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Old 12th May 2017 | Show parent
  #151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Just curious -- for the shootout, did your criteria for picking singers include "mic-neutrality?"
Credit for picking the talent and recording the vocals (and those backing tracks) goes to Mark Hornsby.
Old 12th May 2017 | Show parent
  #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
Credit for picking the talent and recording the vocals (and those backing tracks) goes to Mark Hornsby.
I didn't ask the question flippantly -- I know a fair number of otherwise fine singers for whom one or two specific mics are "the cure," meaning they'd be lousy choices for a shootout like yours. And this is in a place where we've got a zillion singers to choose from.

Any way to bring Mark into the conversation?
Old 12th May 2017
  #153
dzb
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First, Kudos to the organized mic test & comparison. Great marketing tool for them - and, a reasonable sonic informational training tool, as well.

I encourage anyone who is a studio owner that has a number of mics to select from AND/or pres to do a similar test (even if a basic one) - get to know your equipment - and then keep those files on hand - especially if you have interns or younger engineers that come through your studio - it's a great way to highlight strengths & differences of gear while bringing the fresher ears up to speed on what mics (and pres) might sound 'better' for various sources - it opens discussion on the nuances of mics... and don't forget that pre amp factors in, too.

I have done something similar using a 10+ mics and a about a dozen mic pres - in nearly all combinations - and most where I even went through the settings on the pre-amps and on the mics (i.e. all patterns, roll-off, etc). Initially, it was done shortly after adding several pre-amps to the control room - set everything up ahead of time and brought in a singer very familiar to us (hired her for a half day). It is a chore to do something like this mic comparison (I don't think the word 'shootout' is an applicable term since that's a hype term for marketing / lour for a forum thread). Not only is it hard to keep talent energized to deliver on 50 takes in a way that you can find meaningful results from your mics (and pres), but as an engineer, you may find a sound that really appeals to you and then you end up wanting to deviate from the plan to test proximity, settings, etc. And trying to do this on-the-fly can be a train wreck because settings & levels (and labeling files) can play tricks on your ears. I'm still on the fence about clinical environment mic comparisons, but certainly they are better than nothing.

The result of what you hear in the control room can be dramatically shaped by a vocalist performance since what they hear in the booth and where they are positioned will have an impact on what you hear out of the mic being used.

I found it peculiar that there were not more mic capsules on the bottle mic {hint for newer engineers: capsule is a big key), but, when I look at this from what it is (marketing and informational comparison) I get it. After all, at the end of the day, for the organization that did the mic comparison it is about sales and this comparison should be successful for that (I know, there are kind motives for passing on the sonic info to the masses and we do thank them for that). Also, for those who may be unaware or newer engineers, a shout out to other gear suppliers over the years (some taking it to nearly a religious approach) about presenting gear demos and mic comparisons (so if this is your first exposure to a mic 'shootout' do some homework, there are others out there). These kinds of comparisons are good to have for informational purposes - your environment and gear will play a big role.

Below is a screen shot of a number of tests that I did (to provide an visual idea if you think doing a similar comparison might be good for you to do). I store the files on our website in a private folder so it's easy to recall (even years later) - these have come in handy a number of times. There are a number of mics and pre configurations you might recognize (note, there are other mics that may not have been tested as we were shifting things around or had enough experience with some and focused those mics toward instruments - you have to draw a line somewhere if you decide to do a mic comparison).

I concur that that some mics can help 'correct' issues where you wouldn't think they would (or should):
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I know a fair number of otherwise fine singers for whom one or two specific mics are "the cure," meaning they'd be lousy choices for a shootout like yours.
Absolutely!
Plus, a couple of mic-pre's we use have 'fixed' an otherwise fairly decent sound from a vocal + mic combo, yet, has some kind of issue (think slew adjustment with a Groove Tubes ViPre). (There are times in a studio where you simply do not have an option to compare tons of mics with some talent - it has happened occasionally for us when unseasoned voice over talent is is brought in by client or an unseasoned 'singer' client wants to rush a project).

Finally, it should be emphasized for the younger engineers - mic pre can play a VERY impactful role with any of these mics (or others not listed) - no matter if a $200, $1K, $2K, or higher mic - so, use your budget wisely and get to know your gear before diving into big $ stuff (big $$ mic is not a place to start). Use your ears and also, be sure to listen to the mic track placed within music (whether or not you are comparing mics), know that EQ and compression in mix (or tracking) can change how a mic may 'sound' to you, and those {pesky & useful} plugins or hardware EQ's & comps can (& will) bring out things you may like and dislike about a mic... and performance / performer is a big part of the equation with regard to selecting the right mic for a song / recording. Even the style or color of mic can influence a performer's 'vibe' before they even sing or play a note (as silly as that may seem - heck, look at stories related to the CV-12 {a useful & flexible mic in its own right} used by someone big - who knows if folklore of mic color {red} played a factor; certainly a gold grill on one mic or color on another or name badge (ug!) has at times been a factor with a couple clients we worked with, even though it might not have been the ideal mic for them). And for those tube mics, the tube selection can change the sound of the mic before the next part of the signal chain. It can be easy to get lost in the 'holy-cow' this mic sounds great when listening to someone else in a controlled environment... 'bigger sound' may not equate to 'better in the mix'. So, to beat the drum and keep the message consistent as others have pointed out here, if looking for a mic, bring 'em into your environment (or at least hear them in person at someone else's studio you are familiar with) as you make decisions and know that no one single mic will be the end-all be-all for everything... use your budget wisely.

Sorry to harp on remembering other considerations when listening, but I almost feel like when I see these kinds of 'shootouts' (i.e. comparisons) it is a responsibility of seasoned folks in this industry to help the new (or any) generation of engineers keep their heads on straight because there is a lot of marketing around this stuff - and an ample amount of good & also 'rough' information.

Thumbs up again for the mic comparison - though, I would prefer there not to be a GS sticky on this thread thus pushing to the top of 'Forum' list the name of the organization that did the mic comparison (aka 'shootout' - it just furthers the hype and provides too much free (or is it?) advertising - the thread topic is alone is enough free(?) press) - guessing others might think it also seems to be a bit out of step with nature of this site over the years. But, at minimum this topic provides food for good discussion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedberg View Post
Win-win-win
Cheers!

Screen shot that shows others are just as nutty about comparing mics (and pres):

Last edited by dzb; 14th May 2017 at 06:19 AM.. Reason: Typo.
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Old 16th May 2017 | Show parent
  #154
Quote:
Originally Posted by dzb View Post
And trying to do this on-the-fly can be a train wreck because settings & levels (and labeling files) can play tricks on your ears.
Amen to that!
Old 17th May 2017
  #155
Very interesting shootout. I liked best the Telefunken U47 - obviously - , which, like most people here probably, I have never had the pleasure to try out. But I used to own U87s (vintage and ai) and it still is among the best here in this test for a reason.
I also liked the Avantone CV12 and, as for that, much better than most others here (I tested it a while ago and it was beautiful but there was too much noise going on), Audio Technica AT4040 (I have never tried that, only 4050 and 4047), AKG C414 XLS and was also very much impressed by the new Lautens, LA 220 and 320. And I also liked the Warm Audio WA87.
Now, as for the latter, after listening to it here in this shootout I ordered it and tried it against my TLM102. And I was pretty disappointed! It does have the U87 kind of tone and it is warm but the TLM102 is a much better mic with more clarity and dimensionality. The WA87 seems to concentrate on imitating (aping?) the most prominent characteristics in the tone of a U87 (which by the way did not help at all with my voice) while neglecting the rest (top end, detail etc.) that the U87 has on top of that.
Interestingly I did not like a lot of other microphones here on their own, even the very expensive ones. Often too much grit or too dark or what have you. But you can, of course, tell that this is sometimes good in a big mix. Having said that, the U47 sounds great on its own AND in the mix…
I also thought that there is a reason, why the TLM 103 is still a sought-after mic, despite the bashing here... (if it wasn't for the too strong top end). Last but not least, it was quite striking (probably not for the real professionals here) that the mics made a stronger difference with the male than with the female voice where differences were more subtle.
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Old 17th May 2017
  #156
Lives for gear
 

Does anyone else think the Bock 251 didn't get a fair run for it's money - because pairing it with a Millennia pre is a terrible match for an
edge terminated capsule.

I have that same Millennia pre and it's a very fast, cold, clinic pre and pretty picky about mic capsules.

I have a couple of edge terminated mics that just don't match the Millennia pre at all - I think with the correct pre the Bock 251 would of been one of the stars of the show - it's a much better sounding mic than this demo with this male singer reveals imho.
Old 17th May 2017 | Show parent
  #157
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DrSax's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Does anyone else think the Bock 251 didn't get a fair run for it's money - because pairing it with a Millennia pre is a terrible match for an
edge terminated capsule.

I have that same Millennia pre and it's a very fast, cold, clinic pre and pretty picky about mic capsules.

I have a couple of edge terminated mics that just don't match the Millennia pre at all - I think with the correct pre the Bock 251 would of been one of the stars of the show - it's a much better sounding mic than this demo with this male singer reveals imho.
I thought the Bock 251 was at top of the results here with just a couple others that also stood out. The Bock sounded excellent

Last edited by DrSax; 18th May 2017 at 05:25 AM..
Old 17th May 2017 | Show parent
  #158
I own a Soundelux 251 and used it regularly on vocals into my Millennia HV3D and HV3R, with amazing results. Personally I have never been disappointed with that pairing, although I also utilized my Chandler TG Channel MkII or my Great River MP2NV or my Cranesong Flamingo or even my GT ViPre. And though I never owned one (but always wanted to), the Mercury M72 preamp with the Soundelux 251 is a match made in heaven.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Does anyone else think the Bock 251 didn't get a fair run for it's money - because pairing it with a Millennia pre is a terrible match for an
edge terminated capsule.

I have that same Millennia pre and it's a very fast, cold, clinic pre and pretty picky about mic capsules.

I have a couple of edge terminated mics that just don't match the Millennia pre at all - I think with the correct pre the Bock 251 would of been one of the stars of the show - it's a much better sounding mic than this demo with this male singer reveals imho.
Old 17th May 2017 | Show parent
  #159
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Does anyone else think the Bock 251 didn't get a fair run for it's money - because pairing it with a Millennia pre is a terrible match for an
edge terminated capsule.

I have that same Millennia pre and it's a very fast, cold, clinic pre and pretty picky about mic capsules.

I have a couple of edge terminated mics that just don't match the Millennia pre at all - I think with the correct pre the Bock 251 would of been one of the stars of the show - it's a much better sounding mic than this demo with this male singer reveals imho.
It's one of the best sounding mics here. Top 5 if not top 3.
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Old 18th May 2017
  #160
ZEF
Lives for gear
removed-opinion after watching the video below.

For the Female samples the KSM44/Tele47 sound very similar too. I have the KSM44 so compared to all the mics as in reference. Amazed how close it was to the Telefunken 47.

Thats a lot of good takes. Is it one vocal track used over and over? or did he sing it that many times? I'll go read. Thats an great set of mics and so well done for a review. If he sang it differently it might make sense but seems its the same sung track. (ADD/ANSWER: Per Video below- its 50 separate takes so slight human difference barely noticeable.)

My fav!!!! were Male with and without track, #1 Manley Gold, ASTON, AT 4047 I couldnt hardly tell apart....The Bock 251 was there but louder in the mix.

add: all the details of the test discussed...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXbCwBNYzJ0

Last edited by ZEF; 19th May 2017 at 11:27 AM..
Old 18th May 2017 | Show parent
  #161
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZEF View Post
Male track, I hear a difference in only a few where theres a resonance spike on the last line especially "....who you are" the word are its interesting because almost none show this while some do. Its also on the word "THAaaT made you who you are" Is it better clarity or a neg?

KSM44, Telefunken U47, Blue baby and bbird not the bottle,C1 Behr, WA87 a little more noticeable in those two words, if resonance is the right word, or throaty... Most all other mics seem to remove it though naturally. strange?

imo those without it sounding better on that take. Its like listening to the bench creak on the end of DayInLife but still once you hear it there you arrrrrre....

Another notice is the P-popping handling, some have a lot of P-pop on the dry take while others seem impervious to it.

For the Female samples the KSM44/Tele47 sound very similar too. I have the KSM44 so compared to all the mics as in reference. Amazed how close it was to the Telefunken 47.

noted:The Lauten Oceanus and Bock 251 seemed a louder than all the others, weird.

Thats a lot of good takes. Is it one vocal track used over and over? or did he sing it that many times? I'll go read. Thats an great set of mics and so well done for a review. If he sang it differently it might make sense but seems its the same sung track.

My fav!!!! were Male with and without track, #1 Manley Gold, ASTON, AT 4047 I couldnt hardly tell apart....The Bock 251 was there but louder in the mix.

add: all the details of the test discussed...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXbCwBNYzJ0
If you like the ksm44, check out the ksm42. Cardioid only, but better noise specs, and I like it better for most vocals.
Old 19th May 2017
  #162
ZEF
Lives for gear
Interesting might try a 42.
I updated my comments above because after watching the "details" video it discusses the 50 takes, the non-processed and the processed(w/track) etc... very transparent about the test details.
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Old 19th May 2017 | Show parent
  #163
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZEF View Post
Interesting might try a 42.
I updated my comments above because after watching the "details" video it discusses the 50 takes, the non-processed and the processed(w/track) etc... very transparent about the test details.
We worked too hard to hide the details. Some suggested "This is way too deep. Nobody cares about all this techy stuff."

My response? "Oh, you don't know engineers like I know engineers. This stuff is critical."

For me, the bottom line is if *I* have questions, then other engineers will have the same questions. So we tried to answer all the questions/critiques that *I* would have. Plus we consulted with lots of the best minds in the business.
Old 20th May 2017
  #164
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I liked the Bock 251. The Chandler Limited Redd had a great tone but the esses sounded strange to me. The positive surprise for me was the Mojave 201 fet, which I didn't love solo, but I thought it sounded wonderful in the mix.
The Behringer mic, the Aston mics, and the cheaper AKG and Blue mics were unappealing to me. The negative surprises for me were the Miktek CV3 and 4, which I've heard good things about but didn't like at all, and the Manley mics which didn't impress me.
Thanks for the shootout.
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Old 21st May 2017 | Show parent
  #165
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Overdrive's Avatar
 

OK
Its on my desk for the past week or so but just today I had the chance of listening. Lynn - this is a great fit performed and executed.
My personal faves are:
1. Female vocal = Tele ELAM251E
2. Female vocal = Mojave MA300

1. Male vocal = Tele U47
2. Male vocal = Chandler REDD

YMMV
Old 22nd May 2017
  #166
Gear Addict
 
ikamy's Avatar
 

I wish you had RODE K2 and TLM 102
Old 22nd May 2017
  #167
Listening on ear buds (not a professional but common end user media form) to the male solo tracks, 3 characteristics stood out - frequency balance, high end emphasis, and fullness (the indescribable pro sound).
It would be difficult to pick just one winner but rather how surprised I was with "quality", balance, and "mojo" (hate that term) of several of mics. Mostly ignored in my mic purchasing journeys.
- Lauten Clarion, Soundelux 195, Shure KSM44, Warm 87 (really expected it to be a bright mic but it was balanced), Aston Spirit (did several male vocal tracks over one evening and remain quite impressed).

In general, you can hear quality even through buds and with the exception of maybe the Bock 251, it would be difficult to justify the highest priced mics for personal use based on this test. So many reasonable priced mics sounded as good in this environment. Like Baskin-Robbins, which flavor suits you best?
Kudos to all involved and a great learning experience for a certified mic junkie!
Old 23rd May 2017
  #168
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One thing I want to pass along -- to anyone who's just been checking out the samples on the Sweetwater landing page and hasn't done the 24/96 downloads yet, it's really worth doing. For both M and F, what you're getting on the samples is the "chorus" section of each track. In both cases -- but especially the F singer -- the singing approach on the "verse" section is very different and brings out quite different strengths and weaknesses in each mic (hint: the password is "sibilance").
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Old 25th May 2017 | Show parent
  #169
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by blayz2002 View Post
there are a couple ... the for instance where you can hear what it is your paying for
Yeah. Pretentiousness.

Quote:
And the surprising thing to me is I dare anyone to tell me that the Behringer sounds like a $50 mic?????
Exactly.....

Thx for this test, but it confirmed what I've long suspected.....the diff in mics (as with most things) is insanely overblown. I wish we'd seen more of the C-1 and other so-called lower-end mics (roughly the $100-$200ish range) vs the silly high-dollar ones, as the former are what most of us are eyeing in the store, so to speak...and the C-1 held its own very well with these silly high-priced mics and I've little doubt others would do similarly.

That said, there are other things that might (I say might) come into play that you don't necessarily get w/this kind of test, like ambient noise issues, sturdiness, etc etc etc. PS that's not knocking the test at all...on the contrary, very glad for it and wish we had more...just other things to keep in mind.
Old 25th May 2017 | Show parent
  #170
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
... there are other things that might (I say might) come into play that you don't necessarily get w/this kind of test, like ambient noise issues, sturdiness...
One of my kids brought me a friend's cheap LDC to fix, because "Dad fixes stuff." The pattern switch had come unglued (literally!) and fallen inside. You might not see that in a $1K+ mic. Then again, you might not DIY-repair a $1K+ mic with superglue.
Old 25th May 2017 | Show parent
  #171
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
Thx for this test, but it confirmed what I've long suspected.....the diff in mics (as with most things) is insanely overblown. I wish we'd seen more of the C-1 and other so-called lower-end mics (roughly the $100-$200ish range) vs the silly high-dollar ones, as the former are what most of us are eyeing in the store, so to speak...and the C-1 held its own very well with these silly high-priced mics and I've little doubt others would do similarly.
We actually carry 14 mics that are LDCs under $200. We included the ones that we wanted to hear. Should we have included all or more of them? Maybe so.

The truth is there are lots of mic options in the under $200 range, many of them dynamic and many of them are great mics that many studios have. But we limited this listening comparison to just LD condensers.

Click here to see that list->> https://www.sweetwater.com/c105--Lar...wiMyIsIjIiXX19

Just so you know, we carefully considered all the options and the price points. Here's a chart of the mic pricing breakdown that I made when we were deciding what to include. It shows that more than half (27) are under $1000.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
That said, there are other things that might (I say might) come into play that you don't necessarily get w/this kind of test, like ambient noise issues, sturdiness, etc etc etc. PS that's not knocking the test at all...on the contrary, very glad for it and wish we had more...just other things to keep in mind.
Sturdiness? You want to underwrite the Sweetwater Mic Drop Shootout? We'll gladly consider dropping all these mics to see how they hold up if you want to buy them. But there's not a huge market for "pre-dropped" mics, so we won't be conducting that test. ;-)

I personally have watched as a vintage AKG C24 dropped from a 12' stand onto a studio floor and it's not pretty. That mic (and most vintage LDC mics) are not designed for sturdiness. Needless to say, the C24 didn't hold up like an SM57. And it cost a lot more than the price of a 57 to fix. More than a dozen 57s.
Attached Thumbnails
Welcome to the Sweetwater Mic Shootout Forum-mic-shootout-microphone-prices.png  

Last edited by Lynn Fuston; 25th May 2017 at 03:34 PM..
Old 25th May 2017 | Show parent
  #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
The truth is there are lots of mic options in the under $200 range, many of them dynamic and many of them are great mics that many studios have. But we limited this listening comparison to just LD condensers.
Yes, I see that; I was only talking LDCs as well...

Quote:
Just so you know, we carefully considered all the options and the price points. Here's a chart I made when we were deciding what to include of the mic pricing breakdown, with more than half (27) being under $1000.
That seems kind of like saying "I'm only shopping for cars under $50,000.' i.e. for most people, doesn't narrow the field much, and I can't say offhand, but suspect there are far more mic sales for home recording vs studio purchases, and most of those are probably under $300ish (you can debate the number, but that ballpark)....I guess I was hoping we broke people would get more representation. But I'm sure for those more able and willing to fess up bigger bucks, it was all the more interesting...and really, still interesting in general. FYI I realize to pare down a gazillion mics to only 50 is a daunting task; just my .02, no need to get defensive.


Quote:
Sturdiness? You want to underwrite the Sweetwater Mic Drop Shootout? We'll gladly consider dropping all these mics to see how they hold up if you want to buy them. But there's not a huge market for "pre-dropped" mics, so we won't be conducting that test.
There is more to "sturdy" than "it doesn't break if you drop it." It was more of a how mics hold up over time thought....and regardless, sturdiness was just used as an example to point out there is more to a mic than what can be determined here...but again, wasn't a criticism, sheesh.
Old 25th May 2017 | Show parent
  #173
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
One of my kids brought me a friend's cheap LDC to fix, because "Dad fixes stuff." The pattern switch had come unglued (literally!) and fallen inside. You might not see that in a $1K+ mic. Then again, you might not DIY-repair a $1K+ mic with superglue.
lol - well I sure won't, since I can hardly afford $1000 mic (That could be another example of "sturdiness" as I meant it)
Old 25th May 2017 | Show parent
  #174
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
Sturdiness? You want to underwrite the Sweetwater Mic Drop Shootout? We'll gladly consider dropping all these mics to see how they hold up if you want to buy them.
Maybe Consumer Reports could do one of their 5 MPH Crash Tests. "AKG C-24: Not Recommended."
Old 25th May 2017 | Show parent
  #175
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
That seems kind of like saying "I'm only shopping for cars under $50,000.' i.e. for most people, doesn't narrow the field much, and I can't say offhand, but suspect there are far more mic sales for home recording vs studio purchases, and most of those are probably under $300ish (you can debate the number, but that ballpark)....I guess I was hoping we broke people would get more representation. But I'm sure for those more able and willing to fess up bigger bucks, it was all the more interesting...and really, still interesting in general. FYI I realize to pare down a gazillion mics to only 50 is a daunting task; just my .02, no need to get defensive.
Your two cents is welcome and will help us determine what we do in the future.

Sorry if that seemed defensive to you. I was just showing you that we carefully considered price when choosing the mics to include. I think having the extreme high end in there is very valuable because there are those who cannot hear the difference between a $200 mic and a $10,000 mic. Now they can save $9800 and sleep well at night.

And I realize that there are those who can only afford $200 for a mic. And those who can only afford $75 for a mic. And those who record with the mics on their phones because they can't afford a mic at all. I hope that all of them found these listening samples enlightening, either as inspiration to save up the money for the best mic they can afford or as a challenge to hone their listening skills so they can pick out the differences between all the various models.

There are nine mics in this shootout under $300 and I promise you that there are some really good mics in that price range. At least to my ears.

The inexpensive A-Ts and Mikteks as well as the new sE X1S and Aston Origin all offer incredible value. For under $300 I wouldn't hesitate recommending one of those at all.

Last edited by Lynn Fuston; 25th May 2017 at 03:38 PM..
Old 25th May 2017
  #176
dzb
Gear Nut
 
dzb's Avatar
I am wondering if compensation was/is provided to GearSlutz for having these SW titled threads positioned at the top of the Forum list on GearSlutz. Either way, wondered if folks here feel like some of the content of these threads is not in line with the years of the way the forums have flowed on GearSlutz.

Before folks jump to criticize my perspective before understanding my full point - we all can see it is obvious there are genuine intentions with sharing the work done on the mic comparison & the sharing about these mics - so, a BIG big thank you for that!). Please, don't get me wrong here, I am not discounting the effort that Lynn and his SW team went through to actually do the mic comparisons - the insight from the files available on the SW website and discussion here about GS member's insight on mics has nice value.

...But, nestled - both overtly and subtly - SW is getting a predominant spot in the forum list - seems like historically on GS that product placement by a party that benefits from sales of that product (or in this case entire product line) has always been downplayed or links to external commercial websites were politely listed within the signature of the post.

(I am a firm believer in capitalism and understand that SW has a goal to generate more sales for SW - likely even regardless of specific product, so raising this kind of perspective is odd for me): It seems like 'equal' time for other great vendors out there is obviously missing - perhaps other vendors simply didn't take the bold approach of putting up threads with their company name in it and have a number of postings with links in the content of the post to their company's web pages of product lines & items for sale and somehow get a sticky to the top of the forum listing with their name. I hope my observation makes sense - I have no affiliation with other companies that would influence initiating this post - and, most importantly, I am not writing about this to upset the original poster nor discount his great efforts for getting this topic about mics into active discussion with GS members. In fact, it's obvious he is passionate about the gear as we all are here - and would love to meet him sometime, truly good insight and thought inspiring stuff here within these threads.

But, moving forward, on GS, I am hoping that we don't start seeing vendors or retail/distributors getting threads stuck to the top of forums with their names in it as it seems like these threads are advertising on GS via a subtle approach - unknowing to the readers if the thread is a preferential placement based on a commercialized relationship with GS.

I have seen manufacturers who chime in on GS over the years - perhaps to announce a new piece of gear or discuss their gear in general or, in many cases, very objectively discussing the benefits of other companies products that are similar to theirs - done in a clearly objective engaging manner. And, in many cases, when it comes to a specific product of theirs, participation in threads may be related to troubleshooting or discussing features in an interactive manner of a specific product on threads initiated by GS members - it always seems to be done in an approach that is not sprinkled with links to their site's product lines within the posts (that land on pages showing items for sale or have sites with promotions, etc). It appears the SW titled forum (and related threads within the forum) are on a different level as SW is the distributor / retail outlet getting one heck of a lot of seemingly 'free ' advertising (yes, I know their time posting is not 'free' but hopefully my point comes across politely). And, to ensure my perspective is clear - I am not suggesting that the posts within these SW forums are not objective - in fact, the thread starter's posts are pretty awesome, well laid out, and thoughtful... but, as we all know (or should at least keep in mind), the discussions are predominantly focused around products that SW sells.

This is something has been on my mind from the moment I saw the SW post and started reading through these forums related to the SW mic comparisons. And, while I have participated in a few, this wonder about the commercial aspect of the thread comes across my mind - candidly, as a GS member there is effort to usually maintain a neutral tone when it comes to vendors when posting (not always been flawless at that, but am mindful of it). Guessing that my perspective may not be unique in noticing that these SW threads are sticky (placed and set) at the top of the forum list. It is obvious that the content is interesting and certainly has value - look at the # of views and participation, but still, it is feeling like a big advertisement for SW - wonder how other GS members percieve this (again, not discounting the great effort for doing the mic comparison). I wonder if these SW threads alienate other vendors (i.e. distributors/retailers or mic companies) that pay for advertising on GS. For full disclosure, I have bought gear from them, even in 2017, as well as many other gear vendors and manufacturers.

When direct links to SW web pages that sell gear are within a thread post or link to the SW site is in forum description this is all starting to feel a bit 'cloudy' to me as a reader - especially, when links to product pages where gear is for sale & pages have their logo/banner/sales promotions, etc predominant on those link landing pages. Normally, (as long as I can recall on GS) we have seen traditional notation about affiliation or a product link within signature lines and those links generally feel informational vs. 'buy it here'.

So, to provide clarity to the readers of this SW titled thread and related threads within this forum:

Can anyone related to GS &/or SW confirm whether these threads / forums related to SW have a paid relationship with GearSlutz to keep the threads at the top of the forum list? Just seeking clarity in the interest of full disclosure... or alternatively, recommending a change in how the threads are listed within the GS forums rather than have retail/distributors names stuck at top of the forum and providing clarity to the GS community moving forward if this is going to become a common occurrence.

(Again, just so it's clear, this post is not discounting the great efforts on the thread starter's mic comparison or discounting the effort for getting this topic about these mics into active discussion with GS members.)

Thank you for your time.
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Old 25th May 2017 | Show parent
  #177
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
It's advertorial content. So what? You've got two eyes and common sense. Nobody expects GS to be "journalism." Especially when 99.9% of its content comes from its readers.

If you don't actually have two eyes, sorry. It's just an expression.
Old 25th May 2017 | Show parent
  #178
Jeeze...

Thank you for your post. I take comfort it is peppered with praise for the usefulness of the info the shootout discussion provided and the resulting discussion.

To answer your suspicion, there was no financial transaction to make this sub forum 'happen'. Lynn is well renown for his shoot out CD sets so when we were told he was doing another we interested in being part of it. I dont recall Sweetwater having a forum of their own so their approach to use Gearslutz as a destination for reactions to the shoot out - seemed a no brainer.

Regarding the "buy now" links, vendors, are able to have those as a part of their advertising support of Gearslutz. We have several vendor supporters in Europe and the USA that have opted to do so and Sweetwater is just one of them. So that is a "level playing field" - fair of all.

Gearslutz prides itself on supporting the gear invention / design / manufacturing / sales and use eco system. Vendors who go to more trouble than providing a 6 pack of warm beer and a bag of potato chips can get their demo nights listed in our events calendar and mentions via our social media channels. We like to hook people and audio gear up!

If you want to get deeper into it or have more questions or suspicions please PM me.

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Old 25th May 2017 | Show parent
  #179
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
... a 6 pack of warm beer...
So Brit.

Quote:
...and a bag of potato chips...
So not.
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Old 25th May 2017
  #180
dzb
Gear Nut
 
dzb's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
there was no financial transaction to make this sub forum 'happen'.
Thank you for the clarity. Appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
It's advertorial content. So what? You've got two eyes and common sense. Nobody expects GS to be "journalism." Especially when 99.9% of its content comes from its readers.

If you don't actually have two eyes, sorry. It's just an expression.
Appreciate the note - eyes yes... common sense... usually... except when it comes to adding a guitar to the collection or the number of pieces of 'gotta have it now' gear that years later is so tough to let go of :-) Now that I think of it, my wife probably makes the best argument against me even thinking I have some degree of 'common sense' (followed closely by my long-time lead engineer at the studio who is a minimalist in every facet of life )

On 'journalism' - certainly understand that -- guessing that other studios have had similar experience of seeing a number of younger engineers (& interns) over the years come to the studio {tainted by educational institutions or even a big national multi-location retail chain} thinking they need to acquire certain gear based on knowledge solely from reading and not actually hearing, using, or even trying.

Rock on GS! And, again, thankful for the accessibility of these kinds of sonic comparisons!

Cheers!
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