Skip to main content

Low budget mic packages vs. a few good mics


Still on the low budget drum microphone quest. I would be happy enough with just a 4 mic setup - 2 OH's a bass and snare mic for live playing and practice recordings. I've narrowed it down to the following 3 choices. Prices including tax:

- Superlux 5 pack DRK-A3C2 :
bass,snare, 2 OHs and 1 tom plus 5 XLR cables & 1 clip for $424 Can

- Samson 7 pack :
bass,snare, 2 OHs, and 3 toms PLUS 6 XLR cables & 4 clips for $486 Can

- the Shure PG 6 pack:
bass,snare, 2OHs and 2 toms plus 6 XLR cables & 3 clips for $600 Can

I've heard mostly great things about all of these so I'm trying to decide if its worth the extra $$ for the Shures over the Superlux (or Samson). What do you think is the best deal in terms of sound quality and durability etc.?



anonymous Tue, 05/10/2005 - 10:45
Just a thought, but wouldn't you be better of with some mics you wouldn't feel like upgrading in a short time?
I mean, if you get a shure SM57 or Beyer M201 for snare, AKG D112 or ATM25 for kick and two Octava mc012 for overheads, you would have probably much better quality. These mics can be found used quite easily as well. For toms and floor you might as well buy some used Shure Unidyne, which are very usable on guitar cabs as well.
You should spend the same amount of money, have better quality, don't need to upgrade and will hold it's value much more than these drumpackages.

anonymous Tue, 05/10/2005 - 11:28
Yes I agree completely - but I am strapped for cash and I won't be doing any serious recording with these.. I'd rather let the studio guys blow their cash on Neumanns etc. I priced out your suggestion and it works out to $980 (Can) just for the mics.. add on cables, stands and I'm quickly at about $1200..

My main goal is that they're good enough for playing small clubs and recording practices live off the floor..

anonymous Tue, 05/10/2005 - 13:48
I'll look around and see what I can dig up.. unfortunately they may be hard to find locally and eBay tends to burn me on customs and shipping now..

it used to be perfect until custom started opening everything and charging duties and 'inspection' fees (not to mention USP brokerage fees etc..) it was too good to last!

anonymous Tue, 05/10/2005 - 18:10
Thanks for the feedback; those darn Audix fusion things keep coming up in recommendations; there must be something to them..

As I am really strapped for cash - here's another plan:
if I bought better quality mics in a step-by-step process - is it possible to get 2 OHs first and build from there? i.e., I have an omni directional mic that I could throw in the bass drum and put 2 OHs over the kit... would I be able to get any kind of half decent sound with that for now (until I can afford decent snare and kick mics)??

anonymous Wed, 05/11/2005 - 13:16
Gomp & Boltino,

Thanks a lot! I took your advice and found a practically new Shure SM57 and 3 boom mic stands for a total of $112 US!! (through a local online music exchange)

Now on to overhead condensers.. I can get a matched pair of Apex 185's for $160 US. Don't know if they are good or not.

Has anyone heard of these mics and are they any good?

anonymous Wed, 05/11/2005 - 18:51
Hey thanks a lot - that's another good lead..

I read all the forums and found that the CAD C4's were rated high as well as the HM-1s although they are $175 more..

For comparison I dug up the specs for those mics plus this other cheap condenser mic (Apex 185) .. The Apex seems to be trying to emulate the Cad C4 (or maybe theyre both trying to emulate the Nueman with the funky circular shockmount). They both have omni and cardiod capsules and a -10 pad.

Here' what I'm struggling with..
(all prices in Can $)

Apex 185: Small Diaphragm Pencil Condenser/Omnidirectional & Cardioid / -10 pad switch/shock mount (matched pair) $200

Cad C4: Single diaphragm modular FET condenser microphone /cardioid /Omni-directional / -10 pad switch/(matched pair) $375

Kel HM-1: small diaphragm capsule /cardiod only (matched pair) $200

Frequency Response:
Apex 185: 30 - 16000 Hz
Cad C4: 40 - 20000 Hz
Kel HM-1 30 - 20000 Hz

Max SPL:
Apex 185: 125dB (with -10dB pad )
Cad C4: 150 dB (with -10dB pad )
Kel HM-1: 134dB

Equivalent Noise:
Apex 185: 24dB SPL
Cad C4: 16 DB SPL
Kel HM-1: 18 dB

So it looks like the Kel has good specs in some cases compared to the Cad although the SPL seems a bit low in comparison.

Do you think the HM-1 would pick up the toms and cymbals as a cardiod OH mic - or is it better suited for just close micing toms?

Otherwise I going to go for the HM-1s..

(I am doing the minimal 4 mic setup (SM57 on snare/ a bass drum mic and 2 OHs).

Holy Cr** - Sorry for the long winded reply! I better get off this microphone research stuff - its habit forming.

anonymous Sat, 05/14/2005 - 07:13
57s are like $70 or something, a D112 new from ebay'll be $170, a pair of 603s, can't recall, but no more than $250 (i'm sure they're way cheaper but can't recall), this at most brings you in at $490, and yeah, way better imo than a package deal where you're getting a couple of good mics and a couple of things you probably won't want to use, not for very long anyway.

jonnyc Sat, 05/14/2005 - 12:33
I'd make sure if you get the oktava's you buy them from a place that'll take them back. My friend had to send his first two pairs back. And take a look at the audix D6 nobody ever gives that mic credit but for me its so good I don't have to eq my kick anymore. I also own the audix fusion mics, mostly for live but have used them to record and they are really great. and you can never go wrong with a 57 in the mic locker.

anonymous Tue, 05/17/2005 - 16:44
Well I managed to snag a Shure Sm57, 3 mic boom stands and 4 XLR cables for $134 US locally (used). I just ordered an AKG D112 for $205 US through an audio pro friend of mine (price includes shipping and tax).

I couldn't find a used AKG D112 locally 'cause no one ever wants to part with the darn things!

All I've got left now is the OHs and its a toss up between the MXL 603s and the Kel HM-1 (back ordered).

When the dust settles it looks like the total cost for the 4 mics, 4 cables and 3 stands, will be around $530. I like this a lot better than the $1000 package deal I was looking at..


Your recently read content