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Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

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Ianpb
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Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby Ianpb » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:37 pm

I came across something interesting a couple of days ago. I did a search on Ebay (in my case, the UK version) using 'Condenser microphone' as a search parameter, just to see what cheapness (or bargains) it might throw up. I stumbled across a certain side address condenser mic called BM700 that's being sold for as low as £16.36 (US$27) from Hong Kong and Philippines, or £22.99 (US$38) from a few different locations in England. A Google search for this BM700 led me to a manufacturer called ISK who sells them for about £80 (US$132) in the UK. However, although they look exactly the same, with the same model numbers, the cheap ones are not from ISK, but are marked as 'Shengyue'. I also found these appearing on the US version of Ebay.

This is a home made video comparison of the ISK BM-700 to a Behringer C-1, and it looks pretty impressive with nice bottom end response: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voPODcpScfI .

There are claims in the comments that the cheap version is exactly the same model as the ISK, and indeed the specs are identical for both, although the Hong Kong and Philippines listings quote top response as 16kHz instead of 20kHz, which is what the UK listings quote. After contacting one of the Ebay sellers to check that it is actually a condenser mic rather than a cheap dynamic inside a condenser case, I was told "I'm glad to tell you that the type of microphone is condenser, and you just need to put the 3.5mm plug into the computer or speaker, the item item will work, hope you understand. "

Apart from the dumb advice, I've never heard of a 3.5mm (stereo) jack plug being used to supply phantom power (and I don't believe it would work with standard sound cards anyway), although the jack to XLR lead and shockmount are included, which is even more astonishing. I'm wondering if these microphones are actually all the same, from the same Chinese factory, and that ISK is merely stamping their name on it and imposing a big mark-up.

I can't find anything definite on any internet forums, and as it's so cheap I'm obviously sorely tempted to check one out (no doubt others will too), but I was wondering if anyone else has had any experience of them, or even the ISK branded ones.

Edit: I've now found them on Amazon UK listed as 'Vics Unidirectional Condenser Recording Microphone for Studio Stage Broadcasting' at £35.99 (US$59.60), even though the illustration picture clearly says 'Shengyue'.

gypsy101
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby gypsy101 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:46 am

MXL makes known quality mics in the same price range.
the Chinese even fake chop suey... :roll:

Ianpb
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby Ianpb » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:17 am

gypsy101 wrote:MXL makes known quality mics in the same price range.
the Chinese even fake chop suey... :roll:

Hardly. The basic MXL studio condenser mic MXL440, also made in China, costs about £60 (US$99), and even then it's nothing special.

gypsy101
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby gypsy101 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:06 am

Ianpb wrote:
gypsy101 wrote:MXL makes known quality mics in the same price range.
the Chinese even fake chop suey... :roll:

Hardly. The basic MXL studio condenser mic MXL440, also made in China, costs about £60 (US$99), and even then it's nothing special.


nope,but you know it's legit. :wink:

Ianpb
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby Ianpb » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:08 pm

The ISK brand is clearly legitimate, and is priced in line with the mainstream competition. However, that's not to say that the cheap 'Shengyue' mics are not also legitimate, having possibly been mass produced at very low cost and resold at a more authentic market price, ie. not fixed to produce exaggerated profits. A Chinese factory could conceivably produce, at generic levels, good quality microphones at very low-cost, and after the corporate buyers leave with his required quantities (to be stamped with their company trademarks), there would be hundreds left over, ready to be snapped up by small but energetic entrepreneurs.

Many of these Western based hardware companies are making phenomenal profits through exaggerated mark-up, thanks to ultra-cheap Chinese labour costs that are not being completely passed onto the consumer. That would, after all, be their incentive for moving production there at our expense. Furthermore , there's a lot of pretentiousness about amongst recording engineers suggesting that expensive equals good; much of it, I suspect, to give the home recordist a big inferiority complex. That's why I've read of many sneering at the likes of Mixcraft; because it makes the whole process far too democratic for their liking.

Here endeth the rant.

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby Mark Bliss » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:25 pm

Well I reckon' you hit on the point in the first place Ian. At that price one could easily try one out and if its crap, toss it. No great loss.
If its half decent and can hold its own with mic's 3 or more times the cost, they will sell a bunch.

So order one up and evaluate it! Let us know how it goes!
Stay in tune, Mark

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Ianpb
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby Ianpb » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:39 pm

mbliss wrote:Well I reckon' you hit on the point in the first place Ian. At that price one could easily try one out and if its crap, toss it. No great loss.
If its half decent and can hold its own with mic's 3 or more times the cost, they will sell a bunch.

So order one up and evaluate it! Let us know how it goes!

And we can all have a good laugh when I report "It's crap".

gypsy101
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby gypsy101 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:09 am

Ianpb wrote:The ISK brand is clearly legitimate, and is priced in line with the mainstream competition. However, that's not to say that the cheap 'Shengyue' mics are not also legitimate, having possibly been mass produced at very low cost and resold at a more authentic market price, ie. not fixed to produce exaggerated profits. A Chinese factory could conceivably produce, at generic levels, good quality microphones at very low-cost, and after the corporate buyers leave with his required quantities (to be stamped with their company trademarks), there would be hundreds left over, ready to be snapped up by small but energetic entrepreneurs.

Many of these Western based hardware companies are making phenomenal profits through exaggerated mark-up, thanks to ultra-cheap Chinese labour costs that are not being completely passed onto the consumer. That would, after all, be their incentive for moving production there at our expense. Furthermore , there's a lot of pretentiousness about amongst recording engineers suggesting that expensive equals good; much of it, I suspect, to give the home recordist a big inferiority complex. That's why I've read of many sneering at the likes of Mixcraft; because it makes the whole process far too democratic for their liking.

Here endeth the rant.


lol.rant all you want.
EBAY only sellers,Hong Kong,no U.S. distributors,those prices,etc. always screams red flag to me.
just sayin... :wink:

I did come across this-
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/low-end- ... ities.html
seems modding them is popular in AUS.

Ianpb
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby Ianpb » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:04 am

gypsy101 wrote:
Ianpb wrote:The ISK brand is clearly legitimate, and is priced in line with the mainstream competition. However, that's not to say that the cheap 'Shengyue' mics are not also legitimate, having possibly been mass produced at very low cost and resold at a more authentic market price, ie. not fixed to produce exaggerated profits. A Chinese factory could conceivably produce, at generic levels, good quality microphones at very low-cost, and after the corporate buyers leave with his required quantities (to be stamped with their company trademarks), there would be hundreds left over, ready to be snapped up by small but energetic entrepreneurs.

Many of these Western based hardware companies are making phenomenal profits through exaggerated mark-up, thanks to ultra-cheap Chinese labour costs that are not being completely passed onto the consumer. That would, after all, be their incentive for moving production there at our expense. Furthermore , there's a lot of pretentiousness about amongst recording engineers suggesting that expensive equals good; much of it, I suspect, to give the home recordist a big inferiority complex. That's why I've read of many sneering at the likes of Mixcraft; because it makes the whole process far too democratic for their liking.

Here endeth the rant.


lol.rant all you want.
EBAY only sellers,Hong Kong,no U.S. distributors,those prices,etc. always screams red flag to me.
just sayin... :wink:

I did come across this-
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/low-end- ... ities.html
seems modding them is popular in AUS.


After all my searching, I have no idea why I didn't stumble across that thread, but thanks for that. I had already considered the possibility of upgrading it, should it prove to be crap, with one of those clone Neumann capsules. There's even someone who provides new PCB's to replace the circuitry, although I doubt this mic. would be big enough to house it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtNH46jpwJo

gypsy101
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby gypsy101 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:26 am

maybe I've just been seeing too many Chibsons & Blenders being sold as legit.
Hell,they've even been counterfeiting Behringer stuff lately. :shock:

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trevlyns
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby trevlyns » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:12 am

told you Behringer was good! :lol:
Keep on trackin'

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Tiasdad
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby Tiasdad » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:41 am

Hmmm I'm considering going for a B1 as I only have a cheap dynamic at the moment, not that I do much vocal work or mic'ing of guitars etc but you never know who'll pop round that I can convince to have a go :)
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outteh
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby outteh » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:46 am

Gary, a good entry level is the MXL 990. It is sold as a combo with an MXL 991 pencil style mic. I use these on my stuff and you have heard it. Usually around $100.00 or less on sale. :D

Ianpb
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby Ianpb » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:12 am

Tiasdad wrote:Hmmm I'm considering going for a B1 as I only have a cheap dynamic at the moment, not that I do much vocal work or mic'ing of guitars etc but you never know who'll pop round that I can convince to have a go :)

Although I consider the Behringer B-1 to be a pretty good mic. - and even better than the overrated and far more expensive AT2035 - I should warn you that the shock-mount cradle is pretty poor. I kept finding that the elastic bands were all too easily knocked off, and then I was having to sit down and figure how to get it back again. Before long it became fatigued and useless. In the end I bought a packet of those elastic loops that women tie their hair back with, and fitted those. Now it's okay.

gypsy101
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Re: Cheap condenser microphones on Ebay

Postby gypsy101 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:43 am

too bad we already have Mixcraft because-
http://www.zzounds.com/item--MXLACOUSTICAMVS
:lol:


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