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Why would you buy a used microphone? Dynamic Microphones
Old 28th May 2012
  #1
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Thread Starter
Why would you buy a used microphone?

Almost every thread I read regarding best mic for under x dollars is to skip the Chinese mic route and instead try to find a higher end mic used. I was recently in the market of a used mic until I thought more about it. Of all the things to buy used (or even share). God knows what a mic has been through in its life. All a microphone sees are people's mouths 3 inches away (sometimes directly touching), splattering saliva, cigarette smoke, etc etc. They are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Disgusting. Most retail stores won't even take back a brand new mic as a return due to the sanitary issues. What am I missing here on the benefits of going used?
Old 28th May 2012
  #2
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swafford's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by julia.b View Post
Almost every thread I read regarding best mic for under x dollars is to skip the Chinese mic route and instead try to find a higher end mic used. Of all the things to buy used (or even share). God knows what a mic has been through in its life. All a microphone sees are people's mouths 3 inches away (sometimes directly touching), splattering saliva, cigarette smoke, etc etc. They are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Disgusting. Most retail stores won't even take back a brand new mic as a return due to the sanitary issues. What am I missing here on the benefits of going used?
Meh, I'd use your toothbrush.
Old 28th May 2012
  #3
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sleepingbag's Avatar
Life is too short to care about germs on microphones iirc
Old 28th May 2012
  #4
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

If you go buy a new mic of any kind, it's used by everyone that comes through your door in the studio, unless you are buying it for self use only.
I bought used u87s and saved a tone of $$$, had them for many many years, going strong.

Speaking of used, hell I would not own a guitar amp if I could not get one used, as in vintage or older, nothing new is worth a ****e.
Old 28th May 2012
  #5
Gear addict
If you're concerned, remove the windscreen and either sanitize it or replace it. I'm guessing you've never recorded in a studio using mics from the engineer's cabinet?
Old 28th May 2012
  #6
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crying1986's Avatar
Not all microphones are used for vocals buddy...even still, vocal mics are made to be sang (sung?) (singed?) into. You would sit in a chair that someones ass and balls were chilling in a moment before right? Don't be weird. As far as a dealer not taking a mic back because of so called "hygiene issues" that is ridiculous. Places that do that just dont want to take back the mic period. Theyd say the same thing if you were trying to return a D112 or something not even intended for use with vocals.
Old 28th May 2012
  #7
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Denny C's Avatar
I think you are right on the money on that one.
Old 28th May 2012
  #8
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FireMoon's Avatar
According to anti smoking propaganda, the smoke will have killed every last germ on the mic and their children and then wiped their genetic map from the very annals of history. Honestly, the day you start worrying about where a mic might have been, on that sort of level, it's time to ask yourself a few searching questions. When you're talking the more esoteric LDC mics they have, in all probability, been pretty much treated like relative royalty compared to most second hand buys.
Old 28th May 2012
  #9
Gear Maniac
This is such a funny thread, but I suppose the OP's question is not an unnatural one to ask...

First of all, bacteria tend to only live a few hours. They live best on warm, wet, soft surfaces. Your microphone is not that type of surface, so it's not a particularly good place for bacteria to live. It's not like if you buy a used mic, that it's got tons of bacteria still living on it. They're long dead. If you're worried, put your mic out in the sunlight for a little while, and that will take care of it.

Second, it doesn't make sense to be afraid of all bacteria in general. Most bacteria that we come into contact with are completely harmless to you, and in fact, we as humans require thousands of species of bacteria just to survive, digest food, etc. We have hundreds of species (not hundreds of bacteria... hundreds of SPECIES of bacteria) on our palms. And guess what, most of those species are NOT shared from one person to another. So every time you shake someone's hand, you've just introduced hundreds of species of bacteria (millions of bacteria) onto your hand. Just think about kissing someone! Oh, and women seem to have more species of bacteria on their hands than men...!

And yet somehow we survive. Why? Because most bacteria are not harmful to us. What's much more important than avoiding bacteria (which is impossible) is having a healthy immune system. That will respond to those kinds of bacteria that are harmful to you and deal with them appropriately.

What's the best way to have a healthy immune system? Not be stressed. Conclusion: don't stress out too much about bacteria on your microphones. Haha!
Old 28th May 2012
  #10
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snail View Post
What's the best way to have a healthy immune system? Not be stressed.
Yes. Another factor in a healthy immune system is consistent exposure to foreign organisms. Living in a bubble, you don't develop antibodies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julia.b
Of all the things to buy used (or even share)
Why should a used microphone that used to belong to somebody else have more germs on it than a used microphone that belongs to you?

I suppose if you are the only one who uses your microphone, you might have a Thing about your "own germs" being 'OK'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julia.b
All a microphone sees are people's mouths 3 inches away (sometimes directly touching), splattering saliva, cigarette smoke, etc etc
Thanks for the lovely imagery! heh

A studio vocal mic is more like 6-8 inches away and often a (washable) pop filter is in between. As Snail said, the bacteria can not survive long outside the human body. A live mic is perhaps a different story - yes many do often touch the mic with their lips. Wouldn't want to go right after them at Karaoke. These kinds of mics are cheap enough to buy new, though.

The imagery that often stops me from purchasing a used mic is visualizing the previous owner knocking it to the floor once or twice, or the drummer nailing it with a Regal Tip 2b. I don't like the pig-in-a-poke aspect of buying a used mic. I don't want to be paranoid about my mic's performance to spec.

But I never worried about the "germs".

until now...
Old 28th May 2012
  #11
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all right, NOW we're talkin':

Old 28th May 2012
  #12
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Pliplo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
all right, NOW we're talkin':

Old 28th May 2012
  #13
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepingbag View Post
Life is too short to care about germs on microphones iirc
this
Quote:
Originally Posted by crying1986 View Post
Not all microphones are used for vocals buddy...even still, vocal mics are made to be sang (sung?) (singed?) into. You would sit in a chair that someones ass and balls were chilling in a moment before right? Don't be weird. As far as a dealer not taking a mic back because of so called "hygiene issues" that is ridiculous. Places that do that just dont want to take back the mic period. Theyd say the same thing if you were trying to return a D112 or something not even intended for use with vocals.
and this

The reason to buy anything (that is still in porduction) used is to save money. period.
Old 28th May 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
The thing that worries me is when a mic smells like anus. (Generally an SM58) Regardless of what might or might not be on it, I hate smelling / tasting anus directly or indirectly.
Old 28th May 2012
  #15
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draytone View Post
The thing that worries me is when a mic smells like anus. (Generally an SM58) Regardless of what might or might not be on it, I hate smelling / tasting anus directly or indirectly.
SM58 kind of sound like anus, so they may as well smell like it...
Old 28th May 2012
  #16
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
SM58 kind of sound like anus, so they may as well smell like it...
^^^ Yep, that's cool and logical enough. It only gets worrying if the RE20 smells like anus, the kick starts sounding a bit muffled and then suddenly the drummer prolapses mid take, swallowing the drum stool.
Old 28th May 2012
  #17
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Analok's Avatar
The question pretty much answers itself: A) A great piece of equipment long out of production, or B) To save a buck or two.

But in terms of hygene I've been concerned about this too. I'm not a frequent singer so I'm not overly paranoid about germs & such, but my biggest turn off is nicotine (yes, I'm a former smoker & not too proud of the habit). Nothing worse than opening a mic box & getting slammed in the face by stale Pall Malls and having your hands stick to the cable as you unwind it. And so I've taken on the habit of deep cleaning every used pice of gear I aquire...kinda taking on a re-newed pride of ownership if you will. It shines, I smile.

As for germs, bacteria & such, you could buy one of those ultra violet lights that are beginning to appear in fast food resturants & hospital ERs. Pop one of those in your mic locker & zap it once a day or so, if not for anything more than a security blanket. And hey, all you studio owners that take in customers 'round the clock, you could boast that your mics are 'hygenically cleansed by ultra violet light' as a selling point to your skiddish patrons.

My $0.02
Old 28th May 2012
  #18
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crying1986 View Post
Not all microphones are used for vocals buddy...even still, vocal mics are made to be sang (sung?) (singed?) into. You would sit in a chair that someones ass and balls were chilling in a moment before right? Don't be weird. As far as a dealer not taking a mic back because of so called "hygiene issues" that is ridiculous. Places that do that just dont want to take back the mic period. Theyd say the same thing if you were trying to return a D112 or something not even intended for use with vocals.
Don't forget about farting as well.
Old 28th May 2012
  #19
Gear Nut
 

I take the baskets off my reheasal vocal mics and put them in the dish washer once a week, also the pop shields for recording mics.
That takes care of the smell of old beer and spit.
Old 28th May 2012
  #20
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MicDaddy's Avatar
 

I own some 200+ microphones, and am struggling to come up with one I purchased new..
Old 28th May 2012
  #21
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicDaddy View Post
I own some 200+ microphones, and am struggling to come up with one I purchased new..
Yes, but what do they smell like? Would you sing into that RE20?
Old 28th May 2012
  #22
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swafford's Avatar
 

Is that just washed anus or been on the road for 5 days anus?
Old 28th May 2012
  #23
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MicDaddy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Yes, but what do they smell like? Would you sing into that RE20?
It would depend on which RE20 you're referring to. If it's one of the many thousands I've seen removed from service out of a broadcast studio where the talent has left years worth of breakfast shrapnel, probably no.
Old 28th May 2012
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicDaddy View Post
It would depend on which RE20 you're referring to. If it's one of the many thousands I've seen removed from service out of a broadcast studio where the talent has left years worth of breakfast shrapnel, probably no.
It smells of 'no'? That sounds like a wrong'un.....
Old 28th May 2012
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicDaddy View Post
It would depend on which RE20 you're referring to. If it's one of the many thousands I've seen removed from service out of a broadcast studio where the talent has left years worth of breakfast shrapnel, probably no.
That one would sound tasty, though










yuk
Old 28th May 2012
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAboutTone View Post
Don't forget about farting as well.
I HOPE you're still referring to the chairs with that statement.

Now there's a topic: "What's your favorite go to mic to capture a fart?"
Old 28th May 2012
  #27
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Analok View Post
I HOPE you're still referring to the chairs with that statement.

Now there's a topic: "What's your favorite go to mic to capture a fart?"
been done

in fact the most recent post in that thread is less than 3 weeks old

I am pretty sure there are several others going years back
the nature of fart recording technology has not changed much, so they are probably still relevant
Old 28th May 2012
  #28
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ncoak's Avatar
 

thanks everyone for ensuring this forum remains virtually female-free
Old 28th May 2012
  #29
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popmann's Avatar
Because they don't make them like they used to...

It and smoke must make'em sound better.
Old 28th May 2012
  #30
Gear Guru
 

apparently microphone sanitation is a burgeoning industry- who knew?

MIC CHECK - Check That Mic
These are little "moist towelettes" - probably the same ones you get at the Chinese restaurant, but with a picture of a mic on the envelope, so they cost more.




Review: Microphome Microphone Sanitizer & Deodorizer Microphome is a sanitizing foam you put on your mic. Supposedly dissolves away and evaporates after a few minutes:




SingClean MICROPHONE SANITIZER AND MIC HOLDER!
SingClean is an atomizer that clamps onto your mic stand and sprays the mic



This next device is probably not for sanitary purposes per se, but it could certainly keep ones cold germs to oneself. I think it is actually for people who want to practice "silently" at home. Or maybe it's for people who want to sing rap songs but are shy about the curse words.

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