Studiospares S1000 LDC by clitheroekid1001
Firstly I will come clean and admit I have only owned this for 3 days however I think I have found a gem.
I could find very little independant info about this mic. Studiospares claim it is the best they could find. I suspected that this would be hype and that it would be shortly going back in the box and then returned in the post. The user manual seems to call it a MIC2B/W. What does it look like? Black and like a typical side-address LC mic. Inside is a v tidy psb with transformer (I think).
I have been attempting to record acoustic guitar for years with limited success. They seem to come out too muddy, boomy, spiky or just artificial. I usually end up with mic too close to get that big intimate sound but usually end up with mud and fret noise. I also usually end up only to be able to get an acceptable sound by double micing which often comes out messy sounding or horrid when mono'ed.
I put up this mic in the obligatory 50cm from the 12th fret without eq and up came a really nice sound. Recorded some simple picking and listened back. Yep still sounded nice without much eq or compression. I also played around in the DAW (Reaper) by doubling up the track, dragging one v slightly behind the other and hard panning. Result v nice (not so good as expected when mono'ed). I could also get (with eq) that nice clear strum sound which suprised me because the guitar is bass heavy, not toppy.
Vox - I have quite a dull voice which although with proximity effect can fill a mix well, it is not a voice that is particularly attractive. I have just made a recording that even I am proud of. It may still not be something you would pay to hear but I'm chuffed! My wife however does have a very nice voice. She did some quick over-dubs and they sounded great. I have had difficulty in the past making her voice sit well in the mix and end up using too much compression, eq and reverb. No trouble this time.
I have also done some quick fiddle & mandolin takes. Both came out very natural and needed little eq or anything else. I've not yet had chance to record any percussion or electric guitar so I may have to do an update.
It seems that recordings can be quite heavily treated without becoming unduly unnatural sounding. Very useful in a busy mix. The real strength is good warm and clear sounds straight out of the box.
OK whats the downside? None really. I've had quite a few cheap condensers and sold most of them. I have kept and used 2 Red5 Audio RV8 LDCs which are good for the money. My only real quibble is the suspension mount which although is supplied separately isn't much cop. The elastics keep popping off the mount which is irritating. I think this will be curable using a pair of pliers. The mic seems to pickup room acoustics more than some other mics but this may be good. The ability of the mic to be not too affected by proximity means you get up close. Studiospares describe this mic as cardioid but it seems more hyper-cardioid to me. This means that you need to stand still when when singing especially when up close. The off-axis sound as far as I've had chance to test is quite warm and natural and was useful when close up to the top e on my fiddle.
I don't have any real experience of the expensive stuff so read my review with this in mind. Recording chain - Mic > Allen & Heath ZED R16 Firewire Mixer> Reaper (DAW). Instruments - Martin OM21 and two other cheapy guitars Tanglewood TW138 and a 'Tonewood' jumbo.
Conclusion. I will be buying at least one and probably two more of these Studiospares S1000 mics and they will be getting lots of use. I have given 10 for features because although it doesn't have switches or run off batteries it does everything I need.
Since I added this review I added a short review on Studiospares website. However they appear to have edited it to remove anything that wasn't entirely positive and the link to this review. Shame!!
Also I have tried the mic on guitar cab (briefly) and as a drum overhead (briefly). It was OK on both but I have better options for this.
I keep adding a bit to this. So here we go again. I have found the solution to the underwhelming shockmount. Buy one from Red5 audio (to fit the RV10). It's cheaper and is much superior. It screws on at the base just perfect.
Just repeating myself but I still like the mike. It doesn't have the hyped top end that enphasises finger noise on acousic gtr and it seems to avoid that bass boost that makes acoustic guitar or voice boom. Thats it for now.