audio technica ae2500 or Shure Beta 52A?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Junta, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Junta


    Aug 11, 2016
    Hi folks

    Amateur player here, who does not gig, and only records 'songs' for self and friends to have fun (I play all guitar and bass parts, drums come from the computer)...

    I have been using my Ampeg PF-20T tube amp's DI, a radial JDI, and recently a Dark Glass Alpha Omega's DI for recording bass, sometimes with impulse responses, but most of the time without any cab simulation. It depends on the amount of overdrive/distortion I use mostly.

    I live in a semi-detached house, and would not be able to turn my amp anything above 'bedroom levels' unless the neighbours are on vacation basically... I know, it sucks with guitar, it sucks even more with bass... They do not go on vacation too often either!

    I got the audio technica ae2500 used from a blow out sale at my favorite music store today, and I would appreciate any tips. Basically, I am going to test it against the DI options I have, and see if it makes sense to mic my 2x10 Traynor cab at the levels I am able to record at.

    $299 is not exactly cheap for an amateur, and if I am trying to accomplish smth impossible, I would rather use my time just doing my online bass lessons!

    So for low volume micing with this mic, what should I do? Use both elements (condenser and dynamic)? Place really really close to cab? Turn -10db off?

    Any tips, including advice about keeping this versus returning it are welcome! Cheers!
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  2. Junta


    Aug 11, 2016
    Yikes... No response! Does this mean this mic is ancient history, or was never very popular?

    This 2003 (!) review has good things to say about the mic:

    Audio Technica AE2500 |

    This article makes a good negative point:

    "If you are using it on the road, you should definitely consider buying (or building) a spare cable or two, as they are not a standard off the shelf cable. Other than that, the AE2500 seems bulletproof! "

    Audio-Technica AE2500 | The Audio Magazine

  3. AT makes very good quality stuff that isn't overpriced. But for 299,- you bought a special device for bass drum recording. But you want to record a bass cabinet at low volumes. The combination of a condenser with a dynamic mic was a strategy to prevent phase issues that occur if you record a source with two mics. Don't know much about kick-drum recording, but it occures to me: you've paid money for a specialized device that solves problems you don't have.
    I'm not so much into Ampeg, but I would like to be in the position to try the Ampeg PF-20T as a DI.
  4. Junta


    Aug 11, 2016
    Hey DirkP, I think you make a good point. I am doing my best to test the AE2500 vs impulse response - at volumes I can get to:

    So far, the Audio Technica is viping the floors with the impulse responses / mics from the two notes store.

    I am placing the AE2500 about 1.5 inches from the cab, facing where the cone wide center meets the narrow cone in my TRAYNOR 2x10 cab. I have palyed with the volume from 'the neigbours are away' levels to 'neighbours are at home' levels, and the AE2500 is still sounding way better!

    It is quite possible I am doing a terrible job of setting the Two Notes Wall of sound software with a 8x10 cab, 1 dynamic + 1 condenser set up. I did move the parameters around (center vs edge, close vs more distant), and I changed a few mic types. Still, the AE 2500 is sounding better.

    I am leaning towards keeping this mic (It is selling for over $500 at Sweetwater by the way) - but first I need to make sure that I can get an extra 5-pin to 3-pin splitter XLR cable. Without this cable, the mic is pretty useless. Do I need to get a custom build for smth like that? Or do such cables exist commercially?

    16.5' (5 m) dual shielded, 8-conductor cable, 5-pin XLRF-type connector at microphone, two 3-pin XLRM-type output connectors

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  5. Junta


    Aug 11, 2016
    Here are two short amateur recordings I made using the DI on the Ampeg PF-20T:

  6. Junta


    Aug 11, 2016
    OK, I returned the AE2500, and came back home with a Shure Beta 52A.

    • On the plus side, the Beta52 seems to be delivering the low + mids all by itself. Recording a riff with distortion through Darkglass Alpha Omega, the Beta52 delivers pleasant results
    • On the negative side, the Beta52 is 'less efficient' than the Audio Technica AE2500 - both in comparison to the Condenser side (to be expected), AND the dynamic side.
    So with my problem of being stuck with bedroom volume levels, I had to crank the gain on the mic-pre for the Beta52. Not the best noise to signal ratio...

    Hmmm, I guess the Beta52 is less usefull to me than the AE2500. Too bad because I really liked what it does with distorted bass tones.