The Search Is On: Boutique Mics

When it comes to choosing a microphone, there are tried-and-true favorites everyone buys to start. Sooner or later, you may find yourself dreaming of the classics: vintage Neumanns, AKGs, RCAs, and other prized microphones from recording history. But one look at the prices, and… for most of us, anyway, those dreams fade fast.

However, there are many boutique mic companies that fill the gap, offering high-quality microphones crafted with care at far more reasonable prices. Some of these builders have been around for decades, while others are new to the scene. Some clone classic circuits, while others offer new designs. Any of them would make a nice addition to your mic collection.

When searching for boutique mics on Reverb, your Reverb Feed can be an incredibly helpful tool to find deals on used mics or to get notified when new listings are added. In this article, we'll offer some helpful tips on how you can make Reverb work for you by following brands, filtered searches, or individual mics and adding them to your Feed.

There are three main benefits to this approach:

  • Some boutique mic builders have waitlists for brand-new or custom-built models. Adding them to your Feed will let you know when Reverb sellers have models for sale, or, even better, when used models land on the market.
  • When a great deal on a boutique mic pops up on Reverb, it doesn't last for long. Adding a brand or model to your Feed will give you first dibs on newly listed mics.
  • Spending several hundred (or several thousand) dollars on an incredible mic is an investment in your art, but you owe it to yourself to not spend more than is necessary. Add all of the mics you're considering to your Feed, then be patient as fresh listings arrive in the following days, weeks, and months.

With these main benefits in mind, let's use some standout boutique mic brands as examples for how you can refine your searches and use the Feed to its full advantage.

Sontronics



Sontronics is a firm based in the United Kingdom that has been creating high-quality, affordable mics since 2005. At this point, it offers models across mic types and for nearly any recording occasion: vocals, guitars, drums, podcasts, and more. These include the premium Mercury multi-pattern tube condenser or the more affordable Aria, STC-1 small diaphragm condenser, Delta 2 ribbon mic, Halo and Corona dynamic mics, and the Orpheus FET condenser.

Nearly all of the company's mics are built in the UK, though some of its budget models are shopped out to larger factories. With such a range of offerings, start your search at the brand level. Visit Reverb's Sontronics brand page and click the "Follow This Brand" button.

Peluso Microphones

22 47 LE

One of the best-known boutique mic brands, Peluso makes its own versions of classic vintage mics: tube condensers, FET condensers, and ribbons. Peluso's P-87 is modeled after the Neumann U 87; its 22 251, the famous Telefunken ELA M251; and its P-414, the AKG C414; alongside other clones.

Say you're interested in a 47-style vocal mic. Peluso's 22 47 LE should be on your list of contenders. But maybe you want to compare with 47-like options from BeesNeez, Golden Age Premier, Pearlman, and Warm Audio. Visit all of their product pages, click "Follow This Product," and let your Feed bring you the entire selection as each mic becomes available.

Samar Audio Design



Samar Audio Design specializes in ribbon microphones, using its in-house CNC machines in Salt Lake City to craft unique mic bodies and grills. What's cool is that from its lowest-priced, the AL95 (retailing for $399), to its highest-priced, the VL373A Active Stereo Ribbon, they're all made by hand at Samar's Utah workshop.

Some pro audio retailers on Reverb keep Samar mics in stock, particularly Front End Audio. But if you want to find a deal on a used Samar, you'll have to keep your eyes out for the opportunity.

Click this link to follow the brand.

Wunder Audio



Wunder Audio makes premium recording equipment across the board, from 500 Series modules to full consoles. Its microphones are no exception. Taking cues from the greatest mics in history, Wunder spares no expense in recreating vintage Neumanns and AKGs.

What that means for potential buyers is that, while quite a bit cheaper than the real-deal vintage, brand-new Wunder Mics are expensive. Reasonable for professionals who will make great use of them, but expensive all the same. That said, you never know what kind of deal you might be able to snag on the used market. So try limiting your search to just used Wunder Audio mics.

To do that, search Reverb for "Wunder Audio." Filter your results to used condition and the microphones category (so that you don't get the company's preamps, EQs, and other gear). Then, click the blue "Follow This Search" button.


Of course, there are way more mic builders creating stellar boutique mics than just the four we've mentioned above. But you can use our tips to narrow your search and find deals, no matter what brand or maker you prefer.

To help keep the search going, check out any of the mics from this (very) non-exhaustive list of boutique mic builders:

By adding searches or products to your Feed, newly listed items that match will automatically appear in your Feed. And if you elect to get a Daily Feed email, they'll be waiting for you in your inbox too. Happy hunting!

Vintage U 47s & Modern Clones
Want the classic Neumann sound on a smaller budget? You're in luck.
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