iSK Pro Audio Little Gem by Silent Sound
The iSK Little Gem is a small diaphragm condenser that comes with 3 removable capsules (omni, cardioid, and hyper cardioid). It's a well build little pencil mic that sports some nice components in the circuit. There are no ceramic caps or carbon film resistors here, as typically found in cheaper mics made in China. Instead, it's all metal film resistors and film or electrolytic caps. You could view it as a Chinese SDC that was modded at the factory. The mic body looks really cool too and the threads on the capsules seem nice and robust and shouldn't strip out easily.
I was able to compare it to my modded MXL 603. With the cardioid capsule (which my 603 only has the cardioid capsule on it) they sounded very similar. The 603 sounded a tad more open, but that was likely due to all of the material I had removed from the capsule's headbasket in the mod I preformed. Otherwise, they were extremely similar, which is saying something, because I probably spent close to what the Little Gem cost brand new to buy the components to upgrade the circuit on my MXL 603. The Little Gem has a bright, yet smooth sound. It's very detailed, without getting harsh or fatiguing. It's excellent for a dull acoustic guitar or snare, and with a second one, could work well as a pair of drum overheads. With three capsules to choose from, you've got a lot of ground you can cover with just this one mic.
But the real selling point of the Little Gem has to be it's price tag. At around $40 brand new, you get a quality SDC with good components and a three capsules, plus a mic clip, foam windscreen and storage pouch. That's a lot of microphone for $40! In it's price range, I doubt you could find anything that could touch it. Actually, it would be hard to even find a mic in it's price range. Even at 4x it's price, you're going to have a hard time beating it!
This mic would be an excellent choice for a first pair of SDC's. It would also be a good choice for someone looking to expand their mic locker and fill a role of a quality, bright, SDC, but not wanting to spend a small fortune to do so. There are better mics out there, I won't lie. But there may not be a better value in mics out there.