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Cheap Mic Comparison

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ThirdBird, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Which large diaphragm condenser microphone has better bang for the buck?

    MXL 990 or the AT2020

  2. Zoro

    Zoro Guest

    AT2020 a no brainer.
  3. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Not a big fan of either, particularly the 990s. Gonna have my pair modded when I get the chance.
    Why don't you try them?
    I'm pretty sure GC carries both.
  4. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    What makes it a no brainer?

    I am not doubting you, I just want to know.

    Thank you!
  5. The MXL 990! I have two of them and they are great. I've used tons of mics, at2020, at404, akg 414, tlm 103, sm57, sm58. The 990 rates very well for all responses.

    Kid you not i would give my small toe for a 103 or 414.
    But for $60, you cant miss with the 990.
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The Audio Technica is a much better sounding mic. Theres a better depth-of-field, lower handling noise, and better off axis response. Every 990 I have heard, and there have been several, sounded like a toy. Overly sensitive, noisy, an odd mid-range honk and that spitty high-end that I am starting to associate with cheap LDC's. Yeah, they work, but not like you would want em too.

    I suppose for $60 bucks its a mic, but for an extra 10 on average, I'd much rather hear a vocal recorded with an SM58.
  7. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    mxl is junk. straight up. get the AT and you'll be happy.

    mxl is thin and flimsy. at is brighter w/o the flim.
  8. Zoro

    Zoro Guest


    I owned a 990 before and just like Davedog said the 990 sounds like a toy to me and I had problems with two of them and MXL had a horrible customer service as far as my experience with them concerns, I had to give it away. Now the AT2020 has worked just fine to me. I do not own a hig end mike yet but I have an AT4050 and is great, sometimes I prefer the 2020 over the 4050 depending on the situation we are. True that the AT2020 has a lot of low end. Anyways that is why I said a no brainer.

  9. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    I haven't touched my 990s since I found mics to take their place.

    My first "studio" recording was of a singer/acoustic guitarist.
    I used a 990/Nady RSM-5 on the vox, and later used the 990s for the backup vox on his full band's recording. Regrettable.

    Condensers w/ high output, but seem to highlight the nastier tones of a lot of sources w/ that output.

    That said, I haven't used the 2020 much either. Used it on sax for the aforementioned full band, and on high-hat for another. Really liked it as a high-hat mic, and did the job on the sax, considering I didn't have a lot of mic choices, higher-end mics, or experience w/ micing sax.

    Bottom line: I don't necessarily like the 2020 (but haven't used it on the full gamut of sources), and really dislike the 990s. I do have a few MXL mics I really like for certain applications, but not the 990.
  10. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    The AT2020 is THE brightest condenser I have ever heard. It's like it has a built-in super-esser. I CANNOT use this for (male) vocals, as it is so grating and buzzy; not even drastic EQ adjustments would make this mic work for (male) vox. Now, it sounds great on the guitar cabinet for someone trying to sound like Joey Ramone. That's just my experience with the AT2020. Cheap condenser mics are like cheap tube guitar amps: they pretty much stink. Maybe there's one or two good ones? We just need to wait for Agile condenser mics, and amps, and mixing boards, and monitors, and compressors, and preamps, the list goes on... 8) :lol:
  11. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Agreed. I wish I had held out for the 4040 or another mic. And gotten some 57/58s instead of the MXLs.
  12. BDM

    BDM Active Member

    JOHNNY Ramone!!!!
  13. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    I know about 80% of Blitzkrieg Bop. But I don't know which one is which... :lol:
  14. Tom Fodor

    Tom Fodor Active Member

    Both are rubbish

    Both are really crappy sounding budget mics. (Grainy and harsh in the top end) Try a BLUE Bluebird or a CAD M9 if you can stretch your budget a bit. Even a RODE K2 but this may be a bit of a stretch if you are on a real budget. To be honest it really depends on what you are trying to capture.
  15. BDM

    BDM Active Member

    Johnny is the one who wore the leather jacket, ripped jeans, and sneakers...
  16. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    I see what you did there....

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