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10 Studio-Quality DIY Microphones That Could Save You Thousands

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10 Studio-Quality DIY Microphones That Could Save You Thousands


If your goal is to save money and not delve into the finer points of microphone quality, a kit might be just the approach for you. Fred Gabrsek’s ribbon mic project above is a good example of this phenomenon, by which you can spend $400 on a mic kit rather than $2,000 worth of your time. But remember: You’re gaining sweat equity, experience, and knowledge, and you’ll get comparatively less of all of these simply assembling most kits.

Microphone-parts.com is the go-to source for many builders of vintage microphone clones. It sells kits to reproduce everything from a $229 kit to reproduce the Schoeps CMC5, which you can find used for about $4,500, to $879 kits to mostly recreate the classic U47. We say “mostly” because, as MicParts points out, the critical VF14 tube used by the U47 is no longer available, and so has to be emulated in circuitry. You can, however, buy a working VF14 tube on Reverb for around $4,000, and no doubt someone will.

Of course, MicParts isn’t the only source for DIY mic kits. There are many kits from many makers. Austin Ribbon Microphones, for example, offers three kits with handmade components between $279 and $399 (sans transformer). These kits look handmade, and no doubt gear snobs will turn their noses up at the mic-in-a-pipe aesthetic, but they sound great, and sometimes gear snobs get fixated on the wrong things.

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