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  #16  
Old 05-21-2018, 03:48 PM
KevWind KevWind is offline
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Originally Posted by jstroop View Post
I appreciate everyone who chimed in here. Your ideas and suggestions were very helpful in my research and decision-making. As it turns out, I found an AKG P170 small diaphragm condenser mic bundled with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface for $200. So my quest is complete. For now.
Sounds like a good start, BUT BEWARE audio recording also has a very real and present GAS factor..... And it is no mere coincidence that the biggest Audio recording Forum, is called GearSlutz.com
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  #17  
Old 05-21-2018, 04:16 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Sounds like a good start, BUT BEWARE audio recording also has a very real and present GAS factor..... And it is no mere coincidence that the biggest Audio recording Forum, is called GearSlutz.com
I have no idea what you're talking about says the guy who just spent close to $3k on three outboard compressors and placed orders for another 76 clone and a 67 clone.

Whoa... my problem looks way worse when I write it down.
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  #18  
Old 05-21-2018, 06:47 PM
jstroop jstroop is offline
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Well, I’m just starting. You Top Hands need to give me time.
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  #19  
Old 06-17-2019, 04:53 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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Originally Posted by robj144 View Post
I have one and it's pretty good. I paid $80 for mine and it's good for the price.
Anyone else any experience nowadays?

I have started to look around a little bit for a microphone of this type, though I must admit that I have no idea of the advantages of the vertical design vs. a more traditional "point-and-shoot" design like the iSK Pearl mentioned above.

I currently have a set of button microphones with which I made one of those fix-on-your-spectacles (just in front of your ears) designs that were kind of popular among concert goers in the 90s. Extremely simple; the buttons are fixed with crimp tubing onto good quality coax cables of almost the same width, feeding into a tiny box that just hold a 9V battery and an RC filter. Gives a surprisingly precise stereo image even when I fix them with one of those "3rd hand" soldering aids but I have never tested its fidelity or SNR (stupid, back in the day I worked in a lab where I had access to the necessary equipment; I guess I was satisfied with the catalog specs for the buttons, now long lost).

Anyway, the Marantz is on the high end of what I'd want to spend (and the only brand I recognise when browsing on amazon) and I do have a simple USB iMic sound interface that will accept a "standard" mic (3.5" jack) so I don't really need to pay for the USB function. But in that case I'd prefer a model that will take a battery instead of an external power supply.
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  #20  
Old 06-18-2019, 11:56 AM
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RGWelch RGWelch is offline
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Wow, I just looked at the iSK Pearl specs, amazing low noise specs for such an inexpensive mic. I just bought a pair of sE7 matched mics, which I paid just under $200 for and the specs on noise are about the same. I don't know if the sound quality on the sE might be better over all, considering how much more I paid for them I hope so. But the price on those iSK mics is pocket change almost, don't see how how you can go too wrong at least trying them out.

As for other recommendations, I also got an MXL 770 and an AKG p420 large diaphragm mics. The quality difference between those two isn't very different to my ears, other's might hear more of a difference I'm sure. I think the MXL is a fantastic deal. I got the AKG because it has the different modes, figure-8 and omni, along with the regular cardiod. But side by side, I can't hear much difference in quality of sound between the MXL or AKG. I'm thinking it would take more $ to get significantly better sound quality. The AKG p220, cardiod only version, is about 2x the price of the MXL, so I'd get the MXL if the sound quality of the p220 is same as p420. That's my $0.2 worth if anyone is considering a large diaphragm mic.

As for the sE7 mics, I've only tested them once, but initial impressions are very good. They seemed like they might be about as good as I could get in that price range (got them on sale, $20 off). I was considering the AKG P170 and Lewitt LCT 040 models (both of which seem highly regarded), but I couldn't find the P170 in a matched pair configuration, and the Lewitt 040 doesn't have any att/high pass features. I wanted to get something I can hopefully be satisfied with for awhile, don't think my wife will be too happy with much more of my GAS, so I settled on the sE7. Only thing I can say about them at this point is they don't come with a carry case, so I'll be looking for something to keep them in. Probably go down to the sporting goods store and pickup a cheap case for it, so no big deal there.
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  #21  
Old 06-18-2019, 03:55 PM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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I saw the MXL 770 too - apparently it's a favourite of rappers, for some reason (not sure what to think of that )

I also found the Eagletone CM60 (75€) which has a 1" aperture (apparently rare), a preamp with discrete (non-FET) elements and can be switched between cardioid and omni-directional:

Quote:

LE PRODUIT
——————
(+) Fabrication soignée et rendu noir mat intéressant (plus discret que les finitions alu)
(+) Large diaphragme statique 25,4 mm (1") quand certains modèles propose une petite capsule pour baisser les coûts
(+) Particularité rare : 2 directivité : Cardioïde ou Omnidirectionnel
(+) Composants de qualité : on notera la présence rare de condensateurs Tantale dans le circuit audio (composant nativement plus cher et plus performant que les electro-chimiques "bas de gamme")
(+) Contrairement aux spécification de la marque, qui annonce une "sortie symétrique sans transformateur", ce microphone possède bien un transformateur audio de sortie (et de symétrisation) = voir photos
(–) Aucune notice jointe, aucune fiche technique, aucune information sur la courbe de réponse en fréquence.

A L'USAGE
—————
(+) Ayant déjà de nombreux micros statique large capsule, celui-ci est très intéressant pour sa directivité Omnidirectionnel, sans imposer le support de multidirectivité (3 à 5 …ce qui rend le microphone plus cher)
(+) Son propre, plutôt équilibré (avec une bosse de présence dans l'aigu en mode Omni).
(+) J'aime bien le transfo. audio, qui apporte sa touche et son petit lissage des transitoires dans la sonorité (par rapport à un modèle par symétrisation FET)
(±) Bruit de fond un poil présent (22 dB) — comme souvent dans ce type de produit "premier prix" — mais non gênant si la source capturée a une bonne intensité sonore

CONCLUSIONS
———————
• Très probablement une version personnalisée pour Eagletone du modèle ALCTRON MC230, important fabricant Chinois située à Ningbo, et produisant des produits de bonne à très bonne qualité sous sa marque et pour rebranding sous différentes marques Européenne et américaine.
• Idéal si vous cherchez un microphone Statique large capsule avec directivité Omnidirectionnel sans crever votre budget, par ex: pour faire une reprise d'ambiance (room) Drums !
• En mode Cardioïde (Voix, instrument), il offre aussi une belle sonorité propre et non agressive, si vous n'avez pas à trop monter le gain.
But Amazon also served up 1 or 2 interesting and much cheaper choices from Neewer, esp. the NW-8000, which comes with a 3.5 jack -> XLR cable allowing it to be used with a dedicated phantom power supply (as long as your sound card gives a true 5V on the mic connector). Not saying you get the same quality, just that it can come in handy and may even be good enough for a while (5V does seem to be the low limit for phantom power)
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  #22  
Old 06-18-2019, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RJVB View Post
I saw the MXL 770 too - apparently it's a favourite of rappers, for some reason (not sure what to think of that )
......
I suspect it's because of it's price...seems like it's the best quality large diaphragm mic for well under $100.

Also, you can readily upgrade the electronics in the MXL. The AT2020 for instance is one that isn't easy to upgrade the internals. Not that it isn't better maybe to just upgrade the whole mic if you want better sound, rather than spend money trying to make a cheap mic better. But apparently, a lot of people are into doing that, and I would wonder if the rappers are typical among them? That's just a guess, though, I have no knowledge whether they tend to play around with equipment like that, but I just suspect they might. Maybe it's because it would fit in with the whole scene of modifying cars with upgrades and tricked out parts. Maybe you can put a set of spinning hubcaps on an MXL??
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  #23  
Old 06-19-2019, 02:32 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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You're probably right. Back in the day when I made the above mentioned "stealth" stereo mic (with the help of an electronics guy in my lab!) I had been looking at ordering a similar one made by a small company. That same electronics guy told me I'd be wasting my money, that we could make something essentially identical by just buying the components, because "everyone uses the same [button] mic elements anyway". You pay for having them matched, you pay for the nicely packaged electronics and for the housing, and the manufacturer takes a margin off all that. I already knew that argument from an uncle who worked for Philips in their German TV division: add a 10 cent component and that will increase the MSRP with at least 10 marks.
Indeed, I payed an incomparably lower price for the handful of components, in the end (the most expensive being the quality cables and the little plastic box, IIRC).

So yeah, it's probably true that it'll be easy to replace an electronics circuit inside a nice packaging with a quality transducer element (the actual mic). Much of those electronics might even be superfluous (and thus get in the way) if you're connecting the mic to quality studio equiment(?)
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  #24  
Old 06-20-2019, 06:41 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Originally Posted by jstroop View Post
I appreciate everyone who chimed in here. Your ideas and suggestions were very helpful in my research and decision-making. As it turns out, I found an AKG P170 small diaphragm condenser mic bundled with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface for $200. So my quest is complete. For now.
The AKG P170 is a mic I recommend all the time. I have a bunch of different mics, some costing many times the price of the P170 and recorded the same acoustic guitar phrase and the same vocal phrase with each mic in a DAW project so I could toggle back and forth and select what suited a specific idea quickly. The P170 sounds very close to higher priced SDCs and comes pretty close to a few of the $300 LDCs I own.

I was a bit shocked at how well it compared to many other mics.
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  #25  
Old 06-21-2019, 04:09 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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Apparently I had a psychocological need to spend some money , I ordered a T.Bone SC600 from Thomann which seems almost identical to the Eagletone I mentioned above (incl. the cardoid/omni switch) but has a much lower self/intrinsic noise level. Thanks to Thomann for putting up succinct and useful information helping me chose ... and being competitive in price with A**zon too!

I'm still debating whether I'll get just a USB-powered phantom voltage supply (Tonor, about 17€) or go wild and get an ART Tube MP (49€).

Not that I think I'll ever be doing it, but the idea of having an omnidirectional-or-cardioc mic to combine with my existing "headspace" stereo mic kind of tickled the tinkerer in me
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  #26  
Old 06-22-2019, 06:24 PM
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RGWelch RGWelch is offline
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Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
The AKG P170 is a mic I recommend all the time. I have a bunch of different mics, some costing many times the price of the P170 and recorded the same acoustic guitar phrase and the same vocal phrase with each mic in a DAW project so I could toggle back and forth and select what suited a specific idea quickly. The P170 sounds very close to higher priced SDCs and comes pretty close to a few of the $300 LDCs I own.

I was a bit shocked at how well it compared to many other mics.
I was planning on getting the P170, but I couldn't find a matched pair of them. I don't know if AKG just doesn't offer that in this model, maybe they want you to getting a higher model mic if your going to get matched pair? The sE7 was pretty much the same price, but came in a matched configuration. From what I can tell, they hopefully have similar quality sound, but I can't find as many reviews of the sE products. The sE7 does have a little better rating for noise than P170, but that probably doesn't matter a whole lot when you have any ambient noise t contend with, which is normally the case for me.
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  #27  
Old 06-23-2019, 11:35 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Originally Posted by RGWelch View Post
I was planning on getting the P170, but I couldn't find a matched pair of them. I don't know if AKG just doesn't offer that in this model, maybe they want you to getting a higher model mic if your going to get matched pair? The sE7 was pretty much the same price, but came in a matched configuration. From what I can tell, they hopefully have similar quality sound, but I can't find as many reviews of the sE products. The sE7 does have a little better rating for noise than P170, but that probably doesn't matter a whole lot when you have any ambient noise t contend with, which is normally the case for me.
They used to sell matched sets, but discontinued them a few years back. I think that most people looking for matched sets are going to want something higher up the food chain. The 170s are a very good mic, especially if you are looking for high quality, consistent sound at a entry level price.

The web is full of after-market upgrade kits and services for less expensive mics. The owner of the "Recording Hacks" website started producing his own line of mics that are based on the upgraded capsules and electronic components. I have one of his Roswell Mini K47 mics and think it's really quite good if you're looking for a LDC that's reasonably priced and doesn't have the hyped high end that's part of the majority of Chinese LDC offerings.
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Old 06-23-2019, 01:50 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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Originally Posted by RGWelch View Post
Wow, I just looked at the iSK Pearl specs, amazing low noise specs for such an inexpensive mic.
I have a Pearl (SDC) as well as a Starlight (LDC). iSK makes some very nice neutral/flat/accurate mikes for pretty low prices. They don't have a 'sound' or a particular 'character' but they are really clean.

For the price, I'd get a half dozen
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