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I've read lots of threads where certain members opine that their chosen clip-on mic is the best. I've heard about K&K, AKG, SD, AMT, and Shure, and I've checked these products out for myself over the internet.

The problem is, I don't know much about microphone technology. Without actually lining these mics up and playing them one after another, how can I decide which will work best for me?

It seems like there should be some objective standards since microphones are electronic and mechanical in nature and their performance characteristics appear to be well-measured and reported. But around here it seems like everyone has a different opinion. I certainly expect that with horns, reeds, mpcs, and the like, but microphones?

In short, I'm in the market for a new clip-on and I can't figure out which models and manufacturers to take seriously. SD and Shure seem to get a lot of recommendations, but SD alone has enough different models to make my head spin.

I guess the two best questions are:
1. Which of the mainstream clip-ons are the best in terms of sound and performance?
2. Which clip-on offers the best value?

I think there are a lot of other people out there who will benefit from this information, so if you have an informed opinion, please share it!
 

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I use an audio-technica Pro 35X which suits my needs.

Price is a driving consideration, what you really need it for vs what you wish you need it for, LOL, what kind of sound system there is, and what kind of audio "technician" (harumph) is on the board.

That link Conrado gave, BTW, is a good one to read.
 

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The K&K is junk. If you get one, your soundman will hate you, and that's about as technical as I can put it. I don't believe I've read any real complaints in regard to the AMT Roam 1 Elite, and I've been using mine for the last couple of years. It's pricey, but it's true wireless. Not even a belt pack. Soundman won't hate you either.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks to those who have responded.

I've been following the thread on bari-mics, which has been informative and is one of the reasons I started this thread. I am hoping to attract a broader swath of opinions.


Sounds like the K&K is the low dog on the totem pole.

Anybody know how the Shure beta 98 h/c and the SD LCM 85 stack up? They both seem to be in the high end for non-wireless clip-ons. And what about the SD LDM 94 for "high frequency" playing? Is that for people who play huge tips and high baffles and just want to scream the whole time? Or is that for anyone who plays rock, funk, and other music that requires more volume than jazz?


Since Gary mentioned that the best mic will depend somewhat on the rest of the sound system and the playing situations, I am practicing through a fairly typical 8-channel PA (~300 Watt?) with two mains and two monitors. There's a guitar, keys, drum, bass, and vocals. My band usually play out at smaller bar-type venues where there is a house system.
 

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Try them out!

bfoster,

Once you narrow down your search, you really should attempt to try out your top picks in a controlled environment (same mixer, same PA, same room).

While microphones are electronics and mechanics, there are still few hard-and-fast rules. A bad microphone is relatively easy to agree upon. However, the "best" sounding microphone is debatable and has a lot to do with personal preference.

The difference gets even muddier when you start talking about value. How much clarity, response, or overall "goodness" are you willing to sacrifice for a better price? Can your ear tell the difference?

Different manufacturers have different theories about the performance a microphone should have. They may stress different frequency bands because that's what they believe sounds best. In the vocal world, I did some research on microphones for my wife. I ended up pitting similar-priced Sennheisers vs. Shure. For her vocals, the Sennheiser won out though others swear by Shure (I use one myself and like it a lot).

I don't condone the approach I took when looking for a wireless clip-on for saxophone. I did a little research and found a used AKG C419 on ebay for a very reasonable price. I was fortunate and really like the system's performance. I get a really nice sound out of it.

Best of luck to you. I still think your best bet is to try some top contenders back-to-back if possible.
 

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I found this to suit my needs. My first clip on mic. and I don't see the need for changing.

http://www.grabcart.com/product/ele/vintage/1572934

It does need phantom power which many pa's have. I bought it to clip on to my tenor but it never leaves my soprano in performance because on my straight sop. it screws into the music lyre post and mic is positioned near
RH 2nd finger (f#key) which works well.

I run it into an Alesis micro verb. What ever the limitations may be, by the time you get the sound into the reverb and the mixer, any shortcomings seem to be resolved.
 
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