time, especially in the midrange, but because of the unique construction of its mechanical assembly behind the capsule, not many current manufactures have tried to make a more modern copy. Until now, thanks to the relatively new issue of the Tonelux JC37.
The original C37a has been a favorite on horns, percussion and vocals among other things, but it’s even found its way onto the drum kit as well. There weren’t that many sold in the U.S. to be begin with, and if they broke they were difficult to fix, so it’s not something that you see in the typical big studio microphone locker.
Engineer/producer Joe Chiccarelli knows what C37a’s are supposed to sound like, having done tons of projects at the famous Sunset Sound in Hollywood where he’s been able to use theirs on a regular basis. He got together with designer Brent Casey and PMI to build a new version that holds up to the original (see the video below).
The JC37 differs from the original in that it only has a single cardioid pickup pattern, and foregoes selectors for pattern, frequency response, output impedance and level found in the original in favor of a cleaner signal path. It does maintain the base elements of the original design though, which is a vacuum tube buffered 37mm single diaphragm transducer with transformer output.
The mic comes with in integral mic stand mount and a three meter cable like the original. It connects to a Tonelux Universal Microphone Power Supply that is capable of powering two microphones as a stereo setup. This is also reflected in the supplied carrying case, which holds two microphones along with the PSU.
The Tonelux JC37 sells for $2,500, but is out of stock for now. You can find out more here, or check out the video below.