Tube Mic Recommendations for under a Grand

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Tube Mic Recommendations for under a Grand

Post by w_ » Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:10 pm

Just checking what's all out there...I'd like it to keep it well under a grand, actually around $500 would be nice. I've only really looked at the Rode and Studio Projects stuff...any recommendations?

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Post by cominginsecond » Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:21 pm

In that price range, I like the SP T3 better than the Rode NTK. If you up your budget a little, you can get a Peluso or a Charter Oak, which folks all over have been going loony over. I haven't used them so I can't comment on that.

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Post by bannerj » Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:38 pm

i have really enjoyed borrowing an ADK TC51 from a friend over the last few weeks...had to give it back today and was sad to see it go. It is reviewed as being a bit too hyped and can be a little sibilant for a few singers, but it has an interesting character--a really thick presence. I used it on an upright bass through my dbx 160x, a whurli and even on acoustic guitars--a nylon string. My biggest complaint was the shock mount. The mic is heavy and the elastics on the mount were crap. I think it can be had used for around $400 and new for something like $600. If I get one, I am going to also get some other tubes to try in it.

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Post by Leopold » Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:13 pm

I have a Rode NTV and I really like that mic. It's the only Rode mic as well as the only tube mic I own so I can't compare it to others.I've used it on horns, room, voice, overdriven drums, probably a bunch of other things I can't recall at the moment.

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Post by amishsixstringer » Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:50 pm

I am doing a project right now that has a mic cabinet with Nuemann, BLue Dragonfly, Rode NTK, AT4050's, Royer 121's, etc...The Rode NTK is appearing on the record more than any single mic hands down. Granted, we're going through a 1073, but it has beat out the other mics on 3 different vocalists for most tracks. It has been used on bright acoustic guitars, upright bass, tuba, whirlitzer, you name it. I'm adding one to my studio collection very very soon. It's open in the top "air" zone, but full in the mids and presense as well. Very nice mic for 500 dollars.

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Post by E.Bennett » Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:53 pm

I really like the ADK A-48. I have a good deal of luck putting this mic in front of bass amps and baritone voices. It's probably due to the fact that it has a high end bump that balances the low mids of the source. I think that you can grab one for $375 used.

By the way, I don't notice a quality in this mic that couldn't be found in a non-valve microphone. I've never chosen a mic for an application because it has a tube in it.

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Post by I'm Painting Again » Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:18 pm

the T3 is pretty awesome actually right around your budget if not under..I really like the one I got used on this board..If you looking for a mic that you can use on may not be the thing for seems really bright..It sounds cool through my dark old tube preamp and distorted that does agressive vocal sound in a similar fasion..its made in the soundimage of the AKG c12..I use it as a special effects mic mostly..not a meat and potatoes mic..if you know what I mean..but I'm sure you could if you took the right method of recording with it..its detailed and present enough but imo there are better non-tube choices for that kind of thing in your budget..

ADK is probably another brand to check out for inexpensive tube mics..

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Post by lazerlove5 » Sat Jul 29, 2006 7:47 pm

I have a pair of CAD M9's. They are great on just about everything. Drums, vocals, guitars... Very affordable.

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Post by justinf » Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:11 am

The original Groove Tubes 1a, 2, and 3 models made a while back are killer--I think the secret's safely out by now. They are commonly found WELL under a grand but their stars are rising.

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Post by parlormusic » Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:36 am

I've tried several brands/models including Rode and Peluso, but the ones that I continue to get great results with are the Audio Technica AT4060 and the Mojave Audio MA-200. Both are just under a grand. The MA-200 gives me that WOW factor on most vocals and some instruments - it's the best vocal mic I have. The AT4060 has a sweetness all of it's own on various sources that's hard to describe, except that it usually sounds really smooth with just the right amount of air.
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Post by KennyLusk » Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:46 pm

I just bought one of these today. Totally stoked to hear how it sounds. In the mods some caps are pulled and some are changed, and some are upgraded from electrolytic to mylar but with the same values. ... dZViewItem
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Post by jmpizzoferrato » Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:35 pm

i second the groove tubes comment. i fell into a 1a years ago. i bring it around to studios and it ALWAYS get's used. it's a solid mic. i've had good luck with vocals, some percussion, acoustic guitar, kick drum, piano. rock solid.

and from what i understand.. the model 2's diaphragm was josephson-designed.


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Post by honkyjonk » Sun Jul 30, 2006 5:09 pm

I used to have an NTK and I hated it. Bizarre eq curve. Hyped, bright. It didn't work on much for me. I actually bought 2. What a mistake.

Anyway, does it have to be tube? I ended up selling a Neumann/Geffel M582 H in favour of getting a Soundelux U195.

To me, it sounded more tubey than this classic east german tube mic, and it (the U195) wasn't even a tube mic. Another slap in the face with reality there. I don't give a crap anymore about what has tubes and what doesn't.

Anyway, the U195's can be had for around $800 used. But I'd suggest just spending that extra dough it costs for the esteemed Charter Oak or Peluso if it has to be tube, or if it doesn't the U195 is awesome. I'll never sell mine. The difference between the Rode or ADK mics and the next step up, in my opinion is one of the few areas in this whole ballgame where you actually get a lot of value for your money. I mean, my U195 is about 10 times more valuable to me for usefullness than any Rode mic, and about twice as expensive.

Anyway, just thought I'd offer my opinion. I spent a lot of money buying cheap LDC's that I wish I had back (the money, that is.)

(The Neumann though, I wish I had that back, but it was just worth too much, and I liked the U195 better)

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Post by joel hamilton » Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:33 pm

justinf wrote:The original Groove Tubes 1a, 2, and 3 models made a while back are killer--I think the secret's safely out by now. They are commonly found WELL under a grand but their stars are rising.
I will heavily second this.

Also think about the Charter oak 538. I am sure you could find one used by now... maybe? For under a grand. Totally quality...

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Post by justinf » Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:19 am

and from what i understand.. the model 2's diaphragm was josephson-designed.
That's interesting. The Model 2 is the one I have, but don't know much of the history. I'm looking forward to trying the Charter Oak stuff.

Wise words above re: the U195. It's a trooper at my place.

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