D = dynamic (moving coil) electronics. E = Electret condenser (battery powered) C = Condenser (often custom power supply, sometimes standard phantom power).
Shure SM57 - D - $75 - $125. To mic amps and drums. Can also be used for vocals. Recording electric guitar amps. Also good for snare and tom recording.
Shure SM58 - D - $100 - $150. Live stage vocal mic. Can also be driven into the ground and used as railroad spikes in a pinch (and will still work for sound)!
AT 803/813 - E - $85 - $125. Recording mic for vocals and drum over heads. Excellent value and quality for the price. Not very good for live stage work.
EV RE 20 - D - $300 - $650. Live radio. Recording mic of deep male vocals. Bass and guitar mic. Kick Drum mic.
Senneheiser MD421 - D - $250 - $450. Live or studio uses on drum toms and electric guitar speakers.
AKG C-414 - C - $400 - $900. Recording vocals and drum over heads. Used ones may be better. Phantom powered. Large diaphragm (gold foil, similar to the one in the C-12/24).
AT 4033 - C - $250 - $450. Recording vocals and drum over heads. Custom power supply. Large diaphragm. Excellent mic for the price range. Pictured at right top.
AKG D-12 - D - $600 - $800. Recording kick drum, floor toms, guitar and bass speakers.
AT 4060 - C - $1,250 - $1,650. Recording vocals and drum over heads. Custom power supply. Large diaphragm. One of the few modern tube mics and this one has a very nice sound. Similar to the one pictured at right top.
Senneheiser U-89 - C - $1,500 - $2,000. Recording vocals, acoustic instruments, drum over heads. Surprisingly close to the U-47 tube mic for vocals (the U-89 is an FET -- transistor -- unit). Used ones may be better than newer issues.
Neumann/Telefunken U-47 - C - $1,800 - $3,000. Recording vocals, all acoustic instruments, drum over heads. Church conversions are easier to service and may sound better, they also use more modern tubes than the original issue U-47. Used only (last made in the 1960s). Pictured at right
Elam 250 - C - $4,000 - $10,000. Recording acoustic instruments, vocals, drum over heads. These use standard tubes. Used only. This was Telefunken's successor to the Neumann U-47, commissioned and made by AKG.
AKG C-12 - C - $4,000 - $10,000. Recording all acoustic instruments, especially grand piano, strings, drum over heads, toms, hi hat, snare. Gold foil. Tube electronics. Large diaphragm (similar to the C-414). Used only. Very similar if not identical to the Elam 250/251, as they were essentially made by the same company. The C-12 is a more modern version.
AKG C-24 - C - $6,000 - $15,000. Recording all acoustic instruments, especially grand piano, string, orchestra, whole drum kits (top end only, no bottom to this mic). Stereo X/Y version of the C-12, although the C-12 is more in demand. One C-24 can record the cymbals, toms and snare of a drum kit left and right. All you need is a D-12 for the kick and maybe a D-12 or RE-20 for the floor tom. Used only (last made in the 1980s).
You can also rent and lease microphones at prices starting around $20 a day for something like an RE20 to $300 a day for something like a C-24.
-- Also contributing to this was Jeff Sherman
For more details and a history on 12 mics that changed the world: http://www.vintageking.com/12mics.htm
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