by Stefan Wyeth | 3,7 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 5 Minutes
Sony C-800G Alternatives for Ultra-clean Vocals

Sony C-800G Alternatives for Ultra-clean Vocals  ·  Source: Sony / Warm Audio

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Recording decent Pop and Rap vocals is a challenge, but with these Sony C-800G Alternatives, you’ll be on your way to clean vocal recordings.

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Since the 1990s, the Sony C-800G has been the highly sought-after industry standard for Pop, RnB, Rap, and Hip-Hop vocal recordings. Over the years, top artists like Mariah Carey, Elton John, Celine Dion, Eminem, Rihanna, and Jon Bon Jovi have made great recordings using the C-800G.

In professional studios, it’s usually combined with the Avalon VT-737sp Tube Channel Strip and the Tube-Tech CL 1B tube optical compressor when tracking. This recording chain enhances the natural silky, clean character of the C-800G.

Sony C-800G
Sony C-800G

Sony C-800G Alternatives

As we are firmly in the post-production era of modern recording, where almost everything happens in a DAW, the sound of the C-800G is as relevant as ever.

These days, it’s unlikely that you will hear a vocal that isn’t processed with Melodyne, Auto-Tune, Little Alterboy, or something similar. And for software that relies on pitch algorithms to perform optimally, it requires the cleanest signal possible.

There’s no doubt that the C-800G is an unbelievable vocal microphone, but at over $10,000 it’s well out of reach of the average recording enthusiast. However, are there ways to get an irresistibly clean vocal sound that don’t require taking out a bank loan?

Sony C-80 and C-100

In more recent years, Sony has produced more affordable microphones inspired by the same dual-diaphragm capsule technology as the flagship C-800G. Namely, this comes in the form of the C-80 and C-100 condenser microphones.

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  • Sony C-80
  • Sony C-100

While both mics use the 2-part Noise Elimination Construction as the C-800G, the C-100 offers a wider frequency range with high-resolution audio recording.

Apart from that, the C-100 is a multipattern microphone, so it becomes a more versatile recording tool. Meanwhile, the C-80 is a great choice for vocal recording at home.

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Sony C-80
Sony C-80
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Sony C-100
Sony C-100
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Warm Audio WA-8000

The WA-8000 is Warm Audio’s recreation of the C-800G complete with an NOS 6AU6 tube, and an external power supply. In addition, the WA-8000 housing is optimized for easy cooling and the custom-designed heat sink ensures optimal temperature.

Warm Audio WA-8000
Warm Audio WA-8000

Meanwhile, the WA-8000 also uses a Lundahl output transformer which contributes to the open high-frequency range, wide sound stage, and the microphone’s overall warmth.

The mic ships in a protective case with a shockmount, windshield, and a GAC-7 7-pin cable that connects to the PSU. Overall, a great C-800G alternative when you’re after a clean vocal sound.

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Warm Audio WA-8000
Warm Audio WA-8000
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Warm Audio WA-8000G
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Universal Audio Sphere DLX

The Sphere DLX is a versatile dual-diaphragm modeling microphone capable of stereo recording and its software allows you to alter the sonic characteristics in post-production.

Sphere DLX
Sphere DLX

In addition, the LD-800 is a C-800G recreation within the Sphere microphone library. So you can replicate its similar tube dynamics and silky high-frequency response.

Be aware that this microphone has an impedance rating of 200 ohms so you’ll need a decent preamp, especially if you’re trying to mimic the characteristics of high-end mics like the C-800G. The 710 Twinfinity is a great option because it has both tube and solid-state circuitry options.

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Universal Audio Sphere DLX Modeling Microphone
Universal Audio Sphere DLX Modeling Microphone
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Universal Audio 710 Twin-Finity
Universal Audio 710 Twin-Finity
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Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone

The Manley Reference Cardioid Mic has been around since 1990, which is slightly before the C-800G. Its ultra-quiet vacuum tube design with a Manely IRON output transformer makes it an excellent choice for getting that clean pop vocal sound.

Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone
Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone

Like the C-800G, the Reference Cardioid Mic is a tube microphone with an external power supply unit, but obviously, it only has one polar pattern. However, the Reference Cardioid is just as versatile and also excels in overhead configurations.

One key aspect to note is that unlike the Sony C-80 mentioned earlier, the Reference Cardioid will need a professional preamp to perform at optimal. So you can’t just plug it into your Scarlett 2i2 and expect magic.

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Manley Reference Cardioid Mic black
Manley Reference Cardioid Mic black
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Golden Age Premier GA-8000

The Golden Age Premier GA-8000 is a faithful recreation of the C-800G at around one-third of the price. Like the original, it’s incredibly clean and precise sounding, with elegant silky highs, balanced mids, and a restrained low-end.

Golden Age Premier GA-8000
Golden Age Premier GA-8000

All the hallmarks of the C-800G design are present, including an active semiconductor cooling system, a 6AU6 tube, and you have the same choice of cardioid and omnidirectional pickup patterns.

If you need a microphone that looks and sounds like the C-800G this is a great option. However, be aware that you will still require a decent preamp and recording chain to get good results, and even then it’s still not in the same league as the Sony.

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Golden Age Audio Premier GA-8000
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Other options to check out:

More about Sony C-800G Alternatives:

*Note: This article contains promotional links that help us fund our site. Don’t worry: the price for you always stays the same! If you buy something through these links, we will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!

Image Sources:
  • Sony C-800G: SONY
  • Sony C-80: Sony
  • Sony C-100: SONY
  • Warm Audio WA-8000: Warm Audio
  • Sphere DLX: Universal Audio
  • Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone: Manley
  • Golden Age Premier GA-8000: Golden Age Audio
Sony C-800G Alternatives for Ultra-clean Vocals

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One response to “Sony C-800G Alternatives for Ultra-clean Vocals”

    Underdog Rising says:
    0

    There are a few mics they left out. I personally own the CM800T from Advanced Audio. It competes with the C800G in direct comparisons. I prefer it because the tube they use is slightly darker in tone. A softer top end but still clear as day. Many people use the 1073 Preamp because it warms up the mids and tames the high end slightly. The tube that advanced audio uses kind of does the same thing. It was way above any other clone or emulation I’ve tried. The SA-800 is another fantastic clone from Stan Audio. I haven’t tested it. But people give it high praise and I’ve heard some great mixes using it.

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