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Best Vocal Condenser under $150?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by ThirdBird, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    I was looking at the MXL 990 and ruled that out (with your guys help!) And am thinking about the AT2020.

    I could find that for $70 at a shady website, or for $100 at musiciansfriend or sweetwater.

    Are there any option major options I should be considering?

    I understand that they are all cheap, but my mortgage isn't :cry:

    Thanks for the help!
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Studio Projects B1. SE Electronics ? The AT2020is not an LDC. The capsule is only 1/2". Does that qualify as an LDC?
  3. Greener

    Greener Guest

    The best one for you is the one you like the most.

    We can sit here all day and spit options at you but they wont mean anything because it subjective.
    You're the subject. Go and try them out, hit up a shop, hit up a studio. Test and try and discover for yourself.
  4. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Let me rephrase that, what is the best vocal condenser I can get for under $150?
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Of all of the cheap condensers, the Studio Projects hold their own consistently. Get a B3 it has patterns and isnt as dark as a B1.
  6. Imaginaryday

    Imaginaryday Active Member

    i am with Davedog. sp mics are some of the best value out there right now. i own the c1 and am very happy with it. i paid $149 for new one from my local dealer.
  7. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    Neumann u87
  8. Robak

    Robak Active Member

    Davedog I have both B1 and B3. It's the opposite in my case - B3 is darker. And that's good because my B1 is a bit too bright.
    ThirdBird these are good mics for the money. I bought them when they came out a few years ago and was shocked how good they were considering the price I paid. They are even cheaper now. I could tell you what I like and what I don't like about this mics but it doesn't matter because the ones made now probably sound different. Listen to the mics before you buy them. And remember there is no such thing as "the best vocal condenser for under $150". Greener is right about that.
  9. gristlehead

    gristlehead Guest

    Oh dear! I bought an MXL 990, and thought it sounded just fine. I guess maybe my ears are shot, but I liked it better than the Audio Testicles mic I tried. (AT2020)
  10. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    I could show you usable recordings with an AT2020 long before you could show me anything on an MXL990.

    Having said that why must you buy new? Get a Blue Bluebird used, and don't ever look back!
  11. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    NONONONONONONO! Do not buy that mic. I got it, and it is the most unbearably bright, harsh mic I have ever used. I used a dual windscreen, put a freaking sock over the mic, put a major low pass on 4KHz+, and it was still unbearably harsh on the vocals. I do like it on my guitar cab, but then again I play speed punk. I really would recommend staying away from anything cheap that comes with tubes, because they never sound good. And by cheap I mean under $500. A sm58 costs $100 and sounds better than just about any tube mic under $500 for any application. I reasoned myself in to buying a cheap condenser (AT2020), "because I might as well have a cheap condenser." Well, I learned from my mistake, and that is never happening again. Although, I really do like the AT2020 on my guitar cabinet: gives a nice buzzsaw, grating sound. But it doesn't sound good on anything else, that's for sure. :D [/quote]
  12. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    Here we go again..... So I can get a Rode NTK under $500 and its garbage?!?!? Making a blanket statement like that is retarded. I can get a store demoed Rode K2 for under 500, and a new K2 WITH a Rode M3 package deal for $600 and that again is garbage. Blue Baby bottle garbage...see where Im going with this. If you said most condensers under $150 were garbage, I would even still cringe.....SP has some badass mic's right at that range. Dan just not a good reply, try again.
  13. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    Try applying the same logic to tube guitar amps and see how far it gets you. Cheap condenser mics only sound great to untrained ears. Sure, maybe you can find a used condenser that's $300 to $400 used that sounds AS GOOD as a good dynamic. But you might as well buy the dynamic that sounds just as good for a lot less money. Do you get the point I'm making here?
  14. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    You are comparing apples to oranges. In a thread asking whats the best condenser mic for >$150 you reply with dynamics. Dynamic mics are going to give you a totally different sound. Good sound is an opinion based statement. But then again I couldn't find a $500 condenser that would rival a Shure Sm58. If you want to talk best mics under $100 you would tell me a Shure SM57-58 is the best, and thats your opinion. I would ask What is being mic'd....and I would probably reply Audix I-5.
  15. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    I'll say it again, and I don't think there is really anyone who is going to argue that there are really no condensers mics that sound better than dynamic mics under $150 for any normal application. Like I stated already, the AT2020 actually sounds good for getting buzzsaw guitar tones, but how many people really want that? Cheap condensers are always noisy and harsh. The benefits to having tubes doesn't kick in until a higher price point is reached.
  16. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    I'll say it again...that's a retarded statement. I think anyone on this forum that been recording longer than a day will argue that point with you.
  17. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    I would argue with some very nice sounding jazz tracks I recorded with a single AT2020 on the overheads, but they are on my computer at home.

    You might have gotten a $*^t capsule.

    Or you just have a bad room/placement.
    Way too many variables to say it sounds like $*^t all the time.

    And to the point you made on no condensers sounding as good as a dynamic, that is completely dependent on what you are recording and how you want it to sit in the mix.
  18. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    case and point.....the witness is yours.
  19. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I think you have a defective AT2020. Anyway, the Rode K2, Studio Projects T3 are pretty nice mikes. Both around $500.
  20. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    ncdan, you're off your rocker. i disagree with everything you've said so far.

    no one should believe what this clown says

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