Originally Posted by edorr
When in doubt, I always err on the side of spending more money. Now that the seeds of doubt have been planted in my brain, I have no option but to buy the expensive mic for peace of mind. I'm also cheap and in no hurry (I already have a good mic), so I'll probably wait until one show up for cheap and scoop it up, compare calibrations with the two mics, and resell the earthworks with a profit if I can't hear a difference between calibrations.
This is the most logical path.Earthworks preowned stuff seems to have increased in price in the last year or so. You have to do a RMA type of form to get the calibration file if the mic was not supplied with one,usually the case for mic made before 2012. If memory serves the cost is $50, so try to buy one already with a calibration file.
Earthworks mic are not manufactured in China and individual measurements are done. "Each microphone’s capsule is hand tested and matched to its circuitry to provide the most accurate responses." I think is sort of a myth that the state of electronics is such that they match the published specs with no variance. If you have ever calibrated a projector, for example of the same brand and model, or have seen the results of others, you will notice that even brand new, the setting from one will not directly transfer to the other because of this variance. I would not expect better from cheap mics. Cost is a factor because more time is spent measuring each individual mic so you are paying more for that.
I spoke with Earthworks a few years back and my recollection of the conversation is that there is not much difference between the electronics of the M50 and M30. I believe the capsule is changed to allow higher frequency measurements.What I really wanted to know was whether there was an advantage to the M50, such as it being more linear but that is not the case. I also believe that Dirac does not generate filers above 20Khz so you may consider the M23 as well? The M30 seems to be the sweet spot however for used sales and I was able to purchase one cheaper than I could find the M23 used.
Use your ears to see if it matters. What is without doubt is that Earthworks provides more rigorous testing of each individual mic.
Perhaps, it's just my background in experimentation, but I consider it simplistic that some only consider the microphones and do not consider that the USB preamp used, either built in or external could be a factor. Because the Earthworks mics require an external preamp, you would likely never be just comparing just mic to mic but also the quality of the USB preamplifier, perhaps Sound Devices USBPRE 2 and the analog to digital conversion vs the "built in" electronics of some mics.