Customer Reviews: Takstar SGC-598 Photography Interview Shotgun MIC Microphone for Nikon Canon DSLR Camera DV Camcorder
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on January 10, 2014
I produce Interview style videos for a living. I use a Professional field recorder with matched stereo microphones for my primary audio track. Recently I decided to add a "camera mount" shotgun microphone as a safety, aka a scratch track. The "on camera" microphone was useless, so why not? There is nothing more frustrating than shooting a set, then finding out your memory card or drive failed and you have no audio. So, I tried 1/2 a dozen different microphones ranging from a $30 "cheapie" all the way up to the $230+ Rode Pro.

So, the final decision was between the Rode Pro, and an inexpensive TAKSTAR (A brand I'd never heard of before). Evidently, the people behind TAKSTAR manufacture 99% of the shotgun camera microphones "for" brand name manufacturers like Opteka, Azden, AT and (you guessed it) Rode.

To my complete surprise, the TAKSTAR SGC-598 performed 99% as well as the Rode Pro, both indoors and outdoors. In fact, when editing audio in Post the TAKSTAR track was easier to work, with since it had a more neutral range. The Rode has a very heavy mid-range push (their "trademark" sound) which is fine for family videos or making your voice sound better on amateur documentaries, but very annoying to work with in a professional audio editor.

It was so inexpensive I picked up a second one as a spare (just in case) and plan to use them on all future shoots. The audio ended up being so good, I found I can easily use it as primary audio if my main system fails someday. Sure it will take a few hours to tweak/EQ, but it's a viable backup track, for practically free.

My verdict, if you want an inexpensive, great sounding shotgun, this is the way to go. It's easy to use, has great sound, decent line level, and it's well built. It also uses AA batteries.
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on April 23, 2014
This review goes out to everyone thinking of buying a Rode videomic or a Takstar SGC-598.

BUY THIS MIC IF: you're on a small budget, don't mind boosting the sound in post production, and plan on speaking more or less directly into it. OR is you NEED to mic a lot of different areas simultaneously on the cheap.

DON'T BUY THIS IF: you're wanting a rich warm sounding mic that can pick up chatter from 25+ feet and requires very little post production tweaking. Spend money on a higher quality mic and you'll get your money's worth in time saved in post production.

First of all, let me acknowledge that you're on a budget. Most people are. Whether the budget it large or small there is always a budget. My budget was on the low end of high, being about $2-300 for my audio set up for an attempt at a youtube channel.

To begin with I bought a Rode Videomic off craigslist for $100 and was immediately impressed with the strong mids and it's ability to pick up voices and noises with clarity from 25+ feet. As I did more interviews and bought more equipment I realized that having multiple mics in one shoot would add some flexibility to my audio editing, so I started browsing mics again and found this.

Some reviewers say "it's just as good as a Rode, virtually indistinguishable!" but if you don't notice the difference between this mic and a videomic pro you've either got a junk audio in set up, or you should let someone else handle the audio editing. The Takstar is NOT a fantastic pro quality do everything mic, but it is a cheap and capable mic for budding videographers. Here's the ups and downs I've found after about 2-3 months of use and back to back testing between a videomic and this.

-Decent clarity at close ranges
-Low enough hiss
-Smaller than I thought (it looks pretty huge in pictures)
-Buy 3 for the price of 1 Rode Videomic ($150)
-Great to put it in harms way, you're only risking $40

-VERY quite, even with +10db on
-Struggles to pick up sounds from 25+ feet
-Shock mount is too stiff, might as well be glued on
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on December 12, 2013
I got this mic after reading dozens of reviews and watching dozens of videos of other similarly priced products. There are some more expensive units that are not quite as nice, but of course this is by no means a "professional" mic. This is certainly a budget mic for those of us who are not wildly wealthy. It does the job, battery life is great.

One thing to note is that if you have the gain turned up (+10db button on side) you will pick up a lot of background noise.

I have used this mic as a secondary audio source separate from my camera, plugged into a Zoom H4N and the sound comes out pretty nice, assuming that you are close to the subject, and there is not a lot of other noise.

It works pretty well for interviews, and I have even used it to record audio from a couple concerts that I have filmed. Overall, for the price, I would recommend it highly.
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on November 7, 2013
I purchased this after hearing about and finding good reviews about this particular microphone. I also have recently used this mic on a high profile job and it performed flawlessly. For optimal settings I recommend using the +10db setting activated and not activating the high pass filtering. The distance away is of course subject to the loudness of the source, but overall you will have a very nice recording that can be further edited/EQ'd/finalized in post production.
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on March 16, 2014
I chose this microphone because of other reviews. It is far better for sound than the built in Canon t3i microphone. It has adequate sound quality does a pretty good job of blocking out background noise, but you need to use the high pass filter and the 10db gain. If you are looking for more professional sound quality then you need to look at something else. one thing that is note worthy is the mount is adjustable, simply remove the screw from under the mount and relocate it either forward or backwards.
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on February 6, 2014
I bought this to use as a microphone for my Canon SL1 DSLR. The audio is superb. Contrary to another review here the audio jack is standard and fits the audio input on my SL1 perfectly. Microphone also came with a battery and somewhat nice velvety carry bag. Overall a great microphone for the price. I can't recomend it enough.
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on December 25, 2014
While this may not be a "pro level" shotgun mic, it does a pretty darned good job. It will deliver way superior sound compared to using the onboard mic, and the audio is actually pretty clean and clear for something this inexpensive. If you're looking to improve the audio with your videos, this is a good low cost way to do it. Sure, you can get cleaner sound by spending $200 more, but if you're on a budget, this is hard to beat. It works on one AA battery, has an on-off switch, a 10+ DB switch, and comes with a foam pop filter. If you want to use it with your camcorder, you'll probably need a camera bracket which will mount both your camera and this mic. A bracket will give you a lot more stability, too, and is not an expensive option. You'll also look a whole lot more professional when you have your camera and this mic mounted on a bracket. Great deal for someone wanting to improve their vid-audio quality.
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on April 13, 2015
Rating: 4/5

-Warm, clear voice
-Low background hiss
-Good battery life
-Takes AA batteries

-Quiet, even in +10db mode
-Best for close range
-Shock mount is far too stiff

Summary: While taking into consideration that the Takstar is by no means a professional mic, the audio from it is quite surprising, with a good amount of warmth and a low hiss. However, don’t expect miracles from it- because it is quiet, the mic works best in close range. I would suggest using it for vlogging, close-up interviews or voice recording on a computer.

Full Review:

Build Quality & Appearance:
I was immediately surprised at the appearance of this mic. It looks professional. It’s not too big nor too small. It could work well as an on camera mic or off camera (if you purchase a audio cable extension). My primary purpose for using this microphone will be in the videos I make. My initial impressions are quite good - I think this mic will work for me. Whether or not it'll work for you depends on your application. If you're looking to record subtle nuances that happen 20 feet away, look elsewhere, but if you're recording fairly close audio and interviews and you have a budget this may be one of your best choices.

It was quite obvious however that the shock mount is a bit stiff upon first filming as anything that bumped the camera tripod made noise.

Audio Quality:
This mic is a fairly neutral balance, with emphasis on the mid and lower tones. This makes for quite a pleasing amount of bass in male voices, but doesn’t wash out female voices. By all means, it isn’t in the same class as a professional mic, but at 1/3rd the cost of many professional mics it is more than acceptable.

There is a little bit of fuzz in the background but it is easily edited out in post. In fact, this mic’s best strength is that it offers a lot of wiggle room in post production.

The only downside is that this mic is rather quiet. It is best used for closer up interviews and I wouldn’t suggest standing more than 10 feet away from the mic.

The best thing about this mic is its price: it is available to anyone on almost any budget and competes with many higher end microphones in terms of performance. That being said, it isn’t a professional mic but what your money buys you is a perfectly serviceable product that may in fact surprise you.

Robert D.
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on February 11, 2015
OK so what do i have to say about this mic well it works well when the audio source is near to the front of the mic and if you are in a loud area but far away you can still use the mic to get way better sound than you would from the on cam microphone this takstar should be used with a dead cat wind screen for out door recording the 10 db gain is helpful if you are recording into your camera and if you can monitor your audio it makes it easier to control the levels also i would recommend not using the low pass filter and just fix any low rumbles in post so you have more data to work with also this mic is not super directional it will pic any thin around it so try to keep it isolated also the sock mount helps but is not that great you can still get some noises from it moving if you ask me this mic is wonderful for the price comparable to the rode video mic go. if you are on a budget this mic works wonder if you know what your doing

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on June 8, 2015
I bought this hopeing it will have good recording sound quality but it didn't.

- No background noise.

- It has a hissing sound when recording.
- The settings doesn't work so will. No matter what I did the microphone still has the hissing sound in the background.
- You must be very close in order for the microphone to pick up your voice clearly.

Trust me spend some more money and buy a better microphone. This is just a cheap microphone and not for Pro audio recording
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