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Look, I love me some audio gear. When I saw Neumann came out with their version of an audio interface I was like "EWWWW, How can I justify this purchase?" but then I saw the $1800 price tag and quickly pivoted to "EWWWW, That'a s no for me dog!" So I love me some gear but I DON'T love paying an arm and a leg.

That's why I was REALLY intrigued by this seeming knockoff of a well respected company's foray into podcast microhones. We'll get to the 'knockoff' in a bit. But the source material being knocked off is a podcast mic (technically, it's just a dynamic microphone) but if you look at the Universal Audio SD-1 mic, you know what other manufacturer's popular podcast mic it's aiming for.

As for the SD-1, I've seen a couple video reviews and read a couple and they all like it. Add to that it's from a company (UA) that has for decades experience pumping out some really popular outboard audio gear (LA-2A anyone?). It's $250, which when compared to the other $400 mic it's gunning for makes it a pretty good deal.

What's an even BETTER deal? How about a mic that is allegedly made in the same factory that is about $75 cheaper.

Stumbled upon the Music Villa MV-3 and have to say, I'm impressed. FULL DISCLOSURE: I don't have any experience with these mics, I'm just going by what I've read and watched. The MV-3 has pretty much the same everythign as the Universal Audio SD-1, minus a couple differences like plastic shockmount knobs and a less sturdy cage for the mic capsule. Bandrew from Podcastage did a comparison between the two microphones. I didn't notice any difference in audio quality between the two but you be the judge for yourself. If you're doing a podcast and need a mic upgrade and don't care about brand names, it looks like you could do a lot worse than the MV-3. Check out Podcastage's shootout:

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