Wednesday, May 30, 2007 

We've Moved!

Please see

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 

The Podcaster's and Musician's Guide to Buying Used Pro Audio Gear on eBay

My Guide to buying used audio equioment on eBay for podcasters.

Download the mp3.

Sign Up for an eBay Account. Creating an account is free. If you sign up via this link - we get a small affiliate fee.

I bought 4 mics, a voice processor, a fire wire audio interface, a mic preamp, several cables, and a minidisc recorder for $470. Retail pricing on these items would have been $1,176

View Savings Details

The Tips

  1. Before you begin bidding, decide on a specific product or a small range of products to narrow your search efforts. There is a lot of stuff available on eBay, you can waste a lot of time if you are just browsing around. In some cases I searched for a specific item like a MXL 990 condenser microphone. I other cases, I search for broader terms, like audio interfaces, because I new there were 3, 4 or more audio interfaces that would fit the bill.
  2. After you find some items that look like they may be worth bidding on, add them to your watched items. Watched items let you track muliple items that interest you showing the current bid price, shipping, info, seller info, and time left at a glance. Before you even begin bidding, watch serveral items until the bidding ends to get an idea of how much they are selling for.
  3. To aid you in this process use the advance search parameters available on eBay searches. In particular use the max price parameter and the end date/time parameter. These are very useful, the end date/time parameter help a lot because most of the bidding occurs toward the end of the auction in most cases. Also, the max price parameter lets you set the upper spending limit for an item (at that poin in time). If you a looking for a used Shure SM57 and are only willing to pay $50.00 , search results for items above $50 are no good to you. Also, you can save searches that get sent to you by email or RSS. I have an ongoing search looking for a good deal on a Shure SM7B broadcast mic. I'm waiting for a good deal to appear and this way eBay will tell me if and when it does.
  4. Now that you have an idea of the going rate of the items you want to purchase, you need to decide how much you are willing to spend on that item. In most cases used gear seems to sell for about %50-%60 percent of the retail value. If it start costing you more then %60 - I'd let it go and wait for the next one to show up for sale. If you are paying 60% of retail - you're almost better off buing new. There are execptions, sometime thing are sold new in the box or unused. In other cases, the item may not be avaiable new any longer. You may need to pay a little more in these cases. I bought a Presonus Inspire firewire interface new in box. It cost me right around 60% of retail value.
  5. Make sure the seller has a high feedback rating of at least 98% positive.
  6. Make sure the shipping cost aren't outrageous
  7. Make sure the seller take Paypal - you get insurance if they do.
  8. OK, you have one or more items in mind, you have an ide of what you are willing to pay, you are tracking serveral items in your watched items. My advice here is: don't bid yet. Wait until there is less than one minute left in the auction. If you bid earlier than that, you are just giving other time to counterbid. This drives the price up further. Wait until one minute or less is left, then bid the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the item. You will win many auctions this way - not all but many.
  9. Be rationale, its easy to get hooked on eBay bidding. Its a real rush sometimes when that auction is ending. Be willing to walk away if the bid is too high.

Sign Up for an eBay Account. Creating an account is free. If you sign up via this link - we get a small affiliate fee.

Item Price I Paid New or Equivalent Price Savings
MXL 990 and 991 mic set $58.00 $99.00 $41.00
Presonus Inspire I394 $119.99 $199.99 $80.00
2 Shure Beta 58A Microphones $173.50 $318.00 $144.50
Presonus TubPre Microphone PreAmp $50.00 $100.00 $50.00
Behringer Autocom MDX 1400 Dynamics Processor plus 6 xlr and insert cables $42.70 $160.00 $118.30
Sony MZ R30 Minidisc Recorder $26.00 $300.00 $274.00
Totals $470.19 $1176.99 $707.80

$707.80 in savings!


Monday, March 12, 2007 

Mic Preamps, Audio Interfaces and Beyond

Direct link to the mp3.

Rick Pepper joins us to talk about the gear you'll need (beyond a microphone) to record your voice.

Products mentioned:

M-Audio usb and firewire interfaces

ART Tube MP USB - 153

Presonus Inspire I394

Tapco Link Usb

Presonus Firepod and Firestudio
and a Gear Media Tech review

Alesis Multimixer Firewire mixer

DBX 286A Microphone Processor

Saturday, March 03, 2007 

Russ Stark

Russ Stark is the candidate I am supporting for St. Paul City Council. I'll be a delegate next week. I even made his Website.

Friday, March 02, 2007 

Portable Recording on the Cheap

Direct link to the mp3

After a hectic February, we're back with listener questions on gear and workflow as well as buying gear on ebay, and portable recording on the cheap with a used minidisc recorder and a Shure Beta 58A dynamic microphone

Monday, January 29, 2007 

Microphones for first time buyers

Direct link to the mp3

Dynamics vs. Condensers

Omnidirectional vs Cardiod

A non-comprehensive list of microphones we have experience with or know to be well regarded:

Usb mics:
Plantronics usb headset approx. $35 US

Samson Q1U $49
Samson Co3U $129
Samson CO1U $80
Blue Snowball $99
MXL Usb 006 $130
Rode Podcaster $200

Usb mic shoot out at podsqod: hear 3 usb mics compared

Usb - no way to add voice processor, preamp, noise gate - a bit of a dead end but good way to get started on a low budget

Mics under $100
MXL 990 $59 at
Shure SM58, SM57
Sennheiser MD 42
Audio-Technica AT2020-M20 $99 at BSW

Kel Audio HM-1 mic

Shure 55sh
Shure Beta 57

Rode NT1A
AKG C 1000 S
Rode Podcaster (usb)
Studio Projects C1
Audio-Technica AT3035 $199 BSW
Heil PR20 $199 BSW

$300 plus
Heil PR40
Electrovoice RE20 ($400)
Shure SMb ($350)

Saturday, January 20, 2007 

Blue Snowball on sale on eBay

I am putting my Blue Snowball usb condenser mic for sale on eBay:

It still works great, I just decided to upgrade to a different mic.