The X-8S is a multipattern microphone with three polar patterns selectable via switch:
- left switch position – omnidirectional, indicated by blind hole mark;
- center switch position – bidirectional/stereo, indicated by two blind hole marks;
- right switch position – cardioid, without mark.
The pattern switch is set with a 3mm flathead screwdriver.
The X-8S multipattern microphone generates variable polar patterns via two 14mm cardioid capsules oriented at 180°. In bidirectional mode, the “front” capsule (marked with a blind hole) is routed to pin 3 of the XLR output, and the unmarked capsule is routed to pin 2 of the XLR output. The capsule outputs are reverse polarity, such that when connected to a standard XLR microphone input amplifier, the signal from the marked capsule will have positive polarity. In cardioid and omnidirectional modes, a signal is present only on pin 3, with pin 2 providing an impedance-balanced output. The capsule with blind hole mark is active in cardioid operation.
The X-8S is available in three output formats:
- transformerless with pattern switch (omnidirectional, bidirectional/stereo, cardioid);
- transformerless, without pattern switch (bidirectional/stereo only);
- transformer output (bidirectional only).
The transformerless output versions of the X-8S do not sum the opposing signals from the two capsules internally in bidirectional mode, so a balanced input microphone amplifier is required to generate a bidirectional signal. The transformerless version may be ordered with or without the multipattern switch; the switchless version will operate in bidirectional or stereo/dual capsule mode only. To generate a bidirectional pattern with an unbalanced input amplifier (using external phantom power supply), a balun transformer should be used between the phantom supply and the unbalanced input.
The X-8S may also be supplied with a transformer-balanced output (such that an inline balun transformer is not required for unbalanced inputs); however, that option will limit the X-8S to bidirectional operation only.
The X-8S is intended for use in stereo recording applications such as mid-side or Blumlein configuration. Another X-8S or X-R microphone may be used as the mid microphone in mid-side configuration. An X-R remote capsule may be mounted to the X-8S body using the mid-side mount accessory. Two X-8S microphones may be used in Blumlein configuration.
The X-8S transformerless output may also be split to two XLR inputs for use as a single-point stereo microphone with opposing cardioid capsules, or a two-channel microphone for recording sources on opposite sides of the microphone. To use stereo mode, the pattern selection switch must be set to the bidirectional pattern (stereo operation is not possible with the transformer-output version). A stereo XLR microphone Y cable is available as an option. The stereo Y cable has an XLR-3-F input and routes each capsule signal (pins 2 and 3 on the XLR-3-F) to pin 3 on two XLR-3-M output connectors, with impedance-balancing components on pin 2 of each output. This results in positive polarity for each capsule when connected to standard XLR microphone input amplifiers. The stereo Y cable uses a white ring on the XLR output connected to the capsule with the blind hole and a red ring to designate the unmarked capsule.
In stereo mode, the X-8S has a stereo recording angle of 90°, with the frequency response of each capsule as shown below for the cardioid pattern.
Type: dual 14mm multipattern and stereo electret condenser microphone
Phantom Power: +12V to +48V
Output Impedance: 150Ω (75Ω each pin in stereo mode)
Recommended Input Impedance: 1.5kΩ or higher
Sensitivity, 1kHz @ 94dBSPL: -34dBV/Pa (omni, -37dBV/Pa)
Total Harmonic Distortion, 1kHz @ 94dBSPL: <0.1%
Maximum Level, 1kHz @ 1% THD: 132dBSPL (omni, 130dBSPL)
Frequency Response, omnidirectional (-3dB): 60Hz to 16kHz
Frequency Response, cardioid (-3dB): 70Hz to 16kHz
Frequency Response, bidirectional (-3dB): 80Hz to 16kHz
Weight: 86g (3.0oz)
Dimensions: body, 100mm x 19mmø (4″ x 3/4″ø); capsule housing, 34mm x 19mmø (1 3/8″ x 3/4″ø)