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Vanguard V13 vs U195/4047/441
Old 26th January 2020
  #1
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nightchef's Avatar
 

Vanguard V13 vs U195/4047/441

Just got a Vanguard V13 in the house this past week, and decided to shoot it out against the three mics that have done most of the vocal duty here over the years: a Soundelux U195 (pre-Bock, from around 2005), an ancient (1983) Sennheiser MD441, and an AT4047 of approximately similar vintage to the U195.

I chose a favorite old Stephen Foster ballad, "Gentle Annie", because I figured a simple, melodic tune with a sparse accompaniment would be a good vehicle for spotlighting how all the mics sound on my voice. Also I have a cold and didn't want to sing anything too strenuous.

Mics were set up in a compass-points configuration with me singing into the hole in the middle. They went into an Apogee Ensemble's built-in preamps. I level-matched as well as I could using a test tone, then after the tracks were recorded, used LUFS to level-match even further before bouncing. Differences in frequency response may still create apparent loudness differences, but I did the best I could.

All the condensers had their HPFs engaged. The 441 rolloff was on full "M" with the high boost set flat. The U195 did not have the fat switch on -- I find that for my voice in my room, that thickens the sound too much, and anyway it would have immediately jumped out as a different sound and kind of spoiled the shootout. The V13 was set to straight cardioid pattern, i.e., switch at noon.

Here are the files, first raw tracks with no processing except a little DAW gain, then with guitar accompaniment and a bit of reverb (Seventh Heaven Sunset Chamber preset). They're 256 mbps MP3s, which I think are fine for this purpose, but I can post WAVs if you want. Apologies for the pitchiness in spots.

I'll be curious to hear which mics people think are which -- I think one at least is fairly easy to pick out -- and which sounds best on my voice for this song.
Attached Files

mic1-raw.mp3 (1.79 MB, 263 views)

mic2-raw.mp3 (1.79 MB, 260 views)

mic3-raw.mp3 (1.79 MB, 251 views)

mic4-raw.mp3 (1.79 MB, 253 views)

mic1-context.mp3 (1.86 MB, 255 views)

mic2-context.mp3 (1.86 MB, 253 views)

mic3-context.mp3 (1.86 MB, 244 views)

mic4-context.mp3 (1.86 MB, 245 views)

Old 1st February 2020
  #2
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nightchef's Avatar
 

Here are the same four mics on the Who's "Tattoo". Still a fairly sparse arrangement, but creates a narrower space for the vocal to occupy, and I'm singing higher in my range.

Same signal chain as in first set of samples. In the mix, vocals went through MJUC, model 2. No EQ either on the vocal bus or the 2 bus. Reverb is a Seventh Heaven London Plate preset, with Abbey Road-style high and low pass filtering on the way in. 2 bus has Magnetite tape emulation and TDR Limiter 6 (doing very little, just reining in the highest peaks).

BTW, the background vocals are all on the same mic through all the clips (I won't say which one for now).

Again, I'd love people's feedback on which mic is which and which one you like best.
Attached Files

tattoo-mic-A-mix.mp3 (2.86 MB, 210 views)

tattoo-mic-B-mix.mp3 (2.86 MB, 208 views)

tattoo-mic-C-mix.mp3 (2.86 MB, 208 views)

tattoo-mic-D-mix.mp3 (2.86 MB, 207 views)

tattoo-mic-A-raw.mp3 (2.73 MB, 201 views)

tattoo-mic-B-raw.mp3 (2.73 MB, 208 views)

tattoo-mic-C-raw.mp3 (2.73 MB, 207 views)

tattoo-mic-D-raw.mp3 (2.73 MB, 205 views)

Old 10th February 2020
  #3
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

A terrific test and what a lovely singing voice you have! (I much preferred the first test, rather than The Who song.)

I'm not listening in the studio right now so on rough listening all the mics sound more than acceptable.

Despite your best efforts, I can hear some slight level differences that mean it would be problematic to pick out one mic over the other.

The only mic of these I have is the MD-441, but I am interested in the Vanguard too.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Hmm, this thread didn’t seem to get traction, so giving it a bump. I am curious about the revealing of the microphones vs the samples...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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nightchef's Avatar
 

I'll spoiler it in case more folks stumble on the thread and want to guess before knowing. (Drag cursor over space below this paragraph to see answers).

Mic 1/A = A T 4 0 4 7
Mic 2/B = V 1 3
Mic 3/C = U 1 9 5
Mic 4/D = M D 4 4 1


The V13 was used for the backup vocals in the Tattoo clip.

Last edited by nightchef; 4 weeks ago at 02:19 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Thanks for doing this test! I was about to post my favourite two then saw your post above with the answers. My favourite was mic 2 which is a relief as I bought one of these a few months ago and absolutely love it!! I guessed the 441 correctly but was completely wrong about the Soundelux U195 and the Audio Technica AT4047! Number 1 was my next favourite and was really surprised to find out it was the AT4047!

Last edited by dickiefunk; 2 weeks ago at 03:50 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
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nightchef's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
Thanks for doing this test! I was about to post my favourite two then saw your post above with the answers. My favourite was mic 2 which is a relief as I bought one of these a few months ago and absolutely love it!! I guessed the 441 correctly but was completely wrong about the Soundelux U195 and the Audio Technica AT4047! Number 1 was my next favourite and was really surprised to find out it was the AT4047!
Yes! One of the things that came out of this for me was a new appreciation for the 4047. For most vocal applications I think I will prefer the V13 with its slightly livelier, more forward (yet ultra-smooth) upper midrange. But the 4047 is a sweet little mic. (It also rocks on floor tom, bass cab, and horns.)

And yes, the 441 is the one I was guessing would be easiest to recognize as different from the others.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightchef View Post
Yes! One of the things that came out of this for me was a new appreciation for the 4047. For most vocal applications I think I will prefer the V13 with its slightly livelier, more forward (yet ultra-smooth) upper midrange. But the 4047 is a sweet little mic. (It also rocks on floor tom, bass cab, and horns.)

And yes, the 441 is the one I was guessing would be easiest to recognize as different from the others.
Yes the AT4047 caught me out! Quite surprised with this mic in your clips. However, I am absolutely loving the V13 and it is my first choice on every vocalist that I've used it on so far!
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Try and do that in a noisy room with a band playing behind you and I think it'll be really interesting because so much of the big differences between those mikes is what the leakage is going to sound like.

The AT4047 has the weirdest pattern.... you can get all kinds of cool vocal effects by rotating it a bit and using it off-axis.
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