Good acoustic guitar mic?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Crankitup, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. Crankitup

    Crankitup Guest

    Hey, I'm new here and I'm looking for a good small diaphragm cardioid microphone that would be good for acoustic guitar and ideally drums or a guitar cabinet. My budget is $500 or less. Any suggestions?

    Thanks
     
  2. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Location:
    Quakertown PA
    I like SM81's for accoustic guitars and drum OH's. A little more than your budget but worth the price.
     
  3. Crankitup

    Crankitup Guest

    hmm GC has it for $350. How does it compare to a Rode NT5?
     
  4. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Location:
    Quakertown PA
    Its all subjective so YMMV but the SM81 has been a studio standard for as long as many of us have been alive. It's very accurate on-axis, low noise and tough as nails. The NT5 is IMO the best sounding of the budget SDC's on accoustic guitar but I like the C4 better for a budget drum OH. Of course the SM81 is great on both and works well on alot of other sources as well.

    BTW, that's $350 each and well worth it.
     
  5. Crankitup

    Crankitup Guest

    I'll check it out. I already have 2 groove tubes GT57's that I'm enjoying for drum overheads and vocals, but I can't get a good acoustic guitar sound that I like. I remember an engineer using an SM81 on my drummer's hi-hat, so I think I could find some more versatile uses for it, too. Thanks
     
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    jacksonville,fl
    Variety is the spice of life, my friend. Leave the GTs to the geetar amp cabs and some vocals. I have an SM81, A-T AT4041, and Rode NT5 SDCs.
    I like the 81 on acoustic instruments and on hi-hats, OHs. Ditto with the 4041. The NT5 pair works great as OH's and on acoustic instruments, not so great on hi-hats (for some reason, they're just more placement-sensitive there). But the Rodes are a real workhorse SDC, and I think are a great bargain for a stereo pair. They are remeniscent of the original AKG C452EB (I used to have a pair before they were stolen :cry: ).
     
  7. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Halifax, NS Canada
    I have a nice AT-3035 that works and sounds great. Its about $300. At also has some entry level condensers, I believe their around $200 they are black in colour.

    Mark
     
  8. bwmac

    bwmac Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    I keep coming back to the apex line

    I keep coming back to the apex line

    I own a Apex 415 and 460 and both are great entry level mics.

    heres a review on the 460
    http://www.studioreviews.com/m16-460.htm

    Google a 460 mod, which i just recently performed on my 460 by replacing the tube.
    It was a simple task, $11 can. for the tube, the noise floor dropped nicely and the presence increased.
    If I want a airy crisper sound I use the 415.

    both well Worth there money IMHO
     
  9. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    jacksonville,fl
    Well, a decent quality SDC is invaluable for string instruments and for OH's. The SM81 is a professional staple for that application. You'd have to go with an Earthworks or DPA to get a perceptible improvement in audio quality, and even then, you're dealing with a mic that's at least twice (or in the case of the DPA, 4 times) the price. While a good LDC can yield decent results on acoustic guitar, they tend to sound "tubby" in the low end range on a lot of instruments because that's the range they were developed to emphasize. And when you add the brightness boost a lot of the Chinese LDCs are designed to emphasize, you have a real mess.
    I used to use LDCs for OH's, but have found that a pair of (or even a single) SDC will yield a more "focused" and transparent sound, without the phase anomalies an LDC would introduce, especially with muli-mic'd drum kits, especially in respect to the tom mics.
     
  10. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    North Vancouver
    I have few choices for acoustic 'geetar's', One of my favorite combos is a Apex 460 (modded new capsule, tube and transformer) and a Rode NT1(not the new NT1A the older version).

    But I agree wih the SM81, everytime I have had a chance to use them on guitar they worked well.
     
  11. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    I know it's not a small diaphram mic, but AT4050 is my alltime favorite on acoustic.
     
  12. bwmac

    bwmac Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    sm-81

    I can't disagree with Big_D or Moonbaby about the SM81.
    heres a good review on it.
     
  13. bwmac

    bwmac Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    sm-81

    I can't disagree with Big_D or Moonbaby about the SM81.
    heres a good review on it.
    http://www.tweakheadz.com/review_of_the_SM81.htm
    and yes that LDC 460 is very fat on the bottom end with a high
    noise floor but the mod fixes that.

    The review compares the SM81 to the SM57 so I guess its never a waist.
    Personally, as a guitar player, I hate a mic that has to be to close, now I don't know but the review said 5 inches and that's intruding in my space as a performer. so I use a 415 when I want a crisp acoustic sound.

    Anyway, choosing a mic is a personal thing and only you will know what is best for your situation so I will leave you all with a recording that I used the Apex 415 on. It was used for the vox and the guitar, and the noise floor is a bit high from the 460 that was unmoded at the time and placed two feet back for natural verb; but I'm still an armature with no professional training, and I know I have a long way to go, thats why I'm here.

    the song is maybe somehow
    maybe somehow
     
  14. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    North Vancouver
    Actually I find the stock APEX 460 a little weak in the low end area. But I found changing the capsule and transformer helped that. Changing the tube lower the gain and harshness of the mic. The quality control the apex mics is almost non-existent, but if you’re willing to tweak a bit you can spend 1K and end up with a 5k mic IMO.
     

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