NAMM 2019: Aston Stealth, a four-mics-in-one glowing in purple
At NAMM 2019, manufacturer Aston launched Stealth – an ambitious microphone designed for both stage and studio use. Touted as a “broadcast-quality” mic, it has four switchable voice modes (Vocal 1 & 2, Guitar, Dark) and works both as a passive and active mic. It has inbuilt 48v phantom power detection to automatically switch itself to active mode when power is available. In this case, an integrated Class A preamp is activated, removing the necessity for an external gain booster. An internal Sorbothane shockmount system reduces vibration and movement noise.
Each of the four voice modes was designed in partnership with a total of 92 engineers, artists, and producers who participated in blind listening tests and offered feedback. Each mode has a dedicated discrete signal path, making for a different voicing. Finally, the purple LED phantom power indicator on the bottom is an unusual addition and, I think, a wonderful design choice.
All in all, the Stealth looks impressive and at USD 400, it may turn out to be a steal. I have my reservations about the company’s claim of “the world’s most versatile microphone”, though. Has Aston’s marketing dept. ever heard of modeling microphones? These have been going steady for the past couple of years…
‘Broadcast quality’ – don’t we love those silly monikers!