condensor mics

which to buy

Hello, I’m trying to figure out which condensor mic to buy. I noticed there are a few around $100 range. can someone help? I sing and play acoustic guitar, so I need a versatile mic. I was looking at these mics so far
1-Mxl-991 or Mxl-990
2-Studio projects b1 or c1
3-Cad gxl2400 or 2200 or 1200
4-Akg-c3000
5-nady scm1000
can someone give me there opinion on which to get? did I miss any other mics? also, I think some of these might use phantom power which I don’t have. I am also getting a preamp, but again I’m not sure which to get. all this is confusing when I’m practicing all day. Thanks Jason

I have a Studio Projects B3 and so far I like it, but I haven’t been able to put it through the paces yet; I need a better mike preamp and a DAW that’s stable. I plan to get a Studio Projects VTB1, which seems by the many reviews I’ve read to be the most inexpensive mike preamp that actually makes different mikes sound really different (like more expensive high quality preamps do). It should also make my SM57s sound better. Current price is $100 with free shipping from zzounds.com – it just came down in the last couple months (used to be $130).

Quality preamps seem to start around $500 and quickly go through the roof. A bit to rich for my blood.

I got the “3” (multipattern) version of the SP mike because I like the flexibility, but for most folks on a budget I’d recommend the “1” version, of either the C or B. Unless you’re thinking of doing stereo miking or other fairly technical stuff. Plus, I found a bargain on ebay, so I went for it. Generally, the C is much more highly regarded than the B. On the other hand, the C is more special purpose. It adds color, and that either works or doesn’t work for a given instrument or voice. If you like a bit of sizzle on acoustic guitar it might be just the ticket.

But, to make matters worse for you: Add Rode NT1-A to your list. It’s an excellent all-purpose condenser mike for $200.

For the cheapest phantom powered preamp, consider a Behringer UB802, for $50. That has two preamps and little mixers like this are handy anyway.

This is one area where it might make sense to go to your local pro shop and try different mike/preamp combinations (recording them and listening back) and spending some quality time with the gear before buying. Sure, you’ll likely pay a premium, but that’s a lot better than spending $200 on a mike you end up not liking. (I paid $80 for my used B3 including shock mount; it was a gamble I was willing to take.)

Look at the CAD M179 and the AT2020 too.

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Look at the CAD M179 and the AT2020 too.


AT2020 here too (a gift from a brother here -thankyou again). Beats my MXL990 any day for most tasks.


Mark

I’ve got the B-3 and the C-1 - both are excellent mics.
I can vouch for the Studio Projects VTB1 preamp as well…
In fact, I liked my SP gear so much that I bought the C4’s for overheads.

I swear I’m not a fanboy. :D

Though, you can’t beat a good dynamic… Shure SM57, Audix i5 :;): Me likes me i5. Have I mentioed that 10 or 20 times yet?

Yeah, I assumed he already has one.

BTW, they say that a really good preamp will make your dynamics come alive with clarity you never dreamed of hearing from them. I don’t know whether VTB1 is good enough to do that, but I’m hoping!

Scratch the Nady off your list, in any case, unless you really have no money.

These days I am a Rode fanboy. :) Byt I like the recordings I have heard done with the Studio Projects C1 a lot.

Mark, I have been waiting for someone to tell us about the AT 2020.

:)

I got the VTB1 last christmas and it really made my mics sound great…probably as they should sound lol. I even use it in conjunction with the v-amp for my guitar and sounds soooooo good.
Bob

i have an MXl 990 its good, but if you can afford to get a better quality one do it. though the mxl will do its job

Behringer ECM8000 reference omni condersor mics are great for everything except vox (omnis have no proximity effect). I have a pair I use for drum overheads and they are VERY neutral sounding.

For big cardioid condensors, I have a Rode NT1 and A MXL V67, one bright and one dark sounding mic, my basic salt and pepper tone colors.

A cheap pre that leans toward the audio nirvana of “straight wire with gain” in the M-Audio AudioBuddy, two channels with phantom power about $70.

Quote (learjeff @ Aug. 02 2005,16:33)
Yeah, I assumed he already has one.

BTW, they say that a really good preamp will make your dynamics come alive with clarity you never dreamed of hearing from them. I don't know whether VTB1 is good enough to do that, but I'm hoping!

You'll like it.

Mac used to recommend these things all the time. I bought one about a year ago as a step up from an ART tube pre - major difference in sound!

:cool:

Quote (Tom Hicks @ Aug. 04 2005,08:20)
Behringer ECM8000 reference omni condersor mics are great for everything except vox (omnis have no proximity effect). I have a pair I use for drum overheads and they are VERY neutral sounding.

Tom, have you ever used the ECM8000s for doing choral recordings? I have looked at that model for a cheap way to get spaced omni recordings of choral and orchestral stuff (mostly receitals), but some folks have complained of the mic’s self noise in those situations. Just wondering if you have any insight on that application.

I have a Studio Projects B1 and like it a lot for an inexpensive condenser. You can hear it here on “I Come to a Mountain” I used it for the vocal and the guitar which is an ovation. One take on each track so there are plenty of warts but it should give you an idea. It was recorded through an M-Audio DMP3 which is another very good low cost mc pre.

Blessings, Terry

i have an akg c1000 that i think is great… i just picked up a second from ebay for $61, too… it’s a durable mic that i use when playing shows as well… however, most people seem to be hot or cold on the c1000, so i’d suggest trying it before making a decision…

also be sure to pay attention to preamps… a poor pre can make even a neumann sound terrible… but a great preamp can make an sm57 sound like a neumann…

isaac

I have actually used the Behringer ECM8000 for close miked vocals, and the results were not bad at all. Being an omni mic, there’s no proximity effect, so you can almost eat the mic without things getting boomy.

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Mark, I have been waiting for someone to tell us about the AT 2020.


Tom, anything specific you’d like me to tell you?


Mark

Mark - tell him it’s crap & save everyone some money :)

I think teryeah pretty much has it, Mark.

No, seriously, how do they compare to the most costly AT mics, for example? My local Guitar Satan finally got them in stock, and I was very curious about them. :)