During the design of a new microphone, the performance of condenser microphones made from the 1930s to date was reviewed. Some surprising shortcomings were discovered in the distortion characteristics of many modern FET-input microphones. A further investigation was conducted of the performance of historically valued vacuum-tube microphone electronics, and comparisons made with modern types. Spectral analysis of distortion products in the time domain reveals the source of many of the limitations in FET circuit topologies. This has led to improvements in current designs and suggestions for future research.
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