Studio Projects B3 by Confusionator
Let me start by saying that I'm a user of Blue KIWIs, AKG C414s, Neumann U87s, and so forth. Those are all terrific multi-pattern microphones that, while they sound different from one another, will find a place in anyone's studio.
Having said that, I was very skeptical about buying a multi-pattern mic, complete with shockmout, that costs about as much as only a shock mount for a premium mic. But, I wanted some condenser mics for tom-toms. I think that condensers often sound better than dynamics on toms, and the added brightness was necessary for me at the time, as I was recording in a room that was overly padded and didn't have a sparkly high frequency range. Furthermore, my business could afford to have a drummer take out a $200 mic once in a while, but I could not afford to watch a more expensive mic get destroyed.
On to the sound: the mic is quite bright, but it's never nasty as I think most lower-price MXLs and the older Rodes are. Indeed, there is a sort of grating quality to Studio Projects' own C-series mics (other than the T3) which I simply don't hear with these less expensive B-series ones.
Negatives: the mic is hot: even with the 10dB pad in place, I would still typically use an inline attenuator for close micing of toms. The off-axis rejection is kind of poor, which wound up being a bit of a problem in my application with toms. Finally, there's a sound, a bit like a phase shift, in the high frequencies that smears things a bit compared to more expensive mics.
Shootouts: Having said all these negative things, I should also say that the mic won a lot of shootouts versus Rode K2s and NT1As, CAD mics, and Shure KSM32s. Again, this is in my old studio, which I think benefitted from the brightness. But, still, the mic often won as a vocal mic or guitar mic against this competition, even though the B3 was significantly less expensive.
I have recommended the mic to novice friends, who have been absolutely enthralled with its sound. I consider it to be one of the best values in its price range. For people searching for a true large diaphragm, multi-pattern condenser for under two bills, I think that it is a fantastic buy. The next step up, in my mind, is an AKG C414, but that's going to cost you a lot more, and it won't have the pleasing presence lift that the B3 gives you.
Overall: thumbs up!
I hope that some of you find this review helpful.