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the t.bone SCT800

20-Oct-2019

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the t.bone SCT800



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Category:  Products / studio-gear + dj / condenser mic's

Added: 15-Mar-02  |  Author: admin

New price: 299.00 euros - 194.15 quid  |   S/H price: Not listed


the t.bone SCT800

Do you want to get a super quality mic for your studio, but you don't have a big budget?... Do you want that mic' to also look the business & impress your studio visitors & potential clients?.... Checkout this mic then!... We tried the T-BONE SCT-800 mic out recently and it rocks!... So much so in fact we kept the mic and it's in regular use in the studio! - Super loverly warm tone, with a lovely breathing sound, sorta sounds like 'Radio4' when you speak into it; that warm, full, yet clear sound... superb for crisp quality vocals and more!

THE T.BONE SCT-800 studio large diaphragm 'Tube' (or valve) microphone offers a fixed cardioid pattern from it's 1" gold vapour diaphragm, and has a maximum SPL of 120dB... The frequency response is 20Hz - 18KHz, and the package includes a really nice combination-locking quality case, a gorgeous satin-silver alloy shockmount and stand-alone power supply....

The SCT-800 package costs 200 UKP or 298 Euros!!.... Wow!

'THE T-BONE' is a brand of OEM made mic's commissioned by Thomann in Germany. Thomann have a huge annual turnover and commissioned a whole series of microphones to sell through their store. The T-BONE range is very comprehensive, offering every type of mic from straight budget SM58 & 57 style dynamic mic's all the way through a range of large & small diaphragm condenser mic's ranging in prices from the ludicrously cheap to 'affordable'... All the T-BONE range of mic's are 'affordable' basically... even the most expensive mic, their top-of-the-range large diaphragm mic with variable polarity & roll-off switches is only around 295 quid!....

Mic's like the T-BONE brand have helped break down one of the last bastions of expense in the home-studio world... High quality mic's at a cheap price.

A quality mic sound, especially for vocals, was always in the past difficult to achieve without a substantial outlay which was often outside of the budget of the average home-recordist, but we have seen several companies appear in the last few years offering high-quality mic's manufactured in China and branded for sale in the west.... If you are new to the recording hobby field, you might think: "Made in China?... are they any good?" - The answer is a definite YES!... China offers very high quality engineering but at massively reduced costs, and the various brands on the market made in China & available in the west all are very good quality, but very affordable.

We decided to checkout some of these T-Bone mic's, and Thomann sent us over two mic's to try... We received the low-cost SC400 (see SC400 review) which for it's measly cost of 51 pounds is ludicrously good value... and they also sent us this mic... The T-BONE SCT800.... Here it is setup on a mic stand...

  Finished in a beautiful lustrous satin blue with gold coloured grill the T-BONE SCT-800 looks superb bringing a real touch of visual class to any budget studio!.... Basically, this mic is a visual copy of the classic AKG C12 re-issue mic...

The C12 is vintage valve/tube mic which exchanges hands nowadays for thousands of pounds/dollars, and is so sought after that AKG have re-released it... Well this T-Bone SCT-800 is a visual copy of the re-issued C12VR, but finished in a satin royal-blue, rather than the satin green of the original AKG C12vr.... Incidently, the C12VR costs around $4500.00!!!...

Oddly enuff, we choose an USHER cover for doing the vocals example to go with this review, and recently Usher was on TV in some 'profile' show which included footage of his studio... and the mic which was in the footage of his studio was the AKG C12VR!

So that's a good co-incidence because the audio-example we've provided for you to hear for the SCT-800 is of one of our guys singing an excerpt from an Usher song, so you can hear it for yourself and compare to the original...
Checkout the Usher original and the demo below and compare the two, the T-Bone SCT-800 offers superbly comparable results imo.... and we DIDN'T use a super room to record the demo in, nor did we spend ages mixing it... We just got a backing track of an Usher song, put it into a stereo track in Logic, and then added our vocal over the backing via a Joe-Meek VC3 pre-amp & Hoontech C-Port system PC interface...

So, the demo below offers the basic 'recorded in a room' sound you'd get from this T-bone mic and yet it sound superb I think!... If you used this mic in a better vocal room and gave more time and attention to detail & mix you'd get even better results..... Given that, the sound is great, and that's how it should be imo with mic's... They should sound great when used simply... It's no use if they need tons of outboard & eq tweaks to get things right, and this mic sound bloody great when recorded simply and raw in a basic room with no special sound treatment.

One thing you'll hear immeadiately from the audio demo (end of review further down), is the total lack of sibilance on the vocal take!... As I said, we used a tiny touch of compression on the Joe Meek VC3 on the input, and mixed it down raw in Logic over the stereo backing track with a tad of Logic reverb.... Compare the sound to the cheaper SC400 review audio-demo (see link on right hand page column 'Related-Items' list) - The SC400 is crisp and clear, but slightly toppier without the valve warmth of the SCT-800.... With the SCT-800 you get a wonderfuly defined sound and the Ssss's are audible, but they are silky smooth Ssss's, and totaly non-distorted!... It is so easy to get a great clear, crisp & warm vocal sound with the SCT-800!

Back to the SCT-800's looks again.... You might think that the 'look' of the mic is really immaterial, and yes, if it sounds bad then the look is of no consequence at all... However, if the mic SOUNDS great, and looks good too, this does help to impress potential studio clients who might visit your studio!... Here's a close-up image of the SCT-800 alongside my Zippo lighter to give you some idea of it's size & lush finish!...



If you run a budget studio and are competing in the local area with other such studio's for business, then anything extra you can add to give your studio that extra 'edge' can help to bring in clients... Offering a high quality sounding valve mic for vocals could be that extra touch to get the business, and when the client comes to see the studio, if that mic is sitting in the playing/vocal room or booth and looks fantastic, it gives the studio a really nice pro vibe... far more visually appealing than a dynamic SM58 style mic sitting in the mic stand imo and WAY better sounding!... It's little touches like that which the visiting potential client remembers, and can definitely make the difference to get that booking.... You might think that sounds silly, but psychologically, these little touches and visual things DO influence peoples decisions... The average punter writes songs, & probably won't walk away remembering the invisible stuff you've tweaked your music computer with, but they WILL remember the mic, cos that's what they are going to sing into...




So.. With the SCT-800 we first have a mic that really LOOKS fantastic!... when you open up the case for the first time, it really does blow you away visually....



I remember opening the package for the SCT-800 for the first time when it arrived by courier.... I ripped open the cardboard packaging to reveal a very slick looking, well-made flight-case...



I then opened the case and saw the blue & gold SCT-800 mic sitting in the foam case-liner with it's lush heavy-duty satin-silver shockmount cradle next to it with the power-supply, and I really was impressed at such quality of build & package for such a small price!... Checkout the 360 degree images of the package yourself and see how it looks!.. Incidently, the included power supply means you DON'T need phantom power with this mic.... If you then look at the price, it might work out cheaper than other condenser mic's you might have been thinking of buying along with a phantom-power unit to make it work.. That's worth a thought... basically this mic just plugs in to a 'non-phantom' pre-amp or mixer channel and then into your IBM PC or MAC and you're set to go!



As mentioned, the T-BONE SCT-800 package is only 200 pounds! (298 Euros) - and that is crazy imo, but that is typical of the new-wave of Chinese manufacturing we are now seeing in the west...

So... the big question is.. Does it also SOUND as good as it looks?... and the answer is a resounding YES!


You'll notice the frequency response of the mic goes up to 18khz (20Hz-18KHz)... Newbies might think this is a drawback as they are used to seeing everything 'studio' with a range of 20hz-20khz... In reality very little of the useful frequency-range is audible to us above 10khz even!... however, above 10khz there is still upper harmonics and general audio top-end 'gloss'... The SCT-800 does sound 'crisp' at the top-end, but it's a smoother 'crisp'-ness with no harshness to the sound at all... The overall characteristic of this valve mic is warmth and a fullness of tone... Think 'BBC Radio4' for speech as an example where you get that super-intimate & warm speech character to the spoken word. Comparing the SCT-800 to a non-valve large diaphragm mic the SCT-800 sounds fatter, fuller & there is an overall 'warmer' quality to the vocal sound.



Inside the SCT-800 is the valve which is accessed by unscrewing the base section of the mic' and then sliding the main body-tube down & off to reveal the internal circuit board... The included valve is not marked with any branding or spec's so I can't tell you anything about it, but of course I'd imagine there's nothing to stop you adding a tube of your own choice if you want to try 'customising' the SCT-800... Replacement valves are available from Thomann if you want an exact replacement... Typically tubes last years though so it's not something you'll need to do often, and if the mic is used occassionally in a project studio, rather than under daily commercial use, the valve will go on for years & years... I tried removing the valve and it came out quite easily, so no worries there.

Here's some info on the tube/valve from Thomann I got today:

The tube which is in the SCT-800 and SCT-2000 is a standart 12AX7 type which is used in many preamps. Normally there is no need to replace the tube for years (except its broken), due to the fact that its not used for "overdrive" as in a guitarpreamp etc.

We offer replacement 12AX7 tubes also, here are some infos: http://www.netzmarkt.de/thomann/thoiw2_artikel-133445.html

If you want to replace it with a 12AX7 of another brand you should choose a noiseless version with low low radiaton.


Well, try putting '12AX7' into google - There's plenty of choice and easy to find, but as the guy says, the tube in these mic's isn't being overdriven, so they last years and years unless they break.


Interestingly, one of the leaflet's which comes with the package advises you to switch on your SCT-800 tube mic' well before any intended use, allowing around an hour for the valve to fully warm up and stabilize...

Here's another spec' sheet from the package.... Actualy, this leaflet has a mis-print of the valve model (it says 12XT7 instead of 12AX7) which is why my initial search on the www for '12XT7' found no information on this model of valve... Anyways, here's some spec's...





Summing up... For a very reasonable 200 outlay the T-BONE SCT-800 offers the user something a bit more lush & exotic, a bit more 'characterful' & warm, all wrapped up in a real pro-studio sound!... plus it looks superb, by far my favorite visually of all the budget or even midrange & higher-priced large diaphragm condensers, valve or otherwise.... You'll get a class vocal sound with that extra intimacy & a warmer sound, however, you wont sacrifice clarity or detail for that extra fatness... the SCT-800 gives a nice crisp defined vocal but without undue harshness.

Although you might not think a mic's looks make a difference, again I'd suggest the psychological vibe it gives to singers might give some incentive to add to their performance, which along with the gorgeous warm sound the mic gives, can make a great vocal session!... A few younger vocalists we work with have seen the mic at the studio and they are always drawn to it when they catch sight of it set up on the mic-stand... you can see them champing at the bit to try a vocal on it... it just looks damned pro!!... and for the price gives a pro sound too!... If you can't get a good vocal with a mic like this then you might as well give up imo... Just add a decent pre-amp and off you go!... The SCT-800 is imo a really superb value package which will add a touch of class & a superb sound to any project studio or writing suite!


Checkout the vocal example below we recorded with the SCT-800, and please feel free to leave any user comments if you've tried one or use one yourself...
















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User Comments

Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: Hi-Fly
Email: No email added
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 09-Jan-04

What kind of setup did you use for recording (except the microphone of course)? It sounds really good!

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: admin
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 09-Jan-04

straight into a Joe Meek VC3 and into the soundcard from there.

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: ian
Email: Email supplied but hidden
www.fmsoundstudio.com
Activity: Professional
Date: 11-Feb-04

Hi i am really interested in this product...i am in NY ...where can i get that mic? and how much in USD?


thanx
IAn


email to jazz120@aol.com

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: Robert
Email: No email added
Activity: part-timer
Date: 17-Feb-06

:O ohhh i want this mic so bad!!!!, could you PLEASEEEE do a video review on it PRETTY PLEASE

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: Robert
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 28-Apr-06

hi just bought this mic from the german site do you know how long it takes to come to the UK etc.

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: Robert Theasby
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 02-May-06

Hiya, they have posted my mic today, but was looking at the pics and what are the connectors like the connectors in my mixer are like xlr what are these and does the phantom power have like a jack plug out to plug into my mixer????

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: admin
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 02-May-06

you get a dedicated power supply in with the case package, the mic connects to the power supply using a special multi-pin XLR cable - that suuplies the power and carries the signal to the power unit. Then you use a normal mic male XLR to female XLR to connect the power unit to the mixer or pre-amp. simple! :)

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: Robert
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 12-May-06

Been using this Mic a couple of times been working so havent had a full day with it yet, but i have to say it is increbably warm on vocals and doesnt have that distant echoy feel like cheaper mics this thing sounds the cats PJ's

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: Ben
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 25-Jul-06

I am a Canadian composer/producer living in France. I just purchased the T-Bone
SCT 800 (aka FEILO 5500) also (SE 5500) microphone. It comes with a very good
new and improved Tube the Silver Dragon China 12AX7B tube. I was going to
install another tube, but when I heard what this sounded like I opted to stay with it.
This microphone is an incredible microphone at any price and competes with the
best out there with no excuses. I too connected the SCT 800 to one of my pre-
amps the Joe Meek VC3Q and was amazed by the clarity and richness of the
sound coming from this mic. I did add a bit of mid and high end EQ however. I am
still not sure if that is even necessary. I used a mild compression setting on the
Joe Meek. It was the recommended setting specified in the manual for doing vocal
takes. Definitely use a pop-filter when using this microphone and if it is too much of
a hassle to put it back in the case after a session, wrap a plastic bag around it to
protect the capsule.

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: Rich B
Email: Email supplied but hidden
www.myspace.com/richbakeruk
Activity: part-timer
Date: 27-Apr-07

Got this mic about 2 months ago. The sound is unreal for the price. So warm.

Blows serious ass.

Get one now!

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: Ixion
Email: Email supplied but hidden
www.ixion-music.com
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 02-May-07

I bought this mic to fall victim to a modding project (not by myself, but by a friend) and we were already very impressed with the way it sounded out of the box. But after replacing the tube/valve with a Mullard, and upgrading the electronics it sounds way beyond your 5 star racking ;-).
It is a good mic, solidly build, and they have done a few things very good in the design stage.
In its original way it was very good on acoustic guitar, but not so good on male vocals with a lot of low end. And from Ben's review I can imagen that you want to add some highs and lows, because it can sound a bit to much like a tube mic ;-)

All in all, a mic that to my taste is good. I am gonna buy a second one!

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: Peter
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 02-Jan-09

not bad

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: Peter
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 02-Jan-09

not bad

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: chris
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 30-Apr-09

I really want this mic but dont have a mixer... this will be my first proff mic. I plan on making my own circuit to take the audio signal, amp it and send it to laptop sound card.

I understand there is a dedicated power supply which then outputs the audio signal through an xlr connection (is the output connector female or male?). also what is on each pin of the output connector?, i thought xlr was to provide power and signal, but power has already been provided!!

Thanks for any help.

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: admin
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 30-Apr-09

yes standard XLR output (the same as you'd use with a NON powered dynamic mic) - the included p/s delivers the phantom power. You can get an xlr to jack adapter i spose for it, but it'll plug in to any audio i/o device XLR socket such as cheap m-audio usb soundcards

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: Juan Pablo
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 10-Nov-09

Solo para dar por culo a los llamados SSSuper pros, comprare t-bone hasta que me muera. Peaso pepino!

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: Tom
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 22-Jan-10

Hi, I'm looking at purchasing this microphone today. I love this review it's actually convinced me that I should buy it, you really should be on a commission! My primary role for this mic is voice over work for radio and I know they use a lot of compression, does the mic have a good low noise level or does it generate a lot of white noise etc?

Thanks
Tom.

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: George
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 29-May-10

I just bought a SCT800. Do I need to hang this mic upside down or can I use it upright without having to worry about overheating the capsule?

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: Tom
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 05-Jul-10

[quote] George wrote: I just bought a SCT800. Do I need to hang
this mic upside down or can I use it upright without having to worry
about overheating the capsule? [/quote]

Hey George, ideally you want it upright. I get better results this way
and I'm pretty certain it will last a lot longer that way!

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: George
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 05-Jul-10

Hey Tom, thank you for the advice! It is a good mic :)

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: ruisdb
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 26-Mar-11

I bought this micro 2 month ago. I was very happy with it.
Recently it started distorting. Not always; just randomly. I can have a full recordins session with no problems but some days it's better do change mic.
What can cause this?

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Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: a.tuoh
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 20-Aug-11

[quote] ruisdb wrote: I bought this micro 2 month ago. I was very happy with it.Recently it
started distorting. Not always; just randomly. I can have a full recordins session with no problems but some
days its better do change mic.What can cause this? [/quote]

I have just recently started having the same problem. The high's (Sss's, Shh' etc) are distorted and it's
sounding terrible. I have checked other recordings and it didn't start out like this. Anyone have a solution
or had the same problem? I'm going to have to contact the manufacturer, but this is my only mic, and
sending it back to Germany and waiting is a serious hassle. Not happy about this at all. (I also only bought
this mic 3 months ago)

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Last added comment

Product:  the t.bone - SCT800
Name: ziel
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 22-Jan-12

perhaps You should replace the tube :)

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