MXL 144 - A User's Recommendation
(The State of Confusion)
The MXL 144 is a budget-priced ribbon microphone that excels in the studio. It has the usual ribbon-mic characteristics that provides those smooth buttery vocals. I find it extraordinary for the female voice, acoustic guitar, brass, and wood instruments. Its typical figure-8 pattern makes it problematic for stage work, though.
When I have blind-tested this with mic's costing four times more, it has held its own. YMMV.