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Old 02-05-2013, 04:17 PM   #1
Artemis Entreri
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So, Which Do You Think Sounds Better?

The first set of mics I got for recording acoustic guitar were Golden Age Project FC4s. I really liked them, even though they were cheap. They ended up getting fried and after a lot of self deliberation, I ended up replacing them with Oktava MK-012s. I liked the GAPs so much however that when my friend started to get into recording, I influenced him in that direction.

He was over yesterday and just for kicks I did a recording with his GAPs and my Oktavas. This is by no means a formal test, though I did try to make it fairly representative of both pairs. The guitar is a Taylor 712 with a red cedar top and I used my Presonus Firestudio project with Mogami gold cables.

So. Which is the $150 set and which is the $500?

pair A: http://www.zachfichterstudios.com/m...20GAP%20(A).wav

Pair B: http://www.zachfichterstudios.com/m...20GAP%20(B).wav

Original post with info: http://www.zachfichterstudios.com/misc/
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:55 PM   #2
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Dunno which is which, but I prefer B here.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:14 PM   #3
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They're really close, but I don't like the high end of B, its a little treble stabby. You could probably fix that by just using a lowpass filter though.

My choice is A, but for the price difference they're really close. So I'm guessing A is more expensive.

I feel like they probably work differently in a variety of different situations, so these 5 second recordings shouldn't be the ultimate test. Do a bunch of stuff with both and see which you like best.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:27 PM   #4
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As the guy who originally pointed you towards the GAP stuff, I find this comparison really interesting. After a few listens, I can confidently say that I prefer A over B. With B, it sounded like the bass and highs were both boosted (or the middle was cut, and volume raised) and not in the pleasing 'Fender amp mid scoop' way.

I couldn't tell you which was which just from listening, but I preferred A over B. I haven't used the GAP FC4 before, and it's been years since I used Oktavas.

Neither sounded bad. Of course, it's hard to make a Taylor 700 series sound bad at all!
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:37 PM   #5
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Not even going to pick, they sound totally the same to my brain.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:22 PM   #6
Artemis Entreri
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Originally Posted by Nero Galon
Not even going to pick, they sound totally the same to my brain.


I'm surprised you can't hear the difference. It took me a long time to decide which I prefer bu they're quite different.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:23 PM   #7
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I like the osund of A better. Both sound great on this example, the only things that jumped out to my ears were a few playing errors, but other than that, fantastic.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid McCall
As the guy who originally pointed you towards the GAP stuff, I find this comparison really interesting. After a few listens, I can confidently say that I prefer A over B. With B, it sounded like the bass and highs were both boosted (or the middle was cut, and volume raised) and not in the pleasing 'Fender amp mid scoop' way.

I couldn't tell you which was which just from listening, but I preferred A over B. I haven't used the GAP FC4 before, and it's been years since I used Oktavas.

Neither sounded bad. Of course, it's hard to make a Taylor 700 series sound bad at all!


I must say, you pushing me toward the GAP stuff was really great. I got a ton of mileage out of the FC4s and I still use the FC1.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirate
I like the osund of A better. Both sound great on this example, the only things that jumped out to my ears were a few playing errors, but other than that, fantastic.


Yeah I smashed my left hand in a car door yesterday; it hurts a little bit to play. You can check my YouTube channel if you really wanna see me play :P
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:30 PM   #10
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My general sense of hearing is not great. I am not an audiophile either.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:11 PM   #11
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I wonder if its not the system you're listening to it on? The differences are subtle enough to be masked by poor signal chain.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis Entreri
I must say, you pushing me toward the GAP stuff was really great. I got a ton of mileage out of the FC4s and I still use the FC1.

I'm glad they're working out well for ya!

I just upgraded my FC1 a few weeks ago, after a few years with it. Sterling Audio ST69 for a blowout price from a connection at GC

I also picked up the GAP Pre 73 which is amazing! Something tells me I'm always going to have something GAP in my signal chain, especially now that they have 500 series modules coming out and I've always wanted a lunchbox...
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid McCall
I'm glad they're working out well for ya!

I just upgraded my FC1 a few weeks ago, after a few years with it. Sterling Audio ST69 for a blowout price from a connection at GC

I also picked up the GAP Pre 73 which is amazing! Something tells me I'm always going to have something GAP in my signal chain, especially now that they have 500 series modules coming out and I've always wanted a lunchbox...



My new thing is Miktek, that's where I'll be headed haha. One of my college professors has a locker of Miktek stuff and they're the best, still affordable mics I've ever heard. Will the GAS ever end?
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:34 PM   #14
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i listened to the clips on a couple different references, and A sounded better to me consistently. panning between the two clips (one in each speaker) made it even more obvious. i wouldnt say it was a lot better, but the overall sound was fuller.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo's Guitar
I feel like they probably work differently in a variety of different situations, so these 5 second recordings shouldn't be the ultimate test. Do a bunch of stuff with both and see which you like best.



I've done probably 500 recordings with the Golden Age mics and i'm getting up there with the Oktavas. I know what I prefer.


Anyway, A is the Golden Age pair ($150) and B is the Oktava pair ($500). I pretty seriously prefer the Oktavas, they're more detailed, more complex really and better balanced than the GAs. Even though the GAs respond more quickly their hyped upper mids act like clarity but become harsh very quickly. That's something which can be fixed with EQ, but the inferior transient response and lack of detail can't. That being said, I've made a lot of recordings with the GAs which I'm very happy with. They're my favorite pair of SDCs for under $500.

Interesting (and probably good) that you all prefer the cheaper mics. Perhaps the recording of A is better because I've spent a considerably longer amount of time with them than B. Someone requested a strumming example, so I'm going to do that later tonight or tomorrow morning and we'll see about that.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:23 AM   #16
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Managed to get a better recording with the Oktavas I think:

http://www.zachfichterstudios.com/m...(2+%20feet).wav

PS you gotta ignore the playing. It's late and my hand really hurts but I wanted to try repositioning the mics.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:56 PM   #17
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Oktavas are so underrated.

What capsules do you have?
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:00 PM   #18
Artemis Entreri
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Originally Posted by the chemist
Oktavas are so underrated.

What capsules do you have?



01s right now. Gonna get a Miktek tube LDC then I'm going to get a set of Omnis.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:00 PM   #19
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Do you have the 10db pad capsules?
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:02 PM   #20
Artemis Entreri
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I do! But I rarely need them since I only use them for acoustic instruments. Mainly guitar but also piano and as a stereo pair to pick up chamber ensembles for scratch recordings.
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