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Sales man wait guys help me choose

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Nivaga, May 25, 2014.

  1. Nivaga

    Nivaga Active Member

    So i went to my dealer looking for a condencer as a upgrade to my sm7b dynamic and i had this mics in my budget shure ksm44,akg c414,Neumann tlm 103,at 4050 and this is the last mics in my price range above them i cant afford,so mr sales man adviced me for a Neumannn tlm 102 or tlm 103 but dont talk highly of the other mics strange hmmm doe's he get commision for Neumannn mics cos he is keeping my eyes of the other models so i need your help to choose,i be using it 75% for vocals rap and rnb, soul,african traditional music and use my guitar, saxophone,bongos,flute etc
    Also record more people at ones
    My signal chain-focusrite isa one,mbox 3,cubase 5
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    With the exception of the AT 4050,( I've only used it a few times) I've used all the other mics you've mentioned regularly while working as a "hired gun" recording and mix engineer doing sessions at pro studios and hobby studios alike.

    My personal favorite, aside from a Neumann U89i, is the AKG 414. I have two 414's (vintage 1979 EB models,) 2 Neumanns ( aU87, and a U89i) ( as well as a slew of other nice mics, both dynamic and condenser models) and I often use the 414, depending on the application(s), of course. They are stellar for vocals. Run through a nice preamp, I guarantee you're gonna love the sound.

    414's are great mics, pro-industry standards, and terrific for a multitude of miking apps - acoustic guitars, percussion, flute, vocals, drum overheads, upright bass, mandolin, brass, etc. (pretty much any acoustic instrument you can think of, really)

    They have several nice built-in features, not found on many condensers : switchable input pads at 0/-10/-20db, 4 pick up positions, including Omni, Cardioid, Hyper-Cardioid and Figure 8, and a hi-pass filter, adjustable at either flat, 150hz or 75 hz.

    Your "salesman" is likely pointing you towards certain models that he will make a commission on. There's no doubt that Neumann makes very nice condenser mics, but it's absolutely ridiculous for him to belittle those other mics mentioned.
    They are all very good choices, any one of which you won't be regretful about buying. ( As stated above I don't have much experience with the 4050, but I've read the specs, and know several engineer peers of mine who like them very much).

    Perhaps they aren't looked upon favorably by someone who stands to lose money if he sells something else, but those other mics, particularly the AKG, are most certainly not looked down upon by any pro engineer that I know, including myself.

    My second choice out of that list would be the Shure KSM44. This is one nice microphone, I've had the opportunity to use it many times and it's always performed great. One feature I like about this mic is in the hi-pass filtering... it attenuates low frequency by a -6 db slope from 115Hz down to 80 Hz, and below that it attenuates at a -18db slope. The sound is sweet, very similar to newer 414's, which both have a tendency to have an upper level presence bump around 4k, (+1) and again at 10k.
    (The older vintage EB models are flatter than the newer 414's) ... from the XL Series and later, they implemented the presence bump on subsequent 414 models). Specs of each the 414 and the KSM44 are very similar.

    The other option to consider would be that if you were able to pick up two of the AT's for around $1200, (as opposed to one 414 for around the same cost), you could open yourself up to several other creative miking applications that use 2 or more mics - such as stereo, X-Y, ORTF, M-S, AB Spaced, and Blumlein, ( not to mention being able to record two lead vical tracks at once if you have two singers)...This would allow you to widen your stereo field nicely - for things like percussion, drum overheads, or when miking things like acoustic guitars, section vocals, pianos, etc.

    Back to your original quandary... A true salesman is going to consider the customer's needs first.
    But, it's pretty rare anymore to find these kinds of sales people. You obviously ran into one of the more common breed, that was a "commission first" kinda guy.
    He wasn't necessarily steering you wrong when he suggested the Neumann, but he wasn't exactly telling you the truth if he told you the other mics weren't also very good choices. ;)

    IMHO of course.

  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I would question whether any of these are an "upgrade" to the SM7B. You get a different sound from a condenser, but there's horses for courses, and they are many times when I would choose an SM7B or an RE20 dynamic mic over any of the condenser mics in the locker because I wanted the particular sound that they give, and not a condenser sound.

    If you want a good condenser mic for the times where it will do well, that's fine. Choose a good one for vocals or a versatile one for instruments or whatever, but think of it as an alternative to the SM7B, not an upgrade.
  4. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    The Neumann TLM 103 is a fine vocal mic, but since it is a fixed-pattern cardioid I find myself grabbing my AKG C414 more often. I think if you have a limited budget and a limited collection of mics you will be best served by a multi-pattern mic, or, as Donny suggests, get a pair of mics to greatly increase your capability.
  5. Nivaga

    Nivaga Active Member

    Great stuff i knew i could rely on you guys as for my sm7b i cant record a choir at the same time and i dont like the sound on my wifes sound she sings very soft and as i turn up the gain more and more it sounds muffled she sings alot soft but rap and loud vocals i love it thats why i need a condencer as a all arounder
    Guys lot of thanks akg 414 it is

    Sent from my RM-914_im_mea3_334 using Tapatalk
  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    It's the 57 of LDCs, excellent first choice in that area. I sonically like the slightly deeper low end of the tlm in general, but I use my 414 on anything, but the 102, is a really really good mic, it's not a Chinese LDC w a Neumann logo, or at least doesn't sound like one. I've used all the mics you were considering except the 4050.

    My 414 is worth as much used, as I paid new 8 yrs ago. Resale value and versatility, and just overall reputation of having a classic mic appeals to me.

    This is the first post on mics where someone hasn't said try them in the first reply lol., bring your wife to the store and compare them all, narrow it down, then see if they will let you demo the best two at home for a week if up tuna deposit down. Watch out for mic return policies, due to the potential of what could happen to something your gonna put your mouth near, many stores don't have return policies on mic. I was able two get two pairs of speakers to demo at home, and ended up buying the more expensive one.

    As your doing this dance w the salesman, remind him every 30 seconds, of the fact, that he probably won't have another potential sale of a thousand dollar mic soon. People just don't spend that kinda money often in general on mics.
  7. Nivaga

    Nivaga Active Member

    Thanks for the reply kmetal unfortuntly here in africa the country i am in dont have that luxury to test mics so the mics are not even in the store so you have to know what you looking for and they just order it and ship it to your door step from South Africa to my country thats the only way

    Sent from my RM-914_im_mea3_334 using Tapatalk
  8. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I have 2 KSM44 and I also use the ISA two. What I like about this mic is that you don't get overblown hi frequency as other condensers.
    A thing people forget is that a lot of mics were made for big analog studio with warm consoles. So those mics are not always the good choice for us, digital recordists. The KSM44 is a bit smoother in the Hi freq and that's what I like about them. I also have a KSM32 which have a bit more mid Hi but also work good on some sources.

    Seems Like you decided for the 414, I hope you'll get time to compare them before you buy.
  9. Nivaga

    Nivaga Active Member

    Recieved my akg c414 xlii monday after a long wait!
    And surely it was worth the money and time
    I was concernd how the combination will b with my isa one preamp but im shockd by the clarity and presents and dam the vocals are clean as a whistle, i whispered on this mic and can hear every sound my mouth makes and sounds outstanding guys im so gonna do my tracks over im super excited,i do music part time and man my eyes are just on my watch cant wait to get home and experiment more, and i got you guys to thank AKG C414 xlii thumbs up i will recommend this mic to any one any time and xtra i got a akg k240 studio headsets for free too nice deal

    Sent from my RM-914_im_mea3_334 using Tapatalk
    kmetal likes this.
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Thanks for getting back to us. It's actually rare that most first-time posters asking for help actually show us the courtesy of letting us know how things worked out.

    Usually they just disappear - "POOF!" - and they are gone.

    Glad to hear things worked out well for you. :)
    bigtree likes this.
  11. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    I'm assuming you got the new XLS version of the mic, which actually has 5 pickup positions, plus 4 in-between patterns, for a total of 9. The new version also has more high pass options; 0, 40, 80 or 160 Hz.

    You will be really happy with your mic. The 414 is my island condensor mic!

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