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Looking to buy either a new high end microphone or a preamp Condenser Microphones
Old 18th February 2019
  #1
Looking to buy either a new high end microphone or a preamp

Hi everyone,

Here is my vocal chain (I'm the only one using it, male vocals, soft baritone/tenor at times):

Sony c800g w. Tele tube/Aurora Stinger or Lachapell 583S MKii/Tubetech Cl1b w. Tele Tubes/Burl B2

It's a solid vocal chain, yet I find that the microphone tends to sound a bit too nasally at times (in the 3k/4k region) no matter how I set it up from my mouth, off-axis a bit etc.

It's always a fight during editing; I usually have to filter the vocal EQ to make it sit in the mix. My songs are mellow dance tracks, and so I try to keep the vocal performance as personal as I can, and as soft as possible.

I have a breathy high baritone to almost tenor voice, and when I sing hard, the mids can really peak through, and I don't like that.

Here's what I've used:

I owned a Chandler REDD preamp, it was a good pairing with the c800g but it might have been a little too pop, Hi-Fi sounding. I've used a u87 vintage, u87ai, and the vintage one was better on my voice. Sold everything at the time unfortunately.

I've tried a Telefunken 251 Elam mic and it sounded amazing, but it's a little too expensive.

I've tried a Manley Ref C and surprisingly, it sounded better on my voice than the c800g, although it's rather similar in sound, but not as bright and mid range focused.

I've been looking at these options right now:

Chandler Redd preamp
Tree Audio The Branch
Hardy M1, M2, Twin Servo (I'm not familiar with any of the differences)
Fearn VT-1

If I change the microphone:

Manley Ref C
Bock 407
Brauner Vm1 Pure Cardioid
Chandler REDD microphone

If you have any options as to what to do, feel free, I am open to everything. I just want the nasally vocals to go away, and I'm working on singing better in general.
Old 18th February 2019
  #2
get what sounds best regardless of what it costs, sounds like the ELAM 251 is the answer
Old 18th February 2019
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist View Post
get what sounds best regardless of what it costs, sounds like the ELAM 251 is the answer
I understand what you're saying, but for that price it's way out of my budget right now unfortunately.
Old 18th February 2019
  #4
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mbvoxx's Avatar
Take a look at the Pearlman TM250
Old 18th February 2019
  #5
what about hiring one? I understand the limitations of reality but if it fit your voice so well, maybe look at going to a pro studio that owns one? this would be cheaper than buying one.
Old 18th February 2019
  #6
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KevWind's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellohead View Post
I understand what you're saying, but for that price it's way out of my budget right now unfortunately.
You might consider an ADK Z-Mod 251 as a much less expensive alternative to the Telefunken.
According to Chuck Ainlay ( Nashville) , “Frankly, I can’t tell the difference between the ADK Z-251 and a vintage Telefunken ELA-M251.”


I too have a upper baritone -lower tenor, somewhat gravelly voice.
You can hear my voice on my soundcloud page through my Brauner Phantom V
I went looking for a tube mic alternative to my Brauner Phantom V FET and ended up choosing the ADK 251 over both the ADK 47 and 67 style offerings
Old 19th February 2019
  #7
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DougS's Avatar
 

If you liked the TeleUSA 251 - there are many really good 251 style options that are below the TeleUSA price point:

-Bock 251
-Bock 241 (cardioid only version)
-Manley Gold (Vintage king has a demo model up right now)(not exactly a 251 style mic, but close)
-Upton 251
-as indicated above the Pearlman TM250
-TeleUSA AR51

...there's also a new TeleUSA TF51 mic coming out (which I've not heard)
Old 19th March 2019
  #8
The BSA Elam 251 microphones are exceptional, they are made in Switzerland and up to the specs of the Diamond line, but way cheaper. Not too many people speak about them here because they don't have paid "forumers" like some other brands, but their quality is top notch. You are lucky if you can catch one up on ebay or reverb.

They manufacture mics for other brands as well...
Old 19th March 2019
  #9
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Personally I'd try a bog standard U47 FET reissue from Neumann - I would be avoiding ALL the mics you have mentioned if 3-4k was a problem.

also grabbing a used RETRO STA level after your pre would really work nicely for smooth richness.
Old 19th March 2019
  #10
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are you sure it's the signal chain or could it be the room?

(to have some variation, i can switch between several combinations of gear but i'm mostly using either a u67 into a grace m-103 or a tlm170 into an amek/neve cib - and a bunch of different converters ('old' and new) plus large panels on wheels which have an absorptive and a reflective surface...)
Old 20th March 2019
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
are you sure it's the signal chain or could it be the room?

(to have some variation, i can switch between several combinations of gear but i'm mostly using either an u67 into a grace m-103 or a tlm170 into an amek/neve cib - and a bunch of different converters ('old' and new) plus large panels on wheels which have an absorptive and a reflective surface...)
Seems to me that the Aurora Stinger was not the right preamp for my voice w. the c800g, I got a grace m101 yesterday, and I run that into Tubetech Cl1b and Burl B2, best chain ever on my voice! It works better than the Redd 47 preamp, I'm kind of surprised, I was expecting to buy something more expensive, got a used one for 350 usd on Reverb.

My room is actually decent, got a ton of primacoustic fiberglass panels for it and bass traps in the corners, got hardwood in there, a few rugs, and the primacoustic flexibooth, which is made of fiberglass. I also have the halo filter but I'd rather use the flexi booth instead.

Btw I really liked the u67 I tried at a studio in Santa Monica a few years back, sounded great on my voice.
Old 20th March 2019
  #12
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for this price, i would have bought the grace pre as well! enjoy...
Old 20th March 2019
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Another vote for the Pearlman TM 250. Love mine! Also, consider looking at the Mojave MA 1000...sort of a modern sounding ELAM 251 (kinda like a cross between and ELAM 251 and a Ref C).
Old 21st March 2019
  #14
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andersmv's Avatar
 

You already have it in your list, but it sounds like the Chandler REDD mic would be a good fit. If you want a 251 style, I'll second the Upton. I've not used it, but a friend got one for his studio and I've been sent plenty of tracks to mix that used it. It's pretty impressive. The last vocal I was sent, I literally only used the Avid EQ3 for a slight high pass and did a ~3 dB wide Q boost a bit past 10k, UAD LA-2A and that was it...
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