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Mic Upgrade - $200ish

Discussion in 'Recording' started by purebloom, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. purebloom

    purebloom Guest

    Like many other new recording enthusiasts I purchased the MXL 990/991 kit and have been using it for the past several years. However, I'm ready to upgrade (I've been ready) but with all the mics out there it's hard to make a decision knowing that there is a wealth of knowledge here that could lend a hand (or ear rather).

    So, I've done some research and have a list of some of the different mics I'm leaning towards but because I am unable to try them all out a little help from you guys would be appreciated. I'm shooting for around $200 (used) but am open to any mics under $300. Also, the mic is going to be used mainly for acoustic guitar and vocals... however the more versatile the better (maybe look for a multi-pattern mic?), because I'll likely be using it for nearly all applications I encounter (vocals and acoustic guitar are the regular ones though... as I mainly record my music as well as other singer/songwriters).

    Here is a short list of SOME mics under consideration:
    MXL v69me
    MXL v67i
    MXL v67g
    Cascade Fathead
    ADK Hamburg/Vienna
    Shure KSM27
    SP C1
    SP C3
    CAD GXL3000

    And finally, to have a listen to my type of voice and what microphone may work with it best you can hear some tunes at: http://www.virb.com/davidelliott.

    A huge thank you in advance!

    PS - If you have any suggestions for two mics in the $200-$300 (one being the "go to" mic, and another being a budget [but better than the mxl 990] for stereo recording.... please advise.)
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    ALL of the mics you have listed are a considerable step up from those you are using now.

    I am a fan of ADK mics. I also love the AT mics and you cannot go wrong with them in your arsenal. Picking a do-all-be-all mic is tough especially at that price-point. The one other mic I know well is the KSM27. It is a great mic for the price. It is NOT a great vocal mic but it does do acoustic guitars really well. I used to like the SP mics but the sound gets 'old' on them and doesnt always sit in a mix well. That being said, the SP B3 is one of my favorites and I use it often. Very good value there. I'm not a fan of the C series. I dont know the ribbon mic...read a couple of reviews. Still wanting a Royer myself. The MXL mics have some DIY fans out there. Apparently they mod up quite well. I dont know the CAD mic either.

    The ADK Vienna/Hamburg is a fine sounding mic and will do for you what I interpret your needs to be. If they had patterns its all I'd own.

    Uhhh...except my Neumann.
  3. purebloom

    purebloom Guest

    Davedog, thanks for the response and recommendations. I'm going to try some out this week, and then see if I can find any samples of the mics I'm unable to.

    But from everything I've heard and read, the ADK mics are tempting me the most. I think I'm going to go with a Vienna.

    Thanks for a coherent and intelligible response. It certainly has helped in solidifying my ADK mic choice... although from what I've read those Cascade sure seem tempting too!

    Thanks again.
  4. purebloom

    purebloom Guest

    Well, I've found a couple more sound samples online - but there are a lot of variables that can affect the sound - so you can't trust other peoples recording entirely. It helps a bit though.

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure I've got it narrowed down to four mics. The ADK Vienna/Hamburg option, the Studio Projects B3 (seems the most versatile and bang for buck) and lastly the Cascade Fathead.

    I can try out the Studio Projects B3, I'm not sure about the ADK or Cascade. So, if anyone else has any more input before I try and make this decision please chime in!

    (And lastly - Sterling Audio? I haven't heard too much about these, but they may be an option as well.)

  5. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    I own several different AT mics, all very useful, but the AT3035 gets more use on multiple sources than any of the others. I use them for vocals, electric guitar, grand piano, drum overheads, upright bass, horns, sometimes acoustic guitar, although I like the AT4050 and AT3031 better for this. I must say that I've never used the ADK mics, but have heard nothing but good things about them from people I trust. Certainly whatever preamp you run a mic through will impact its overall sound, but a decent mic should still sound good through an average pre. That being said, my AT3035 endorsement stands firm, as I track bread & butter level tracks through a Mackie 8 Bus console, the pres being useable but far from spectacular.

    You can hear samples at http://www.myspace.com/sonicsculptureinc

    All primary vocals done with 3035, except for "People Get Ready".
  6. purebloom

    purebloom Guest

    You've made my decision even harder. Ack! Those tracks sounds really good.

    Maybe I'll just put all the mics I like in a hat and whatever I pick out, go with it.

    Thanks for your response though and attempting to aid me in my mic search - although you've really only made it more difficult! ;)

    Wish me luck.
  7. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Always happy to play devil's advocate, LOL. Seriously, though, Davedog knows his stuff and I'm sure the ADK's are a solid choice. Sooner or later I'll get around to picking them up myself. Another choice (here comes the devil again) might be the CAD M179, which is a multi pattern LDC for around $180. I've read very good reviews of this mic.
  8. purebloom

    purebloom Guest

    Great... in addition to all the mics previously mentioned I have now learned of Kel Audio mics. The HM-1 and HM-2d both seem like serious options as well.
  9. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Ah, but isn't it nice to have so many choices in the affordable column? Twenty years ago all the good mics were enormously expensive.
  10. purebloom

    purebloom Guest

    Well, I have decided on the CAD M-179. I'll be asking for this for Christmas, so I plan to get it around then. Also, after tax money comes in I plan to pick up the ADK Hamburg to compliment the M-179.

    So, now that I have that all figured out I'll begin my search for a budget mic pre. Preferably dual channel, but if I can pick up TWO single channel ones that would be good as well. I know there isn't much out there in the $200-$300 range that is any good, but that is what I have to work with (will likely buy used).

    Maybe it's time for me to do some more searching before I make a thread up on budget mic pre's as I'm sure it's been covered before!
  11. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest

    Hey I haven't been around in a while....I'm a busy guy these days....anyway if it still matters...................on ol' Dog's recommondation I picked up an ADK Hamburg a while back...............I'm just a budget home studio guy and it's got my vote.........nice mic, no complaints, wish I had one of the new versions - how are they anyway ? much different ?
  12. dickiefunk

    dickiefunk Active Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    Home Page:
    The CAD M179 is a nice mic. You could also get some Naiant mics for your Acoustic Guitar.


    As for preamps, the M-Audio DMP3 is a great preamp! I have one and love it. I have tried the Focusrite Trakmaster pro, Studio Project VTB1 and Behringer pres and the DMP3 was the best!
  13. silverspeedo

    silverspeedo Guest

    AT 3035 love it for the money
  14. JesseMcKamey

    JesseMcKamey Guest

    AT 3035

    We use a few of these where I work. They are really nice on vocals especially female. Very nice on acoustic guitars also. I've even used one as an ambient mic. It adds "air" which here, since we have to track all genres of music, comes in handy especially for some pop recordings and really nice on female country.
  15. Sheehan-J

    Sheehan-J Guest

    I've had good luck with the AKG Perception 200. Its nice and clear and fairly transparent. 10db pad and bass roll off switches are handy. For a little more you could look into the Perception 400 which has 3 different polar patterns (Cardioid, Omni, and Figure 8).
  16. dionroy

    dionroy Guest

    I really like my AT 4040, and I heard really good things about the Perception 200 (they have the 220 now too.)

    Next stop ...... U87...... :)

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