Alright, there is some technical stuff I would very much like to understand, but the information I've found so far doesn't seem to do any one explanation justice. I'm going to use Audio-Technica mics as sort of the reference for examples here, as the AT's and Blue Mics comprise all of what I own in the condenser world. Now, I've have been told many things in regard to distinguishing a cheap condenser from higher quality ones. Some of these characteristics include smaller diaphraghm capsules, tranformer circuitry, and polarization methods. In every aspect there is another mic contradicts any of these things. For example, the AT2020 has a 3/4" capsule. Standard size is about 1" for a large diaphragm from what I've gathered. Two examples tell me that size alone doesn't make it bad quality: 1) The KSM32, which seems to be pretty highly regarded. 2) SDC mics are certainly not of lesser quality because of their smaller diaphragm, they merely have a different transient response. I've also been told that transformers are found in cheap condensers. Well, the only thing I've come to understand about transformers is that they allow a signal to travel through longer cabling more effectively. Not to mention the Blue Mouse has a transformer, is not cheap, and sounds awesome. Blue did make a transformerless Mouse though? Why would this be beneficial. Is there distortion involved? Now, specifically with AT mics, the lower end 20 series condensers have this listed under Element: Fixed-charge back plate, permanently polarized condenser. The 40 series condensers have this listed, excluding the 4033: Externally-polarized (DC bias) condenser. The 4033 has the same element as the lower end mics. However, I find that 4033 has a nice reputation too. What I've heard in regards to this element thing is that the first element listing (fixed-charge back plate, permanently polarized condenser) can lose its polarization over time, degrading the sound. Has anyone with a 4033 noticed this? I haven't. Is it even relevant? How do these two different elements really differ? In addition to that, Blue lists their transducers as "pressure gradient." Is this another name for what AT does, or something completely different/unrelated? Finally, what is your opinion/factual knowledge on the differences between low quality and high quality? I know this is a lot of information, but I needed to collect my thoughts somehow. Please keep in mind that none of these questions above are to inspire analysis alone; I actually don't know, or I'm not sure, so whatever you can give me, go for it.