Some short inexpensive LDC’s& MDC’s for vocals reviews

In answer to a friend’s query:

For a relatively inexpensive MDC or LDC I could easily reco for vocals:

Sterling ST6050 Ocean Way – lots of depth, sounds kinda vintage, sweet top

MXL Genesis FET – brighter than the 6050, not dissimilar

Sennheiser MK4 – very clean, neutral and accurate

Shure KSM27 (MDC) – nicely colored for vocals, fairly neutral, a little bright

ADK A6 – no color, neutral, seems dark because of that

Blue Spark – like a lot of less expensive LDC’s, but cleaner, and has a switchable cap for color

AT 4040 (MDC) – nicely colored, a little bright, accurate, can have some vocal artifacts at times, nice on OH’s

M-Audio Luna – a fave on vocals, very colored, vintage sounding

M-Audio Solaris – multi-pattern version of the Luna -I prefer the Luna, but they are close

CAD GLX 3000 – like a lot of less expensive LDC’s, but cleaner, slightly colored

CAD M179 – accurate, kind of dark, nice on OH’s

More mic babble

Asked re a new mic either as a 1st vocal condensor or as similar to a SM57, I posted at TOMB:

The AKG C414 UL B is said to be a good mic, but at $700 it may be more than you need to spend – BTW, ” To be 300 under a quoted price, after being discontinued seems rare” – hmm, not so much, mebbe.

If you really want a decent condensor for vocals, there are tons available at US$300 and even well under that price; I usually reco the AT4040 or the KSM27 for nuetralish, or even a CAD GLX3000. For an “older” type sound, I think something like an M-Audio Luna or Solaris, or the tube Sputnik. There are many tube mic’s, of course, but I’ve been very happy with the MXL M69ME that you can find used; I usually reco that as the easiest to find, most flexible inexpensive tube mic that “sounds tube-ish”, and I reco that means it could fit yer requirement for “old tone”.

Dynamics – again, there are many. Usual reco’s include the Sennheiser MD 421 (orig. or II) or really, just about any Senn MD mic; the 500 series handhelds I’ve used are all cool. The EV RE20 (I like the transformerless 320) or somewhat similar to what you already have but generally considered superior, the Shure SM7b.

I have never met an EV mic, other than broken ones, that I don’t like, and some of the handheld N/D’s sound great on vocals, even the 267, and all of the RE’s I have used have been very cool and kinda “old tone”.

I have only really used the Audix OM2, but like that, as well as the AKG D5. Those and the above EV’s are not totally dis-similar to the 57.

Also, XXX mentions the CAD M179 condensor and it is very nice and very flexible, and I have even seen it compared to the 414; it’s a great mic not even considering it’s awesome price. There is a cardoid-only version called the 177 that might be cheaper, yet. Altho’ I would mebbe feel weird calling any mic, “cute”… Twisted Evil

Sennheiser MK 4

I like this mic on vocals, a lot. Sennheiser now being owned by Neumann, I’ve read that there is some definite TLM influence on the MK 4. I don’t know about those mic’s, but this one has a very expensive-sounding low end,a flexible proximity effect, and a nice clarity to the top, with no distortion when a pop filter is used. It’s not hugely different than an AT4040, or a Shure SM27, but a nicely different color, very natural, sounds much more expensive than it costs, German and not at all Chinese.


5/5 olives

Another E-bog battle …

Posted at TOMB:

So I bid on the E-bog and got a ADK TC mic from ’07, from a music store seller in New Jersey.

Preliminary power-up and it works fine, I think.

But when I take off the body there’s rust on the side rails, rust on the tube holder, the tranny, and various screws. There’s also some fine powder-grey corrosion on some of the solder.

The body itself has water-marks where its edge fits into the headbasket – if the marks are to be believed the mic was mebbe laying sideways in about 1/2″ of water …

I emailed the seller for history, etc., and to ask permission to open it and check the capsule because there’s paint on the headbasket screws and/or corrosion which will make it obvious if I open it.

What risks do you forsee if I keep this?

Is there anything I can do to prevent future problems?

Also, while the “Turbo-Tube” power box seems 100%, there is rust on the welds of the shock-mount and the screws on the pop-screen.

The case seems fine and there’s no smell, as if the thing was caught inna flooded basement, mebbe, and then washed quickly but not quite completely dried, and they failed to take the mic body off or else missed completely cleaning it …



I got a good price on it (US$310 shipped) but the seller just responded with some apparent anger, and offensive denial.

Based on that attitude, I’ll wait for response to my reply, and then probably demand a refund.

Then I’ll probably have to fight about who pays return shipping … Rolling Eyes

As requested by the seller, I sent some photo’s as evidence, and here are 2:

Note the rust on the side rails, the tube-holder and glass, the screws, and the powder-corrosion on the solder.

The white stuff is water residue especially visible along the edge where it fit inside the headbasket assembly; the inside of the cover is filthy.

If anyone is interested in the dialogue, I’m happy to post that, altho’ I expect I’ll again get flamed for being mean to the seller. Twisted Evil


Further evidence that it’s not natural humidity corrosion, but from immersion:

The seller, tho’, is insistent, “Our qualified electronic technician went over this microphone, with all of its accessories, and everything tested perfectly.”

Glad it/he/she is not my “qualified electronic technician”! Twisted Evil


After the initial push-back, the seller agreed to a full refund and paid return shipping. Good on him.

Of course, I call his shipper, UPS, and they want US$7 to pick it up, so I had to contact the seller again …

I appreciate his/its situation but for any sellers reading this, please consider why someone in my position is less than thrilled/satisfied:

1. I am not your QC guy to test your item, and I further resent your questioning my immediate report of your self-created problems as tho’ I’m scamming (Other buyers have scammed you? Consider: other sellers have tried to scam me, too – or been so oblivious/incompetent/unconcerned/stupid that they have made mistakes at my cost, like you);
2. It is extra work for me to take and upload photo’s to prove that your “experienced tech doosh” didn’t open your item and check for damage (glad he’s yours, I don’t need another assault charge);
2. Many of us, with larger items, have to arrange add’l transport after receipt; ex., I had to pay for two cabs to get the item from my office to the train, and back (I ain’t carryin’ that un-padded-handle case for a mile thru the city along with my other shite, in my suit and tie).
3. In this instance, since your shipper, UPS initially said I don’t exist, I had to return a long-distance call to you to confirm my Pay-Pal listed address (tho’ you already rec’d my money from that account);
4. I have over an hour involved just in emails/PM’s and posting pic’s to assuage your baseless suspicions that I am the bad guy (when it was you fucked up);
5. You have had the use of my US$300+ (in this case) for about 3 weeks, at a minimum (Who’s the scammer? How about some interest? Go borrow $300 atta check-cash place, see what they charge!);
6. You treat me like the bad guy by refusing to return my money until you receive the defective item you fucked-up in sending in the first place, and I have to wait patiently and trust you to do so (See no. 5, above).

Anywhat, next week? I still want a ADK Tc or like-level tube mic … Twisted Evil

“Budget” Tube Mic’s

Aiight, so I been indulging my passion/addiction/GAS/OCD with buying mic’s for a while now, and have accumulated some tube mic’s.

In order of preference, on my vocals:

M-Audio Sputnik
Apex 460
MXL 9000

A bit of detail: there are no mods except replacement tubes in the two MXLs and Apex. The Sputnik & GT are mini-tubes, and very similar in construction, but the Sputnik just seems to record cleaner, a bit less hyped, with less artifacts. Of them all, the Sputnik is the most natural sounding. The MXL is obviously tube-sounding, a bit hyped in that respect, but musically colorful. I like the GT a lot, just not as much as the first two. The Apex is useable, but a little bright and lo-fi, the only multi-multi-pattern of the bunch, altho the Sputnik has 3 patterns. The 9000 is the most lo-fi of the bunch, and I wanna start using it on guitar & mebbe bass amps, mebbe kick …

I really like tube mic’s, altho’ they are a PITA to set up and warm up – what is what I’m waiting as I write this (V69).

Appearance-wise, BTW, I’d rank ’em the same.

It strikes me that I have about US$1,100.00 invested in these 5 mic’s (all bought used offa the E-bog), where mebbe I coulda bought a Neumann or a Peluso or sompin’, but I like having the various sounds as I find ’em inspiring.

I’m playing with the idear of modding the 460 and the 9000, also …

Evilbog issues, again

Bought a Altec 1589b on 8-31-13 after winning the bid, paying within a few hours, deliverable last Friday, the 6th, by priority mail.No response to 3 “Shipped yet?” inquiries, I hadda “open a case”.

Is it just me, or does it seem about 10-15% of purchases of used music equip. fall through?

Someone told me music equip, cars and, I think watches, get the most complaints.

Special thank you to the seller, turkboys who can’t even be bothered to offer an excuse for taking my money without sending the item.

Re the preamp pad

Just following up re the above (DRL STP-1); a totally worthy concept, so worthy that if my newly-purchased Altec 1589b ever gets here and functions, I’ll buy another.

Here is how I have it located for use, just velcro’d to the rackrail and wired to the patchbay: