Best budget condenser?

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jitup
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Best budget condenser?

Postby jitup » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:33 pm

Ok, I am looking for a good condenser, and I can't afford a Rhodes. I would like to to spend less than $100, but I know that probably won't happen. I am willing to spend $250, but if the sound quality will be drastically better, I could probably afford $300. I want to record acoustic guitar, vocals, and back mic. my twin. Any input would be appreciated!!! 8)

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MattKingUSA
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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby MattKingUSA » Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:43 pm

The MXL 990 is a great deal. It can sound really good. You can get it for around $59.00 on musiciansfriend.com
-Matt

jitup
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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby jitup » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:08 pm

Really??? everything I ever read before tells me to avoid MXL's at all costs! that would be sweet if it performed for that price! I'm going to have to check that one out!

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MattKingUSA
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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby MattKingUSA » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:21 pm

I really don't know if my music is the best examples but you can check out my music at http://www.mattashton.com it's all mxl stuff. on the 990. Atleast all of the stuff that is hosted on youtube.com was recorded on a 990. It may not be what you are shopping for. But I think they sound good for a budget price.

EDIT: Also, the LAS guys use MXL990 on a lot of their podcasts. So that can give you an idea of how they sound as well.
-Matt

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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby MikeTemplinUSA » Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:22 am

mxl is nice for the price.

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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby becks » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:19 am

jitup wrote:Ok, I am looking for a good condenser, and I can't afford a Rhodes. I would like to to spend less than $100, but I know that probably won't happen. I am willing to spend $250, but if the sound quality will be drastically better, I could probably afford $300. I want to record acoustic guitar, vocals, and back mic. my twin. Any input would be appreciated!!! 8)


i can suggest AT2020 for 100$, and rhode nt1 for 150/200 , very good microphones
ciao

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autostatic
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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby autostatic » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:11 pm

AT2020's are nice indeed. Maybe the Studio Projects B1 is an option too? I like the B1 for vocals but it's less suited for acoustic guitar, at least, that's what I think.

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Capoeira
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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby Capoeira » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:37 pm

MXL 990 is low-cost line. I have MXL 2006, only a bit more expensive but better and superb for acoustic-guitar too

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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby Havoc » Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:57 pm

What would be the opinion on a couple of Oktava's?

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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby MattKingUSA » Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:56 pm

I used to use an Oktava and I found it was not as good as the MXL that I use now. It sounded a bit like it was stuffed inside of tuba. And no matter how much you tinker it still sounds a bit muffled.
-Matt

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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby mcgruff » Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:38 pm

I just got a Samson C01 (plus ART Tube MP) and to my ears it sounds very, very good. Guitar and flute sound much clearer, richer, very "real". I've started re-recording lots of stuff and the extra detail is amazing. I find myself using less FX - don't need it so much to get a good sound.

The extra detail also creates some problems - although good ones. There's no place to hide so you have to raise your game a little bit musically. Nuances which were missing before are now revealed.

Sometimes you buy a piece of gear and it totally changes your audio world. This is my first taste of a half-decent studio condenser after years of cheap mics. I can't really compare the Samson to its rivals but I do think it's a great buy (only £50 in the UK).

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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby zettberlin » Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:54 pm

I have a AKG Perception 100 and I was a bit disappointed. The vocals recorded with it sounded quite dull and lacked strength and detail.
But then somebody stole my cheapo-Phonic-Mixer that I used for a preamp with the mike. So I had a good reason to go for another mixer and bought a small Mackie VLZ with 2 Mic-channels.

The results are amazing to say the least ;-)

In short: the chain is as weak as its weakest part.
nostrum fungitur

Scot Solida
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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby Scot Solida » Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:15 pm

The previously mentioned AT2020 is a very good mic for the price. If you can swing a little more, you could get a 3035 which might be a little better. The Oktavas can be very much hit-and-miss. I've had good ones and bad ones. With modification, they can be excellent. A lot of folks overlook the CAD mics. They used to make very nice, somewhat costly mics (like the excellent Equitek E-200), but now they are dabbling in the budget mic marketplace. I have really taken to the CAD M-179 for a lot of things. It can be had cheaply and offers multiple polar patterns. Paired with even a halfway-decent preamp, it can really shine. Even though I have much more expensive mics in my studio, I still find the M-179 to be the perfect mic for a lot of situations.

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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby Shadow_7 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:27 pm

MXL is one of the chinese manufacturers. They seem popular so I guess they're semi-good or they wouldn't be so liked. MXL 990 and MXL v67g being two of their more popular mics. I have an AT3035 that I picked up for little more than $100 on craigslist. Not quite as good as the AT4033a I used to have, but a respectable mic on a budget. AT2020, while a good mic, doesn't seem as well liked IMO. I see the AT2020 for sale on craigslist all the time. You might look at some of the Kel mics. Made in Canada, but some impressive ones for the costs. HM7u, which is a bit beyond your budget is one that I've noticed a lot of good samples of it in use. And some of the other models seem decent.

A lot of this depends on the entire chain though. If you've only got an Art Tube MP into an SB X-fi, you're probably cutting yourself a bit short. No matter what mic you get. Get yourself a decent interface. I used to have an Art Tube MP and it's was the worst microphone preamp I have used to date. While better than my laptop in terms of hiss, it had a fair amount of it's own hiss. I guess worse might be a bit harsh. It has it's own unique and identifiable sound. The DMP3 is loads better in terms of what you hear is what you get IMO.

I have some MM-1's that I run into a Korg MR-1000 or a Mobile Pre. But way beyond your budget for that stuff. I guess it depends on what you call good enough. I'm a trombone player and having a recording of me not sound like a trombone drives me nuts. Enough so to warrant some of the higher end gear. I've got a pair of Avenson STO-2's that work well for me. But the AT3035 improves on the noise floor and low end of the STO-2. But it doesn't quite have the silky smooth sound I seem to get on the STO-2's.

Oktava's as well liked. But not universally liked. You can get them modded and many swear by those. You can also get your MXLs modded. Samson Co2's or Behringer C2 if you want a cheap stereo pair. Not sure how good they'd be at $50-ish a mic. But an option. Sometimes a stereo image can make all the difference. Particularly when you want to make out a particular sound in a noisy environment.

I had some SM81's that would work well for your guitar IMO. $200-ish used most times that I've seen them. Probably your best option on that budget. Although their low end sensitivity can be problematic if not using shock mounts or using them outdoors. And they're very directional if you want or need something less directional, perhaps not the mic for you. I had a pair, but their directionality ruined it for me. Nice mics though. They also got a bit odd when pushing their upper SPL limit.

Rode NT5 just a single and not a pair might fit your budget. Although I've seen a pair for sell for < $250 used. Lots of options on a budget. But the status quo generally remains true. Buy cheap, buy twice.

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Re: Best budget condenser?

Postby junebug » Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:20 am

AutoStatic wrote:AT2020's are nice indeed. Maybe the Studio Projects B1 is an option too? I like the B1 for vocals but it's less suited for acoustic guitar, at least, that's what I think.


I'll second the Studio Projects B1 although i have to say i find it works well for acoustic guitar. Different strokes for different folks. Very decent budget mic though.


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