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Beyer M160 vs. Beyer M260 for a darker tone?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 
Beyer M160 vs. Beyer M260 for a darker tone?

Ok guys..

I would like to get some decent recordings of a little archtop guitar coming out of my silvertone 1481 amp. I currently am miking this with a 57 and an AT4033 but I'm not super psyched about the way it sounds. The 57 is just too harsh, the 4033 picks up too much room (will be treating room very soon).

I want to try a ribbon mic to pair w/ the 57. I can't justify buying the Royer 121, but I've heard great things about the M160. That said, I've heard it's the "57 of ribbon mics" - from videos it does sound bright to me.

What would a darker alternative to the M160 be, in a similar price range? Is the M260 a good candidate? I don't see many M260's out there.

I think I could get a used Royer 101 for $700, but at that price point, I'd probably just as soon go for a used 121. Leaning against going the Royer route, too much $$.

Thanks all!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
The M260 is long-gone. People that have them don't want to give them up.

For a while Beyer sold the M260.80 which was an M260 with a different transformer that has no low end. That has been discontinued too for a while.

The M260 is a very different thing than the M160. My friend Paul likes it a lot more on guitar than the M160. But they are in short supply.

The M160 is a nice mike on acoustic guitar. It doesn't have a huge presence peak, but it's got some. If it's too bright, move it closer to the sound hole. If it's not bright enough, move it up the neck.

If you want something without quite the detail, but which is a giant step up from the SM-57, you might consider a Sennheiser MD441.
--scott
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
The M260 is long-gone. People that have them don't want to give them up.

For a while Beyer sold the M260.80 which was an M260 with a different transformer that has no low end. That has been discontinued too for a while.

The M260 is a very different thing than the M160. My friend Paul likes it a lot more on guitar than the M160. But they are in short supply.

The M160 is a nice mike on acoustic guitar. It doesn't have a huge presence peak, but it's got some. If it's too bright, move it closer to the sound hole. If it's not bright enough, move it up the neck.

If you want something without quite the detail, but which is a giant step up from the SM-57, you might consider a Sennheiser MD441.
--scott
thanks! to be clear, i'm looking for a mic to pair with the 57 to use on my amp, not the guitar itself.

If I'm hearing you correctly.. the M260 is a better better-regarded than the M160? Is this true for miking clean sounds through an amp?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #4
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondJoe12 ➡️
thanks! to be clear, i'm looking for a mic to pair with the 57 to use on my amp, not the guitar itself.
If the 57 is too bright, try moving it out toward the outer edge of the speaker cone, or miking from the rear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondJoe12 ➡️
If I'm hearing you correctly.. the M260 is a better better-regarded than the M160? Is this true for miking clean sounds through an amp?
The M260 is a cheaper microphone, but some people preferred it on acoustic guitar than the M160. But, it's gone, so don't worry about it.

I'd spend a good bit of time moving mikes around before changing mikes. But the M160 is a good mike to have.
--scott
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I own 4 Beyer M160s, and I use them a LOT. I can’t think of a single situation where an M160 sounded too bright to me. (And I generally prefer darker sounds.)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Here for the gear
 
I like darker sounds as well and the sm57 is just not doing that. I went ahead and ordered the M160, let's hope I can make it sound good. How do you usually mic up an amp with these? I have a couple questions:

how far away from the amp?

do I run an M160 through phantom power? I'll be using it through a black lion auteur and then into a scarlett.

Thanks.. I know these are kind of rookie questions but I appreciate the help!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #7
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondJoe12 ➡️
I like darker sounds as well and the sm57 is just not doing that. I went ahead and ordered the M160, let's hope I can make it sound good. How do you usually mic up an amp with these? I have a couple questions:

how far away from the amp?

do I run an M160 through phantom power? I'll be using it through a black lion auteur and then into a scarlett.

Thanks.. I know these are kind of rookie questions but I appreciate the help!
No phantom power. It's a ribbon.

How far away from the amp? Probably farther away than an SM-57, but you'll have to try it. Move in toward the center of the cone to make it brighter, out the edge to make it darker, pull it back to get more room, and move the amp closer and farther from the wall to adjust the low octave. If at all possible get someone else to help you... listen in the control room while they move the mikes for you.

But with that amp, if you want a dark sound, no matter what mike you are using I suggest miking the rear. I know it's not very popular these days, but I think you'll like it.
--scott
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Here for the gear
 
Will try miking the back of amp - thanks for suggestion!

What if the M160 is going through one preamp (black lion - no phantom power engaged) into a scarlett 4i4 (phantom power engaged). Am I going to have problems?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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sirjuxtable's Avatar
 
I have 2 m260's, but with the modded 77dx ribbons. Having said that, they are my favorite mics on guitar cab. They aren't dark though - plenty of high end, but it's smooth and sweet, not harsh.

Different ribbon though. YMMV.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #10
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondJoe12 ➡️
Will try miking the back of amp - thanks for suggestion!

What if the M160 is going through one preamp (black lion - no phantom power engaged) into a scarlett 4i4 (phantom power engaged). Am I going to have problems?
WHY? Why would you want to do that? You don't need more than 40dB of gain... you probably don't need anything approaching it, even with a ribbon.
--scott
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #11
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sirjuxtable's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
WHY? Why would you want to do that? You don't need more than 40dB of gain... you probably don't need anything approaching it, even with a ribbon.
--scott
Especially on a guitar amp.

People talk about needing lots of clean gain with a ribbon for quiet sources, like a meek vocalist at 3+ feet out. Not so much with electric guitar.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #12
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable ➡️
Especially on a guitar amp.

People talk about needing lots of clean gain with a ribbon for quiet sources, like a meek vocalist at 3+ feet out. Not so much with electric guitar.
Why would I mic the back... you told me to try it in your post? Unless I misunderstood you?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #13
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sirjuxtable's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondJoe12 ➡️
Why would I mic the back... you told me to try it in your post? Unless I misunderstood you?
Kludge was referring to this:

"What if the M160 is going through one preamp (black lion - no phantom power engaged) into a Scarlett 4i4 (phantom power engaged). Am I going to have problems?"

It sounds like you are trying to daisy-chain preamps for some reason?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #14
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondJoe12 ➡️
Why would I mic the back... you told me to try it in your post? Unless I misunderstood you?
Because the speaker sounds different from behind, darker and more mellow, and it also allows you to control the low end a bit more easily since whatever bass boost there is from the rear wall is more prominent.

It used to be a very standard technique, especially for PA where it hid the microphones behind the stacks where they wouldn't clutter up the stage. It's not as popular anymore, but it's a good route toward getting the kind of tone I think you are after.
--scott
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Here for the gear
 
Thanks Scott! Yeah I really like trying to get dark, natural tones from this archtop I have. So let me clarify, if I may:

I have 4 mics to work with now that I have the M160. I definitely want to use a Beyer MC930 on the archtop itself. I'd also like to use two mics on the amp itself, likely an SM57 w/ the M160.

Also have an AT4033 I could throw in the mix - maybe not though.

The issue is that the MC930 runs on phantom power. So I need to enable phantom power on my scarlett focusrite. If the M160 is also going into the focusrite, I'm worried I'm going to have issues.

I feel I do need the phantom-powered MC930 - I'm just trying to figure out how to use it w/ the M160 safely..

Does any of this make sense? thanks for your advice.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Here for the gear
 
And to add, the focusrite has two xlr inputs, 2 line inputs.

I use the Black Lion Auteur (2 xlr inputs, going into focusrite via balanced cables) so I can work with like 3-4 total mics. And also I like the sound.. it's got a very cool high-end crunchy thing going on that I really dig.

So, I guess I'm daisy-chaining.. not sure what the implications of that are..

I'm new to all this - appreciate it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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Progger's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I wouldn't call it daisy chaining if you're going from the Black Lion preamp's output into the line-in on your Focusrite. It sound like you're using those things exactly as they're intended, and that's definitely the way to go, particularly if you need phantom power to your 930 and want to avoid damaging your 160. Even if (as experienced engineers have indicated elsewhere) the risk to the ribbon is low, it's still a risk I wouldn't take, particularly since you already have the gear to avoid it.

Using a dedicated external preamp and then going from there to the line-in on your interface will very likely produce slightly more pleasing results than the interface's pres, as you've noticed. It's undoubtedly a subtle difference, those stock Focusrite pres are perfectly fine. But the Black Lion probably has some coloration that's musically pleasing, by design.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Here for the gear
 
Totally - Black Lion adds a little something special. Thanks for your response!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #19
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondJoe12 ➡️
Totally - Black Lion adds a little something special. Thanks for your response!
Yeah, so it's not actually going through two preamps, just one.
--scott
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Nut
 
For a good, 'honest', sound with no worry of proximity effect, try EV RE-15/16.
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