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Sony has a reputation to uphold as a maker of high-quality condenser microphones. The 'modern vintage' unidirectional C535P is certainly no exception.
In pro audio circles, this small diaphragm microphone has been compared to the legendary Neumann KM 84, with many favouring the C535P and considering it to be the most versatile small diaphragm condenser ever made, with a unique velvety sound.
Even the comparison with the Schoeps Colette series is not shunned and that series is on an ultimate high level of its own.

Much more famous than this little jewel is Sony's range of large-diaphragm models: the C38 (mic of the month March 2014), C 48 and super-luxurious C 800, all workhorses that can be found in many studios.
The C535P, made from the late eighties until about 2010, first in silver, later in black, is of the same high quality.
The retail price was also the same as that of the C38.

The microphone has a -10dB attenuator and can handle high sound pressure, it is ideally suited for piano, acoustic guitar, overheads, percussion, ambience and many more applications.

In addition to this version, Sony also supplied the C536P, where the membrane was mounted perpendicular to the longitudinal direction of the microphone: a 'side address' type, which otherwise had the same properties as the C535P.

These types have never been sold in large numbers outside of Japan, but despite their fame the second-hand prices are at most half that of a KM84, so definitely worth considering...

Today Sony produces two SDC ECM-100 condensers, an omni and a directional type. These are high quality back electrets that compete with DPA, but that is a different story, perhaps for vintage mic lovers of the future.

Many more types feature in my book Witnesses of Words. More information about that can be found at

wow cover


Sony C535P
Sony C535P back
Sony C series specs

Sound of the C535P

Top: black version of the C535P

Middle: another look at the C535P, specs and sound

Below: info sheet on C535P and C536P

Sony C535P specsheet