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About a Vintage Beyer M160?
Old 5th February 2007
  #1
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metaldog's Avatar
 

About a Vintage Beyer M160?

Hi all,

This is my first post for about 3 years! So here goes.

I am in the position to buy a Beyer M160, which is late 60's/early 70's, but I don't know much about them.

How do they compare with a new one and what are the things to look out for in terms of the condition of the ribbon etc?

Also what kind of price premium does a vintage M160 carry over a brand new one if any?


Just as a note. I am going to be recording mostly acoustic guitar with this mic if I decide to buy it.

Thanks.
Old 5th February 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
firby's Avatar
 

I just bought two used. One that is old with a tuchel connector and one that is newer and is broken (to get it fixed). The tuchel connector one is beautiful sounding but has a hiss that I am blaming on the tuchel cable which is unbalanced and quite long. The other one is newer, Black rather than grey and does not work.

My goal was to get each one of these into great working condition for 500 dollars or less a piece. Looks like it will run me about 750 for the pair.

I really love the sound of the m160s really a beautiful refined microphone that can also impart "the rock".

Neither of mine have broken ribbons. On the problem one the troubles lies elsewhere. I may be able to fix it or not.

Anyways, the best microphone in my place times 4 here. Loving them as OVs.
Old 5th February 2007
  #3
C/G
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Be careful, as new ones sound like old ones and come with a warranty and the ribbon has not been to hell and back.

New are around $450ish and I've seen beat down old ones going for that on ebay.

Buy a new one and sleep well at night.
Old 5th February 2007
  #4
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Thanks for the replies guys....

C/G your post makes absolute sense. The thing is this old one is, according to the owner in 100% working order and 25% about 2/3 of the price of a new one. It has the tuchel connector and comes with a cable.

I suppose it makes sense to spend the extra cash.

You see I really want a ribbon mic as I'm getting tired of the condenser sound on my acoustic & vocals. I really want to try the Sontronics Sigma active ribbon too, but that's more money.

My rig is not really high-end. It's a G3 powerbook running Protools Free, but the sound quality is good from my front end, which is an Apogee Minime going into a Digigram VX-Pocket.

A nice mic would not be too much of an extravagance, but I've got to draw the line somewhere I suppose. The Beyer just seemed possibly to be more of an all-rounder than the Sigma. I can't get both. However I doubt anything will replace my SM57 on my Fender Concert.
Old 5th February 2007
  #5
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Quote:
However I doubt anything will replace my SM57 on my Fender Concert.
Wanna bet?heh

I always think that if it sounds good with a 57 it'll be better with the 160! Fender amps.... a perfect match.
Old 5th February 2007
  #6
C/G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaldog View Post
Thanks for the replies guys....

C/G your post makes absolute sense. The thing is this old one is, according to the owner in 100% working order and 25% about 2/3 of the price of a new one. It has the tuchel connector and comes with a cable.

I suppose it makes sense to spend the extra cash.

That is a good price but figure if you have to reribbon it if it shows up broken. Beyer charges a lot of money for a reribbon as they swap the guts of the mic out and do not simply put two new ribbon elements in there.

If the seller can guarantee the ribbon is in tip top shape then go for it. I bought an old silver/Tuchel connector one that was supposedly in fantastic shape but it showed up with a strange, distorted noise happening. Good thing the seller was cool and gave me the money back. I recall Beyer charging something in the ballpark of $250 US to repair it and the M160 is a pretty hard ribbon mic to kill.

Full Compass sells new ones at around $450.
Old 5th February 2007
  #7
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metaldog's Avatar
 

I have actually heard a comparison between the two and I prefered the 57. This is not to say it's better per say, but I just prefered it for my style of playing, sound etc....

I found the Beyer to be little more fizzy in comparison. You could say it captured more of the sound, so technically maybe it does a better job, but my ears like what the 57 does to my Tonetubby 10's.

But never say never and I may one day try the M160 on my combo if I get one.
Old 5th February 2007
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C/G View Post
If the seller can guarantee the ribbon is in tip top shape then go for it.
The seller seems pretty cool. This is what he told me today after I asked him a few questions.... (sic)

"i tested it last week- i used to for a drum room, and
it sounds good. the ribbon appears nice and taut, with
no visible stretching."

It sounds ok I suppose, but I was wondering if the newer ones are likely to be less noisy due to newer electronic components.
Old 5th February 2007
  #9
C/G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaldog View Post
The seller seems pretty cool. This is what he told me today after I asked him a few questions.... (sic)

"i tested it last week- i used to for a drum room, and
it sounds good. the ribbon appears nice and taut, with
no visible stretching."

It sounds ok I suppose, but I was wondering if the newer ones are likely to be less noisy due to newer electronic components.

Get him to try it in front of a loud guitar amp. Not crazy ear-bleeding loud, but loud enough.That will be the acid test if the ribbon is shot or not.

I can see new ones being more quiet, but there is not much in a ribbon mic besided some magnets and a transformer and the ribbon element. Beyer made great quality transformers so I bet it's still good and quiet.
Old 5th February 2007
  #10
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I think I'll probably go for a new one. It just seems more sensible really with the warranty and everything. I trust the guy whose selling the mic, but I think also with a modern XLR connector it just makes it more useable in any situation.

I think the old one looks nice in silver though!
Old 5th February 2007
  #11
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Tousana's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by metaldog View Post
I think I'll probably go for a new one. It just seems more sensible really with the warranty and everything. I trust the guy whose selling the mic, but I think also with a modern XLR connector it just makes it more useable in any situation.

I think the old one looks nice in silver though!
I bought a pair of M160's in a silent auction from a studio that went out of business about 12 years ago for $250.00, mine a silver, but have xlr's. I used them for about 4 years before the ribbons needed to be replaced. Had them done by beyer for about $400.00 for both. It was a great deal, on a pair of mics I'd never sell.
Old 5th February 2007
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by metaldog View Post
Thanks for the replies guys....

C/G your post makes absolute sense. The thing is this old one is, according to the owner in 100% working order and 25% about 2/3 of the price of a new one. It has the tuchel connector and comes with a cable.

I suppose it makes sense to spend the extra cash.

You see I really want a ribbon mic as I'm getting tired of the condenser sound on my acoustic & vocals. I really want to try the Sontronics Sigma active ribbon too, but that's more money.

My rig is not really high-end. It's a G3 powerbook running Protools Free, but the sound quality is good from my front end, which is an Apogee Minime going into a Digigram VX-Pocket.

A nice mic would not be too much of an extravagance, but I've got to draw the line somewhere I suppose. The Beyer just seemed possibly to be more of an all-rounder than the Sigma. I can't get both. However I doubt anything will replace my SM57 on my Fender Concert.
The M160 into an API use to be my guitar sound. Then I got a Chandler TG-2 and found that to kill my old sound. I'm a big fan of the M160s.

However, I'd predict that you might be a little disappointed with them on vocals or acoustic. They can be a little too dark and low out put. Mine see use on guitars and as overheads or room mics.

If you're looking for a ribbon to use on acoustic or on vocals, I'd check ou the AEA R92 or the Royer 122 (I think is the correct number) with the phantom power.

You're going to have a much easier time getting the sound you want with either of those two, especially the Royer.
Old 6th February 2007
  #13
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I've got an R92 and it's pretty dark on acoustic guitar. If it's solo acoustic, it would work, but in a mix, you might prefer something with more presence. I really like my ADK Hamburg IIau on a bright acoustic guitar, but it's around a grand, and it's a condensor, so that might not do it for you. In spite of the condensor aspect, it has a reall smooth top end. And, because it's a condensor, you don't need a preamp with mega-gain like you would with a ribbon.
Old 6th February 2007
  #14
Gear Addict
I have a pair of older/silver ones which I find very different to newer/black ones. My silver ones have mini-xlr connector that gets connected to Beyers mini-xlr to normal-xlr cables, tuchel? As a whole I prefer the old ones (maybe just because I own them?) which seem to have more character than the newer ones. I've used mine on lots of applications varying from ok to '****ing awesome' results. I've had mine for 6-7 years now which I got for £150/pair=one of the best deals I've had
Old 6th February 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey View Post
The M160 into an API use to be my guitar sound. Then I got a Chandler TG-2 and found that to kill my old sound. I'm a big fan of the M160s.

However, I'd predict that you might be a little disappointed with them on vocals or acoustic. They can be a little too dark and low out put. Mine see use on guitars and as overheads or room mics.

If you're looking for a ribbon to use on acoustic or on vocals, I'd check ou the AEA R92 or the Royer 122 (I think is the correct number) with the phantom power.

You're going to have a much easier time getting the sound you want with either of those two, especially the Royer.


Which Api did you use ?
Do you find your self EQing the M160 at all ?
I think the 160 sounds fuller than the 57 on my guitar style .
Little dark for mono drum over head , I could see it working better with some 421s around the drums tho.
G
Old 6th February 2007
  #16
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Quote:
However, I'd predict that you might be a little disappointed with them on vocals or acoustic. They can be a little too dark and low out put. Mine see use on guitars and as overheads or room mics.

If you're looking for a ribbon to use on acoustic or on vocals, I'd check ou the AEA R92 or the Royer 122 (I think is the correct number) with the phantom power.
Funny how it all comes own to having to use them in your own enviroment. For me, I preffered them over the Royer because I found the Royer too dark compared to the 160 (even using the back side). What I like about the Royer is you can get that low end energy *chug* from the amp, but it always needs another mic for bite.

Interestingly, I was doing a a/b of the two mics on guitar cab and the combined tracks signal sounded pretty good with the 160 providing the bite missing from the Royer....although a 57 does the job just as well. But if I was stuck with only one mic, the 160 would have had it mostly covered.
Old 6th February 2007
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kats View Post
Funny how it all comes own to having to use them in your own enviroment. For me, I preffered them over the Royer because I found the Royer too dark compared to the 160 (even using the back side). What I like about the Royer is you can get that low end energy *chug* from the amp, but it always needs another mic for bite.

Interestingly, I was doing a a/b of the two mics on guitar cab and the combined tracks signal sounded pretty good with the 160 providing the bite missing from the Royer....although a 57 does the job just as well. But if I was stuck with only one mic, the 160 would have had it mostly covered.
Chug from an amp? I was talking about an acoustic.
Old 6th February 2007
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan View Post
I've got an R92 and it's pretty dark on acoustic guitar. If it's solo acoustic, it would work, but in a mix, you might prefer something with more presence. I really like my ADK Hamburg IIau on a bright acoustic guitar, but it's around a grand, and it's a condensor, so that might not do it for you. In spite of the condensor aspect, it has a reall smooth top end. And, because it's a condensor, you don't need a preamp with mega-gain like you would with a ribbon.
All ribbons will be dark on an acoustic.

The R92 is designed for close miking. It's got a low proxikity effect and every about the body and the mount was done with the intention of getting it in close. You can do the same with a 160, buy you're going to get a lot more murk in the bottom. Both will need high end to sound they way most people are used to hearing an acoustic.

Unless your ribbon is trashed or super stretched (don't forget ribbons sound best right before the break). That might make your 160 less murky and bighter than an R92.
Old 6th February 2007
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by gevermil View Post
Which Api did you use ?
Do you find your self EQing the M160 at all ?
I think the 160 sounds fuller than the 57 on my guitar style .
Little dark for mono drum over head , I could see it working better with some 421s around the drums tho.
G
It's been a long time since I did that. No EQ to tape - it was a 3124. probably in the mix and I went right for the cone for maxim brightness.
Old 7th February 2007
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by metaldog View Post
"with no visible stretching."
I love that line. You mean it's not sagging down like a hammock?
Old 7th February 2007
  #21
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey View Post
All ribbons will be dark on an acoustic.
Introducing the bright Beyer M260 on acoustic (clip attached).

Also attaching the AKG C451B on the same player / guitar.

War
Attached Files

Beyerdynamic_M_260_Acoustic_Guitar.mp3 (466.7 KB, 2504 views)

AKG_C451B_Acoustic_Guitar.mp3 (494.1 KB, 2224 views)

Old 7th February 2007
  #22
Are you saying that's an M260 flat, no EQ?
Old 7th February 2007
  #23
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Yes. I like it on acoustic in fact, has a great pick attack sound and good separation of strings. It's sort of the anti-ribbon in that it even has that sort of mid-scoop sound! Not much low end of course (steep roll off under 200hZ), which is good for most acoustic recording anyhow.

The chain =

Martin Shenandoa Acoustic Guitar > Microphone > Mogami Gold Microphone Cable > Earthworks 1022 Preamp > Mogami Cable > Switchcraft TT Patchbay > Mogami Cable > Digi 192 Analog Inputs > Pro Tools HD Accell 2

Here is the data sheet, scroll down to the response graph:

http://www.beyerdynamic.com/cms/down...60_data_en.pdf

War
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