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Author Topic: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?  (Read 9653 times)

hargerst

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What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« on: December 04, 2005, 04:19:01 pm »

Why do some people insist on putting these two questions together? On the Internet, you often see these questions paired together; "What's the best, low price guitar amplifier?" "What's the best electric guitar (then, later, in the same posting) in the $300 range?" "What's the best $300 mic preamp?"

Let's talk about each of these questions separately, and I'll try to put them together and answer them at the end of this rant.

So, what is the best __________?

OK, make the blank part of that last sentence any noun you want; guitar, bass, drum set, amplifier, effect, mic, preamp, strings, music, drug, booze, soft drink, aspirin, car, boat, singer, airline, girlfriend, hair color, TV show, band, job, book, religion, and so on - you get the idea. When you look at some of the other items I've added to the list, the answer should a little clearer. It's what works best for you. There is no other answer possible.

You can't assign the word "best" to anything, unless everybody agrees on what "best" means, and that's not easy. "Best" can mean most popular, most beautiful, most useful, most convienient, and the list goes on.

"Best" is a personal term. It's your opinion, based on your desires, your experience, and your needs. So the old question of which is best, a Strat or a Les Paul, is meaningless and has no answer, except your personal opinion, based on your desires, your experience, and your needs.

Often price has nothing to do with what's the best. One of the most distingushed microphones in the world - the Neumann U47 tube condensor mic - can't hold a candle to a Shure SM-57 dynamic mic when it comes to capturing the sound of a snare. Even if the group has a million dollar recording budget, chances are they'll use a Shure 57 on the snare. For 95% of the snares ever recorded, the SM-57 was the "best".

But then, that would means that "best" doesn't have anything to do with price, or workmanship. It's best because it works so well for that application.

But you can't use popular to define "best" either. There have been more 4-track cassette recorders sold than all the 24 track tape machines and all the digital recorders put together. I don't think anyone would say that a 4-track cassette recorder would rank in anyone's "best" list, so best can't be attached to stuff just because it's expensive, well made, or popular.

So where am I going with this whole thing? Look at the last line of the paragraph about the Shure SM-57 microphone. There's your answer. The best ______ is whatever works really well for your particular needs. But that still doesn't answer the "what's the best, cheap ______" question.

Cheap is also a relative term. What you may consider expensive, others may consider cheap, and vice versa. When I was living high on the hog in L.A. back in the 60's, I had a steak dinner that cost me around $100 for 2 people. That was the "best" steak dinner I ever had, and that may be expensive or cheap to you, depending on your income. Since then, I've had more expensive dinners, and a lot of cheaper dinners too, but that was still the "best".

So the "best, cheap ____" is whatever you find that does the job perfectly for you, at the lowest price you can find for that particular piece. Anything else is a false saving - you really won't be happy with it.

If you want a Strat because your hero plays one, that ain't a good enough reason. If you tried a '59 Strat, and it fit your hand like a second skin, then that's what you need - go looking for the least expensive '59 Strat you can find and buy it.

But if you fall in love with a $150 '89 Hondo Les Paul copy, and it feels perfect to you, get it!! That's what's best for you and the hell with what anybody else thinks.

All I can do is point out some often overlooked bargains, but it won't help with your choice if I recommend an RNP, and you really need a GT Vipre or Millenia Media SST-1.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

Teddy G.

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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2005, 04:51:23 pm »

Excellent, Harve...

The best/cheapest.


Best steak dinner -- no. Best dinner whatever I order, for the last 35 years:

Tavern Restaurant, State College, PA.


Best microphone: AKG C414, when compared, one night many years ago, to an EV RE 20, at the suggestion of a fine engineer.


Best recent microphone:

Brauner Valvet, running through a Millenia, listened to on a pair of SP10's(I can hear the screaming from the gallery,  Harvey!).


Best car:

Late 70's Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel.


Best speakers:

Bose 901's, in about 1972.


Best grand daughter:

I've got two of those, so far, and they are a tie.


Best tool. ALL of my tools are "the best"(I purchase NO cheap tools - I spend until it hurts, everytime - my work depends on them!).


I could go on and on with "the best", but, ya'know Harve, I forget almost everything about all of the cheap stuff I ever had... and I'm glad about that.

Cost? The best(Though I've never found the best to have much to do with price) is always worth every dime, the cheap(Which always has to do with price) is always too expensive.

TG
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Teddy G.

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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2005, 05:13:26 pm »

Wow! Two(2) posts in a row! You have inspired me Harvey(Thankx!).

Best of the cheap? Cheapest of the best?

How about the price-break model?


When I look for something I often look for the "price break" model. ALL the features I DO need, as few of the features I don't need. From clothes washers, to TV's to cars, to audio gear, I DO look for "the best for the least" and it is, quite often, not a difficult task. I start out by ignoring the "bottom tier", as it were - the "copies", the "just as good as" claim in the ad is a pretty reliable indicator. Another is "does as well as XXXX costing far more. If I have to go "that low", if price is almost the ONLY consideration, I'm not really ready(May never be) to proceed along whatever lines...

I DO understand the desire to have it all and pay virtually nothing for it. On the other hand I do understand the "If I pay enough I really don't have to worry", philosophy. Though, to either ideal, I do not subscribe. I have found that, like everything else in life, the purchase of something "best", must relate to "MY" best, not anyone elses. I also know something else - sometimes - I just cannot DO some things, at all - simply because I can't afford(Money-wise) the "cost of doing business"... I hate to think of all the things, over the years, that I just COULD NOT DO! Just because I didn't have the money and I KNEW I would be disappointed just "taking what I could get"... Sad, but, I CANNOT have it all - not if I am to maintain my own standards - indeed, ANY "standard"... What I DO have ends up being "comfortable" for me. NOT, almost ever, "the best" to anyones standards - few things I own are gold-plated, to say nothing of solid gold... This is OK with me. Matter of fact, my favorite metal is stainless steel(Rugged, durable, strong, cost-efficient, good-looking). Everything I own is of the "stainless steel" caliber(Or really good plastic!).

How do I know what my best is? I do my research. I, very often, KNOW I'm going to be happy because I don't take anyones word for "it"(At least I don't make someone else "responsible" for my purchase or my life), even though I DO listen to advice carefully - particularly from those with demonstrated knowledge that obviously surpasses mine.

Plain fact is "the best" is what's best for me(As you said Harvey) and it is important TO ME to always try to know "MY" best, and then to go for it - or not...


Thankx for the words, Harv,

Teddy G.
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Mark Gensman

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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2005, 08:12:09 pm »

The problem doesn't lie in the issue of "best" or "cheapest" anymore. What has happened is that "cost" has replaced "good"..

Face it, how many times do we need to hear that a studio needs to have a closet full of U47's U87's, etc. multi thousand dollar mics and preamps to be considered "professional"?

As long as "expensive" is a substitute for "good".. There will never be a "best" anything..just "most expensive". And as long as the attitude is to denegrate anyone who simply hasn't spent the money..regardless of talent or quality of product..as not being as "good" as those who have the money it will never change.

Example: I play sax. I have a tenor worth a lot of money. David Sanborn could make me look like a four year old if he was playing a $150 student model horn..

So, which horn is "best"? Which horn is "best for the money", which horn is "best under $300"?

You tell me.  

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Mark G.

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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2005, 08:57:16 pm »

Harvey,
  Thanks, I needed that!  I have a humble "Bottom Feeder" home setup with a DIGI001, a brand new and untried Behringer ADA8000, a very old Pro Tools Audiomedia III card, PTLE 5.1.1, an Audiobuddy preamp, 2 tired and outdated PCs running Win98SE, an SM57, SM 58, Rode NT1a and MXL 603S. And you know what..... it pretty much gets the job done.  I am not going to apologize for buying Behringer gear anymore; it's all I can afford and it has all worked pretty well for me so far. I have vexed myself over how to save up for a RNP, when the truth is, I can't afford it right now.  The Audiobuddy sounds pretty good and it will have to do for a while.
   Of all the weak links in my chain, my monitors, ears and using my bedroom to record are weakest.  Too many years standing next to a snare drum have fried the high end hearing in my 50 year old bass player's ears. If I had a $1,000 mic, I wouldn't know what to do with it anyway.  I am not and never will be a professional Audio Engineer.  (I will never be a professional race driver either and my Geo Metro gets me where I want to go! All I want is the Geo Metro equivalent in the audio world; give me something that starts every time and does what it was designed to do.  I don't need a Ferrari....) I just want tools that work for songwriter demos and maybe a homegrown CD Project and you have given great advice on what some low cost tools that work are.  I DO like the MXL 603S just fine and I couldn't afford an SM81 at the time, so your tip is much appreciated.  The Behringer Omni is next....
  Really, thank you so much for ALL of the advice you give.  I have googled your name and I find articles, reviews or threads you have written all over the web.  Your mic thread is incredible; I have learned a lot already after reading it 2 or 3 times, but it is a lot to take in, so I'll read it some more.  
   
Grateful for your time and experience,
Bill
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Teddy G.

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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2005, 11:19:32 am »

Hey Bill!

Seriously. If I was "just" doing demos(Just, Ha! I've heard some of you guys' "demos" that put others best work to shame), I would consider one of the all-in-one units. You know, the kind with the mixer, pre's, HD, CD burner, etc. Roland, Tascam, whatever? Fact is, I know "pro's" who use these units and do darned fine jobs, with minimal fooling around trying to get this to work with that, etc. Those of us who are NOT "techs" or who have no ears(I'm almost 52 and if I can hear above 7khz, I'm surprised), need all the help we can get along with less confusion. If one of those demos "hits", you can always go to a "real" studio and let them worry about the gear...

TG
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Greg Youngman

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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2005, 09:51:53 am »

God Harvey this is great!  I'm going to paste this URL into every one of those "what's the best" threads.

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/8428/1131/?SQ=4 814088889867b3d444108e7eb99ead1
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josh

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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2005, 10:16:11 am »

When I had just one mic, the best mic was that one.  When I got more than one mic, the best one was whichever worked better of the two.  Now we have 25 mics in the studio and it's sometimes nearly impossible to figure out which one is best just out of the ones we own, for any particular purpose.  Nevermind figuring out which one is best compared to mics we don't even have there to evaluate.

The thing about price is it's a preselector for quality.  For example, I am currently shopping for a grand piano.  I have found that I can't stand the tone of any piano under six feet, I don't like the bright, strident sound of Yamahas, and I can't tolerate an old instrument that may require frequent maintenance or repairs.  So those are filters to my selection criteria.  6'+, new instrument with warranty, not Yamaha.  The next question is budget.  If I apply a $10,000 max price to my selection criteria, then I have a choice between about three pianos.  So the question is, which is best among those three?  If I change my price limit to $20,000, then it adds a few more pianos to the list to evaluate.  I still may end up choosing the same one, but it widens the field.  If I change my price point to $100,000, then I can consider any piano on the market that is brand new, over six feet and not a Yamaha.  I STILL may choose the same $10,000 piano.  So "for the price" only affects what's "best" if price truly indicates quality, and therefore increasing budget will improve the suitability of the product.  I mean, my $20,000 Miata is a much better sports car than a $40,000 Ford Excursion.  Price is not the only parameter.

Last week I was playing a gig and I had three guitars with me.  My "priceless" '84 Fender Esprit (priceless because to me, it's perfect, irreplaceable, and I will never part with it), a reasonably valuable '70 Gibson SG, and a $100 SX guitar.  When the old tuners in the SG would not keep it in tune, and due to humidity/temp changes the bushings in the Esprit's tailpiece began to slip and the guitar kept falling in pitch, suddenly the "best" instrument in my stable was the $100 SX simply because it would reliably stay in tune.  Likewise one week I broke a string on my Esprit and the SX was the backup ... clearly the one with all six strings was the "best" regardless of price.

I guess my point is, "best" is all a transient element and only relevant under the particular circumstances, and those circumstances can change in no time, reshuffling the deck on what's "best" and making the price completely moot.

Ashermusic

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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2005, 10:57:04 am »

hargerst wrote on Sun, 04 December 2005 21:19

Why do some people insist on putting these two questions together? On the Internet, you often see these questions paired together; "What's the best, low price guitar amplifier?" "What's the best electric guitar (then, later, in the same posting) in the $300 range?" "What's the best $300 mic preamp?"

Let's talk about each of these questions separately, and I'll try to put them together and answer them at the end of this rant.

So, what is the best __________?

OK, make the blank part of that last sentence any noun you want; guitar, bass, drum set, amplifier, effect, mic, preamp, strings, music, drug, booze, soft drink, aspirin, car, boat, singer, airline, girlfriend, hair color, TV show, band, job, book, religion, and so on - you get the idea. When you look at some of the other items I've added to the list, the answer should a little clearer. It's what works best for you. There is no other answer possible.

You can't assign the word "best" to anything, unless everybody agrees on what "best" means, and that's not easy. "Best" can mean most popular, most beautiful, most useful, most convienient, and the list goes on.

"Best" is a personal term. It's your opinion, based on your desires, your experience, and your needs. So the old question of which is best, a Strat or a Les Paul, is meaningless and has no answer, except your personal opinion, based on your desires, your experience, and your needs.

Often price has nothing to do with what's the best. One of the most distingushed microphones in the world - the Neumann U47 tube condensor mic - can't hold a candle to a Shure SM-57 dynamic mic when it comes to capturing the sound of a snare. Even if the group has a million dollar recording budget, chances are they'll use a Shure 57 on the snare. For 95% of the snares ever recorded, the SM-57 was the "best".

But then, that would means that "best" doesn't have anything to do with price, or workmanship. It's best because it works so well for that application.

But you can't use popular to define "best" either. There have been more 4-track cassette recorders sold than all the 24 track tape machines and all the digital recorders put together. I don't think anyone would say that a 4-track cassette recorder would rank in anyone's "best" list, so best can't be attached to stuff just because it's expensive, well made, or popular.

So where am I going with this whole thing? Look at the last line of the paragraph about the Shure SM-57 microphone. There's your answer. The best ______ is whatever works really well for your particular needs. But that still doesn't answer the "what's the best, cheap ______" question.

Cheap is also a relative term. What you may consider expensive, others may consider cheap, and vice versa. When I was living high on the hog in L.A. back in the 60's, I had a steak dinner that cost me around $100 for 2 people. That was the "best" steak dinner I ever had, and that may be expensive or cheap to you, depending on your income. Since then, I've had more expensive dinners, and a lot of cheaper dinners too, but that was still the "best".

So the "best, cheap ____" is whatever you find that does the job perfectly for you, at the lowest price you can find for that particular piece. Anything else is a false saving - you really won't be happy with it.

If you want a Strat because your hero plays one, that ain't a good enough reason. If you tried a '59 Strat, and it fit your hand like a second skin, then that's what you need - go looking for the least expensive '59 Strat you can find and buy it.

But if you fall in love with a $150 '89 Hondo Les Paul copy, and it feels perfect to you, get it!! That's what's best for you and the hell with what anybody else thinks.

All I can do is point out some often overlooked bargains, but it won't help with your choice if I recommend an RNP, and you really need a GT Vipre or Millenia Media SST-1.


Harvey, this is the "best" summation of this issue I have ever read. Smile
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Ashermusic

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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2005, 10:59:07 am »

Teddy G. wrote on Sun, 04 December 2005 21:51

Excellent, Harve...

The best/cheapest.


Best steak dinner -- no. Best dinner whatever I order, for the last 35 years:

Tavern Restaurant, State College, PA.


Best microphone: AKG C414, when compared, one night many years ago, to an EV RE 20, at the suggestion of a fine engineer.


Best recent microphone:

Brauner Valvet, running through a Millenia, listened to on a pair of SP10's(I can hear the screaming from the gallery,  Harvey!).


Best car:

Late 70's Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel.


Best speakers:

Bose 901's, in about 1972.


Best grand daughter:

I've got two of those, so far, and they are a tie.


Best tool. ALL of my tools are "the best"(I purchase NO cheap tools - I spend until it hurts, everytime - my work depends on them!).



TG


Amazing. You are incorrect about every single one of these except possibly your granddaughters. (I am not going there! Smile
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hargerst

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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2005, 03:33:19 pm »

josh wrote on Tue, 06 December 2005 09:16

Last week I was playing a gig and I had three guitars with me.  My "priceless" '84 Fender Esprit (priceless because to me, it's perfect, irreplaceable, and I will never part with it), a reasonably valuable '70 Gibson SG, and a $100 SX guitar.  When the old tuners in the SG would not keep it in tune...
While the "green" tuners on Gibsons look cool, they aren't worth a shit and should be replaced immediately.
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josh

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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2005, 05:44:46 pm »

hargerst wrote on Tue, 06 December 2005 20:33

While the "green" tuners on Gibsons look cool, they aren't worth a shit and should be replaced immediately.



That is absolutely true.

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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2005, 08:59:10 am »

Best has to do with what works period. Price does'nt enter into the equation at all unless it is too far out of proportion to justify. The real problem with these newsgroups is that people come to them looking for a pat answer because they cannot try what they were told they needed and then buy it based on hyped info from "respected" sources. Usually, the poor buyer is blown away initially only to find that after the honeymoon, the thing is not at all what will work for them. There is no substitute for experience in either recording or recording equipment. The SM57 is a good example. The reason is that it is a good "do-it-all" mic that just happens to be low cost. I don't have them anymore (I don't happen to like the sound on anything) but understand that it is the most used by a large margin in live applications. It is because of this that the SM57 ends up in damn near all home recording studios. I have no answer to how the recording guy/gal can try a plethora of mics in their studio to sort out what will make them truly happy.

I DO know one thing though. Pro studios buy mics based on experience with them. They rent or borrow and do a serious evaluation before laying the bread out. I don't think that anyone seriously lays out $5000 for a mic without spending some time behind the wheel.

So, the one bit of advice for the home recorder is to stay with the equipment that has been around long enough to build a reputation. I am not saying that every product made by a reputable company is great, but you stand a better chance of getting a decent sounding and useful product if you stay away from the newest company on the block. Let time sort out the good from the bad.

This leads directly into the cost catagory. The tried and true companies price their products based on years of engineering, sales, client experiece/feedback and field testing. The johnny-come-lately companies (not all) price low for sales/volume and usually do no testing/engineering etc. They go for the slick ads with unrealistic comparisons to products costing up to ten times what they are asking.

The last thing. I really can't stand when companies/posters continue to compare products to "the holy-grail" of the product catagory and continually harp on why the "Holy Grail" is overpriced/hyped and then start to berate people who HAVE the "real thing" Just because you decide to spend $$$$ and buy equipment that will last a lifetime does not make you a "gearsnob" or stupid.


There is great equipment in every price catagory that will be "best" for what you want to do. But, if you are going to be in the recording game as a lifetime hobby, look around your studio in 10 years and make a list of what you have and use often. I will bet you will have a list of stuff that was made by companies that have been/will be around then.

So, pick your battles wisely because I have had alot of disposable junk over the years, but what resides in my studio today is a list of equipment that has stood the test of time, and most all of it is "pro" stuff. In 30 years of recording (pro and home) I think I learned a thing or two and investing a little more in good equipment is a very wise move.  
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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2005, 11:48:38 am »

acorec wrote on Wed, 07 December 2005 13:59


So, pick your battles wisely because I have had alot of disposable junk over the years, but what resides in my studio today is a list of equipment that has stood the test of time, and most all of it is "pro" stuff. In 30 years of recording (pro and home) I think I learned a thing or two and investing a little more in good equipment is a very wise move.  



I think it's a two-way street.  You may choose to keep equipment because you have invested more in it and therefore in your mind it is worth more, or you subjectively decide it is better based on your own financial and emotional investment into it.  Or maybe it's pure familiarity.  Who knows.  We don't have any really high-end mics but I can talk intelligently about guitars.  I know my attitude about my cheapest guitars is that, regardless of their performance, they are "throwaway".  Like, I won't play my prized guitars if I'm wearing a belt with a metal buckle or a shirt with metal buttons, or at an outdoor gig, etc.  But I will gladly abuse my cheapo guitars and eventually that will show up in their long term reliability.  I treat the better instruments better, and in my mind, they are better simply because I obviously convinced myself they were quality before I even bought them or owned them.

In other words, cheap gear is difficult to respect, regardless of the performance.  It's tough for most of us to admit that we may have wasted $1500 on a mic and the $300 one we just bought sounds as good or is just as useful.  When push comes to shove we will most likely sell off or get rid of the cheap stuff, even though the resale value is terrible, because we are too emotionally attached to the high-end stuff we have hyped in our own mind.  Everyone's perception of reality is influenced by our preconcieved notions.

Consider this:  if you spent several $K on a vintage U47, and it became the pride of your mic locker, you used it on everything, etc., and then suddenly it was revealed to you that it was in fact not a legitimate vintage mic but instead it was a cheap Chinese knock-off that was carefully constructed to appear (and sound) like a real U47, and that you had been duped, would you still hold this mic in as high esteem?  Most of us would suddenly change our opinion, feel very foolish, and decide that this "holy grail" mic we had so often used is somehow less.  The mic itself didn't change, only our own notion of what it is would have changed.  Even if you think you are immune to this, it does happen all the time to all kinds of people.  We are ruled by our feelings.

In my mind, the only easy way to truly evaluate equipment without regard for its price is to acquire it without any significant cost.  So this means either you are of nearly infinite means and can buy anything without it making a dent (I have known people like this), or you only consider equipment that is so inexpensive that the cost is not an element in the decision process, it's basically close enough to free (this is my method).  This way your adherence to it is not based on reputation or price or your own investment, but instead based purely on the performance of the piece.

Frankly I think some "pros" and "experts" are reluctant to try "cheap" equipment for precisely the reason that they fear, subconsciously, that it may indeed be as good as the expensive stuff they always have used, and that will cause a conflict in their own ego.  I speak from personal experience.

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Re: What's The Best, What's The Cheapest?
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2005, 12:43:56 pm »

josh wrote on Wed, 07 December 2005 11:48

acorec wrote on Wed, 07 December 2005 13:59


So, pick your battles wisely because I have had alot of disposable junk over the years, but what resides in my studio today is a list of equipment that has stood the test of time, and most all of it is "pro" stuff. In 30 years of recording (pro and home) I think I learned a thing or two and investing a little more in good equipment is a very wise move.  



I think it's a two-way street.  You may choose to keep equipment because you have invested more in it and therefore in your mind it is worth more, or you subjectively decide it is better based on your own financial and emotional investment into it.  Or maybe it's pure familiarity.  Who knows.  We don't have any really high-end mics but I can talk intelligently about guitars.  I know my attitude about my cheapest guitars is that, regardless of their performance, they are "throwaway".  Like, I won't play my prized guitars if I'm wearing a belt with a metal buckle or a shirt with metal buttons, or at an outdoor gig, etc.  But I will gladly abuse my cheapo guitars and eventually that will show up in their long term reliability.  I treat the better instruments better, and in my mind, they are better simply because I obviously convinced myself they were quality before I even bought them or owned them.

In other words, cheap gear is difficult to respect, regardless of the performance.  It's tough for most of us to admit that we may have wasted $1500 on a mic and the $300 one we just bought sounds as good or is just as useful.  When push comes to shove we will most likely sell off or get rid of the cheap stuff, even though the resale value is terrible, because we are too emotionally attached to the high-end stuff we have hyped in our own mind.  Everyone's perception of reality is influenced by our preconcieved notions.

Consider this:  if you spent several $K on a vintage U47, and it became the pride of your mic locker, you used it on everything, etc., and then suddenly it was revealed to you that it was in fact not a legitimate vintage mic but instead it was a cheap Chinese knock-off that was carefully constructed to appear (and sound) like a real U47, and that you had been duped, would you still hold this mic in as high esteem?  Most of us would suddenly change our opinion, feel very foolish, and decide that this "holy grail" mic we had so often used is somehow less.  The mic itself didn't change, only our own notion of what it is would have changed.  Even if you think you are immune to this, it does happen all the time to all kinds of people.  We are ruled by our feelings.

In my mind, the only easy way to truly evaluate equipment without regard for its price is to acquire it without any significant cost.  So this means either you are of nearly infinite means and can buy anything without it making a dent (I have known people like this), or you only consider equipment that is so inexpensive that the cost is not an element in the decision process, it's basically close enough to free (this is my method).  This way your adherence to it is not based on reputation or price or your own investment, but instead based purely on the performance of the piece.

Frankly I think some "pros" and "experts" are reluctant to try "cheap" equipment for precisely the reason that they fear, subconsciously, that it may indeed be as good as the expensive stuff they always have used, and that will cause a conflict in their own ego.  I speak from personal experience.



A guitar is very hard to break in normal use. Cheap or expensive. I am talking about equipment that will not function (IE: cheap, low cost) and when it breaks, it would cost more to fix than buying another cheapie. Pros have no choice if they want to stay in buisiness, Cheap quality stuff won't work very long. Experts learn that buying cheap is buying twice. Newbies just want to record.

Pick your battles, poisen etc. If you are in it for the long haul, you WILL look around years later and understand with a much lighter wallet.
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