Take the 2-minute tour ×
Sound Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for sound engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm wanting a good mic for recording an acoustic guitar in my home studio. Everything I read says the SM81 is the way to go. But at $350 new it's a bit more then what I can spend. Can anyone recommend a few decent alternatives?

share|improve this question

migrated from avp.stackexchange.com Jan 24 '14 at 20:09

This question came from our site for engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts spanning the fields of video, and media creation.

What's your limit on spending? –  Warrior Bob Jan 12 '11 at 20:43
I'd like to keep at around $150 or less –  Micah Jan 14 '11 at 14:55
suggesting "low-budget" tag for this question –  Vestel Nov 22 '11 at 10:59

1 Answer 1

The SM81 is a classic "small-diaphragm condensor" microphone. Search for this term on Sweetwater or other pro-audio store site and you will find that it is a densely populated space.

The SM81 is a popular mic that has been around a long time, so you can probably find one used for a bit cheaper.

To stay with new mics, you can find something like the Audio-Technica 450 for about $250, Rode NT5-S for a bit over $200, the Avantone CK-1 for about $150, and on down the scale. All of them have something to offer; GearSlutz will have a boatload of opinion about any particular one.

share|improve this answer
The Rode NT5-S is an excellent alternative; I've seen it used for choirs, drum overheads and acoustic guitars. It has a nice, neutral character, and it comfortably fits in your pocket. :) –  Robert Harvey Jan 12 '11 at 21:51

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.