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Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

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Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby MaestroDT » Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:01 pm

Hi Guys. I want to grab an instrument mic that will mainly be used to record acoustic guitar, might sometimes mic my amp with it as well. Looking to spend about $100.

Should I just get an SM57 or are there better choices?
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Re: Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:32 pm

MaestroDT wrote:Hi Guys. I want to grab an instrument mic that will mainly be used to record acoustic guitar, might sometimes mic my amp with it as well. Looking to spend about $100.

Should I just get an SM57 or are there better choices?

Off the top of the head... Audio-Technica AT2020; Rode M3

Podcaststage reviews here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp76qV9R1Fg and

here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9t0X0eE2iI
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Re: Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby Frank Rideau » Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:45 pm

I have the AT2020. Good mic for the price, but definitively a budget mic in its category. On acoustic guitar, I often feel it sounds a little hollow, lack of punch. I've been recently using a SM-57, 12 frets position and got better results.
I'm currently looking at the LEWITT LCT 440 Pure for a few more bucks. There is also the 240, cheaper. My friend has a 441 Flex and it just kills on anything. Love this company.
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Re: Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby ef37a » Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:46 pm

Unless you have better than average pre amps on your interface you really need a capacitor on acoustic guitar IMHO. My son loves the results he gets with a Mackie EM-91c LDC on classical guitar.

In front of an amp the Behringer 8500 is very good value.

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Re: Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:46 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:Off the top of the head... Audio-Technica AT2020; Rode M3

Podcaststage reviews here:
... and SOS reviews here:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/audio-technica-at2020

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rode-m3
:think: :D

I'd also second the Lewitt suggestions, if budget allows (or can be persuaded to allow!).
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Re: Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:35 pm

Hmm. I think I'd be looking for an SDC for acoustic guitar. Lewitt, Sontronics, Audio Technica and others all have models in that range.
But having an SM57 in the locker is rarely a wasted investment.
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Re: Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:17 pm

While the usual suggestion for acoustic guitar is an SDC many bluegrass guitar players favour an SM57 live and, I presume, some do in the studio too.
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Re: Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:50 pm

I'd be inclined to second (or in this case fourth) the '57 if you're planning a busy mix. Sometimes if can seem unremarkable in isolation but others can seem more spectacular only to become a bit jaded on repeated listening, in my 'umble 'pinion the '57 is more listenable for longer.

I have a selection of cheaper end mics of all persuasions and they all have their place depending on your intended outcome.
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Re: Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby MaestroDT » Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:22 pm

Thanks guys. Of course, I want to buy every mic that's been suggested here.
But since I'm kinda starting from zero, I think you all are convincing me to just go with the SM57.
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Re: Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby The Elf » Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:08 pm

A lone SM57 can work well when an acoustic guitar is going to sit in a mix. If it's going to be exposed then I'd go for something(s) more sensitive.
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Re: Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby manwilde » Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:19 pm

Haven´t checked if it´s still in production (I think it is), but I have an Avantone CK-1 with the three capsules (omni, cardioid, hyper) that used to sell for a bit over 100€ and is, IMHO, a decent mic. Or, you can go with an Oktava MK012 anywhere.
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Re: Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby Albatross » Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:29 pm

MaestroDT wrote:Should I just get an SM57 or are there better choices?

SM58.
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Re: Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby uselessoldman » Sat May 01, 2021 3:44 am

Anything related to capturing any guitar you should start with a SM57, however many would argue you should also add some room acoustics using what ever mic takes your fancy. For the money the SM57 is a marvellous piece of engineering, like almost all Shure mic's it should never let you down.

If your amp has a line out, DI built in, try using IR and you can do your own tests to see what cab/mic you prefer. It might not be absolutely perfect but it should be close enough for most people not to know or hear the difference.
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Re: Instrument mic recommendations for around $100?

Postby -Sakura- » Tue May 04, 2021 6:44 pm

Hello Maestro

i can't help thinking of what another Maestro said one day (Al Schmitt).
This because i had a few listen to your soundcloud and because it sounded good enough to me for you to consider the following.

(quote) : "you should save money to get a real good mic ..."

Now that been said and for acoustic and electric guitar a few options might do the trick :
AT4080 around 800€
Not to mention the Royer R122v would be my first choice as a ribbon mic.

Now if you'd want to record other instruments like horns, voices etc... then the following mic has the reputation of swiss knife for recordings : AKG C414 EB with so called "Brass" capsule.
Usually around 2000€ on second hand market because that one isn't built anymore and really is a real good mic.

Now you can turn on the actual model which is a recreation of that legendary 414 : C414XL II

I do think your music is worth it.
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