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hey all. visiting family & planning on doing a little recording with my niece. the only mic i've ever really owned is a studio b1 from like 2002. it died on me & i need to get one really quick and don't want to spend more than $100. I know...not much.

Guitar Center has a MXL 990s Patriot Edition for $55 brand new, but someone in the area has a blue spark for that they'd sell me for $75 that is new too.

Market Price on the Spark is $100 more than the MXL, so I'm guessing it's worth the extra 20 to get the Spark?


DonnyThompson Mon, 12/25/2017 - 05:42

brettryantalley, post: 454720, member: 51063 wrote: Market Price on the Spark is $100 more than the MXL, so I'm guessing it's worth the extra 20 to get the Spark?

Not necessarily. Often - especially in the budget range of these kinds of Chinese mics - one model just happens to be more expensive just because it is. The price difference between them isn't necessarily an indicator of one being any better than the other.

I've not used either of these, but based on my own experience working as a home studio consultant, I see a lot of budget-level microphones, at various client's small home recording spaces... I think you're probably looking at very similar sonic results with either mic - though you'd likely get better results if you used either of them with a nice preamp.
Sound On Sound ( SOS) gives both "decent" reviews, saying they are both pretty good mics.. for the money.
Reading between the lines on both of the reviews, they're essentially the same, and will give very similar sonic results.

IMO, save your money and go with the 990 - and I say this only because I don't believe you'll hear a noticeable difference between them, especially if you happen to be using a "typical" budget level USB preamp/i-o.
And, considering you're doing this mainly to have fun with your niece, (I'm assuming that's what you're doing... it's not like you're making a "pro level" commercial recording here; if you were I'm sure we wouldn't be talking about mics this cheap), so as long as your expectations are within reason, and you're not expecting either of these models to sound like a Neumann, or an upper level AKG or AT, Soundelux or Cathedral Pipes ...or any other expensive studio-grade mics, either one will work fine for what you are doing.

Put the extra $25 into some fun little stocking stuffers.
Me? I'm partial to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, myself. ;)

Oh... and welcome to RO!
Happy Holidays. :)

pcrecord Mon, 12/25/2017 - 06:58

DonnyThompson, post: 454722, member: 46114 wrote: Put the extra $25 into some fun little stocking stuffers.

Actually a good xlr cable would be my best use of it ;)

So mxl 990 and Blue Spark are said both to be hyped and agressive on the high frequencies.
I think the Spark will produce a bit less noise on low level sources..
Honestly I wouldn't want to use any of them unless forced at a gun point.
I'd rather use a sm58 or sm57 (with a good preamp or a cloudlifter..)
If one must buy a conderser mic, I'd wait to get enough money to buy, a mini k47 or an Aston Origin, rode Nt2a, Mojave Ma-50

Boswell Mon, 12/25/2017 - 08:32

Was your "studio b1" a Studio Projects B1 or a Behringer B1? There's often confusion between those two. If it was the SP, you will notice a vocal quality drop if you go to either of the new microphones you mentioned. What went wrong with it?

What make and model of audio interface are you using?


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