July 23, 2007

Open Thread: Microphones...

by Chris Randall

Open thread time. What's your favorite mic under $500? The best mic I ever purchased for under $500 was a Shure KSM44. They currently retail for a bit more than that, but a sound/lighting company I was working for bought a couple for in-store stock, and couldn't sell them, and the owner gave me one for $450. So I know that doesn't really count, but there you go.

In any event, I'm curious as to what you think the best mic available for under $500 is?

THE VERDICT: The general consensus seems to be that the EV RE20/PL20 (they are the same mic, just different designators) is the best bang-for-the-buck easily available for under $500. It retails for $399, and I agree that it is an incredibly versatile and nearly indestructible mic. Every studio has at least one, and with good reason.



Page 4 of 4

Jul.24.2007 @ 2:29 PM
Chris Randall
"95% of condensers under 1k sound exactly the same. "

No, not really. Not at all. I have probably 10 large-diaphragm condensers in my collection that cost me less than $500, never mind a grand, and none of them sound remotely like one another.

Unless, of course, my mics represent that 5%. Then, of course, you're right.

In any event, what separates a U47 or C12 from, say, an Octava 219 is not that the Octava has a "bad" sound and the U47 or C12 has a "good" one. It's like all high end gear. The U47 and C12 have no "sound" at all, at least nothing quantifiable. Whereas the Octava colors the signal six ways to Sunday. People always expect Neve gear or the high end lines from any number of manufacturers to have some Magic Smoke that makes your shit sound Good. In actual fact, the high end of the market is defined by a complete and utter lack of coloration.

The net result of this clarity is that you discover all the ways your original sound source or recording technique is lacking. Whee.



Jul.24.2007 @ 4:16 PM
I'd definitely buy a Sennheiser 421 if that wasn't already in my collection.
I agree that sm57 and the re20 are trusty workhorse mics but if I had to chose one the 421 is the best all-round mic of the bunch.

Jul.24.2007 @ 4:53 PM
I'll gladly take any of those redundant sub $1k condenser mics so they won't bother any all y'all any more.

Jul.24.2007 @ 5:46 PM
I have not tried the Heils, but have seen and held them and was not impressed with the manufacturing or materials. Doesn't mean they don't sound great, but.......

Jul.24.2007 @ 9:51 PM
Thanks for the verdict. I'll definitely put this on the radar. And if your quick there's a PL20 up on eBay with a Buy it Now for $300.

link [cgi.ebay.com]">link [cgi.ebay.com]


Jul.24.2007 @ 10:34 PM
erm, you're... you know, someone...

Jul.25.2007 @ 2:04 PM
"The net result of this clarity is that you discover all the ways your original sound source or recording technique is lacking. Whee."

So if you only use cheap crap, you won't be able to tell how talentless you are?
I think I finally understand the majority of posts on KVR et al.


Jul.26.2007 @ 5:55 PM
SM7, 4040.

Or if you can score a deal on a used AKG 414, that's the best, easy.


Jul.30.2007 @ 5:33 PM
I vote for the AT4040. It's not very sexy, but it reproduces anything I throw at it in a very neutral, clean, yet flattering way. In my limited experience with mostly chinese knockoffs and low end AKG mics, I have yet to find any other LDC in the sub $500 range that doesn't distort the shit out of the source in some way or make the high end sound like it's coming from a tin can. I tried the NTK and thought it sounded like pants. I've been meaning to try out that new sputnik though. The reviews are very promising, but it irks me that all of these companies have to go around stickng tubes in their cheapo gear. WTF is with that shit?

Aug.02.2007 @ 10:21 AM
Did anyone mention the Beyer M-160? I think it fits in your budget.

Page 4 of 4



Sorry, commenting is closed for this blog entry.