Looking to purchase a new microphone for recording acoustic guitar

I’m looking to purchase a new (or used microphone) to be used specifically to record acoustic guitars.
I am open to any/all suggestions.

Thank you,

Hi @tony22,

These are my options:

  • Neumann KM184
  • Octava MK-012
  • Neumann U87
  • Rode NT-5
  • Sennheiser MKH40
  • AKG C414


  • Rode NT1-A
  • AKG Perception 420
  • AudioTechnica 4040 or 2020

If money isn’t a problem, I would either go with Neumann KM184 or AKG C414.

Hope that helps!
Kind regards,
Alexey :slight_smile:


Hi Alexey,
I so appreciate your input. I’ll be doing some research on all the items you mentioned!

Thanks again,

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No problem! Glad if I can help you somehow!

I’m not sure how „far“ you are production-wise, however I can give you my experience about recording a-guitars.

I had a singer-songwriter in my home Studio. I own the Octavas which are great for that price. He had a custom Taylor guitar for around 2k$. Both things you would think is a great combination. So I started positioning the mics and looking for the best sound. After a while I gave up after recording different sample-takes.
What was the reason for that, you might ask?
Simple as that: First make sure the guitar is played properly. That’s extremely important to start achieving a great sound. That’s the reason why often drummers are re-sampled later on. People think they can play. However, that’s one of the reasons why producers make hit-records and others don’t. It always starts with the source.

Second, how does your room sound / how does it have impact on the sound of the instrument. You can have the greatest guitar in the world, it still will sound bad if your room sounds like a toilet. If you have an option to go for a bigger room, do it. Bigger rooms tend to give you more options afterwards, as you have less early reflections in your recordings. Bigger rooms sound more lifelier, more natural. More than 25m2 would be great.
In my case, as my studio is in a flat, hidden in a corner, the room is almost untreated so the resonance of that room are ruining the recording even with that expensive guitar and mics. That’s the reason I told the singer-songwriter to use a sample library like from Native Instruments. In my opinion their acoustic instrument is brilliant, was coded well and a sound which you can’t beat from home. Even if you have a superb studio, it will be hard to achieve that sound from NI. However, nothing will ever beat a human being performance as long as it’s top notch. (But you need 1, 2, 3 & 4 combined).

Third, the instrument. I think I don’t need to explain what the difference between a 150$ guitar and a 2000$ is. Although there are instruments out there, which are cheap/dirty/brocken but have a great character. Think about the 60/70s recordings. RocknRoll! Play music, nobody cares as long as it has a great vibe! :slight_smile:

Fourth, the microphone (+ preamplifier). Great range in prices and quality of course, however, always remember this: even the greatest, best, most expensive, whatever gear will never make a great recording itself! It’s always the engineer and ears behind it! There are tones examples of home studio recordings which beat recordings from bigger commercial studios! You can always find it in mixing and recording contests. It’s not the tools, but how you use them!

Enjoy your future recordings, experiment with the equipment you have. In most cases it will be more than enough to make you and others happy :wink:

Kind regards,
Alexey :slight_smile:

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Thanks again for all of the additional info! Much appreciating all!

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I’ll pitch a mic for acoustic instruments …strings , upright bass, acoustic guitar and bluegrass fiddle … an audio technica 4033cl … fills the spot well …but as said above … a properly set up instrument, new strings and great technical ability ability as well as a properly tuned and intonated instrument will make your tracking so much better …

Recording acoustic guitar is a rewarding endeavor! When it comes to microphones, a great choice is the versatile Shure SM81. It captures the nuances of acoustic guitars beautifully. And if you ever decide to explore microphones for ASMR or other recording purposes, you might find that the SM81 is a solid option.