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SM81 really the best condenser for $350? Condenser Microphones
Old 4th September 2007
  #61
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666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrox247 View Post
4051's are great The 4041's are a cardioid only version of the same mic.
You're saying that the AT4041 and AT4051a are essentially the SAME mic (other than the fact that the AT4041 has a fixed head and the AT4051a has an interchangeable head)?

If that's true, then the AT4041 is ONE heck of an incredible deal! I own several AT4051a's, plus some AT4053a's, and have some omni AT4049a heads too (I believe no longer made) that will fit on the AT4051/4053 bodies. These are all excellent mics, and in my opinion perform above their price point.

I thought the AT4051a's were an amazing deal at $499 (typical retail price), and I see that the AT4041's are around $279... and the AT4041 is really the same as an AT4051a????? If so, then that's surely the best mic deal out there. I was previously unaware of the AT4041... must have been asleep for a while.

If this is all true and accurate, then I'd have to pick the AT4041 as possibly "best SDC mic for under $350". But I would not pull the SM81 off the list either. I'd say they are both excellent, a bit different from each other but still excellent. Get one of each! heh
Old 4th September 2007
  #62
Lives for gear
the 81s are unhyped and very very directional. i imagine thats why they are used live so much. ive gotten some very nice drum sounds with the mic by placing them slightly over the drummers shoulders as opposed to directly over the kit. that really helped round out the sound. i dont use the HPF when micing the kit because ive found that it picks up the low end quite nicely.
they are good on some acoustic gtrs...and not so hot on others. and as a side comment in case someone is interested in doing some experimenting ive used them on gtr amps when i wanted some cut. over all they are very useful and i agree that the have some ribbon qualities.
Old 4th September 2007
  #63
Lives for gear
 
Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
You're saying that the AT4041 and AT4051a are essentially the SAME mic (other than the fact that the AT4041 has a fixed head and the AT4051a has an interchangeable head)?

If that's true, then the AT4041 is ONE heck of an incredible deal! I own several AT4051a's, plus some AT4053a's, and have some omni AT4049a heads too (I believe no longer made) that will fit on the AT4051/4053 bodies. These are all excellent mics, and in my opinion perform above their price point.

I thought the AT4051a's were an amazing deal at $499 (typical retail price), and I see that the AT4041's are around $279... and the AT4041 is really the same as an AT4051a????? If so, then that's surely the best mic deal out there. I was previously unaware of the AT4041... must have been asleep for a while.

If this is all true and accurate, then I'd have to pick the AT4041 as possibly "best SDC mic for under $350". But I would not pull the SM81 off the list either. I'd say they are both excellent, a bit different from each other but still excellent. Get one of each! heh
They both use the same EL4051 element which makes them very similiar, but the 4041 has a transformerless output vs the 4051's transformer coupled output.

I guess it would have been more accurate to say that they are very similiar. They are not identical. The 4051 also features the ability to swap out capsules.
Old 4th September 2007
  #64
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666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrox247 View Post
They both use the same EL4051 element which makes them very similiar, but the 4041 has a transformerless output vs the 4051's transformer coupled output. I guess it would have been more accurate to say that they are very similiar. They are not identical. The 4051 also features the ability to swap out capsules.
Ok.

I wonder how they compare sonically? My gut feeling though, especially given the average quality per dollar of most AT mics, is that the AT4041 is still an amazing deal for the bread.

And even forgetting the AT4041 for a moment, the AT4051a is definitely an amazing deal for the bread... it's over $350, but not much over, and it's a killer mic.
Old 4th September 2007
  #65
.

i loathe the sm81 - it's a nasty sounding mic to me.

i have yet to find a good to decent use for it.

i wouldn't pay $30 for it.

so, i have no idea wtf the title of this thread is about...

...
Old 4th September 2007
  #66
Lives for gear
 

If it's not too late to jump in here, lemme ask you a few questions about your recording. You want to use the mics for drum OH. How else do you want to record your kit? What other mics and setup do you typically go with. Are you looking for the OH's to get the entire kit or just the HF? Also, do you want this pair of mics to get acoustic guitar as well? Is that a definite, or just something you'd like to accomplish if possible? How's your room where you're going to be recording these drums? Size, ceiling height, etc? Last q for now...what's the upper limit on price, $600/pair?

m
Old 4th September 2007
  #67
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetatkinsdiet View Post
If it's not too late to jump in here, lemme ask you a few questions about your recording. You want to use the mics for drum OH. How else do you want to record your kit? What other mics and setup do you typically go with. Are you looking for the OH's to get the entire kit or just the HF? Also, do you want this pair of mics to get acoustic guitar as well? Is that a definite, or just something you'd like to accomplish if possible? How's your room where you're going to be recording these drums? Size, ceiling height, etc? Last q for now...what's the upper limit on price, $600/pair?

m
To answer your questions:
I will use the mics as either OHs or perhaps I'll use one to mic the kit from the front. I think I am looking mainly for mics that will capture the whole kit, not only the HF. I would like to use them on acoustic guitar as well, but primary use will be on drums. My room is small, ceiling is like 3 meters (dont know exactly how much that is in feet but i'd say like 10), room size 4 * 4 meters (like 12 * 12 feet).

Yeah 600 a pair is ideal.

The main reason that is making me lean towards LDCs is versatility.
Old 4th September 2007
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amr Kadry View Post
To answer your questions:
I will use the mics as either OHs or perhaps I'll use one to mic the kit from the front. I think I am looking mainly for mics that will capture the whole kit, not only the HF. I would like to use them on acoustic guitar as well, but primary use will be on drums. My room is small, ceiling is like 3 meters (dont know exactly how much that is in feet but i'd say like 10), room size 4 * 4 meters (like 12 * 12 feet).

Yeah 600 a pair is ideal.

The main reason that is making me lean towards LDCs is versatility.
Perfect. Here's my take on the matter. There are a ton of different mics in this price range and less. You didn't specifically mention if used is out of the question as that will only add to the mix. Also, I'll point out that I wouldn't even consider the new 451B's. I'd only look for a used pair of the older ones with the removable caps. There are tons of them out there and $600USD/pair is a good price. You'll find it without much hunting.
I too like for my SDC's to capture the whole kit. I'll usually throw a top snare, inside kick and maybe a room mic and that's it. So, I need my OH's to get everything. For that reason, out of the451 and sm81, I prefer the AKG's. The sm81's just don't do it for the whole kit. I think they do a fine job of just capturing the tops, er, cymbals, but not the best choice for the whole kit. The AKG's just do a better overall job of getting it all down accurately. This seems to hold true with top notch pres like API as well as more modest choices like a Presonus MP20 for example. Now, as for acoustic guitar, the tables are turned. I prefer my sm81 out of the two. But, for me, I like a more clicky guitar sound....a la Rolling Stones. I think that seems to sit better in a rock mix with bass, drums, etc. If you're talking a solo artist with a single guitar that needs to fill the space a little more, maybe the 451 would be fine. I don't do a lot of that and have other choices, so can't speak to that as well.
So, what to do as both are nice. I say the nod goes to the AKG's since you have the option of purchasing any of the caps that are available....omni, hyper-card, 45 degree extensions, etc. You can also purchase an LDC cap from BLUE that is very sweet sounding. So, with this one pair of mics, you can end up with a wide variety of uses that you'll never outgrow. Not that you'd outgrow the Shures either, but I just think there are more versatile options. Now to discuss some of those options.....

You keep mentioning the AT mics...the 4041 and 4051 are the ones that I'd look into. The 4051's are amazing and a great deal, but unless you find a used set, they're going to be out of your price range. The 4041's are nice, but I'd take the AKG's over them. Heck, I'd take the SM81's over them as well. A few others to consider are the following:
Beyer 930
Oktava 012
Josephsen 42

Out of these, the Beyers are new so, i haven't heard them yet, but the reviews are great and I'm looking to get a pair. Really, do you hear many mics from them that aren't great? Check on the pricing of these as they might be in the $600USD range. Maybe a tad high though.

Josephsens get rave reviews from everyone. I've never used them, so I'll leave the reviews to the other posts.

The Oktavas are great mics. Especially if you get the Joly mods done at Oktavamod.com. They should be in your price range as well. All of the things that I said about the versatility of the AKGs apply here...different capsules, LDC caps, etc. I just got my pair modded by Joly and can't be happier with them.

Now, as for the whole LDC argument....I'm of the mindset that you get a great pair of SDC mics and use them on OH, acoustic guitar, backing vox and percussion. For most everything else, I like dynamics. Sure lead vox are going to be great with a nice LDC, but I end up using dynamics for that too. I tend to not use my LDC mics for instruments too much. The only times I'll do that is if you move to one of the various 3 mic techniques for drums. If that's the case, then you'll use a couple of them at least. I never use an LDC pair over the drum kit though. I think you need a great room for that. Or more to the point, a bigger room, for them to sound their best. So for now, I'd stick with the SDC mics. You can always pick up a few inexpensive LDC mics....the Oktava 219/319 are an absolute steal. The Shure KSM32/44 are great buys used, as are a few of the Chinese mics as well....MCA SP1 comes to mind for about $40. Also, if you do get a pair of SDC mics here, why not look to a cheap pair of ribbons? Plenty of choices from Nady, Cascase, etc....

So, hopefully this will help out a bit....probably just confuse you even more though...


m
Old 4th September 2007
  #69
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triton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
Those days are over for a couple of years now, Oktava is in full swing with great quality control, new product development, and all mics are further tested by the importer (Oktava USA). We've never received an Oktava mic that didn't work properly and have been a dealer for maybe a year. The times you refer to were when Oktava was just hammering out mics to please one of the big box stores who demanded (A) more mics and (B) lower prices (no request for quality...and bad decision, Oktava followed them down this road for a couple of years).

Rock on.

War
Well ... my gig aint no experiment for octavia and i dont like to cross fingers unless i really run out of mics.tutt
Its not really a big deal to make a good sounding mic, its making a mic with zero handling noise and that will work in 38 deg celsius or on a grey rainy day myb even after the boyz have accidentally slammed the mic case in the truck that's a real challenge.
Let them be consistent for another few years or a decade, then i wont cross my fingers when i have to use frypan-pfffxt-avia heh
Old 4th September 2007
  #70
Gear Head
 

thanks chetatkinsdiet, that was very elaborate and useful... i think it's making me understand your reasons for recommending certain things, rather than just saying 'this mic is better'. i was just wondering, why are you saying not to get the new AKG 451 B? and what are the old ones called... i've seen AKG 451 E or EB... what are the differences?

also if i will consider buying used what are good places to buy from? is buying mics from ebay recommended? what should i watch out for?

thank you vbmenu_register("postmenu_1476476", true);
Old 4th September 2007
  #71
Gear Head
 

sorry i dont know where that vbmenu_register thing came from hehe
Old 4th September 2007
  #72
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[QUOTE=Amr Kadry;1476604]i was just wondering, why are you saying not to get the new AKG 451 B? and what are the old ones called... i've seen AKG 451 E or EB... what are the differences?

also if i will consider buying used what are good places to buy from? is buying mics from ebay recommended? what should i watch out for?
QUOTE]

The "B" is the new one. The "E" or "EB" is the older ones with the removable caps. The "E" is a plain capsule with the "EB" adding a filter switch which is cool. But, I wouldn't pass on either if a good deal came up. There are a few that have been here on GS and the TapeOp site in the past few weeks. You could try searching for them. With buying used, you just have to use your own judgement. Aren't you in Europe? You could probably find some decent deals on the various ebay's over there. I've purchased these mics off of UK ebay, German ebay, etc. As far as retailers, I'd try proaudioeurope.com or funkyjunk.com. They usually have some in stock. I don't really worry too much about purchasing these used if I get a deal on them as you can send them back to AKG here in the states and they'll clean/repair them for less than $100 per mic. That's if they change the capsule out. I'm sure AKG in Europe offers similar services. You could try to check on that before purchasing though.

Oh...as far as used goes....if it's the EB model, just make sure the switch is functional. A lot of times, they're worn out from folks using pens, paper clips, etc to move them and they're just worn out. Also, the threads on the bodies and capsules can get messed up easily. Make sure they're solid. Other than that, just usual mic stuff....listen for noise, distortion, etc.


Later,

m
Old 4th September 2007
  #73
Lives for gear
 

I skipped the "why not to get the new one" part of the question. Maybe there's nothing really wrong with the new versions, but compared to the older ones, I just think they're too bright and harsh sounding. I like the less hyped sound of the older ones. They aren't hyped in the way that some of the really low end mics are, but more than my liking. Again, if you're only considering the new ones, then I'd look for other mics like the Oktavas.

later,

m
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