Wildtronics All Purpose Parabolic
*Above photo shown with our optional clear polycarbonate dish for illustration. The Black Ops Parabolic Dish comes standard. Also shown is the optional Secondary Windscreen Frame kit.
The lowest cost, professional parabolic kit available anywhere for use with your own microphone or one of our Performance Series Microphones.
These lower cost parabolic microphones are great for use when you need to amplify and isolate sounds beyond the capabilities of hand-held or shotgun microphones. A 22 inch parabolic microphone will roughly increase the range to your subject by 10 times when compared to standard microphones. Parabolic microphones are indispensable tools for many types of field recording, wildlife research, law enforcement, recording birds or nature sounds, sound reinforcement on ballfields, or even indoors to isolate a subject.
The Wildtronics All Purpose Parabolic Microphones meet the expectations of professionals and are the most affordable, high quality parabolic systems available. As a lower cost alternative, the All Purpose series will exceed the performance, features, and versatility of any similar design, other than the Wildtronics Professional Parabolic Microphones, which use non-conventional construction.
- Lowest priced, high quality, full size parabolic microphone system available anywhere. Despite the low price, the All Purpose line is quality made, fully featured, with exceptional performance.
- Modular system allows you to use almost any existing microphone, even stereo microphones, pointing toward or away from the dish using common cables. You can also use one of the high performance Wildtronics microphones, the Micro-Mic PIP, Stereo PIP, or other Performance Series Microphones, available 2016, by simply plugging them in at anytime.
- Lightweight design. Weight with the Black Ops dish is 2lb 1oz. Weight using the Feather Light dish is only 1lb 12oz. The weight will vary slightly depending on the dish and configuration.
- Your choice of large 22-inch parabolic dishes. A large dish greatly increases the gain and low frequency response. The standard 0.060 ABS Black Ops dish is paintable. Two optional clear polycarbonate dishes are available, the 0.060, or the Feather Light 0.030 rolling dish. These are the same high performing, truly parabolic dishes used in our Professional models. All of our dishes are rated for storage in vehicles during hot weather, unlike competing units.
- Exclusive Focus Gauge system allows you to obtain perfect microphone focus every time for any microphone configuration.
- All critical parts are machined from high strength, high temperature Nylon and ABS plastic to last a lifetime.
- Quality handle uses an all metal clamp, has a silent, comfort foam grip, a hand rest, and a carrying strap provision. Plus, it has metal 1/4-20 threads in the base for solid tripod mounting. This is not the <$1 plastic drill handle competing units use.
- Large dish clamping plate securely and silently clamps the parabolic dish, using foam to dampen dish resonance. This mounting method also improves the shape retention of our thin, Feather Light dish for best results.
- Built-in hand-held recorder mount. Directly mount your tripod mountable recorder to the Backplate. Your recorder must be less than 2.5 inches wide.
- Allows use of the optional Secondary Windscreen Frame Kit, so you can use our Secondary Windscreen accessory that extends use in winds up to 20MPH. The windscreen will not block your view when using a clear dish. The frame can also be used to attach microphones using the included Shock Mount Kit.
- No special cables needed. We won't trap you into buying expensive special cables to use our products. You can use commonly available microphone cables, which are easily routed through the Mic Tube.
- Assembles and disassembles quickly and easily to just a few major parts without tools. This makes the microphone very portable.
Read our Parabolic Microphone Selection Guide for short descriptions and a comparison table of all Wildtronics products.
The All Purpose Parabolic Microphone includes everything you need to securely mount almost any existing microphone, even stereo microphones, pointing either towards or away from the dish. If you don't have a high quality microphone, our Performance Series Microphones, the Amplified Omni, Micro Mic PIP, and Stereo PIP are exclusively designed for use in the All Purpose line. Our exclusive Focus Gauge system allows you to quickly obtain exact focus with either microphone configuration. The exact focus is conveniently marked on the Mic Tube for easy, repeatable calibration or any amount of de-focus. Routing passages are also provided for either configuration, using your standard mic cable. The handle is lightweight, comfortable, durable, and has low handling noise. Metal ¼ -20 threads are built right into the handle base for solid tripod mounting. The All Purpose Parabolic Microphone uses the same high quality parabolic dishes as our Professional line, with a choice of the standard, paintable ABS Black Ops dish, or the optional 0.060 or 0.030 inch thick clear polycarbonate dishes. The dish is easily removed or securely installed with a large resilient clamp, like our Professional models. A recorder mount on the Backplate allows you to attach a hand-held recorder for fast, easy use. An optional, removable Secondary Windscreen Frame Kit is available, which can also alternatively mount a microphone with the elastic Shock Mount Kit, which is included with the Secondary Windscreen Frame Kit accessory. The Secondary Windscreen, included with the Secondary Windscreen Frame Kit accessory, allows you to record in winds up to 20MPH. All critical components are machined from high strength, high temperature nylon and ABS plastic for a lifetime of use and abuse, not the cheap PVC parts other similar products are using.
For a quick comparison, our Professional Parabolic models have a 5dB lower noise microphone built-in, built-in booster plate technology that further increases gain by several dB, improves bass response, improves off-angle pickup rejection, has better handling noise isolation, is equipped with both 3.5mm and XLR connectors, has the ability to use phantom power or the internal battery, and has optional variable gain, low-noise amplifiers and stereo background mic options as well. The lower noise and other improvements in the Professional models allow them to obtain roughly twice the range, compared to any other parabolic mic system. If you feel you need the features of the Professional models, read more about the Professional Mono or Professional Mono-Stereo models.
The All Purpose line is an improved modular design based on conventional construction. You can use almost any existing microphone, using common cables, and add options and better microphones at any time. The entire microphone assembles and disassembles quickly and easily into a few major parts making it easy to transport.
Wildtronics offers microphones that can be used with the All Purpose Parabolic Microphone, the Amplified Omni Microphone, Micro-Mic PIP and Stereo PIP Microphones. Buy them now or at anytime. They use common 3.5mm stereo cables, that are included. The Amplified Omni Microphone is a 14dBA noise floor microphone that includes buit-in preamps, so you can have the benifits of being able to connect a headphone directly to the microphone and be able to use almost any recording device, even inexpensive recorders, to produce great, low noise recordings. The Wildtronics Micro-Mic PIP is available for those who need a good, inexpensive, low noise, microphone. You can also use these microphones by themselves, outside of the dish, as general omnidirectional microphones. You can use either microphone pointing towards or away from the dish. The Micro-Mic PIP requires a recorder that has a 3.5mm input with 3-5 volt PIP, or Plug-in Power. The Micro-Mic PIP is less than 2 inches long, weighs less than 1oz, has a good 15dBA noise floor, has a built-in windscreen, and is mounted in a resilient foam isolator ready to pop into the central Mic Tube. The mic has a machined aluminum construction, is fully shielded, and has a gold plated, Neutrik 3.5mm stereo jack. The left channel is connected to the mic, and the unused right channel is grounded. A 4 to 6-foot 3.5mm cable is included that can store right inside the Mic Tube, and be pulled out as needed to connect to a handle or waist mounted recorder. A Stereo PIP Mic is available for those who also want to utilize the interesting concept of in-dish stereo. This stereo system utilizes two microphone elements to produce a dual beam pickup pattern, with a beam separation of about 10 feet per 100 feet of distance. Since the microphones are separated by a critical fixed distance, two divergent beams are formed by the parabolic reflector. This is analogous to a high/low automotive headlight system, where a small distance between the two filaments forms the high and low beams. When pointed at a distant location, higher frequencies are separated into a left and right stereo image. Note, this is not the wide-angle background stereo system used in the Wildtronics Professional Mono-Stereo model. The Stereo PIP Microphone is also PIP powered, and gives the stereo effect of in-dish stereo. The Stereo PIP Microphone mounts directly into the hub without the Mic Tube, and has a gold plated Neutrik 3.5mm connector on the back, allowing you to use any common 3.5mm cable. The noise floor of the Stereo PIP is 14dBA. The Stereo PIP is also fully shielded from EMI/RF using a machined metal core. Since these are low noise mics, your recorder should have at least a -120dBA EIN for best performance. A Sony PCM-M10 would be your best choice; an Olympus LS10, 11, 12, 14 recorder is also recommended (these recorders are now discontinued). Other options still available would be the Roland R05 and the Olympus LS-P2. If your equipment does not have PIP or has greater than -120dBA EIN, like -110dBA as most small PIP powered devices do, the Amplified Omni Microphones would be a better choice for optimum performance. The Amplified Mics are specifically designed to overcome the noisy inputs of video cameras, low cost recorders, and limitations of PIP power.
The Amplified Omni Mic is a low-noise, 14dBA, mono microphone complete with batteries, and does not require Plug-in Power in your recording device. Battery life is over a hundred hours. The 3.5mm output is idea for use with low cost recorders or video cameras. Included is a low noise amplifier with push button gain that can also directly drive headphones without any external equipment. The low-noise pre-amp boosts and buffers the signals, so low cost but often noisy recorders can work great. The Amplified Omni Mic, with most low cost recorders, provides the equivalent performance of a Sennheiser ME-62 used with a very expensive low-noise recorder. The Amplified Omni Mic was designed to overcome the problems of finding a low cost recorder that has suitable PIP and a low noise floor. The entire module is shielded with a machined aluminum housing, and has Switchcraft 3.5mm stereo jack with both channels driven, or a switch changes it to left output only for stereo applications. A low cut, or high pass, filter is also included that may be switched on or off. You can read more about the Amplified Omni Microphone here.
Why do we use high strength, high temperature nylon, ABS, and polycarbonate plastic and not PVC and PETG, as found in competing units? Temperatures inside vehicles can reach 185 degrees F, according to SAE specifications. PVC, PETG, and other lower temperature plastics will either permanently deform or soften enough to cause assembly and disassembly problems. You will most likely store your microphone under these conditions once and while, so it's better to have a product you can rely on. PETG, used in some competing dishes will easily deform at 160 degrees F, meaning they will permanently, severely distort inside a vehicle on a typical Summer day. The higher performing plastics that Wildtronics uses cost more, but result in a product you can depend on for years. There is no better performing plastic for clear parabolic dishes than 100% polycarbonate, that's why we use it.