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Thread: Need suggestions for Large condenser $1K or less

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    JeffreyC is offline Junior Member
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    Need suggestions for Large condenser $1K or less

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    Ok - I know these kinds of threads are a pain, but I'll try and provide as much detail as I can.

    I'm looking for an excellent large condenser mic to record acoustic guitar, male vocals (mine), and possibly distant electric guitar miking to mix with a 57. I like warm smooth sounds, so typically I like tubes but I'm open to anything.

    You can get an idea of what my voice and acoustic guitar sound like now here - http://www.spinningaroundthesun.com/Music/REINCARN2.mp3

    This was recorded using a Senn e865 (live cond) for vocal and stereo Rode NT5's for acoustic guitar - directly into a Yamaha AW1600 - might have used an Art Tube Pro Channel on the vocal.

    I've sold the AW1600 since then and now use an RME Fireface 800 which has much better on board preamps. In the future I plan to buy a nice external preamp to try as well.

    Thanks and let me know if I can provide more info that will help.

    Some mics I've been considering:

    AKG C 414 B-XL II
    AKG C 414 B-XLS
    Neumann TLM-103
    Groove Tube GT-67
    Rode K2
    ADK TT
    Last edited by JeffreyC; 11-02-2008 at 08:38.

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    kidvybes's Avatar
    kidvybes is offline 1K Silver Member
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    ...you're missing the most heralded (under $1000. though barely) tube condenser mic on your list, the Mojave (Royer) MA200...best-bang-for-the-buck tube condenser mic in the price range (used around $700, http://cgi.ebay.com/MOJAVE-MA-200_W0...p3286.c0.m14):

    http://www.proaudioreview.com/article/272
    http://emusician.com/mics/emusic_mojave_audio_ma-200/
    http://mixonline.com/products/review...ojave_ma_tube/
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/deta...eviews/#anchor
    http://www.goldenagemusic.se/swe/pro...iews%20say.pdf

    ...I've got an early prototype (built by Royer) and it's amazing!...I also have a Rode K2, Studio Projects T3, SE Z5600, original Royer tube modded MXL 2001, Cascade V55, MXL V77 (w/NOS GE 6071 upgrade), among others...the MA200 stands out, although the Rode K2, SP t3 and MXL V77 are also great values at lower price points...but the MA200 is a real value...versatile and outstanding on just about anything you point it at...

    PS...not a fan of the C414 nor the Groove Tubes GT67...have used both and neither was particularly impressive or versatile (JMTC)
    Last edited by kidvybes; 11-02-2008 at 09:41.
    reggae souljah

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    cavedog101's Avatar
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    I have used the ADK TT on quite a few occasions and love that thing. None of the other mics in your list could be considered 'warm' of themselves.....but they are accurate and can be 'warm' with the right signal chain. I havent heard the Mojave but I have a bit of time on other Royer models and can testify to their quality.

    Please dont leave out of your search the Audio Technicas.....specifically the 4050, 4047, and the 4060 if you can find one.
    Chord with this, Teddy......

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    pohaku is offline 1K Silver Member
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    See if you can snag a used Gefell MT71 (transformerless) or M71 (with transformer). These are the cardioid only version of the multipattern M70 or MT70. If you get lucky you might find one of those for under a grand too. A really really great do it all mic. They aren't tube mics, but they are very accurate and have great presence.

    The AT4050 is a good workhorse mic, but if you are willing to spend more, you can get something better. I have two of them and they get used a lot, especially for instruments and overheads. They aren't generally my top choice for vocals though.

    The C414 is a nice multipurpose mic, but I've never been that impressed with it on vocals. It is a great instrument mic though. I've not used all the various permutations of the C414, but have liked the B-ULS version better that some of the others.

    Of the Groove Tubes mics, I prefer the older original tube line to the newer stuff. The MD1a, MD2a and MD3a (and their non "a" predecessors) are still the better mics, IMHO. You should be able to find any of them used for under $1K. I have a bunch of GT mics, and those are the ones I like best, by far.

    The TLM103, while OK on some things, is not that great a mic. Neumann is trading on the cachet of the name. I think there are now better mics available for the same money. I'd much rather have a Gefell, for instance.

    I've not tried the Rode, ADK, or the Mojave.
    Yeah I'm an attorney, but everyone needs a day job.

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    LP2006 is offline Dedicated Member
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    If there is any chance you could actually go try a couple of these mics somewhere, that would be advisable.

    You can't go wrong with an akg C414 or an Audio Technica AT4050. In my opinion, the 414 B-xls is a little smoother than the 414 B-XL II.

    A blue kiwi smokes them both, but that will be a little harder to find for under a grand.I have not used the MA200, but would not hesitate to buy it solely on reputation ($$$ permitting).

    If you can't try before you buy, at least buy something in decent condition used. That way, you can sell it if you don't like it and try something else.

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    pohaku is offline 1K Silver Member
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    Hmm. I'd forgotten about the Blue Kiwi. Good call. That's a really good mic. Used ones show up with some frequency over on the GS board and are typically priced at @$1000. There are a couple for sale there currently.

    Definitely try before you buy if at all possible.
    Yeah I'm an attorney, but everyone needs a day job.

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    ausrock's Avatar
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    Don't discount the Studio Projects T3.................if you have any doubts, ask Harvey Gerst

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    Quote Originally Posted by ausrock View Post
    Don't discount the Studio Projects T3.................if you have any doubts, ask Harvey Gerst

    Another +1 for the SP T3.

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    JeffreyC is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the suggestions so far - anything else - Peluso? Pealman?

    If I'm willing to spend $1200, would that make much of a difference?

    Oh, and unfortunately, I probably won't be able to try all of these - I might be able to find a few at GC.

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    Metatron13 is offline Newbie
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    More sub $1000 mics

    I have purchased many mics over the past few years and have liked many large diapragm condensors such as the Rode K2 & NT2, Peluso 22 251, Advanced Audio CM47 Fet, Studio Projects C1 (Vers 2) & B1, B3 (Vers 1), Cad GXL 3000 & Trion 8000, Neumann TLM 49, Shure KSM44, and Blue Blueberry. The mic that has been seeing a lot of use for me is the Studio Projects CS5 - I heard some buzz about it over on Gearslutz and decided to try it based on their comments and my own experience with some of their mics. This one is higher in quality to all studio projects mics I have tried (imho). It has a roll off switch for high freq's as well as low freq's and many polar patterns. I use it for lead vocals with the 15k rolloff engaged and do background vocals with no rolloff and it sounds great. This mic is also great for acoustic guitar - again I use the 15k rolloff here. The mic is available for $499 on the -bay and for that price you can't go wrong in my opinion. I think it is more versatile than most mics in my collection. I run my home studio on a mac with logic and use a apogee duet - so I am not a big studio!!!
    Hope this helps!!!

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