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zgraf 4th December 2011 11:37 PM

Studio Projects C1
I bought a used Studio Projects C1 because it was reasonably low cost ($250) and because it had very good reviews on a number of sites. As a microphone it's fairly good. I have used it on acoustic guitar and vocals, and it seems to do a good job. I leave the hi-pass switch engaged most of the time, otherwise recordings (esp. vocals) sound too bassy. I like the way it sounds when I record my voice (low baritone/bass), in comparison to another microphone (Rode NT-1) which sounds dull and bland. On the other hand, my wife's voice (soprano) doesn't sound nearly as good when recorded with this mike as it does with the NT-1. Guess it just shows you need to have a microphone locker with several types of mikes for different purposes.

taturana 20th December 2011 03:48 PM

Great mic for those on a budget, reminiscent of the U87 but with a fixed cardioid pattern, is a relatively natural sounding mic, not a strong character mic but i found this mic very useful on nylon guitar also used it as a top mic for clarinet recording on some songs on the CD "Paulo Moura & André Sachs - Fruto Maduro" (the mic setup for Paulo Moura's clarinet changed all the time) . Drum Room was another use for which it was perfect, for voice it worked on some singers but in most situations other mics sounded better.

I wouldn't use it as a main mic, but it works well as a second or 3rd mic in a setup...

John Eppstein 27th December 2011 10:06 PM

A good budget priced cardioid LDC
This is a good budget priced cardioid large diaphragm condenser microphone. It doesn't sound as hyped and sibilant as many other Chinese mics in its price range. I'm currently using mine on drums on the floor tom side and it doesn't make the ride cymbal sound nasty like many LDCs in its range will. Gets a pretty good drum sound too. Has 10dB/-20dB pad and 75/150Hz bass rolloff switches. It came in a very nice aluminum case with the included shock mount. I do have to say that the shock mount is one of the worst I've encountered. The swivel doesn't hold very well and needs to be tightened with pliers, but if you're not careful you'll strip the single small, chintzy screw that holds the shaft of the swivel to the cup that screws onto the mic stand. After doing this I went to my local hardware store for a replacement (metric) screw and found that the threads in the swivel shaft had also been partly stripped. I dealt with this by using a liberal amount of Loc-Tite when installing the screw and reinforcing the joint with PC-METAL brand epoxy putty which although slightly ugly effectively solved the problem.

It's ain't a U-87, but at 1/12th the price it's not a bad deal.

doug hazelrigg 11th January 2012 09:51 PM

I wouldn't begrudge a beginner or budget-minded using this mic, but to my ears it's pretty bad -- very brittle, and largely unusable. I was curious because of all the stellar reviews when it came out so I bought one, but within about 10 minutes of trying it I knew it was not up to par and returned it the next day.

Magpel 25th February 2012 05:07 PM

Studio Projects
The Studio Projects C1 fixed pattern large diaphragm studio condenser mic is the perfect case study for microphone hype, in both senses of that word. A 737 Audio Chinese mic, it was was one of the first to dawn on my gassing, gear slut attention as an affordable alternative to the larger than life vocal mics we all fetishize and covet and (mostly) can't afford.

Early reviews on some reputable audio sites said some fairly outrageous things about not being to tell the difference between the SP C1 and the Neumann U87. At the time, I was getting by with a pair the much maligned AKG C3000. The price was right and they promises were great, so I took the plunge.

At first--and i am sure this is also an almost universal experience among a certain class of user--the effect was astonishing; all that air, all that oxygen that the to my ears boxy sounding AKG C3000 didn't provide. I felt like I could hear spit on the lip.

It took some time to realize that was maybe not exactly a good thing, more time still to decide that is was not necessarily a bad thing either, just a thing.

Mine was the original with no pad, no roll off. I hear in some quarters that this version is more coveted. The lunch box case was entertaining, but the shckmount was NOT--big PITA.

I since moved to a main vocal mic with a bit more body in the sound and a bit less high end articulation, but I would still this mic if I still had it. For immediate, in your face toppy voice it was actually quite great. Never, ever could find it's sweet spot for acoustic guitar.

Hype and hype!

JChristian 28th February 2012 05:28 PM

The C1, All that for about the price of a big bag of chips...
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The Microphone segment of the musical gear world is one of if not the most, fickle, opinionated and annoying places on earth! Where hobbyists and pro's alike can opine, peel off aspersions and "one up' each other until their egos implode.

"My mic is bigger than your mic and if it isn't ..I'll save up and buy a shinier, better, more exotic, less known, more sought after and highly regarded phallus, and then you'll rue the day you challenged my musical manhood...!"

The Studio projects C1 is a thorn in the side of this ritualistic cabal. It ain't expensive, it doesn't have any breeding to brag about, its been around now for years and its remained relatively unchanged but most of all, its way affordable (by any metric) Yet its retained a fan base, a mythical status as the poor mans Neumann.

Brighter and louder than an AKG 414, more mid punch than an Audio Technica 4050 the C1 straddles the versatility curve like a drunk Texas girl on a mechanical bull.

The Thing that you have to remember with most musical gear is that every single piece has its own intrinsic sound quality. The most rat crap beat piece of junk, when used by someone with "chops" can be that secret ingredient. John Hiatt's "Perfectly Good Guitar' comes to mind, where in the singer songwriter plays nothing but a 75 dollar Harmony guitar that he bought at a yard sale. It was and is to date his best selling record.

The press that led to the C1 becoming sort of infamous, was a review from the 01 NAMM show where the writer did a shootout between a U87,414 and a few other tried and true mics including a Hot Rod Custom (5k) U87.. the end result read,

"Ultimately, each of the Neumanns had a signature sound, as did the Studio Projects C1. Not even taking the price of the C1 into consideration, this mic stood up to some rather hefty opponents, and emerged as a contender"

That was enough for me, I ordered a pair immediately and have since replaced one that was stolen. I have a cabinet full of mid to high quality mics including Neuman, Sony, AKG, AT, Rhodes, Sanheiser etcetcetc.. to this day for Male Vocalists with a darker vocal character, Spoken and voice over, acoustic guitars, piano, bass guitar and other "sources" I use the C1''s. Not instead of but next to because of their unique character.

In fairness I have tried the "B" line and I even bought the "T' version (tube). These were not the same, not nearly as musical or useful. The thing that makes the C1's work is their ability to convey an open sound with minimal pops and thumps, transients whisper by, loud SP levels do not ruffle its feathers so as an example, for a Pianist that's got Passion.. the C1 or a pair in stereo is it.

Martin Mull once said "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture" in other words its nearly impossible to quantify taste and an outright impossibility to define something as subjective as sound for another human being. What I can and will say is that for the investment, I still believe that the C1 is the best bang for the buck cardioid, large diaphragm microphone available. If you can find an original "797 audio" model those are the best of all.. but later versions still have the crisp openness and high output that has made it the go to workhorse for people who are more concerned about sound quality than brand name devotion.

DaTopDawg 3rd March 2013 10:27 AM

I used this mic for hip hop vocals with a TC Electronics Desktop Konnekt 6.

Sound Quality: I gave it a two. I used it mainly for vocals. Compared to my AKG Perception 100, which I regret trading in for the Studio Projects B1. The B1 was more darker and had less color than the AKG mic. I used this mic with a TC Electronics Desktop Konnekt 6 and the sound quality was meh. I had better results with a mobilepre and the Perception 100 combo for vocals...

Ease Of Use: I give it a 3. My biggest complaint is once the mic is in the shockmount it's hard to take it out the shockmount. Other than that it's a mic how hard is it to use a mic...?

It has some switches on the back which I thought were cool.

Bang For The Bucks: I give it a 3. You get what you paid for. Do I recommend this mic for anyone..? Probably not. It's average at best and those that are saying it's better than a lot of expensive mics out there I beg to differ. I just don't see it. In this case hear it. I was fooled by others praising this mic without any prior experience with it. Glad I tried it, now I know better to stay away from this mic.

SwitchesAndDials 26th May 2018 05:34 AM

EXCELLENT microphone that anyone should have for the price it costs!
I love this microphone. I have the newer version without the offset xlr mic input. I have actually owned the stock version and also a modded version from one of the fellas that offer the mod online. In my personal opinion I absolutely love the un-modded version more.

This has honestly been one of my go-to microphones for the past four years whether its recording vocals, acoustic guitars, some horns, some electric guitars, and a great overall mono room mic when I don't feel the need for something a little more lo-fi.

I've always been impressed with this microphone not only in its build quality, but especially in the presence I feel it brings to a mix especially with acoustic guitars and vocals (my two favorite instruments to use it on). Even though the price of this mic is around the $300 range, non-tube mic, and made in China, this is a fabulous microphone that I think could hold its own in any microphone cabinet. Definitely in someones cabinet with no Neumann mic or other $1000+ pieces, I can see that it would find its place maybe not in every recording; but some.

For the budget musician, I do not see how you can go wrong with this microphone as almost an all purpose large-diaghraphm condenser for all of your recording needs. I recently recorded a rap/alternative rock album almost exclusively with this mic with the exception of a couple of 414's for overheads and two sm-57 for kick and snare, and it turned out amazing. No one has ever guessed the lack of mics I used to do the recording; which was my intention.

The mic offers nice components, a very nice upper mid presence boost (very musical and not over exaggerated) with a clean and clear flat bass frequency. I love to compare this to a Nuemann 87 in many aspects; while maybe not quite as present as the Nueman; its close and still beautiful with a little EQ massaging I don't think anyone can tell the difference. I've used Neuemann 87's for years and they are one of my utmost favorite mics for many sources; but this SP C1 is an excellent substitute. It includes a pad and also a high pass filter plus its very own shock mounts (the shock mount unfortunately isn't the best quality and mine broke - stripped the screw badly - after three years). However, the mic itself has indeed stood up to some abuse and still sounds great. The case and grill are constructed very solid. I just love the low end to mid range and clarity it has on the high end. It's very manageable with some EQ depending on your sound source. I find that it is indeed wonderful with acoustic guitar with very little eq, and definitely male vocals; but not as good with female vocals.

Solid construction, cheap price, and a good main vocal mic if you are on a budget, this microphone is great and often gets used in many of my sessions even though own other large diaphragm condensers that cost four times the cost of this one.

Definitely think this is one of the diamonds in the rough when it comes to this style of microphone still being produced today (and it's had quite the run of 10+ years).

I'd be interested to try a pair as overheads, however I think they might be a little too bassy overall for that purpose.

Great and detailed mic for the money; definitely worth every penny when clients choose this mic over a 414 50% of the time for vocals ;)