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Old February 14th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #1
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Large Diaphragm Condenser Shootout! AT4050, NT2000, AT4033a, Sputnik

This is a shootout I did with 4 popular LDC (large diaphragm condenser) mics placed in an array that allowed me to record samples into all 4 mics simultaneously. In the video I play each sample 4 times (one time for each mic), starting with a voice over sample, then a couple measures of each track from a mic check song I use to test new mics. The Key to the mic numbers is at the very end of the video, so don't go there if you want to remain objective. There will be a warning so you can turn it off.


Below you can link to a web page that has the 16bit 44.1k wave of the shootout to check out. You can even download a zip file (141mb) with all the song tracks so you can put them in your NLE so YOU can switch between mics and really hear the differences, which are subtle. You can also listen to the "New Mic" song just for kicks. Also if anyone s interested in doing a REMIX using the song tracks, just set your NLE to 91 beats per minute and go for it. I'd love to hear what you do with it.

Chad's Web Stuff - LDC Shootout Files

The array...
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Large Diaphragm Condenser Shootout! AT4050, NT2000, AT4033a, Sputnik-ldc_4up_low02_web.jpg  
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Old February 15th, 2011, 03:24 PM   #2
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Very interesting. I liked mic 1 the best, followed by mic 4. But they were all a lot more alike than they were different.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 04:06 PM   #3
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I like mic 1 too, but I think mic 4 is different than the other 3 - relatively speaking.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:26 PM   #4
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Re: Large Diaphragm Condenser Shootout! AT4050, NT2000, AT4033a, Sputnik

I'm curious why you were comparing these mics. You wanted to buy an entry level LD and had access to these or ?

I just listened through ADAM S3-A monitors and yes they are very similar. The AT4033a is impressive at half the price, or less, of the others and it does seem to have the lowest distortion. The M-Audio is way over priced.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:42 PM   #5
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Re: Large Diaphragm Condenser Shootout! AT4050, NT2000, AT4033a, Sputnik

I didn't set out to gather these specific mics for the purpose of doing a shootout. I just happen to own all these mics, and I was trying to figure out which one I prefer for VO work. Since I was testing them out anyway, I decided to go the extra mile and do a video too. I have used the Spuutnik for years and am very happy with it. It's a great mic, but not for everything. I find the AT4033a to be brighter than the other 3, which is not what I want for VO, but for some instrument recording - sure. The AT4050 is a very popular mic for all around studio use at a decent price, though when I first got it I did a VO with it(after having the sputnik for VO) and it was missing something the Sputnik had. Call it "tube sparkle". I found the most similar mics to be the NT2000 and the AT4050, with the NT2000 having a bit more smoothness I liked.

Anyway, I only own what I own, and figured this may be helpful to some who are considering any of them.

PS these aren't what I would call "entry level" mics. Try MXL, Berenger and NADY for that.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 08:01 PM   #6
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Re: Large Diaphragm Condenser Shootout! AT4050, NT2000, AT4033a, Sputnik

I see. Well nice job on the comparison and the video.

I've done similar testing. It's always interesting.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 01:58 PM   #7
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Re: Large Diaphragm Condenser Shootout! AT4050, NT2000, AT4033a, Sputnik

If you've got any results to post Kirk I'd love to see/hear them.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 07:22 PM   #8
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Re: Large Diaphragm Condenser Shootout! AT4050, NT2000, AT4033a, Sputnik

So Chad, which one do you prefer to use for VO?
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 07:43 PM   #9
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Re: Large Diaphragm Condenser Shootout! AT4050, NT2000, AT4033a, Sputnik

Michael I have to say I went with the NT2000! I just reviewed the video again, and I found the Sputnik to be more "essy". I just dig the round, full sound I'm getting running my voice through it. I do like the Sputnik's tube sizzle, but it took me getting another couple of mics for comparison to notice the Sputnik's slightly pronounced high in the 6k range. But looking at the NT2000's frequency chart it looks like the NT2000 would be more brittle than the Sputnik, but no.

Which mic did you like best?
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Last edited by Chad Johnson; March 24th, 2011 at 12:00 PM.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 08:13 PM   #10
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Re: Large Diaphragm Condenser Shootout! AT4050, NT2000, AT4033a, Sputnik

I also liked the NT2000. I'm finding that in general for VO and interviews that I keep falling into the Rode camp, they've done a good job when it comes to bang for the buck.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 05:11 AM   #11
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Re: Large Diaphragm Condenser Shootout! AT4050, NT2000, AT4033a, Sputnik

Another NT2000 user here, it is a very nice mic for the money.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 06:04 AM   #12
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Re: Large Diaphragm Condenser Shootout! AT4050, NT2000, AT4033a, Sputnik

It would be interesting to see how the new Sennheiser MK 4 compares to this lot.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 11:58 AM   #13
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Re: Large Diaphragm Condenser Shootout! AT4050, NT2000, AT4033a, Sputnik

Yes I've seen that MK4 popping up in my music instrument catalogs . I wonder how it sounds too. I would think they put a lot into it since it's their first LDC, and they would want to make a splash.
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