the t.bone SC 400


Studio Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

  • 1" Gold membrane
  • Directivity: Super-cardioid
  • Frequency range: 20 - 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 23.3 mV / Pa
  • Equivalent noise level: 18 dB (A)
  • Output impedance: 120 Ohm
  • Peak SPL: 132 dB
  • Internal low cut switch at 100 Hz with 6 dB
  • Requires +48 V phantom power
  • Weight of the microphone: 351 g
  • Colour: Black
  • Shock mount and bag included
Tube No
Switchable Polar Pattern No
Omnidirectional No
Cardioid Yes
Figure-8 No
Low Cut Yes
Pad No
shockmount included Yes
USB Microphone No
available since October 2002
Item number 156266
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The SC 400 Studio is a large-diaphragm microphone which, though aimed primarily at budding producers, offers much more than its price tag would suggest. The SC 400's capsule contains a gold-plated 1” diaphragm and delivers professional-quality sound on a par with many much more expensive devices, and it weighs a reassuring 350 grams thanks to its sturdy metal casing. A switchable low-cut filter completes the picture. The microphone is supplied with a carrying case for transport and storage, as well as a shock mount to isolate it from handling noises.

Rich sound

Large-diaphragm microphones such as the SC 400 USB are valued for their high sensitivity and accurate rendition. In addition, their proximity effect is more pronounced than that of small-capsule mics – in other words, the closer you are to the microphone when speaking or singing, the warmer your voice will become. The same effect will apply to other sound sources such as guitars and pianos. Large-diaphragm microphones are extremely versatile, and every studio should have at least one. Podcasters will also appreciate the richness and “radiophonic” quality of their sound.

Versatility is the key word

The SC 400 Studio has a very linear frequency curve that makes it suitable for both vocal and instrumental recording. Its low-cut at around 100 Hz attenuates unwanted shocks or breathing noises, and the shock mount helps prevent mechanical vibrations from disrupting the recording. The t.bone SC 400 is a great choice for budding engineers taking their first steps in audio recording, or as a backup microphone in more advanced setups. As an overhead microphone, it can of course be paired in a stereo setup with a second SC 400 to record drums and pianos.

About the t.bone

Since 1994, the t.bone has been one of Thomann’s in-house brands, and its name can be found on devices such as headphones, wireless systems, in-ear equipment, and various microphones and matching accessories. “the t.bone” products are made exclusively by renowned companies who also manufacture products for other well-known brands. This provides a clear advantage: Brand-quality products at very reasonable prices. And word gets around: One in seven Thomann customers has already bought at least one product from the t.bone.

Gold-standard vocals

The frequency response of the SC 400 USB features a slight bump at around 10 kHz, adding a subtle yet recognizable shine to the voice that is often found in professional recordings. In addition, the SC 400 USB has a supercardioid polar pattern, which effectively attenuates unwanted sounds and interference from its back and sides. Room and ambient noises are thus kept to a minimum, even if the home studio does not have the proper acoustic treatment.

Easiest mic I've ever used.
Josh Colletta 22.04.2020
To give you a bit of an introduction, I've been working in broadcasting for 27 years. This is my first full-range, studio-use condenser microphone; though I've used some that weren't my own. I've owned and used dynamic microphones pretty much all my life. I've used some good and some bad; some dirt cheap, and some at the top of the price list for their purpose. The expensive ones weren't always the best, but at the same time, the cheap ones weren't always the best, either.

My voice has a very de-nasal bump right around 800Hz, and between the frequency response of those mics and the ability I (or whoever's engineering) have to EQ them with whatever they're plugged into, it can be very hard to make them sound like my unamplified voice does to the average ear. In fact, the microphone that I had plugged in to my chain before I received the SC 400 required TWO bands on my parametric EQ to be set to 800Hz and cranked WAY down.

I plugged in the t.bone SC 400 and reset my entire EQ to zero. I was prepared to test it out as long as it took to get it right.

It took thirty seconds.

All I need is one band at 800Hz turned down to about 25%, and this things sounds BEAUTIFUL. Crisp highs -- I actually had to back those down a little, too, but not by much -- perfect low end, not a single other thing adjusted to compensate. Never in my life has it been that simple. The SC 400 sounds very natural, it's very sensitive, and I have been thoroughly enjoying every moment with it.

I'm using it for home voiceover recording and, eventually, podcasting and radio. In fact, as I type this, I just moments ago ordered a mixer and audio interface right here at Thomann in preparation for that.

I don't have any "cons" to give you, but as many people seem to be buying this as an entry-level studio condenser (as I did) and likely need some help adjusting, let me give you a couple of notes:

Sensitivity is going to be the first thing you notice, because the SC 400 has plenty of it. If you're not familiar with how to read sensitivity figures for microphones, I'll just give you the basic idea: where you see "dB re 1V/PA," the higher the number in that spec, the more sensitive the microphone is. The SC 400 is rated at -32.6 dB in that category. One of my other microphones, the Audio-Technica PRO 61 (a dynamic), is rated at -55 dB in that category. If I switch back and forth between the two, my preamp will have to be significantly adjusted to compensate.

The SC 400 is a hypercardioid microphone, meaning the most sensitive, accurate-sounding area around it is dead-center, right in front of the diaphragm. If you move around your microphone a lot, you're going to find yourself off-axis and sounding distant rather often. This mic is generally intended for studio situations where you or your talent are stationary in front of it (such as vocal recordings or radio broadcasts). This attribute COULD be used in a live sound setting to avoid feedback, but don't forget about that sensitivity, because even if it's off-axis, it WILL still pick up sounds from all around you. In ANY setting, I highly recommend a noise gate.

Being a condenser, the SC 400 is meant to be used at a slight distance away from the mouth. You don't want to eat this microphone, it will not do you any favors. Now, that said, I do personally keep it closer to my face, but I also keep it slightly off to the side so that the front of the diaphragm IS still pointed at my mouth, but the direct wind from my speech is passing over the TOP of the mic, not directly into it. This prevents plosives while still providing the proximity effect. In fact, I recommend that technique with ANY microphone. Old trick of the trade that seems to have been lost over the years.

Bottom line: just buy this microphone. You will not regret it.


Perfectly acceptable for studio use
Mark8610 17.02.2016
This is a large diaphragm studio condenser microphone, albeit a small one. If you are used to using dynamic microphones for recording you will instantly notice the improvement - the crystal clarity that a large diaphragm condenser gives in comparison.
This is also a very cheap large diaphragm studio condenser microphone. In my experience, normally that cheapness would be reflected in the quality of the built-in pre-amp. I expected a relatively high noise floor - background hiss with the gain turned up to record quiet sources. I have to report it's not there.
According to the included specification sheet, this microphone has a better noise performance than my Audio Technica AT4033. It would be a complex process for me to actually measure if that is actually true, but in using the two side by side I have no reason to believe that the performance is worse.
I have used this mic to record vocals and acoustic guitar, both of which it does very well. It doesn't have a built-in pad, so I wouldn't use it for anything loud like horns. The low-cut switch is internal and requires unscrewing the body - but this is only required for close mic-ing, and these mics are best used with a bit of distance between source and mic (with a pop-screen for vocals).
The included shock mount is a necessity for this type of microphone, and the one supplied does the job quite adequately (considering you could spend the same money for just a shock mount on its own).
If you haven't yet recorded with a large diaphragm condenser, then get yourself one of these. Just remember though, the money you save on buying this (rather than a more expensive model) will have to be spent on acoustic screening once having a decent mic shows up how bad your room acoustics really are. But you'd have to do that if you spent more on a mic.


Very usefull microphone
Polus 11.08.2021
Don't compare this mic with the high grade, expensive studio mics. However, for its price you get a very usefull mic to get you started on demo's or quick recordings, even more detailed recordings.
It is sturdy build and feels good when in use. Interpretations of sound and frequencies is rather a personal matter to everyone.

Nevertheless it is all quite impressive what you get straight out of the box compared to other brands at least five times more expensive, or more. Well done t.bone!

The handling by thomann was, as always, great, really!
Sometimes I check their site more than my mail and newssites during the day :-)


Works and sounds ok
onetw 20.06.2018
Well, this thing is pretty cheap. It comes with a shockmount and although it holds the mic in place by a springsteel plate wrapped around the mic, rather than by screwing it in and the mic is not fimly attached to the mount, it is pretty good and reliable.
The mic itself feels, well, cheap. The housing is all made out of thick metal and the mic has a nice weight to it, but you can just feel that it's like the cheapest steel that you can get. Also the emblazed text is smudgy and faded and the finish is not very nice. At this pricepoint though you'll hardly find anything more premium-looking i guess.
Soundwise it isn't too bad. . Oddly enough, i like to use the mic for recording slightly overdriven Marshall plexi sound, for some reason it sounds stunning with single coils. However, the higher frequencies are slightly distorted which is very annoying, when you try to record something clean and relatively high pitched (female voice). There is a possibility that my unit is damaged, when it arrived there was a pretty deep dent in the membrane cover (most likely already from the factory as the packaging itself was intact) but I couldn't be bothered to complain about it and the damage is probably just cosmetical. Either way, I'd classify it as "usable".
Generally speaking, I'm slightly underwhelmed by the mic. The price is pretty low, but it isn't dirt cheap. For less than twice as much you can get some great sounding MXL mics that will last you a long time, an SM57 or the Rode Nt1 (that I've used and liked much more). My expectations were high, all of the other Thomann's own brand products that I've bought were such a bargain, but I can't really say that about this mic.
My reccommendation to you if you want to buy your first mic is to stretch your budget a bit more and go for something more expensive that you might keep on using for a bit longer (MXL, Rode or perhaps the higher tier t-bones). Make it a worthwile investment.


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