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Old 21st November 2015
  #1512
MYN
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Dave,
You crazy mad genius. You know that old saying about how "you can't polish a turd"? Well, kudos to you for showing that you can. You are able to take an inferior microphone someone else designed and mass manufactured, identify what could be done better and, gosh darn it, you or your man Scotty get in there with your soldering irons and modify the heck out of that thing until it sounds like something much better than what you started out with. Really, as a mic modder with a decent biz plan, you're aces. You've even written here about how your manufacturing sources are integrating your circuit changes and mods into their stuff. I only hope you're getting a royalty for that, but I probably wouldn't bet you are. Your story, your background, impressive. I even bought one of your microphones. But, unfortunately, to my ears that microphone still sounds sterile and lacks depth. I don't really like it and I never use it. Ironically, I've been thinking about modding it! Maybe taking out some of those ugly mustard blob caps and throwing a couple of Nichicon Muse caps in there to see if I can add more life to it.

And while 3U Audio may share some same metalwork sources for their mic bodies coming from that one square block in China where you say 90 percent of mic bodies come from, I'm of the belief that the comparison ends there. It appears that Guosheng designed his own proprietary mic circuits and capsules and then he builds them in his own factory. Look inside any 3u Audio Warbler or GZ series and you're going to see it's loaded with premium components, Wima caps, Dale resistors, etc. Open up an AA mic and... well, you don't. To me, that feels like a really big difference right there.

Plus, you can't deny that AA mics, are costlier than 3U Audio mics. Perhaps that's just a function of you being the middleman here and having to account for your bench time, import fees, etc. IMO, on a dollar for dollar basis, AA loses this contest, hands down. Because of the way 3U is set up as an all-inclusive system, it's not an even playing field, but then again, neither is life.

Here's the kicker though. Price-schmice--It's all about sound, right? You look at this ridiculously massive thread and all the comments to date and one thing is pretty clear: people are losing their minds over how these 3U Audio mics sound. My mics get used for work every day. I rely on them to make a living and one thing has been clear: the increased number of compliments I've been getting on my sound from my clients ever since I switched to using Warblers as my main mics. In my little world, that's enough empirical evidence to justify what my ears are already telling me. In a world of wanna-be's, 3U Audio mics are the real deal.

I will never profess to ever know as much about mics as you obviously do, or as much as Guosheng does. But I do know one thing: your CM87 doesn't hold a candle to the Warbler I. It's not even close. To my ear, next to the Warbler, the CM87 sounds cheap and thin. Put those two mics side by side (which I have) and you'd never guess your mic is the one that costs $100 more (not counting shipping). I guess you can only polish a turd so much. Going back to your Zappa paraphrase that was sadly deleted by the moderator for being OT, the CM87 is more of a Sears poncho.

Dave, as much as I've been amused by your puzzling screeds in this thread, I've found them educational to a point. Dude, you know so much about microphones but this thing you're doing here and telling us 10 thousand times that a mic of yours is on so and so's album, well, it's starting to get sad. And I think you're better than that. You are probably one of the top 5 mic modders in the world. Guosheng is a mic and capsule designer. We're talking apples and oranges. However, the ultimate difference may be the scalability of his business vs yours.

Sigh.... Perhaps what would be a better use of your down time, instead of trying to OT this thread, is to tap into that massive mic knowledge of yours and design your own proprietary circuits. That I'd love to hear. Or write a book or blog about them. That's something I'd buy/read in a heartbeat. You've been around forever and 3U is obviously an embryonic entity, one that's been selling mics for a fraction of the time you have, but one that is quickly developing a rabid following of early adopters. And as many threads as there are on GS about AA mics, I don't recall reading reactions like the ones we're seeing here, and how telling that is, well, is probably up to one's interpretation.

The fact that Guosheng has used this thread as a user feedback mechanism to improve his offerings in almost real-time is pretty incredible and maybe that's a strategy that could benefit more people in the mic biz. But when it all comes down to brass tacks, there's a "bang for your buck" factor with these amazing sounding 3U Audio mics that gives them an incredible edge... well that and there are no polished turds in the bunch.

Best,
M