I'm on a tight budget (130 and below, ideally) and I'm looking to record vocals, guitars (mostly acoustic) and occasionally drums. I record through a digital recorder workstation, a Boss BR 600, which doesn't have phantom power. So, I'm either looking at an Audio Technica AT2020 large diaphragm condenser and a cheap behringer tube mic100 preamp for power, or a shure sm57/sm58. Any recommendations? And I don't even know if its possible to do a condenser > preamp > br 600 chain. Thanks!
The BR-600 has a TRS balanced input. Feed you preamp with a condenser mic using a balanced TRS cable. Come out of the BR-600 with another balanced cable and you're set. It will work.

On your budget, the choices are slim. Personally, I prefer the sound of a good condenser mic. Do keep in mind that they pick up the tiniest of noises - for example, a mosquito farting at 50 meters sounds like a fighter jet flying overhead. Well, maybe that's a slight exageration, but you get the idea. Condensers work well on vocals and acoustic guitars and cabs. You also can't go wrong with an SM-57 or SM-58 - I own both. I typically dedicate my 57 to cab duty and will use my 58 for vocals. My condenser mics seem to float between acoustic guitar use, recording cabs and vocals. They're really versatile.

The Behringer stuff is a real gamble. Some of their stuff is good, while others are, well, bad. But, on your budget, you don't have much choice. Get what you can afford and upgrade later.

Edit: Even if you use a dynamic mic, like the SM-57/58, I still recommend a balanced cable. Why? If you use a regular mic cable on a mic like the SM-57/58 and the phantom power is accidently turned on, it will damage the mic. As long as you use a true TRS balanced cable with a dynamic mic, engaging the phantom power will not damage it. Also, that way you can use the mic cable for any type of mic.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at Nov 25, 2011,
Ok, i think I'm gonna go for the condenser and pre amp because of the versatility of the condenser, and I can always swap out the pre amp later. Now, I just have to figure out the cables, since Ive never done something like this. For the mic to preamp, I could only find an xlr to xlr, which costs 25 bucks. I probably can find a cheaper xlr to 1/4 jack somewhere though, then just use a 1/4 to 1/4 for preamp to BR.