The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Behringer B1 vs Rode NT1-A
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Behringer B1 vs Rode NT1-A

Hi people! Long time lurker, first time poster, I am a singer-songwriter from Greece. I record my own stuff at home but I am in a point in time when I am downsizing due to moving to a smaller place.
I used to have a Rode NT1 (the black one) and an M3, both of them fantastic microphones for what I paid. Unfortunately I lost the NT1 in a flood along with other equipment and I got a Behringer B1 as an interim replacement. I sold the M3 so now my “mic locker”, if you can call it that, comprises of my SM58 that I use live as well as for web radio and the B1.
Being in the middle of the third COVID-19 lockdown and forced to stay out of work for a bit more than a year now money is rather tight. In spite of this I do not want it to be a factor in reducing the quality of my work.
Hence my question, has anyone ABed the two mics in question in the real world and has a preference? Would the NT1-A be a real improvement over my B1 or should I keep my money for something better like a Lewitt or a black NT1? Keep in mind that it’s going to be an “everything mic”, acoustic guitar, vocals, other stringed instruments, some percussion etc all in a slightly but not completely treated room, thankfully quite pleasant sounding. Reduced background noise pickup would be beneficial but they’re LDCs, I am not expecting miracles here.
Thanks for your help!

Cheers,
Achilles
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I think you'll find mixed opinions on both the B1 and the NT1A. The latter has a rep of being harsh on the high end, so I think while it depends on your timelines and overall needs, if you can, yeah wait and get the N1 or something comparable...if that. If your B1 sounds great, why spend more? You'll likely get 100 diff mic suggestions.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Thanks for your answer! Yeah, that’s why I asked, the B1 is also a little harsh on the high end, k67 type capsule plus schoeps style circuit. From my research it’s a pretty similar circuit to the Studio Projects C1, coming from the same factory etc. I am basically trying to figure out if the NT1-A would be less-harsh-enough, if that makes any sense, to be worth the extra 100 euros I will have to spend after selling the B1.
With regards to the many different suggestions things are simpler, living in Greece access to brands is quite limited, Behringer, Rode and Audio-Technika dominate the low end and I absolutely hate the ATs I have heard so far, AT2020 all the way up to 4040.

Cheers,
Achilles
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
A poke in the eye or a slap in the head?

Umm... I think I'd vote neither.

But the important thing is what you think.

You owned the Black NT1, how did you like it? How did you like it compared to the B1?

The NT1a is a bunch brighter than the black NT1 is that a direction you want to go?

Is there an NT1a available locally now for to you to buy?

What were you plugging your mic into before and what do you have now? What you run a mic into can matter some to the sound of it.

Why exactly is this model in your sights now?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #5
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast ➡️
A poke in the eye or a slap in the head?

Umm... I think I'd vote neither.
A slap in the head, every time. I've had a poke in the eye, it was no fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast ➡️
But the important thing is what you think.

You owned the Black NT1, how did you like it? How did you like it compared to the B1?

The NT1a is a bunch brighter than the black NT1 is that a direction you want to go?
It wasn't bad, not at all, just a bit... I guess bland would be my pick. A bit more work to mix. At least for my use case scenario. The B1 (which is a rather brighter mic) sounds more mix ready, especially the guitars. I find myself doing less EQ. It's just that it has a bit of an almost distorted tone in the high end during louder passages. And I remember the NT1-A (I heard one on my voice a few years ago) being slightly fuller in the low mids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast ➡️
What were you plugging your mic into before and what do you have now? What you run a mic into can matter some to the sound of it.
I used to have a Gen 2 Scarlett two channel interface, lost that in the flood that killed the NT1. I am using an atrocious little Alesis iO Hub for now, till I can afford another Scarlett, probably the solo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast ➡️
Why exactly is this model in your sights now?
Because it is the cheapest Rode LDC I can get my hands on and I do like Rode's offerings a lot. I have probably recorded my best acoustic guitars ever through a humble M3 (which is also great value for money, but that's a whole different topic).

Cheers,
Achilles
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by achilleas ➡️
With regards to the many different suggestions things are simpler, living in Greece access to brands is quite limited, Behringer, Rode and Audio-Technika dominate the low end and I absolutely hate the ATs I have heard so far, AT2020 all the way up to 4040.
I'd be curious what other brands and models are available. If those are the only three brands you're looking at and hate ATs, yeah, I'd hold off for the NT1.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 ➡️
I'd be curious what other brands and models are available. If those are the only three brands you're looking at and hate ATs, yeah, I'd hold off for the NT1.
We have access to the extreme low end, as well as the high end stuff (AKG C-414 and up). The more decent low end stuff is rather limited, most of us just buy from abroad for that sort of thing.

Cheers,
Achilles
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
It's a matter of budget and how you want to work.

I'm not a fan of bright mics for vocals and prefer to boost a dark mic with eq rather than trying to tone down a bright mic, especially a cheap bright mic but voices are all different and how we choose to approach things and the desired final result can be different as well.

Running with a bright mic and a basic clean interface micpreamp like the ones in the Scarlet sounds like a terrible way to go to me. If I had to use an NT1a I would want a darker micpre to tone it down a bit. This is why a lot of people who use the Neumann TLM103 use it with the Universal Audio 610 tube micpre or something along those lines.

If you want a mic that isn't as poke you in the eye as the NT1a and not as boring as the Black NT1 you are going to have to look beyond Rode, Behringer, or cheaper AT mics. Maybe the AT4049 or 4050 might work for you but those are probably way beyond budget as you are looking at the Rode NT1a.

If you can track down the Lauten Audio LA220 it's in your price range and is kind of a "nicer" sounding NT1a but more exciting than the Black NT1.

The 220 is a transformer mic that is a little bright but a bit smoother than other mics in the price range it also has a high cut filter if you want a slightly darker mic at the flip of a switch. It doesn't really become a dark mic with the high cut but it does tame it a little and offers another sound choice.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #9
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Thanks for your insight! I checked the LA220 out, a transformer LDC at that price? Incredible! Unfortunately it is not available locally and I’d rather not buy such a thing internationally. I prefer buying locally in case something happens and I have a warranty claim, things don’t get as complicated. The extended warranty is another reason I’d prefer to stick to Rode whenever I upgrade.

Cheers,
Achilles
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
There are lots of large diaphragm condensers with transformer output at that price and even less, it's a matter of getting a good sounding one if you are in low budget land.

You could try and find an MXL V67. They are super cheap and have a transformer rather than transformerless output. Not the greatest but neither is the NT1a which is bunch more expensive.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #11
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast ➡️
There are lots of large diaphragm condensers with transformer output at that price and even less, it's a matter of getting a good sounding one if you are in low budget land.

You could try and find an MXL V67. They are super cheap and have a transformer rather than transformerless output. Not the greatest but neither is the NT1a which is bunch more expensive.
Thanks for the suggestion! Turns out a friend has the V67G so I can shoot it out against my B1!

Cheers,
Achilles
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Do you still have your “drowned” black NT-1? Have you contacted Rode about rebuilding/refurbishing/replacing it? They do have excellent support and service.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #13
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
Do you still have your “drowned” black NT-1? Have you contacted Rode about rebuilding/refurbishing/replacing it? They do have excellent support and service.
Not any more, I gave all that stuff to a friend who dabbles in electronics a few years ago, he salvaged a few components, the capsule included. I had bought it used so no warranty.

Cheers,
Achilles
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Still curious what other mics are available in your price range
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #15
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 ➡️
Still curious what other mics are available in your price range
Behringer, AKG (the cheap stuff), Rode, Stagg, Tascam, Alctron, Audio-Technica, MXL, Boya, M-Audio... That sort of thing.

Cheers,
Achilles
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
oy. Given everything you've said, I'd think about reconsidering your opinion on buying mics online. I know if you have to return something it's a hassle, shipping costs, whatever, but it might be worth the risk (which is pretty minimal anyway, knock on wood).
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #17
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 ➡️
oy. Given everything you've said, I'd think about reconsidering your opinion on buying mics online. I know if you have to return something it's a hassle, shipping costs, whatever, but it might be worth the risk (which is pretty minimal anyway, knock on wood).
I am not entirely opposed to ordering internationally but I am trying to exhaust my local options first.

Cheers,
Achilles
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by achilleas ➡️
I am trying to exhaust my local options first.
Your “local options” do not seem to include a really good mic in your price range. It’s like saying you need an Audi, so you are buying a Yugo.
Does that make sense?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #19
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
Your “local options” do not seem to include a really good mic in your price range. It’s like saying you need an Audi, so you are buying a Yugo.
Does that make sense?
Unfortunately, yes. Things used to be a bit better but three total lockdowns later several shops trading in audio gear have closed permanently and many more don’t really restock most stuff. As an example I haven’t been able to find my preferred acoustic guitar strings since October. Non essential businesses have been forced to stay closed for almost 9 months in the past year and people are trying to minimize their spending. There is no point in restocking specialized gear that you don’t know when you’ll be able to sell and if there is going to be anyone left that can afford it. Plus the general shortage has driven the used market crazy.

Cheers,
Achilles
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by achilleas ➡️
I am not entirely opposed to ordering internationally but I am trying to exhaust my local options first.

Cheers,
Achilles
It sounds like you already have.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #21
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 ➡️
It sounds like you already have.
Almost. I still need to try an MXL V67G (which I will do tomorrow) and I am trying to work something out with an acquaintance that has an NT1-A but is too far for me to go there with the current restrictions in place so we are trying to figure out when and how he’ll be able to post it to me.

Cheers,
Achilleas
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Sounds like you are on the right path.

Hopefully you get to check out the NT1a and the V67g.

If one of those two doesn't make you happy and as the black NT1 didn't really do it for you back when you had it then I think it is sounding like you headed in the direction of a quality mic and are probably going to have to take your chances ordering something on line and probably spending a bit more than planned.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #23
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast ➡️
Sounds like you are on the right path.

Hopefully you get to check out the NT1a and the V67g.

If one of those two doesn't make you happy and as the black NT1 didn't really do it for you back when you had it then I think it is sounding like you headed in the direction of a quality mic and are probably going to have to take your chances ordering something on line and probably spending a bit more than planned.
I’ll give you an update as soon as I do the shootouts!

Cheers,
Achilles
Old 1 week ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
The NT-1a is a well-built but nasty-sounding bugger. It “cuts through the mix” in part by making a voice sound harsh and unpleasant. If you like that mic better than the black NT1, you are headed toward thinking digital clipping is a pleasant sound.
Next you will start to think full-face tattoos are attractive. It’s a slippery slope.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
Next you will start to think full-face tattoos are attractive.
Careful. The way fashion is going, I've no doubt that will be trendy sooner or later and anyone thinking otherwise will elicit the ever-tedious "get off my lawn" comments. Pretending every day is Halloween is all the rage.

/mini-rant, back to mics
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #26
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
Next you will start to think full-face tattoos are attractive. It’s a slippery slope.
Wait, you mean they aren’t??? :P

Cheers,
Achilles
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by achilleas ➡️
Wait, you mean they aren’t?
There is someone for everyone, or so I’ve heard.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #28
Here for the gear
 
achilleas's Avatar
Quick update: Today I did the B1/V67G shootout, voice and acoustic guitar. I’ve got some interesting results.
First thing is first the V67G must probably be the cheesiest looking mic I’ve ever seen. I know, looks and sound are two different things but seriously, whoever specified that gold grill must be colourblind or something.
With regards to the sound I loved the heftiness it brought to the acoustic. It had a very vintage-y kind of vibe. On my voice I wasn’t as amazed. It was warm, sure, but also rather sibilant.
All in all nice mic but not a good match for my voice.
Now, for the strange plot twist: my B1 exhibited the same relatively flat response in the mids, with its lift in the highs but the sound had no artifacts or distortion in the highs. I actually really liked it, it was a bit like my old NT1 but with more presence, without being too overbearing or extremely bright.
We tested both mics through a Scarlett, I believe 2i2 Gen 3.
Could it be that Alesis’ preamp is to blame for the strange harmonic content in the highs when pushed? Has anyone ever heard of something like that before?
I’ll test the NT1-A on my Alesis interface over the weekend and I’ll get back to you.

Cheers,
Achilles
Old 1 week ago
  #29
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Have you looked at the Aston Element? Maybe “looked at” is the wrong phrase. It looks odd, but it seems to offer a lot at a very reasonable price.
And no, I haven’t heard it outside of posted clips.
Old 1 week ago
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Yes, the V67 definitely wins the CheapA$$ Bling Award hands down.

It can be a bit more interesting than some other cheap mics but still it leans towards bright and still is a budget mic. I have read that it cleans up a bit changing just one cap but I haven't heard one with that little mod.

What is your Alesis?

Most budget interfaces sound pretty similar basically because they are fairly similar in their circuitry. A transformerless micpreamp with a gain around 50-60db and an impedance around 3k is standard but still there are differences in some that might make a cheap condenser sound even worse.

I don't think the Scarlett preamps are any better than most other budget stuff but maybe whatever Alesis it is that you have sucks extra?
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 1144 views: 247975
Avatar for Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan 5 days ago
replies: 114 views: 64185
Avatar for Gorquin
Gorquin 23rd October 2020
replies: 221 views: 39250
Avatar for Krush411
Krush411 25th February 2014
replies: 56 views: 10564
Avatar for TMOQuantity
TMOQuantity 15th November 2020
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump