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Best 'middle money' multi-pattern LDC?
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biggy
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#1
19th September 2006
Old 19th September 2006
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Best 'middle money' multi-pattern LDC?

I'm looking to buy a pair of multi-pattern large-diaphragm condensers pretty soon, and I want to get something good, in the sort of 'middle money' budget territory. I'd be very interesting to hear any suggestions.

I currently have a pair of Rode NT2As - bought them on the promise of neutrality and low-noise - but I just don't think they have any 'class' or 'magic'. I always use something else...

Looking at my options, I keep being drawn towards the new C414s, but I have no experience of these. The whole chinese thing leaves me cold - I realised a while back you get what you pay for. Are there any other obvious options?

Really looking for a 'workhorse' that could be used in a pair for classical ambient work, for general spots, occasional vocal use, and harpsichord/piano.

For info, the rest of my little gear setup is:
Stock and modded MC012s (lots of caps - I really like these mics!), Groove Tubes GT57, Beyer M130/160 (coming soon), DAV BG2, ART Digital MPA, MOTU Traveler

Any info greatly appreciated

Robin
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19th September 2006
Old 19th September 2006
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Try an AT4050. It's a great mic form the money, it's one of those mics that will never be the best but will never really sound bad on anything. For the price of the 414 you could get a pair or do what I did and get a 4050 and a 4047.
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19th September 2006
Old 19th September 2006
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The 414 XLS/II series are nice IMO, hard to go wrong there - especially if you shop hard for price...
biggy
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19th September 2006
Old 19th September 2006
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I like AT gear very much, and the 4050 certainly comes in cheaper than the AKG. But you can get a matched pair of C414s, albeit at a heck of premium...
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19th September 2006
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i've got 2 414's at my disposal and i own a 4050 but personally i like the 4050 better.

just my 0.02$

thomas
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19th September 2006
Old 19th September 2006
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Get a Peluso 2247 or 22 251, MUCHMUCH better than a 4050
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19th September 2006
Old 19th September 2006
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AT4050 was the first mic that popped into my mind after reading the topic, before I even opened this thread. I would think that the AKG would be nice as well. You can find good deals out there on both in the used market, that way you can get two of 'em.
biggy
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19th September 2006
Old 19th September 2006
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Any outstanding choices if I limited myself to cardioid only? Gefell M930? TLM193? Others?
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19th September 2006
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The Gefell stuff doesn't suck. What do you consider to be "middle money?"

Here is a link to Microtech Gefell's history which you might find interesting, if you are not familiar with where this company started and how they came to being.

http://www.gefell-mics.com/gefell_history_1.htm
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19th September 2006
Old 19th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash View Post
What do you consider to be "middle money?"
£350 to £750 (GBP) per mic - up to £1500 (absolute max!) for a pair. Gets you above the chinese stuff, but doesn't get you a U87

Unfortunately the Pelusos, for example, are too much - £1500 each from the UK distributor. A matched pair of C414s are around £1400. A pair of 4050s more like 800 or 900.
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19th September 2006
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I recommend a pair of the Geffel UMT70S, which

http://www.musicians-gear.com/

lists on their site at just under 700 pounds each. I own a pair of these and I think that they are every bit as useful as a U87. M7 capsule, multipatten, great sound.
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19th September 2006
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This may be lower "middle money" and I know you have the NT2's already, but the K2 really is a nice mic, I love them on omni as rooms sometimes, and on acoustics, its pretty sweet. def not a geffel, but its on the cheap and really a good mic.
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19th September 2006
Old 19th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haolemon View Post
I recommend a pair of the Geffel UMT70S, which

http://www.musicians-gear.com/

lists on their site at just under 700 pounds each. I own a pair of these and I think that they are every bit as useful as a U87. M7 capsule, multipatten, great sound.
Well that is a mic I've looked at several times and thought 'if only...'. Thanks for the link to the site - I didn't know about that company - although they list the UMT70S as 1200 Euro, which is a touch over £800 by my reckoning. Right on the upper end of affordability for me, but probably worth waiting for.

Cheers

Robin
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19th September 2006
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I say gefell 692 bodies with the um70 caps

OR AT 4050

OR umt70s.
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19th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haolemon View Post
I recommend a pair of the Geffel UMT70S, which

http://www.musicians-gear.com/

lists on their site at just under 700 pounds each. I own a pair of these and I think that they are every bit as useful as a U87. M7 capsule, multipatten, great sound.

and musicians gear are bottom scraping crooks.
#16
19th September 2006
Old 19th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haolemon View Post
I recommend a pair of the Geffel UMT70S, which

http://www.musicians-gear.com/

lists on their site at just under 700 pounds each. I own a pair of these and I think that they are every bit as useful as a U87. M7 capsule, multipatten, great sound.
I agree - UMT70S's. I have UM70's and they are very close to a U87, but with a more aired out top end and slightly less "woof" in the lower mids and lows. Highly recommended. The Geffel history speaks for itself, and having an M7 capsule in your mic......well, you can't go wrong.
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19th September 2006
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http://www.karmamics.com/

My K55 is on the way, an I have a vintage tele 12ax7 waitin for it. The K58 (version with all the patterns) is supposed to be really, really good. I'll let you know how the K55 it sounds, I got sessions this weekend.
But for a 175$ tube mic? c'mon!

I dont think a Neumann U87 is 'Middle of the Road' money, IMHO...
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19th September 2006
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You may have heard about the Sputnik, new tube mic from M-Audio...

Loads and loads of clear clean clarity, in figure-8 it's drop-dead silent, great "tubey" presence, and the detail glitters. Got the roll-off, pad and three patterns... I guess you'd say it really is trying to be everything to everyone, but in my experience with the pair I have... it really kind of is.
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biggy
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20th September 2006
Old 20th September 2006
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Thanks for all the replies. Interesting suggestion about the Sputnik. Doesn't seem right, even mentioning M-Audio and Gefell in the same sentence (let alone the same thread) but I'm prepared to be won over if necessary.

Now to test some of these out, I think....

Ta everyone -

Robin
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11th October 2006
Old 11th October 2006
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Be prepared to be won over...I just purchsed the Sputnik based soley on reviews. I am extremely happy with it and like it over my K2 which has an upgraded mullard NOS tube. I like the Sputnik alot. I was considering the Peluso 47 LE and the P12 but I didn't have the budget for either...so I think I got a great bargain.
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12th October 2006
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Shure KSM 32
$500
sounds good on everything
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12th October 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff16years View Post
Shure KSM 32
$500
sounds good on everything
Have to agree....the KSM32 is one of those mics that folks don't get because the associate shure with the SM57. Not that there is anything wrong with being associated with the number one selling mic in history, but they have trouble accepting an LDC from them.

I really like the 32 on almost everything an LDC usually shines on. If you need a multi pattern the 44 is worth looking at as well, although the 44 is NOT a muilti pattern 32.

At any raate...a KSM32 is a highly useable mic.
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12th October 2006
Old 12th October 2006
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I just got a Oktava 319 modded from Oktavamod.com. Havent had time to play with it too much but after a quick listen I'm impressed. I believe they sell to Europe.
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12th October 2006
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We've been having fun with the Sputnik. A cool mic. Gritty and smooth and edgy and easy and tough and forgiving and powerful all at the same time.

Here's a quick 256/mp3 clip of an easy going song that can get nasal and harsh with this female singer on some mics. Gordon preamp to Lavry, no EQ or comp, a little 2016 reverb. Only the vox is on the Sputnik, guitar is M149.

Sputnik_Female_Vocal1

The mic can really rock on stronger material. And can likely be improved from this sample with a little more effort at placement. This was the very first take and just thrown up in cardioid, about 12" away and not really centered. It will be interesting to hear it with the singer right on top of it, and with the other 2 patterns.

I might try to post some other comparisons if I can get a chance. We've had this mic set up next to AT4050, M149, Crowley & Tripp Studio Vocalist and Soundstage, Sony C48, SM7b, AEA R84, some others. Might get to add U95S and ELUX 251. And have already done other recordings of this singer on lots more microphones, Gefell M930 and M300, Shure KSM27, EV RE20, ADK A48, TT, CE, CS-1, Neumann KMS105, Brauner Phantom, Soundelux U195, ifet7, E49, E47, etc.

M149 has long been a favorite for this vocalist, but we keep picking the Sputnik in blind playback. Same story with me as singer. It doesn't have the same "intimate detail and larger than life" Neumann sound, but seems to produce a pleasing full and open response.

Need some more time to make more definite conclusions. So far it is no brainer one of the best condenser mics that I've used. And it feels and looks good -- very solid machined construction, much better than most of the other flimsy Chinese mics.

Steve
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12th October 2006
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AT 4050. They are fantastic.

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12th October 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo View Post
At any raate...a KSM32 is a highly useable mic.
Yup, it doesn't work for everything--sometimes it's a little too polite--but it's often just right. Very smooth and natural sound.

The KSM32 is neither a multi-pattern nor a large-diaphragm mic, though, so it's a little off the track.....
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12th October 2006
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Unless you have specific planned uses for a multipattern mic get a cardiod.

You save a lot.

The Soundelux U195 is a nice mic for the money ($1000), it slaps the U87 around.

For $300 you can get a Shure KSM 32 off ebay, thats a steal.

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12th October 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Middleton View Post
Yup, it doesn't work for everything--sometimes it's a little too polite--but it's often just right. Very smooth and natural sound.

The KSM32 is neither a multi-pattern nor a large-diaphragm mic, though, so it's a little off the track.....
According to the user guide on page 2, it has a 1" diaphragm which would make it an LDC in my book. THe KSM27 doesn't suck either. I agree, it can be too polite but usually it won't suck by any means.
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12th October 2006
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There have been a good number of clips of different gear around here lately, which makes this forum even that much more useful. Good work.
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12th October 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash View Post
According to the user guide on page 2, it has a 1" diaphragm which would make it an LDC in my book. THe KSM27 doesn't suck either. I agree, it can be too polite but usually it won't suck by any means.
Interesting. If you go to the FAQ for this model, it says that the diaphragm is 3/4" but classifies that as large. I would call that a medium diaphragm (or small, if everything has to be either small or large), but as the FAQ rightly points out, these labels are a bit arbitrary.

It's weird, though, that they give one size in the user guide and a different one in the FAQ.
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