C1 is no Joke!
I've been a customer of Sweetwater now for a few years. I am a singer/songwriter/producer. I work at the University of Miami School of Music where the music engineering program is strong, I'm exposed to people who know their "sxxx" when it comes to recording and I hear what good quality recordings are supposed to sound like. In our main concert hall, when amplifying instruments or vocals, the mics of choice are either Neumann's or the ever popular AKG414'a. For our jazz vocal group's, all soloists run through the KMS105. Our studio jazz writing program also owns a decent studio that has a U87, if not 2 of them which are obviously industry standards for a lot of tracking. Sorry about such a long intro, but it's necessary to give credit to the things I know about and that most other know about and believe to be "tried and true". The bottom line is that while Neumann mics ARE incredible. However, I must say in all honest that there is definitely a new standard for price vs. quality!
I recently bought a C1 after hearing some sudio tests on piano, guitar and overheads as well as me singing through it and reading reviews. Yes, I'm gonna go there.......this is one of the best mics on the planet! No joke, no gimmic, I have not been paid. I got a chance after I bought it to take it to my nearest Guitar Center and A/B it against some other mics. Let me just say that I used the exact same channel, same mic cable, and various preamps. I tested it against the Neumann TLM103 and the U87, AT's 4040, 4047, and 4050, the Blue Blueberry and a Groove Tubes mic that I don't rmember the model of. Long story short, it wasn't the absolute best sounding mic and I honestly wouldn't use it for everything. However, it did sound extraordinarily close to the U87. So much in fact that I had to open mic eyes and cheat to see if I was really singing through the C1 at times. At the end of the battle, I had sung through all the mics through a Groove Tubes Viper Preamp, a Focusrite ISA220 and the Avalon 737. I must also mention that the Focusrite was my favorite preamp of them all. After singing through all the mics through all three of the preamps, I chose the Focusrite as giving the most "sweetness" to the sound. The others were good, but when I turned the knobs on them, the sound wasn't always nice. It just seemed like everything I did with the Focurite, once I had read what the knob was for and decided to grab that knob and change something, it did exactly what my interpretation of that knob said, to me. It seemed like the perfect preamp to do this test off with. So anyway, in the end, I like the AT4047, both the Neumann's and my C1. I'd have to say that my absolute favorites were the TLM103 and my C1. The U87 didn't sound "sweet" a lot of times. It did have a very nice output and low noise, but my C1, I felt was "prettier" sonically, has even lower noise and more output. I really liked the body that the TLM103 gave to the overall sound. It was probably due to it not having a low pass filter, but it impressed me and I'd probably buy it before I bought a U87 even if I had the money. So guys and gals, I don't know if this helps with the "buzz" on this mic, but I had to do the taste test myself to see if I was right in buying my baby. I'd describe the sound of the C1 as crystal clear, accurate, beautifully natural high's with awesome lows and no boominess. After all, on Studio Project's website they state exactly this....."We use an outstanding capsule based on a 1950's German design, but we have made it sonically better due to advanced manufacturing techniques." I'd have to say that this statement is incredibly accurate being that I do remember saying just about the exact same thing earlier in this review looking back on it now. Seriously people, get yourselves a C1, you won't regret it.