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sm81 or josephson c42 ldc for acoustic guitar tracking only

Member for

14 years 8 months
sm81 or josephson c42 sdc for acoustic guitar tracking only

hey all

hope everyone is doing well in the new year. it is way too snowy here in ny.

I havent asked a question in a while so i'm looking forward to hearng from RO opinions on whats up.

i am in need of an new small diaphram condensor to replace a Shure sm81 that i sold a few months back.

as some of you may know, i am a self recording songwriter and only record a few specific instruments and use mics that suit my purposes. i use my sdc only for acoustic guitar tracking (no drum overheads, choirs, room mics etc)

i record AG almost always in mono to track in country pop type of songs. i had always been satisfied with the sm81 but now that i have to buy a replacement i am wondering if all the great things i hear about the c42 would merit my getting that this time over picking up a new sm81.

i use a taylor 814 stringed normally and sometimes a taylor 314 stung in nashville tuning.
almost all of my AG tracks are strumming with the occassional fingerpicked solo here or there.

as they are the same price (just about) i could afford either one. although i am of the "if it aint broke dont fix it mentaility" and would be happy with the sm81, i am aways looking to ugrade my sound. cant demo a c42 so i will not be abe to try it first.

any opinions?

sean quinn


Member for

21 years 3 months

audiokid Wed, 01/26/2011 - 22:35
I own an [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.mojaveau…"]MA-100[/]="http://www.mojaveau…"]MA-100[/] and its two in one / interchangeable cardioid and omnidirectional capsules..

For warning if you are going to be searching the web. I was doing searches on it tonight and came across a Mojave MA-100 review, top of google pointing to Gearshills highlighted by Fletcher at his best. I'm sure you will find it. (Dead Link Removed)

Looks like Jules (the guy who advocates free speech ) removed it (3 years too late) shortly after I made this public statement. Sad impact on a Mojave Audio.

Member for

13 years 3 months

soapfloats Wed, 01/26/2011 - 22:49
While I typically prefer SDCs on acoustic (I'll have to add the MA-100 to my short list)....

Have you ever considered a ribbon microphone?
The fact that you mention country pop makes me think you might want some roundness, especially in less dense recordings. They're great on a lot of other sources, too.
The fig-8 pattern will also introduce more of your room concerns, but some well placed material could minimize that (foam, chair, couch, etc).

Just a thought. I'll step aside now, as I'm interested in what the others have to say about SDCs (and LDCs) for acoustic guitar...

Member for

21 years 3 months

audiokid Wed, 01/26/2011 - 23:16
Agree with ribbons and all of what Soap suggests. I use two Royer 122's for my acoustic G and its hard to want anything after this. The only thing I can imagine better for my personal acoustic sound is the Royer SF24v. But is a pile of $. Ribbons really sweeten the sound up but I'm saying this from only two comparisons. Maybe those Cascades. Man, can't believe how low priced they are.

I have another option but I have know idea how its going to sound until it arrives in a few days is the [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.dpamicro…"]DPA 4099 G[/]="http://www.dpamicro…"]DPA 4099 G[/] $700 . It is going to be great for live and studio matched with a tube pre. DPA hmmm, Close micing might be your answer?
So many options. Back to the group...

Member for

19 years 11 months

Davedog Thu, 01/27/2011 - 10:49
Seriously. Neumann TLM 102. LDC or SDC this thing is gigantic sounding and in a close-micing situation arent you going for the intimacy and the woodiness of the guitar? Royers are yummy. I'm getting a 101 in a couple of weeks. I sure the Mojave is a very nice mic also, I cant imagine anything with David Royer designing it not being a good thing. Perhaps you need to get some gobos for your room. You can go really high-end on these and tame whatever, or you can go budget and get down to your local used office furniture place and find some cubicle walls. Not perfect but realize that all the manufacturers of these things build in a level of absorption. It keeps the noise down in office areas. So they do work fairly well if you find the right one. A couple will give you a little relief (noticeably) from your boxiness when you record acoustic guitars and anything else you want. 2 or 3 and you have a portable, easily stored medium for this purpose.

When you go to pick a couple of barriers out, simply lean down and shout into them. It'll tell you if its absorptive or reflective. If you need more absorptive, buy a couple of heavy packing blankets and drape them over the gobo. Cheap and easy aint always bad. Except in women.....

But I digress...

I use SDC's on most acoustic instruments also. I still love the SM81. Why dont you just get another? You know that mic.... I use ADK CHI system SDC's. The self noise in these is non-existent and allows me to crank the bejesus out of them for that seriously forward acoustic sound.

But I gotta reiterate...until you hear one of those new Neumann's , you'll not know what you're missing.

Member for

16 years 2 months

RemyRAD Thu, 01/27/2011 - 13:12
I might suggest that you go slightly further in your choice? I love my 4 SM 81's. I've used them since they were introduced in the late 1970s or was that the early 1980s? Any other similar SDC will have similar characteristics to the SM 81. Why not go one size smaller? Have you thought about the Earthworks? Those in a sound versus price comparison, probably come closer to DPA/B & K, Larson Davis type scientific reference microphones. These have a quality that even surpasses that SDC quality sound. Rather bright. Rather airy, Omni's. (Yeah, there are cardioids available too)

On the other side of the tracks, what about the improved transient tracking capabilities of a ribbon? Lots to choose from these days. You'd probably want one of those phantom powered, condenser sounding types. It may take you to a level of sweetness far beyond the 81.

If you liked that SM 81 sound? You might consider some of their other KSM series condenser microphones? I like their products well enough that I would purchase any one of those ear unheard & sight unseen, new. Although some of those require a bigger chunk of change to be outlayed.

You know I wouldn't lead you wrong
Mx. Remy Ann David

Member for

21 years 3 months

audiokid Thu, 01/27/2011 - 13:47
Davedog, post: 362372 wrote: Seriously. Neumann TLM 102. LDC or SDC this thing is gigantic sounding and in a close-micing situation arent you going for the intimacy and the woodiness of the guitar?

But I gotta reiterate...until you hear one of those new Neumann's , you'll not know what you're missing.

Well I'm sold on these Dave, the TLM 102 is on my list:
[[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.Neumann…"]Georg Neumann GmbH - Products/Current Microphones/TLM 102/Description[/]="http://www.Neumann…"]Georg Neumann GmbH - Products/Current Microphones/TLM 102/Description[/]

Member for

14 years 8 months

song4gabriel Sat, 01/29/2011 - 00:44
so was at GC today paying the last installment on my xmas resent from the girlfriend (a brand new American Standard Tele :redface:) and i mosied on over to the "pro recording" dept to look and see about that TLM davedog suggested. when i approach the case and see this teenie dinky little thing there i thought "he's got to be kidding". it almost looks like something you'd stick on a video camera for some audio.

nevertheless I ask the guy there if i could have a listen to it, and ran to pick up a gibson acoustic to give it a go. he sets me up in the little control room thingy and runs it through some focusrite preamp and leaves me alone with it for a bit.

all i gotta say is WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

that mic is very sweet. i may just have to pick one up.



Member for

16 years 2 months

RemyRAD Sun, 01/30/2011 - 22:52
Well, I believe these TLM 102's are sort of like the mini version of a U 47 like capsule which is smaller than the U 67/87 TLM 103's. So I would expect it to have a little more presence over the SDC type sound with more of that 47 WOW like factor. This might also make for the perfect bass drum microphone. It's just so hard to get a U47 FET positioned just right with those little bass drum holes. And knowing that it's built by that other crappy microphone company um, Sennheiser, um, might make it a good reason alone to get um, one or, um, maybe 2 eh?

I could've made that so much easier by um, thinking about, um, what I wanted to say, um, before my voice recognition software gets to have an um, field day with me, um?
Mx. um, Remy Ann David