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CHEAP! condenser clip-on mic, what's the catch?
Old 24th September 2013
  #1
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CHEAP! condenser clip-on mic, what's the catch?

Hi,

I've been looking for a soundhole (area) condenser mic for my acoustic guitar. I also want something that has a battery or a power source included. While looking, i came across this very cheap unidirectional condenser, that has a battery and a 1/4" jack adapter, can this be used for my acoustic? small live sessions even? Here is a link.

pic:
Old 24th September 2013
  #2
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loujudson's Avatar
Why not try it? Cheap enough. I've used Sony ECM-55B lavaliers for guitar with fairly good results, but they cost $300.
Lavaliers often have a presence peak to make the voice sound clear with the mic clipped to the chest, so you may have to EQ it to fix that. It may also have other peaks that you wil have to tame, or that will make feedback when used live. The cheap mics may also overload easly and simply sound bad. Try one but don't expect too much.
Old 24th September 2013
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post
Why not try it? Cheap enough. I've used Sony ECM-55B lavaliers for guitar with fairly good results, but they cost $300.
Lavaliers often have a presence peak to make the voice sound clear with the mic clipped to the chest, so you may have to EQ it to fix that. It may also have other peaks that you wil have to tame, or that will make feedback when used live. The cheap mics may also overload easly and simply sound bad. Try one but don't expect too much.
I ordered one, i'll post back with my impression.
Old 1st October 2013
  #4
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
Clip on lavalier mics have certainly been used on acoustic guitars. They can work well (or not) depending on the mic and the particular acoustic guitar. However, just like anything else, there are good lavalier mics and there are bad ones too. Every time I heard one that sounded good, it seemed to always be some type of Sony mic like the ECM-55b mentioned. I have always wanted to try the Neumann KMA Omni lavalier mic that has the KM83 capsule in it on acoustic guitar. I bet that one would sound great.

However, I have also come across cheap and HORRIBLE sounding lavalier mics that sound thin and noisy. I have no idea if the cheap mic you want to buy is any good or not. Sometimes you get what you pay for and if it does not sound good that does not mean than all lavalier mics would sound the same way. DPA also makes some excellent very small mics that can be clipped on various instruments, but they are not cheap.
Old 1st October 2013
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmikeperkins View Post
Clip on lavalier mics have certainly been used on acoustic guitars. They can work well (or not) depending on the mic and the particular acoustic guitar. However, just like anything else, there are good lavalier mics and there are bad ones too. Every time I heard one that sounded good, it seemed to always be some type of Sony mic like the ECM-55b mentioned. I have always wanted to try the Neumann KMA Omni lavalier mic that has the KM83 capsule in it on acoustic guitar. I bet that one would sound great.

However, I have also come across cheap and HORRIBLE sounding lavalier mics that sound thin and noisy. I have no idea if the cheap mic you want to buy is any good or not. Sometimes you get what you pay for and if it does not sound good that does not mean than all lavalier mics would sound the same way. DPA also makes some excellent very small mics that can be clipped on various instruments, but they are not cheap.
Thanks! since then i found the Bartlett Guitar mic. I heard some samples and read reviews, i'll might get it depending on the "cheap mic".
Old 1st October 2013
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midoban View Post
Thanks! since then i found the Bartlett Guitar mic. I heard some samples and read reviews, i'll might get it depending on the "cheap mic".
I can attest to the quality of the Bartlett mic. I've owned one for a few years and mostly used it live on 2 guitars that I don't want to modify ('53 Gibson J50, 2011 Gibson Jackson Browne). I've also recorded some with it and the results were surprisingly good. The only drawback with the battery powered model is that it feels a bit awkward at first with the battery box clipping onto the strap. And I don't care for how the mic cable is routed up the body and around the back, although I've found a work around for this. All in all an outstanding mic.
Old 1st October 2013
  #8
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I just noticed the cheap mic has a sensitivity of -63 dB (which is lower than a ribbon mic) while the Bartlett is -37 dB. I'm not sure how you could possibly get enough gain out of the cheap mic.
Old 1st October 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adathead 53 View Post
I just noticed the cheap mic has a sensitivity of -63 dB (which is lower than a ribbon mic) while the Bartlett is -37 dB. I'm not sure how you could possibly get enough gain out of the cheap mic.
You're probably right, i'll see what it's like when i get it..
Old 5th October 2013
  #10
Registered User
 

Well, i got the mic. It's really a mic for close range, it doesn't pickup things from afar. So i mounted it inside the sound hole. It sounds muddy on the low end but can be EQed to sound good. As for feedback, surprisingly was ok, i played with my amp at high volume and was sitting around a meter from it with no feedback.

The mic clip is way to harsh for the guitar's top wood, so if there will be a demand for recordings here, i'll wrap it with something and record a couple of samples.
Old 6th January 2014
  #11
Here for the gear
 

I just bought a working Neumann KMA Lavalier (clip-on) mike. Sounds great clipped to a stand or in/on an acoustic guitar with a bass roll-off necessary. I'm a KM84 lover. On a stand used to record acoustic and vocals it sounds similar to a KM84. It's omni with an 83 capsule (so I've read) rather than cardioid. Cost 300 euros on eBay in this case. Very rare no doubt - this one has 'Radio Bremen' engraved on the power housing. Like the 84's, it's got that KM something that makes me warm inside. I've taken to using an 84 for live vocals and acoustic (also with pickup) at my (not loud) gigs. Spoiled, irredeemably, no going back.
It seems to just reach out and grab the instrument sound.
So, yes, an ancient Neumann KMA Lavalier works like a regular mike and also can be used in front of a guitar or on/in an acoustic guitar. Best would be in tandem with a pickup.
Cheers!
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