Fantastic all around Dynamic microphone
Blue has come up with an exceptional microphone. I've had a pair for 8 weeks now, and I've come to prefer them to a variety of other industry standards I've used over the years in many circumstances. The key advantage is accuracy and versatility: the encore 100i does a fine job in getting the full character of the source. The proximity effect is well controlled and balanced: which results in substantially more flexibility in placement to achieve an accurate rendition. The 100i is great on toms, congas, doumbek, djembe, guitar cabinets. Most dynamics (IMO) sound like drek on acoustic guitar: The initial sense is that the 100i sounds like a condenser: A/B/Cing it with a Pulsar II (SDC) and SM57 on acoustic guitar, the SDC does offer a bit more detail and spacial sense (partly due to its cardioid response vs the hypercardioid of the 100i), but both have accurate low mids, and harmonics have the proper balance and sparkle. The SM57 doesn't offer the same detail and requires a very specific placement to get even close to the more balanced response the SDC or 100i offer over a variety of placements.The 100i has wonderful off axis rejection, so its perfect for live. Nothing against the SM57, it has a distinctive character that is often called for: but I find the e100i generally preferable. Haven't tried the 100i on sources I normally put large diaphragm condensers or ribbons on like brass or piano yet; it will be worth a test sometime to understand the mic better.
I was initially concerned that the low 1.1mv output spec (= +59db for unity gain) might be a limitation on quieter sources, but in practice the input gain has about the position on the fader as other dynamics that spec a higher output. Self noise is very low, and they sound wonderful on vocals or speaking as well. In summary: For an all around dynamic: this would be my first choice. If I wanted a mic just for vocals this will certainly get it done, though I might prefer an AKG D5.