Long. Don't read if you don't give a crap about how you sound when you sing through your mic. OK, I'm going to put this here. I thought about Recording Equipment, but this is stage and performance stuff mostly. I also thought about Off Topic, but this is about music, and all you singing bass players. Lately I've been acquiring a bunch of decent mics, and tonight I plugged them into my Mackie 1402 VLZ Pro for side-by-side comparisons. My band has been using exclusively Shure SM-58's for 8 years. We even have a wireless one. Here's the lineup of mics I've got now, and that we'll presumably be using in the future: 1. Shure SM-58 (cardioid dynamic) 2. Shure Beta 58A (supercardioid dynamic) 3. Shure Beta 87C (cardioid condenser, the Beta 87A is supercardiod) 4. Neumann KMS 105 (supercardioid condenser) 5. Rode NT1 (large-diameter cardioid condenser) 6. AKG C4000B (large-diameter multi-pattern condenser) Here are my opinions regarding what I experienced by singing 2-octave scales into each one, side-by-side with the others in various combinations. Best overall sound: Rode NT1. Not bad for a mic that lists at $500 less than the AKG. The AKG was a close second. The Rode gave a very crisp and acurate representation throughout the full range of the scales. It was great on the low end without being boomy (I sing bass), and held the mids with nice highs as well. You just can't beat those large-diaphragm condensers. The AKG was slightly more subdued, but it would be easy for someone to prefer its sound over the Rode. It also has more features, including 100 hz bass roll-off, 10 dB pad, and a three-pattern selector: cardioid, supercardiod, and omni. We've used both of these mics on stage and, while they require a little attention to placement to avoid feedback, they sound, well, bitchen. In fairness, you can't really expect hand-held stage mics to compete with large-diaphragm mics. So: Best-sounding hand-held: Neumann KMS 105. Big surprise, eh? It is a small-diaphragm (one-half inch) condenser, and is considered by many to be the "best" hand-held mic made. It oughtta be for $500 street. Really nice detail throughout the range, a little bass roll-off to cut boominess, excellent highs without excessive sibilance (I just HAD to use that word ... reminds me of Tom Hanks on SNL). That said, the Shure Beta 87C (also a small-diameter condenser) ran a close second, and at $220 street (Rik's Music), it's much better bang for the buck. In a live show situation, you're not going to be able to tell the difference between it and the KMS 105. In fact, because the Beta 87C is a cardiod, it's going to be a little more resistant to feedback generated from monitor systems and other off-axis sources. I had thought that, after I sell my last remaining 4-string "bass," I'd get me another KMS 105, but, if I need more mics, I think I'll go with the Beta 87's and get more of 'em. OK, that leaves the Shure Beta 58A and SM-58. These are both dynamic mics, with the Beta 58A being supercardioid pattern and the SM-58 cardioid. I imagine the Beta will be more susceptible to feedback because of this. There's really no comparison here. The Beta has increased high-frequency response (16khz as opposed to 15 khz for the SM-58), and it is very noticeable. It's just more crisp and realistic than the SM. By the time you get into the high-mid vocal register, the SM has lost its lustre, and sounds comparably flat. The Beta has considerably more detail in the higher registers, and it sounds good. By comparison, though, the Beta 58A doesn't have nearly the detail of the Beta 87C. Both mics have a significant increase in low-frequency "presence" if you sing into them very close to or touching the screen. This can be cool, if that's what you like. (For instance, if your band does "Fame" David Bowie style.) Keep in mind that all the condenser mics tout a frequency range that goes up into the 20 khz stratosphere. This gives them a very "live" sound, but to my ear, also enriches the mid frequency range with some nice overtones. In summary, my recommendation is the Shure Beta 87C. Sounds great, most bang for buck. It sounds much more articulate than the SM-58, the industry standard. It may be a bit more fragile though. The Beta 58A (about $120 street, if you work at it) is a step up from the SM-58, and you can get two of them for the price of one Beta 87, or four of them for the price of one KMS 105. One last thing. Condenser mics require phantom power, so make sure your board can supply it, or buy a power supply. That's all.