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Seeking recommendations: High bang-for-buck vocal mic

Personatech

Member
Messages
36
I'm looking for recommendations for a reasonably low-cost, reasonably high-quality vocal microphone, please. I want something that's not a piece of junk but doesn't cost an arm or a leg. Thanks!
 

TimH

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,297
defining low cost will help. The obvious choices are Shure (Beta 58 isn't expensive and sounds great) or Audix. Both well under $200.
 

Squigglefunk

Senior Member
Messages
3,276
samson R11, 3 pack is $69 and they sound really good (as good as my shure mics), are built well and have an on off switch.
 

orogeny

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,739
ev nd767my all-time favorite.sennheiser makes some real beauty stuff as well. . . and of course shure. . . in that order, for me. . . .
 

6789

Member
Messages
2,854
I suggest saving up and buying an Electrovoice N/D967. they sell for 120 on Ebay and at music go round. I think they sound much better than a shure sm58. fuller sounding, clearer detail, they are louder, get less feedback.
 

gtr777

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,855
+1 on the 767. Been using one for years. sounds better and has more output then an sm58
 

dave s

Member
Messages
6,434
All choices above are good.

I'll throw in Audix OM-5 because of its superior off-axis rejection of all the other noise going on around you on stage. $150 range cost.

dave
 

pipedwho

Member
Messages
1,681
The Shure SM58 is a an industry standard vocal mic for a reason: it's a high quality mic that does everything reasonably well, for a reasonable price.

Once the specifics are nailed, there are always other mics out there that will be better for a specific situation. But, as far as having an all purpose, good quality, indestructible vocal mic, the SM58 is a winner.

The Sennheiser e835 is in the league. But, I've seen sound guys have trouble with it when it doesn't respond to the same EQ tricks that the guy is used to for the usual SM58s.

I use Sennheiser e935 mics, which are better again, but more expensive. Either way, I'd stick with a mic that has a regular cardioid pattern. I've had too many singers not hold the supercardioid mics correctly and have more noticeable level problems as they sing on and off axis. Regular cardioids are more forgiving to this.
 

pipedwho

Member
Messages
1,681
Oh, and beware of Shure and Sennheiser mics on ebay. As there are quite a few chinese counterfeits floating around. When buying, make sure the mic has provable lineage back to an authorised dealer for the respective brand.

The counterfeits are VERY low quality mics, in every sense of the word.
 

Personatech

Member
Messages
36
Good point on questioning what "low cost" would be - I would probably place it at sub-$100 used but that may not be reasonable, I really don't know. First time in a long, long time I've decided to shop for a mic.

The mic would be for me as I play and I'm not known for being able to hold very still or recognizing my cues until the last second - so something that can handle "off axis" singing would be best.

Oh, and thanks for the warning about the Chinese knock-offs - I'll watch my step!
 

JayDA

Member
Messages
62
I like the Sennheiser e835 in this price range, I prefer it to the SM-58. I also agree with the above comment that some "less then knowledgeable" sound people have problems with them.
 

The Smith

Member
Messages
1,628
Oh, and beware of Shure and Sennheiser mics on ebay. As there are quite a few chinese counterfeits floating around. When buying, make sure the mic has provable lineage back to an authorised dealer for the respective brand.
What does making sure the mic has provable lineage back to an authorized dealer entail?
 

6789

Member
Messages
2,854
Oh, and beware of Shure and Sennheiser mics on ebay. As there are quite a few chinese counterfeits floating around. When buying, make sure the mic has provable lineage back to an authorised dealer for the respective brand.

The counterfeits are VERY low quality mics, in every sense of the word.
If my mic is a counterfeit, then it's a counterfeit that sounds a lot better than my shure sm58.

after comparing my Electrovoice N/D967 side by side with my shure sm58, there's no way I'd ever want to use the 58 again. But that's just me. I bet other people like other mics.
 

FloridaSam

Member
Messages
4,520
Samson Q7. If you don't want or can't afford a Shure SM58, the Samson Q7 is as good, if not better. Available for cheap (the actual cost on these things is VERY low, so bargain). I used to work for a music store and steered many people to this mic. Most came back for more.
 

nibus

Member
Messages
3,019
Check out the Rhode NT line - the NT-1, NTK etc. They're great for the money.
 

pipedwho

Member
Messages
1,681
What does making sure the mic has provable lineage back to an authorised dealer entail?
It means either buy from an authorised dealer, or from someone that has actual receipts from an authorised dealer and seems to have a good knowledge of 'high end' audio equipment.

Buying off an ebayer that primarily sells gardening tools and is just happening to flip an e835 is a bit risky. I've done this before, but only after I've spoken to the person in advance and made sure I can return it if it doesn't perfectly match my other identical mic. If you don't have a reference, it's much safer to spend the extra couple of dollars on a known quantity.

If my mic is a counterfeit, then it's a counterfeit that sounds a lot better than my shure sm58.

after comparing my Electrovoice N/D967 side by side with my shure sm58, there's no way I'd ever want to use the 58 again. But that's just me. I bet other people like other mics.
Maybe your SM58 was a crappy counterfeit? ;) The main candidates for copying are the super popular Shure and Sennheiser mics.

Check out the Rhode NT line - the NT-1, NTK etc. They're great for the money.
These are great for studio recording, but not so good for live. The S1 is good for live vocals, but doesn't quite behave like a dynamic - ie. a different feel to the proximity effect, which might be a good or bad thing depending on what you're used to. The small condensors are good for instrument and choir micing, but the large diaphragm stuff is best for recording than it is for sound reinforcement.

BTW, I've been assuming this mic is for live use, not for studio recording in a controlled environment. For studio, I'd recommend a large diaphragm condensor and external pop filter for vocals. But, for live, the SM58 is great baseline mic.
 

OccTone

Member
Messages
412
+1 FOR sm57 , used it for years on everything from vocals to acoustic to electric/ drums etc.

simple mod - de-solder the xlr connector, unscrew capsule desolder that also, boil a pot of water drop middle section into pot, let boil 5 mins or so, remove from pot and take needle nose pliers and pull out the transformer, rewire with capsule directly to xlr, lower output but much bigger sounding, my goto mic for my vocals as well acoustics believe it or not, and for the price of a used 57 I have both a modded one and a stock one for different sounds,
 




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