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My 6 year old son wants a 'real' microphone and stand just to sing with and pretend he's on stage like Billie Jo!! I'm confused with mixers and amps and microphone systems. I just want a cheap way of powering a microphone. Can anyone help?

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The cheapest you can go while still using "real" equipment that works is probably going to be over $200, plus tax.

You will need a mic (Nady SP9), a mic stand, a mic cable (NO LESS than 25 ft; buy one longer than you think you need), and an amp.

The amp is the "big ticket" item in this setup; everything else is bottom of the barrel or the only appropriate option. This "Fender Mini" linked above is really a bunch of normally separate components in one kid-sized package -- a mic preamp, a mixer, an effects box, and an amp. It's even got a separate input for an instrument like electric guitar or bass. Basically it's a garage band starter kit.


Voluntary disclosure: I don't work for zZounds, I just really like their website.

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  • Brilliant thankyou very helpful :) Oct 24, 2014 at 6:55
  • I think this covers it well enough to not need another answer by me, but I'd comment that it would be possible to save a bit by using a cheap ASIO interface for a computer and using the computer's speakers as the amp. It would also allow for recording your kid's sessions.
    – AJ Henderson
    Oct 24, 2014 at 14:16
  • An ASIO interface? Oct 24, 2014 at 15:11
  • AKA an Audio Interface -- basically something that lets you plug a microphone into a computer. The fender amp technically is that, since it has a USB port, but you can go cheaper and cheaper until you hit something like this. But then you have two issues: dealing with computer software, and the fact that there is now a chain of cables connecting your rock and roll six year old to a computer; likely a much more expensive piece of equipment (and less tolerant of abuse) than the fender amp.
    – NReilingh
    Oct 24, 2014 at 15:20
  • Ha ha true! But I have recently got a new laptop and still got my old one so its a possibility. Cheers Oct 24, 2014 at 18:04
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You need a Shure SM58. They cost 100$ always, and they are the staple microphone of the live sound world. The SM58's cousin, the SM57 is the Presidential microphone of choice for the lectern. Someone buried a SM58 and it worked just like normal after 1 year. Some people I know have 20 year old SM58s that are still in service.

So anyways, I don't think a 6 year old could damage it.

Plus it sounds great.

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  • You can find them a bit cheaper used, and while I'm not generally a fan of used gear, SM58s are pretty safe. I do a demonstration with one of my SM58s where I throw it (literally underhand lob it) across the room and let it slam in to the ground, pick it up, plug it in and it simply doesn't care. I've seen the things get swung on a cable and smashed in to corners of road cases and outside of some superficial dents on the wire mesh, the thing is undamaged and works as good as new. Certainly 6 year old proof unless they drop it in water, though it might be a bit big for their hands.
    – AJ Henderson
    Oct 27, 2014 at 4:59

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