Roswell, a small-concern based out of California, USA, recently launched the Delphos large-diaphragm condenser microphone. The company was started by the affable Matt McGlynn, known for his RecordingHacks.com website and Microphone-Parts.com e-commerce site that allows Do-It-Yourselfer’s to hotrod their existing microphones with specialized parts. Based on his experience with both entities, McGlynn decided it was time to put out his own line of specialized microphones. We got a chance to put the Roswell Delphos through a long-term review with several reviewers. Their impressions in quotes below.
The Roswell Delphos is actually an Aurora with a new pair of pants and slightly different tuning than the original. McGlynn was forced to make the change due to a trademark claim from another company. The Roswell Delphos is “well-constructed” with a “beautiful lacquer finish” and two “solid switches” on the front for switching between cardioid and omni patterns and a 10 dB pad.
Understanding the impact of upgrading certain components of Chinese-manufactured microphones from his parts business, McGlynn adopted that approach for the Roswell Delphos. While U67-styled, gold-plated 34mm capsule is sourced in China, the motherboard and other electronic components are from California, where each mic is hand-assembled, tuned and tested. The best-of-both-worlds approach means that you’re getting a quality-controlled product at a more affordable price point.
The Roswell Delphos has a “familiar form-factor” and can easily be categorized as “a solid all-arounder that can go from a weedy female vocal to an acoustic guitar without thinking twice,” according to one of our testers. Instead of having an over-hyped top end, like many of the new modern condensers, the Roswell Delphos “has more of a late-70’s Laurel Canyon vibe.” It’s a “neutral and balanced” microphone with a “somewhat bumped low-end, which gives it a nice roundness on deep percussion and acoustic guitar, especially when mic’d near the soundhole.”
The microphone is “great on gritty male vocals” and “it’s proximity effect serves it well with a big, full sound up close, and a natural back off as you drift about 4 inches away.” The Roswell Delphos “drops off a cliff at around 15 kHz” so it “won’t be applicable for all females, but anyone with a Stevie Nicks texture and range will be in its sweet spot.”
We tested it on hand-drums and found “it can get a little boomy on tumba congas” with its inherent low-end bump, but “can handle the snap, crack and pop of a djembe quite well, without the bite, if positioned correctly.” As an overhead for a trap kit, it “worked well on toms, but lost some of the high-end shimmer of the cymbals,” and the Omni mode was great for “putting the listener in the middle of the kit without blatant rejection.” The Roswell Delphos’ omni pattern was utilized for orchestral duty and gave one of our reviewers a “fantastic result” picking up the timbre of mid-range strings.
Several of our reviewers compared it to other large-diaphragm condensers in their cabinets and came away impressed that a mic in this price range would make such a significant difference. “The Roswell Delphos made my Rode NT1000 sound real sissy in almost every application, and not once did it fall apart, like my NT does every time I unplug the XLR cable,” stated one reviewer. “I could not believe how thin and whispy my other Asian-made [condenser mic] sounded compared to the Delphos,” revealed another, “very impressed.”
The Roswell Delphos comes with “terrific” and “very robust” Cutaway Shockmount, which modernizes the typical spiderweb design to eliminate the hardware on the front. Also included is an aluminum case, which “could have been a little bigger to better accommodate the shock mount without having to force the case closed.”
This performance video, featuring the Delphos on both the singers, as well as the kick drum, showcases the mic’s vocal “sweet spot.”
The Roswell Delphos condenser microphone is a solid contender in the sub $1000 price range. While it won’t be the only microphone in your cabinet, it does offer a lot for vocals, acoustic guitar, orchestral strings, woodwinds and woody percussion instruments. For high soprano vocals, metal percussion and certain brass, the lack of “high-end air” and “detail” will have you looking for an alternate solution. That said, you won’t find this type of solid construction and quality control in competing Chinese-sourced microphones. If you’re looking for something a little different that “can work magic” in certain application, without falling apart after a year of use, the Roswell Delphos is definitely worth a demo. Recommended.
+ Build Quality
+ Quality Control
+ Lacquer Finish
+ True Cardioid & Omni Patterns
+ Best on Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
+ Cutaway Shockmount
– Upper Range Drop Off
– Lack Of Detail & Air
– Mic Case
The Roswell Delphos costs $999 and is available now directly from Roswell.
While the Delphos doesn’t deliver the same value to performance ratio of Roswell’s Mini K47, the large-diaphragm condenser microphone isn’t far away from making a bigger splash in the market with a few tweaks to the dynamic range.