I have found that in the $500 to $1000 price range your best bets are going to be the Shure KSM-32
, and maybe the Audio Technica AT3060
. The 32 has that "wrap your arms around you, and give a big hug" sound for male vocals, but it also doesn't give up any of the pristine detail you would like for female, or instrumental tracks. As for the AT3060
, it's a little newer to the market and has an integrated tube. The mic has some of the warm characteristics of the high end tube mics, but not quite the quality. I have never used this mic on anything other than vocals, so I'm not sure how versitle of mic it could be. As far as above $1000, I would go with the AT4060
tube mic, or any one of the Neumann mics(U87 and an Avalon pre is a great setup). There are a lot of other choices out there, and your best bet would probably be to try to audition some mics, and let your own ears decide what your looking for.