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Budget Microphone Shootout Condenser Microphones
Old 14th June 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Budget Microphone Shootout

Hey gang,

Quick one here.

I have in my mic locker three budget LDC Microphones:

1. SE Electronics se2200a Large Diaphragm Mic
2. Audio Technica AT2020 Large Diaphragm Mic
3. Studio Projects B1 Large Diaphragm Mic

Three Questions:

1. Which do you prefer on Male Vocals?
2. Which do you prefer on female vocals?
3. Other than vocals, what are your favourite uses for each?

Looking forward to the replies,

Rock on

Fret.
Old 14th June 2018
  #2
Gear Addict
 

I'd take the sE2200A on everything, because it's a good-sounding mic, and not just a cheap piece of garbage like the other ones listed.

My favorite uses for the B1:

1) Paperweight
2) Doorstop.
Old 15th June 2018
  #3
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MarkF48's Avatar
I have the sE2200a IIc and as well the other two. My choice for my own male vocals and occasional acoustic guitar is easily the sE2200a IIc. The AT2020 (SDC with its 16mm capsule) has had little use for quite a while. The SP B1 is a mic I leave on a stand plugged in to a small mixer for my wife to do karaoke and it's fine for that use. I would choose the sE2200 if I were going to record her.
Old 15th June 2018
  #4
Gear Addict
 

One of the best mics no one ever talks about is the Studio Projects CS-1.

Best budget mic I've ever used. Destroys any of the budget chinese mics out there by quite a long shot in my opinion.

30 Audio I think sets the standard for the budget Chinese condenser. They and SE (who make that awesome little marvel SE2200). And the CS-1 is definitely on that level. Serious tool. The B1 is not.
Old 15th June 2018
  #5
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Thread Starter
Funny ye guys don't have any love for the AT2020, it got a great review on Sound on Sound Audio Technica AT2020 |

Anybody else care to share there thoughts, also any other recommendations on budget mics at this price??

Fret
Old 15th June 2018
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Yeah but what piece of gear has not gotten a great review from Sound on Sound? All of those audio magazines make their money from advertisers so they can't really burn any bridges or they will be out of business.

The 2020 is good for the money but that doesn't mean it's good.
Old 15th June 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrentA View Post
The 2020 is good for the money but that doesn't mean it's good.
Finally, the voice of reason. It's also worth noting that it has both an XLR and USB variant, which may make a diff. I haven't used but was with those who have. It's not amazing, but not the worthless/blah etc that some make it out to be. Depends on how it's used as well (genre, voice type etc).

I also don't think it's fair to compare or lump together this and the B1 (which is also not horrible, in fact good if you want a bright mic) to the 2200, which is a notch above the others but better be, as it costs several times as much.

Side note, this thread has nothing to do with a "shootout." Pls avoid click bait.
Old 15th June 2018
  #8
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Thread Starter
Thanks for the comments guys, just to throw a spanner in the works, how do you think the Se2200a would fair against a Rode Nt1A? I’ve been contemplating on getting one for some time
Old 15th June 2018
  #9
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Thread Starter
Forget that last question guys, I saw another thread about it
Old 18th June 2018
  #10
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I'd be tempted to sell the B1 & 2020, and get an Oktava 219. Nice balance to your SE Mic.

+1 on the CS series.

Chris
Old 18th June 2018
  #11
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As others have said, the 2020 is not junk. It is very well built and without audio quirks. It is the perfect “extra” mic, since it is simple, not too heavy or bulky, has no switches and doesn’t have any really odd frequency lumps and dumps. And it takes a lot of level. Because it is a somewhat noisy mic, I wouldn’t use it on a very quiet source, but I think it will give you a useful capture on anything else.
I still have mine. It almost never gets used now, because it isn’t, in my experience, the very best mic I have now on anything. But if you wanted to start with an under $100 all-purpose mic that is somewhere between an LDC and an SDC and will Sound st least OK on almost anything, the 2020 is that mic.
Old 18th June 2018
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
since it is simple, not too heavy or bulky, has no switches and doesn’t have any really odd frequency lumps and dumps.
You mean besides having weak bass response, and being shaped like Lisa Simpson's hair in the high end?




Old 18th June 2018
  #13
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Chris
Old 18th June 2018
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

One of the reasons why folks might struggle to agree on cheaper mics is that there is less transfer-ability across sources. I've used my 2020 on several voices and guitar (as well as a drum o/h at gigs) but it's difficult to predict what source it will sound well on.
Old 18th June 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Unit Sound View Post
You mean besides having weak bass response, and being shaped like Lisa Simpson's hair in the high end?




Although admittedly, it has a noticeable “Lisa” HF profile, it isn’t quite the average +6 HF bump of many cheap or “obnoxious-but-not-cheap” Condensers.
I’m thinking the light bass is the reason why I don’t pick the 2020 for much, but it is a smooth curve and correctable with EQ.
I have put myself in the position of defending a mic I don’t love. To be clear, I’m just saying I don’t hate it or find it completely unusable.
Faint praise has gotten me appointed defense counsel. I decline the honor!
Old 19th June 2018
  #16
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Thread Starter
How do ye guys compare the SE2200a to an AKG c214????
Old 19th June 2018
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Although admittedly, it has a noticeable “Lisa” HF profile, it isn’t quite the average +6 HF bump of many cheap or “obnoxious-but-not-cheap” Condensers.

I was just horsing around. It has an SM-57 high frequency shape. Nothing wrong with it. And I suppose the 2020's bass dip would be great for close-mic'ing. All of AT's mics are good workhorses, for the most part. As you pointed out, they don't have that obnoxious 8K presence peak.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
I've just done my own budget condenser shootout as a learning exercise and help speed up the 'workflow'.

The results are subjective as is the way with microphones, that is to say the same mic used on your guitar in your room with your preamp is probably going to be different but a bright mic should be a bright mic right?

Keeping this tres brief because it's not a review or scientific test.

The RV15 is a LDC valve mic by Red5 Audio and surprised me with a balanced natural sound on the acoustic guitar. I was expecting more bass.
On the other hand the small condenser JM27 by Joe Meek was more high mids and overall a brighter more upfront sound.
The sE2000 MKI was also a little more forward sounding with more midrange and not the bass I expected.
The Baby Bottle by Blue Microphones a LDC sounded balanced with a softer higher end.

.and it went on, even tried a measurement mic, the ECM8000 omni. Horrid little thing on my acoustic and voice but may have uses elsewhere.

What did I take from this....Budget mics sound good, they have the ability to sound great if combined with a good instrument in the right hands and just because a small diaphragm condenser sounds ok on an acoustic guitar doesn't mean a LDC can't be used to suit the song.

Took me an hour to do.





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