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Samson CO3 Reviews

4.0 stars based on 7 customer reviews
  • Boris
    from Chicago June 23, 2007Music Background:
    Pro Multimedia Producer

    Absolutely stunning mic for any price

    I own three of these and over four years the never let me down. If I would need to buy another again I would do it in a snap. This microphone will do anything! Literally! It will take vocals, drums, acoustic guitar, violin, sax... For these guys who complain something about vocals, learn to use the equipment. It is inexpensive but pro level, multi-mode device so you have to learn some stuff before complain. I use them with C-valve(another jewel from Samson) and baby you can take your Neuman back to the store. Overall, I have about ten microphones from Samson each of which is definitely the best in a class. To mention this one pared with another c03 and pair of c02 makes superb, like million $ recording setup.
    This mike captures the deep, true image with no coloration which is good. If you want warm it up, use saturation on C-valve and it will sound like anything you like it to be.

  • Evan Gavry
    from Albany, NY December 21, 2011Music Background:
    Recording and Live Sound Engineer, Semi-Pro Musician

    Samson C03s

    A really solid mic and a great value.

    Used to use a pair of AKG C414s for just about everything: overheads, acoustics, vocals. Lost those in a studio fire and couldn't afford to replace them. For around 1/8 the price, these mikes really surprised me.

    They sound phenomenal as drum overheads and on acoustics, and they add a lot of nice room tone combined with a close-mic on an amp cab. Vocals take a little EQ tweaking, but can be pretty quickly sweetend. Actually just recorded a duet on the figure 8 setting that I'm very happy with (would normally track both vocals separately). Solid build, great sound and with bass roll off, pad, and pattern selection options, the C03 can't be beat for the value. These are going to be all over my next solo album.

  • tmfcovers
    from December 25, 2010Music Background:
    Recording engineer/producer/artist

    Great for instruments, not so much for vocals

    A couple years ago, I received a C03, along with a Sennheiser e835 and an interface, as a gift from my dad to help me build my project studio. He picked these two microphones after tons of research, so his decision was very well-educated. I have used this microphone for recording acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, bass guitar, drums, and vocals, so it's been all over the place. It shines for acoustic guitar and drum overheads, as it sounds very clear with lots of highs. On acoustic guitar, I can get a clear, almost thin sound by turning up the highs on the mixer (this sound works very well in a dense mix or, for solo stuff, combined with the guitar's pickup); or I can get a more powerful, punchy sound that captures more of the body of the instrument by turning up the upper-mids. On drums, I combine it with an ElectroVoice PL35 on snare, a cheap SM58 knockoff on kick (this actually works surprisingly well), and a couple Audio-Technica M4000Ss on toms, and use the C03 for overheads, and I end up with a full-bodied drum sound that, I think, rivals the sounds I hear on CDs made in million-dollar studios. For vocals, however, I find this microphone to sound too thin and wimpy (and often harsh), so I use my Sennheiser e835, and I end up with a great overall sound. For vocals, you could definitely do better for the price, but the Samson C03 is a great workhorse instrument microphone.

  • Andy H.
    from Parkersburg, WV October 14, 2008Music Background:
    Musician, Recording Engineer Wannabe

    Great for vocals!

    I have had this mic for a few years now. It is low priced so you may be thinking about going for something a little more expensive to get a 'better sound'. This mic is awesome for vocals and sounds great on just about everything ive tried it on. I love the ability to switch the pickup patterns and the pad and high pass switches are nice features as well. My only beef with this mic is the self noise. On vocals its not very noticable, the airy sound of the voice covers it up. Acoustic guitars sound really good, but that little hiss is always there. If the player plays soft its there(in my ears), but if the players plays pretty heavy then you can get some decent tracks from it. I am running this through my 003 rack with out hardware compression (I hate my compressor!) into Pro tools LE.

    A perfect mic for the new studio. Just be sure you are getting enough level into the mic so you wont have to crank it up and hear that little hiss.

    I did have a chance to compare this with an M-audio Nova the other day. I put the nova on vocals and after the first line I switched back to the C03. The Nova sounded thin and was noisier than the C03. The vocalist who knows nothing about mics thought the C03 sounded much better than the Nova as well.

  • Mike
    from Miami, FL USA August 5, 2006Music Background:

    Good for instruments - not good for vocals

    This is a good mic for the price. So far it has done a good job recording instruments such as a saxaphone (directly), pre-amped instruments or a group. It has not done well with vocals. It does not pickup on low sound level dynamics, the vocalist needs to get close and belt it out. You are more likely to pickup popping sounds from exhaling. So I would not recommend it for vocals but it is good for instruments.

  • Nick Borho
    from April 12, 2006

    Great Mic

    If' you're looking for an affordable large diaphram condenser, this is it. Feature-wise, it's great - switchable polar pattern and low cut and 10db cut. It runs on phantom power so you'll need a 48 volt ARTcessories box for $50, but your total price is still low and probably better than the competition at $100 more. If you're looking to spend less than $400, I would strongly consider this mic, way underrated in my opinion. I've used it to record an acoustic fingerstyle album, as an area mic for a small live show, and as an amp mic. For vocals, acoustic instruments, or area mic this is great. Don't know about drums or bass cabs. For a guitar amp, you can't beat an SM57. Still, this would be a great addition to your home studio.

    P.S. You probably don't need the shock mount unless you'll be using it at live shows or you like to head bang and might knock it over.

  • Dontay Dynamite(R&B/Hip-Hop Producer)
    from Richmond, VA January 1, 2005

    It's GREAT for the money($99)

    This mic is a fair entry level condenser. I would have to say that it's not great and it's not bad either. I will admit that the mic's performance is beyond it's price.It has the sonic characteristics of mic's twice it's price.If you are buying a vocal mic based on price solely, this is a good buy. If you are buying a vocal mic based on performance, buy a BLUE,RODE or AUDIO TECHNICA($499). If you really have some money to spend purchase a Neumman TLM 103($999). It would pay off if you just waited and bought a great mic and mic preamp.I learned this through experience,just trying to save you the trouble. If you are determined to buy this mic, make sure that you have a good tube preamp to breathe life into the vocal tracks. Heaven knows that this mic need all the help it can get.

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