Hi all; Just want to pick the brains of all those who record live soloists in classical settings, with ensembles behind them. I'm looking for an alternative at some point to my beloved KMi-84 mics for soloists. (i'm not retiring them, I simply own only the two, and occasionally have more than one gig going on these days....With their age, fragility and growing Ebay value, I'm getting a bit leery at taking them out all the time on gigs that need solo spot mics at the foot of the stage.) I have seen the DPA 40xx small capsule cardioid series on long thin stems, but I'm not wild about the size of the bases. I also like the Scheops with the long thin stands - mic element at the top, preamp at the base. I don't mind investing in either, and of course I'll want to buy two. The smaller the footprint, the better. But before I got that route, anyone have a go-to mic (and sleek looking stand) that they like for soloists? Second question: (this is a two-fer post!): Anyone hear of, or use mics from Avant? http://www.avantelectronics.com I like their sexy color, but their designs look a lot like a few others, including the SP series. (I'm wondering if they're all buying from the same facility in China?) Anyone have any experience with these?