King Bee II
Firstly, the styling is definitely unusual. It has a kind of retro look with a modern rugged construction. While the mic is obviously solid and heavy, I did notice a warning about attempting to remove the capsule and associated housing; I’ve never been in the business of mishandling microphones, even in all my years as a live sound engineer. However after much firm manipulation I’ve come to the conclusion that if a studio mic is going to end up on the deck as a result of a pogoing singer, I’d say this mic would fair far better than a vintage Telefunken U47, ELA-M 251, or dare I say my trusty old 414 which has suffered at the hands of many over-enthusiastic performances!
Another interesting feature I noticed was the secondary grill with open sides, which is a clever idea for keeping your pop shield integrated into the mic design. It very much seems like as the energy and air hits the first grill, it’s diffused sideways – reducing the air pressure at the second grill thus further reducing the likelihood of plosives. Of course there’s nothing to stop you using an additional pop shield. The KB2 is also permanently attached to its suspension system, and again this mount is extremely tough and capable of withstanding a fair amount of abuse. I would also strongly advise you to marry this mic up with a good quality, robust boom mic stand as this mic is not light.
The KB2 is a cardioid condenser and requires phantom power via an XLR cable from either your audio interface or from your preamps or console. I’m not aware of any modern audio interfaces that don’t supply phantom so this really shouldn’t be a problem. I used my UA Apollo x8p so in a roundabout way I was able to test this mic on some of the world’s most iconic consoles and outboard. This was also where my potential prejudices and preconceptions of what a budget microphone should be all went out of the window. In the same way as 25 years ago when I first used an Audio-Technica 4033 and thought ‘wow, this is a good microphone’, here I am again, only I’m saving myself another £300.