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Budget SDC Pairs

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Budget SDC Pairs

Postby James Lawford » Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:28 pm

Any recommendations for a pair of budget small diaphragm condensers.
I’ve using AKG 214’s and a Rode NT1A already. Just need a pair if something to add to the arsenal when multitracking small ensembles - acoustic guitar, maybe snare drum for brush work

I’d use them as overheads when the 214’s go on acoustic piano so I’d like something pretty full bodied to capture the whole kit.

Looking at Lewitt 040 or Rode M5 so any first hand experience is helpful!
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Re: Budget SDC Pairs

Postby djangodeadman » Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:14 pm

I regularly use a pair of M5s as drum overheads in a live setting. For the money and in that context they are absolutely fine. They aren’t mine, so I’ve never recorded with them, but I should imagine they are perfectly respectable. NT5s would be better, I’m sure, but quite a bit more expensive, obviously.

Alternatively, a matched pair of SE7s can be had for around £180. They have pads and HPFs, which the M5s do not. I’ve not heard them, but they might be worth exploring.
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Re: Budget SDC Pairs

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:29 pm

I bought a pair of Line Audio CM3s after seeing all the recommendations on here. They've worked well on everything I've tried them on. The CM3 has been discontinued and replaced by the CM4 which has a slightly more directional polar pattern but, as I understand it, sounds similar otherwise.
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Re: Budget SDC Pairs

Postby ManFromGlass » Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:14 pm

No regrets with my CM3s. Major bang for the buck!
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Re: Budget SDC Pairs

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:27 pm

Another vote for CM4s here.......

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Re: Budget SDC Pairs

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:39 pm

Just a question of curiosity here. I have a matched pair of NT5s which I regard quite highly. They aren't my goto SDCs, that's my KM184s, but I've always been happy to use them as extra mics when I've needed them. As such I'm not going to change them but knowing that the CM4 gets a lot of love round here would you rate them better than the NT5, and if so, why?

TIA

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Re: Budget SDC Pairs

Postby Fishnish » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:57 am

I'm very happy with my pair of NT5s. Use them mainly for fretted instruments , both solo and ensemble. also on percussion.
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Re: Budget SDC Pairs

Postby Luke W » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:00 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:Another vote for CM4s here.......

Really tempted by a pair of these myself, hearing nothing but praise.
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Re: Budget SDC Pairs

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:24 am

ConcertinaChap wrote:Just a question of curiosity here. I have a matched pair of NT5s which I regard quite highly. They aren't my goto SDCs, that's my KM184s, but I've always been happy to use them as extra mics when I've needed them. As such I'm not going to change them but knowing that the CM4 gets a lot of love round here would you rate them better than the NT5, and if so, why?

TIA

CC

I agree the NT5s are good for the price, not quite at the KM184 level as perhaps they're not quite as smooth up top, but then it's been a while since I've used both. In comparison, the CM3s (haven't tried the CM4, but they are apparently similar) have a flatter, and also wider, response. So whereas you may use an NT5/KM184 on an acoustic guitar for a bit of HF lift, you might use a CM4 on an instrument to avoid an HF lift - if that makes sense.

Of course some of us have TLM193s to achieve that :thumbup:

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Re: Budget SDC Pairs

Postby jaminem » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:28 am

I have the Oktava MK012 with the omni caps, sound good to me.
Good value and versatile with the interchangeable capsules and pads.

Just be wary of buying on eBay if you decide to go this route - lots of fakes around by all accounts...

I also have a Rode NT55 (Also with Omni caps) which I would imagine would make a brilliant pair...
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Re: Budget SDC Pairs

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:47 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:Of course some of us have TLM193s to achieve that :thumbup:

Lovely mic! Suits my wife's voice to perfection. Not a budget mic, though :)

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Re: Budget SDC Pairs

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:53 pm

The OMs are excellent mics punching well above their relatively low cost. As Bob says, they don't have that distinctive HF lift that the KM184s and NT5s have. Whether that's a good or bad thing depends on the circumstances and personal preferences. They might come across as natural and neutral in some situations, or dull and lacking detail in others...

Personally, I'd rate them highly for close-miking applications. Less so as a distant pair on a choir or orchestra. YMMV

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Re: Budget SDC Pairs

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:17 pm

Interesting. Thanks Bob and Hugh.

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