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Shure SM81 vs AKG 451b

Member for

18 years 1 month
My mic closet as it stands contains : AKG Solidtube, Shure KSM32, AKG C3000b, AKG C1000s (2), Sennheiser 421 (3), Shure SM57 (2), AKG D112, Electro-Voice RE20.

I believe that the weakest link(s) in my microphone suite are the two AKG C1000s (I can almost hear the seasoned pros sitting around and one says "Did you hear the one about the guy who walked into a bar with two AKG C1000s? HA-HA-HA!). I use them mostly for overheads on my drum kit with emphasis on capturing cymbals.

I have been looking at either Shure SM81's or a factory-matched pair of AKG 451b's. As far as I know, Shure doesn't offer matched pairs of SM81's but from what I've read, the SM81's would probably come out on top in a poll. Would I even be able to tell that the SM81's are not a matched pair? Any thoughts?

Comments

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Tue, 11/04/2003 - 06:48
I may get some nasties thrown at me but I prefer my MK-012's to my SM 81's. I've never heard the AKG so I can't comment. I have used the C1000's and the 012's and SM 81's. Perhaps I got a good pair but I love my little MK012's. I dug through about 30 of them at GC to get two that I liked. I'm considering getting Joesephson, Neumann, or Earthworks but Honestly, I might hold out for a while just because I truly am happy with them.

Go get a pair of both and use them. Take back the ones you don't like. What we think is good you may hate.

Jason

Member for

19 years 11 months

Davedog Tue, 11/04/2003 - 14:44
Isnt the 451b a fixed capsule while the older models aren't?....I love em both...The SM81 is very surgical and there are times when you need that.All in all I favor the AKG 460 and I also like the AT4051's quite a bit.The ADK SC-T is a nice mic and is cheaper than the 'major' brands..Kurt has begun to love the C4 Studio Projects and hes got a plethora of SD condensers to chose from.He will agree on the 460's however.I would personally go for a set of overs which also sound great on other things, such as acoustic instruments and such

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Wed, 11/05/2003 - 08:42
I looked into both mics, and found the audio technica 4041. It is a great SD condenser microphone. It is flat across the border, and elevates slighty in the upper frequencies. It is outstanding! very accurate reproduction of acoustic guitar. I imagine it would sound great with a drum kit and percussion. Haven't teste those yet. I thought it sounded better than the AKG, and much less harsh than the Shure.

Member for

18 years 4 months

eFe Thu, 11/13/2003 - 18:17
I don't like C1000's very much, but it is a matter of tastes, I have little experience with 81, I've used old 451s a lot of times and I think I ve used 451b (the one with plated body?) when they bought a couple in the studio I'm working, I liked them both for overs. About the matched pair, i think sometimes it's good to have a pair of mics to have some stereo technics but that's maybe because I like experimental recording...

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Thu, 11/13/2003 - 18:37
I prefer a large dyaphram mic for overheads. I feel that with a little work I don't need to use any spot mics and avoid any potential phase issues. Overheads are usually a big part of my finished drum sound so I like to really get the kit covered overhead. I think that large diaphram mics would also be more versatile in the studio. As for matched pairs... I have often used a Nueman 47 and a Telefunken 250 as my overheads and I don't really care that they are different let alone matched they just rock.

Member for

20 years 2 months

Doublehelix Fri, 11/14/2003 - 04:38
If you are only using them as OHs, you probably don't really need a matched pair...but for any type of stereo work, the matched pair would be (almost) essential.

For the last couple of sessions, I have had access to a pair of AKG414's to use as OHs, and I must admit that it will be hard to go back to using SDCs again. My "normal" OHs when I can't get the 414's are Rode NT5's.

Member for

19 years 5 months

Kurt Foster Sun, 11/16/2003 - 11:12
The older (no longer available) AKG C451L's are fixed charge true condensers. The reissue C451B's are electret type condensers, a less expensive type.. If you want a new AKG sd condenser try the 480's.. With the older 451's could switch the capsules for either cardioid or omni patters like you can with the Studio Projects C4's. In spite of my initial doubts, I am warming up to the Studio projects C4s the more I use them. They are rapidly becoming my go to mic for sd condenser. At about $400 street for a matched pair, with shock mounts, pop filters, omni and cardioid capsules all in a very durable and handy carrying case, the C4's are a value that is difficult to beat. In time I am positive these "affordable" mics will be a staple in any studio mic locker. If they ever go out of production, we will probably see the prices on these mics escalate.

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Sun, 11/16/2003 - 15:12
For the last couple of sessions, I have had access to a pair of AKG414's to use as OHs, and I must admit that it will be hard to go back to using SDCs again. My "normal" OHs when I can't get the 414's are Rode NT5's.


Which type of 414's did you use, the ULS, TLII, or EB.
Also if someone can answer this, what does the B in 414B-ULS stand for. And kurt those 480's look great, though I am quite happy with my pair of 451B's, those look like my next choice for a small diaphram mic because of the interchangable capsules, and if the graphs do represent what they really sounds like that is on flat mic regardind the cardiod capsules, even the other capsules have a really flat curve.

Member for

20 years 9 months

AudioGaff Sun, 11/16/2003 - 18:12
Originally posted by missilanious:
Ahhhh, so ones that don't contain the B in the name don't have the low pass filters on them ,if they do exist.
This is mostly true, but I think there are a few others in the AKG line may not include the "B" in the model number even if they do have a bass rolloff.
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