Beyerdynamic M201TG by jeremynothman
In the words of Steve Albini, "If the SM57 were a microphone, it would sound like this".
The Beyerdynamic m201 is a fantastic microphone and is a mainstay at many professional studios for good reason.
Featuring a hypercardioid pattern and a slimline body reminiscent of a pencil condenser, this mic is easy to position, particularly for minimising spill (TAKE THAT, HI-HATS!) and with a frequency response of 40Hz-18KHz this mic is extremely versatile.
In my studio experience, the m201 often finds itself at home on the snare drum (it loves SPL!), but is equally at home on a guitar amp or a hi-hat or acoustic guitar that you don't want to have a ridiculously extended (and hyped) top end - in a pinch it can even be used as a kick-drum mic!
This mic simply has detail that you just don't hear from many cheaper dynamics (particularly, the studio-standard SM57), so when I don't want that thuddy sm57-on-snare sound, this is the first mic I reach for. It tends to negate the need for two mics on the top-skin for me (giving me both low end reach and top-end extension).
My m201 is definitely a cherished mic in my collection and aint likely to leave. To me, it's a studio-standard, alongside the likes of the 57, 421, m88 and 4038 - quite affordable and yet so versatile.
Sadly, in Australia these things are damned expensive (RRP of about $450!), so I was far too slow on buying one these and went through buying a bunch of **** mics first... I'd have been much better off to buy one of these for a lead vocal over most condensers that cost similar money.
Thankfully ebay often has m201s available for around $200 and the world of online shopping has opened up the marketplace considerably.
It'd be a hard fight between one of these or an m88 for a desert island mic for me and I have the feeling this'd win out as it's a little more road-hardy, either way, I wouldn't have to worry about the desert island having phantom power.
So do yourself a favour and get a Beyer in ya, you won't regret it! heh
I'm also a massive fan of the M69, M88 and TG-X50, but less so of their condensers (I have a matched pair of the 930s. Not that they're bad, just not quite as amazing as their dynamics).