So I bought a Sterling Audio ST51 Condenser Mic on Monday to record vocals for some of my songs.

the mic

I bought it used from Guitar Center but they said it worked fine and obviously tested it. As a matter of fact, it was only a month old and the salesmen had literally just bought it back from the same guy he sold it to a month before.

The problem started once I set it up. I bought an additional XLR female to XLR male cord to plug into my Akai EIE Pro midi-interface. I then attempted to plug the female end of the XLR cord into the mic and it looked like it should fit fine but it would hardly budge...

At first glance alone it appears that it should fit. After some carefully applied pressure I was able to insert the cord about 3/4 of the way in but not enough to engage the clip built into the XLR cord. I did this a couple time just to see if it would get any easier and it didn't. Here's a gif I made of me trying.

idk if gifs work on this site

I checked the prongs on the inside of the mic and they are all normally aligned. Non are bent and the cord does work its way in slowly so it obviously is supposed to fit, its just EXTREMELY tight for no apparent reason and will not go in more than 3/4 of the way.

This should be enough to get it to work correct? I checked all the settings on my Akai EIE Pro to make sure it should be working and checked to make sure that it provides phantom power(which it does).

Is there any other reason why I'm not thinking of why the cord wouldn't fit? And also why it wouldn't work? I'm assuming (and probably incorrectly) that it would work if plugged in 3/4 of the way.

Oh, on a final note, I tried to see if it was receiving any input at all and it wasn't. Didn't show up on the display on my EIE Pro, my midi input settings on my computer, or the configuration in Ableton (which my EIE Pro came with, another useless Albeton Lite serial).

  • anyone got any ideas?
    – Travis Dtfsu Crum
    Sep 5, 2012 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


It sounds like there was a manufacturing problem with the mic to be honest. Return it to the Guitar Centre and explain/demonstrate the difficulty you are having with the xlr connector.

I'm sure they will offer you a replacement/refund since they've sold you a microphone which doesn't actually fully connect to a standard xlr.

  • 2
    so I went to the store and it turns out the mic was fine. It was the CORD all along even though it was brand new!
    – Travis Dtfsu Crum
    Sep 6, 2012 at 14:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.