Review: DPA d:facto II vocal microphone

9 February, 2014 in Gear

DPA_dfacto_ii_microphone_head

We get Yes Sir Boss singer and songwriter Mathew Sellors to put Sting’s live mic of choice through its paces

aving cut my teeth on the iconic Shure SM58 – the industry standard for singers worldwide – I was keen to test out other options and, more importantly, the advances in microphone technology designed for centre stage. On receiving the D Facto II and knowing the hefty £800 price tag that comes with it, I decided I should, in this instance, judge the book by its cover as well as its contents. On opening the package the exceptional build and design quality are immediately apparent – it really is a very beautiful thing. It fits comfortably in the hand with a satisfying weight that feels reassuringly expensive and well made.

It features a three-stage pop protection grid, so will pretty much eradicate any unwanted noise from those singers who like to snog the mic, shout a lot or have a tendency to breathe very heavily. When removing the head of the mic, a very nice touch is revealed: the third pop shield layer is removable to encourage good hygiene. In other words, to allow you to thoroughly clean all the boozy, smoke-scented drool that most mics inevitably pick up!

This is a great feature that most singers will welcome. Having dismantled the mic you get to see what sets this microphone apart from the rest. The D Facto II looks beautiful, no cut corners here. It’s obvious that a great deal of pride, passion has gone in to the extraordinary build and design of this microphone.

The DPA d:facto II vocal microphone in all its glory

DPA d:facto ii vocal microphone

Moving away from the physical features of the D Facto II, I took to testing its musical abilities both through a practice PA and in a home recording studio set-up, and the mic performed fantastically in both environments. Its supercardiod pattern is sonically excellent with extraordinary clarity and balance. It has a 100Hz roll-off inside the preamp handle and a 10.5kHz boost at the top end that reproduces the voice effortlessly, with high definition comparable to studio condenser quality. And you get all of this without any of the unwanted hypersensitivity of a condenser mic: the D Facto II has hardly any handling noise at all, which is exactly what you want for live performance.

The D Facto II is a top quality mic without a doubt. However, this narrows down its target audience to the professional end of the market. It’s designed for the rich/professional touring artist, broadcasting, or for when you want to obtain a studio-quality vocal recording in a live situation. This microphone is just too expensive and beautifully made to be a club staple or taken on the road with a young blood rock ‘n’ roll band. It’s for those artists who have outgrown their youthful excesses and now perform with a vocal coach and masseuse in tow, and throat-coat tea on tap. Most of us will stick to the trusty Shure SM58 but for those who can afford it and require the step-up in a live vocal microphone, this will definitely be for you.

Verdict: A top quality vocal mic but with a price tag to match

Mathew Sellors (front man and chief songwriter for Yes Sir Boss)

Specifications

  • Directional pattern: Supercardioid
  • Cartridge type: Pre-polarised condenser
  • Frequency range: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 75dB
  • Max SPL: 160 dB
  • Power supply: 48V phantom power
  • Color: Matte black
  • Weight: 309g
  • Dimensions: 205x52mm

Price
€795 (approx £660)

Website
www.dpamicrophones.com