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?

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    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

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.

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  • 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

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