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View Poll Results: Recommend a side-address, large diaphragm condenser mic up to ~$150 for live use.
AKG P220 - $150 2 22.22%
Audio-Technica AT2020 - $99 1 11.11%
Audio-Technica AT2035 - $150 2 22.22%
Behringer B-2 - $150 1 11.11%
Behringer C-3 - $70 0 0%
Lewitt LCT 240 PRO - $150 1 11.11%
MXL 910 - $99 1 11.11%
MXL V250 - $150 0 0%
Shure PGA181 - $95 0 0%
Shure PGA27 - $159 0 0%
Sterling ST151 - $99 0 0%
Other (please post in comments) 1 11.11%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 01-21-2018, 10:58 AM
Ed-in-Ohio's Avatar
Ed-in-Ohio Ed-in-Ohio is offline
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Default Side-Address Large-Diaphragm Condenser Mic for about $150

I would like to add a side-address, large diaphragm condenser mic to my stage set-up. Since I may not be using it a lot to begin with, I'd like to keep the budget at about $150 for this initial experiment.

As I have gotten older, the venues I play (with the exception of my local farmer's markets in the summer) have gotten quieter, so I think micing my acoustic guitar has become a more realistic possibility. Additionally, since I already have pickups in the majority of my guitars, and my amp (a Carvin AG200) has three channels, I could also use this mic as a "second source" for my guitar if I'm feeling ambitious.

I'd also like to see if the "single mic" solution would be realistic for me (vox, harmonica, guitar). If it does seem realistic, I could also throw some mandolin into my set list (my current mando does not have a pickup).

Finally, I'd like to go side-address large diaphragm mic for this project because I really like the way they capture acoustic instruments in live situations, and because they look so cool!

Based on my initial research in this price range, I've selected the 11 mics in the poll, but I am sure there are many other choices I'm overlooking, so please feel free to select other, and comment with your suggestion. Again, budget for this "first try" is about $150.

A few comments/observations:
  • My vocal mic is a Heil PR 22 UT dynamic (which I love). To begin with, I plan on running both the Heil (vocal mic) and this second mic [positioned on the guitar (I play seated)].
  • I have always been a fan of Audio-Technica, so I'd be predisposed to selecting one of those from my list.
  • I have always thought that Behringer makes consistent, good value audio gear, so I'm also looking favorably on those mics on my list.
  • I had never seen the two Shure mics on the list...pretty cool!
  • Lewitt seems to be a fairly new company (?). Nice looking mic, and the acoustic guitar audio sample on their site sounds great. Maybe worth a try...thoughts?

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Last edited by Ed-in-Ohio; 01-21-2018 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:35 AM
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I'd tell you to find a little more $$ and find a used AKG C214

Very hard to beat......
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:00 PM
jimmorgan jimmorgan is offline
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I'll just vote for the one I have experience with, but the at2035 makes a great live instrument and vocal mic, with the bonus that it's electret so if you run into the odd situation where you don't have full 48volt phantom power you're still fine.

Also you can usually find the at3035, which is an identical, discontinued version of the same mic used even cheaper than the 2035.
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:34 PM
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Thanks Jim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmorgan View Post
I'll just vote for the one I have experience with, but the at2035 makes a great live instrument and vocal mic, with the bonus that it's electret so if you run into the odd situation where you don't have full 48volt phantom power you're still fine....snip...
This is great to know. I sometimes play in a duo with a buddy of mine, and we'll use his older Yamaha PA. It sounds great, but it has the lower phantom power output (24V I think?), so the AT2035's ability to run on 11 to 52V would be a plus for me.
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:29 PM
takatsukimike takatsukimike is offline
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Have you considered the Rode NT-1a ?

We can generally get them for around $220 Australian dollars and with things typically cheaper in the states I wonder if one can be had for $150 somewhere?
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:30 PM
emmsone emmsone is offline
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I'm definitely going to recommend the Lewitt.
I do not own any, but, a good friend of mine has the set of Lewitt Drum mics and having borrowed them I found out they are totally amazing. I've used some nice drum mics over the years and these totally blew me away and are definitely my favourites.
The same guy told me he regularly uses the LCT 340 pencil condensers (used as overheads in the drum mic set) for recording other bits and pieces for other people (unfortunately not guitars very often as far as i'm aware) and they are about as good a mic as i've personally used in person.
Even saying this, its their large diaphragm condensers that they are mostly known for, and I've rarely come across a negative review. When our band starts recording again we already decided we are going to upgrade our recording vocal mics and a Lewitt 240 is number one on our list.
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:40 PM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takatsukimike View Post
Have you considered the Rode NT-1a ?

We can generally get them for around $220 Australian dollars and with things typically cheaper in the states I wonder if one can be had for $150 somewhere?
I've always found the NT-1a to be pretty brittle. They can add a lot of presence to an acoustic guitar, which may be helpful in a live-amplification setup, but maybe not the warmest mic out there.

I'll second the idea of adding a little more cash to the kit and getting an AKG c214.
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:37 PM
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Look for a pre-owned AKG 1000S. It is a really good mike for guitars and can be picked up in excellent condition for about $125.
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:47 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Didn't look too closely at your list of suspects, but be aware that the AT2020 is not a large diaphragm. It is a medium diaphragm element behind the screen.

There may be other examples of mics on your list that may look to be one thing but aren't really what their appearance may lead you to believe.

The AT2020 is considered to be a nice mic by many, but a LDC it isn't.
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:35 AM
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Hi E-in-OH

I'm coming to the party late.

Many inexpensive mics are Asian built, and actually vary in quality quite a bit.

When I had a recording studio, my main Side Address large diaphragm mics were my AKG 414 and my Shure SM-44 (which I still own).

Had a client bring in a Behringer B2, hooked it up to a decent preamp, and I was pleasantly surprised how good a performer it was.

Not sure how it would work for live work, but I suspect as good as other inexpensive mics (MXL for instance) I've heard used live.

The only difference between the B-1 ($100 USD) and the B-2 ($150) is the B-1 is a cardioid pattern and the B-2 has Cardioid, Omni, and Figure 8 capability. For live work the B-1 would be equally as good.

With inexpensive mics, it's how they sound not how they look that's important, yet I suspect more are sold from the 'how they look in the ads' perspective.

I have preferred my Rode NT-3 (hard to come by these days) because it's able to house a 9V battery, has an on/off switch and the diaphragm is 20mm as opposed to 12-14mm for small diaphragm, or 28mm of a large diaphragm mic. It's a great sounding guitar mic. I have used it live more than any of my large diaphragm mics.

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Old 01-27-2018, 10:08 AM
Chriscom Chriscom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takatsukimike View Post
Have you considered the Rode NT-1a ?

We can generally get them for around $220 Australian dollars and with things typically cheaper in the states I wonder if one can be had for $150 somewhere?
I don't know much about condenser mics, especially in live (even live-quiet) settings. But I have an NT-1A that I use for occasional home recording, and it sounds stunning. At the moment there's a used one on Reverb for $160.
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:23 AM
M Hayden M Hayden is offline
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The AKG P220 is nice - lots of air in the sound and also pretty durable. I use it for live work and it stands up to that usage without being fussy.
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