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Best Mic for under 2grand

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by teddancin, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. teddancin

    teddancin Member


    I was looking for a really good vocal MIC (I'd probably use it for classical and steel string guitar also). The one I was looking at was the Neumann M147 cause it's $1,600.00 (at http://www.sweetwater.com ) and I've heard a lot of good stuff about Neumann from my friends (mostly guitar players, so what do they really know, but I kinda trust their opinions none the less). Plus it's a tube mic, which I heard makes a big difference but I'm not set on it.

    The other Mic I was looking at before I decided that I probably needed to shell out more money for my main mic was the Blue Blueberry or Mouse and possibly the kiwi, but at $2,000 it's really going to give my credit cards hell. Any suggestions for some other killer mic's?

    I don't have my MIC pre's yet, and they're not even picked out either, so I'm basically open to get any Mic, then I'll just base what pre's I get after the mic. Any input is definately welcome here, cause I'm way new to this vocal/semi-high end mic business. Obviously I wish I had the money to dump into the Soundelux 251 that everyone seems to rave about, but 2k is really my limit on this, and that's stretching it.
    Thank you so much.

  2. drundall

    drundall Guest

    I've been using the hell out of that mic, mostly for male rock vocal applications, with good result. I have really good pre/comp/EQ choices though, so YMMV. I've been really happy with it and clients recognise the Neumann name and the "tube" mystique, without the price tag of a vintage tube mic.
    I'm sure other opinions will vary. :tu:
  3. JLM Audio

    JLM Audio Guest

    Try out a Rode Classic II. It electrically identical to a C12 inside but the Mic Capsule is very Neumann M149 & M147 style and so is the U47 look alike case. It comes with a control Box with 9 patterns and 6db & 12dB HPF. This is real high voltage tube Mic made to last.

    The first time I heard this mic was in a mic test out at Mr Jones Studio over here. It was up against a M147 & M149 & fully reconded M49. It won in the blindfold test. The Classic II has the round warm sound of a U47,M147 but when pushing the pattern more towards figure eight gives a slight mid boast very like a Pultec Eqp-1a can do. I like this on vocal as I can run a vocalist further off the mic but get that upclose sound without all the upclose sib & pop and it is fully variable at the controller where you are mixing. This mic is fairly quiet on the noise front. But Neumann is always the winner when it comes to noise floor and very quiet recordings!

    The Classic sells in Australia for $1750. So it should be around a $1000 US.

  4. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    Lawson L47MP. It is a take off on the U 47 with the 3 micron capsule that most 47's have been changed to. Has continuously variable polar patter. Great mic Jenson Transformers etc. You can only buy them through Lawson microphones (the people who hand build them) so you don't hear a lot of hype about them (dealers don't hype what they can't sell). It cuts out the middle man so the price is lower than other similar quality mics.
  5. spp

    spp Guest

    Agreed. Anything else (for the price) is not even close, IMO.
  6. teddancin

    teddancin Member

    Thanks for all the good info on the microphones.
    I still have to check on the Rode Classic II.

    I DID however, check into the Lawson L47mp. That color is god-awful though. But I guess you can't see the color of a mic when listening to a CD.... unless it's a REALLY good mic. hehe. Is it really as good as you guys are saying it is? Does it come with a shock mount? On the sight it says "swivel mount", in this case is the "swivel mount" the same thing, or is it just an ordinary (non-shock) swivel mount?

    How does this mic compare to the AKG TLII?

    What are your thoughts on the Blue Mics. Do they suck? Just middle of the road? Good? Please let me know.

    Thanks once again for all your help.

  7. No shock mount, but then again I don't seem to need one for it either. It weigs quite a bit, so I sprang for the Atlas SB36 boom for it and it's twin brother. The stands are heavy and the mic is internally well isolated, so I haven't had any probs with transmitted vibrations.
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Lawson L47MP absolutely blows away an AKG 414TLII or the M147.

    You might want to check out the Soundelux line - U99 and U95 if you want to spend Lawson type bucks. U95s is cheaper. For REALLY cheap maybe the BLUE baby bottle or Shure KSM27. But if quality of sound is your goal I'd spend the $2000 and go with the Lawson or one of the Soundelux's.
  9. teddancin

    teddancin Member

    Ok, so now you've all got me leaning heavily towards the L47MP. I might be broke, but I'll be the best sounding bum ever.

    Ok, checked out the Soundelux stuff. Couldn't find a price on the U95, but it looked to me like the U99 was about $2,300. How does the U99 compare to the Lawson L47MP?

    Also, at http://www.lawsonmicrophones.com , I read a review on the L47MP, and this guy from Electronic Musician said
    "Perhaps the coolest results we got were on electric guitar tracks."

    My question is: Won't micing a guitar cab with this type of mic result in breaking the mic? Especially if you're cranking the cab or something. My friends always warning me about just YELLING into expensive microphones let alone micing ROCK guitar cabs with them, I just thought that you DIDN'T do that with this type of mic. Pleas let me know. Sorry if the questions seem very naive, but like I said, I'm new to the semi high-end mic stuff.

  10. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    By the way, the color of the L47MP is now gold on top grill and bottom and a green body.
  11. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Dunno about the Lawson, but the SPL specs I saw on the Elux 251 were high enough that I wouldn't be afraid to use it on amps or drums. I'd be careful to put it out of drumstick range, of course . . .

  12. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Member

    I am considering both the Lawson L47MP and Soundelux U99 which both run around $2,000.

    The Lawson is an attempt to copy a Neumann U47 a highly regarded mic for male vocals. I kinda hope however that it would do justice to female vocals because I don't think I can affort to pop for another high end mic.

    The Soundelux U99 copies the Neumann U67 which I am told has been successfully used for both male and female singers. Any comments?

    Can I expect to spend $2,000 for a mic that covers both singers? Or should I start thinking about having something like a Baby Bottle as backup for the ladies? :confused:
  13. teddancin

    teddancin Member


    It looks like (not just for me) we've narrowed it down to 2 different Mic's. 1.Lawson L47MP 2.Soundelux U99.

    I also wanted to see if the Brauner VALVET Tube Microphone was in the running with these other ones. It's a little more expensive (about $2,450), but if you're gonna drop 2+grand into a mic, you wanna make sure it's the "right" one.

    Is the Soundelux U95S in the same (around 2grand) price range as the other 3?

    -Bear's Gone Fission
    You think the mic would be fine in front of a Marshall 100 watt half stack cranked to 10? Just curious.

    Thanks again for being so helpful, http://www.recording.org is great!

  14. jetoney

    jetoney Guest

    Just thought I would post some results from a mic shootout the other night. All the mics listed were there. Two standouts in the crowd, were the BLUE KIWI, and
    the new Dragonfly Deluxe. Guys could not stop talking about these two mics. A very, shall we say, industry type crowd was present. The Blue mics are starting to gain some steam, and people are starting to realize that the build quality and craftsmanship are second to none. Nobody makes a mics like these guys in the modern day. I could not believe the detail that goes into each one of these mics, and I will say that the key to it, is the capsule. They do it as good, if not better, than anyone in this industry. The mic that just kills the rest, everytime, is their BOTTLE. All I can say is that if you have not heard one of these mics , and you own a commercial studio, you need to check it out .Anyway, I had to throw this in because I was so blown away by these two mics at this shootout.
    I also like the Lawson as well; great mic.
  15. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I have used the Lawson very successfully on both male and female vocals. I would guess that the Soundelux U95 is closer to the Lawson in sound than the U99, which is supposed to model the Neumann U67.

    I think it is a misconception that you will damage the mic with loud sound input (screaming vocal, loud kick, etc.), although perhaps some tech people might correct me if I am wrong. An overly loud sound may cause momentary distortion, but permanent damage is usually more the product of a wild drummer smacking it with a stick, knocking the mic stand over, etc.

    I have used the L47 on guitar and bass cabinets with no problem. I haven't tried it on a kick, but I wouldn't be afraid to for SPL reasons.
  16. BOBMIX

    BOBMIX Guest

    I love my Lawson 47. Keep in mind, however that it is a very "colored" mic. The sonic color, to me, happens to be very useful, but it is much like a U47 tube, with several things that all but the best 47's are missing; some nice air on top, and a full, but tighter (not flabby) bottom. As with a 47, mids are sweet and amazinly focused. As well, Gene and Gail are great people to deal with. Among other things, it is excellent for most female vocals - gives them a bit of body (no comments, please) and a very nice presence against the track.
  17. BOBMIX

    BOBMIX Guest

    Oh yeah, I have found 147's to be quite harsh in upper mids and top end. Maybe my taste, but not nice at all.
  18. spp

    spp Guest

    To overgeneralize, the U99 is a brighter sounding mic, but a one trick pony. The L47 has a continuously variable polar pattern and as you change the pattern, the mic frequency response changes slightly. So you can tailor it to some extent for the source.

    Loud sound sources will not damage the L47. It's great in front of a screaming guitar cabinet or a kick drum. That's the least of your worries.

    As for the gold color, it never bothered me in the least. However, EVERY client has ooohed and aaahed over it. I'd bet the WOW factor will be highest with this mic (if that matters to you).
  19. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member


    Depends on the Marshall. In guitar amps, 100 watts is not always 100 watts. Those SPL meters you can get from Radio Shack and such can be pretty handy for judging how safe your crown jewel mics are, plus they can remind you to keep your normal mixing volume at 85 dB or lower.

  20. teddancin

    teddancin Member


    -Bear's Gone Fission
    The Marshall is a JCM2000 TSL going through the standard 4x12 cab (I think it's the 1960, it's not right next to me at this time). As for your advice about the SPL meter, I'm totally going to pick one up, that's such a good idea, thanks.

    Thank you again for the help deciding between the 3 mic's. I think that I've decided to go with the Soundelux U99, cause:
    1. I can buy it at my local music store, and they
    have a 30 day return policy and they're pretty
    cool to me, so loyalty factor.
    2. This is going to be my only really good mic,
    and it seems like if you only have one mic,
    this should be it.
    3. I'm still pretty new to the pro recording
    stuff, so for my first high end mic, it would
    be nice if it was a little easier to use than
    say the lawson, cause the lawson has that
    inbetween pattern control thing (which seems
    like a really cool feature too), but it might
    be nicer for me to not have to deal with that
    when I have to really get aquainted with a new
    mic and how it sounds with the pre's, and
    mixing it properly, and where to place the mic
    and so on. Plus I'll probably end up buying
    the lawson next anyway.

    Please let me know if I'm wrong about anything, and thanks for all the help.


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