Best cheap gear

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  • @radioovermoscow Feb 2

    Anyone got any secret weapons that are absurdly cheap, and punch way above what they cost?

    I'll start - Samson SR850 headphones. I got a pair for about $40, and they're better than the 'studio' set I got with my Scarlett interface *and* the Sennheisers that cost me four times that.

    And this Aussie company Artist Guitars makes clone guitars that as far as I can tell, are just as good as the originals - I recently got a 'Grungemaster' - based on a Fender Jazzmaster.

    I'd be keen to hear if anyone's got any good mic suggestions - cheaper versions of SM57s, Rodes, etc.

  • @postcardhelicopters  Feb 2

    Not a gear suggestion per se, but just a reminder that "display demo" and "warehouse resealed" can be your wallet's best friend.

  • @joycamp Feb 2

    Dude i live in fear of my SR850’s breaking - i dont want to learn a new set of cans. I use them for tracking and mixing. Best $35 i ever spent.

  • @jacobeverettwallace  Feb 2

    I've gotten a ton of mileage out of an MXL 990 large condenser. You can get 'em for 99 bucks, prob cheaper now, sometimes with a pencil mic in a set with it. My radio single "Orange Haze" from last April was recorded elusively on one. For a cheap large condenser I think it just sounds good, especially if you have a good pre-amp to pair it with.

  • @radioovermoscow Feb 2

    @joycamp Nice! I researched for weeks, was narrowing in on some AKGs, then stumbled upon some random forum which led me to Amazon, and the rest is... not quite history yet. But yeah, can't believe how good they are for the cost! I'm considering ordering a few more while I have the money, haha... you know, just in case.

  • @spingo  Feb 2

    I like my Caline Orange Burst and Behringer Super Fuzz pedals, knockoffs of the Xotic BB Preamp and Boss FZ-2, respectively. Under 30 bucks each.

    Two pawn shop finds of late that ended up shockingly useful were the Yamaha JR-1 3/4 acoustic and a Squier Mini Strat. I play the former almost exclusively with my band and the latter (after setup and 11s or 12s, I forget) sounds and plays much better than it has any right to. I paid 50 each and they're on shopgoodwill for under that constantly.

    I've barely touched my full-sized guitars since, especially for recording at the computer in a chair.

  • @cbodovinitz  Feb 2

    My phone.

  • @helenseviltwin  Feb 2

    Samson c-01 large diaphragm condenser mic cost me about £30 ten years ago and is still going strong.

  • @cblack  Feb 2

    FL Studio Mobile. It's damn near as useful as the desktop version, but only costs 1/10th of the price - maybe less. Plenty you can do with it. And if you decide to buy add-ons, it's still way cheaper. (It's a DAW, in case that wasn't clear.)

  • @sjbatavia  Feb 2

    Spire is a free multi track recording software for your iPhone or iPad. Very easy to use. I have a Blue Mikey I sometimes use with it, but the mic on my iPhone is usually adequate for what I’m doing.

  • @max  Feb 2

    Plug in an old Sony Handycam videocam, put it on a stand. They're usually cheap or free when the videosection is broken. It's got a great stereomic on it. Plus a popscreen made out of a wire and old stockings three inches from that mic. Does a great job for a few cents.

  • @paulhenry  Feb 2

    SM58. The little mic that can.

  • @torsten  Feb 2

    DAW: Ardour. Runs on Windows, Mac and Linux and cost's 0 or 1 € depending if you want to save plugin's adjustments.

    Audio-Plugins: Calf. They are free and very useful (Reverb, Delay, Compression, EQ, and some more)

    Over-ear headphone: Phillips SHP 1900. Very reliable, light weight, astounding neutral sound for a headphone in this price range. ~12€

    Large diaphragm condenser Mic: Rode NT1 cost's a bit more (~200€) but it's so good I can't talk about it.

    Small practicing amp: Blackstar fly, cost's ~40€ and still sounds good.

    Folding guitar / folding base: Snapdragon. Half the price as their competitors and still very useful and well working.

  • @mrblitz000 Feb 2

    'Caline Orange Burst' is tight. Agreed that Behringer Fuzz is actually quite good, too. I use a Behringer UV300 Vibrato. For around $25, very nice... ymmv

    Oh, a brand new ('2nds') Davison guitar for $39, at

  • @boyatheart  Feb 2

    Hahaha. Just about every item I have is low-budget and, to me wonderful.
    All the gear I list here is used on my FAWM demos.
    - Behringer XM8500 mic (kind of SM58 copy) - sounds nicer than SM58 to my ears.
    - Behringer UMC404HD audio interface
    - Squier Bullet hardtail Strat
    _ Squier Classic Vibe Strat
    - Squier Tele Custom II
    - Squier Jazz Bass
    - Strat made from cheap parts from Ebay and leftover Squier parts
    - Several Chinese-made guitar pedals (Mooer, Donner, Tomsline etc)
    - Quilter Micro Block 45 amp, which punches well above its weight. It's my only amp and it gets used for recording and regular gigging.

  • @woodhornhank Feb 2

    Superlux ECM999 is really good cheap mic.(35e)

    "DUDE,it`s a measurement mic ! "

    Yes,but of course you can use it for recording ,just try 😀

  • @zecoop  Feb 2

    Craigslist and Goodwill have gotten me lots of killer bargains... My favorites have been a 1950's Silvertone 1331 amp for ($25 - essentially the same as a Fender Champ from the same era); a 1960's Silvertone 604 parlour guitar for $25; a Hammond M-100 organ for $40 and my favorite, a 1970's Gem Sprinter combo organ for $30. I use all those things a ton.

  • @tcelliott  Feb 2

    I bought a used superlux S241 small diaphragm mic that is effing awesome.

    I've had mixed feelings on my two Caline pedals, but this Joyo American Sound (amp modeler) pedal is worth all of the 34.99 (US) I spent on it and more.

    I've heard nothing but good things about Harley Benton guitars (if you do a little set up and maintenance on them.)

    And if you want super cheap pickups and parts that have awesome reviews then check out = They sell guitars etc, with rave reviews as well. The Slick series of pickups are said to be super duper great.

  • @ustaknow Feb 2

    Pyle-Pro PDMIC78 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone Sold by: LLC

    China clone of the SM57/8

    Does not have the isolation coil in the bottom, but since it costs ~ $11 - $14 ... kinda don't care 😉

    A/B tested, not Scoped, -- same, to me ear slightly (slightly) brighter.

  • @jacobeverettwallace  Feb 2

    @tcelliott I concur on the Joyo. Best 30 bucks I've ever spent in music.

  • @ustaknow Feb 2

    Washburn Bantam (precision clone) Bass -- when in production, and beyond comprehension to me, came with hard/softshell case for $150 and never saw a bad one. "African Mahogany" body, light, resonant, and my neck -- perfect with as low as it can go action.

    I put in Di Marzio's.

    But a go-to Bass if the Precision Fretless is not around.

    I see them from time to time online for $50. If lucky, from a burried in closet seller, or one who even then changed out the kinda - weak pups (from memory)... and still ~ $50

    Gotta say, if untouched and wants $150 for it or even $200, -- still a good deal, all original with case, went from the Christmas tree to the Closet type deal.

    [I can own anything I want... and that motivated me to not do that. For me, really don't want to have a $3000+ guitar sitting around, or etc. Just kinda not my style. Some of the "cheap" ones are amazing, BUT you do need to know how to do Fret Leveling and Nut Filing and intonation... typically the pickups are fine, -- sans the mojo-hype of "tone" 😀 ]

  • @tawalker  Feb 2

    Like @boyatheart, I use a lot of "budget" gear - in fact, I have an Antler "briefcase" stuffed with inexpensive music gadgets (or as I call it, the "Sidingsound Mobile"!). To highlight a couple...

    - Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-12 drum-machine: it may look like a pocket calculator on a serious diet, but the PO-12 is a very capable, programmable rhythm-machine. And I haven't even started buying it companions yet...
    - Stylophone Gen X-1 synthesiser: £60 (UK) gets you what appears to be a souped-up version of the dinky electronic organ made famous by David Bowie. Nope: it's a surprisingly-capable monophonic analogue synth, with LFO, sub-oscillators, delay and a sound you won't believe comes out of such a cheap box.
    - Behringer GDI21 electric guitar pre-amp/DI: barely £20 in the UK, but a very usable box for dialling up a quick guitar-amp tone.

  • @radioovermoscow Feb 2

    @tcelliott I bought the Joyo California Sound pedal, and have to say I'm underwhelmed... doesn't sound anywhere near as good as Amplitube or Bias, for example.

  • @tseaver  Feb 2

    I'm planning to use a number of hand-rolled instruments for FAWM:

    - A cigar-box upright bass (see ).
    - A pineapple-can guira (the tall can, with a door handle bolted on, and a hair rake for a scraper).
    - A pair of cable-tie snare drum rakes (1/2" ID PVC for the handles, 24 ties inside).

  • @kubton  Feb 2

    I second the Pocket operator P0-12 . Going to use it this month. I really like some of the JOYO knock off pedals. The OCD clone and Sansamps ones are good.

  • @kubton  Feb 2

    @tseaver That is awesome. Seen many cigar box instruments but never a stand up bass.

  • @wistah  Feb 2

    MXL V67G Condenser mic. It just works well with some of my guitars.

  • @skipscada  Feb 2

    Audient ID22 audio interface. It's not particularly cheap, but it's so many miles above what I had before it's not even funny. Super easy to get good guitar and vocal recordings. And they have cheaper models that apparently more or less offer the same high quality. A Harley Benton bass that cost about 100 € has also proved a good investment - so much more inspiring o play a real bass than putting together a bass line in the piano roll.

  • @cblack  Feb 3

    Oh, Joyo! I have a Joyo Zombie amp. It's fantastic and dirt cheap. Not sure about live volume levels, as I'm a bedroom musician. But most people buy the Zombie for its gain channel. Killer metal tone. Me, I usr the clean channel, which is also awesome, and chuck pedals in front of it.

    I paired it with a Harley Benton 1x12 cab. Together they cost under $500 Australian, including shipping. Great budget way to get into separate amps and cabs. 😀

    And I'll also mention the Tone City Sweet Cream light overdrive pedal. Dirt cheap and sounds absolutely amazing.

  • @ustaknow Feb 3

    Another elec guitar that many don't "get", -- the Hamer's from central asia, some from china (the older ones). The AT P90's with Gold-tops, and from various countries over there, are equal to any ~$1000 one can buy today, actually better.

    In cycles, I see/saw them for, again, ~ $175 is and in perfect closet queen condition... so grabbed a few of various Models. Some now, 😀 , not as "cheap" as they were. But, again, there's cycles. There are, as time goes on some more obscure ones with mini's or large dog ear P90's etc. ... but, now and then see them sold from some small town USA at a great price, -- keep in mind for you latest student or new player. How many can you own? 😝 😝 😝

  • @tunecat Feb 3

    I have had a lot of fun out of an iOS app called figure for free.
    For iOS instruments thumbjam is hard to beat - it also has a way to midi thing inbuilt and it's a looper and you can use the screen to play the instrument sounds and get a lot of precision cool vibrato etc and for very little.
    Ive downloaded a few free apps for sounds and they're grey for creating musical backdrops adding a bit of weirdness to an otherwise normal sounding track etc
    Gear wise I love apogee but its dear ( but not if someone gives you it cause they've gone to the next level up!)
    For brass instruments I have come to the conclusion that there is so little difference between a hundred pounds trumpet and one costing thousands that it's mostly down to prestige ( don't repeat that to most bras she players tho as you'll end up in an argument
    Lasting all night)

  • @plumptunes Feb 5

    Both the squier vintage and Epiphone PRO guitar lines are excellent. And pretty much anything Behringer is ridiculously affordable and good quality

  • @konemake  Feb 5

    Behringer TO800 Vintage Tube Overdrive, pretty much identical to Ibanez Tube Screamer.
    Also Tracktion 7 - great daw for free.
    There is also many excellent free or cheap VSTs.

  • @torniojaws  Feb 5

    The SM57 is already very affordable for the quality. But if you really want to cheap out more, the Thomann clone called T.Bone 75 is almost equal in quality and costs 1/3 of a 57 😀 The only problem it has is that it cannot record low frequencies as well as the 57 - but then again, even the 57 is not really meant for recording low frequency instruments (kick drum, bass, etc).

  • @onewholovesrock Feb 5

    iPhone. I already have one anyway. They take decent live video recordings. You can even make decent multitrack recordings with GarageBand. And hey. You can even throw together a video using the video editing app.

  • @bking  Feb 5

    Here is my Junkyard Dog. Body, neck, and pick guard rescued from a dumpster. Vintage Fender bridge pickup bargain bin $25, Fender Texas Special Ebay $20. Les Paul humbucker used $10. Pots $13
    Everything else came from leftovers, the junk box or were fabricated. Total cost about $70. I've been playing this one for almost twenty years and get some of my best ideas with it.

  • @ustaknow Feb 5

    "Recording King" acoustic guitars from china . gov ... were a great "new" buy. However, I don't see them (this revision of that old make). So, if/when the ones from a few years ago, go for sale, -- have a look. I got the "Jumbo" acoustic. It came as good as they can, and then you evaluate one by one like any Make.

    If anything, mine, new, was so "tight", I knew it would take a year of playing for it to get it's voice. It was like, maybe they were petrified to put out a bad one then... it was so tight and fine grained.

    The other thing, in general, -- folks need to understand their ears perference. The guitar you like or don't, -- may just have "forward bracing" or not and don't look into the build design. It matters. Or the old copes, -- no x-bracing, Ladder. Or don't use a glued Bridge, -- oh, that really matters.

    I'm trying to mention ones that don't need you to be a Luthier, like the "SX" stuff; I forget, and then folks get something, trivially off, well, to me, but not to them. I refinished a Fretboard on a Fretless 5 string 😀 yup the CNC missed the lower 3/4 in... but, was a fully 1/4 sawn neck, thick rosewood board and etc. I could not have cherry picked it better, but, the lower 3/4 need the Radius Blocks pulled out. Not a problem for me. Actually that board looks like Ebony it's so dark and tight.

    So, -- love the Dumpster Dive Guitar above, B R A V O !! 😀

  • @kissinginpublic  Feb 6

    Donner Yellow Fall delay (prefer it to my Memory Boy)
    Joyo JF-09 Tremolo (sounds just like a proper AC30 tremolo)
    Squier Vintage Modified Jaguars and Jazzmasters
    Orange Micro Terror

  • @dukemeyer  Feb 10

    Harley Benton Fusion FR - a guitar with a Floyd Rose trem for less than 350 bucks! 2 humbuckers with coil split - okay, the single coil sound is not comparable to my Fender Telecaster... But the cheap guitar stays in tune, no matter what you do whith the whammy bar - it's nearly unbelievable (for this price)! And the neck is indescribable fine - manufacture and handling are a quite a bit better as my Gibson Les Paul (which wasn't the most expensive one - but three times more than the Harley Benton marvel...)!

    Other cheap and very good gear:

    Harley Benton Digital Delay - stupid name, because it sounds really analogue. Only tap tempo is missed - but for 33 $!

    Joyo Bantamp Blue Jay - little clean guitar amp (they have also versions with different distortion styles)

    Behringer Model D synth!
    Waldorf Streichfett string-synth...
    Yamaha Reface CP piano/clavinet and YC organ...

    DAW: Acoustica Mixcraft - download and free trial without limitations, after a month you buy it for less than 80 $... big sound library, good fx - and very fine workflow in (mostly) one window!

  • @pearlmanhattan  Feb 10

    So glad I saw this, was just gonna start a thread about best headphones for under 50 bucks, but you already have them here. Thanks!!

  • @spinhead Feb 11

    If this is meant to help me SAVE money, consider it failed. Budget, oh budget, where have you gone?

    Speaking of budget: not precisely inexpensive, but since it wouldn't otherwise exist, I'm having a custom instrument made for $300US. Same size as an acoustic guitar, asymmetric teardrop body, tuned as an octave mandolin (GDAE, low string is 3rd fret on the low E of a 6-string) but with 4 strings.)

    Gives me another tenor guitar, but one where playing in the keys of B or E isn't a nuisance.

    Steve Wishnevsky will build pretty much anything you want, at working-musician prices.

  • @spinhead Feb 11

    @postcardhelicopters Been hankering for a kick drum pedal since Hector was a pup. Found the Gibraltar direct drive for $90. which isn't what I wanted to spend. Then found an open box for $80. Then found a demo/floor model for $70.

    I went ahead and got it before they ended up owing ME money.

  • @metalfoot  Feb 11

    Zoom G1XOn. Ridiculous amount of sounds and effects and drum loops and and and for under $100.

  • @mikeb Feb 11

    I mentioned it in the SM57 Challenge thread, but forgot to mention it here. GLS Audio have clones of the famous Shure SM57 & 58, their models ES-57 and ES-58, usually $35 to $40 each (and occasionally even cheaper). They're not as durable as the Shure mics, but for light gigging or studio work, the sound is the same.

  • @tawalker  Feb 11

    @metalfoot I bought a ZOOM G1on (the one which lacks the G1Xon's expression pedal) a few months ago, as I've owned the G3 since 2013 and use it as my primary guitar FX/DI unit. I haven't had time to work out how to program patches on the G1on, but will get around to it one day - can't believe it's only 40GBP!

  • @siebass Feb 18

    GLS shure-clone microphones, the ES-57 and 58. Brighter than the shures, but very serviceable. For live performances, my garbage pyle wireless dynamic microphone for $40 bucks. Any SX-brand guitar or bass, I'm still using my Ursa to gig. Generally, squire-brand gear as well is a good cost/value ratio.

  • @dreamscuba  Feb 26

    @bking that guitar looks ace!
    @boyatheart your sound is killer!! Another demonstration that there are many myths to do with music/tone/sounds....and you destroy those myths....

  • @dragondreams  Feb 26

    Another vote for the Samson C-01 large diaphragm condenser. A bargain.

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