Should I buy a Rode NT1A or a Studio Projects C1?
Old 1st May 2008
  #1
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Should I buy a Rode NT1A or a Studio Projects C1?

So I'm looking at Large Diaphram Condensers in the $250 range, and I've been counseled that these two mics (Rode NT1A and the Studio Projects C1) are amazing for the price. I want to use it mainly for vocals (male and female). I'll probably also end up using it to mic guitar cabs, and I plan on experimenting with it for stereo miking acoustic guitar (using it in conjuntion with a small diaphram).

Which one should I buy?
Old 1st May 2008
  #2
Gear Guru
 
tINY's Avatar
 



I wouldn't mic a guitar cabinet with either of those mics.

The NT1a sounds fantastic on the right voice - way too crispy for others. Should be nice on acoustic guitars.

The C1 I have less exposure too - but, like all LDC mics with a presense peak, it'll probably be hit-and-miss for a given singer.

Have you considered a dynamic mic like the PR30?




-tINY

Old 1st May 2008
  #3
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Raafat's Avatar
 

hey,

i havnt tried c1 so im not really comparing, but i use the nt1A for alot of my vocals and I think its a great sounding mic for the price. I have used it on alot of different people and im always impressed. hope that helps in any way
Old 1st May 2008
  #4
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LDCs

I own an NT1A...and I do agree that it is a bit crispy on the high end. It is very quiet and ridiculously sensitive...and GREAT for the right application (unfortunately, guitar cabs is not one of them). I am unfamiliar with the Studio Projects...but the Rode is a solid LDC.

I do agree with Tiny that you should consider a solid dynamic that would add versatility and have a better tone palette than a lower end LDC (like the PR30, SM7 or RE20). They can also do kick, bass cabs, guitar cabs, etc...cuz dynamics can handle the high spl's.


You cant go wrong with the NT1 a...but it wont do everything.
Old 1st May 2008
  #5
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I have no experience with the PR30, and I guess I'm a bit skeptical about the ability of dynamic mics to capture complex overtones (esp for miking acoustic guitars). That being said, I have used an RE20 on vocals before and gotten really nice results (this was on a rich, male baritone voice). Just curious, how you think the PR30 compares with the RE20? Any similarities?

From reading about the PR30 it seems like it would be a really good mic for live performance situations. Do you have experience with it in the studio? Do you have any comments on it from a versatility perspective? I'm really interested in a mic for studio recording situations. Not to say that dynamic mics can't perform well in recording situations, but I guess I was under the impressing that an LDC would (generally speaking) be my best bet for recording vocals, while also giving me a good option for recording acoustic guitar.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post


I wouldn't mic a guitar cabinet with either of those mics.

The NT1a sounds fantastic on the right voice - way too crispy for others. Should be nice on acoustic guitars.

The C1 I have less exposure too - but, like all LDC mics with a presense peak, it'll probably be hit-and-miss for a given singer.

Have you considered a dynamic mic like the PR30?




-tINY

Old 1st May 2008
  #6
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Thanks for the imput. So staying away from LDC's for miking guitar cabs is probably the best route to take. Interestingly, the literature on Both of the LDC's I'm considering suggests that they can handle high SPL's, but promotional sales lit needs to be taken with a serious grain of salt. Thanks (to you and Tiny) for helping me cut through the BS. For guitar cab miking, I guess I'll stick with my SM-57 for now (although I was just given an old AKG D1000E that I haven't plugged in yet - anyone have any experience with these mics?). Thanks for your suggestions for Dynamic Mics - I will probably end up picking up some more in the future as I continue to add to my tool box.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyG View Post
I own an NT1A...and I do agree that it is a bit crispy on the high end. It is very quiet and ridiculously sensitive...and GREAT for the right application (unfortunately, guitar cabs is not one of them). I am unfamiliar with the Studio Projects...but the Rode is a solid LDC.

I do agree with Tiny that you should consider a solid dynamic that would add versatility and have a better tone palette than a lower end LDC (like the PR30, SM7 or RE20). They can also do kick, bass cabs, guitar cabs, etc...cuz dynamics can handle the high spl's.


You cant go wrong with the NT1 a...but it wont do everything.
Old 1st May 2008
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarmax_99 View Post
Thanks for the imput. So staying away from LDC's for miking guitar cabs is probably the best route to take. Interestingly, the literature on Both of the LDC's I'm considering suggests that they can handle high SPL's, but promotional sales lit needs to be taken with a serious grain of salt. Thanks (to you and Tiny) for helping me cut through the BS. For guitar cab miking, I guess I'll stick with my SM-57 for now (although I was just given an old AKG D1000E that I haven't plugged in yet - anyone have any experience with these mics?). Thanks for your suggestions for Dynamic Mics - I will probably end up picking up some more in the future as I continue to add to my tool box.
GuitarMax...
You could do a lot worse than your SM57 for guitar cabs. As for the LDCs...they are great for more delicate applications (vocals, acoustic guitar, shaker, etc)...or for room/ambient mic'ing on drums (think Glyn Johns/recorderman method). Man...the RE20 is so versatile...it is the kick mic of choice for many...and kills on vocals. A little pricy, even used ($260-350) ...but it will be a cornerstone in your mic locker.

As for the AKG you mentioned...are you sure it isnt a C1000S (Small Diaphram Condensor with 9 volt battery option)? If so, they work well for acoustic and drum overheads (I own a pair)...but they are not well liked by many of the seasoned vets here. I am not a professional engineer...but I do play one on tv...and I am going to upgrade from them to Oktave MK12s or buy another MK 319 to use with my other one for drum overheads. The C1000s have served me well, for what its worth...but they were my first overhead purchase...and I dont have much to compare them to.


Might I also suggest an Oktava MK219 or 319? They blow the NT1A away stock (less colored...more balanced) and if you mod them via Michael Joly (Oktavamod.com)...they SMOKE anything this side of a vintage Neumann (overexageration to prove a point...but some pretty savvy engineers have said this). You can ebay them for $150 (give or take)...

Tear it up...
Old 1st May 2008
  #8
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tINY's Avatar
 



I've recorded guitar cabinets and vocals with the PR30 (maybe congas too, I can't remember). Live, I've also used it for brass, snare, and e-gtr/vox/conga. It's a very versital mic and most people are suprised that it's a dynamic and not a condenser after hearing it.

It's like an RE20, but fuller and a lot more articulate in the midrange.

The PR30 (and 40) will be one of those classic, staple microphones for years to come.




-tINY

Old 1st May 2008
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyG View Post
GuitarMax...

As for the AKG you mentioned...are you sure it isnt a C1000S (Small Diaphram Condensor with 9 volt battery option)?
No this is a old dynamic mic from AKG that was discontinued years ago. From what I know about it, it is very similar to an SM-57. The one I have is probably from the early seventies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyG View Post
Might I also suggest an Oktava MK219 or 319? They blow the NT1A away stock (less colored...more balanced) and if you mod them via Michael Joly (Oktavamod.com)...they SMOKE anything this side of a vintage Neumann (overexageration to prove a point...but some pretty savvy engineers have said this).
That is high praise indeed.
Old 2nd May 2008
  #10
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headwerkn's Avatar
Another vote for the NT1a.
Old 2nd May 2008
  #11
I prefer the C1 over the NT1-a for just about anything, the C1 is an amazing mic. But also look into ADK mic's such as the Vienna and Hamburg. I've been told that the A6 is extremely transparent. Which I would recommend the ADK's over each of those mics. I've heard the Vienna and it has a really tight top end, which is different than most low cost LDC's which usually have a bright top end.

That being said, I agree that it is better to mic a guitar cab with a good dynamic mic vs a LDC and save the LDC for the vocalist.
Old 2nd May 2008
  #12
Gear Head
 
jmcdaniel_ee's Avatar
 

I also have a C1 and love it, but I haven't used that many LDC's, and definitely no expensive ones (but the C1 smokes Behringer's NT2 clone--big suprise).
Old 2nd May 2008
  #13
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I really enjoy my C1mk2. thumbsup
Old 2nd May 2008
  #14
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Fabi's Avatar
 

I´ve had a NT1a for many years and for the price I payed it was realy good!!

For some Vocals (mostely male) it´s almost killer and I liked it on acoustic and spanish guitar a lot.

I felt though it doesnot take EQing so well.

Mostely though I used it life to beef up Piano pickups.

Best thing about it is the low noise with the great sensitivity.

I´d say you cant realy go wrong here, though I haven´t heard the C1 yet.

Hope it was helpful
F
Old 3rd May 2008
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarmax_99 View Post
So I'm looking at Large Diaphram Condensers in the $250 range, and I've been counseled that these two mics (Rode NT1A and the Studio Projects C1) are amazing for the price. I want to use it mainly for vocals (male and female). I'll probably also end up using it to mic guitar cabs, and I plan on experimenting with it for stereo miking acoustic guitar (using it in conjuntion with a small diaphram).

Which one should I buy?
I have an older, original NT1 and a C1. I definitely prefer my NT1. But they're different mics. The C1 I have feels on the bright, edgy side. My NT1 feels much smoother by comparison. I've heard it said that later NT1A's have a somewhat different quality but I can't weigh in on that. (FWIW, I seldom have to EQ much at all.)

FWIW, I used to always use one of my SM57's on my Blues Jr guitar cab but one day the NT1 was out and I just lowered it down there and, man, I liked what I heard. But I use a fairly dark guitar tone with a touch of reverb. Another tone and it might not come off as well.
Old 3rd May 2008
  #16
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Mylithra's Avatar
 

I have an NT1A and I like it.. but not for guitars. I didnt like the C1 at all. For guitar, I like the MD421, the SM57 is the standard, SM58s dont sound bad either, I really like the way the Ball from Blue sounds on guitar but it depends on the guitar sound (hard to argue for $50 a pop). The E609 is a good choice as well. A LDC would probably serve you better in recording guitars as a room mic in conjunction with whatever you place in front of the cab.
Old 3rd May 2008
  #17
Gear nut
 

I had both the nt1a and the c1 for a while. i used the c1 on a daily basis for micing ac. guitar, vocals, critical apps. i found myself never picking the nt1a over the c1 and sold the rode pretty quickly. i picked up an sm7b. now i hardly ever choose the c1 over the sm7b, especially because i don't have a good sounding room (most of us don't), and found that a great dynamic mic is a better solution than a decent condenser. if ur sold on the condenser, get the c1. its a little brighter and some would consider it more "hyped", but it's simply a better sound to me.
Old 3rd May 2008
  #18
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The kosmos's Avatar
 

SM57 is what I use for guitar. I don't know why, but it seems better and easier when I mix a track.
Old 3rd May 2008
  #19
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I use a 57 on my blues jr as well. I also have a C1 but have just used it on vocals. I did, however, try my pimped out Apex460 on my amp and found it excellent. I like to record a guitar track twice now, once with the 57, once with the 460, and pan them oppposite and it goes HUGE! Nice.
Old 4th May 2008
  #20
Gear Head
 

Yes

I have an NT1A and love it. Used it for vocals both male and female and a pair for drum overheads and percussion (congas, shakers, tamb, ect). I wouldn't suggest it highly for guitar amps though. No matter what the sm57 does it for me. That NT1A for the price does a lot. And it's pretty quite too.
Old 13th May 2008
  #21
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peeweedrummer's Avatar
 

i have an nt1,c1 and recently got an sm7b.
i have never chosen the nt1 on any source at all over the c1.
the c1 is a great budget ldc that i would recomend on most things
but i was most supprised with the sm7b, it is magic on male vox and guitar cabs and is my go to mic for just about everything. i used to have a u87ai and a peluso 2247 le in my possetion and would say the sm7b has the same characteristics as the ldc (after a little high eq boost) .



get an sm7b and you will never regret it.
Old 13th May 2008
  #22
Gear addict
 
stafs's Avatar
 

Never liked NT-1 on guitar cab. On some voices (mostly male) - NT1 sounds fantastic, on some it was the worst choice ever. I wouldn't call RodeNT1 a allrounder. As someone said before - check out Audio Technicas, those mics ar bang for the buck.
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