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Author Topic: Am I jumping in too quickly/seeking general input for first set of mics  (Read 1685 times)

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Offline ycoop

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I'll admit this post is part wanting advice and part typing out my thoughts to help clarify for myself.

I've been going through recordings deciding on a set of starter mics. Given my current financials I can't budget more than *at most* $300, but any better deal would make such a purchase more palatable for my SO (when I mentioned a $200 price she thought that was high itself, we're not exactly made of money).

Anyway, my shortlist was Avantone CK-1s, Busman BSC1s, and Line Audio CM3s. As part of my regular Craigslist trawling I came across someone selling a pair of the like-new Avantones for $200, which I'll try to bargain down to $175. At either price seems to be a fairly good, though not amazing, deal. Judging by YS posts, it looks like the price of the Avantones has been fairly steady over the last several years. Is there any strong reason to avoid the CK-1s? There really only seems to be a smattering of mics available at the price range I'm considering, and the 3 interchangeable caps seems like a huge advantage, especially for a starter set of mics. What major considerations might I be overlooking? I like how they sound, particularly the clear punchiness of the low end.

I've been interested in taping for around 3 months now, and I guess my main question is am I making this decision too quickly? I've been spending a good bit of time reading the forums, and I've used taping as a springboard into learning about circuitry, electronics, soldering, etc. so I don't think that my interest in taping is a passing phase (badum tsss). Yes, I recognize that no one can really answer this question for me, but I figure some experienced tapers who have gone through similar experiences might help guide my way.

Anyway, thanks in advance for the input. Already received great advice from a number of TS members, including some unsolicited PMs that I really appreciate. Y'all are a great bunch and I'm quite grateful for having found this corner of the internet.
Avantone CK-1s > DR-60d mkII, DR-22wl

Offline fanofjam

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You aren't jumping in too quickly, though there IS a school of thought that you might want to wait until your budget allows you to get what you really want, since if you stay in the hobby you'll probably end up there anyway.  That said, the great thing about buying used is you can usually sell for what you bought for so I'd say go for it since the only way you'll find out if taping is for you is to start doing it. 

You did your homework...Avantones are well regarded and would be a great entry pair of mics. 

The Church Audio CA-14 are probably the most popular starter mics on taperssection.  They come in both card and omni version and cost I think less than $200.  They aren't full body mics but sound fantastic, especially for their size.

You might also consider the Nakamichi CM300 (or any of the various other manufacturers that sold the same mics under license from Nak, such as TEAC).  These are full body mics that are self-powered by an internal battery and typically come with cardioid and omni capsules.  These are always available on ebay and sometimes come up in the taperssection yard sale.  The CM-300 was a legendary mic that made many of the Grateful Dead audience recordings that have circulated for many years.

Offline ycoop

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Hmm yes, I haven’t given the CA-14s enough attention, for no good reason other than a perhaps unfounded aversion to non-full bodied mics. Does seem like a used set of them and a battery box would be a good place to start as well. That said I would want to compare what I would pull with my DIY omnis before pulling the trigger on those, though that thought might just reflect the full body bias I mentioned.
Avantone CK-1s > DR-60d mkII, DR-22wl

Offline heathen

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Life is short.  If it will make you happy, jump right in...the water's fine.

I will recommend checking out some of the Audio-Technica mics.  Incredible bang for the buck, especially used.  Check out my thread about the AE5100 for example.  In addition, there's the excellent AT4031 that show up used from time to time.
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline noahbickart

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Yes.

get a deck and patch for a year, while saving money for the schoeps you will eventually want.
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk4v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, Darktrain 2 and 4 channel KCY extensions:
Preamps:    Naiant Littlebox, Naiant IPA, Naiant PFA, Sound Devices Mixpre6
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6, Sony PCM m10
Home Playback: Mytek DSD 192> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-400
Office Playback: Grace m903> AKG k701

Offline heathen

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get a deck and patch for a year, while saving money for the schoeps you will eventually want.

Unless he goes to shows that no one else is recording.  Obviously it all depends, but at least speaking for myself I'd say at least 50% of the shows I record I'm the only one recording.  Also, again speaking for myself, patching isn't nearly as fun as running my own rig.
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline rigpimp

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If you have it within your budget then nothing is too fast.  If you don't like them then throw them into the YS.  Slut it up.

My mic progression went from Radio Shack lavs to a AT822 stereo mic to a Neumann SKM-140 kit.

I dumped my Neumann (really hard to do) and I bought a stable of Schoeps, a brand which I made fun of for many years.  Just know that eventually you will have a set of active cables and some kind of capsule(s) to put on the end.
Mics: Schoeps MK5 G MP, Schoeps CCM 4 Lg MP, Schoeps MK8 MP, nBob cables > PFA, KCY 250/5 > PFA
Pre/A>D/P48: Sonosax SX/M2, Sonosax SX/M2-LS, E.A.A. PSP-2, Naiant Tinybox, Neumann BS48i-2 (for sale)
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Playback: McIntosh MC 2105 > McIntosh MX 130 > Von Schweikert VR-4 JR
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Offline IMPigpen

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get a deck and patch for a year, while saving money for the schoeps you will eventually want.

Unless he goes to shows that no one else is recording.  Obviously it all depends, but at least speaking for myself I'd say at least 50% of the shows I record I'm the only one recording.  Also, again speaking for myself, patching isn't nearly as fun as running my own rig.

When I first got mics, I ran a pair of AKG C1000s.  Not the best or most expensive, but I was able to record a lot of shows where I was the only taper.  And for other times when there were better rigs, I had no problem patching if I wanted to.  Gave me time to save up for my Neumanns and still record stuff that wouldn't have been recorded otherwise.
Mics: Neumann KM184s; Naiant X-R omnis
Pres: Naiant IPA
Recorders: Tascam DR-60Dmkii; Tascam DR-40

My LMA uploads:  https://archive.org/details/@brandon_smith

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Offline ycoop

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get a deck and patch for a year, while saving money for the schoeps you will eventually want.

Unless he goes to shows that no one else is recording.  Obviously it all depends, but at least speaking for myself I'd say at least 50% of the shows I record I'm the only one recording.  Also, again speaking for myself, patching isn't nearly as fun as running my own rig.

To date I’ve been at 1 show where there was another taper, and 4 shows and counting where there was no one to patch from. Capturing those shows with recorder internals seems like a missed opportunity, since shows only happen once.

That will change this summer with Phish, where I plan to patch for at least 2/4 shows that I’ll be going to.
Avantone CK-1s > DR-60d mkII, DR-22wl

Offline heathen

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That will change this summer with Phish, where I plan to patch for at least 2/4 shows that I’ll be going to.

Just out of curiosity, what deck do you use and which Phish shows are you planning on attending?
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline ycoop

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That will change this summer with Phish, where I plan to patch for at least 2/4 shows that I’ll be going to.

Just out of curiosity, what deck do you use and which Phish shows are you planning on attending?

I currently have a DR-40 and a DR-22wl, though I plan to sell the DR-40 and stick with the 22wl, in large part due to the small size. I purchased a cheap DR-60d off of Craigslist that I would be using with the Avantones if I were to go with them.

I’ll be at Tahoe and Bill Graham. Slim chance that Curveball will happen too and then at least 2 of the Vegas shows in the fall.
Avantone CK-1s > DR-60d mkII, DR-22wl

Offline capnhook

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That will change this summer with Phish, where I plan to patch for at least 2/4 shows that I’ll be going to.

Just out of curiosity, what deck do you use and which Phish shows are you planning on attending?

I currently have a DR-40 and a DR-22wl, though I plan to sell the DR-40 and stick with the 22wl, in large part due to the small size. I purchased a cheap DR-60d off of Craigslist that I would be using with the Avantones if I were to go with them.

I’ll be at Tahoe and Bill Graham. Slim chance that Curveball will happen too and then at least 2 of the Vegas shows in the fall.

Get a 20dB in-line 1/8" TRS attenuator, and you'll be safe for those hot board signals.  The DR-22WL is a fine machine.  I've made internal mic recordings with it, and they come out fine.  Placing it flat on a bar table in the sweet spot works better than screwing it onto a mini-tripod....it captures more low end signal on the table, than when it's a couple of inches off it.


Have fun and make great tapes, ycoop ;)
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Offline heathen

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I’ll be at Tahoe and Bill Graham. Slim chance that Curveball will happen too and then at least 2 of the Vegas shows in the fall.

Well if you ever make it out to Colorado give a shout in the Team Colorado thread.
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline ycoop

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That will change this summer with Phish, where I plan to patch for at least 2/4 shows that I’ll be going to.

Just out of curiosity, what deck do you use and which Phish shows are you planning on attending?

I currently have a DR-40 and a DR-22wl, though I plan to sell the DR-40 and stick with the 22wl, in large part due to the small size. I purchased a cheap DR-60d off of Craigslist that I would be using with the Avantones if I were to go with them.

I’ll be at Tahoe and Bill Graham. Slim chance that Curveball will happen too and then at least 2 of the Vegas shows in the fall.

Get a 20dB in-line 1/8" TRS attenuator, and you'll be safe for those hot board signals.  The DR-22WL is a fine machine.  I've made internal mic recordings with it, and they come out fine.  Placing it flat on a bar table in the sweet spot works better than screwing it onto a mini-tripod....it captures more low end signal on the table, than when it's a couple of inches off it.


Have fun and make great tapes, ycoop ;)

I’ve been looking for a 20 dB 1/8” TRS attenuators with no luck. Any leads?

And heathen, I envision making it out to Dick’s again at some future date. Probably the next year they decide to give the West Coast the shaft again.
Avantone CK-1s > DR-60d mkII, DR-22wl

Offline jcable77

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Yes.

get a deck and patch for a year, while saving money for the schoeps you will eventually want.
Or mics that you think sound great that arent ridiculously priced. I would say waiting to save up to buy shoeps would be a pretty silly idea when your going to a bunch of shows. Tape shows with whatever youve got until you can get something else. Ive got some mics for you. Ill pm you in a bit. Wait and save up to buy shoeps, ugh! Tape shows!!!!!
Telefunken m60’s tk60’s,61’s,62’s
AKG 460’s/480’s ck61’s>akg active naiant pfa’s>
V-3 or Sound Devices 302>Mini-Me>
R-44 or Dr-100mk3 and a Dr-40
Iso a pair of ck62’s

 

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