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Old 01-11-2017, 04:41 AM
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jessbassdad jessbassdad is offline
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Default Decent Entry-level Mic

Hi All.

I just acquired a 1919 Martin 00-21 and it plays and sounds like a dream. I would like to use it for fingerstyle during gigs. However, I do not want to install an on board pickup.

I am looking to purchase a decent entry-level mic to use during live performances. Not planning to record at present but that may be in my future.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:08 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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It's difficult to throw a recommendation out because there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account.

Miking an acoustic for live performance is always a trade-off between how much volume you require and how much feedback you can live with. Factors include exactly what type of "gig" it is... size of venue, number of people, background noise, and the exact configuration and size of the PA, including monitors and their use.

Then there's how much you want to spend. One person's "enty level" is another's too cheap to consider. The obvious first recommendation would be the ubiquitous SM57, the staple of live sound. It's an excellent quality dynamic mic selling for less than $100, tough as nails, fairly resistant to feedback. Bringing out the nuances of a fine acoustic guitar? Not so much.

Next up the food chain would be an end address small or medium diaphragm condenser mic. Most sound excellent, more prone to feedback. Available from $50, but you can go all the way to a Neumann KM184 for close to $900. I have a few different small diaphragms and I really like the AKG P170 that you can pick up for around $75. I also like the Rode NT3, it sells for around $300 and is more bulky and has a heavy duty industrial grade metal housing. These mics sometimes can be powered from a self-contained battery, as the NT3 is capable of, but most often are used with a PA that supplies phamtom power directly to them.

Then there's large diaphragm condensers; the sound is superior, but they are larger and even more feedback-prone. Prices can range from $50 to $5000, the usual "you get what you pay for" not strictly a rule here. The low priced ones are still usually not too shabby. These mics come with a need to use a shock mount to isolate them from stage noise telegraphed through the stand.

Specialty clip-on mics ideal for acoustic guitar use can also be considered. I have no experience with their use.
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:46 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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You'll find lots of similar threads (but not with 1919 guitars!) in the 'Acoustic Amplificaion' section of these forums.

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Old 01-11-2017, 08:02 AM
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ChuckS ChuckS is offline
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The Oktava MK-012 is a small diameter condenser that uses swappable capsules (cardioid, hyper-cardioid, and omni). They are Russian made and are also available with upgrades provided by Michael Joly (or others). They are available new but they've been around a long time so there are many on the used market (used they are in the $100-$150 range).

I had one for a while and used it for home recording and occasional playing out. Mine had only the cardioid capsule.

I've also owned 3 Zigma CHI small diameter condensers. They also have swappable capsules (sdc and ldc capsules). These are not nearly as common as the Oktava. New they go for $450-$550 and used for about 1/2 that. Front End Audio has 3 Zigma mics on sale for 25% off. I have/had the cardioid and omni sdc capsules as well as a 47 style ldc capsule.

I'm sure that there are lots of others, but I only have experience with these two.

If you're going to be using the mic for gigging, I assume it will need to be placed pretty close to the guitar. You may want to get a mic that has quite a bit of bass rolloff to compensate for the mics proximity effect, or else you could e/q to bring the bass down as required.

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Last edited by ChuckS; 01-11-2017 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:04 AM
Martin Maniac Martin Maniac is offline
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One of the guys I jam with uses a MXL 990 mic which sounds pretty good for guitar and vocals. They only cost about $100 bucks. You can pick up the Blizzard limited edition version for around $59 bucks.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:15 AM
buzzardwhiskey buzzardwhiskey is offline
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All of our gigs last summer featured our lead guitar/mando player using an EV ND 767a (super-cardioid dynamic mic). He's seated and knows what he's doing. It sounds very good.

I stand and used a Shure Beta 57a (another super-cardioid dynamic mic) blended into a Zoom A3. But the gain was fairly low since all I wanted was a touch of mic realism. I'm less in love with this mic than the EV 767a.

This coming year I'm going to try out the Aspen Pittman DT-1 on all the stringed instruments and the cajon to see if it works for us.
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:38 PM
Cue Zephyr Cue Zephyr is offline
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I second the Oktava MK-012. I also recommend the CAD M179. Boring, but versatile as anything. I recently ordered a second one to do stereo setups with.
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