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x2 New Mics - £1200 Budget Condenser Microphones
Old 9th September 2011
Gear Nut

x2 New Mics - £1200 Budget

Ok, I need two new mics.

One for acoustic guitars/mandolin/banjo etc
One for Vocals. (Male and Female)

I have a budget of around £1200. I'd prefer to buy new just for less hassle.

I would like something like a 414 (SE 4400a perhaps?)
and a good vocal mic (Maybe Ribbon??)

Any quick advice much appreciated!

Old 9th September 2011
Lives for gear

Get a pair of AKG C414s... I've used them a lot on vocals and they sound great... they're also brilliant for acoustic guitars using the Blumlein Technique.

I've done a mandolin recording which came out well and I'm pretty sure I used C414s for that too.
Old 9th September 2011
Gear Nut

Yeah, just google that technique. Coolio! I figured a 414 would come up. LOVE those!
Would be nice to have something different too. IE : two options. Are SE any good?
Old 9th September 2011
You could try a pencil condenser for your acoustic instruments. I use a Microtech Gefell M300 for acoustic guitars, it's priced at around £750 so would eat up a large portion of your budget but sounds fantastic. For slightly less money, £420, have a look at the Josephson C42, I've never used it myself but have heard it's very good on acoustic guitars.
Old 10th September 2011
Gear Nut

Great, thanks again! Looking into those right now ...

P.S: SE no good then? Prices seem reasonable

Last edited by kabb; 10th September 2011 at 03:40 AM.. Reason: PS
Old 10th September 2011
Gear Nut

Old 10th September 2011
Gear Maniac
popote_jr's Avatar

Since you're in the UK, you could check out SONTRONICS microphones.

I tried one (Orpheus multipattern) head-to-head with a 414 and ended up buy the Sontronics.

They also have a cool ribbon mic...Worth giving a look - or an earful
Old 10th September 2011
Lives for gear

yes, I'd like to try some Sontronics mics. They appear to be a lot more neutral than the C414Bs, so ought (for acoustic instruments) to be more useful. The Sontronics website implies they're content for people to try-before-you-buy with them...

If they're still doing their "get an SDC pencil condenser free with an LDC" promotion, then they are a very good deal indeed.
(I think I still saw some of these offers on eBay...)
Old 10th September 2011
Lives for gear
mikeyrad's Avatar

Are you looking for a pair or just two mics?

M179 would be great and then a sdc like the ones everyone has already mentioned.

Mojave ma200 would fit the bill too
Old 11th September 2011
Gear Nut

Guys, much appreciated again for all the info!

No, I wasn't looking for a pair. I ideally want x2 different mics. One for Vocals and one for Acoustic Instruments. I know AKG 414s and they do both v v well. I want variety too. (Spice of life etc)

So ... (for both vocals and acoustics)
People keep banging on about the Shure SM7b which seems like a good all round vocal mic for the price?
Also, the Sontronics Orpheus seems like a very strong contender too.
I also got pointed in the dirrection of the Cascade 731R ribbon mic which looks tasty.
Mojave ma200 also a contender although seems like mixed reviews on here (some harshness?)
As for the CAD M179 ... do they still make these?
Neumann TLM49
I also got pointed in the direction of the Peluso P 12?
And one more option ... Oktava Mod Mics!?

So ... addictivly researching! Still not decided although the guys here have been a massive help in helping me choose an interface (Metric Halo LIO-8) and Preamps (Lunchbox with MA5, LaChappel 583s and Shadow Hills mono gama)

I may be able to stretch budget so keep those suggestions coming. I REALLY appreciate it! Thanks again!!


P.S: Are SE Mics one to avoid? They seem well priced etc

Last edited by kabb; 11th September 2011 at 11:54 AM.. Reason: P.S
Old 11th September 2011
Lives for gear
Worlez's Avatar

We have an Se Gemini II for sale for £700, that would give you a really versatile LDC for vocals (and lots of other things!) and £500 left over to get something like a Beyer M160 (great on banjo/acoustic guitar/mandolin) and still leave you with about £150 change!
Old 11th September 2011
Lives for gear

Seeing as you want a vocal mic for both male and female vocals, I would go for a LDC (of the 414B/SE/Sontronics sort of type) rather than an SM7B.

Nothing against the SM7B, but it's a mic that either works on a particular voice or doesn't. Whereas a multi-pattern LDC gives you a few more options.

I've never used any Cascade ribbons, but if I was going to go for one purely on spec it would be one of their long ribbons - Victor or Vin-Jet - simply because they have an extended top-end, the one thing that you often have to EQ in with ribbon mics.

If I were you I would definitely get an LDC and an SDC (prefereably omni). That should leave you a bit of change. Live and work with those two for a while, then see if you feel you're lacking a certain flavour, which might require a ribbon or a dynamic. A lot of people, for instance, really like the Sennheiser MD421s on acoustic instruments, which is on my 'mics to try out one day' list...
Old 11th September 2011
Lives for gear

414Bs are crazily more expensive in the UK/Europe than in the US. I'd strongly advise you to buy one 2ndhand, or at least B-Stock. They just seem to be way over-priced, to the extent that it's almost worth braving customs and ordering from the US.
Old 11th September 2011
Gear Nut

Looking into it all guys! Thanks!! Gemini II? £700 seems ok but no one seems to really talk about SE. I was kinda taking that as a bad thing
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