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hi all, i'm in the market for a pair of small diapragm mics, i'm wondering if anyone has advice regarding Rode NT5 vs. Peluso CEMC6. This will be my first pair of SDC's, so they need to be pretty versatile. Mainly acoustic guitar and drum overheads/room.

from what i gather, most people love the Peluso's, and they're probably the better overall choice, but i've found a stereo pair of the NT5's for $350, vs. about $650 for the pair of CEMC6's. any advice? are the CEMC6's that much better to justify paying twice as much? $650 isn't necessarily out of my price range, but if i can spend that much less and not sacrifice much in terms of quality, of course i'd do it.

any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Cucco Tue, 10/16/2007 - 11:16

I've not found the Peluso's to be anything special. On the other hand, I find the Rode's to be incredibly versatile. I would advise that the NT55 might be the best value.

As for the Peluso's, they were originally pitched as a lesser expensive alternative to the Schoeps CMC systems (as their model numbers would also indicate). They dropped that after quite a few of us LOYAL Schoeps owners complained quite bitterly. (I've tried them beside a Schoeps CMC 6 MK 4 and the difference was simply night and day - obviously in favor of the Schoeps.)

I also have issue with the claim of "hand made" in the US. First, many of the mics resemble (nearly identically so) many Chinese mics. Also, I find it hard to believe that dealers have so many on hand and in stock if these are truly hand made by a small operation in Virginia. Perhaps hand-tweaked, but I seriously doubt "hand made" and there IS a huge difference.

As for the Rodes, there's no mystery about their mics. You want to see the factory, call and visit or they'll send you pictures (I know - I have some.) Granted, they aren't "hand" made, but they do handle all of the assembly in-shop and manufacture much of their own stuff (back plates, casings, etc.)

Bottom line, I know some people have raved about the Pelusos, but I would consider that many to most of these people have been swayed by marketing hype and have never really tried a quality SDC.

Of course, all of the above are my opinions and speculations only. Your mileage may vary.

Cheers and welcome to RO!


RichS Tue, 10/16/2007 - 12:43

Electronic Musician magazine did a review of the Rode NT55.

I'd go with the NT55 as you're getting both a cardioid AND an omni capsule included for about $350 (street price), it's also a very quiet mic. Buying a pair (available as matched pairs) for about $700 will give you all the versatility you're looking for.

Cucco Tue, 10/16/2007 - 15:15

RecordingNewb wrote: wow, thanks for the information cucco. did you notice any significant differences in presence or noise? i've also heard that the nt5's are fairly dark sounding while the CEMC6's are pretty flat. would you agree with this assessment?

Not really. I wouldn't consider the NT5s to be dark. I think most that assess it this way are too used to "hyped" SDCs like the AKG C1000 or similar. It does not have a presence peak at 5-10kHz but nor does it have the characteristic low-mid rise which makes most "dark mics" dark.

In regards to the Peluso being flat...nothing really jumps majorly out, but I wouldn't call it flat. In fact, I find the bass to be a little too punchy to the point where it might get bloated with fast moving sources (think jazz upright bass.)

I would agree re: the NT55 as the previous poster mentions.


RecordingNewb Tue, 10/16/2007 - 15:39

thank you both, cucco and richS. i talked to a friend who raved about the nt5's, and he showed me drum recordings he made with them as overheads, which was great because i have used the same room and kit that he used in his example. so i think i'm going with the rode nt5's.

have either of you come across any preamps that you really like with them? i'm hoping to find a dual-channel pre, and would like to spend under $700 or $800. i've heard great things about the grace 101, i just wish that it wasn't single channel (the m201 is out of my range).

thanks again

Member for

51 years 4 months

kittonian Wed, 10/17/2007 - 18:55


Sorry but I think you are way out of line posting these statements about Peluso. First of all, they are absolutely hand made in Virginia and the mics spec out to be darn near identical to the mics they are modeled after.

I say this because I am one of the first dealers of Peluso Microphones and helped John build his company when he was just starting out (not starting out in the mic industry, but starting out with his own line of microphones). I have intimate knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes at Peluso and can honestly tell you that these mics are extraordinary no matter what you compare them to.

I can tell you that we've been dealing with Peluso for over 5 years now and I haven't had a single mic come back as a return. That's seriously saying something. I've had major engineers purchase a Peluso, put it right next to their favorite vintage microphone and be downright pissed because the Peluso beat the other mic (this just recently happened again when a customer bought a 2247SE and put it up next to his $8k Wagner 47).

You are certainly welcome to have your own opinion and can choose not to like the Peluso products, however you would definitely be in the minority. My problem is not whether you like or dislike the mics but that you chose to post publicly (in so many words) that Peluso mics are Chinese built crap. Again, this is absolutely not true and I felt the need to inform the readers and participants of this post.

Cucco Thu, 10/18/2007 - 06:47

Sorry Joshua - I just don't buy it.

First, here's one of my big problems. I called Peluso about 5 years ago when his mics were really just hitting the market and told him that I live not too far away and wanted to come to the shop and try a pair of the CEMC 6s in comparison with my Schoeps. He told me no - if I wanted to try his mics, I'd have to buy them from a dealer and if I didn't like them, return them.

Why would someone say that if they didn't have something to hide?

Afterall, I talked to the guy at Cascade (admittedly pieced together from Chinese product) and he told me that I could come, bring my preamps, any mics I wanted to compare with and sit down for the entire afternoon!

Second - do you HONESTLY expect me to believe that a microphone can be "Handmade" in the USA and retail for $350? From what I know from talking to other mic manufacturers and repair persons, it takes a good SEVERAL hours to manufacture a mic. So, what does he charge hourly to manufacture these? Does he stretch his own diaphragms, drill his own backplates, machine his own mic bodies, draw out and etch his own PCBs? More power to him if he does, but from what I've seen, I don't accept this as the truth.

The diaphragms that I've seen are identical to *other* mics of different origin (not German...or Austrian).

I would accept it if he said "Hand Assembled" in the US, but I don't buy it.

I also had a chance to directly try the CEMC 6 against my Schoeps as well as a my AKG Bluelines (more similar in price) and some AT 4041s and 4051s. I would gladly put the CEMC 6 at the bottom of my preference list. The bass was boomy and sloppy and the off-axis response was deplorable.

I've also tried the u47 clone and to call this a 2247 (implying similarity to the 47) is an insult. I've used the u47 numerous times. It's one of my favorite mics (well...favorite LDC tube mics). The on-axis frequency response was about the only thing similar on this mic.

Frankly, I could care less if I'm in the minority as to those who don't like the Pelusos. Seeing as how I'm also in the minority of folks who:
1 - Don't like/use Behringer
2 - Don't pirate any software
3 - Don't consider PreSonus preamps to be "Great" pres and a giant step up from my Creative Audigy
4 - Don't use plug-ins on everything I mix to make things sound "like the pros"
5 - I could go on, but I won't

My point is - I believe that the Pelusos are marketted eroneously and until I have PROOF to believe otherwise, I will continue to believe so. I rarely say anything negative about any manufacturer or their products (and my dig against PreSonus was actually unfounded - for what they are, I think they're great. But then again, they don't market themselves as a "Hand Made In America version of the API or Neve preamp!") However, I will gladly share my experiences to this point and I will say that they have not been positive.

I would venture to say that the VAST MAJORITY of Peluso users have never heard a Schoeps or a u47 or u87 to compare their units to. Instead, they go by what they read on forums such as this, rush out and buy it because it's $1000 cheaper than the mic they claim to emulate and then consider themselves happy.

I find it disgusting at best, predatory at worst.

Do you think that Schoeps makes a boat load of money on their mics? By the logic implored by PML, you would have to assume that Schoeps makes at least $1000 on each microphone that they sell. (Seeing as how a CMC 6, MK 4 sells for around $1400 and the PML CEMC 6 sells for $350 and it claims to be similar!)

Think again. After the cost of parts, cost of labor, cost of marketing (including sale to dealers at "dealer cost"), overhead (keeping the lights on in the factory) and shipping, they're lucky to grab a cool $200 profit from the mic.

Why is their product (which IS handmade) so much more expensive than the nearly identical (tongue-in-cheek) CEMC6?

If it is NOT true that these are "assembled" from other parts and that they truly are "hand made in America," please encourage your associate to show us pictures of his assembly process. Have him show us the PCBs that he etched (or hey, I don't care if he pays someone to do it and he assembles the transformers and any other parts onto the board!). Have him show us his process for hand-winding the transformers.

Have him show us his tube selection methods.

Have him show us the stretching of the diaphragm.

Have him show us the drilling and machining of the backplate.

Have him show us ANYTHING other than the same pictures of mics that look identical to other "inexpensive" mics.

BRH Thu, 10/18/2007 - 08:26

They are Chinese made, with a few parts switched.... by hand.

One example.

Yes, I wanted to see what all the youngboy hype was with all these really good new mics. Then did side by side comparison in studio.... A mic shoot out if you will. Side by side.. same preamps through console, same performer, same performance, same take, all tracked seperate tracks mulitple mics... and the result?
The mic that cost more is better. Schoeps? Yes! A quality of refined detail and depth with the most natural off axis response. Other mics?, use those when you need to record out in the rain.

Member for

51 years 4 months

mikecornett Tue, 10/23/2007 - 15:25

I've used both NT5's and CEMC6 on acoustic, and I can tell you right away that the Peluso brings a much clearer 'hifi' aspect to the table...Not only 'flatter' but more present. A guy I live w/ is an engineer/producer. He was used to running NT5's and SM81's...he borrowed my Peluso CEMC6 this past weekend with no previous knowledge of it...Had the NT5 and SM81 with him for an acoustic recording....Which did he go with? CEMC6...And when I came back into town, he was raving about the results, asking to learn more about Peluso.

Is it a Schoeps CMC6? No, it's not. Have I heard/worked with those? Yes, yes I have...They are typically THE go-to mic for live recording in the bay area rock/smallgroup jazz scene. The CMC6 (Schoepps) is practically unbeatable for that fact I have yet to hear a better mic setup used. The clarity and preciseness is unreal...

As for mic'ing an individual acoustic guitar, do you need that much hi fidelity? Probably not. Not many studios use them. The Peluso CEMC6 is more than likely tailored more towards a workable in-studio application than for stage, room or FOH mic'ing.

As for the guy who says since Peluso wouldn't let him come to the shop, thats proof that nothing is made there...Business have structure...Even if it's run out of someone's home, I know plenty of music related business owners that won't allow people to their shops and/or shop-homes. It's a personal preference in their business practice, and nothing shady to hide. One of these characters is a world famous guitar pickup maker in my town, and the other is a world famous luthier/pedal/amp builder who lives a town over. I know both, and I can tell you that I respect their decisions.

sdelsolray Thu, 10/25/2007 - 22:46

I would agree that the Peluso CEMC6 and the Schoeps CMC64 do not sound similar, and in terms of quality the Schoeps are vastly superior. Indeed, for my uses (solo fingerstyle acoustic guitar), an Oktava MC012 or a Neumann NK184 sound closer to the Schoeps than the Pelusos, quite a bit closer.

Still, the Pelusos are pretty nice mics. I auditioned them twice, and compared them to my Schoeps and Gefells (2x M294). While the Schopes and Gefells are clearly superior (for my uses), I did like the Pelusos.

Actually, the Peluso P28 tube mid-diaphram mics are quite nice. So much so, that I bought a pair. Again, they are different than my other mics, and that's one of the reasons I got them. They have a sound, character and behavior that the Schoeps and Gefells do not have. I like that. And the Schoeps and Gefells are rather different than each other, each with a different sound, character and behavior. I like that too.

gehauser Sun, 03/28/2010 - 08:04

You can hear both the NT5 and CEMC6, along with other SDCs, on acoustic guitar here:
[[url=http://[/URL]=""]Flatpicking Guitar Magazine: Articles: Small-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone Comparison[/]=""]Flatpicking Guitar Magazine: Articles: Small-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone Comparison[/]

Jeemy Mon, 03/29/2010 - 16:32

While this thread is reliving its youth, I had very similar experiences to Jeremy when trying to find out about a Peluso 2247. I was considering whether I could afford a U87 or 2 mics - a Lawson and a Peluso would be a better choice, and as the Peluso was relatively cheap I bought one on sale and return. A quick inspection made it pretty obvious this was a botch job; whether the mic I got was indicative of the whole range or poor QC is pretty irrelevant; the Peluso went 'return'.

Businesses may have structure, but they also have pride; and if I was shelling out $3-4,000 on a luthier's work (which I have done several times in my life) and I wasn't able to verify if he had a properly hermetically sealed spray chamber, and was holding my budding instrument in the correct temperature and humidity between working on it, he wouldn't get my business.

Without wanting to make too sweeping a generalisation, if somebody won't let you see the circumstances in which they work, whether it be by photograph or personal visit, they pretty much have something to hide. Buyer beware is all I can say....

Sure, compare the Peluso to the Rodes. But don't be under any illusion that this is a something-for-nothing manufacturer. Most of us are aware by now that S-F-N doesn't stand for Something For Nothing.