Best Microphones For Acoustic Guitar Live Performance

Acoustic Guitar

Stop aiming the mic at the soundhole. Effing direct it at the 12th FRET!

This updated review and buying guide of the best Mics for acoustic guitar is a product of timely research, so be sure to get exactly best on the market after reading through.

You’ve been yelling this same one cliche on a repeat to your band. And you’re about coming across as a naggy sound guy. Above it all there seem to be not much of a difference no matter how far you go about setting things right.

The problem is with your mic and not the micing nor your team. See, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to picking a mic.

The best mics for acoustic guitar live performance is a dynamic mic. A condenser mic is most suited for the studio. While a clip-on microphone matches your private solo-practices and a small-audience setting.

That’s the basic principle. Nevertheless, if the truth should be told, there are some condensers and clip-ons that have delivered pointedly on live performance settings.

But would you rather implement the guesswork and choose randomly when buying a mic against your next live acoustic performance? Or you would better go straight for what you’re dead-sure of for maximum satisfaction?

I bet you’re wise. And you’d rather follow the lead of this done-for-you pointer to exactly the kind of mic you need to stream music perfectly into an amplifier and out straight into the heart of your audience.

Note: my listing here contains 3 dynamic mics (since a dynamic microphone is the best microphone for acoustic guitar live performance { I’ll tell you why that’s that along the way}), 1 condenser mic, and 1 clip-on.

 

Dynamic Best mics for acoustic guitar live performance

  1. Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Want a blue harmonica? Charlie MusselWhite’s or Paul Butterfield’s style? SM57 does that.

As one of the oldest 57 out there, Shure SM57 has been around since the time of legendary musicians in 1965. The only thing that has been changed in it is the copper voice coil replaced with an aluminum voice coil. Except this, SM57 is still that unidirectional cardioid reliable pack mule, a workhorse, and “a jack of all trade, master of none” that can be thrown on the floor and used that way without mounting or holding it.

Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone for acoustic guitar live performanceUse it on Bass Cabs—it works. Use it on the grill of a guitar amp—it works. How about Snares and toms? It works just perfectly.

What really gives it a mention in my listing is the fact you can escape feedback that happens when a guitar’s censor is opened to too many mics in a setting. And this is possible thanks to the tightness of the grille pattern.

Have a look at the…

Features:

  • Frequency response of 40-15,000 Hertz
  • Polar Pattern; Uniform Cardioid
  • Connectivity; wired
  • Weighs 10.1 ounces
  • SPL; 94db
  • Length; 63/16″
Pros
  • Music industry standard
  • Highest durability
  • Vocal backing
  • Off-axis rejection
  • Easy to use
  • Cost-effective
 
Cons
  • No filter
  • Low output
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  1. Shure Beta 58A supercardioid Dynamic Microphone

This is my last pick from Shure’s series of dynamic mics though. And it is the all-in-one Beta 58A supercardioid high-frequency dynamic mic that is always 10 steps ahead whenever compared to the previous SM58.

Here are my verdicts. The previous SM58 produces a muffled top end on vocals and guitars cab, whereas the Beta 58A gives out a mid push full top end.

Also, Beta 58A pick up more of a guitar and vocalist high frequencies before feedback and let you capture the representation of the music’s original source clearly. And if it happens there are some high end that is not captured initially, you can adjust it to your desired tone with the EQ mixer.

Features:

  • Supercardioid polar pattern, rotationally symmetrical around mic axis at uniform frequencies
  • Neodymium element for more signal over noise
  • Lithium-Ion Batteries
  • Pneumatic shock absorber to eliminate handling noise
  • Frequency response range; 50htz to 16000khtz

 

Pros
  • Advanced and more effective rejection of off-axis sound
  • Durable and tough
  • Higher frequency response
  • Cost-effective
  • Dynamic
 
Cons
  • Not any I can think of at the moment
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  1. AKG D5 Vocal Dynamic Microphone

Any AKG die-hard fan who is into drumming would own a patented varimotion D40. And it would be fine to mention it had this been a listing for drummers. But why include a vocal mic like the AKG D5 Vocal Dynamic Microphone now?

AKG D5 Vocal Dynamic Microphone for acoustic guitar liveSee, it’s about test-driving these mics to see if they actually do the trick. It’s not about what’s written over them. Cause we’ve all actually seen some of those so-called best acoustic guitars mics deliver woefully. Some of them couldn’t even fight it through the weakest mix. And that just gives them away.

But what’s the dealmaker in AKG D5? AKG D5 Vocal Dynamic Microphone is the first ever mic to have the thickness of its varimotion small diaphragm varied across its diameter. Giving it the ability to deliver powerful sound even on the noisiest stage. And yes, be mindless of mechanical noise, the shock mount gets rid of that making it the best way to merge a guitar with vocals with zero annoyance.

Toms, Bras, Snares, Hi-hats, Overheads… hands down! Give it all to AKG D5.

Features:

  • Laminated varimotion small diaphragm
  • Polar pattern; supercardioid for high gain feedback
  • On-axis deliverance
  • Sound pressure level; 149dB to 142dB
Pros
  • Doesn’t need a phantom power
  • Tough and Durable
  • High-frequency response
 
Cons
  • Lengthy and may get intimidating to hold when your hands get sweaty and wet
Click Here to Check Price On Amazon

 

  1. Rode NT1KIT Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Here comes the staple of every professional sound man’s mic drawer.

Rode NT1KIT comes with a Rode SMR shock mount (a pair of lyre suspension supported with another but smaller double lyre suspensions as the tension element).

Rode NT1KIT Cardioid Condenser Mic for acoustic guitar live performanceThere’s this focus on the midrange response making it so obviously detailed if you could give it testing on a friend’s or just get yours if the price is not a dealbreaker for you.

How about the filter? The NT1KIT features a bold all-metal removable pop filter as perfect plosive protection. And the fun fact is, you can wash it when it gets dirty without corroding because the entire body system is built with 6061 aluminum and plated with nickel. Nevertheless, you still need to play along with the user’s guide that comes with the package.

Features:

  • 24V Phantom Power and 48V Phantom Power required
  • Polar Pattern is Cardioid
  • 20htz to 20khtz frequency range
  • Sound Pressure level: 132dB
  • 4.5dBA self-noise (tiny!)
  • 1″ condenser capsule
  • 10 year extended warranty (This is only if you register upon purchase @ https://www.rode.com/warranty.step1
  • Output impudence is 100 ohms

 

Pros
  • Quality sound
  • Perfect vibration cancellation
  • Detailed midrange response
  • Resistant to corrosion
  • Highest frequency response on a condenser microphone
 
Cons
  • It literally breaks the bank and tears the wallet to zero
Click Here to Check Price On Amazon

 

Best Clip-On Mic for acoustic guitar

  1. Audio-Technica Wireless Lavalier Microphone AT831

Are you one of those with the “Ne’er use a clip-on amplifier on guitar for live performance” agenda? Then you haven’t been to NAMM to see Bob Brozman attach one of those with gooseneck to the back of his favorite hollow-neck acoustic steel guitar.

Bob uses it, James Taylor does too. So what’s holding you back from joining the league of these legends?

Attach AT831 lavalier microphone to their guitars and watch the band deliver maturely with no complaint from your end. Let the crisp full-sounding voice of it restore the spirit of teamwork and watch yourself become that superhero sound man who has everything under control.

See the full spec below, including how perfectly it captures gain before feedback.

Features:

  • Clip for attachment
  • Powered with battery or phantom power
  • Integral filter for 80htz high-pass

 

Pros
  • Reproductive harm-free
  • Easy to handle
  • Excellent gain before feedback
 
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Pickups high mechanical noise
Click Here To Check Price On Amazon

Conclusion

Do you think the popular C 1000s should have taken up the one space I left for a condenser mic? How about let’s have a street talk over it in the comment box? I will give you all the reasons Rode NT1KIT deserves that spot and you can debunk whatever reason I give.

Beware: I am a certified member of Gearpage and I got kicked out of Gearslutz for being a musical pervert.