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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3030062 02/21/20 05:22 PM
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In other news, tracking shows my Neat King Bee is out for delivery so I can pick it up after 3 today.
Will give it a quick spin and share findings.

Will start learning more about SDC, eventually I'll find a nice pair of those.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3030101 02/21/20 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Will start learning more about SDC, eventually I'll find a nice pair of those.


What's your price range? I can make recommendations from quite affordable to oh yeah that's gonna hurt.


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) grin
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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
Dr Mike Metlay #3030129 02/22/20 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mike Metlay
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Will start learning more about SDC, eventually I'll find a nice pair of those.


What's your price range? I can make recommendations from quite affordable to oh yeah that's gonna hurt.



Your recommendations would be most welcome!!! 2-3 different ones from low to medium price please, and thank you! :- D

At the same time, I go about things differently than most people.
It seems fair to say I am a scavenger. I am very averse to stolen goods so I like to go to thrift stores because it seems doubtful that criminals would give their loot to Starvation Army so I am comfortable purchasing there.
That said, I shop craigslist too and have found amazing deals from people who were obviously totally on the up and up. Just missed an $80 mid-90's Guild Jumbo on there, being sold by a rich person out on the cliffs - Chuckanut Drive (you have to be rich to live there). I guess they didn't want it anymore...

I got both of my CAD mics (D82 ribbon and E100 (2) condenser) for a straight across trade - a beautiful Turkish baglama saz I found at Value Village for $40. By the time you add in bridges and shipping, I had close to $80 in it. So I got those mics for $40 each, more or less.

2 years ago I bought an ancient flamed koa ukulele at Goodwill for $5. It needed some work. I listed it as-is and accepted an offer - by the time fees were paid etc. I cleared $500.
So if I bought something with that $500 (bills, ugh!) you could say I paid $500 for it but an argument could also be made that I paid $5 for it, no?

I'm gigging a $40 Roland Cube 40gx -Value Village score.

I bought a Gurian guitar at Starvation Army in Fresno for $65 years ago and got $1,300 for it as-is.

I could go on and on. The AT mic I listed above was in the tools at Goodwill for $3.50.

Seek and ye shall find... Cheers, Kuru


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3030137 02/22/20 06:09 AM
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^^^ Dr. Mike, there is a reply for you directly above ^^^

Neat King Bee condenser mic arrived and I gave it a quick spin.

In the far bedroom, door open, same conditions as the other mics. Fishman Loudbox in the far corner, mic was on the included shock mount with the included clip on pop filter and on the other side of the room facing the open door. This mic has more sensitivity than my other mics, the Gain on the Fishman was set around 8:30, other mics started at 9:30 and went up from there. The mic had a controlled feedback resonance ring in that room with EQ flat. It was midrange - approximately the high E string on a guitar in pitch. Some reviews say it is not cardioid but super or hyper cardioid, that would explain it since the speaker was aiming directly at the back of the mic. Overall, vocal tone from about 6" back was very full and clear.

So, to the studio. Ran straight into the Quantum. Listened with headphones. 6" is close enough to get a full, smooth sounding bottom end. Different than my ribbon but just as nice in it's own way. Mids and highs sounded clear and natural, nothing peaky or dippy of any consequence. The pop filter works very well, gotta love having it right where you want it without any fiddling about!!! At a guess, it should EQ very well. I want to try mixing to a full voice tone and see how it works. I feel like I sound better and I like that.

It is sensitive and picked up an undertow of freeway traffic. It was responsive to improvements, shifting it on it's axis found a quieter angle and holding a 14" piece of 4" thick finger foam in the right location behind the mic took the noise down even more. I was not singing loud at all, I can easily increase the volume. So I turned down the preamp until I couldn't hear the noise and I could get the meter hopping close to zero.
So it will work for me until a semi pops their air brake.

It is very large and heavy. The neck for the capsule is a full 9/16" in diameter and does not look at all dainty. The capsule measures nearly 3" across. If you set it vertical, it will slowly attempt to lean forward in the shock mount. It might partly be the bands slipping a bit. I did tighten the thumbscrew for adjust the angle of the mount more than I usually would want or need to. It will certainly stay put well beyond the time it is in use.

It is every bit as homely and garish as it looks in the photos. Sort of a doomsday milk carton with a hair dryer sticking out of the top. The yellow is very bright, radioactive.
Underneath the silicone bands it is white, which is also ghastly. So I'll just leave it as it is. I'm sure I'll be ignoring the looks in a day or two.

I may be a minority of one but I actually appreciate that they left the HPF and Pad switches off. I've had to clean and/or replace switches on audio gear more than once because it was adversely affecting the sound. I don't recall ever replacing a short length of insulated hookup wire that was properly soldered on both ends. No moving parts, no wear and tear. The Focusrite pre has both those capabilities, redundant failure points are a negative.

I doubt anybody can find a better performing NEW $100 large diaphram condenser mic on the market right now. If you want one it might be time to step up. I have no affiliation but this is bang for the buck.


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3030812 02/28/20 02:26 AM
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Wow, Kuru. I have frequently suspected that I live in the wrong part of the country for really good music finds in pawnshops and thrift stores, but this pretty much confirms it. smile To answer your question...

The most affordable new ones that are worth owning are the LCT 040 MATCH from LEWITT. They're compact, sturdy, clear, easy to set up, go anywhere, and are a real sleeper hit for most places where you'd use an SDC.

I used to recommend the RØDE M5, which is a great mic and costs roughly the same per pair as the LCT 040 MATCH, but is larger and slightly trickier to place in tight spaces. That's not a knock on the M5 or any other SDC out there, which are nearly all this size; it's just that the LCT 040 MATCH is so much smaller! Both of these will run you about $200 per pair, as will the very solid Audio-Technica AT2021.

In the $429/pair range, the RØDE NT5 is a solid, high-quality mic that competes with stuff in the up-to-$1000/pair range (depending on the maker). Nearly everyone is making SDC pairs these days, but RØDE's affordable offerings have been around a while and made a lot of fans.

Really expensive SDCs are wasted on my recording room, which needs a lot of acoustic treatment at the moment. If price were no object and I had a room and a regular gig for them, my dream SDC would be the Josephson Microphones Series Four, which right now consists of only one mic: the C42, a lovingly-crafted and gorgeous SDC mic that's usually sold in matched pairs for about $1000.

The mic that most recording pros consider "the SDC to beat" is the Neumann KM 84, which went off the market in favor of the Neumann KM 184. Pros with golden ears (whatever those are) say that they like the sound of the 84 better than that of the 184; that's why a pair of 184s will run you $1500 and a pair of decent-shape 84s could run as much as $6000.

The only SDCs I own right now aren't made any more and were very expensive when they were being made; I don't use them nearly enough to justify keeping them but I'll be damned if I sell them. smile

Hope this helps.

mike


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) grin
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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3036809 04/05/20 06:45 AM
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Bumping this back up.

I've now tried the CAD Equitek E100 (2) on a guitar amp and it sounded great there. I didn't spend much time positioning, thinking back a couple of feet with the amp turned up would be smoother and fuller.

Tonight I put the Heil PR40 and the CAD D82 on my acoustic guitar. I aimed the Heil at the 12 fret and the CAD just behind the bridge. A great sound with an abundance of clear, smooth low end. No boom or foggy bass.

I've used the Heil on a cello, it was very good there as well. Full sounding and it smoothed out some bow work a bit.

Neat King Bee is excellent for femaie vocals.

There will be more, this "shelter in place" is an opportunity to get to know my mics.


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3036845 04/05/20 04:01 PM
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My mic locker:

AEA Ku5a
Cloud 44A
Soundelux U195 x 2
Roswell Mini k47 x 2
Roswell Colares
Roswell Delphos II
Roswell Mini k87
Lauten Torch x 2
Lauten Clarion
Groove Tubes AM62
Shure Beta 58
Shure SM59
Blue Encore 100 x 2
Blue Encore 200
Blue Encore 300
Neat Beecaster

dB

Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
Dave Bryce #3036851 04/05/20 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
My mic locker:

AEA Ku5a
Cloud 44A
Soundelux U195 x 2
Roswell Mini k47 x 2
Roswell Colares
Roswell Delphos II
Roswell Mini k87
Lauten Torch x 2
Lauten Clarion
Groove Tubes AM62
Shure Beta 58
Shure SM59
Blue Encore 100 x 2
Blue Encore 200
Blue Encore 300
Neat Beecaster

dB

Thanks Dave, you have some NICE mics!!!! I've been checking out the Roswell mics for a while now, they look like incredible bang for the buck. The kits on the micparts site look like fun too. https://microphone-parts.com

Long ago I somehow ended up with a pair of SM59s, I would love to hear one now but I don't remember much about them. I think they were fairly low output and back then that was discouraging. Someobody else has them.

I also owned an Encore 300, the band bought one each - total of 3. It sputtered and crackled a bit, changing cords didn't help. Had to be inadequate phantom power provisions, I went back to my Beta 87a and sold it.

So it goes, we grow as we go.


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3039011 04/16/20 07:06 AM
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This week I found a CAD M9 in great condition with the case, power supply, cable, shockmount and standard mount for $130 including shipping and tax.
LDC with a 12AX7 in the ciruit. I've got a nice stash of vintage 12AX7 / ECC83 / 5751 etc. including a Tesla ECC803S which was a copy of the Telefunkenand a premium tube in it's own right.
These came with a Sovtek 12AX&WA, a tube I hated in guitar amps. Will see what's in it now out of curiosity. Very different circuit and application than V1 on a guitar in any case.

It's very low self noise, big smooth bass and clear highs but not "crispy". Sounds great on my voice. A score in my book.

I've also ordered a Neat Beecaster, should be here Monday. I may start live-casting as a motivational project to keep me strumming and singing.

For now I am done buying mics since we are not gigging. Still want a pair of SDC, will go with Dr. Mike's Lewitt recommendation. I have more than enough to play with already.
Eventually I'll probably settle on favorites and the rest can be somebody else's fun.


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3039328 04/17/20 10:41 PM
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my humble mic locker :

Audio Technica AT 2035
Neat Beecaster
Neat King Bee x 2
Shure SM 57 x 2
Shure SM 58 x 2
Shure Beta 58


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
davedoerfler #3039355 04/18/20 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by davedoerfler
my humble mic locker :

Audio Technica AT 2035
Neat Beecaster
Neat King Bee x 2
Shure SM 57 x 2
Shure SM 58 x 2
Shure Beta 58

Some nice mics, I would like to have a couple of 57s. Have you tried a Cloudlifter on any of those dynamics? It changed the way I feel about all of my dynamics, I like them much better with it.
Just got a Beecaster, not sure it is going to be good for what I want to do. Live stream vocal and acoustic guitar from on mic is the goal. So far I haven't gotten something I like to hear.
It really thins out when you move back a bit.


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3039422 04/18/20 03:59 PM
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Yes, I own a Cloudlifter. Really makes the SM 57 shine. 2thu

I used the Beecaster last evening during a Zoom gathering, 4 locations remoting in together. Everyone said my audio was great


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
davedoerfler #3039434 04/18/20 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by davedoerfler
Yes, I own a Cloudlifter. Really makes the SM 57 shine. 2thu

I used the Beecaster last evening during a Zoom gathering, 4 locations remoting in together. Everyone said my audio was great

I think the Beecaster they sent me is defective, I've initiated a return. Up close, a vocal sounded fine, not exceptional but better than acceptable.

Back about 16" and doing the acoustic guitar/vocal thing it sounded very thin with an annoying high mid peak and the guitar sound was "phasey" for want of a better word.
I didn't go very far with testing but it seemed like maybe it was stuck in one of the stereo modes, 2 mics on an acoustic guitar can cause a phase shift if you are fairly close and move much.
The windscreen had a broken internal frame member so maybe it just got tossed around during shipping. Just waiting for them to send a return label now.

I'm thinking about getting one of the Shure XLR to USB widgets and using the mixed DI from my Fishman Loudbox Performer. That will give me a choice of some nice vocal mics, EQ, effects and the ability to mix precisely while keeping things fairly simple.

I expect to have to gain stage it carefully, starting all the way down and just feathering in the gain on the Fishman. Mic level is bound to be lower than DI level.


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3039457 04/18/20 06:28 PM
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They've refunded my money and told me to just keep the Beecaster.


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3039619 04/19/20 06:40 PM
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I am now questioning the USB hub I used. I will try the Beecaster straight into my MacBook Pro and see if that is any better.
Gotta eliminate the variables, I'd like to like the Beecaster.

I did a comparison, played the same song on vocals and guitar with the mic in pretty much the same position - recorded with the Beecaster and with a Rock Band USB mic i got at Goodwill for $3.

Honestly, the Rock Band mic sounded better (should I say "less worse") in that test. That's pretty disappointing.
Up close is a different story, the Beecaster blows the Rock Band mic away for vocals only from about 3"

I'll play around with the Beecaster over the next few days and report back.


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3040192 04/23/20 04:45 AM
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Update on my adventure with the Neat Beecaster.

I went into Audio MIDI setup on my Mac and turned up the input volume setting - it was halfway up by default so I went all Spinal Tap on it and cranked it.

It is a big improvement in sound, everything sounds much fuller. I also tried the Focused Stereo setting, will probably go back to Mono for broadcast/recording as it picks up less ambient noise.
A simple fix, as usual I thought of it by not thinkng about it.

Another little thing that makes a big difference.

Cheers, Kuru


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3040369 04/24/20 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Update on my adventure with the Neat Beecaster.

I went into Audio MIDI setup on my Mac and turned up the input volume setting - it was halfway up by default so I went all Spinal Tap on it and cranked it.

It is a big improvement in sound, everything sounds much fuller. I also tried the Focused Stereo setting, will probably go back to Mono for broadcast/recording as it picks up less ambient noise.
A simple fix, as usual I thought of it by not thinkng about it.

Another little thing that makes a big difference.

Cheers, Kuru
Not too surprising. Preamps, even the on-chip ones in something like a Beecaster, have a sweet spot. You just found it. grin


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) grin
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clicky!: more about me ~ my schwag ~ my radio station (and my fam) ~ my local tribe ~ my day job
Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
Dr Mike Metlay #3040379 04/24/20 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mike Metlay
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Update on my adventure with the Neat Beecaster.

I went into Audio MIDI setup on my Mac and turned up the input volume setting - it was halfway up by default so I went all Spinal Tap on it and cranked it.

It is a big improvement in sound, everything sounds much fuller. I also tried the Focused Stereo setting, will probably go back to Mono for broadcast/recording as it picks up less ambient noise.
A simple fix, as usual I thought of it by not thinkng about it.

Another little thing that makes a big difference.

Cheers, Kuru
Not too surprising. Preamps, even the on-chip ones in something like a Beecaster, have a sweet spot. You just found it. grin

Gan staging from back to front has become my standard operating procedure for audio.

It is quite different than dialing in a lead tone on a guitar amp!

It just slipped my mind at first, causing disappointment. I've learned to wait for that "aha!" moment that usually comes a day or two later when I am frustrated. Slow progress is stil progress.


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3041240 04/29/20 05:01 PM
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Here's the mic list for my studio, I own most of these, some are owned by my partner in the studio, and some belong to the live sound company we also run. I've only had the WA47 for a few months, but I am really loving it. About the only thing I might add is a pair of U87-ish LDC's, the Roswells are looking pretty tempting.

Warm Audio WA47 Tube LDC
AKG C-414 EB (1980’s) LDC
AKG C-414 B-TLII (1990’s) LDC
AKG C-3000b (2) LDC
AKG SE 300 B/CK91 (2) SDC
Sennheiser MK4 (2) LDC
Audix SCX25 “lollipop” LDC
CAD Trion 6000 LDC
Shure SM-91(2) boundary mic
Shure SM81 (3) SDC
MXL 1000/Mojave tube conversion LDC

Ribbon Mics:
Shinybox 46MXC
Beyer M260 (2)
Electro Harmonix EH-R1

Dynamic Mics:
Shure SM-7b
EV RE20
Heil PR22 (2)
Heil PR 30 B (2)
Heil PR 28 (3)
Shure Beta 58 (4)
Shure Beta 57 (4)
Shure SM 58 (4)
Shure SM 57 (4)
Shure Beta 52 (2) kick drum mic
Sennheiser E604 (4) clip-on mic
Sennheiser MD421 (2)


Turn up the speaker
Hop, flop, squawk
It's a keeper
-Captain Beefheart, Ice Cream for Crow
Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3041304 04/30/20 12:59 AM
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Nice list, New&Improv!

Looks like a versatile selection of mics.

I'm looking at the Roswell mics too and the Mic-Parts kits. Their latest kit is on sale until Friday but I don't think I'll get it together in time. The Roswell mics get great reviews and seem to be bargains.
Thanks for posting, I hope you will single out a mic or two and tell us what it's good for, plus maybe a mic that is great for one thing and really not good for anything else? Cheers, Kuru


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3041629 05/01/20 09:42 PM
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OK, heres a few more in-depth notes about our mic collection. My partner and I have been doing recording and live sound for decades, so this collection is the result of years of buying, selling and trading mics.

The WA-47 I bought on the recommendation of the manager of a studio in Portland that I do freelance sessions at 2-3- times a year. The studio has a very nice '50's Telefunken U47, which would be way out of my price range, and he said they'd had the WA47 in for review, and, while they didn't keep it ultimately, it compared surprisingly well to their U47 and was virtually indistinguishable from their other U47 clones. He said if they hadn't had the other clones already, they would've bought the WA47. I have used it on vocals, on tenor sax, and on grand piano, and it is stellar on those sources.

Our pair of AKG 414's were manufactured about 15 years apart, and are totally different models, but, I use them as a stereo pair often, the 80's 414 just requires a ~3db boost to match the volume. 414's are possibly my favorite condenser, they can sound great on nearly every source.

The Heil mics are all pretty awesome, we picked up a range of their mics from another live sound provider the was retiring, he had been a Heil dealer. The PR 30B's are very similar to the EV RE 20 or Shure SM7, I love them on guitar cabinets and horns. The PR 22's are fantastic vocal mics, I will use them as a live vocal mic over any flavor of an SM58 any day.

If a mic is only really good for one source, I'll tend to not keep it, we are dealing with a range of sources both live and in the studio and need mics that we can rely on to get a decent sound quickly.

If there are any mics on the list above you have questions about, feel free to ask. I love talking about gear!


Turn up the speaker
Hop, flop, squawk
It's a keeper
-Captain Beefheart, Ice Cream for Crow
Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3041658 05/02/20 01:22 AM
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Thanks New&improv

I'll share a few of mine. Favorites plus one unknown as of yet.

Neat King Bee. I still am amazed that I was able to buy this mic for $100. I think you can still get one for $129 and that is tempting too. Cardiod only, no HPF or pad switch - in a way it is a one trick pony but it is a GREAT trick! The included snap on pop filter and shock mount are both really good stuff too. Yes, it is really heavy and butt ugly to a mud fence but it truly sounds exceptional. I told a good friend about it, he bought one - tested it and immediately bought 3 more. AKG 414 is his favorite mic, just for reference.

Heil PR40. One popped up on craigslist for $180 in vg + condition. I grabbed it. Hard to describe, truly an outstanding dynamic mic. The bottom end is huge, smooth and clear.
I've read great things about the other Heil mics, someday. Mr. Heil rows his own boat but he has a great lake.

AKG D224. The folks who purchased the local music shop and were blowing out the random accumulations simply had no idea what this was. I saw no reason to inform them, it's mine now. Dual diaphragm dynamic mic, looks like a slightly bigger SDC but it is something else entirely. VERY quiet, smooth frequency response, a Cloudlifter works wonders on this. Between this and the Heil, I could do fine without a condenser mic.

Shure KSM8. Yeah, I sort of have a thing for dynamic mics - if they are the good ones. This is excellent in all respects, it just sounds good. Proximity and off axis responses are exceptionally well controlled.

Mics that may only be good for one thing.

Azden SGM 1X shotgun mic. Thrift store find - $14. This is a quality build, made in Japan. One AAA battery charges the capsule. It has an on/off switch and a HPF. The shock mount is designed to fit a camera hot shoe. The windscreen is a good 7" long and the mic is 12"+. It is voiced for mids and highs, must be used with some distance as it will overload easily. Somehow it makes things sound "claustrophobic" and tiny in an uncomfortable way. It spends most of it's life in the nice zippered storage bag that came with it. I don't like it, that is what I like about it.

Heil Sound HM-10. Another thrift store find. I think I paid more for the 5 pin XLR connector I got so I could hook it up. Haven't done it yet. It is a Ham Radio mic, looks like a black SM58 with a pushbuttion switch and a toggle switch. Under the screw-on metal mesh protecter are two rectangular capsules, one has a much smaller entry hole than the other. Here is the latest version of this mic: https://heilsound.com/products/hm-10xd/
I expect it to have it's own special and annoying tone and look forward to that affliction as well.

Sometimes bad might be good, I am open to that possibility.


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3047243 06/03/20 05:04 PM
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Recently I added another mic, a CAD M9 cardiod LDC tube mic. I keep an eye out for eBay "victim listings" - you want to follow items that end at "unpopular times" (NEVER on Sunday lol) and have minor problems.
As always, only sellers who have great feedback, describe things well and include photos.

This was the complete kit as originally sold, with a nice case, 7 pin mic cable, tube power supply with AC power cord, shock mount with elastic suspension. Except, it was missing one of the small screws used to secure the cover over the tube. That set me back 15 cents and tax at our local hardware store.

The M9 also has good reviews, particularly Sound on Sound spoke well of it. Add in that I have a nice stash of vintage 12AX7 tubes and I hovered.
Delivered for $130.

It is a good microphone, very good. It probably won't put the whup on the best of the best but it is as good in my opinion as the Rode NTK I used to own and paid a great deal more for.

Working on a deal for an Audix Fireball V, new in the box. We'll see how that goes. A dynaminc mic with a good frequency response chart is always useful and this one can handle high spl plus it's small. Could be a good snare or guitar amp mic and maybe I'll get into Beat Box!!!!!


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3048582 06/12/20 05:47 AM
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When I asked "what should my first $100 condenser be?", a friend (local recording pro) strongly recommend spending a little more on the Aston Origin (around $300 at this writing). Does anyone here have an opinion on the Aston line? (I'm a cheapskate, except for keyboards, in which I am a mid-skate.)

PS I am at the "dipping my toes into the hobby" level, using Reaper, an XR-18, Windows, and a bunch of instruments.

Last edited by Tom Williams; 06/12/20 05:49 AM. Reason: Clarification

-Tom Williams
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PC361, PX-5S, AX-Edge
M-Audio Keystation 88, Axiom 61
Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
Tom Williams #3048585 06/12/20 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Williams
When I asked "what should my first $100 condenser be?", a friend (local recording pro) strongly recommend spending a little more on the Aston Origin (around $300 at this writing). Does anyone here have an opinion on the Aston line? (I'm a cheapskate, except for keyboards, in which I am a mid-skate.)

PS I am at the "dipping my toes into the hobby" level, using Reaper, an XR-18, Windows, and a bunch of instruments.

I've not used an Aston Origin, they get good reviews.

Honestly, in the $100 (plus a little) range, the best bang for the buck is probabaly the Neat King Bee. I have one, it is an excellent microphone and a ridiculous bargain at $129.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/King-Bee-Large-diaphragm-Condenser-Microphone/174096195035?epid=22033898296&hash=item2888f11ddb:g:4uwAAOSwnWFelgTH
I don't have a Neat Worker Bee but I would like to get one. They are currently $89, also absurd.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Worker-Bee-Medium-diaphragm-Condenser-Microphone/401958880118?epid=1945434922&hash=item5d969dc376:g:MnMAAOSwu1delgTc

Here is a Tape Op review and test from back when they were introduced and priced at $349 - King Bee and $199 - Worker Bee. The reviewer thought they were a great deal at those prices.
https://tapeop.com/reviews/gear/117/king-bee-worker-bee-condenser-mics/

Get one of each and you can do all sorts of great things - still less than the Aston mic. Cheers, Kuru


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3048847 06/14/20 07:57 AM
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Missed this thread the first time around...

I have three mics currently. I'm much more of a live musician than a recording engineer, and that reflects in the mics I guess, as well as my perspective and usage. Since we're only listing XLR mics, I'll leave out the Blue Snowball, oddball old 1/4" or 1/8" cheap mics, etc that are around.

Audio-Technica AT-2035
https://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/cebb57a269d232ee/index.html
This guy is my only condenser. I bought it to record vocals with, but I've found it to be a very good "general purpose" mic. Nothing sounds bad with it. I've recorded male vocals, accordion, Native American Flute, hand percussion, upright piano, voiceovers, and acoustic guitar with it and I would say it's fairly flat. Has handy pad and low-cut switches (which are inset pretty far in the casing as AT told me they're intended to be switched occasionally with a tool). A fingernail works fine after you get used to it. Costs about USD 150 on average new. No complaints. It's my recommendation for a mic under $200 for vocals and general purpose use. Love it, I'll probably buy a second for stereo when they go on sale.

Carvin CM67
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/395304/Carvin-Cm67.html
Now, Carvin seems to have made a number of mics with the "CM67" designation. It's quite difficult to find the one I actually have online. It's the one that seems to be known as the "CM67 Professional Mic". I actually got this guy with an Atlas mic stand on the local radio classifieds. I bought it for the stand, as I needed a nice heavy-duty stand. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's not bad at all as a live vocal mic. I wouldn't say it's anything special, but it's built well and very roadworthy. I've found it suits my voice well and has good off-axis rejection for when I'm singing and playing the acoustic grand at my church. I use it particularly during cold and flu season to avoid sharing mics with the other worship teams that rotate through. It has a nice lack of frequency boosts unlike an SM57, so I also use it to mic the treble side of my accordion when I'm doing a lot of musette/double-triple middle reed playing (an SM57 accentuates all the wrong frequencies and sounds horrible and ear-piercing). Overall, it's not excessively bright. It's almost rather dull/slightly muffled, but it's sturdy and does the job for me. Really, a pleasant live mic that I wouldn't hesitate to buy again. Especially for accordion and my voice. Much better than the SM57 for accordion by FAR.

Shure SM57

https://www.shure.com/en-US/products/microphones/sm57
Workhorse dynamic. Mine needs a lot of gain compared to some other '57s I've used at venues so that might be an issue mine has. But it's decent overall. For acoustic instruments I rate it below the two above mics, but it's because I don't like the mid-high frequency bump on my instruments. It was my only mic for years of performing though and it served me well. Not a whole lot to say...it's a solid general mic and respected for a reason. Really not bad as a vocal mic for quick recordings with a pop filter. Some EQ helps a lot. Zero feedback issues live, even compared to some other dynamics (like cheaper Sennheisers lol).


Yamaha: Motif XF8/YS200/CVP-305/CLP-130/YPG-235/PSR-295/PSS-470
Korg: Krome 61
Kurzweil: PC3
Roland: JV-1000
Casio: CT-370
Kimball Valencia/Broadway/Conn 465/WCOC Reed Organ/Allen ADC-220/Accordions
Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
Tom Williams #3048848 06/14/20 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Williams
When I asked "what should my first $100 condenser be?", a friend (local recording pro) strongly recommend spending a little more on the Aston Origin (around $300 at this writing). Does anyone here have an opinion on the Aston line? (I'm a cheapskate, except for keyboards, in which I am a mid-skate.)

PS I am at the "dipping my toes into the hobby" level, using Reaper, an XR-18, Windows, and a bunch of instruments.

Tom, I have no opinion on the Astons, as I've never even seen one, but generally speaking Audio-Technica makes good mics at that price point. The AT-2020 is pretty good and popular. I would personally recommend the next model up, the AT-2035; it's a noticeable step up for $50 more than the 2020. Good on everything, literally. Apparently it was known as the 3035 for a long time, but Audio-Techinica discontinued the 3000 series and made the 3035 into the 2025, with Chinese components rather than Japanese. Or so YouTube tells me.


Yamaha: Motif XF8/YS200/CVP-305/CLP-130/YPG-235/PSR-295/PSS-470
Korg: Krome 61
Kurzweil: PC3
Roland: JV-1000
Casio: CT-370
Kimball Valencia/Broadway/Conn 465/WCOC Reed Organ/Allen ADC-220/Accordions
Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
Tom Williams #3048855 06/14/20 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Williams
When I asked "what should my first $100 condenser be?", a friend (local recording pro) strongly recommend spending a little more on the Aston Origin (around $300 at this writing). Does anyone here have an opinion on the Aston line? (I'm a cheapskate, except for keyboards, in which I am a mid-skate.)
I have never seen a $100 condenser mic that I would want to use. You would probably be better served getting a Cloudlifter for a dynamic mic you probably already own.

dB

Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
Dave Bryce #3048878 06/14/20 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
Originally Posted by Tom Williams
When I asked "what should my first $100 condenser be?", a friend (local recording pro) strongly recommend spending a little more on the Aston Origin (around $300 at this writing). Does anyone here have an opinion on the Aston line? (I'm a cheapskate, except for keyboards, in which I am a mid-skate.)
I have never seen a $100 condenser mic that I would want to use. You would probably be better served getting a Cloudlifter for a dynamic mic you probably already own.

dB

I mostly agree but the Neat King Bee was well reviewed and considered worthy at it's $349 price point and now it is $129. I have one, it is an excellent mic. Ask Craig Anderton, he has one too. Or my friend Roger, who bought one and then bought 3 more, he's been recording for decades, has owned all sorts of good mics (sold me a Shure KSM 44) and loves the King Bee.

It is an opportunity but it won't last. I have no affiliation with Neat and they are out of business anyway.

I do agree that EVERY studio needs at least one Cloudlifter. I told my friend Roger about mine and he now has the 4 unit model and uses it all the time. It will transform any dynamic mid - moving coil or ribbon.


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Re: Mics you / I own, what's good?
KuruPrionz #3048879 06/14/20 05:27 PM
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Meanwhile, I've been testing all of my mics in my new mic booth and isolation booth and will soon post a list of results.
My testing techniques may not be completely scientifical but they are fairly consistent and real world.

I've got 4 more tests to run and some evaluation of the recordings before posting.

Cheers, Kuru


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