The Aston Stealth is a revolutionary, broadcast quality, microphone for studio and stage. With 4 switchable voices delivering unparalleled performance in almost any situation, a Class A built in mic preamp with autodetect 48V Phantom power (a world’s first!) and featuring a unique Sorbothane internal shock mount system and Aston’s legendary build quality, we reckon Stealth is the world’s most versatile microphone. Stealth was developed in partnership with 92 top engineers, producers and artists (the Aston 33 development panel) who participated in a series of blind listening tests designed to create the best possible sound… the resulting four voice settings, Vocal 1, Vocal 2, Guitar and Dark, offer a range of world class sounds to suit almost every application.
The Aston 33 (so named after the original members) is now a panel of more than 120 top producers, engineers and artists who work with Aston on new product development to ensure every mic is best in class before it is released to the market. They perform blind listening tests on a range of possible versions of each new mic, plus ‘industry standard’ models from key manufacturers and vote on performance on a variety of sources (vocals, guitars and so on). In tests the panel do not know which mics they are listening to, so the resultant votes can’t be affected by brand reputation, or an expectation of how a certain microphone should sound.
Think of Stealth as four professional microphones in one. Each setting has been voiced by a panel of more than 90 top flight audio engineers and producers on the Aston 33 panel through a series of double-blind listening tests, beating not only every mic in its class, but some far more expensive ‘industry standard’ mics. There are 2 vocal settings, optimised for different vocal tones, a guitar setting which is equally suited to Spanish guitar, Electric guitar cab and steel string acoustic, and a dark, vintage setting, reminiscent of classic ribbon mics.
Mics which apply ‘flattering’ - but destructive - pre EQ make professional post-processing almost impossible. Stealth, however, provides a choice of four pure, high quality signal paths. The voice settings are not EQ filters, they are contour networks, meaning the bulk of the signal does not pass through any sort of filter circuitry. The whole signal is slightly attenuated, with some frequencies being added back in at a higher level. This results in much lower phase distortion than conventional filter designs.
Stealth works with or without 48V phantom power. In passive mode (unpowered) the active circuit is completely bypassed and Stealth operates with the simplest possible signal chain to give a beautifully clean sound. A unique (world’s first!) built-in Autodetect function senses the presence of 48V phantom power and will automatically switch the mic to active mode to utilise the onboard class A mic Pre. When in active mode Stealth features a high quality built-in Class A Mic Pre, dispensing with the need for an expensive external gain lifting device. Stealth features a fully balanced signal path from capsule to output, yielding a superior reduction of ‘Common Mode’ noise compared with single-ended (unbalanced) designs.
The Stealth also includes a proprietary internal shock mount design with the capsule suspended in mid-air, completely isolated from the mic chassis, and supported at 3 points by Sorbothane polymer hemi-spheres. Sorbothane is a synthetic viscoelastic urethane polymer used as a vibration damper and acoustic shield used in computing, hi-fi and many industrial applications.