Originally Posted by mike1127
I mentioned my budget in the original post but it was kind of buried.
A few hundred dollars.
I'm hoping to record my own compositions. They will be "classical" or "concert music" style and could involve any acoustic instrument. Most likely will be small ensembles or soloists. No big ensembles.
I like tube amps and preamps, so I was wondering if I would like tube mics for this reason.
ok, your reasoning for liking tube mics doesn't follow based on your requirements. tube amps etc can sound oustanding (assuming you mean hifi amps) but only at a pretty high standard, in other words the pricey ones. or of course tube guitar amps which sound better with tubes because of how good tubes sound when driven into distortion which is a guitar effect - NOT a vocal or instrumental recording effect.
for what you want to record, a tube mic is completely not important to your equation. there is no inherent advantage to using a tube in a mic circuit if you are not going to push it into saturation or near saturation levels or if you are not using such a pristine and extremely amazing tube circuit that the tube actually can perform exceptionally well (in other words, either cheap and distorted tube mic or very very expensive tube mic).
now of course the cm5, cm6, etc are exceptions to this rule - but once you get into tube mics that are clean enough to soudn great on classical groups or small ensembles then you also will find you are at least as happy with solid state or dynamic mics that may in fact perform even better for your specific purpose.
I would open up your mind to non-tube mics. you don't need a tube mic. tthese days tube mics are typically sought after for lead vocals or other specific things.
anyone recording small ensembles doesnt' care if it's a tube mic or not - they care about low distortion, neutral frequency response, etc.
I would focus on mxl 2003a, cad m179, apex 205 ribbons, and some other very similar mics. there are quite a few that will suit your needs ideally, and I don't personally know if the stellar cm6 is as good as those but the simple fact that it is a tube mic is completely irrelevant to whether or not it happens to work well with your requirements. maybe it's another one to try out - but what if you could buy two cad m179s or two mxl 2003a or two apex 205s for the same price and get equal or better sound quality (possibly, based on many engineers' choice/recommendation to use these mics in these situations...), and have stereo miking as well (which is ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED for recording any acoustic ensemble properly)?
think about it. please get over your tube bias. tubes are not better when talking about linear, neutral, classical or non-rock type recording. they are just another way of accomplishing the same goal. no reason to search them out as the best way to go.
the best small ensemble recordings in the world, and the majority of them also I would think, don't use tube mics specifically - rather they use whatever mics have the most appropriate frequency response, polar pattern, dynamic range (s/n ratio) and noise specs.