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May 9, 2021 - 4:41:17 PM
1043 posts since 11/9/2012

It seems that over the past few years the amount of inexpensive condenser microphones being sold are greatly increasing, and many are still falling in prices. I used to love my Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone ($99), but I lost it somewhere in storage. In replacing it I'm going to TRY a really cheap microphone; a ZINGYOU Condenser Microphone Bundle, BM-800 (Less than $40 a kit!) amazon.com/dp/B0756V2B6R/ref=s...jaz10cnVl

On Amazon some reviews claim that the ZINGYOU Condenser Mic works 90% well as the more expensive Technica AT2020. Has anyone here got experience with any of the super cheap (Less than $50) China made Condenser mics with banjo recording? Many look alike with different Chinese names stamped on them. So any feedback on such mics would be appreciated. Somehow it seems I should be paying more money than $40 with desktop stand.... ' but I just have to give one of these ultra cheap mics a chance. THANKS! 

Opinions?

Edited by - Lynne on 05/10/2021 05:52:02

May 9, 2021 - 4:45:03 PM
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7115 posts since 2/14/2006

Look for Nady brand dynamic mics for under $75 on eBay. They're a lot like the SM57, which is $99. Both good mics for recording/stage/studio etc.

For cheap condensers, look for Behringer brand.

Edited by - Doug Knecht on 05/09/2021 16:45:43

May 9, 2021 - 5:16:27 PM
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1852 posts since 2/28/2003

MXL 990 is a great condenser mic for under $100.

May 9, 2021 - 10:00:20 PM
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mdthib

Hong Kong

529 posts since 8/22/2013

I recall that there was a good condenser mic on Monoprice that Tape-Op reviewed in a positive light. They actually have several mics of various flavours that are well-reviewed, there's probably cheaper ones, but I'd say these are held in high regard in terms of their quality for the price. I might not want to go any lower. Check out the SC100, 600800 and 600850, and happy playing (and recording).

May 10, 2021 - 12:24:59 AM

1043 posts since 11/9/2012

Thanks for the feedback. I think if I choose to spend a hundred bucks I will likely get another Audio Technica AT2020. Here is another example of an ultra cheap condenser mic: Amazon.com: Neewer NW-800 Professional Studio Broadcasting & Recording Microphone Set Including (1)NW-800 Professional Condenser Microphone + (1)Microphone Shock Mount + (1)Ball-type Anti-wind Foam Cap + (1)Microphone Power Cable (Black): Musical Instruments

Edited by - Toothless in Kentucky on 05/10/2021 00:26:48

May 10, 2021 - 6:14:45 PM
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2706 posts since 4/16/2003

A shameless self promotion:

How about this?
 https://www.banjohangout.org/classified/85770

May 10, 2021 - 6:29:51 PM
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1254 posts since 4/17/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Doug Knecht

Look for Nady brand dynamic mics for under $75 on eBay. They're a lot like the SM57, which is $99. Both good mics for recording/stage/studio etc.

For cheap condensers, look for Behringer brand.


Trouble is, the SM57 isn't (nor wasn't as the Unidyne III) a condenser mic.

IMHO, you cannot have a "good" condenser mic for anything less than a few $$$. As with quality banjos, there's a minimum price point. The best "cheapest" condenser mics out there are from RODE, be they the NT1-A, newer NT1, NT1-USB etc. Extremely good sound, 12-style edge-terminated capsules, as good a sound as mics costing into the 4 and 5 figure price range.

May 10, 2021 - 9:50:25 PM
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gtani7

USA

1004 posts since 3/22/2017

Audio tecnica 2020 and AKG product studio mikes like p420 for around $100 used but make sure you can get a refund if defective. With these entry levle mikes, you're giving up noise floor and features like pads.

May 11, 2021 - 7:03:37 AM
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94 posts since 2/18/2021

I have many microphones (condenser, dynamic and ribbon), including your AT2020.

I'm not a big fan of the BM800 microphone that I have, it's noisy. There are a number of articles on reworking the components to make a 'silk purse out of a sow's ear' but unless that appeals to you as a project, it's not worth the time and money, IMO.

Back when I was trying to do recording more seriously, I always got better recorded sound from stringed instruments using a small diaphragm condenser mic rather than with a large diaphragm mic.

Large diaphragm condenser mics are great for voice and *can* be good for stringed instruments, but the frequency response peaks that are flattering for human voice often emphasize scrapes, clicks and harsh sounds from the instrument. Small diaphragm condensers tend to have a flatter response.

See if you can find a quality used mic online somewhere for cheap. Guitar center has a pretty good used section, and you can get a bargain sometimes. If there's a Music-go-round in your area, check that out, and then there's always eBay.

Good luck

May 11, 2021 - 3:12:34 PM
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1043 posts since 11/9/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Clutch Cargo

I have many microphones (condenser, dynamic and ribbon), including your AT2020.

I'm not a big fan of the BM800 microphone that I have, it's noisy. There are a number of articles on reworking the components to make a 'silk purse out of a sow's ear' but unless that appeals to you as a project, it's not worth the time and money, IMO.

Back when I was trying to do recording more seriously, I always got better recorded sound from stringed instruments using a small diaphragm condenser mic rather than with a large diaphragm mic.

Large diaphragm condenser mics are great for voice and *can* be good for stringed instruments, but the frequency response peaks that are flattering for human voice often emphasize scrapes, clicks and harsh sounds from the instrument. Small diaphragm condensers tend to have a flatter response.

See if you can find a quality used mic online somewhere for cheap. Guitar center has a pretty good used section, and you can get a bargain sometimes. If there's a Music-go-round in your area, check that out, and then there's always eBay.

Good luck


Thanks for the info, that is really useful! 

May 11, 2021 - 4:58:13 PM
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1043 posts since 11/9/2012

UPDATE: I got very determined and searched again for my AT2020 (I lost it 4 years ago). And I found it!! So maybe I will compare the BM800 to the AT2020 later on.

May 11, 2021 - 5:15:58 PM

1043 posts since 11/9/2012

I thought this was a good buy for a rebuilt one (AT2020): amazon.com/Audio-Technica-Card...5&sr=8-12

May 11, 2021 - 5:55:27 PM

1043 posts since 11/9/2012

Ok, lastly I found the cheapest price yet right here: (Rebuilt - BM800 $17.24!!) : Amazon.com: ZINGYOU BM-800 Condenser Microphone, Cardioid Studio Recording Microphone with Shock Mount, XLR Cable (Renewed): Home Audio & Theater - (NEW BM800 $18.98): Amazon.com: ZINGYOU BM-800 Condenser Microphone, Cardioid Studio Recording Microphone with Shock Mount, XLR Cable: Musical Instruments

THE BM800 CLAIMS: "

  • Low Noise - The ZINGYOU BM-800 features extremely quiet self-noise, In technical terms: a noise level of just 16 dB(A). Thus, it is perfectly suited for vocals and audio drama productions in high definition as well as for demanding samples production and instrumental recordings"


I just had to add this one.

Edited by - Toothless in Kentucky on 05/11/2021 18:04:25

May 11, 2021 - 7:24:52 PM

94 posts since 2/18/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Toothless in Kentucky

Ok, lastly I found the cheapest price yet right here: (Rebuilt - BM800 $17.24!!) : Amazon.com: ZINGYOU BM-800 Condenser Microphone, Cardioid Studio Recording Microphone with Shock Mount, XLR Cable (Renewed): Home Audio & Theater - (NEW BM800 $18.98): Amazon.com: ZINGYOU BM-800 Condenser Microphone, Cardioid Studio Recording Microphone with Shock Mount, XLR Cable: Musical Instruments

THE BM800 CLAIMS: "

  • Low Noise - The ZINGYOU BM-800 features extremely quiet self-noise, In technical terms: a noise level of just 16 dB(A). Thus, it is perfectly suited for vocals and audio drama productions in high definition as well as for demanding samples production and instrumental recordings"


I just had to add this one.


Well, for under $20 you can't go too wrong! The Chinese stuff definitely gives you a lot of bang for the buck, but they're not known for giving honest specs. Have fun!

May 12, 2021 - 6:26:25 AM
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94 posts since 2/18/2021

As long as you're going for the rock-bottom lowest price, here's another cheap mic that people like to mod.. $13.90 on Amazon I might have to buy one just to try it laugh

Search for 'BM800 mic mods' and you'll find many pages where people have upgraded these inexpensive mics with better capsules and circuit boards. One guy claims that the 'ZRAMO' mic above has a better capsule than the BM800s, but who knows? I have an electronics background but, TBH, don't have time or much interest in modding mics at the moment.

I still say, if you come across a good deal on a small diaphragm condenser mic (or can borrow one) give it a try. 

May 14, 2021 - 5:28:20 AM
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143 posts since 4/29/2010

Condenser mics often come down to the element quality, which have incredibly small manufacturing tolerances. So small that absolute consistency is difficult. Mic manufacturers like Audio-Technica test the elements and use the better performing ones--this is especially true of higher-end mics. So buying a cheap condenser mic can be a crap shoot; you might get one with a good element, you might get one with one that isn't as accurate.

May 14, 2021 - 7:26:25 AM
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94 posts since 2/18/2021

quote:
Originally posted by banjohood

Condenser mics often come down to the element quality, which have incredibly small manufacturing tolerances. So small that absolute consistency is difficult. Mic manufacturers like Audio-Technica test the elements and use the better performing ones--this is especially true of higher-end mics. So buying a cheap condenser mic can be a crap shoot; you might get one with a good element, you might get one with one that isn't as accurate.


Hey Ben (was just in Rochester yesterday picking up kid from college, didn't get a chance to visit Bernunzio's crying).

Agreed about the element quality. The preamp circuits are often really poorly made as well. In addition to cheap components, some designs use a noisy zener diode in an attempt to work with the low bias voltage (1.5-5VDC) supplied by a 1/8" mic jac on a computer or phone, rather than just the 12-48V phantom power supplied by pro audio equipment.

Some folks in the mic modding community just buy the BM800 type mics for the metal housing and completely replace the guts.

May 16, 2021 - 10:24:37 AM
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gtani7

USA

1004 posts since 3/22/2017

Before you spend more money, consider that a good condensor without a good preamp is going to sound not that impressive. If you are going to spend more, ask around to borrow a channel strip like Presonus, ART, Drawmer, Aphex, they have the 3 functions you need, preamp, compressor and parametric EQ.  If you're going to buy, the 1st 2 names are decent affordable ones tho I remember thinking that a lot of the used ones i see on reverb probably have some damage/repairs they need..

Edited by - gtani7 on 05/16/2021 10:30:24

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