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What makes a mic so good
Old 10th June 2007
What makes a mic so good

i dont have much knowledge in the mic area. Im curious take a shure sm7, and compare it to a sony c800-g. exactly what makes the c800 so damn expensive. what technically makes such a difference between these mics. I'd like to know so in the future i can make better mic decisions.
Old 10th June 2007
Gear Maniac

They are just different. They are different types of microphones (dynamic vs condenser), built differently, for different applications. I wouldn't use an SM57 on a vocal track any more than I'd use a c800g on a tom. Although it would probably sound pretty sweet....
Old 10th June 2007
Lives for gear
Traxx's Avatar

Well comparing a sm 57 to asony c 800g is not a fair comparison, lol but i can tell you this...I don't believe one bit that any microphone is "worth" some of the high dollars they demand. I just don't see how a microphone could be worth $8,000 thats insane. Far as what makes it better, i honestly cannot answer that question.
Old 10th June 2007
Lives for gear
DeeDrive's Avatar

A dynamic and condenser elements are very different, and in general a condenser mic capsule is more expensive to make, (at least to make a good one). Plus a C800 is a tube mic, which requires a power supply full of transformers and other components to supply the high voltages the tube mic requires.

But mostly I think its the fact that a brand creates a sound that many consider to be better than other brands, and they jack up the price for that reason cough*neumann*cough. I don't believe a Song C800 should cost $8000, but it definitely costs more to make than a Shure SM7.

Oh another thing, the market for cheap dynamic mics has always been much larger than the demand for cheap condenser mics, because every band in the world has got an SM57 or 58, but it's only in recent years that everyone has started buying their own recording equipment. Expensive condenser mics used to only sell to big studios with big bucks, and now that everyone wants one, cheaper condenser mics are becoming available that are a much better value than some of the big names. You can get some great mics for $100-$200 now. I just bought an MXL V67G for $80 used that sounds incredible.
Old 11th June 2007
Lives for gear
Stitch333's Avatar

what makes a quality mic?

In this order:

-Topology and Design (like with the sony, a unique design element is the large heatsink that juts out from the mic case)
-PCB parts (ie: caps and tubes-especially quality and type of tubes)
-cabling (especially the PS cable for a tube mic)
Old 11th June 2007
Lives for gear
Stitch333's Avatar

Originally Posted by Traxx View Post
I just don't see how a microphone could be worth $8,000 thats insane.
When you hear a 10k mic and it sounds like a million $$$ you'll understand

until then, yes it seems insane...
Old 11th June 2007
thanks alot

i learn somethin new on gearslutz everyday!thumbsup
Old 13th June 2007
Here for the gear

Originally Posted by derker View Post
I wouldn't use an SM57 on a vocal track any more than I'd use a c800g on a tom. Although it would probably sound pretty sweet....
C800g does sound sweet on toms, especially floor tom! Just make sure you trust the drummer enough not to hit it. Sometimes I use one of Jay Newland's techniques for recording vocals: a U87 and a 57 with the capsules right next to eachother to minimize phasing. The U87 gets the crispy hi end presence and the 57 captures the bass. It's a bit more work, but if this stuff was easy everybody would be doing it.
Old 13th June 2007
Lives for gear
peeder's Avatar

A microphone is a camera for sound. The capsule is the lens. Etc.

You can ask the same question about why your disposable fujifilm thing isn't a Hasselblad.

The biggest problem is that most people can better evaluate a visual image than they can a sonic image. There are many reasons for this, and foremost among them is the cost of setting up an effective monitoring system for sound.
Old 14th June 2007
Lives for gear
PettyCash's Avatar

IMO I would have to assume a big difference between a mic geared towards the pros like a neumann brand mic, and one thats geared more towards the general consumer market (Home) like lets say a studio projects brand, is based a lot on how its manufactured, the research put into designing the mic, how attainable all the parts are, the quality of the design and the parts, etc.

A neumann is precision built and inspected by hand in Germany. A studio projects mic is mass produced in china. You pay for the consistency in quality you get with precision hand built mics. You save money on any product that has been manufactured in china.

There is a no expense spared mentality that goes into making some of the top end gear as well.

Budget gear can very well sound awesome, but could also possibly have expenses spared somewhere along the line of making that product, for example, manufacturing a product in china instead of the U.S.

All in All, there are now a couple of cheaper mics out there that really break the mold and give you great sound, but also great quality for less. Mics like the Audio Technica, Studio Projects, and Rode brands come to mind there. The consistency with these mics seems to be very good indeed.

The gap is closing more and more everyday between quality and price.
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