Cheeper option than KM 184 for acoustic guitar??

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by B Carron, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. B Carron

    B Carron Guest

    I am considering biting the bullet and getting a matched pair of KM 184's for when I record acoutic guitar. The price tag is a little high so I'm wondering if anyone has had good results with a cheeper pair of mics.

    I will mainly be recording jazz instrumental music. The combos will vary from 2 acoustic guitar duo, as well as an additon of bass, drums and sometimes piano. The mic's I'm using now are 2 TLM 103's (which I like and would use with the KM 184's) and 2 Octava 012's (which I do not like because they sound like they have a huge roll off on the treble end). I would use the KM 184's to replace the Octava's.

    The main guitar I'm recording is a Taylor 812c and sometimes an friend of mine who plays a James Olsen guitar. I will be putting the mic's through good pre amps (Avalon and Grace).

    Any sudgestions?
  2. sign

    sign Guest

    Hi, welcome to the forums. There are so many mics for recording acoustic guitar and it depends what sound you're after.

    Best you can do is search the forums for "acoustic guitar", you will find tons of info.

    Peace, Han
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I have used several mics on acoustic guitar successfully. The ATM 4033 (a studio staple), AKG 451, 460 or 414’s come to mind.
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
  4. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    Hmm...Well you've got your LargeDiaphram Pair (TLM's) and it sound like what you need are a pair of small Diaphram Condensers.
    1. First I'd put on a pair of can's when micing and see if you can't find a better/brighter sweet spot for those Oktava's.
    2. Then if you really do need to purchase a another pair that's cheaper than the KM184:
    AKG451B...very good & bright. Check out any SmallDiaphram condesers from Audio Technica &/or Shure. I haven't heard any of the AT or Shures...but there's probably a mic for the sound/budget in there.

    Really work on placement first though.
  5. sapplegate

    sapplegate Active Member

    Mar 5, 2001
    Crown CM-700's and EV RE-200's are good candidates as well, but the KM-184's are really sweet. I'd say bite that bullet...
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    jeeze louise....trying to decide to buy Neumanns...ya kaint go wrong...akg451's are less pricey but not much...still they sound very very good...shure sm-81...old warhorse standard...can be had used fairly cheap...very good mic and theres other caps for them c-17...used again...very that i looked at my list, buy the Neumanns and dont whine...they are the best you can get for what you want..i dont really get your impression of a huge roll-off in the highend of the octavas was mentioned,this could be a simple positioning of the mics...those things through a good mic pre sound pretty damn good for the money...oh yeah....welcome
  7. mchimes

    mchimes Guest

    Bought a Gefell M300 (SD Cardiod) couple months ago . . . very happy w/ it. Very smooth and detailed . . . runs about $450 new. Sounds great on acoustic.

    Hope this helps,
  8. Twist Turner

    Twist Turner Guest

    I don't have KM184's but I have tried KM 84's on acoustic and wasn't all that happy. Unfortunately I rarely am brought an acoustic to record so I don't get alot of chances to try. I have had good result with a Soundelux U195 were nothing else seemed to work, I just picked up some Gefell MV692's which are supposed to be great on acoustic guitar but unitl someone brings one in I"ll never know. I've also done well with AKG 535's and 451's. I think I really depends on the player, the guitar and the room, you never know until you try that particular combo whether it will work or not.
  9. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002

    If it's the KM 184's sound you're after check out the Rode NT5: they are quite cheap, but incredibly good sounding, almost a 184 rip off: I tracked 2 full lenght acoustig guitar albums in January with those and I got really good results (so good that when I revealed the price to the guitarists they decided to get a pair for themselves). They come in a matched pair set so they're an invitation to stereo techniques.

    I was skeptical at fisrt, but when I tried them out I was really happy.

    Hope this helps

  10. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I have to agree, I love my NT5's! But if I could afford it, I'd buy the KM184's!!! The NT5's are *great* for the price, I also have used them and when demoing the sound for a colleague, he went out and bought a pair within a week!!! They really do sound fantastic!!! They give the kind of sound that is almost too good to believe for the price.
  11. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Guest

    If you want the 184s get em! They're great mics and well worth the $$. Neumann mics, unlike some of the less expensive ones, hold their value very well. If, in a while, you decide you don't want them, you can probably sell them for what you paid for them. I doubt the same could be said of the Rode mics.

    The 184s are great on ac gtr, but they tend to be a little full sounding and a tad dark, for a brighter mic you might want to check out the AKG 451B. They come in matched pairs as well and, I believe that they're a bit less expensive than the 184s.
  12. downshift

    downshift Guest

    just to add my $0.02...I have recorded acoustic guitar with a few different mics of the inexpensive route and found the Oktava MC012's sounded great. If you bought your pair from GC that could be why you don't like them. They tend to get the not so thoroughtly tested mics...especially with the Oktava's. I have a matched pair and work/sound great. I use them in place of my sm-81's. Also, like previously stated, AT4033's are a good choice as well. Good freq response and price. Happy micing.
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I have heard that too. Oktava apparently has a problem with mic to mic consistency. This is what happens when you steal / borrow technology you don’t understand. A lot can get lost in implementing an idea you have no concept of. They reportedly take the best of their mics and sell them direct or through boutique dealers and then dump the ones that don’t spec up as well on Guitar Center. I‘d take them back where I bought them and tell them they sound like ass.….. Fats
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
  14. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Fats, you amaze me.

    You simply wrote exactly what I was going to write, practically word for word, including the sounding like ass part.

    Broddah, you are IN!!!
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Great minds.. blah, blah, blah, etc.. Now that scares me.... :D .... I think I have been hanging here a bit too much. hehehe Nothin else to do. My production DAW took a major dump the other day and I have it in the shop to get it straightened out. I think it was something I did to screw it up. Now they have to clean up my mess. I just told them to clean the OS drive and re install everything.

    The OS drive was soooo full, (How full was it?) It was so full it couldn't defrag itself! Bada Bump!

    Fortunately all my music files are on a separate drive. "A- SCARED!" Fats
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
  16. lunatic

    lunatic Guest

    From what I understand, you can get good Oktavas from a place called The Sound Room: The guy there will even sell a matched pair.

    I say this only from what I've read over at and have never actually bought an Oktava from The Sound Room. A friend of mine has bought from them and was very happy.

    Personally, I just picked up a pair of Marshall MXL 603s. They've been great so far!
  17. robchittum

    robchittum Guest

    Your recommendation is a good one to go to the soundroom. I purchased a matched pair of MC 012's a couple of years ago. By the time Taylor puts a pair up for sale, he has tested them very thoroughly. I have found these mics to do a great job on guitar, mandolin, and any other acoustic instrument that I have tried. The key is to place one mic at the 12th fret, 6-8 inches from the neck, and angled about 45 degrees toward the sound hole (play with this to get a balanced sound - can get too boomy if angled too much toward sound hole). You can put another mic at the end of the body, shoulder height, and angled slightly toward sound hole. This works great - especially with a good mic pre - I am using a Sytek 4 channel, and it works very well with these mics. A matched pair from the Sound Room with three capsules per mic (all matched) will cost you around $600, but is well worth it IMHO. Good luck.

  18. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    a) 2 Sm81´s b) 2 At4050´s
    c) 2 C414´s

    look at USa e-bay!
  19. Well, I'm back in town again, so I'll throw in my opinion too! Fats and Bill are right, Fats on what he said, and Bill for backing it up....

    Either the 451's or 184's are great and very usefull mics, and depending on the player and guitar should do the trick .. and as much as I like my 451's, the 184's may be a bit less bite on top for some of the maple top guitars.
  20. B Carron

    B Carron Guest

    Thanks everyone for your input. I think all this input confirms my desire to just bite the bullet and get the 184's.

    I hate going the cheep route only to realize that I will have to upgrade later. That happend with the Octava's that I purchased, and I did get them from Guitar Center by the way. They don't even sound similar to eachother so it's hard to use them as a sterio pair. Not very good quality control.

    Thanks for your help.

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