It kinda depends on the vocalist and style, but on the list of mics to try should be the AT4060 (you can get a demo/used for well under $1K) and the SM7 which is WELL under $1K. Some like the MXL V67 or some of the other AT mics.
I have a Mojave MA-200 made by David Royer of Royer labs...I really like it and it is very flexible and has a sweet, thick tube sound. I've used it for V/O's, male vocal, acoustic guitar, rap vocal all with excellent little if no eq'ing on most.
It's $995.00 I didn't find anyone that lowered the price.
The new re-designed ADK Hamburg IIau and Vienna IIau. The Vienna is brighter. I just got the Hamburg ($995 street) and it's really warm and thick. Probably more for a Sinatra style sound.
The Heil PR40 is in the SM7 ballpark. Just used it today on a rock male vocal, and it was perfect. Better than a couple of LDC's, including the Hamburg, which was just not in-your-face enough for that application, although I suspect the Vienna would have been perfect. (I could only afford one of the ADK's.)
For some time now, I've had too much money on my account and I've tried to find ways of curing that. I looked for a good vocal condensor but no matter what I tried, nothing sounded as good as my SM7B. It's just impossible to beat it, at least for my voice.
The SM7B is pretty far out man... it is super dry sounding and up front in your face. as long as that's what you want I would most certainly vote for that mic. Check out RODE... some of the lesser expensive NT series actually have the same exact IDENTICAL capsules as the more expensive models, they just have less flippy knobs and features. MXL also has a pretty nice tube mic in that price range thats a little more colored. KSM 44 which is actually more natural and flat sounding... yeah... there's a bunch. They all sound different and you really need to find the one that works for YOU.
For small voices the KSM44 is incredible.
For big voices the SM7 is the one (for rock or dense mixes too).
For a warm-silky tone go for the AT4047.
You can go with what you need now or try to cover more ground with two.
Recently I got the MXL-V6, I'm amazed. That's my favorite non expensive mic right now; warm and very open at the same time. I like it even for small percussion (like shakers) and steel guitars. thumbsup
I would go with a MXL-V6 and SM7 combo (about $700).
Shure sm7 - $300
Octavamod - $350(mic+mod)
Some kind of ribbon,
beyer or othewise - $200-300
Another possibility would be a Shure SM7 and a BLUE Dragonfly(~$650).
Those will give you some variety and one of them should work well for you, you won't know till you try it out on your voice. I don't think you can find a truly great vocal mic till you get into the $1500-2000 on up range. i suppose there'll be a lot of people mentioning chinese made mics here but the ones i've heard didn't wow me.
It's brightish...slight down low, but with a warm proximity boost when you get up on it...distinct mid bump that doesn't seem to get harsh or boxy at all--but, tracks sit nicely foward. They said they were trying to combine the C12 and U47...I would say this leans more in the C12 direction...
Mostly, though...I don't know how to describe it. I have never really hear a multipattern LDC under $3k I was as impressed with. FWIW. If you're in the market for a multipattern LDC in that range, I'd check it out. I'm undecided on the role it would play in my little self gratification studio...but, if I had a commercial studio, I'd grab a pair without too much thought. I mean, a pair of nice sounding tube multipatter LDCs for $1200? You might find a pair of used 414s for that ballpark--these have more character than straight 414s...now, i suppose whether you like their character or not--whole different story.
I will say, on the down side...compared with the $3-4k mics, it does have that "eshy" quality on my voice. It's not awful...but, it is noteworthy. That's a lot of dough to make the occassional vowel cleaner.
on a focusrite- i kno its 2 clean and what not (didnt have my ba 1272) but i just didnt like the sound of the mic. I didnt think it was musical enough. Im use to recording evryting on neumanns and consequently i found the sm7 just lacked life. It wasnt a loss tho i got my money back and made a tenner profit. but thats just me i kno alot of people here swear by the thing