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Old May 16th, 2004, 03:34 AM   #1
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Apex 175 Shotgun Mike Any Good?

I read Frank Granovski's praises of the $98. Apex 191 microphone, so I looked at their website. They have a medium-long super-cardioid shotgun mike, the Apex 175, that appears to have an XLR connector.
I found this for sale online as cheap as $90. How could such an XLR mike sell for that price? It looks just the right size and type for my purposes, but I couldn't trust anything that low in price, unless I got some good endorsements.

Steve McDonald
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Old May 16th, 2004, 01:32 PM   #2
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For the money the 191 sounded great for a sub hundred dollar mic. it sounded better than some of more expensive options but I didn't try the 175. Perhaps you can try it and report back to the group?

How could a mic sell for under a hundred and sound half decent?
The answer is

It's made in China where they make massive runs of mics that are losely based on neumann designs. The quality of these knock offs vary but as a general rule you get a mic that sounds acceptable and often much better than a mic produced in the west for many times what the chinese mic costs. the big cost is labour and production costs. German mics are nice but the productivety of a top paid western worker can be rediculously low. 6 weeks vacation and a a top pay and benifits package are
nice to have but it adds to the bottom line.
The No name Shanhai and Beijing condenser studio mics are all over the place and most come out of the same co-operatives. they produce very few "pencil' mics due to the limited demand Some big buyers will p[ay more for better components and/or better QC. Some of the brands will buy a partially completed mic and source the remainder elsewhere.

Some of the Chinese brands include Cascade, Apex, Studio projects. Anyone can have a logo screened onto anyone of these mics and create their own brand.

There are those that turn their noses up at these mics but for the dollar they can be a great value. The Studio Projects have won a fair number of awards. they6 are a beijing mic (I think) but they go through a special QC and the components and design are spec'd by Studio Projects.

Another example of low priced but quality sound is Rode. rode manufactyre all of their mics is Australia but they mass produce using state of the art equipment and surface mount technology. For $300 you can buy a stereo pair of hypercardois that will sound very good for dialog and ambience. The Rode NT3 Hypercardoid is an amazing value for under $160 US, it's very close to a $400 - $500 AT in sound quality.

The NT1A side address large diaphram condenser makes an wonderful Voice Over mic. there's no reason why it couldn't be used for a two party interview. It's around $200 and it includes a shock mount.

Most of these mics require phantom. The Apex 191 , 175 and rode NT3 run on battery, which makes them worth a look.

I'd buy one of those chinese knockoffs before i'd buy an Az**n but that's just my opinion.

There is a clip of the Apex191 and the NT3 on www.freelancer.com
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Old May 16th, 2004, 04:10 PM   #3
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I looked over the Apex 175. It looks like it means business and it looks like it's very well made. Regarding audio quality, I don't have a clue because it was too big for my cams and now I can't recall if I needed an XLR adaptor for it---isn't it phantom? Anyways, from what the audio guy told me it is indeed a good mic for the money, but I never tried it. The Apex I bought is a very good mid cardioid; the 175 is directional on the other hand.

Apex has a very informative catalog. I'm sure anyone can get one from one of the Apex dealers.
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