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Made in the UK

In the beginning

When we started the Aston brand, the first thing we did was sit around a small white table in our office, with pads of paper and pens, to get down a brief… what products we wanted, what our look and feel would be, our core values.

It was incredibly important to us that we really make our mics in the UK - not just say ‘designed’ or ‘assembled’ but actually manufacture them right here in Britain. We had many reasons behind the decision to not lean extensively on Chinese OEM like so many other brands, which include having greatly reduced environmental footprint, the ability to locally prototype and control engineering processes, no language barrier (well, maybe some, have you ever heard a Glaswegian at full tilt!!), and a great marketing story… Cool Britannia!

The biggest single reason, though, for wanting ‘Made in the UK’ as our core value, is the opportunity to be the team who are building the first mainstream UK mic brand… what a legacy to be able to leave, with the UK standing as one of the most influential in the modern music industry… for Aston to be the voice of the UK music industry.




Innovation

We believe that innovation is crucial to the success of our products and the integrity of the Aston brand. There are literally 100’s of mic brands, most of them (even some of the big guns) OEM, and all delivering pretty much the same thing (with some notable exceptions). We wanted to really re-think mic technology from the ground up, and as such asked questions that we don’t believe have ever been properly addressed. Questions like ‘what is the mesh head on a mic actually for?’. It might seem obvious, but that’s exactly why there have been no real advancement in the mechanical tech used in mics for decades.

Pretty much every mic from an SM58 to a U87 and beyond has the same basic head form. A rigid structure for protection, and one or more layers of fixed gauge mesh. These break, they get dented, and they don’t work very well as pop filters. By re-thinking this basic area of design we were able to radically improve function with our shock-absorbing Wave-form Spring head and knitted stainless steel mesh, while simultaneously reducing production costs, a saving which we could then use to improve sound performance. Examples like these run right throughout all of our products, and you can get the full story on each product page.

We think differently, and it's why our mics have gained a reputation for being almost indestructible, and performing way above their price point… and we treat every single detail the same… hence our ‘entry level’ Origin mic has engraved details, a metal badge, virtually zero handling noise, etc. and, of course, sounds absolutely stunning.


 

How green is your mic?

The Aston signature tumbled chassis - our first three mics, the Origin, Spirit and Starlight, all have our unique chassis finish… solid stainless steel, tumbled for up to four hours in vats of conical ceramic beads to give a beautiful patina which is fingerprint and scratch resistant. The process is also chemical free, unlike nickel plating or paint finishes which have a huge environmental impact, and will last a lifetime.

Even our detailing is laser engraved. It costs a little more, but looks so much better than cheaper printed lettering, and again, is far less polluting.

Our packaging is all UK manufactured too, not imported, made from 84% recycled materials and is 100% recyclable, and the boxes and sleeves are also 100% biodegradable.

So, our products not only look good and stay looking good, but we pay special attention at every step, to staying as green as possible… good for your mic, good for our planet.


 

Local UK suppliers

We source 90% of our components from local UK sub contract manufacturers, from the toroidal transformers used in the Spirit mic, to the moulded parts used for the head and base of our mics (we call these ‘End Caps’). Even the mould itself was made right here in England, a very expensive process compared with making moulds in China, but having complete control of this process to ensure the highest possible production standards was, and remains, of utmost importance to us.

Our printed circuit boards are also made in the UK by three of Europe’s leading hi tech manufacturers, who also look after the final assembly for the Origin, Spirit and Starlight. Again, we could cut costs by having these PCBs made in the Far East, but the attention to detail and quality control we are able to execute far outweighs the benefits of any cost saving we could make.


 

Uniquely British

Every single detail of our microphones, from the beautifully finished chassis and laser engraved lettering, to little touches like using high-grade metal switches, and even the enamel badges we use instead of printed logos, has been carefully thought out and superbly executed to make owning your Aston microphone an inspiring and has been superbly designed and executed to provide unparalleled value and performance.

Our unique aesthetics, rugged quality and high-end performance are all the more incredible when you consider our products are priced for the wider home recording market, even though they have already become an industry standard, and a must have for thousands of professional recording studios, and many of the biggest names in the business.

Which brings us on to the very essence of our products, the beating heart of our brand, and of your own Aston mic.


 

The Aston Sound - Made in the UK

In every area of product development it generally goes the same way… a sales and marketing team puts together a brief, the engineering team executes it. But the listening process is left to right at the very end, in Beta testing. So, really, most products are made, not by the people who use them professionally every day, but by a design team.

We, however, handed the entire sound development process to what we now call the Aston 33, a panel of some of the very top producers, engineers and artists in the UK. We didn’t influence their choices at any point, and were completely guided by a series of blind listening tests over a 6 month period, where the Aston 33 voted the products through each stage of development.

We’ve since expanded that original panel to include professionals from the USA and beyond, and the most recent product tests involved over 70 industry pro audio experts. The result of this process has been remarkable… multiple award winning mics, competing with some of the most expensive and sought after mics in the world, the likes of Neumann and Telefunken, but costing a fraction of the price. In 2 short years (at time of writing), Aston Microphones are being used by many of the world’s leading artists, musicians, engineers and producers, and can be found in the most incredibly diverse range of studios, stages, garages, bedrooms, sheds and rooms where music is made. We are honoured to be a part of the magic you make. 

You can read all about this at ‘The Aston Sound’ and on our Artists section on this site.


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