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Best and worst looking mics
Old 17th September 2020
  #1
Lives for gear
Best and worst looking mics

Yeah I know, who cares, it's how it sounds that matters...but as I said elsewhere, for singers at least, there often is at least a little psychological effect with how a mic looks. So just out of curiosity and not saying it has anything to do with how good a mic actually is, what are your candidates?

For me off the top:

BEST

- Shure 55SH - easily the best-looking mic ever, the "Elvis mic"
- Shure SM58 - I have to include just because it's such a classic mic look, imitated by so many
- Shure SM7B - also has a classic (studio) mic look
- sE X series - nothing amazing just a good-looking mic IMO


WORST

- Aston Origin/Spirit - that hideous swervy grill. What were they thinking?
- Bumblebee - all of them. Self-explanatory. Look ridiculous
- Blue Bluebird - or any mic with that skinny "neck"
- Neumann 87 and 67 - not the worst but between the drab silver and the grill, it does zero for me
Old 17th September 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Exceptional:
I think JZ mics are killing it. All of them.

Great:
Manleys are cool.
Schoeps V4
Sony C38B
Blue Blueberry, Dragonfly, Mouse, Kiwi, Cactus (I like Bluebird too with its own pop screen, I love art deco style)

Ugly:
all double headed ones like AKG C24, AT5045 etc they look confused and dumb
Ear Trumpets (wtf design).
Lautens (look like communist hand grenades).
Soyuz (look like fat Matryoshkas)
Oktavas (look like some sort of military gear)
Gefells - look like something Hitler would use to make a speech in front of the crowd

The rest of them are not ugly, just bland.
Old 17th September 2020
  #3
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
All of these look pretty great.
Attached Thumbnails
Best and worst looking mics-d727034d-6fb2-472e-af9b-59c3824267be.jpg  
Old 17th September 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
The Yeti is ugly. (The mic, not sure about the mythical snowman.)
Cheap shock mounts can uglify average SDC and LDC mics.
Theater cheek lavs can look like abnormal skin growths.
The Britney Spears/Garth Brooks live mic (name?) looks bad, sounds good.
Old 17th September 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
- Aston Origin/Spirit - that hideous swervy grill. What were they thinking?
According to Aston, they were thinking about making an innovative grille that has less rigid reflective structure but will absorb thumps and drops by deforming a spring structure that returns to its original shape.
I like the look of those mics in a “form follows function” definition of beauty...
“Hideous”? That’s rude. You know the microphones can hear you!
Old 17th September 2020
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
The Coles 4038 is an acquired taste.
Old 17th September 2020
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
thinking about making an innovative grille
That's what Edsel said to his dad.

Quote:
I like the look of those mics in a “form follows function” definition of beauty...
You're drunk, aren't you?
Old 17th September 2020
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
You're drunk, aren't you?
Putin says very strongly that I’m sober, and I have no reason to doubt him.

I own two Starlight, but I’ve only seen pictures of the other Aston mics, so I may be a victim of the mail-order bride syndrome... in love with the picture, perhaps disappointed by the real thing.
Didn’t Edsel say “Please don’t name the car after me.”
Old 17th September 2020
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by N1Greg View Post
Gefells - look like something Hitler would use to make a speech in front of the crowd.
Something like these? My MGs don’t look like this!
Attached Thumbnails
Best and worst looking mics-d7aa52b8-1861-448f-b1c8-c743a40944d1.jpeg   Best and worst looking mics-6d5e2979-5668-40a4-b1b5-d3a3befc70ee.jpeg  
Old 17th September 2020
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Something like these? My MGs don’t look like this!
New Waves plug-in to be released on Apr. 1st:

The Fuhrer's Microphones
Old 17th September 2020
  #11
I think the RE20 is the ugliest mic, my favourite looking mic is the original U47, some gefells are super ugly as well but they sound great.
Old 17th September 2020
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Husky Squad's Avatar
omg what is this thing ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Something like these? My MGs don’t look like this!
Old 17th September 2020
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Husky Squad View Post
omg what is this thing ????
Third Reich badged Telefunken I believe - at ICP Studios in Belgium.
Old 17th September 2020
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Something like these? My MGs don’t look like this!
Don't show that to the orange guy or he will be replacing his 57 with it.
Old 17th September 2020
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Sennheiser 441 is real dream-boat
Old 17th September 2020
  #16
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uOpt's Avatar
I hate the looks of the Sennheiser 421 with a passion.

441 looks very good of course.
Old 17th September 2020
  #17
Deleted 2848499
Guest
If AA, 3u, etc looked like Neumanns or Telefunkens I'd have a bunch more of them.

This is why I love Lewitt. They look great, feel well built and sound great. But are a bit more money as a result.

I love my AA CM-54 on dark sources with a passion, but it sure is an eye sore next to my Telefunken M60's or Beyer MC930s.

I've seriously considered buying a few AA mics and rehousing them.

Telefunken really nailed my preferred aesthetic with the Alchemy line. Bought the TF51 and TF47 but didn't like their character compared to others in my locker and passed them on.
Old 17th September 2020
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by uOpt View Post
I hate the looks of the Sennheiser 421 with a passion.

441 looks very good of course.
Funny I feel just the opposite. 441 looks too retro to me.
Old 17th September 2020
  #19
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
Yeah I know, who cares, it's how it sounds that matters...but as I said elsewhere, for singers at least, there often is at least a little psychological effect with how a mic looks.
I have a pop filter with an American Flag printed on it.
Old 17th September 2020
  #20
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
I'm surprised there hasn't been much said, either love or hate, about the older Streamline Moderne EV's. In my experience lots of non-audio people who make their way into sessions seem to take special notice of them.
Old 17th September 2020
  #21
Gear Maniac
I think these have a unique aesthetic design!
Attached Thumbnails
Best and worst looking mics-mk-105silver7.jpg  
Old 17th September 2020
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I'm surprised there hasn't been much said, either love or hate, about the older Streamline Moderne EV's. In my experience lots of non-audio people who make their way into sessions seem to take special notice of them.
Good call! The 664 is metal sculpture disguised as a microphone. And it sounded good in the late 60s... can’t say what I would think now.
Old 17th September 2020
  #23
Gear Addict
 
MandoBastardo's Avatar
I remember the time when gearslutz would discuss the best/worst sounding mics.

But bubble life on the internet has forced us to listen with our eyes. Altho... some mics sound better that way...some even mentioned in this thread.

A coincidence? You decide.
Old 17th September 2020
  #24
Special Guest
 
TheHanes's Avatar
I always thought the Milab Vip-50 was really ugly.
Old 17th September 2020
  #25
Lives for gear
 

My Trinity of favorite looking mics. are 44 Ribbon/Sony C37a/Neumann U47/48. Which are also three of my first dozen(!) favorite sounding mics.
Chris
Old 17th September 2020
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MandoBastardo View Post
I remember the time when gearslutz would discuss the best/worst sounding mics.

But bubble life on the internet has forced us to listen with our eyes. Altho... some mics sound better that way...some even mentioned in this thread.

A coincidence? You decide.
Represents the Cultural Continental Drift, (for the guys) like getting from...
"Ginger or Mary Anne?", "Corvette or Porsche?"-To this place.
Chris
Old 17th September 2020
  #27
Deleted 2848499
Guest
SM7B looks like a part that fell off a robot from an 80's movie.
Old 17th September 2020
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
The Yeti is ugly.
It looks like R2D2's love child.

The sE Voodoo also looks like an air purifier.

The Royer 121 looks like some Star Trek widget, which is not good. ("Data, hand me the 121...")
Old 17th September 2020
  #29
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
My Trinity of favorite looking mics. are 44 Ribbon/Sony C37a/Neumann U47/48. Which are also three of my first dozen(!) favorite sounding mics.
Chris
The 44 is definitely another "classic" mic look!
Old 17th September 2020
  #30
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandoBastardo View Post
... bubble life on the internet has forced us to listen with our eyes.
No, the plugin makers did that. "Oohhh... it looks like it's gonna sound like a Fairchild!"
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