Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Let's talk about kits and mics, new and old. What are you using? What do you want? What's the difference?

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Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby rightintheface » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:01 am

Hey gang,

Long time lurker, turns out I hadn't read the admin email properly so my account was put on hold. What a glorious start...

Anyways, I'm Mitch, a guitarist/singer from south Syd studying music at wollongong uni, I play in some bands etc, and I'm just getting into the home recording thing (may god have mercy on my bank account). After massive amounts of experimentation, scouring the net, lurking evilbay, talking to friends, engineers buddies, borrowing uni mics, sitting in on sessions etc etc I've amounted a decent (low-end, mind you) mic collection, and have had some awesome results. In particular I have become completely and utterly obsessed with Beyer mics , there's just something.... so very sexy about them. I only have two so far, an M81 and M55, and just pulled the trigger on a matched pair of M81's (m818) on original packing with stands, case, XLR connectors, and some crappy old sony f25s thrown in for free off good ol' fleabay. I know these are at the bottom of the line when it comes to old beyers (I would love an m201, m88, m69, m260... the list goes on), but I've had great results with the m81 on pretty much everything, and the m55 makes a great "clangy" room mic and mono OH for trashy punk drums. The m81 actually sounds amazing slightly cupped in the hands and behind a pop filter for a beautiful, lightly distorted warm vocal sound. To me they sound like a beefier/darker 57 with more low mids, and people have often compared them to md421's (which I haven't used yet)

I also picked up a pair of Ta@#$% pe150's off the 'bay for $40 shipped , old electret condensers that were supposedly used for bootlegging etc - these have proved to be wicked on OH and snare, and a great partner to a 57 on guit. I have used all of these mics and a few more in the process of self-recording an album, I will make sure I will post clips here when I am done.

However, before I get too carried away... :-@

Just wanted to drop a line and say a friendly hey, I look forward to learning lots! Anyone else have experiences with the above mic's, or any other cheapo mic's that turned up a treat?

Mitch
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby mylesgm » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:48 am

uher m534 mics.

These are fantastic dynamics that can be picked up cheaply. Really rich sound not dissimilar from the 421, they even have the m/s switch like the to mitigate the proximity effect. I've used these on horns, toms, snare and they're excellent.

also check out this article on the daptones studio. check out the mics that they are using...

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun08/a ... aptone.htm

and welcome to the forums.
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby The Tasmanian » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:49 am

Welcome Mitch!
Another cheap gem of a mic is the Uher M534 - great on toms/gtr etc
I have many great mics at my disposal, and I still have/use my Uher
They go pretty cheap.
I'm also really liking my pair of Little Blondies - amazing mic for $80
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby The Tasmanian » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:50 am

Myles - just found your post after submitting
Great minds think alike!
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby mylesgm » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:14 am

of all the mics we could have picked... of course now that you and I have talked them up they'll triple in value and then we'll be able to upgrade to some radioshack mics.
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby rightintheface » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:29 am

yes I've often had my eye on the uher mics with some interest... I'll have to pick one up in the future

Great article on the Daphouse! I love flicking through all the SOS articles and seeing how other people work. I would love to have an analogue/tape setup at my place, but it's obviously out of budget for a lot of us. I try my best to put self-imposed restrictions on how many channels I use in protools, and it's slowly getting lower and lower which is just great fun.

A record that I have become transfixed with (which is odd as I'm usually a rockdog) is D'Angelo's "Voodoo", a very cool laid-back R&B record that has some amazing sounds, especially in the drums and bass guitar. If you google "D'angelo voodoo gearslutz" there is a great Q&A forum with the albums mixing engineer and producer, it's a pretty cool read. Probably about the best thing you CAN read on the slutz forum... #:-s
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby jkhuri44 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:56 am

shitty mics > colourd pre/coloured comp/coloured eq...or any combo of the latter....
is a pretty good way to get some wierd and cool stuff happening.
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby rightintheface » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:23 pm

So I just won a fleabay auction on an old Ta@#$% M512 desk. $81. Can't wait to get some old warmth happening, these desks have a pretty decent history from what I can gather off the net.
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby Text_Edifice » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:50 pm

Don't think you can talk the price up on those Uher's too much more than has been done so already http://thewombforums.com/archive/index.php/t-225.html
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby rick » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:43 pm

IMG_2044.jpg
i have found myself collecting beyer m26 from the early 50's they are kinda rare but not obscenely rare and cost about $200 on ebay when they show

for no other reason then i like the way i look i seem to have a thing for them
the build quality is AAA+ !

but they are very old and the internal paper bits like on all dynamics are a timebomb
but its huge dynamic element very full sounding .. just huge

i have 5 but only 3 work - they are basically unrepairable
i think i have plans to hotrod them all into amazing drum mics - i dunno yet

here is a photo of one of them to show you what they look like
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby rightintheface » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:08 pm

Wow those m26's look wicked! Glad to see someone else who bought a Beyer just because "it looks cool" :p

I know what you mean by unrepairable, there is absolutely no way that I can work out to get inside the m81, it's just a giant brick of metal

Did I mention it looks cool...?!
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby rick » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:20 pm

its a bit like an indianna jones tale with those early beyers
once you work out how to get in , you have to be careful of the hidden traps that will sheer the thinner then a human hair copper wires at every twist

its pretty clear to me the early ones i play with where put together with specific tools and jigs
in much the way early wrist watches where

i have a bunch of watchmakers tools so getting into isnt the problem ( but it will be for most )

the capsules are assembled from the inside out and the last layer of paper is glued on
i have killed more old dynamics forever over the years then old swiss wrist watches
my watch rate when i was into it was I killed about 4-10 and i got half of the remaining 6 to keep time
ok !

thats not to bad apparrently

recently i killed 5 out of five early telefunken / akg dynamics mics i had - stone unrecoverable dead
although the elements CAN be repaired - trust me its not easy

i now have a box of nos elements of various brands - i think its the only way for me


however i usually refrain from calling audio equipment sexy ...
its kinda wierd i reckon :)
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby chribble » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:50 pm

give the little blondies a try good - nice and flat but omni only i believe
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby rick » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:35 pm

anguswoodhead wrote:I am anti anything made in China - cheap parts etc and just don't sound as good as vintage and boutique - sorry.



that is a pretty strong stance to take i reckon
did you know on your avatar here at the forum of your custom neves of the 6-7 "parts" i see

5 of them are made in china for sure ? and the couple of other bits could well be ?

sure there is other stuff inside the box that changes that ratio ( a bit )
but i think my point is the gate is already wide open

over time things will get ( and are getting) made really well in china so i cannot agree with your statement

support the guys that really care about what they make , about how suited it is to the job you need to and how aggreeable it is in price relative to your own budget i reckon

i dont think land masses really come into the equation

unless your buying from your local land mass which make sense on so many other levels .

all being equal - i see know reason to buy something made is say the uk over something made in china or the us for that matter
in my experience the things i buy made in germany today are still streets ahead of most other countries in "quality"
but that is changing as well
its small world this one we have
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby rightintheface » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:09 pm

I think the Chinese debate is a matter of opinion, and to each their own.

I personally don't have the money to spend on $800 mics, so I don't get too hung up on the "where did it come from" argument. If we went through everything that each of us owned, I'm sure a large percentage of it would have Chinese-sourced parts in some guise or another.

In terms of mic's, my view is that f something works for a particular task then think it should matter where it originated. After all, mic's are just a tool that we use to capture musical creativity. Without trying to sound like a @#$% about it, I'm hoping that the tunes I record will transcend the individual microphone's particular point of origin.

I've spent around $650 collecting a mic cabinet of around a dozen mics, some chinese, some japanese, some american, some german. That price would not even tickle at a single beesneez or boutique mic. Of course it comes down to what you need it for - i wanted to be able to record a full kit, or full band, so I invested in several mics - so don't take this as a personal attack or anything. Just pointing out that chinese stuff has its place.

That said, again it is a matter of taste and opinion, there are plenty of threads around on the chinese vs. anti-chinese goods argument, let's not drop too far into it here x_x
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby stosostu » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:24 pm

germany today are still streets ahead of most other countries in "quality"


I'm sure Uli be!@#$%^& would be please to hear that.

Actually, contrary to popular opinion, I have some quite useable B@#$%$^r gear, though I also know of some junk.

I notice that MIDAS and KLARK TEKNIK are now part of the be!@#$%^& Music Group.
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby GlennS » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:29 pm

There is other factors wrt Chinese made stuff. They are quite capable of high quality product (in general). They are also prepared to supply low quality product if that is the requested price point (I guess no national pride in this regard). If you want good quality product you need to know how to do business with China, otherwise you might end up with a good sample, a good first shipment & a dodgy second shipment. For us consumers, unless you wait to see how the reputation of a product name develops, it's a gamble.

Back to the original topic (sort of), in a way I agree with Angus. I've never actually preferred a "cheap" mic to an "expensive" mic on a drum kit. It's great when you do find those lower cost mics that don't sound cheap on the one thing they're good at (whatever that may be). Ultimately I think it comes down to your engineering ability & how you can make the best of the tools you have when you don't have best tools. But I would say don't invest in too many cheap mics when you could be saving for something better.

Really getting back to the original topic, I've found Oktava MC012's & MK219's to be a good lower cost alternative. They are fine on snare, toms, overheads or room mics. I think I remember reading in AT that Nigel Godrich used MC012's for drum overheads on Radiohead's "Paranoid Android". I really like the MK219 on snare. I saw an MK219 on eBay the other week for under $200.
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby rick » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:45 pm

To be clear the new german stuff i was holding up as an example of unrivalled quality that i buy was not audio equipment
it was woodworking equipment !
and even (festool) they have gone off shore for some items i have

I havent bought anything NEW in the microphone dept that was made germany recently in many years and cannot see why i would really !
you might as well get yourself the 75% discount of other brands in most cases in that area

caviet to that ..is I have german made but 2nd hand brauner vm2 stereo tube mic -
but that was beyond my meaga budgets new ( err .. all of our budgets..? ) its something to be sure :)

where are those new little shure drum condensers made ..?
they look cool to me
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby obutcher » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:34 pm

I've got a Sennheiser e906 that I've been rocking on guitars and snare for awhile now. Got it on ebay new for $180. It's a great alternative to an SM57 and has a much smoother upper midrange than the 57. Since I got one I've been seeing them used on anything you'd think to place a 57 on.
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby The Tasmanian » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:48 pm

I like cheap mics and really high quality mics - its part of a pallet of textures to complete the illusion.
Like a photographer - sometimes a slightly blurred/bright/darker image amongst other subjects has so much more power than a "perfectly" photographed one.
We all collect the colours to suit our tastes - yes we are artists - just like photographers.
Sometimes I get really exited about some cheap crap mic - and I get exited about my pair of Wagners.
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby Chris H » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:40 pm

Out of the bunch of Chinese mics that i bought in the T & C group but a few years ago there was one standout mic. At $80 it was the best value for money mic i have ever bought and you could happily pay 10 times as much and sound wise be very happy with the purchase.
I don't care two hoots where it's made it has a great capsule and sounds very good.
It was the ACM 310 in the group buy also available in Australia as the Carillion Tube 100:

http://www.carillonaudio.com/products/t ... -100-kit/#
Also as the Legacy Tube 100:
http://www.legacymusic.com.au/products/ ... iew&id=105
26-med.jpg


Another low price mic that impressed me when i got it and is used regularly in my work is the B & 0 / Royer look alike from the group buy. For $30 it was a great purchase. In listening to recordings made with this mic next to the Royer, the royer had a slight extended low end response. That was the only discernible difference.
http://www.legacymusic.com.au/products/ ... iew&id=130
http://www.carillonaudio.com/products/r ... n-axis-70/


In the LDC stakes i think the mic that gets the vote from me is the AT4060 on the 2nd hand market. They are a great sounding mic and a pair make a valuable addition to the mic cupboard.
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby mylesgm » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:47 pm

The question of chinese vs. everything else is in terms of quality a non-issue. I can buy crap from all over the world and if the chinese make more of it than others its because there are people who want to buy it (Why they buy it is a whole other set of questions). If you want to talk about the morality of buying from the Chinese in regards to labour conditions etc then that is a point worth considering. My wife is a vegetarian for no reason other than the incredible amount of resources that go into meat production that could be used otherwise or those resources not used at all ie logging the amazon for cattle land. She likes meat but she has made her choice based on something higher (for her at least) than enjoyment. I wish we could all make decisions based on higher purposes but clearly for a range of reasons we are not. I've bought chinese mics, some were good some were not. I've bought vintage, boutique, rare mics and some were good and some not. Same with every single thing I have bought or considered buying at anytime.

Some other good mics in the "cheap" listings are the recent range of EV mics and also the sontronics range. The sontronics are not cheap cheap but they are cheap for the quality and I was quite surprised to see them featuring in the recent AT article on PJ Harvey on loads of sources produced by Flood. Check the photos and see their ribbon mics and valve mics all over the place next to CMV563 and others. They look great, they are very solidly built and of course they sound very good indeed. Where are they made? oh, China.
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby rick » Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:45 pm

cannot help myself here
neotec audio who have shared my space for years have boxes and boxes of sontronics mics
left over from when they had the import dealership till a few years ago

i am sure if you are thinking about those mics as an option and called don and mentioned the forum
a price could be swung that was worth the call
all the ones in those pj harvey photos are sitting in boxes at the back of my warehouse getting dusty
they are good mics - kinda ugly looking i reckon... but good
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby jkhuri44 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:21 pm

i live down the road from don, i wonder what a knock on the door and $500 will get me, hahahaha
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby danander11 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:33 am

jkhuri44 wrote:i live down the road from don, i wonder what a knock on the door and $500 will get me, hahahaha


lol.. I sent an email looking for a couple of the ribbons.. (delta or Sigma)...

That apollo stereo ribbon was interesting though as well..

I guess we'll see. Thanks to Rick the guy might end up with a winter clearance sale and make some space..

Give him a nudge would ya Rick? TR guys make the best buyers, steep discounts for all of us being close personal fiends and all that stuff... ;)
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby The Tasmanian » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:08 pm

Those Delta's look interesting - and the user list/reviews is pretty scary.
I've been wanting a pair of ribbons for a while - but without the AEA Preamp it seems futile to go there - and then the price gets crazy with the AEA Pre + 2 good ribbons (AEA or Royer quality - not the cheapies).
The phantom power idea solves so many preamp issues - a pair of powered ribbons at the prices they go for is a very tempting proposition.
Usable in may contexts - Gtr amps / strings / brass / BV's / rooms mics /percussion/ drum overheads etc.
I'm up for a pair if there is a garage sale.
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby rick » Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:22 pm

I have never known don to have a garage sale or dump stock
he has been in the business to long for that
and i am sure when he had the import agency the aussie dollar was reverse what it is today
which is why he is still sitting on them

but if you are considering those mics at all .. call him - tell him your on the forum
and what you think could get them for else where
and see if he sharpens his pencil

i am sure he will
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby danander11 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:10 pm

rick wrote:but if you are considering those mics at all .. call him - tell him your on the forum
and what you think could get them for else where
and see if he sharpens his pencil

i am sure he will


He will. Great guy! :D
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby Hookemeister » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:11 pm

Hey Rick are we talking about Don Dowling ???

I haven't seen him over 20 years.
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Re: Low price mic's that impress - (Beyer Content)

Postby jkhuri44 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:43 pm

^ affirmative mr Hooke.
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