Coles Electroacoustics has been developing microphones for more than 30 years. While their first mics were broadcast models, they later branched out into ribbon mics for recording vocals. While the 4038 has been their most recognized studio model for several years, their new 4050 model is poised to take over as their main mic.
The 4050 is actually a matched pair of mics mounted on a very versatile magnetic mount. Each of these mics is a 4x2 inch cylinder that can be completely detached from the magnetic center ring mount. Thanks to the stereo/dual mono mounting system, you can use the capsules individually if you have a second mount, or combine them and use the double capsule setup. Coles actually offers a second mount if you want to use the two capsules separately. Coles even offers a combo package that comes with two mounts. The 4050s have a hotter output than a lot of passive ribbon mics, but they need a clean preamp with a lot of gain to sound outstanding.
The Coles 4050 actually reuses some of the inner workings that Coles used in their 4040 mic, but the 4050 has been simplified. The mount lets you rotate the mics a full 360 degrees, giving you unlimited versatility. The mics themselves are very warm and have a nice, classic sound. It works great when recording guitars and percussion.
The fact that the 4050 features two mics that can be used together or apart is certainly different and useful. The 360 degree mount lets you select the angle and position of the mic, which is certainly one reason for going with the 4050. The 4050 retails for $2,495.