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two KM184s for one...? Condenser Microphones
Old 3rd January 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
adirondack's Avatar
Talking two KM184s for one...?

I am considering replacing a boxed set of km184s. what is a good replacement mic for recording mono solo acoustic fingerstyle guitar? i play a collings and the brightness of the neumann on an already bright guitar is not doing it for me. any suggestions on one mic to warm things up a little? budget is max $1000. i use an ensemble preamp and that is not going anywhere for the time being. thanks!
Old 3rd January 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 

two KM184s for one...?

Not in your price range, but the absolute best mic for your suggested use (and tons of other uses) is the schoeps cmc641.

You can find them used for around $1200 give or take if you look hard enough. It's worth the wait and the stretch. I got my first one 5 years ago and when I came across a used one in a good price I snagged it a year later- now I have a pair.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #3
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paul999's Avatar
 

For about $1200 I'd get a km84
Old 3rd January 2011
  #4
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DanDaMan's Avatar
 

Have you tried a Coles 4038? I'm sure if you looked hard enough, you could find one for under $1000
Old 3rd January 2011
  #5
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
There are SO MANY small diaphram condenser mics out there, it hard to pick just one and which one will sound best for you depends on the sound of your acoustic guitar (and to a lesser extent the room you are recording in). I own a pair of KM 184 mics. I also have a pair of vintage Neumann KM74 mics and a pair of Earthworks SR30/SR77 mics. The KM74's and the Earthworks get more use than the KM 184's because, many times, the 184's are too bright and they have a sort of high mid "zing" which does not always work. However, I have found the 184's to be excellent in some situations, like video and TV production where their high mid peak helps to capture dialog at a distance. They are also great crowd mics.

If you like the general sound of the 184, just not the high mid "zing" then you should try and find a vintage KM 84 or a KM 74. However, some acoustic guitars just don't like Neumann mics at all, and in those situations the very flat and accurate Earthworks SR30/SR77 tend to work very well. Other obvious choices would be the DPA mics like the cardioid 4011 and 4012. Schoeps also makes some very nice mics in this catagory. There is also something like the AKG 451b which you might consider. Even the less expensive Shure SM81 can work well sometimes. I am sure some Gearslutz members, some of which are mic dealers trying to make a buck, will suggest many other mics from smaller boutique companies. If you get one of those, just be sure you have the ability to return the mic if you don't like it and understand that it can be harder to resell mics from lesser known companies should you ever have to do that.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #6
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mu6gr8's Avatar
+1 for the Shure SM81...inexpensive and versatile.

Before selling your KM184, try some different mic techniques and positions. I've always been able to find a sweet spot for it. Believe it or not, you can get a great acoustic guitar sound from a 184 by pointing it across the top of the soundboard, an inch or two in front of it and above the bout, directly at the floor. The guitar should sound similar to the way it sounds to your ear when you're playing while sitting and leaning your head over it. The technique looks bizarre, but it works.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #7
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

I think an SM-81 is a lateral move at best.

Still, on your guitar, who knows?

-R
Old 3rd January 2011
  #8
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paul999's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
I think an SM-81 is a lateral move at best.

Still, on your guitar, who knows?

-R
I agree that the sm-81 a lateral move. This makes the sm-81 a great value but the OP is looking for an upward move.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #9
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elambo's Avatar
This is a popular topic this week.

I've successfully recorded a few different Collings guitars with a KM184 - many times actually - but it took experimentation to keep the brightness in check and it didn't work in every scenario. Regardless, I agree with you that it's not a golden combo.

Check out the Mercenary KM69. It's supposed to be very KM84-esque and even surpasses it in the opinion of some people. Could be great with Collings guitars.

I've thrown a Schoeps (CMC6/MK4) in front of a couple of my Collings and would never write home about the results. And they're expensive.

Another good option could be a Peluso's P28.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #10
Gear Nut
 

two KM184s for one...?

Beesneez have a few options in the SDC range. Send Ben an email and he should be able to direct you to the most appropriate mic.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #11
Here for the gear
 
David Araujo's Avatar
 

akg 460b
calrec 1050c
oktava MK-319
The mic preamp has a lot to do with the brightness/darkness of the sound.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #12
I'm with David Araujo. A somewhat vintage C460 with a CK61 cardiod capsule will definitely give you the results you decribe, and you always buy and use a 62 omni capsule for an even flatter response.

BTW, if you're going to sell the 184s, I might have a buyer for you.

Cheerios,

Ward
Old 3rd January 2011
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
adirondack's Avatar
Gefell M300?

Thanks for all the great info. What about the Gefell M300? P.S if i do sell the KM184 pair i will first post it here in the classifieds. Cheers.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #14
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elambo's Avatar
I'm pretty confident that you'd prefer the KM69 to a Geffel m300, a mic I put into the KM184 camp, though an improvement.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by adirondack View Post
Thanks for all the great info. What about the Gefell M300? P.S if i do sell the KM184 pair i will first post it here in the classifieds. Cheers.
m300s are quite bright, and detailed/aggressive/forward/whatever in the upper mids. Probably not gonna be what you're looking for.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #16
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studiostuff's Avatar
 

Have you tried backing off of the guitar with the mic distance...?

I don't like my 184s up close, but they work great for me at 3-4 feet on guitar, mando... stuff like that. Depends a lot on the tune and your room... but I just hate to see folks sell any of their gear, especially mics.

I really don't like the SM-81 on guitar... or really anything for that matter... also especially not as drum OHs. I do like my AKG C 451 EBs in that application some times...

The SLUTTY thing to do is keep what ya got and get some others...
Old 3rd January 2011
  #17
Gear Head
 
digiframe's Avatar
 

Try a ribbon mic... AEA R84, RCA 77DX or similar... So natural really beautiful!
Old 3rd January 2011
  #18
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiostuff View Post
I really don't like the SM-81 on guitar... or really anything for that matter... also especially not as drum OHs....
Nonetheless, it might do the trick for the OP's needs: less bite than a KM184 on a bright guitar.

FWIW there are many mics that inherently sound more inspirational than an SM81, but the 81 can be the right choice in the context of the track. Ironically, I used 81s on OH, acoustic guitar & acoustic piano on the New Radicals album, and thought it sounded great in context.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #19
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studiostuff's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mu6gr8 View Post
Nonetheless, it might do the trick for the OP's needs: less bite than a KM184 on a bright guitar.

FWIW there are many mics that inherently sound more inspirational than an SM81, but the 81 can be the right choice in the context of the track. Ironically, I used 81s on OH, acoustic guitar & acoustic piano on the New Radicals album, and thought it sounded great in context.
You may be right... I'm glad you find them useful. Just reporting my experience, not proclaiming anything.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
The current AKG C480B with CK61 capsule is also a great choice. Some people prefer the older, now-discontinued C460B, but to me, honestly, I don't hear a lot of difference.

If you can find a Jim Williams modded C460B, you could try that, too. Those are supposed to be spectacular (though I haven't used them myself).

I'm a little sour on these C460B and C480B mics since I've got two of my five in for repair at the moment, but that's not to say that they're anything but wonderful mics, and mine were, until recently, trouble free for years.

And yes, the other capsules are an added bonus.

Look for these used on eBay. They're a great value there, since for some reason (probably AKG/Harman's total lack of marketing on them) they are an out-of-favor mic these days.
Old 4th January 2011
  #21
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studio1117's Avatar
 

Beyerdynamic M160 sounds like would be a very good choice here.
Old 4th January 2011
  #22
Gear Nut
 
peet's Avatar
I recently did a mic shoot-out for an upcoming recording project involving a lot of acoustic guitar. The brief was that the acoustic should sound full and warm. My top three looks like this:

1. Calrec CM1050C
2. Shinybox ribbon
3. vintage Beyerdynamic M260

These three mics had the smoothest, warmest sound.

Peet
Firehouse Recording Service
Old 4th January 2011
  #23
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BradLyons's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adirondack View Post
I am considering replacing a boxed set of km184s. what is a good replacement mic for recording mono solo acoustic fingerstyle guitar? i play a collings and the brightness of the neumann on an already bright guitar is not doing it for me. any suggestions on one mic to warm things up a little? budget is max $1000. i use an ensemble preamp and that is not going anywhere for the time being. thanks!
A lot of options here to consider. The good news is you have good converters and a very good mic-pre, the pres on the Ensemble are NICE! Too often, that's the forgotten part of the equation here heh BUT before you throw the microphone out, are you sure that's the problem here? While the pre in the Ensemble is very good, it's also more on the neutral and a little bright side. I had a pair of the Apogee Mini MP's several years ago using with my Earthworks TC30K's for drum overheads, they were just too bright----My theory was not the mics, but the pres---so I changed to a Presonus ADL600 because of it's warm bottom-end yet clean top-end and wow, what a HUGE difference that made!

So what I'm saying here is---you might want to consider something like a good stereo mic-pre if you use both mics, or if you want to focus on one--just get a good single channel. The mics you're using are used by many every day for the very task that you're using them on. I'm just saying---- I'd try some other pres FIRST, otherwise you might not only find yourself in a similar situation, but also without your current mics. I'm thinking outside the box here....
Old 4th January 2011
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
adirondack's Avatar
Royer SF-1

Thanks for all the great information. I do understand that the pre and mic placement are factors - as well as the room and playing style. but on a brighter instrument i'd rather find one better suited mic, and replace the two km184s i have now. I may rent a few mics this week and do some testing with a royer SF-1, C460, or even a C414. The KM69 is intriguing but sadly i have no dealer to try one locally.
Old 4th January 2011
  #25
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradLyons View Post
BUT before you throw the microphone out, are you sure that's the problem here?
Are you sure it's not? Read above, my post about using Collings guitars with a KM184, his exact scenario. The combo is bright and can be hard to deal optimize. Try to keep the exact scenario in mind before "advising."

Quote:
Originally Posted by BradLyons View Post
The mics you're using are used by many every day for the very task that you're using them on.
Again misinformed - this is NOT his very task.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BradLyons View Post
I'm just saying---- I'd try some other pres FIRST, otherwise you might not only find yourself in a similar situation, but also without your current mics. I'm thinking outside the box here....
I'd try some other mics first - with a different pre you'd definitely find yourself in a similar situation. A mic pre isn't going to make or break this scenario. This is primarily about the guitar and the room with a mic that is DEFINITELY bright and metallic - an alternate mic will have the greatest effect. I know this because I've obsessed over miking these very guitars for years and tried with a 184 as long as I could take it.
Old 4th January 2011
  #26
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by adirondack View Post
The KM69 is intriguing but sadly i have no dealer to try one locally.
You don't need a local dealer. Order it, try it, return if you don't like it.
Old 4th January 2011
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
Stu Gutz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adirondack View Post
I am considering replacing a boxed set of km184s. what is a good replacement mic for recording mono solo acoustic fingerstyle guitar? i play a collings and the brightness of the neumann on an already bright guitar is not doing it for me. any suggestions on one mic to warm things up a little? budget is max $1000. i use an ensemble preamp and that is not going anywhere for the time being. thanks!
A km84 is what I would go for.
Old 5th January 2011
  #28
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Gutz View Post
A km84 is what I would go for.
Good suggestion, though I think they'd be well above his $1k goal.
Old 5th January 2011
  #29
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slaphappygarry's Avatar
 

Quote:
For about $1200 I'd get a km84
The extra pennies will be well spent. A stunning mic.
Old 5th January 2011
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
adirondack's Avatar
km84

km84s are hard to come by, no? i've seen them in pairs but i would just be looking for one. anyone have one to sell or would be willing to do a trade on a boxed set of km184s?
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