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Thread: Is The SP C1 the Best Cheap Vocal Mic?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Boca Raton FL

    Is The SP C1 the Best Cheap Vocal Mic?

    Question says it all....looking for the best all around cheap condensor vocal mic, going into a MP1NV. Generally doing pop vocal work, very little screaming stuff. Lots of female vocals, and lots of stacked harmony backgrounds.

    Any suggestions?


  2. #2
    HG is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    In my opinion, AT4033. Vocals, Guitars, Drums and is very detailed sound, ie plenty to work with unlike chinese mics.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    I think this is the first post I can actually offer advice rather than ask for it.

    The only mic I currently own is a C1. It works o.k. on some female voices. I also did a voice over job with a deep male voice that it actually sounded good on. We exploited the proximity effect greatly for that one. I got mine for under $100 new. So for the money, it's not bad.

    Overall I'd agree with HG though. The 4033 I tried recently was significantly thicker, more open, and captured greater complexity from the source than my C1.

    I had only used my C1 through stock digi pres and thought the thin sound would be improved by going through a good pre. Well, I ran it through a nice pre and it still sounded thin. Granted, a clean pre it was (your NV will add more meat than the focusrite red), but none the less, the 4033 was much better.

    We also found it sounded better 12" away angled down toward me. Up close it seemed to sound "cheaper". That was just this situation and my particular voice though.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    I have the C3, the multi-pattern version of the C1. I frequently work in a friend's studio, and he has the 4033a. We A/B'd the two mics through a tube pre and they sounded very similar.

    ADK is another low cost option worth looking into. Several ADK discussions here over the past couple years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Portland, OR
    Also try the MXL V67. I haven't used a C1, but the V67 does not have the hyped high end that a lot of cheap LDCs have (compared to the Studio Projects B1 or Rodes NT1 & NT1000).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    I tried the SPC1 and the T3 and was very disappointed with both of them. The thin sound that everyone has been mentioning was also in my experience way too bright and grainy in the top end. The T3 was only somewhat better, but was still beaten easily by the AKG solidtube, which was about the same price.(off ebay) What's your price range? I would personally stay away from the C1 as an all purpose mic. It may work on some voices, but it was not a good performer for me in my mic tests. Every try the KSM32 or even the Shure Beta 87?

  7. #7
    PookyNR is offline 3D VIP 2005, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    I agree with the above comment about the C1's high end sounding 'grainy.' It can be a nice effect on some things, but not the greatest all purpose mic. I much prefer the AT mics in the 'all purpose' category of affordable mics.
    Am I the only one without a small type signature?


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Hi Tom,

    I own the following in the cheap (under $1000) LDC mic category:

    MXL V67 - $99
    AKG C4000b - $459
    Oktava MK319 - $99
    Rode NTK - $499
    CAD E300 - $499

    For female vocal I usually prefer the CAD, AKG or NTK. For male vocal the V67 or NTK is more often nicest. All this will change now that I've added a Blueberry, and once the Stephen Paul Audio mic ships, I imagine.

    PM me if you wish to come over some time to give a listen.
    Steve Cruz
    Cruzified Music Prod.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Boca Raton FL
    Hey thanks guys, enjoy all the feedback. I guess a 200.00 mic sounding great on vocals was too much to ask. Weird though that you see some pretty good engineers saying they were amazed by it.

    Keep the suggestions coming!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Third stone from the sun, one step from the edge.
    I got a Marshall MXL V69ME new for $218 and I think it sounds excellent as a vocal mic.

    The C1 can work very well but it can be a bit harsh up top.
    The B1 is probably better as an all around mic than the C1, but not usually as a vocal doesn't have "that"sound, but it is more rounded.

    I hate the AT4033 for my voice, but I've heard it sound very good on others.

    The AT4040 is a very good all around mic for a little over $200.

    I haven't used the ADk Hamburg or Vienna but they are getting good reviews.

    All of that being said, I'd definitely pick the V69ME for vocals......nto doubt.

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