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iSK Pro Audio = Low End Heaven ?
Old 25th October 2015
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...I have no experience with the Starlight...the few iSK mics I use are just nicely made, good solid performers that sell for less than their performance might suggest...not drawing any direct comparisons other than the obvious (57 clone)...

...love the headphones!
Dang i was just curious as to i'm looking to buy as at4047 and was hoping i could find a cheaper option!
Old 25th October 2015
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeparshall View Post
Dang i was just curious as to i'm looking to buy as at4047 and was hoping i could find a cheaper option!
...if you PM me I can recommend an alternate, less expensive 4047 type option...I don't want to derail this thread...
Old 10th November 2015
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
I haven't yet tried the headphones ("yet" being the operative word) but we use a few of the iSK mics in our studio and can vouch for their quality and value...currently we use the "2B Beauty" (tube condenser microphone), the "Little Gem" (SDC with interchangeable capsules), the "Pearl" cardioid SDC mic, and the DM-57 (SM57 style dynamic)...they all clearly perform above their weight (cost) class and their build quality is quite impressive...the 2B Beauty delivers a nicely balanced classic tube-mic vibe, without any of the typical edgy or bitey top-end common to mics in this price class...very smooth with nice mid-presence and works equally well on both male and female voices...a look under the hood reveals a classic simple plate-follower circuit employing nice German red WIMA caps, dual-bobbin transformer-coupled output and one of the newer, premium-grade Psvane dual-triode tubes...and the 34mm K67 capsule is a familiar one (same source as being currently implemented by much of the mic-modding community)...

IMHO, these mics offer more bang-for-the-buck than similar offerings from the big-box stores...they look good, sound real good and cost less than comparable products from the more familiar China-sourced brands...while popular in Europe and Australia for years, the iSK brand has had little exposure in North America...at these prices, I suspect that will soon change...

Now, about those headphones...
this is the first I have herd of these mics etc.. is the quality up there with the 3U stuff?
Old 10th November 2015
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
this is the first I have herd of these mics etc.. is the quality up there with the 3U stuff?
...iSK is the house brand for one of the largest microphone manufacturing complexes in China...this same factory made the well-respected KEL line of mics...they contract manufacture for many of the big box brands like the AKG Perception line...it's their line of K67, K47 and C12 style capsules that are being marketed to the DIY community...

...their mics are exceptional value (they own the factory!)...the iSK line and 3U Audio line compliment each other in that they have different strengths...for affordable SDC mics, their tube mic, dynamic mics, headphones and unusual mics like the Starlight, iSK's line is hard to beat...but for the classic-inspired FET LDC mics, 3U Audio is in their own class...

...frankly, you could build a pretty impressive mic locker on a very modest budget just by dealing with these two companies...
Old 10th November 2015
  #35
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I was going to try some of their cans, but I couldn't find the hd9999's in the UK, and Isk pro quoted shipping at the same cost as the product! Will have to wait ti see if anyone bothers importing them here.
Old 11th November 2015
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...iSK is the house brand for one of the largest microphone manufacturing complexes in China...this same factory made the well-respected KEL line of mics...they contract manufacture for many of the big box brands like the AKG Perception line...it's their line of K67, K47 and C12 style capsules that are being marketed to the DIY community...

...their mics are exceptional value (they own the factory!)...the iSK line and 3U Audio line compliment each other in that they have different strengths...for affordable SDC mics, their tube mic, dynamic mics, headphones and unusual mics like the Starlight, iSK's line is hard to beat...but for the classic-inspired FET LDC mics, 3U Audio is in their own class...

...frankly, you could build a pretty impressive mic locker on a very modest budget just by dealing with these two companies...
awesome thank you
Old 27th November 2015
  #37
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...after perusing the many "Black Friday" deals being offered, I think the iSK HD-9999 headphones at $79 w/FREE shipping (along with some of the other iSK gear discussed) offer more value than anything else I've found...and you don't need to wait for the "Black Friday/Cyber Monday" craziness...just sayin'...
Old 27th November 2015
  #38
Never heard of ISK, but I may look into picking up tom mics from them. They look and sound exceptionally well made, with a stupidly cheap price tag. That site is almost like a Musicians Friend Stupid Deal of the Day, but on all the products 24/7.
Old 30th November 2015
  #39
I finally had the opportunity to REALLY listen to my iSK "Little Gem" and my iSK "Starlight" microphones against other microphones last week.

In short, the Little Gem will BLOW AWAY a stock NT5 and faired very well against an NT5 with an OktavaMod 'Rodester' capsule.

The Starlight microphone was quite a surprise in that the microphone it sounded closest to in the pairings we did was a Shure SM7b. Weird stuff but very welcomed. The Starlight has a tight, focused pattern with no hyped high frequencies and an overall pleasing capture of audio frequencies in regard to male vocal---we did not try it with female vocals and on other instruments.

Anyway, I plan to buy three more Little Gem microphones for all sorts of general duties. And the tube mic from iSK is looking very appealing right about this time. I need to consider the headphones you folks mentioned. iSK Pro Audio seems to be bringing some nice tools to the United States, based upon my limited observations.
Old 30th November 2015
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puffer Fish View Post
I finally had the opportunity to REALLY listen to my iSK "Little Gem" and my iSK "Starlight" microphones against other microphones last week.

In short, the Little Gem will BLOW AWAY a stock NT5 and faired very well against an NT5 with an OktavaMod 'Rodester' capsule.

The Starlight microphone was quite a surprise in that the microphone it sounded closest to in the pairings we did was a Shure SM7b. Weird stuff but very welcomed. The Starlight has a tight, focused pattern with no hyped high frequencies and an overall pleasing capture of audio frequencies in regard to male vocal---we did not try it with female vocals and on other instruments.

Anyway, I plan to buy three more Little Gem microphones for all sorts of general duties. And the tube mic from iSK is looking very appealing right about this time. I need to consider the headphones you folks mentioned. iSK Pro Audio seems to be bringing some nice tools to the United States, based upon my limited observations.
Yeah, the iSK tube mic has sonic qualities well beyond expectations and self noise is virtually non-existent, which tells you a lot about the power supply.
Old 30th November 2015
  #41
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How good is the RM-12 comparing to other ribbons at the same price?
Old 30th November 2015
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablo_ View Post
How good is the RM-12 comparing to other ribbons at the same price?
That's a great question, I don't have one yet but it's on my list to buy for Christmas. So far though the 4 mics from iSK that I do have exceeded any expectations I had. The constant qualities they all share have been clarity, dimension and smooth response with a bit of a sheen. All due to premium components and well-matched capsules.
Old 5th December 2015
  #43
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I ordered the iSK B2 Beauty, two Little Gems and one pair of the HD9999 headphones not too long ago. All of these products are top notch, especially at this price point!

The B2 Beauty has a great 'pushed' tube sound, coupled with a very even frequency response (comparatively speaking, in cardiod), if you want an ultra clean-sounding tube mic it might not be for you, but I absolutely love it ...tons of character.

The Little Gems are just that, and at 49 bucks US, an absolute steal.

I didn't know how I would like the headphones because it would be almost impossible to record a audio clip for them, but after living with them for a couple of weeks, I can honestly state that I like them more than my AT 50s for monitoring while tracking, especially vocals.

It's not that the AT 50s sound bad or anything, matter of fact they are some of the best headphones out there at this price. It's just that they have an exaggerated low output which tricks me into thinking I'm singing close enough to the mic, and singing with enough bass in my vocal...when I'm not.

The HD9999s are more balanced in the lows, giving me a better representation of what I'm really driving into the mic. Because of that, I just ordered two more pair for the studio.

So yea, so far (for me), low end heaven indeed.

*edit* Does anyone have an opinion on how close the DM-57 sounds compared to a real 57?

Last edited by 3rdstone; 9th December 2015 at 04:24 PM..
Old 5th December 2015
  #44
Gear Head
 

I took the plunge on a pair of Pearls and the BDM-1. I'll try to post a comparison between the Pearls and my Oktava MC-012s (with the electronics mod). I can post some clips of the BDM-1 if anyone is interested.
Old 5th December 2015
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rdstone View Post
*edit* Does anyone have an opinion on how close the DM-57 sounds compared to a real 57?
...I can't comment on having compared them side-by-side, but we have the DM-57 mics in the studio and my engineer/partner has been using them interchangeably with actual 57s and has been very satisfied...they seem to be very similar in build quality and overall performance, while without a direct comparison, I cannot say if I prefer one or the other at this time...certainly one of the closest of the 57-inspired clones...
Old 5th December 2015
  #46
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rdstone View Post
I ordered the iSK B2 Beauty, two Little Gems and one pair of the HD9999 headphones not too long ago. All of these products are top notch, especially at this price point!

The B2 Beauty has a great 'pushed' tube sound, coupled with a very even frequency response (comparatively speaking, in cardiod), if you want an ultra clean-sounding tube mic it might not be for you, but I absolutely love it ...tons of character.

The Little Gems are just that, and at 49 bucks US, an absolute steal.

I didn't know how I would like the headphones because it would be almost impossible to record a audio clip for them, but after living with them for a couple of weeks, I can honestly state that I like them more than my AT 50s for monitoring while tracking, especially vocals.

It's not that the AT 50s sound bad or anything, matter of fact they are some of the best headphones out there at this price. It's just that they have an exaggerated low output which tricks me into thinking I'm not singing close enough to the mic, or not singing with enough bass in my vocal...

The HD9999s are more balanced in the lows, giving me a better representation of what I'm really driving into the mic. Because of that, I just ordered two more pair for the studio.

So yea, so far (for me), low end heaven indeed.

*edit* Does anyone have an opinion on how close the DM-57 sounds compared to a real 57?
has any one compared the monoprice 8323's to the hd9999?
Old 5th December 2015
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
has any one compared the monoprice 8323's to the hd9999?
...I currently use both much as I would use different monitor speakers to check a mix...if the mix sounds good on both, I'm more confident of it's balance...the 8323's and the HD-9999 are very different while both being quite useful...the 8323's being more understated, neutral in an unspectacular (rather utilitarian) way, and the HD-9999's being much bigger sounding, more top and bottom with more upper-mid detail...I think they compliment each other well, as you might pair a set of NS-10's next to some high-end Dynaudio's...both are very functional but have very different strengths...I like them both, and currently swap between them...very different...
Old 6th December 2015
  #48
Gear Head
 

The Monoprice phones are $15.99 right now.

$15.99.


Do yourself a favor and pick up a pair of the replacement earpads. They are waaaay more comfortable. I have five pairs of these phones around for sessions. I like them as much as my HD280 Pros.
Old 6th December 2015
  #49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab2010 View Post
The Monoprice phones are $15.99 right now.

$15.99.


Do yourself a favor and pick up a pair of the replacement earpads. They are waaaay more comfortable. I have five pairs of these phones around for sessions. I like them as much as my HD280 Pros.
i saw that …i have 5 pairs too(going to buy 2 more) but im considering the hd 9999 aswell
Old 8th December 2015
  #50
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I don't have any experience with the monoprice phones, but aren't these the same 'DJ' headphones they sell on eBay for 24.99 minus monoprice's 13+ dollar shipping charge?

I don't know what level of quality you are after, but the HD9999s are top notch.

Earlier in the thread, the iSKs were equated with the AGK K271s, and KV noted that for him they were more open with a better soundstage.

Now I can't comment on the 271s, but I recently ordered two pairs of AGK 240s that were on sale for $69. When they arrived I took them out and tested them up against my AT50s and the 9999s, disgustedly put them right back in the box, called the place I ordered them from and had them send me my RMA.

Not even close to the other cans, worlds apart. YMMV of course, but I doubt it will.

Old 8th December 2015
  #51
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How is the isolation? Could be a good option for tracking.
Old 8th December 2015
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SampleHold View Post
How is the isolation? Could be a good option for tracking.
Isolation is as good as my AT50s, thing is, I've never used cans that specialize in the isolation department, so I can only comment on headphones that I have used.

So far I have used them for tracking vocals with good success, but other than that, I don't know.

Hope that helps (?)

Oh, and about my comment on monoprice, it wasn't a cut, I've purchased hundreds of dollars worth of stuff from them.
Best bang for the buck by far on wire, interconnects etc.
Old 8th December 2015
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SampleHold View Post
How is the isolation? Could be a good option for tracking.
I'm not sure which of the previously discussed headphones you're asking about, but if it's the 9999s, they are way cool for tracking. The isolation is good.

Not *quite* as good as the isolation of my HD280 Pro or Shure SRH 940 phones. But those are both the "over ear" design. The 9999s are "on ear" design. Not sure if the "on ear"/"over ear" design has anything to do with that, but I suspect it could. So the 9999s do not maintain quite the isolation as the 280s or 940s, but it (isolation of the 9999s) is *absolutely* fine... for my tastes and needs, at least.

If this helps, I have 6 different headphones which cost more than the 9999s, but I use the 9999s for tracking most of the time. For me, they are fun to track with because I enjoy the sound (when I'm digging the sound, I do better... and I can use all the help I can get), the isolation is better than acceptable, and they would be less expensive to replace if I have a brain fart and tear them up (it's happened before). And I *would* replace them were I to tear them up, or they got gone for some reason. ymmv
Old 8th December 2015
  #54
And while I'm at it, I really love the Starlight mic! I have the 2b Beauty also, and am digging it, but the tube isn't even broken in yet. So I'm holding off raving about it too much... and that's a difficult thing to do. I love the 2Bs unique character.

But that Starlight mic... how in the world do they sell that thing for $129 US? It has a unique character, too. I've only used it for vocals, so far. It puts out a strong signal, and the tone has cajones.
Old 8th December 2015
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no genre View Post
I'm not sure which of the previously discussed headphones you're asking about, but if it's the 9999s, they are way cool for tracking. The isolation is good.

Not *quite* as good as the isolation of my HD280 Pro or Shure SRH 940 phones. But those are both the "over ear" design. The 9999s are "on ear" design. Not sure if the "on ear"/"over ear" design has anything to do with that, but I suspect it could. So the 9999s do not maintain quite the isolation as the 280s or 940s, but it (isolation of the 9999s) is *absolutely* fine... for my tastes and needs, at least.

If this helps, I have 6 different headphones which cost more than the 9999s, but I use the 9999s for tracking most of the time. For me, they are fun to track with because I enjoy the sound (when I'm digging the sound, I do better... and I can use all the help I can get), the isolation is better than acceptable, and they would be less expensive to replace if I have a brain fart and tear them up (it's happened before). And I *would* replace them were I to tear them up, or they got gone for some reason. ymmv
Sounds good. I'll have to try them out.
Old 8th December 2015
  #56
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rdstone View Post
I don't have any experience with the monoprice phones, but aren't these the same 'DJ' headphones they sell on eBay for 24.99 minus monoprice's 13+ dollar shipping charge?

I don't know what level of quality you are after, but the HD9999s are top notch.

Earlier in the thread, the iSKs were equated with the AGK K271s, and KV noted that for him they were more open with a better soundstage.

Now I can't comment on the 271s, but I recently ordered two pairs of AGK 240s that were on sale for $69. When they arrived I took them out and tested them up against my AT50s and the 9999s, disgustedly put them right back in the box, called the place I ordered them from and had them send me my RMA.

Not even close to the other cans, worlds apart. YMMV of course, but I doubt it will.


I'll probably give the iSK phones a shot as well. But keep in mind that you can pick up 5 pairs of the Monoprice phones for the same price as the (presumably nicer quality) iSK phones. The Monoprice ones are great sounding cheap phones for sessions.

I'm waiting on the Pearls and BDM-1. They should be here next week and I'll see if I can report back with some clips.
Old 8th December 2015
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ab2010 View Post
I'll probably give the iSK phones a shot as well. But keep in mind that you can pick up 5 pairs of the Monoprice phones for the same price as the (presumably nicer quality) iSK phones. The Monoprice ones are great sounding cheap phones for sessions.
...while the Monoprice 8323s are very good "utility" headphones for studio use, make no mistake...the HD-9999 are on a entirely different level of quality...they look and perform like $200-250 brand-name variants...but both the 8323s and HD-9999 can fulfill a valuable purpose in the studio...
Old 8th December 2015
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ab2010 View Post
I'll probably give the iSK phones a shot as well. But keep in mind that you can pick up 5 pairs of the Monoprice phones for the same price as the (presumably nicer quality) iSK phones. The Monoprice ones are great sounding cheap phones for sessions.

I'm waiting on the Pearls and BDM-1. They should be here next week and I'll see if I can report back with some clips.
First: What KV said...

But yea, I get what your saying. CAD had a similar 5 pair deal with their phones, and I'm sure that those mono's are perfectly fine when loud and isolated matter most.
But I believe that everyone should own a pair of phones that are suitable for critical listening, and the iSKs are certainly at that level.

I look forward to your clips, post 'em up when you can...
Old 9th December 2015
  #59
RTR
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I just had the Starlight in the cart until I seen the $22.00 shipping. to bad, I was really wanting to try this mic out!
Old 9th December 2015
  #60
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Originally Posted by RTR View Post
I just had the Starlight in the cart until I seen the $22.00 shipping. to bad, I was really wanting to try this mic out!
I'm a frugal human, too. And I feel your pain with the shipping cost. On the other hand, at $151 delivered, the Starlight is still a steal (only speaking for myself... everyone will - and should - have their own perspective on that).

Everyone probably knows the Ben Franklin quote, "A penny saved is a penny earned." And/or his, "Small leaks sink big ships." But he also said, "It's possible to hold a penny so close to your eye, that you can't see a dollar in your other hand." I try to keep that in mind when the frugal in me rises up. And I sure am glad I did with each of the iSK products I've purchased so far, fwiw. Extremely good value per penny spent, including shipping pennies, imho.
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