Blue Bottle series microphone. Interchangeable capsules vs digital mic modeling

Should the need arise for more microphones, I’d recently decided to pass on the Slate VMC and Townsend sphere. I’m somewhat convinced snagging used Bottle Rockets (the smaller models) off Reverb and Ebay and re-cycling my capsules is the better route to go.

For anyone unfamiliar with these mics, you pull the head off a bayonet style mount on the body of the mic and simply swap it for different sounding one. The build quality on these is impeccable (in my opinion). And so far, Blue has offered outstanding tech support and very reasonable repair prices.


B0 Cardioid Large - (ELAM 251)
B1 Cardioid Small - (Schopes 221B)
B2 Fig 8 Large - (RCA44)
B3 Cardioid Mid - (TLM 170)
B4 Sphere Omni Small - (M50)
B5 Omni Large - (M55K)
B6 Cardioid Large, Dual Backplace - (C12)
B7 Cardioid Large - (U47)
B8 All-purpose…Blue sound

To hear them in action:

I watched another video where it looks like he is “hot swapping” a capsule while the musician is playing. Are you able to swap those while the phantom power is on the mic power supply?

That video is on this page:

So you’re spending ~$10k for all this versatility. A lot more expensive than the digital solutions, but certainly more ‘organic’. It reminds me of that JJP video you posted about “does gear matter?”.

Yes. But the catch is all phantom power anywhere in the signal chain must stay off at all times. You can’t ever use an external phantom power source with this mic. There is a giant red and yellow warning label in the box that says turning on phantom power will damage the mic.

The cost pr mic drops as you add more mics. So I started with 2 of the big bottles, and 2 full cap kits. But then if I buy 4 or 6 of those little cheap bottle rocket stage 1 mics (without the capsules), then instead of $16,000 for 2 mics, its $17,000 for four mics, or $18,000 for six mics, because the capsules can be mixed and matched with all the different mics.

Oh yeah, it’s a tube mic, right? So let me rephrase … can you hot swap mic capsules while the mic power supply is on (which essentially supplies the phantom power).

BTW - Even though they say turning on external phantom power will damage the mic, it’s a caution and not necessarily a certainty. I’m not suggesting you try it, just pointing out it may likely do nothing. I have a tube mic, and have probably hit external phantom at least once or twice. It’s such a normal thing to happen I can’t image they wouldn’t build a preventative into the circuitry. At least with modern mics. Now a vintage tube mic with vintage power supply … YES, I’d be extremely careful in that case.

Ah. I see what you were asking. So yes. You certainly can hot swap. lol…I thought you were asking where the phantom power and the power supply box.

I was wondering about that. This thing does seem to be a little extreme with the do’s and don’ts. Like… They say screw the capsule in place even if you’re driving this mic 2 miles down the road, because the vibrations from the car can dislodged the capsule. But you have to remove the screws in the capsule before attaching the capsule to the mic, or you’ll also damage that too.

So yeah…I don’t know how important this stuff actually is. I just do it anyway to be safe :smiley: