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Build a Better Mic Locker
Old 8th April 2019
  #1
Build a Better Mic Locker

So recently I went on Musicians Friend and they had a "Must have microphones" list (attached). I wondered in what dream world, people would look at this list with and seriously add them all to the cart and check out. Then I got thinking, with the price of all these microphones on the list ($30622.99 total), how much better could I do?

So here's my challenge to you (all for fun). Build a better list of "Must have mics" with the $30622.99 budget MF thinks is appropriate.

My List (in no particular order):

Peluso 22 251 - $1,500.00
AKG c 414 pair - $2,250.00
Neumann KM 184 Pair - $1,500.00
Shure sm7b - $400.00
sennheiser 421 x3 - $1,140.00
Telefunken M82 - $400.00
Mojave MA-300 - $1,295.00
Royer 121 Pair - $2,640.00
Neumann M149 - $5,000.00
Cascade Fathead II Pair - $849.00
Telefunken TF47 - $1,895.00
Schoeps*CMC 6/MK 21 Stereo Set - $3,125.00
SM57 x4 - $400.00
Audix Studio Elite 8 - $2,500.00
Earthworks CMK x5 - $2,099.00
Mictek CV3 Pair - $2,599.00

Total: $29,592.00


Did I miss anything?
Attached Thumbnails
Build a Better Mic Locker-mic-month.jpg  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Dial View Post
So recently I went on Musicians Friend and they had a "Must have microphones" list (attached). I wondered in what dream world, people would look at this list with and seriously add them all to the cart and check out. Then I got thinking, with the price of all these microphones on the list ($30622.99 total), how much better could I do?

So here's my challenge to you (all for fun). Build a better list of "Must have mics" with the $30622.99 budget MF thinks is appropriate.

My List (in no particular order):

Peluso 22 251 - $1,500.00
AKG c 414 pair - $2,250.00
Neumann KM 184 Pair - $1,500.00
Shure sm7b - $400.00
sennheiser 421 x3 - $1,140.00
Telefunken M82 - $400.00
Mojave MA-300 - $1,295.00
Royer 121 Pair - $2,640.00
Neumann M149 - $5,000.00
Cascade Fathead II Pair - $849.00
Telefunken TF47 - $1,895.00
Schoeps*CMC 6/MK 21 Stereo Set - $3,125.00
SM57 x4 - $400.00
Audix Studio Elite 8 - $2,500.00
Earthworks CMK x5 - $2,099.00
Mictek CV3 Pair - $2,599.00

Total: $29,592.00


Did I miss anything?

This is a fun exercise, and I'm surprised more slutz didn't chime in. I don't have experience with most of those mics, but from my research it seems like you did a good job of tagging most of the "studio classics" that I see getting thrown around a lot. My only thought to improve is that you have about $1000 left.. why not nix the Fatheads and get a pair of Coles instead?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 

I'm game... I need at least $10,000 to start my production company comfortably no need 4 a mic if no ones using it, and another $5,000 so I don't feel too guilty thats $15,000 ....Coles 4038..don't ask me no questions I don't know...that guy with his legs propped up on the console knows...quick google price ✔ $15hundid..yeah u gosta say it like dat..den..I want a rca 44b...I don't know y..I want it...3,000....so I'm at $4500 and...THAT guy screams room treatment and I shake my finger no....We gotta learn da hard way.. Imma...secretly buy a $200 box of auralex and and promise myself not to mention my dirty dead on gearslutz...and remember I saved some info on cheap acoustic panels..Legit oc..We'll settle 4 bass traps...$500..we'll splurge..So I'm at $5,000..I call mf friends and Mike answers and he still owes me a beer....Mike answers not expecting the big haul...Mike finds out what I already knew..Musicians friends doesn't carry the fix I'm jonesin 4...and ask me about the mixtape I'm working on..Its going Great as of my recent acquisition..I order a shure mic pack..I could of got it 4 cheaper but Mike still owes me a beer.....I'm at $5400....We're out of C12 range so I slide my cheatin tail over to sweetwater to order the Avatone C12 for $499 at there mic month.....$6,000...no josephons this round..Story ends with Telefunken AK47 and a Warm 87 which is like settling for the ok gurl when you could've had the pornstar...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
30K budget.

LDC tube. One each
TLM67 w/ inner tube kit: $4500 (Alternative, CM67se, $1000)
CM800 new: $1000 (Alternative, real Sony C800, $6000)
Chandler Redd: $4500 (Alternative, Josophson cap mic or M49B, $8000)
Sony C37A: $4500 (Alternative Grove Tubes MD3, $2500 rare)
Missing from list, 251 flavor! very close to the C800 flavor.

Here is the big choice. You only get one or perhaps two of the $4,500 mic's. That's the most difficult part.
I think the rate of return past that price point for say a Josophson cap mic is to much vs. other options.

I recently did my shopping, I set my upper limit at $2500. So my selection looks different.
I ended up with Advanced Audio(67sex2,47ve,12se), Lawson(47), Soundelux(U95S) and Groove tubes(1A,3,5,6).

I would like others opinion. Let's say you only get to pick two mic's to have in over $4000 flavor. What two flavors?
37, 47, 67, 251, 800, Pick two! ouch. I think 67 and 47 are the winners. TLM67/Mod and Redd get the job done! If I were to add a 3rd. It's the Sony 37A flavor. I love that one, just does not fit as much material as the others. Kinda like a Coles. My fave mic, but only works best on a few things.

LDC, non Tube: Pairs for 2 of 3 types pick em from this list.
CM414 pair new: $1200 (Or shell out $3K each for real EB version)
U87 pair used: $5000
New Sony HD mic $1,100 each
Or U89's. Can be found for decent prices used vs u87.
Sony C48's are now $1500 instead of $1000 a few years ago. Great for backup vocals.
Neumann 170R (Find old beat up purple badges)

The 170 is the most uncolored of the group. The 89 is the same with a transformer.

Again the detail is that you only get to pick one or two flavors to have in stereo. One has to decide what flavors are best to have in stereo when you only get to pick one. vs wanting multiple flavors to fit voices.

I ask back. Say you only get to pick on LDC tube and one LDC to have as a pairs. and the rest singles. What's the right choice? in thoses cases it being used for entire bands or drum sets. This is where the ribbons come in. No need for pairs of super high end tube LDC's.

SDC
Schoeps*CMC 6/MK 21 Stereo Set - $3,125.00
One Shure SM81, old one with flat side

I'm not a big fan of SDC, but have never used a real KM84. I have Sony C55P's that I really like when a SDC is needed.

Ribbon
Pair Coles 4038: $3000 (Overheads)
One Royer 121: $1000 (Cab)
One AEA 84:$900 (Vocal)

Those are the workhorse ribbons. I consider the AEA 44 & RU4 bigboy ribbons. But that would be a huge chunk of the cash. This would be a huge step up for orchestral. But for rock and roll, not the best way to spend your cash. Get the coles. Look at every mic list of every large studio. Tons of 4038 for a reason.

Large dynamic:
RE-20: $400
SM7B:$400
ND868 or find EV38: $200/$500
e602 (Find old metal one): $200
B52: $120
Hiel P48: $300
Sub mic: $250
D6:$200 (If you do any metal)

Pick a few for pairs for dual kick.

Tom mic's (I go for sets of 4) Besides SM57
Here are good choices for tom mic's. What if you want to do top and bottom of 4 toms. Or have a huge kit where you need 8 toms. Better have at least 8 tom mics of some flavor.

Pick one out of the list besides SM57. I don't reccomend the 421 for toms. They sound great, but also get tons of blead. You are better off with Cart or Supper cart pattern. 421 is more of a wide cart pattern. (You may need 421's for horn tasks)
MD409-U3 $500/each used. Fantastic mic for Vocals, Guitar cab too. (refoam)
Yamaha MZ105 $150 each rare
Yamaha MZ204/205 $250 each rare
e906 $200 each new. Not as good as the 409, but nice for the cash.
ATM25 $260 each, production recently stopped, they are still common.
CM47FET- If you like LDC for toms. $400 each

For SM57, find the old U-III version. Much better mics than new. But $200 each instead of $100

Next on the list is one or two handheld SDC for vocals. Some singers do better with this than a huge mic in a cage and pop filter.
Neumann 105
KSM9
few others, $500-1000 range

Don't get set on every last mic. Be open to deal and operatunities. Don't buy all at once. One step at a time. Take your time and look for deals on used stuff.

I did not even add up my list. But it's in the range.
Bock, Flea, Josophson, if you see any bargons for one of them. look into it.
In any one high end flavor of LDC tube. Get Advanced Audio as a cost effective alternative (U67,47,C800 flavors)

Almost every mic's first few years of production is it's best. Once it get's popular, they figure out how to make it cheaper. the AKG 414 and SM81 have both been through many revisions over time for example.

My favorit example is:
409: great mic (AKA 509, Esholette 12)
609: POS replacement
e906: The improved 409 replacement to recover from backlash of 609, Suppercart pattern.



I have not stayed current with new large dynamic mic's. But it seams like the old ones are still great in that area: EV38, EV666, PL10, White 421.

Any here know of new large dynamics that are fantastic? The newest one I am considering is the Hiel kick mic. In theroy, removes the need for a Sub mic.

For good measure: SM58, 88N, Pair of CM3, Hiel either PR40 or PR35, At least one EV dynamic mic from the 60's/70's, Shure 87A (Most directional non-shotgun I have seen), At least one Numann LDC, and at least one Sony LDC.


Summary: The starting decision was to only have singles in high end LDC tube mics and no big boy ribbons. If you want big boy pair of LDC tube mics, thats 1/3rd of the budget. Same idea applies to a pair of big boy ribbons. Does that have value for your market?

The simple version.
Two great tube mics Redd, 67innermod
Two ok tube mics CM800, Lawson or Groove tubes
Two piars of LDC CM414, U87
Two single LDC 170, Sony HD
Two pair SDC KM84, Schoeps
6 Large dynamic 20,7B,602,868,P48,B52, 441, White 421
12 Med dyanamic 57UIIIx4, e906x4, Yamaha from the 80's, some old EV's
4 Workhorse ribbons 4038x2,121,84
2 odd balls (Square condenser, Dual type(2 of cond, Coil, Rib), Copperhead, whatever)
5 more whatever your find as a deal.

Last edited by elegentdrum; 3 weeks ago at 02:50 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Mics are tools of the audio trade and to this end matching your tool purchases to your audio task needs is always an appropriate plan. The overwhelming majority of the small project studio type of recordists that peruse these threads will not need to own gear outside of their daily work flow needs. I have been involved in acoustic Americana music for more than 50 years and have collected through the years 6 very good Tube mics that fit my needs perfectly. I bought 4 CM3s several years ago to mic my grand chlidren's church choirs and have recently found when paired with one of my tubes in omni pattern as a center channel a wonderful studio capture for a seven voice adult acappella ensemble. I have a locker full of very good mics that were important for my work years ago however I never need to use them these days. My guess is I am not alone in this regard.
The point is my gear would be wrong for loud back line Rock & Roll or micing a symphony orchestra but it is perfect for my needs. Buy the gear that suits most of your work flow and rent the mics that are needed for unusual gigs. High grade mics and speaker systems are much safer investments than any processing you may be considering.
Hugh
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