The road case is sturdy, looks like it will take some roadie abuse. A cut above a typical MXL case.

If you’ve seen a Chinese tube mic, you’ve seen the power supply. They all use it. The Rycote rip-off shock mount matches the red mic grille. Feels a bit rigid to me, but the mic is fairly heavy, so it may work OK. It does grip firmly when the silicone pads are screwed tight.

Now we come to the mic itself. I like the look. The masked bandito logo is much cooler than the sky blue Alctron logo. Points to Weird Audio. It feels solid and heavy. Well screwed together.

Unfortunately, mine didn’t work. It apparently had never been tested after assembly. It hummed. Loudly. Extremely loudly when touched. If you’ve ever worked on a mic, you know what the trouble was. Paint. The sleeve had paint on both ends, and so did the screen around the capsule. Neither was grounded to the mic frame. After sanding the paint off the ends of the sleeve, scraping it off the base cap where it touches the sleeve, and scraping paint off the headbasket parts so the whole body was grounded, the hum went away. Except when I touch the bandito logo. It has two pins which stick into the body, and it’s insulated from the shell by paint and epoxy glue. Sigh ... pry it off, and the last hum goes away.

Bye bye bandito.

SO now it works properly. As long as we have the thing apart, what’s inside? It turns out to be the same circuit (though not the same circuit boards) as the well known Alctron T-11A, better known as the Apex 460. This is a favorite mod platform. Lots of people have bought and modded these to sound like C-12s or 251s or U67s. There are kits for the 460. Alas, they won’t fit the Monster. Different layout. But that’s for another day, another post.

Here’s an inside look:

The capsule. A nice ’67 style, but no hand polished brass tension rings. Plastic. Like Neumann uses, because it’s less likely to cause leakage in humid weather. It measures flatter than most Chinese 67s. The tube is a short plate 12AX7B as listed in Alctron’s specs and the Weird Audio specs (if you can find them.) But Weird’s web page also says:

“The WEIRD AUDIO Little Red Monster is a high quality tube / condenser microphone. lts low self noise and low distortion offer a liquid warmth that really stands out. We utilize a precision machined, 34mm dual gold sputtered diaphragm capsule and premium custom made German 12AX7WAR vacuum tube. The tube itself is one of our tricks when compared to other tube mics. The capsule and tube work together perfectly to give the mic a warm, natural clarity unheard of in a mic at this price. Additionally, our output transformer uses a special winding to minimize low-frequency distortion.  ...   We use very precise winding techniques to a degree that no human hand can equal, to eliminate and zone out transformer noise.

Our Little Red Monster has a frequency response of 20hz to 20kz. A sensitivity of -34dB to +2dB, with and adjustable polar pattern. Our equivalent noise level is 120dB for every 0.5% THB”

The tube I got is not German custom made. It works, and adds a fair bit of harmonic warmth to the sound. More like a guitar amp than my idea of a pro microphone, but that’s my personal taste. All transformers today are made on computer-controlled winding machines. My mic has the same output transformer as every Apex 460 I’ve seen. It’s Chinese, but it’s a very good Chinese output tranny. Measurements to come as we look into modding the beast and making it match some very pricey mics.