Hi all, In the recent years I've slowly accumulated most of the studio equipment I need, however for my LDC I'm still using the first mic I ever got from about 4 years ago, a USB Samson G track. I don't know why I've been so slow to upgrade it, when personally I use my LDC the most out of all mics in the studio. I don't want to spend any more than $500, preferably about $300, so I'm looking for just one all-purpose mic, that would be decent for Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, and Vocals (mostly, but not limited to for -Male, Rock/Pop). I've used an AKG Perception 420 before and I liked it quite a lot. I used it on all of the above instruments and was pretty impressed. I really like that it is multi-pattern. If my new mic has multi-pattern, that would be a huge bonus, but i'd prefer a quality cardiod-only over an alright mic with more patterns. However the AKG seemed to be pretty muddy on vocals. I'm not sure if it was the performance or the room or the mic though, anyone got any experience with this mic? I know this sounds really superficial, but I also really like the look of the 420. Some mics I have checked out just don't look all that appealing to me. If I'm going to blow $500 on a mic, I want it to look good in my studio I also really like the look of most Audio Technica Mics. I have also been looking at the AT4040, anyone got any opinions on that? Apparently it's almost too transparent to use on vocals, not enough colour? Does anyone have any opinions on these or other suggestions? Thanks so much for your time! TL;DR: I need an all purpose LDC Sub $500. AKG Perception 420? Audio Technica AT4040? Other?