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Old October 10th, 2005, 11:54 AM   #1
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Need advice on Azden Shotgun mics

I would like to purchase a shotgun mic for a current and future projects. As I have a low budget, I am only able to afford something in the range of $250.

I have been, in particular, looking at the Azden line of Shotgun mics.

So, to the point. Which of these three mics is the best buy for the money.

The SGM 1000~~~~$250
Specs...
The Phamtom-Powered Azden SGM-1000 comes with a windscreen and Azden's unique shockmount holder with integrated shoe-mount. Designed for Video and Audio Professionals, the SGM-1000 is a highly directional shotgun microphone with a wide frequency response and low noise levels. The SGM-1000 can be powered by external phantom power or a single AA battery.
Technical Specs:
Frequency Response:80-20,000Hz
Low-Cut Roll-Off:6dB/Octave@ 200Hz
Sensitivity:Super Cardioid -33dB Re: 1v/PA
Impedance:1.5k Ohms @ 1kHz
Max.Spl Input Level:120dB
Signal To Noise Ratio:70dB
Dynamic Range:96dB
Battery Type:"AAA" (1.5V) - Use Alkaline Battery
Battery Current:0.2mA
Battery Life:1000 Hours w/Alkaline Battery
Weight w/o Battery:4.94oz (140grams)
Dimensions:12.2" (310mm) length, 0.83" (21mm) diameter
Output Type:3-Pin XLR Type
Supplied Accessories:1Shock Mount Mic Holder, Windscreen, Carry-Pouch


The SGM 2x~~~$200
Specs...
The SGM-2X Professional Shotgun Microphone System is designed for both the Pro-Sound and Broadcast markets. The microphone comes with two barrels making it either an omni (8.11" long) or, by adding the extension barrel, a supercardioid (15.75" long). Either configuration provides a sensitive, low-noise, wide bandwidth signal through its' balanced, low-impedanced XLR output. The SGM-2X comes complete with a unique, integrated shock-mount with both camera shoe-mount and mic stand-mount and two foam windscreens. The microphone is powered by a single "AAA" battery (not included), which lasts more than 250 hours.
Technical Specs:
Frequency Response: 40-20,000Hz
Low-Cut Roll-Off:: 6dB/Octave @ 200Hz
Sensitivity: Super Cardioid -39dB re 1V/Pa
Sensitivity: Omni-directional -45dB re 1V/Pa
Impedance: 680 Ohms @ 1Khz
Max. SPL Input Level: 110dB
Signal to Noise Ratio: 70dB
Dynamic Range: 85dB
Battery Type: AAA (1.5V) - use alkaline battery
Battery Current: 0.2mA
Battery Life: 1000 Hours w/Alkaline Battery
Weight w/o Battery: Long + Short Barrel 6.5oz (185grams)
Weight w/o Battery: Short Barrel 3.9oz (110grams)
Dimensions: Long + Short Barrel.......16" (400mm) length
Dimensions: Long + Short Barrel.......0.83" (21mm) diameter
Dimensions: Short Barrel..............8.4" (212.5mm) length
Dimensions: Short Barrel..............0.83" (21mm) diameter
Output Type: 3-Pin XLR type
Supplied Accessories: Shock mount mic holder, 2-Windscreens


The SGM 1x~~~$150
Specs...
The SGM-1X Professional Shotgun Microphone is designed to provide quality audio for the videographer. It is ideal for todayís smaller, digital video cameras where longer models would appear in the frame when camera mounted. The hyper-directional super-cardioid shotgun microphone has a wide frequency response, exhibits low noise and accepts up to 110dB SPL input levels. The 11.8" long microphone uses a single ďAAAĒ battery that will last over 1000 hours due to the micís extremely low current drain. The low-impedance, XLR connectored SGM-1X ships complete with a windscreen and Azdenís proprietary shock-mount holder that isolates camera motor noise from the mic. The holder has provisions for both camera-shoe and mic-stand mounting.
Technical Specs:
Frequency Response: 80-18,000Hz
Sensitivity: Super Cardioid -41dB re 1V/Pa
Impedance: 680 Ohms @ 1Khz
Max. SPL Input Level: 110dB
Signal to Noise Ratio: 65dB
Dynamic Range: 80dB
Battery Type: AAA (1.5V) - use alkaline battery
Battery Current: 0.2mA
Battery Life: 1000 Hours w/Alkaline Battery
Weight w/o Battery: 4.76oz (135grams)
Dimensions: 11.8" (300mm) length
Dimensions: 0.83" (21mm) diameter
Output Type: 3-Pin XLR type
Supplied Accessories: Shock mount mic holder, 1 Windscreen


...so, there you have it. I am open to discussion about other shotgun mics, but the sooner I get one of these mics the sooner I can get started.

For the money, which is the best and which will provide me with perfectly adequate audio. FYI, I want it to be able to capture clear dialogue from at least a range of 10 feet away. This will be used primarily for dialogue.

Thanks.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 12:53 PM   #2
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Just went through the same thing myself. If you have $250 to spend you might want to look at the Audio-Technica AT897. In fact B&H Photo has it on sale for the AES show in NYC: only $229.95 USD. This is a great deal on this mic and Iíve got one on order myself. I really like Audio-Technica mics. I own several of them and Iíve found they provide great value for the money.

At the $150 level, you might want to also look at the Rode VideoMic. Itís a surprisingly good mic for the price. I have one of these too and I'm continually amazed at how good it is. Not the best for boom work because it's not balanced XLR so the cable run must be short, but for on-camera it's great. In this post one user pointed out that he thought the Rode VideoMic sounded better than the Azden SMG-1X. I assume he heard them both. Iím very happy with my VideoMic.

~jr
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Old October 10th, 2005, 01:28 PM   #3
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Pretty sweet deal on that Audio-Technica.

Since the specs on that are very similiar to the SGM 1000, I am now just wondering if that Azden Shock mount included in the purchase of any Azden mic would make the SGM 1000 a better purchase.

Any thoughts?
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Old October 10th, 2005, 01:35 PM   #4
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The last I saw, B&H was bundling the AT897 with a RODE shock mount. Don't know if that is applicable for this deal, though. Like JohnnyRoy, I also have the AT897 and RODE VM. I have also tested the RODE NTG-2. It sounds a lot like the VM and AT897. It is worth considering too.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 02:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Hutchison
Pretty sweet deal on that Audio-Technica.

Since the specs on that are very similiar to the SGM 1000, I am now just wondering if that Azden Shock mount included in the purchase of any Azden mic would make the SGM 1000 a better purchase.

Any thoughts?
Well... you canít trust specs alone. You've got to hear it. Microphones with identical specs can have very different sound characteristics. So the I believe the AT897 is a better deal even without the shock mount but the shock mount is included anyway.

Look at the Kit Info tab on that link. The AT897 comes with the SMH-1 Shock Mount in that particular package. Thatís a $30 value so you are saving $20 off the regular $249 and youíre getting at $30 shock mount.

Normally at B&H:

The AT897 with the SMH-1 Shock Mount is $279.95
The AT897 with the Rode SM3 Shock Mount is $299.95

So you are getting the $280 mic package for $230. Thatís $50 in your pocket! That sale will only last for a little while after the AES show which ends today. I would pick it up this week if youíre seriously thinking about it.

~jr
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Last edited by John Rofrano; October 10th, 2005 at 02:54 PM.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 04:42 PM   #6
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Don't plan on recording rock bands with the cheaper Azdens or the 897.

110 dB maximum SPL is a no go, 115 dB max SPL for the otherwise great AT897 running on battery power isn't much better. 120 dB for the SGM 1000 may be marginal for loud beats. Both Rodes mentioned above are over 130 max SPL Much better.

Also, I really don't like the high output impedances of the Azdens, especially the 1.5K for the SGM1000.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 11:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Rofrano

So you are getting the $280 mic package for $230. Thatís $50 in your pocket! That sale will only last for a little while after the AES show which ends today. I would pick it up this week if youíre seriously thinking about it.

~jr
Ya know, I wasn't quite sure if the kit included that. I thought it might, but I didn't want to assume so. Didn't have time to really check it out this morning either since I had to rush off to work.

I'm gonna go ahead and go with that one more than likely. How crucial is the windscreen though, 'cause I don't think that comes with it.
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Old October 11th, 2005, 12:39 PM   #8
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I would just call B&H and ask. The other two kits include the windscreen and Iíd bet the one on sale does too.

~jr
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Old October 11th, 2005, 02:17 PM   #9
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The AT897 comes in a plastic storage case with foam cutouts, the foam windscreen, a mic stand mount, 7/8" to 3/8" adapter, and a battery.
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