I purchased a set of Kel HM-1 microphones a little over a year ago and have been using them as part of my live rig every weekend since then.
They came shipped in very utilitarian plain brown cardboard boxes. They come with a freq. response graph and a set of clips.
Their main duty is mic'ing up a Fender Deluxe for guitar and a Fender Bronco for blues harp. They are side address mid-diameter condensor configuration. The first cool thing is that you can sling them over the top of the amp and do away with two mic stands. The next and most important is the sound. They sounded great right away with no EQ. Also the guitar and harp players are very satisfied with their PA sound. This is a good thing because they tend to back off the amp volume a bit knowing that their amp tone through the PA is very close to what they hear from their amps.
Another cool thing is that they have an internal shock mount for the elements that really works.
If you use the defacto standard SM-57 in the applications I stated earlier, I think they sound a little strident and when the guys get carried away the high end can take the top of your head off.
I checked out the freq. response graph and found it to be fairly flat with the exception of a dip around 200hz and another around 3k. Pretty good places for dips to be in the amp mic'ing configuration.
Recording vocals with the HM-1 yields a warm sound without the overly pronounced high end that a lot of condensors in this price range seem to have. It treats my raspy voice nicely.
I also prefer them as drum overheads to my NT5's. The toms punch very nicely and the cymbals have good detail without being harsh sounding.
Agreeed. I use 4 of the HM-1's on Toms sometimes (HM-1's or Audix D-2's and D-4's). The HM-1's have WAY more low-end than even the D-4 on tight-mic'd floor toms and great stick attack IMO! For $99 ea, they are a very sound deal.
I am itching to hear the new KEL P-1 (looks like a possible Josephson C42 knock off).