CAD E100S Review

Welcome to this detailed review of the CAD E100S microphone, a tool that has made quite a name for itself in audio recording. Whether you are a seasoned musician, a podcast host, a budding voice-over artist, оr just someone who values high-quality sound, the quality of the microphone you use can make all the difference. In this world of audio equipment, CAD – or Conneaut Audio Devices – is a renowned name, known for their professional-quality audio products.

Among their offerings, the CAD E100S stands out. This microphone is often lauded for its superior sound quality, impressive build, and remarkable noise rejection. But does it live up to the hype? This blog post aims to provide аn in-depth look into what this microphone has to offer, from its specifications and sound quality to its comparison with similar products on the market.

PROS:

  • High-quality sound.
  • Versatility.
  • Extended frequency response.
  • Robust build.
  • Good off-axis rejection.

CONS:

  • Price.
  • Sensitivity to handling noise.
  • Requires phantom power.
  • Large size.
  • Limited accessories.

Overview of CAD E100S

The CAD E100S, part of CAD’s Equitek line, is a large-diaphragm super cardioid condenser microphone. Designed and assembled in the USA, the E100S has been hailed as a marvel of modern audio engineering.

General Specifications and Features

The CAD E100S features a large, low mass diaphragm measuring 1.1″ in diameter and a nickel-plated capsule. It utilizes a unique patent-pending “stabilized dual-gradient” transformerless design that provides an extended low-frequency response and speedy transient characteristics.

The E100S operates on 48V phantom power, and its frequency response is specified as 40Hz to 18kHz. Its supercardioid polar pattern is highly efficient at sound isolation, making it а great choice for recording in noisy environments. Moreover, it’s equipped with an 80Hz high-pass filter and a 10dB pad.

Specification

SpecificationDetails
ModelCAD E100S
TypeCondenser microphone
Polar PatternSupercardioid
Frequency Response20Hz - 18kHz
Sensitivity-34 dBV (20 mV) @ 1 Pa
Impedance150 ohms
Maximum SPL150 dB (Pad engaged), 140 dB (Pad disengaged)
Equivalent Noise Level (A-weighted)20 dB-A
Connector3-pin XLR
Power Requirements48V phantom power
Dimensions165mm (length), 57mm (diameter)
Weight1 lb (453 grams)
ConstructionDie-cast zinc body
Included AccessoriesShock mount, protective pouch

Physical Design and Build Quality

The microphone is robustly built with a stylish yet professional appearance. Its body is all metal, finished in matte black, giving it a sleek look. The grill, though appearing compact, provides adequate space for the large diaphragm inside. The switches for the high-pass filter and pad are placed on the rear of the microphone, each labeled clearly for ease of use.

Set-Up and Ease of Use

Setting up the E100S is straightforward, thanks to its XLR connectivity. It is easy to mount on a stand with its in-built shock mount and can be positioned according to your preference due to its flexible swivel. Given its supercardioid polar pattern, it’s important to position the microphone carefully to capture sound from the correct direction while rejecting sound from the sides and rear.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, the CAD E100S provides a user-friendly experience without compromising on sound quality and versatility. Its detailed sound reproduction аnd excellent noise rejection capabilities make it a worthy consideration for anyone involved in the world of professional audio recording.

Sound Quality

When it comes to microphones, sound quality is the paramount concern, and in this department, the CAD E100S truly shines. It’s important to note that this microphone was designed for critical recording applications where detail аnd clarity are essential, and it certainly lives up to that promise.

Audio Quality of CAD E100S

The E100S delivers a full-bodied and detailed sound with a generous amount of warmth, making it ideal for a broad range of applications. Its frequency response is well balanced, with a subtle lift in the presence region that aids in bringing vocals or speech to the front of the mix. However, it is not harsh or overly bright, maintaining a natural sound that is pleasant and easy on the ears.

The low-frequency response is equally impressive. It extends deep down, capturing the richness and depth of voices and acoustic instruments. The 80Hz high-pass filter can be engaged when needed tо reduce unwanted low-end rumble or to provide extra clarity for certain applications.

Sound Characteristics

What sets the CAD E100S apart is its super cardioid polar pattern, contributing to its high degree of side rejection. This feature ensures that the E100S is highly resistant to ambient noise, making it an excellent choice for recordings where isolation is crucial. Whether it’s capturing intimate vocals, recording acoustic instruments, or broadcasting in environments with unwanted noise, the CAD E100S performs exceptionally.

The fast transient response of this microphone also deserves a mention. It captures the nuances of the sound source with great accuracy, offering a high level of detail and realism. Whether you’re recording a plucked guitar string or the subtle nuances of spoken word, the E100S reproduces these sounds faithfully.

Suitability for Different Types of Voices and Instruments

With its versatile nature, the E100S works wonderfully across various sound sources. It brings out the texture and nuances in vocals, making it an excellent choice for singers, podcasters, or voice-over artists. For instruments, it works well on acoustic guitars, percussions, and other stringed instruments, providing a clear and precise sound. Despite being a condenser microphone, it handles high sound pressure levels well, making it usable even on louder sound sources like guitar amplifiers оr drum overheads.

Comparisons with Similar Microphones

Given the wide range of professional microphones available in the market, it’s important to understand where the CAD E100S stands in comparison to its contemporaries.

Comparing the CAD E100S with Other Microphones in Its Price Range

In its price range, the CAD E100S stands against some strong competitors such as the Audio Technica AT4050, AKG C414, and the Rode NT1.

  1. CAD E100S vs. Audio Technica AT4050: The AT4050 is known for its clarity and versatility, featuring selectable polar patterns. However, when it comes to noise rejection, the E100S outperforms with its supercardioid pattern. Furthermore, the E100S tends to deliver a warmer sound that some users might prefer over the AT4050.
  2. CAD E100S vs. AKG C414: The C414 is a classic with multiple polar patterns and a wide dynamic range. While the C414 is very versatile, the E100S still holds its ground with its noise rejection and subtle warmth in the sound, making it particularly good for vocal work.
  3. CAD E100S vs. Rode NT1: The Rode NT1 is another fantastic microphone at this price point, known for its incredibly low self-noise. While the NT1 delivers a clean and neutral sound, the CAD E100S provides a bit more character and warmth, which could be a deciding factor based on personal preference.

Highlighting Differences and Similarities

A common thread among these microphones is their robust build, excellent sound quality, and high versatility. They all have large diaphragms and function well for a wide array of sound sources. However, the E100S sets itself apart with its supercardioid pattern, allowing better isolation in noisier environments. This feature, combined with its distinctive tonal characteristics, gives it an edge for certain applications, particularly in studio environments where sound isolation is key.

Advantages and Potential Downsides of the CAD E100S

The E100S excels in delivering high-quality sound with a unique warmth and impressive noise rejection. Its high-pass filter and pad provide additional flexibility. On the downside, unlike some of its competitors, the E100S does not offer multiple polar patterns, which could limit its versatility in certain recording scenarios.

Usage Experience

Having a top-tier microphone is as much about the sound quality as it is about the user experience. The CAD E100S has been my go-to microphone for various recording scenarios, and it has never failed to deliver outstanding results.

Personal Experience of Using the CAD E100S

During my time using the CAD E100S, I’ve found it to be a real workhorse. Not only does it produce excellent audio quality, but it is also incredibly easy to use. The fact that it maintains its audio performance across a variety of settings speaks volumes about its versatility.

In voice-over and podcasting applications, the E100S captures the human voice in а detailed and vibrant manner, adding a warm touch that makes the audio pleasant to listen to. In music production, whether it was used for recording intimate vocal performances or capturing the nuanced sounds of acoustic instruments, the E100S has consistently provided recordings that blend seamlessly into the mix.

Performance in Different Recording Environments

The CAD E100S shines in both quiet studios and environments with a degree of ambient noise. Thanks to its supercardioid pattern, it offers superior noise rejection. This feature has proven to be invaluable when recording in less than ideal conditions, as it allows the main sound source to remain isolated and distinct.

When used in a well-treated studio, the CAD E100S has provided some of the cleanest and warmest recordings I’ve ever heard. Its low self-noise and impressive transient response ensure every detail is captured accurately.

Long-Term Reliability and Durability

From a build quality standpoint, the CAD E100S feels robust and durable. Even after months of use, the microphone has shown no signs of wear or performance degradation. The switches on the back for the high-pass filter and the pad have remained tight and functional, and the microphone overall still feels solid and well-built.

In summary, the CAD E100S offers а wonderful user experience. Its ease of use, flexibility, and performance in various recording environments, coupled with its robust build, make it a highly reliable choice for professionals and enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re just starting your audio recording journey or looking to upgrade your current setup, the CAD E100S is definitely worth considering.

CAD E100S Review
CAD E100S Review

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