The Studio Projects C1 is a large diaphragm condenser microphone. Mine is a version 1 (the original model). The current production model is “version 2”. I’m not exactly sure what the difference is. Mine is also identified as “797 Audio”. A quick internet search id’s 797 Audio as a company in China that produces “electro-acoustic” equipment.
The new models retail for $249. Back when I bought mine they sold for more like $200, and I got mine used for around $150 or less. Either way, you could definitely call these budget friendly.
I also recall from the research I had done that the C1 is widely regarded as a very good vocal mic for the price. The Studio Projects B1 is known as more of an all-purpose mic, but I use my C1 for absolutely everything.
It comes (at least mine came) with a really nice metal case, foam pop filter, and a well-made shockmount. Here’s a photo of what I got with mine:
The construction on all of it is top notch. I’ve owned this mic for several years, and you can kind of tell the previous owner put some wear on it.
I’ve recorded the following things with this mic:
I’d say this mic is best suited for vocals. It’s very articulate and clean sounding. I’d say bright, too. When comparing with my Shure Beta 58a, the C1 has a lot more clarity. That’s one of the big differences between dynamics and condensers.
This mic has become my main acoustic guitar mic (actually, I’ve sold the mics I used to use for acoustic). I like the sound – very bright and clear. It really does a great job of capturing the sound of whatever you put in front of it.
Electric Guitar (amp’d)
I know the SM57 is the go-to mic for electric guitar, and I have one, but I like the sound of the C1 on the amp. Again – it does a good job of capturing the source.
The only con I’d say about this mic is that it can have the tendency to sound a bit harsh/brittle. I’ve never had the privilege of using really high-end gear, but it’s my understanding that using premium tube preamps and microphones give you a lot of warmth, and using these budget mic’s results in a lack of said warmth. That’s my experience.
Overall, I really do love the way this mic sounds and performs. I have a feeling I’d have to spend way more money than I can afford to get any noticeable improvement.
So what does it sound like?
Reviewers can babble on and on about these things, but listening to recordings gives you the best idea of this mic. I’ve embedded my “Strings EP” below. I recorded pretty much all the acoustic guitars and vocals on this whole EP with the C1 into my PreSonus Firepod.
Looking for one single mic that you can do pretty much anything with in your home studio? Put this one on your list for sure. If you can find a retailer and try one out, that’s the best way to decided. Line it up with a few others in your price range, sing (or play) into it, and pick the one that sounds the best. Overall I’m very happy with this mic.