Sontronics HALO is a striking-looking dynamic microphone designed for use on guitar amps and cabinets. The HALO has a dynamic capsule suspended on four spring mounts within a circular frame that protects the microphone from vibrations and rumble on stage or in the studio.
HALO is based on the Sontronics STC-80, a handheld dynamic microphone that gives stunning results on vocals, but which has also been increasingly used to great effect on guitar amps for live and studio work. For HALO, we took the STC-80 capsule, enhanced it slightly to capture the exact frequencies of your guitar amp and to take into account the different length and depth of the capsule housing. The result is the Sontronics HALO, which gives you all the bite, crunch and presence you could wish for without need to lay a finger on the EQ. Any guitarist shouldn't be without one!
The frequency response has been tweaked to complement the speakers in your guitar amp; Sontronics reckons this means there's no need for any further EQ, and we'd concur. Once you've set your amp's sound and found a good position, it's fairly transparent but still bright enough to close-mic an acoustic guitar with great results.
The capsule is suspended in a frame by four springs. As well as looking cool (it's inspired by 40s radio mics, apparently), the mounting system also dampens any low end rumble when you're using it onstage.
Test i Sound on Sound:
"The capsule is actually based on that of the Sontronics STC80 hand‑held dynamic model, but with some tweaks to the frequency response to allow it to emphasise the bite of an overdriven guitar. According to Sontronics, the aim was to get close to the sound you need in a mix without having to use EQ. The mic's frequency-response curve shows it to have a generally hump‑shaped response rolling off above 10kHz and below 100Hz, with the ‑3dB points being at 50Hz and 15kHz. However, the mid‑range hump rises to around +5dB at around 4kHz, and is so broad that there's nowhere on the response curve that you could lay a ruler: this is most definitely a mic designed to achieve a specific sound rather than being tonally neutral. Its sensitivity is rated as ‑53dB (±2dB), but then high sensitivity is never going to be an issue for a mic sitting in front of a guitar combo or stack.
While there are many dynamic microphones that will work well on guitar amps, this one is realistically priced, it gets the job done, and it looks pretty cool into the bargain. It's well worth giving it a try if your recorded guitar sound lacks edge."