This is a microphone that is visually striking at first glance, somewhat reminiscent of other brands of microphones that offer a classic look and fancy at a vintage price. The PGA181 comes with a vintage look and a vintage sound at a very modern price. As a ‘do it all’ tool for your studio, this microphone will come in handy for instruments, vocals and a range of percussion uses. This could be the ideal add on microphone to any recording setup, offering a little something different to the rest of your arsenal.
There are all sorts of condenser microphones on the market that offer a range of options, switches, modes and variations in their operations. The PGA181 doesn’t get caught up in all this. It is all about simplicity and functionality. The slim design of this microphone gives it a classic, vintage look, but it is all about form and function, rather than fashion. Designed to be used mainly as an instrument microphone, the PGA181 has been kept slim in design to allow for better placement in and around instruments when the microphone needs to be kept discreet and leave room for other microphones, cables and stands. Whereas one would generally lean towards a pencil style condenser microphone for many of these close instrument techniques, the PGA181 gives you the advantage of a larger diaphragm, resulting in a bigger, fuller sound with added bottom end.
What the PGA181 delivers above other pencil style condenser microphones in a similar price range is a depth of sound that is quite unexpected. This means that you end up with a sound that allows you to sculpt it a little more in the mix and find the perfect place for your instruments to fit in the greater scheme of your track. It also means you can use this microphone for a wider range of uses and getting it in front of an acoustic guitar is the first thing I wanted to try. It has plenty of sizzle to capture the string sound and brilliance of the guitar, yet still lets you hear all the low frequency depth of the instrument’s body.
Hits and Misses
Built really tough
Great sounding instrument microphone for the price
Compact, side address design
No frills, yet not options either