Published by andrplx on 1st April 2012
Sennheiser MD402U Supercardioid
Have two of these, bought them new a long time ago in a local music shop in Lisbon, but not at the same time. There was one on the shop window for the longest time along side the usual SMs and when I bought it the guy at the shop told me that he was sure there was a second one lying around, but he just couldn’t find it.
I had a teacher at the sound school that used to say that (because of stereo) everything good in music came in pairs, so I didn’t rest until I could buy the second MD402U.
What I didn’t know at the time was that about 90% of stereo miking is done with condensers (the rest probably ribbons), and the MD means it’s a dynamic Sennheiser.
U stands in their dictionary for XLR connector, so it’s a dynamic microphone with a XLR output. Curiously a few years later a german friend gave me a MD402lm which had a DIN3 unbalanced plug on a fixed cable that was sold originally for open-reel and K7 recorders and there was a further model K with a TS jack.
The XLR was also unbalanced having pins 1 and 3 to ground.
It’s a Supercardioid and I have used it successfully on guitar cabs and on some percussion. Although it has very low sensitivity at 1,2mV/PA I’ve found it will occasionaly ‘break’ with very high-level transients like from a big snare hit.
Their top end dives above 13,5kHz (some literature says 12,5kHz) which is ok for an almost ribbonesque tone, but of course they have a different response and won’t equalize so gracefully as a decent ribbon will.