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Author Topic: absolutely, the best buy mic...  (Read 16026 times)

plughead

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absolutely, the best buy mic...
« on: April 22, 2004, 05:47:25 pm »

Yeah, I know...

This topic must be hit to death, but with the glut of new mics on the market, maybe there's one mic that is head and shoulders above the competition, sound, and price-wise - yeah, it's a loaded, and subjective topic, but fess up to what's tweaked your auditory senses recently.

PS - price is no object - but it has to be value related to sound quality...

Thanks,
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N. Jay Burr
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hargerst

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2004, 06:25:17 pm »

Jay, there's no actual answer to that question, even if you leave the dollars part out of the question.  It depends on the source, and the desired outcome.  The best vocal mic ain't the best guitar mic ain't the best sax mic ain't the best violin mic, etc.

Once you correctly identify the the source, and the desired outcome, it becomes a lot simpler.  Then you can start breaking it down into what will do the job for the lowest price and some alternatives, till you reach the best mic at any price for that specific the source and desired outcome.

Case in point:

I had a singer come in (along with his daughter who also sang) to try out some different mics.  They each sang thru 10 different mics and I made a CD for them with 20 unlabeled tracks.  They had to listen to each track and decide which mics worked best for their voices, without knowing which mic was which.

He picked the Earthworks SR-71 and the AEA R84 ribbon mic as best for his voice.  His daughter picked the Shure SM7, the Marshall V77, and the Marshall MXL990 as the best mics for her voice.

As with so many other "what's best" questions, the answer is pretty much always the same: It depends.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

Meriphew

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2004, 08:29:48 pm »

All great mics for the price IMO:

Shure Beta 58
Soundelux Elux 251
Soundelux E47
Placid Audio Copperphone

SelfNoiseMaker

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2004, 09:17:07 pm »

For what it's worth, I have - and use - one of those MXL 603s small condenser mics - purchased new for $72.00. And It's sounds kinda nice on acoustic guitars. I mean, for a $72.00 microphone...
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plughead

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2004, 09:57:16 pm »

hargerst wrote on Thu, 22 April 2004 15:25

Jay, there's no actual answer to that question, even if you leave the dollars part out of the question.  It depends on the source, and the desired outcome....snip
As with so many other "what's best" questions, the answer is pretty much always the same: It depends...


Well,
I expected this to be the reply, but a bit more specific: what's some of the more impressive mics tested out on more than one source? Say from lesser known mics like Se/MXL/ADK, even some others like Oktava ribbons, etc. I've heard good things about various mics - ADK (Vienna and Hamburg editions), MXL V67G, etc: I don't live in a location allowing me to walk in and test/hear them, so I have to go on recommendations from people I trust - not by shills touting their own product(s), which seems to be rife on the net...

BTW, I agree with you Merriphew - Soundelux mics sound awesome, at any cost! I wish I could afford more than my U99...
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N. Jay Burr
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hargerst

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2004, 10:03:28 pm »

Ok, I'm not trying to duck the question.  Here are some of my best bang for the buck mic choices for under $100:

The Behringer ECM8000 Omni Calibration Mic - $35
The Marshall MXL990 Cardioid Mic - $70
The Marshall MXL 603S Cardioid Mic - $75
The Studio Projects B1 Mic - $80
The Marshall MXLV67 Cardioid Mic - $89
The Oktava MC012 - $99
The Shure SM57 - $75

Stay tuned for more.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

spankenstein

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2004, 11:29:03 pm »

There are three mics that I own that I think you could really do an entire project with:

SM57. From the snare to the kick to the guitars to bass cabs to vocals.

Oktava MC012 has never sounded bad on anything I've stuck it on. and I only have the cardiod capsule!

Oktava MK319. To me it sounds like what the SM57 would be if it were a large diaphragm condensor. I also damn near stole these. They I got 2 with dented grills for $60. Both work perfectly!





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syrupcore

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2004, 01:50:36 am »

cad e100.  I got one for 60 bucks and it rocks.  I dunno about production quality cause I borrowed a friends and it kinda blew.  sounds $250 dollars good on most anything except drums.

will
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NelsonL

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2004, 06:43:16 am »

syrupcore wrote on Thu, 22 April 2004 22:50

cad e100. .. sounds $250 dollars good on most anything except drums.

will



The e100 can sometimes sound pretty good on kick drum. I wouldn't close mic anything else with it though.
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wireline

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2004, 09:33:44 am »

Hmmm...

I don't know if its the "best" (whatever that means) but the one mic that sees the most action (as in EVERY session in some capacity or another) is one of the RE-16s...bought it for 80 bones or so a year ago, and has really changed the way we do things for the better.

Also seeing a lot of action: older ADK A51 series III (wonderful!), SM7B, AT 3035 and 4041, and a tweaked 319...
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Ken Morgan
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plughead

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2004, 11:15:03 am »

wireline wrote on Fri, 23 April 2004 06:33

Hmmm...snip
Also seeing a lot of action: older ADK A51 series III (wonderful!), SM7B, AT 3035 and 4041, and a tweaked 319...


The ADK A51 seems to resoundingly get praise: is there a difference between the older and newer ones? This is one I'm interested in hearing, not to mention their other more "spendy" mics...

PS - yeah, I agree with the E-100 sentiment: I use it often on kick, but also find it to work quite well on loud gtr. cab - to each their own...

PSS: I agree on the EV dynamics - I use an RE50ND often, and it has a more reasonable body to it than most condensers (on some female vocalists) - there's another EV - can't remember the model - looks like a D-19: was used here for a very nasally female singer - beat out every mic in the collection, including U67's, 414's, ribbons, what have you...

Keep'em comin!
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N. Jay Burr
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Rod Affleck

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2004, 11:59:23 am »

Audio Technica make a lot of solid bang-for-buck mics. If you wanted a large diaphram condenser and you're $300 away from broke, an AT4033 would be a good bet.

I can get very good results with an sm57, but I always feel like I'm settling for something less than optimal when I use it. But still worth having at least one kicking around.

The Senn MD 421 is pretty damn versatile and not that expensive.

Has anyone made those diy tiny diaphram Tape-Op condensers? Great performance considering the cost of parts, and it's a pretty easy project.

I have had no experience with Oktava mics, but I've seen enough praise for them that maybe one of these days I'll pick up a pair of MC012s...or not, seeing as nobody locally seems to carry them...

r a


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Rod Affleck

wireline

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2004, 12:07:54 pm »

The ADK A51 seems to resoundingly get praise: is there a difference between the older and newer ones?


I really don't know much about the newer models...ADK pretty much revamped their entire line from what I understand...and the A51 line was really altered...

There are (were?) serveral versions of the A51s...the series III sound very good as OHs and on some vocals...I tried a series IV and didn't like it at all...there is quite a bit of internet praise for some of the new line, but you know how reliable THAT is ...

Sorry I can't be more help.  Maybe Larry at ADK could give more information...

Ken
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Ken Morgan
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floodstage

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2004, 06:34:43 pm »

rattleyour wrote on Fri, 23 April 2004 06:43

syrupcore wrote on Thu, 22 April 2004 22:50

cad e100. .. sounds $250 dollars good on most anything except drums.

will



The e100 can sometimes sound pretty good on kick drum. I wouldn't close mic anything else with it though.



The e-100 is my favorite mic for Congas.  Really catches the transient in a good way.
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JackJohnston

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2004, 07:26:26 pm »




Don't forget the Royer 121.

plughead

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2004, 08:39:39 pm »

JackJohnston wrote on Fri, 23 April 2004 16:26




Don't forget the Royer 121.


This is what started my "revolution" with mics: the R-121 goes into the "how did I live without this mic" category: cost no object, it has paid itself back in quality tracks over the past 2 1/2 years...

keep'em comin...

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prairiedog

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2004, 10:41:52 pm »

When this thread pops up every week, why does no one ever mention Rode mics? On the lower shelf of my mic closet, I have an NT1 and an NTK which I love. To me they both sound absolutely as big as a TLM103, TLM127, or even a U87 for that matter. Haven't tried a Rode K2 yet...

Is there some bias against the Southern hemisphere going on here? Give Australia it's due!

Jason
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plughead

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2004, 12:38:55 am »

prairiedog wrote on Fri, 23 April 2004 19:41

When this thread pops up every week, why does no one ever mention Rode mics? On the lower shelf of my mic closet, I have an NT1 and an NTK which I love. To me they both sound absolutely as big as a TLM103, TLM127, or even a U87 for that matter. Haven't tried a Rode K2 yet...

Is there some bias against the Southern hemisphere going on here? Give Australia it's due!

Jason



Well,


Maybe I've just had "mixed" experiences with R0DE mics: I own an NT-1 (1st edition), and have heard the NTK, as well as their sd one, and the only one I liked, and sort of thought admirably of is the Classic, which was "tubby" sounding on the tracks used, but also sounded "real" as opposed to "brittle" or "strident" with the others. I've given the NT-1 a fair shake over the past few years, and it only rarely comes out to play - often is left on the shelf as others have taken up the slack...

Then again, I've not heard the K2, or the older NTV, which has also garnered some praise over the years - maybe someone else can chime in with their "likes" within the Aussie mics...
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screws

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2004, 12:10:23 pm »

I've got an NTK and use it often, but it sure aint' no U87. And if anyone thinks it's just as good, I'll trade my NTK for their U87 in a microsecond.
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Steve Cruz
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Knastratt

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2004, 02:34:09 pm »

But isn't the thing with most new, cheap LD condensers that they may well sound good on-axis but may really suck off-axis? (Due to phase matters) So that they can be great in a dead room but suck badly in an ambient situation.

By the way - my CAD E-100 sounds exactly like the 800$ I paid for it.  Smile
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plughead

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2004, 04:04:12 am »

Knastratt wrote on Sun, 25 April 2004 11:34

But isn't the thing with most new, cheap LD condensers that they may well sound good on-axis but may really suck off-axis? (Due to phase matters) So that they can be great in a dead room but suck badly in an ambient situation.


I've never heard of this argument: can anyone else verify this point of Knastratt's? I'm intrigued, and had never thought of it till now...


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Erik Binscent

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2004, 07:50:24 am »

Brauner VME
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Stavross

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2004, 11:38:03 am »

hargerst wrote on Thu, 22 April 2004 21:03

Ok, I'm not trying to duck the question.  Here are some of my best bang for the buck mic choices for under $100:

The Behringer ECM8000 Omni Calibration Mic - $35
The Marshall MXL990 Cardioid Mic - $70
The Marshall MXL 603S Cardioid Mic - $75
The Studio Projects B1 Mic - $80
The Marshall MXLV67 Cardioid Mic - $89
The Oktava MC012 - $99
The Shure SM57 - $75

Stay tuned for more.


For -$100, I see you and raise a Radio Shack PZM

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hargerst

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2004, 12:27:02 pm »

STAVROSS wrote on Tue, 27 April 2004 10:38

hargerst wrote on Thu, 22 April 2004 21:03

Ok, I'm not trying to duck the question.  Here are some of my best bang for the buck mic choices for under $100:

The Behringer ECM8000 Omni Calibration Mic - $35
The Marshall MXL990 Cardioid Mic - $70
The Marshall MXL 603S Cardioid Mic - $75
The Studio Projects B1 Mic - $80
The Marshall MXLV67 Cardioid Mic - $89
The Oktava MC012 - $99
The Shure SM57 - $75

Stay tuned for more.


For -$100, I see you and raise a Radio Shack PZM



Yup, if you wanna talk about used mics.  That's a whole 'nother ballpark.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

Punkity

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2004, 02:26:42 pm »

hargerst wrote on Tue, 27 April 2004 12:27

STAVROSS wrote on Tue, 27 April 2004 10:38



For -$100, I see you and raise a Radio Shack PZM



Yup, if you wanna talk about used mics.  That's a whole 'nother ballpark.



Man, I always forget about those things. Kick myself that I got rid of them with my Tascam MkII all those years ago (kick myself about the Tascam too, but not as often). The no-brainer kick drum mic. Worked at least well enough on everything I tried, and worked damn well on alot of things.

Better than the cheaper-style contemporary mics I've run across since then, but that may be nostalgia.

Gets my vote for "Absolutely, the best buy mic"
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bloodstone

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2004, 11:46:22 am »

CAD M9 for voice & electric guitar cabs $400 Musician's Freund
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flatcat

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2004, 11:01:08 pm »

I like Audio Technica mics too.  I got a used 4033 and a used 4050 for about $500.  Both of them are really, really useful.

For some vocals and guitar amps, I think the AT3035 is good too.  I've also used it as a drum overhead, and the drummer really loved it.  Those are $199 new.  Excellent value for the money, I think.
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bloodstone

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2004, 11:41:11 am »

prairiedog wrote on Sat, 24 April 2004 03:41

When this thread pops up every week, why does no one ever mention Rode mics? On the lower shelf of my mic closet, I have an NT1 and an NTK which I love. To me they both sound absolutely as big as a TLM103, TLM127, or even a U87 for that matter. Haven't tried a Rode K2 yet...

Is there some bias against the Southern hemisphere going on here? Give Australia it's due!

Jason



The thing about the Rode stuff that I found undesireable was a metallic shrillness in the upper mids & highs.
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bitrot

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2004, 12:09:49 pm »

Me too (Rode metallic high end).  I used the heck out of an NT1000 for almost two years and once my monitoring chain improved my ears demanded that I get rid of it.

Perhaps if I had a darker sounding pre, or a compressor that could shave off some high end, the mic would sound pretty good.  In general, I like it's proximity effect and midrange.  But that high end..... *shudder*.

I wan to throw out the sennheiser e609s as a contender... just played with one this week.  bright on the silver side, but useable on the black side, and tons of great tones to be had off axis.

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raw-tracks

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2004, 10:55:33 pm »

I think my vote would have to be for the AT4033. I think you can get useful results on any source with it. Maybe not the best choice for every situation. But definitely not the worst choice for any situation.
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Family Hoof

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2004, 01:24:55 am »

Electro-Voice RE20 = absolutely the best buy. Give me a good preamp and I'll make a whole record with one of these things. A pair of SD condensers just for the drum overheads couldn't hurt but I've used dynamics there too. Everything else would get the RE20 treatment. The built in hipass would actually come in handy in that case. I tell you I'm just salivating daily over the thought of owning one. Wish I had $300 to blow.
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plughead

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2004, 09:36:16 pm »

Family Hoof wrote on Thu, 13 May 2004 22:24

Electro-Voice RE20 = absolutely the best buy. Give me a good preamp and I'll make a whole record with one of these things. A pair of SD condensers just for the drum overheads couldn't hurt but I've used dynamics there too. Everything else would get the RE20 treatment. The built in hipass would actually come in handy in that case. I tell you I'm just salivating daily over the thought of owning one. Wish I had $300 to blow.


I would heartily agree on the RE 20: EV makes some killer dynamic mics - 635 to the 666, as well as the RE and ND series  - all of 'em great dynamics...

I would also love to own one (or more): used an RE 20 many times on kick, V/O, as well as brass, and there wasn't one time it didn't fit or work on the track - also a killer live mic!

keep 'em comin (while I head back to work...)
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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #32 on: May 15, 2004, 09:57:37 am »

I have an excellent condition Royer 121 Ribbon that I'd like to trade for an Soundelux U195?  Anyone interested? PM me.  Thanks.
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rick'o

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2004, 02:51:37 am »

The C3000B is pretty good value as well...
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hargerst

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2004, 09:44:47 am »

rick'o wrote on Tue, 18 May 2004 01:51

The C3000B is pretty good value as well...

For some voices and applications, the C3000B can be very good.  But most studios I know of (including my own) find it's not very useful for general recording because of several peaks in its response.

I only found a couple of things where the original C3000 worked well, and this was over a period of several years. IMHO, it wasn't worth keeping around, since there were cheaper mics that could do the same job.

It's not on my "recommended list".
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2004, 08:38:50 am »

cad m179.

pick it every time for vocals, over a c3000b, a c414b/uls, a sennheiser 535 and a shure sm 58.

with female vox it frequently sounds very strident, and with male vocals, it frequently misses the body, but still it works better than my other choices.

with intruments though, its a mixed bag. the 58 cracks more percussion than it does. the 414, IMHO (or maybe its my particular piece) is quite over rated.

.02,
self.
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Family Hoof

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #36 on: May 19, 2004, 04:11:20 pm »

I heard second hand that Fletcher calls the M179 a cheap C414 alternative and Mercenary Audio stocks them for this reason. I had a great experience when I used a pair for stereo acoustic guitar.
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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #37 on: July 19, 2004, 02:16:15 am »

Quote:

cad m179.

pick it every time for vocals, over a c3000b, a c414b/uls, a sennheiser 535 and a shure sm 58.

with female vox it frequently sounds very strident, and with male vocals, it frequently misses the body, but still it works better than my other choices.

with intruments though, its a mixed bag. the 58 cracks more percussion than it does. the 414, IMHO (or maybe its my particular piece) is quite over rated.

.02,
self.



What mic do you think would capture more "body" compared to the M179 for as least an increase in price as possible?  

I have the following and am thinking of adding another versatile mic:

Sennheiser e835  (gets a pretty respectable sound on vocals)
Shure SM58
Shure SM57
Shure SM48  <--would like to replace w/ something better
Oktava MK012 (2)
AT3035 (is fairly flat and accurate w/ a non-harsh hi-end)
------------------------------------------------------------

Would the CAD M179 be a worthy bang/buck upgrade to add to this mic collection?  (I only need 8 mics in total)  Also, used mics are fine...  I've been thinking about an EV RE20..but I'd really not like to spend more than $200
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Scott Helmke (Scodiddly)

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2004, 08:51:16 am »

For value the Oktava 012 is pretty much impossible to beat.  Definitely test before buying, but my two were fine right out of the box.

The TapeOp DIY mics... incredible value, if you're into DIY.  There's a little bit of tricky soldering, especially if you do the Linkwitz version for higher SPL handling.  You can do some really cool things with the Panasonic capsules, including using the cardioid capsules to create stereo mics, figure-8s, etc.  Easily comparable to the typical $100-200 mass-market mics, but for $10-20 in parts.  There are some threads over at the TapeOp forums and a Yahoo Group (micbuilders).


...

Finally ordered my M179 on Friday - can't wait to try it out.  My E-100s have been pretty solid, good for kick, upright bass, and sometimes ensemble miking.  I also bought one of their C195 stage vocal mics to test - I think CAD is an underrated mic company.
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cjogo

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2004, 03:16:38 pm »

                   
IN THE USED MARKET




$25  ~~SM 58

$50  ~~RODE NT3

$100 ~~AT 4030..CAD 100...AKG C1000S

$150 ~~AKG-C3000B...

$300 ~~RODE MTK..RE-20 ?

$400 ~~SE Z5600A...ADK A-48...CAD VSM

$5-600 ~~AKG 414

$1000 ~~~Royer R 122...Coles 4038...Soundelux

$2000 ~~~AKG C 12...Manley GOLD

$2500 ~~~U-67 ..M269c...M49


Just the ones we tried...





^^^ Of course many variables in application of mic and the pre/performance/room ^^^ and prices are obtained by viligent studies of EBAY and net research
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20to20

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #40 on: August 12, 2004, 01:12:48 am »

Hey,

Check out the Peluso mics:

http://www.pelusomicrophonelab.com/PelusoMikes.html

http://www.pelusomicrophonelab.com/Images/2247-new-3.jpgThis one's based on the U47...

http://www.pelusomicrophonelab.com/Images/22-251-new-4.jpgI own this one, based on the 251...
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Bob Phillips
20to20soundesign

NelsonL

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Re: absolutely, the best buy mic...
« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2004, 05:07:32 pm »

I'm happy to report that I really love my AT 4040. Worth every penny.

On the other hand I'm just not so sure about my AKG C-1000S. Once in a while it seems to have just the right amount of pressence in a mix. More often though, it seems harsh. I really want to like it in combination with my Ampex tube pre, jury is still out.

Any thoughts?
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