First off, this is one of the most natural sounding mics I've ever used. Whatever you use it on, it sounds exactly like it does in the room. Brilliant for acoustic stuff, strings, etc. Good for vocals if you want them understated. I've even used it as an outside kick mic, and it performed great.
The switchable pickup pattern is useful, though I've had some issues with it - the switch isn't centered, so it can be hard to tell which pattern you're on just by looking at it. There's a delay when switching between patterns (almost like when you first turn on phantom power). Also, sometimes the mic just doens't work when I plug it in - I have to switch the polar pattern until it decides to wake up. Avantone offered to replace it when I emailed them, but to be honest shipping it back would be more hassle than flipping the switch a few times.
Although I have been using microphones ( Sennheiser,Scheops,DPA, AKG etc), for wildlife sound recording for over 40 years, this is my first large diaphragm mic. I will be using it purely in the studio for voice overs etc. It arrived in very substantial packaging wooden box inside aluminium case and it looks very presentable. It has had limited use as yet but I am not displeased with the results I have obtained. For the money spent I feel it was well spent and I look forward to using it for interview etc.
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