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upgrading mic and pre
Old 8th February 2014
  #1
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RTR's Avatar
upgrading mic and pre

I have used a lot of high end gear, but never owned much. I am thinking of trying to get one good mic and one good pre, will be recording vox, acoustic guitar and guitar amps. I am thinking of going for the TLM 102 and maybe the warm audio tone beast, thats about all I can afford at this time. Does that sound like a good start? I can not audition any of these so I am hoping for advice from people that have used either one. I am open to any other combos in the same price range. Thank you all for the great advice you provide hear!

PS. I would like a pre with some color, I have grace pres and dont want anything clean.
Old 8th February 2014
  #2
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Vintageidiot's Avatar
I auditioned the tlm in nyc, nice Mic. I heard it through a neve clone. Haven't heard the warm but it gets good reviews here on GS....
Old 8th February 2014
  #3
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dgkenney's Avatar
I can only tell you about what I have actually heard/used, but in the "good value for relatively small bucks" category, I have been really pleased with my TB12 and an ADK Hamburg for vocals. I am sure there are others with more experience and finer ears, but I have been very very happy with the results I've been getting.

Dan
Old 8th February 2014
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgkenney View Post
I can only tell you about what I have actually heard/used, but in the "good value for relatively small bucks" category, I have been really pleased with my TB12 and an ADK Hamburg for vocals. I am sure there are others with more experience and finer ears, but I have been very very happy with the results I've been getting.

Dan
I will have to look into the adk..I have herd of it before. Thank you both!!
Old 8th February 2014
  #5
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What's your current mic? Oktavamod by Mike Joly mods budget mics for around $300-$400. I had my rode nt1a modified by him, and it is not the same microphone it was, and definitely is better than anything I've used from the TLM line. I'd recommend that first if you have a mic model he offers a mod for.

Last edited by JonnBoy; 8th February 2014 at 11:24 PM.. Reason: grammatical error
Old 9th February 2014
  #6
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RTR's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnBoy View Post
What's your current mic? Oktavamod by Mike Joly mods budget mics for around $300-$400. I had my rode nt1a modified by him, and it is not the same microphone it was, and definitely is better than anything I've used from the TLM line. I'd recommend that first if you have a mic model he offers a mod for.
I have what resembles a cad m179 but its the made for Musicians friend model cad did years ago, good mic. I have a behringer b2 pro. and a 80's AKG 414, not sure of the model, my father bought it when he started his studio in the 80s
Old 9th February 2014
  #7
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Freep's Avatar
 

I found the tlm 102 thin sounding, too much top. Compared it with a tlm 103, tlm 170 and a u87 a while ago. I would recommend to go for a tlm 103 and offcourse to do a shoot out yourself :-)
Old 9th February 2014
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTR View Post
I have what resembles a cad m179 but its the made for Musicians friend model cad did years ago, good mic. I have a behringer b2 pro. and a 80's AKG 414, not sure of the model, my father bought it when he started his studio in the 80s
Well I don't believe any of those are eligible, but if you search oktavamod and go on his website, he sells new, already-modified mics, and you can hear them in direct shootouts with u87's, and it'll still be cheaper than a TLM anything, and more comparable to the u87 than the tam 102 or 103. I do agree, however, that the 103 is a better choice than the 102, the 102 isn't a workhorse mic. I don't like it on most vocals.
Old 9th February 2014
  #9
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One other suggestion, and I haven't heard this mic yet...

Neumann has just come out with the TLM 107 which, according to several people who've heard it, has the same basic "sound" as the 102 but adds multi-pattern capability.

It was touted as being a "Swiss Army knife" type of mic, that could handle a variety of duties in home and project studios...
Old 9th February 2014
  #10
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RTR's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnBoy View Post
Well I don't believe any of those are eligible, but if you search oktavamod and go on his website, he sells new, already-modified mics, and you can hear them in direct shootouts with u87's, and it'll still be cheaper than a TLM anything, and more comparable to the u87 than the tam 102 or 103. I do agree, however, that the 103 is a better choice than the 102, the 102 isn't a workhorse mic. I don't like it on most vocals.
thanks..I am going to go check the oktavamod's out. I have read a lot about them, but just thought it was a "flavor of the month" thing. You can never really know on GS. But if I can get something close to a U87 for less than the price of the TLM 102 , I will be all over it. What one of the oktavamods do you think sounds the closest?
Old 9th February 2014
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

If you are interested I have a recording I did using a U87 with the API 512, BAE DMP, Chandler Little Devil, Chandler Germanium, Daking Mic Pre 500, LaChapelle 583, Neve 517 50 series. I used this recording for the determining factor of the pre I bought. Let me know if you want to hear it. FYI, the audio files might need to be normalized so they are the same level.
Old 9th February 2014
  #12
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Also, with the Octavamods you are getting yourself into a whole world of research which is incredibly interesting and educational. You might also want to check out diy U47's.
Old 9th February 2014
  #13
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

I wouldn't buy the TLM102. Small sounding mic and very hit or miss. Mostly miss in my book.

Try to get a second hand Gefell M930 or M71. Or UM70, if you can stretch, especially nice is the UM70s. You'll never want to sell it. Unlike the TLM.
Old 9th February 2014
  #14
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thanks guys!! I was just checking the Mod'd RODE NT1a - U87 Alternative, and the price is close to the tlm 102. I can not afford a real u87, or a real expensive preamp. I was hoping the tone beast would be good enough to get a few different sounds from and good enough to help a 5-600 dollar mic sound good. I was also looking at the BAE 1073 DMP but that would take my mic money down a notch. I just want to find something that will sound good for 11-1200.00 that will make a difference from my crap mics and m audio 2626 pres
Old 9th February 2014
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

I have an Oktavamod Nu319.

I had owned an oktava mk319 for years and loved it even before modding it. After the mod, it's much more mid-present and sounds pretty awesome on just about anything. I don't care for it on bass though.
You can find the oktavas used for around $100 and the mod is another $300.
You might also check out his new fet47 mics. I really want a pair of those.
Old 9th February 2014
  #16
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RTR's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terryrocks View Post
I have an Oktavamod Nu319.

I had owned an oktava mk319 for years and loved it even before modding it. After the mod, it's much more mid-present and sounds pretty awesome on just about anything. I don't care for it on bass though.
You can find the oktavas used for around $100 and the mod is another $300.
You might also check out his new fet47 mics. I really want a pair of those.
thanks, going to look into those right now!
Old 9th February 2014
  #17
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Not to rain on the Joly parade, but if you can swing one of the Gefells second hand you're in an entirely different ballgame of properness.
Old 9th February 2014
  #18
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RTR's Avatar
I really dont care if the mic sounds like a u87, I just want something good, been also looking at the At 4047
Old 9th February 2014
  #19
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTR View Post
I really dont care if the mic sounds like a u87, I just want something good, been also looking at the At 4047
It's nothing to do with 'sounds like an 87', just a really, really excellent mic.
Old 9th February 2014
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
It's nothing to do with 'sounds like an 87', just a really, really excellent mic.
no no, I was not talking about your post...it just seemed like ALL of the post were getting into U87 territory. I checked the Gefells and I cant afford that..I am really trying to stay at the 600$ max if I can
Old 9th February 2014
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTR View Post
no no, I was not talking about your post...it just seemed like ALL of the post were getting into U87 territory. I checked the Gefells and I cant afford that..I am really trying to stay at the 600$ max if I can
Fair play. For that budget I would probably buy an original Rode NT2 and put a really good capsule in there, like a Thiersch M7 or something.
Old 9th February 2014
  #22
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bbgallaway's Avatar
 

That old 414 you have should be at least as good as most of what's listed in this thread, unless you're just not crazy about it or it's messed up. What about using that and applying a little extra cash to a better pre - not that I'm against the Warm, never used it. Just a thought.
Old 10th February 2014
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

I agree. Those vintage c414's are great mics (especially for guitar). Pair it with the right preamp the quality of your sound will change. This is an expensive pre but check out the single channel Tree Audio, The Branch pre with eq built in. Tree Audio Tube Console The Roots Home Page

I bought the Chandler 500 series Germ MK II after comparing it to several other pre's and that thing sounds sick. It's got a DI too.
Old 10th February 2014
  #24
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RTR's Avatar
I just dont really care for the 414..maybe because I am 38 now and been using it since I was 13, was our first good mic bought with the 16 track fostex reel to reel..miss those days!! I would really like a work horse mic and pre. The reason I was going to go with the warm audio was because I do like the API sound, I would really like to have a never type pre but there are so many and the real good ones are crazy expensive.

I have herd the Rode mics are pretty good. A friend used one to record some stuff years ago and it sounded great. But then you get on GS and people bash the hell out of it...thats why this is so hard.
Old 10th February 2014
  #25
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTR View Post
I just dont really care for the 414..maybe because I am 38 now and been using it since I was 13, was our first good mic bought with the 16 track fostex reel to reel..miss those days!! I would really like a work horse mic and pre. The reason I was going to go with the warm audio was because I do like the API sound, I would really like to have a never type pre but there are so many and the real good ones are crazy expensive.

I have herd the Rode mics are pretty good. A friend used one to record some stuff years ago and it sounded great. But then you get on GS and people bash the hell out of it...thats why this is so hard.
If you have a 414EB, get a Tim Campbell CT12 capsule to put in there (assuming yours has the teflon capsule, not the brass CK12, as if it did, you would love that thing). That will make one hell of a mic.

I don't like Rode mics much, but if you take the original NT2 which is a decent amp and put a great capsule (instead of its harsh one) in there you do get a very cool mic.
Old 10th February 2014
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
If you have a 414EB, get a Tim Campbell CT12 capsule to put in there (assuming yours has the teflon capsule, not the brass CK12, as if it did, you would love that thing). That will make one hell of a mic.

I don't like Rode mics much, but if you take the original NT2 which is a decent amp and put a great capsule (instead of its harsh one) in there you do get a very cool mic.
Just to play devil's advocate, installing a mic capsule is not necessarily the easiest thing to do - especially for someone who's never done it before. You need the right tools, very steady hands, and a little know how. One wrong move and you can damage the microscopically thin (and extremely fragile) diaphragm, at which point the capsule is ruined. While I agree with the your suggestion regarding the NT2 (it's a great candidates for modding), I would be apprehensive about giving the task of installing a capsule to someone who is not accustomed to working on mics.
Old 10th February 2014
  #27
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarmax_99 View Post
Just to play devil's advocate, installing a mic capsule is not necessarily the easiest thing to do - especially for someone who's never done it before. You need the right tools, very steady hands, and a little know how. One wrong move and you can damage the microscopically thin (and extremely fragile) diaphragm, at which point the capsule is ruined. While I agree with the your suggestion regarding the NT2 (it's a great candidates for modding), I would be apprehensive about giving the task of installing a capsule to someone who is not accustomed to working on mics.
Well, I consider swapping a capsule not particularly difficult. From the standpoint of never having done it before in a sort of "if I can do it, you can" type manner. It does however require a level of confidence and a tiny bit of homework, say on what arts to NOT touch. GDIY is the place for the homework. Mainly focus and half an hour should suffice. If not, it can always be done by a tech for not a lot.
Old 10th February 2014
  #28
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RTR's Avatar
So neither of you recommend the rode as is? I keep reading good things about that tlm 102, but really dont want to spend that much if there is something just as good for less
Old 10th February 2014
  #29
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTR View Post
So neither of you recommend the rode as is? I keep reading good things about that tlm 102, but really dont want to spend that much if there is something just as good for less
Too edgy stock, but with a great capsule it would spank the cheap TLM's. getting one second hand, plus new capsule and someone fitting it should cost you about what a new 102 costs.
Old 10th February 2014
  #30
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Under $500 the best vocal mic you can get is probably the Stellar CM-6. Lots of detail. A little on the crispy side, but does well when paired with a colored pre.
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