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I've got $225.00...

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  • P.G. Holyfield
    There are similar posts out here and I ll do a search tonight, but I m at work and wanted to post this anyways so maybe I ll have something good to read when I
    Message 1 of 17 , Oct 30, 2006
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      There are similar posts out here and I'll do a search tonight, but I'm
      at work and wanted to post this anyways so maybe I'll have something
      good to read when I get home :)

      I've got $225.00 to play with and looking for the best microphone/mixer
      combo I can find.

      The mic will be used for spoken word only, and I'd only be looking to
      possibly add one more mic in the future, so that won't be an issue with
      the mixer.

      I was originally thinking about the MXL 990 with shockmount (70.00) and
      the Behringer UB802 (40.00) but I've got a bit more to work with (if I
      can upgrade the sound quality with the extra $100.00 I have to work
      with).

      Any suggestions?
    • Stephen Eley
      ... First, look at Behringer s XENYX line instead of the UB series. It s a newer generation, with supposedly better preamps (the feature set and branding are
      Message 2 of 17 , Oct 30, 2006
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        On 10/30/06, P.G. Holyfield <pgholyfield@...> wrote:
        >
        > I was originally thinking about the MXL 990 with shockmount (70.00) and
        > the Behringer UB802 (40.00) but I've got a bit more to work with (if I
        > can upgrade the sound quality with the extra $100.00 I have to work
        > with).

        First, look at Behringer's XENYX line instead of the UB series. It's
        a newer generation, with supposedly better preamps (the feature set
        and branding are ripoffs of Mackie's Onyx series) and at the low end
        they start at around $50 to $60, just like the UBs.

        Then take whatever money's left over, go to Guitar Center or your
        local equivalent, and try all the mics they have that fit your budget.
        There is no one microphone that sounds best for everyone. Different
        mics work well with different voices. So the only way to know which
        one is *your* best mic is to experiment.

        The other possibility would be the Alesis Multimix 8 USB mixer, which
        you can get for $150. It's a good mixer and the USB interface will
        liberate you from your sound card, for even better noise reduction.
        It limits your mic freedom -- the only decent choices that'd fit in
        your budget then would be the MXL 990 or maybe a Shure SM58 -- but
        neither of those is a bad choice, and you can always buy another mic
        later.

        There are better mixers, but I can't think of any other good options
        that would leave you with enough money for a studio microphone. But I
        don't think you can really go wrong with the above. The important
        thing with microphones is just to try them first.

        --
        Have Fun,
        Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
        ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
        http://www.escapepod.org
      • Andy White
        ... Hash: SHA1 ... Personally I d stay away from Behringer, the one I had was junk. Take a look at the Yamaha mixers. For a mic, I use a Shure SM 57 with a
        Message 3 of 17 , Oct 30, 2006
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          Stephen Eley wrote:
          >
          >
          > On 10/30/06, P.G. Holyfield <pgholyfield@...
          > <mailto:pgholyfield%40murderatavedonhill.com>> wrote:
          >>
          >> I was originally thinking about the MXL 990 with shockmount (70.00) and
          >> the Behringer UB802 (40.00) but I've got a bit more to work with (if I
          >> can upgrade the sound quality with the extra $100.00 I have to work
          >> with).

          Personally I'd stay away from Behringer, the one I had was junk. Take a
          look at the Yamaha mixers. For a mic, I use a Shure SM 57 with a
          windscreen, at least until I can get a Heil PR 40.
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        • ghankstef
          I like the Shure 55sh. Made for voice. Costs about $150 US Listen to samples at digiaudio.blogspot.com. Look for the episode that reviews the Shure 55sh
          Message 4 of 17 , Oct 30, 2006
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            I like the Shure 55sh. Made for voice. Costs about $150 US

            Listen to samples at digiaudio.blogspot.com. Look for the episode that reviews the Shure
            55sh

            --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "P.G. Holyfield" <pgholyfield@...> wrote:
            >
            > There are similar posts out here and I'll do a search tonight, but I'm
            > at work and wanted to post this anyways so maybe I'll have something
            > good to read when I get home :)
            >
            > I've got $225.00 to play with and looking for the best microphone/mixer
            > combo I can find.
            >
            > The mic will be used for spoken word only, and I'd only be looking to
            > possibly add one more mic in the future, so that won't be an issue with
            > the mixer.
            >
            > I was originally thinking about the MXL 990 with shockmount (70.00) and
            > the Behringer UB802 (40.00) but I've got a bit more to work with (if I
            > can upgrade the sound quality with the extra $100.00 I have to work
            > with).
            >
            > Any suggestions?
            >
          • Michael W. Dean
            ... ======= I d get the Alesis Multimix 8 USB mixer, $150. and a MXL MXLV63M condenser studio microphone w/ shockmount (100 bucks from musiciansfriend.com), a
            Message 5 of 17 , Oct 30, 2006
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              --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "P.G. Holyfield" <pgholyfield@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > There are similar posts out here and I'll do a search tonight, but I'm
              > at work and wanted to post this anyways so maybe I'll have something
              > good to read when I get home :)
              >
              > I've got $225.00 to play with and looking for the best microphone/mixer
              > combo I can find.
              >
              > The mic will be used for spoken word only, and I'd only be looking to
              > possibly add one more mic in the future, so that won't be an issue with
              > the mixer.
              >
              > I was originally thinking about the MXL 990 with shockmount (70.00) and
              > the Behringer UB802 (40.00) but I've got a bit more to work with (if I
              > can upgrade the sound quality with the extra $100.00 I have to work
              > with).
              >
              > Any suggestions?
              >
              =======
              I'd get the Alesis Multimix 8 USB mixer, $150.
              and a MXL MXLV63M condenser studio microphone w/ shockmount (100 bucks
              from musiciansfriend.com), a stand and a pop filter. You'll need about
              100 bucks more, but it's good stuff. You'll need a mike cable too. 10
              bucks for a short one.

              If your budget is locked at 225, I'd sell some old CDs or my sick
              grandmother's morphine and get 25 bucks more and get the Alesis, the
              MXL, and just rig the mike up to a broom stick with some pantyhose
              stretched in front of it, until you can afford the stand and pop
              filter. (you'll need a pop filter, condenser mikes don't like spit or
              plosives).

              If you wanna hear this mike and mixer in action, I used it for all the
              episodes of Clone The Homeless
              http://www.clonethehomeless.com

              Listen to episode number 4, as it's the most recent, and I'm getting
              better at tweaking the gear as I go along.

              The Alesis has 100 built-in effects you can totally overuse too. I do.
              lol.....

              Condenser mikes are very sensitive. I've more or less soundproofed the
              room I use for podcasting, but was still even picking up the fan from
              my laptop. I fixed this somewhat by laying a piece of foam rubber (the
              mike came packed in it) over the fan side of the computer when I
              record. The fan can still cool the pooter, but most of the sound is
              blocked from reaching the mike.

              MWD
            • ghankstef
              The Alesis has some nice features but you may want to invest in a mixer with expandability via channel inserts so as to allow you to add a compressor in the
              Message 6 of 17 , Oct 31, 2006
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                The Alesis has some nice features but you may want to invest in a
                mixer with expandability via channel inserts so as to allow you to add
                a compressor in the the future

                --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "P.G. Holyfield" <pgholyfield@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > There are similar posts out here and I'll do a search tonight, but I'm
                > at work and wanted to post this anyways so maybe I'll have something
                > good to read when I get home :)
                >
                > I've got $225.00 to play with and looking for the best microphone/mixer
                > combo I can find.
                >
                > The mic will be used for spoken word only, and I'd only be looking to
                > possibly add one more mic in the future, so that won't be an issue with
                > the mixer.
                >
                > I was originally thinking about the MXL 990 with shockmount (70.00) and
                > the Behringer UB802 (40.00) but I've got a bit more to work with (if I
                > can upgrade the sound quality with the extra $100.00 I have to work
                > with).
                >
                > Any suggestions?
                >
              • Martin McKeay
                For $199, you can get the Yamaha MW10 which has the inserts, is a USB mixer and worth every penny of it, at least in my opinion. I used an Alessis mixer for
                Message 7 of 17 , Oct 31, 2006
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                  For $199, you can get the Yamaha MW10 which has the inserts, is a USB
                  mixer and worth every penny of it, at least in my opinion. I used an
                  Alessis mixer for about six months, and while I liked it, I had to
                  upgrade to make use of the Alessis 3630 I purchased. The Yamaha is
                  probably one of the best USB mixers in its price range.

                  Better to buy the mixer you really want now and then to spend the
                  money again in six months when you outgrow it. Especially true if you
                  have a serviceable mic now or can pick up a cheap one to use until you
                  can buy one of the more expensive mics.

                  Martin

                  On 10/31/06, ghankstef <ghankstef@...> wrote:
                  > The Alesis has some nice features but you may want to invest in a
                  > mixer with expandability via channel inserts so as to allow you to add
                  > a compressor in the the future
                  >
                  > --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "P.G. Holyfield" <pgholyfield@...>
                  > wrote:
                  > >
                  > > There are similar posts out here and I'll do a search tonight, but I'm
                  > > at work and wanted to post this anyways so maybe I'll have something
                  > > good to read when I get home :)
                  > >
                  > > I've got $225.00 to play with and looking for the best microphone/mixer
                  > > combo I can find.
                  > >
                  > > The mic will be used for spoken word only, and I'd only be looking to
                  > > possibly add one more mic in the future, so that won't be an issue with
                  > > the mixer.
                  > >
                  > > I was originally thinking about the MXL 990 with shockmount (70.00) and
                  > > the Behringer UB802 (40.00) but I've got a bit more to work with (if I
                  > > can upgrade the sound quality with the extra $100.00 I have to work
                  > > with).
                  > >
                  > > Any suggestions?
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  --
                  Martin McKeay, CISSP, CCNA
                  The Network Security Podcast
                  http://www.mckeay.net/
                  http://www.securityroundtable.com/
                  http://www.computerworld.com/blogs/mckeay
                  YIM: mmckeay@...
                  916-231-9479
                • P.G. Holyfield
                  Thanks for the responses everyone! I am looking at both the MXL 990 and the MXLV63M, since they both come with Shock Mounts and are available locally. I ll
                  Message 8 of 17 , Oct 31, 2006
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                    Thanks for the responses everyone! I am looking at both the MXL 990
                    and the MXLV63M, since they both come with Shock Mounts and are
                    available locally. I'll also see what else the Guitar Center has,
                    although their selection was either verrrrrry low end or started at
                    $300. (Also, I went there a few weeks ago to do research and the
                    salesman I worked with didn't really want to deal with the non-
                    musician potential buyer).

                    Another newbie question... what is gained by 'liberating myself' from
                    my soundcard? By using a mixer with a USB input, this means I am
                    bypassing the soundcard altoghter, correct? Will this be easily
                    picked up by Adobe Audition?

                    I am looking at the Behringer Xenyx line, the Alesis and the Yamahas
                    as well. I admit I don't know what half the specs mean. Do all the
                    mixers have USB connectivity (most of the Xenyx line doesn't state
                    one way or the other)? If they don't have USB, I have a good Audigy
                    soundcard. Can I connect through my soundcard if the mixer does not
                    have USB connectivity?

                    Sorry about all the questions. I'm searching for some music equipment
                    forums so I can read up on this stuff.

                    (as an aside, Steve, just listened to Dinner Game. Excellent work!)

                    --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "Stephen Eley" <SFEley@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > First, look at Behringer's XENYX line instead of the UB series.
                    It's
                    > a newer generation, with supposedly better preamps (the feature set
                    > and branding are ripoffs of Mackie's Onyx series) and at the low end
                    > they start at around $50 to $60, just like the UBs.
                    >
                    > Then take whatever money's left over, go to Guitar Center or your
                    > local equivalent, and try all the mics they have that fit your
                    budget.
                    > There is no one microphone that sounds best for everyone.
                    Different
                    > mics work well with different voices. So the only way to know which
                    > one is *your* best mic is to experiment.
                    >
                    > The other possibility would be the Alesis Multimix 8 USB mixer,
                    which
                    > you can get for $150. It's a good mixer and the USB interface will
                    > liberate you from your sound card, for even better noise reduction.
                    > It limits your mic freedom -- the only decent choices that'd fit in
                    > your budget then would be the MXL 990 or maybe a Shure SM58 -- but
                    > neither of those is a bad choice, and you can always buy another mic
                    > later.
                    >
                    > There are better mixers, but I can't think of any other good options
                    > that would leave you with enough money for a studio microphone.
                    But I
                    > don't think you can really go wrong with the above. The important
                    > thing with microphones is just to try them first.
                    >
                    > --
                    > Have Fun,
                    > Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                    > ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                    > http://www.escapepod.org
                    >
                  • Michael W. Dean
                    ... Guitar Safeway blows. And the salesmen are pushy, since they work on commission. Buying on the Internet is best. ... WAY less noise. Especially compared to
                    Message 9 of 17 , Oct 31, 2006
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                      --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "P.G. Holyfield" <pgholyfield@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Thanks for the responses everyone! I am looking at both the MXL 990
                      > and the MXLV63M, since they both come with Shock Mounts and are
                      > available locally. I'll also see what else the Guitar Center has,
                      > although their selection was either verrrrrry low end or started at
                      > $300. (Also, I went there a few weeks ago to do research and the
                      > salesman I worked with didn't really want to deal with the non-
                      > musician potential buyer).



                      Guitar Safeway blows.
                      And the salesmen are pushy, since they work on commission.
                      Buying on the Internet is best.



                      > Another newbie question... what is gained by 'liberating myself' from
                      > my soundcard?

                      WAY less noise. Especially compared to laptop soundcards.


                      By using a mixer with a USB input, this means I am
                      > bypassing the soundcard altoghter, correct? Will this be easily
                      > picked up by Adobe Audition?

                      Probably. USB on my Alesis was seemless, plug and play, and worked
                      directly into all my sound programs (though I don't have audition., I
                      use Sony stuff--Acid, Sound Forge and Vegas.) Plug headphones into
                      Mixer. Computer sends signal back.

                      Stephen Eley gave me some great advice on here--get good headphones.
                      Spend a hundred bucks on them when you can. You'll REALLY hear what
                      you're doing.

                      I got some (Sony MDR-7506) and can hear stuff in my podcast I couldn't
                      with speakers or cheap headphones. Hell, I can hear stuff I've never
                      heard before in music by other people that I've been listening to for
                      YEARS. It's like a new set of ears.



                      Can I connect through my soundcard if the mixer does not
                      > have USB connectivity?

                      Yes. Might need some adapter plugs, but all mixers have line out.


                      >
                      > Sorry about all the questions.

                      No prob. We all help each other here.


                      >Michael W. Dean

                      --"Clone The Homeless" podcast
                      http://www.clonethehomeless.com

                      --"Submission and Coffee with Dollie Llama" podcast
                      http://www.askdollie.com

                      --Casa De Llama Studio
                      http://www.casadellama.com

                      --My books and films:
                      http://www.michaelwdean.com

                      --other assorted crap:
                      http://www.kittyfeet.com/
                    • Stephen Eley
                      ... I m sorry you had a bad Guitar Center experience. If you remember the salesman s name, I d consider letting the manager know about it, and look for a
                      Message 10 of 17 , Oct 31, 2006
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                        On 10/31/06, P.G. Holyfield <pgholyfield@...> wrote:
                        > Thanks for the responses everyone! I am looking at both the MXL 990
                        > and the MXLV63M, since they both come with Shock Mounts and are
                        > available locally. I'll also see what else the Guitar Center has,
                        > although their selection was either verrrrrry low end or started at
                        > $300. (Also, I went there a few weeks ago to do research and the
                        > salesman I worked with didn't really want to deal with the non-
                        > musician potential buyer).

                        I'm sorry you had a bad Guitar Center experience. If you remember the
                        salesman's name, I'd consider letting the manager know about it, and
                        look for a different person next time or see if there's another pro
                        music store near you. I've had nothing but good sales experiences at
                        my local GC.

                        Either way, it's the value of trying mics that I wanted to emphasize,
                        not where you buy them. You can't tell what a mic is going to sound
                        like with your voice by reading specs.


                        > Another newbie question... what is gained by 'liberating myself' from
                        > my soundcard? By using a mixer with a USB input, this means I am
                        > bypassing the soundcard altoghter, correct? Will this be easily
                        > picked up by Adobe Audition?

                        Yes, and yes. And the reason it's a good thing is because most sound
                        cards suck. Even the higher-end ones (the Audigies and the Turtle
                        Beaches and so forth) are susceptible to electrical noise from all the
                        other stuff inside your computer case. So it's usually a good idea to
                        have the analog-to-digital conversion happen someplace outside your
                        computer. (Although of course, if your budget constrains you, you
                        could always get an analog mixer and run it into your soundcard's
                        line-in now, and get a USB or Firewire interface later on down the
                        line.)


                        > I am looking at the Behringer Xenyx line, the Alesis and the Yamahas
                        > as well. I admit I don't know what half the specs mean. Do all the
                        > mixers have USB connectivity (most of the Xenyx line doesn't state
                        > one way or the other)?

                        No, it's actually fairly unusual for a mixer to have USB or Firewire
                        output, and the ones that do push it strongly as a selling point.
                        Some of the Xenyx mixers are listed as coming with USB capability, but
                        what that really means is that they ship with a separate (and generic)
                        USB interface that you can plug between the mixer and the computer.


                        > If they don't have USB, I have a good Audigy
                        > soundcard. Can I connect through my soundcard if the mixer does not
                        > have USB connectivity?

                        Yes, you can. See above. The noise isn't really *that* much of a
                        problem; and having a mixer at all means that the input signal will be
                        much, much stronger. You'd probably have to listen with really good
                        headphones to hear it at all. (Speaking of which, have you put good
                        headphones on your shopping list?) >8->


                        > (as an aside, Steve, just listened to Dinner Game. Excellent work!)

                        Thanks very much! I'm very glad you enjoyed it.


                        --
                        Have Fun,
                        Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                        ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                        http://www.escapepod.org
                      • Jim Van Verth
                        As far as USB interfaces, the Behringer UCA202 looks to be pretty good, and it s only $30. We ve actually got one and I ve tried it out on both PC and Mac.
                        Message 11 of 17 , Nov 1, 2006
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                          As far as USB interfaces, the Behringer UCA202 looks to be pretty good, and
                          it's only $30. We've actually got one and I've tried it out on both PC and
                          Mac. Most of the reviews I've read complain about its lack of features and
                          plastic case, but not its sound quality. So if you go for a USB-less mixer,
                          that plus a stereo 1/4" to RCA cable might hold you pretty well.

                          One note on the UCA202 and Audacity: it doesn't work well with Audacity
                          1.2.3, so you'd need to upgrade if that's the version you're using. Works
                          fine with Audacity 1.2.5 and GarageBand, though.

                          Jim
                          http://www.thevintagegamer.net


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • P.G. Holyfield
                          ... I called the local Guitar Center and spoke to the audio manager and I m going back tomorrow to try out mics and mixers with his help. After researching
                          Message 12 of 17 , Nov 2, 2006
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                            --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "Stephen Eley" <SFEley@...> wrote:

                            > I'm sorry you had a bad Guitar Center experience. If you remember the
                            > salesman's name, I'd consider letting the manager know about it, and
                            > look for a different person next time or see if there's another pro
                            > music store near you. I've had nothing but good sales experiences at
                            > my local GC.
                            >
                            > --
                            > Have Fun,
                            > Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                            > ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                            > http://www.escapepod.org
                            >

                            I called the local Guitar Center and spoke to the audio manager and I'm
                            going back tomorrow to try out mics and mixers with his help. After
                            researching longer than I probably should have at work I've come down
                            to three mixers:

                            Xenyx 1204FX - 169.99
                            Yamaha MW10 - 199.99
                            Alesis Multimix 8USB - 149.99

                            All USB and have the effects I was looking for.

                            With the $70 or $90 MXL microphone, I'll most likely go over my budget
                            but I figured that would happen as soon as I posted here :)

                            Thanks again everyone!
                          • Jack Hosley
                            Hey at least you have a budget... WNDRWolf ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            Message 13 of 17 , Nov 2, 2006
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                              Hey at least you have a budget...
                              WNDRWolf


                              On 11/2/06, P.G. Holyfield <pgholyfield@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com <podcasters%40yahoogroups.com>,
                              > "Stephen Eley" <SFEley@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > > I'm sorry you had a bad Guitar Center experience. If you remember the
                              > > salesman's name, I'd consider letting the manager know about it, and
                              > > look for a different person next time or see if there's another pro
                              > > music store near you. I've had nothing but good sales experiences at
                              > > my local GC.
                              > >
                              > > --
                              > > Have Fun,
                              > > Steve Eley (sfeley@...)
                              > > ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
                              > > http://www.escapepod.org
                              > >
                              >
                              > I called the local Guitar Center and spoke to the audio manager and I'm
                              > going back tomorrow to try out mics and mixers with his help. After
                              > researching longer than I probably should have at work I've come down
                              > to three mixers:
                              >
                              > Xenyx 1204FX - 169.99
                              > Yamaha MW10 - 199.99
                              > Alesis Multimix 8USB - 149.99
                              >
                              > All USB and have the effects I was looking for.
                              >
                              > With the $70 or $90 MXL microphone, I'll most likely go over my budget
                              > but I figured that would happen as soon as I posted here :)
                              >
                              > Thanks again everyone!
                              >
                              >
                              >


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Paul Puri
                              ... Don t forget that at Guitar Center you can negotiate price. Don t walk out of there with at least 5% knocked off the regular sale price. If you can t get
                              Message 14 of 17 , Nov 2, 2006
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                                On 11/2/06, Jack Hosley <wndrwolf@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Hey at least you have a budget...
                                > WNDRWolf
                                >




                                Don't forget that at Guitar Center you can negotiate price. Don't walk out
                                of there with at least 5% knocked off the regular sale price.

                                If you can't get them a better deal, let me know, and I can have my friend
                                at my local GC ship the items to anyone, and still save you money.

                                Never pay full price!!

                                Paul Puri

                                Listen to Podcasts. No iPod necessary!
                                The Podcast Guild Planning Committee.
                                http://podcastguild.com/

                                The Official Podcasters Wiki: http://podcasterswiki.com

                                Promotion without shame.
                                Podcasting Announcements
                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/podcastingannouncements/


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Michael W. Dean
                                ... walk out ... Good point, Paul. Keep in mind that at Guitar Safeway, the sales people are on commission and make most of their nut that way. I have found
                                Message 15 of 17 , Nov 2, 2006
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                                  --- In podcasters@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Puri" <paulpuri@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > On 11/2/06, Jack Hosley <wndrwolf@...> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Hey at least you have a budget...
                                  > > WNDRWolf
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Don't forget that at Guitar Center you can negotiate price. Don't
                                  walk out
                                  > of there with at least 5% knocked off the regular sale price.......
                                  > ===============

                                  Good point, Paul.

                                  Keep in mind that at Guitar Safeway, the sales people are on
                                  commission and make most of their nut that way.

                                  I have found some very knowledgeable people working there. But I have
                                  also had some of their sales folk be really pushy and pretend they
                                  know what they're talking about to try to get me to buy more than I
                                  need, so they can get their cut. I've shopped there a lot over the
                                  years (though not much any more), at different Guitar Center stores
                                  (San Francisco and Los Angeles) and had similar experiences.

                                  I used to shop at Guitar Safeway a lot, back before you could get
                                  everything online from places like Musician's Friend and Amazon.

                                  The only time I set foot in a Guitar Safeway now is to try out gear I
                                  later buy on line elsewhere (thanks for that tip, Stephen), or if I'm
                                  really stuck and need something small like a cable or a set of bass
                                  strings TODAY, and can't wait to get it delivered from an online store.

                                  A tip my friend Reuben gave me, that's only for when you're buying
                                  something that costs over 200 bucks: Go into the store five minutes
                                  before they close, and try to haggle. If they haven't made their quota
                                  for the day, they'll be more likely to deal. If they have made their
                                  quota, they might haggle just to get you out the door.

                                  Best way to do this is know the exact price (with tax) of the item,
                                  and set 80 or 85% of that, in cash, on the counter, and say it's all
                                  you have in the whole world. This can work at a chain store like
                                  Guitar Safeway.

                                  If you ever buy stuff at a pawn shop, bring 50-70% of the list price
                                  (any time of day, not just near closing) and say it's all you have. At
                                  a pawn shop, sometimes if they say "no", and you say "OK, thank you"
                                  and start walking out the door, they'll call you back in and do the deal.

                                  You can get good deals on vintage hardware at pawn shops, especially
                                  guitars, amps, FX pedals, outboard compressors and mixers and such.
                                  But you have to be able to deal with the spiritual taint of using gear
                                  that was sold out of desperation. But then again, there is a saying:
                                  "You can't REALLY play the Blues on a guitar that's never been in a
                                  pawn shop."
                                • Michael W. Dean
                                  I have purchased and enjoyed a lot of second-hand gear over the years. But I would recommend never buying a used microphone (unless it s vintage, and you know
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Nov 2, 2006
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                                    I have purchased and enjoyed a lot of second-hand gear over the years.
                                    But I would recommend never buying a used microphone (unless it's
                                    vintage, and you know exactly why you want it and why it is better in
                                    some way than a new mike.)

                                    People spit and breathe in mikes all day long. This isn't good for them.

                                    And you might not smell it when the mike is on a cold table at the
                                    yard sale, but once you start speaking into it and warming it up, the
                                    scent of bad beer and cigarette breath from the previous users will
                                    hit you in the face every time you use it. Even through a pop screen.
                                  • P.G. Holyfield
                                    I ve decided on the Xenyx 1204FX mixer and the MXLV63M microphone. Thanks again for the help, and I m sure I ll be back with questions once I get them (got to
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Nov 5, 2006
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                                      I've decided on the Xenyx 1204FX mixer and the MXLV63M microphone.
                                      Thanks again for the help, and I'm sure I'll be back with questions
                                      once I get them (got to wait until the 15th to purchase) set up.
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