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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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