I want to get a flexible decent LDC mic this week but Im on a extreme budget.

Im thinking about the Samson C01 but it doesnt have a polar type switch on…
I dunno…ideas?

I really dont want to spend over a $100.

I don’t know of any multi-pattern LDC’s for a hunnert clams or less. Maybe somebody else has. I might pop for one myself!


I guess the question is, do you really need the additional patterns? It’s a nice idea, but realistically your average home-reccer doesn’t need them. Verstality untimately comes from the number of sources a mic sounds good on, more than it does from the number of patterns or features it has.

King of the cheap versatile mics is still the Studio Projects B1 out of anything I’ve come across. If you want to spend more you might want to take a look at some of the Audio-technica mics - AT3035 or the 4033 for example. If you really want multiple patterns then it’s the SP B3 or the CAD M179 in the ‘pretty good but pretty cheap’ category.

More and more, however, I’m finding the best mic on an extreme budget is a dynamic.

All the best with it,

Check this MXL 990 out at Musiciansfriend MXL 990
There are 266 reviews so they are selling a bunch of them.
I got one 2 weks ago and am very pleased with it so far, for micing instruments(acoustic & electric) and vocals.

I bought one of those a while back, and I think it’s a heckuva bargain.

I’d still rather have my CAD E-100 back, but until I get a new one, this one is just fine, especially for the price.


I already have a SM58 which sounds nice…but Im looking for a condenser for acoustic instruments like the guitar and violin.

Is a hypercardiod utilizing acoustic foam isolation better or just a cardiod?

B1 would do those well, fairly neutral and clear sounding with a bit of brightness on top.

You might want to consider a small diaphragm condenser as well. Often the mic of choice for those instruments. Something like the ATM33 is a good allrounder. I’ve also heard rave stuff about the MXL603 but haven’t got to use one myself - overpriced in the UK. If you can swing it, best is always to try a bunch and see what suits you.

Most of the mics you’ll be looking at will be cardioid. I reckon the overall sound is more important than the pattern. One thing to consider though, is that the wider the picture the more likely it is to sound more representative of the whole. I.e. a hypercardioid will tend to focus on a specific spot more than a cardioid will which may, or may not, be what you want.

An omni mic right up close can also be a good choice for natural sounding acoustics.

One thing to watch for is not to be overawed by top end when comparing to something like a 58. Can sound great at first, but can also turn harsh pretty easily with cheaper condensers.


Whats your input regarding the B1 on vocals?
Do they sound better than the C01?


I haven’t used the C01 so would hesitate to comment, apart from to say that I have been singularly unimpressed with every bit of Samson gear I’ve ever come across. That particular mic may be an exception but I wouldn’t be holding my breath. B1 isn’t bad on vocals but it doesn’t flatter much so it really is subject to the tonal qualities for the vocal in question.The B3 is a bit better for vocals IMO - a bit more of that slightly brighter sheen and a bit more rounded. Hard to generalize though. Some people are going to sound fantastic with one mic, and some aren’t.

One thing I would say though is that the B1 (or the B3) will generally sound either okay, good, or great on any source and won’t suck on anything. This can’t be said of all cheaper mics - many of which have a peaky response which flatters one thing and not another.

Also, I grow in respect for the venerable 58 all the time. There are dynamic mics I prefer but in the right hands you can do a lot with a SM58. It depends to some extent on what your end game is but for most people, given a B1 (or B3) and a 58, I don’t think the limiting factor is going to be the mics for a long time, and they’re both mics you’re always going to find a use for.



Check out this thread One of the guys posted a quick guitar/vox recording done with his B1.


Thank you…your replies were helpful. I do love the SM58 on my vocals…but I also wanted to mic my violin and my acoustic guitar and figured a condenser would work nicely. I just hope the B1 will do the instruments and my voice justice :laugh:
Thanks again

Don’t forget to consider a SDC for those applications.

Definitely - and it looks like their are some MXL603S on ebay for your budget as an option on that front.

I have some 603s’ for overhead mics. I haven’t compared them to any other sdc mics, but they sound good. lots of sizzle on the cymbals

Quote (aspiringWanderer @ Nov. 04 2004,09:51)
I already have a SM58 which sounds nice..but Im looking for a condenser for acoustic instruments like the guitar and violin.

Is a hypercardiod utilizing acoustic foam isolation better or just a cardiod?

Not better, just different. Do a little reading on what the polar patterns mean and how they are used. (Also the foam is a wind screen used in recording to cut down on, you guessed it, wind noise often times when recording outdoors. It is not the same as a pop filter.) For instance, you won't have much need for a mic that can do figure 8 if you don't also have a mic to do the center channel in an M/S configuration. Got a noisey computer in the room with the mic? Then you probably don't want an omni. Hate proximity effect, don't use a cardoid. Super and hyper cardiod are similar animals to cardiod with some slightly different off axis rejection characteristics. I would suggest you read this thread for a very complete explanation to all things microphone.

I’d be interested to hear how one of the MXLs compares to a quality smaller diaphragm mic (I’ve got a Shure BG4.1 which is really nice, but I know there’s better). Sort of a "which is better - a cheap LDC or more expensive SDC?"
Also, does Musician’s Friend ship to Canada?