Steffens SD 905

A shiny mace of pure metal! And obviously so rare, the whole internet does not contain any information on it: We present the Steffens SD 905! A very bright-sounding dynamic microphone that lets your voice cut through waves of sound as if they were warm butter. Upon opening it up, we were faced by an unusually small dynamic capsule and were as puzzled as before. It’s not unpleasant by any means, but suffers from a mean bass rolloff which is pure Steffens style; they are a supplier for church audio systems and sell relabeled OEM microphones – most notable are probably their version of the classic Beyer ribbon microphones, the M160 and the M260. Their exact Steffens model numbers escape me, something like SB (XXX) I think…

A shiny metal microphone, perfectly suited for smiting heathens!

A shiny metal microphone, perfect for smiting heathens!

The SD 905 was most likely also made by Beyerdynamic, which is given away by the way the grille is fixed with a metal band with screws in the middle – all classic Beyer mics like the M69 or the M88 have used the same principle up until the introduction of the sturdier TG series. Judging by this, the Steffens SD 905 might be around since the 1970s or early 1980s – the good overall condition and the XLR jack make it seem unlikely that it’s even older than that.

Other than that, there’s not a lot to be said: We’ve used it on guitar amp and it was way too bright, although on bass amp it delivered a nice punchy sound – but then again, there are only so many applications for a bass line with almost no subharmonic content below 100Hz. You can boost the bass in your equalizer, of course, but you’ll have to apply a lot of it which might cause phase issues.

Overall, it seems like it can handle quite some SPL, and it might shine on trombone or other potentially dark sounding brass instruments – but a trombone has yet to enter our studio, so there’s no way to verify that.

What it really excels at, though, is live sound. Even with the worst kind of monitors on the planet, positioned in a pentagram shape around the singer and cranked up to 666, the holy cudgel of acuteness will not feedback. Not ever.

Specs!

  • Nope, sorry. It’s probably cardioid. 
Style: (5.0 / 5)
Sound: (3.0 / 5)
Uniqueness: (4.0 / 5)
Usefulness: (3.0 / 5)

Trash:Gold ratio 1:1

2 Comments
    • Hi Bernardo, thanks for commenting! OEM church audio microphones and their fixed roll-offs, there’s an entire universe of weird things going on there, and I have yet to find any documentation on it. I’ve already mentioned the relabeled Beyer ribbons, I’ve read somewhere that they also had a built-in low-cut; I know about MBHO electrets and Schoeps small diaphragm condensers with bass roll-off – Strässer is the other important company who sold those – there are even some tube mics which have been altered by fixed low-cuts. And Steffens also sells boundary mics, they may or may not suffer from the same disease…

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