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Heiserman H47tube.....first thoughts.
Old 21st September 2019
  #1
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Heiserman H47tube.....first thoughts.

@ RayHeath and @ monkeyxx asked me to post about the new Heiserman H47tube... I think high end is probably the right place. Here goes (I posted this on another site, but a little copy paste edit will get me to my coffee quicker....)

I should mention that I chose the Matte finish, with the HK47 capsule for a bit more of a modern presentation of the classic U47b sound. (More on that later...)

So….some thoughts on the H47tube. I got it late yesterday afternoon. And….it survived UPS!! Woohooo… I'm still new to it, but I'll share some first impressions.

Upon popping the lid on the Pelican case, the evidence to detail was readily apparent - to the point of making it seem like I’d never bought a nice mic before…. It seems that EVERY aspect of the product and it’s presentation has been taken into hyper critical account and optimized to the nth degree. Heiserman is serious about you knowing they are serious about their mics. That was super easy to see. Makes me happy in an everything is disposable 2019 world.

The fit and finish of the microphone is at the top of the heap. The glossy power supply finish is over the top gorgeous. The matching Power Supply / Mic serial numbers are definitely appreciated. The Pelican case is what I would have gladly purchased after the fact for the mic, but the laser cut high density foam makes it even better. The period correct shock mount is fantastic, and so much better than the top of the line shock mounts other manufacturers put out. The Binder / Amphenol / Tuchel (?) connectors show a mega commitment to high-end accuracy and detail. (Those little things cost serious money, and most other cloners cheap out on that aspect.) The little finger cutouts for picking up the mic - again, so well thought out. The extra shock mount bands are appreciated. The Sommer cable is really great, and although I love some of the other options out there for high end tube mic cables, the Sommer is really flexible and easy to coil up.

Overall presentation : A++. Everything just screams “no compromise & attention to detail”. Most of my high end mics are vintage, and most without original cases, but somehow, I don’t think Neumann, Telefunken or AKG ever put this much attention to detail in any of their mics - although I could be wrong. I didn’t buy any of them new…. But there's no doubt that Heiserman is bringing their A game.

But enough of the looks - I suppose you probably want to know how it sounds? Right?

LOL Well, I was the only one in the studio today, and I can’t sing worth a $#@!. But I DID have an overdub to do, so up went the mic. What was I recording?

Um….




Shaker??

Ha! Not exactly a stellar or demanding use for such a high-end behemoth of a mic. Or so I thought. Anyway, it was what it was and it needed recording before I could finish the piece and move on to writing more exciting TV underscore.

I ran the H47t into a Locomotive / Weight Tank WT72 (V72 clone - love em!) and didn’t give either the pre or mic more than 5 minutes or so to warm up while I spent some time admiring the 47tube and it’s accoutrements. I was using a large basket Ganza style shaker and a couple of jangly calabash rattles for a big, loose jangly quarter note shaker thing. I’ve recorded this exact combo many times, and my go to mic is usually a KM86 which sounds great - open and natural.

A quick faders up listen to the H47tube combo on input let me know that everything was patched right, and it was working - I figured it would be fine if perhaps not as good as the KM86. I didn’t care - I wanted to use my new mic - not the 86.

I pulled out a random pair of AT headphones that I haven’t used lately, and hit record. The pass went fine, and when I got to the last note, I did my usual tremolo shake, and gradually pulled back and turned away from the mic to effectuate a nice decrescendo. To my amazement, the H47t just reached and GRABBED the shakers and wouldn’t let go. I pulled close to 7+ feet off the mic, and the presence and tone of the shaker just stayed the same. Usually when I do that it either gets wimpy, anemic, too roomy sounding, or just plain "un-natural", but the H47t surprised the heck out of me with it’s reach. Upon playback the fadeout of the rattle/shaker was so natural and present, it just sounded like a fader pull, not like I was pulling away from the mic. WONDERFUL. Super happy.

Upon further listening to the shaker track, the overall tone was great. Much better than expected actually. This shaker combo can surprisingly be kind of thuddy, or razor sharp with the two calabash rattles jangling away. The H47tube track was natural, it cut just perfectly in the track with no EQ, and never got annoying. Plus, it was BIG! That made it a win over the KM86 I’m afraid…..

But back to the reach thing. That aspect alone - the reach of the mic - sold me instantly when I heard it. It’s rare for me to hear a modern mic pull that off well - although many of my vintage mics do it extraordinarily well. Many (most?) new mics sound great up front and personal, but upon pulling back, they just don’t have the reach of some of the vintage Neumann’s in my locker. Not so with the H47t - it's got the reach. With such a successful and fun first outing, I’m really looking forward to doing some more extensive testing on a variety of sources in various parts of the studio - close and distant.

I did a quick throwaway drBill vocal with phones on, and as mentioned, I can’t sing very well, but I IMMEDIATELY noticed that the mic sounded more modern, brighter, and had less U47 style proximity than I was hoping for. Bummer. After initial success with the shaker I was immediately disappointed…..

That is until I removed my headphones, came out of record and turned my speakers back on. WHEW!!! Damn. My vocal sounded KILLER!! Well….killer for my overall tone - not my singing. LOL Nothing's gonna help that.

I’ve got to do more listening on those AT phones, but they were really misleading at first listen. They just didn’t have any real body to them compared to the reality of my JBL708P’s. Luckily (or unluckily for me) my voice sounded very present, balanced and just like it usually sounds. Oh well....<Sigh>…but the H47t was flattering for it - not esshy, not overly boomy - just balanced, with a teeter totter balance between vintage and modern. I’m looking forward to getting some REAL vocalists in to push this thing harder. That's what will really show what this big guy is capable of.

On the “size” / “bottom end” big U47 front, I’m going to pull out my MK47 which D.Deurloo built for me, and put them out in front of the kit and on some vocalists in comparison. That mic is killer. But my gut instinct is that the H47tube is going to hold it’s own just fine…

Oh, and BTW - on the capsule / headbasket front - I texted with Matt from Heiserman last night, and I’ve got a Heiserman M7/HM7 capsule (darker, more vintage from what I can tell) with a Chrome head basket headed my way next week. It will be great to hear the comparison’s between the two capsules in person. The Matte finish HK47 head basket is really beautiful. But I couldn’t resist getting a Chrome HM7 for my vintage fetish.

I'm looking forward to really living with it and getting to know the mic better, but right out of the gate, I’m super impressed, and glad I made the jump right out of the gate to get one of the first ones.

Oh….BTW, did I mention I got serial # 0002? Sweetness.

Some pics :
Attached Thumbnails
Heiserman H47tube.....first thoughts.-h47tube-1.jpg   Heiserman H47tube.....first thoughts.-h47tube-2.jpg   Heiserman H47tube.....first thoughts.-h47tube-3.jpg   Heiserman H47tube.....first thoughts.-h47tube-4.jpg   Heiserman H47tube.....first thoughts.-h47tube-5.jpg  

Heiserman H47tube.....first thoughts.-h47tube-6.jpg   Heiserman H47tube.....first thoughts.-h47tube-7.jpg   Heiserman H47tube.....first thoughts.-h47tube-8.jpg  
Old 21st September 2019
  #2
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swafford's Avatar
 

Thanks for the review. If I didn't already have the Horsh RMJ2, I'd have been all over this mic. Having had Dave Wheeler, the guy that helps design Heiserman circuits, working on several of my tube mics with his phenomenal attention to detail, has sold me on this mic company. I appreciate the look and feel, but sometimes you open up a great looking box and the work inside leaves a lot to be desired. Can't wait to see if they do a 67 or 269 next. Sort of hoping for a 269! That would complete my mic locker.
Old 21st September 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Thanks for sharing those first thoughts, drBill.


Will there be um … second thoughts?


Eric knows what he's doing.


Congrats!
Old 22nd September 2019
  #4
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avare's Avatar
 

Thank you and congratulations.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #5
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by legato View Post
Thanks for sharing those first thoughts, drBill.


Will there be um … second thoughts?


Eric knows what he's doing.


Congrats!
Haha!! Yeah, no doubt. My first second thought is I gotta get out of this writing / mixing cycle (60 tunes to go....) and find something good to record live!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
Thank you and congratulations.
Thanks!
Old 22nd September 2019
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Animesh Raval's Avatar
Hey @ drBill , congratulations on the mic it looks pretty tasty! I wondered if you could share how you arrived at the decision to go for this one rather than say a bock 47, flea, Wunder etc? Had you a chance to compare them all already, or was this more a faith buy? Thanks so much!
Old 22nd September 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
drBill -

While I like vintage gear [guitar and pro-sound] in the hands of others, I've never found [even very valuable] 'collectables' and myself to be a good fit - so, their value is somewhat lost on me. However, great modern implementations that build on earlier great models really do fit - and inspire me toward more creative music.

When the Heiserman H47tube was rumored, it caught my eye. So, your experience and analysis are very useful.


Thanks so much for the great coverage - looking forward to more.

Ray H.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #8
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Heiserman, the person, Eric, is originally a Mechanical Engineer, is that right? I wouldn't be surprised at all given the description and pictures.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #9
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Animesh Raval View Post
Hey @ drBill , congratulations on the mic it looks pretty tasty! I wondered if you could share how you arrived at the decision to go for this one rather than say a bock 47, flea, Wunder etc? Had you a chance to compare them all already, or was this more a faith buy? Thanks so much!
It was a faith thing. Talked with some who heard it at NAMM. Heard the on-line clips. Took the leap. So far....so good!!

I've heard great things about the Miktek CV4, and got a ridiculously steal of a price on one. Just randomly. Thought I would check it out. It's OK. Very modern. But IMO, the H47tube smokes it. I may try the CV4 on a few things, but it's in danger of being modded or sold. Not my cup of tea....

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
drBill -

While I like vintage gear [guitar and pro-sound] in the hands of others, I've never found [even very valuable] 'collectables' and myself to be a good fit - so, their value is somewhat lost on me. However, great modern implementations that build on earlier great models really do fit - and inspire me toward more creative music.

When the Heiserman H47tube was rumored, it caught my eye. So, your experience and analysis are very useful.


Thanks so much for the great coverage - looking forward to more.

Ray H.
Thanks Ray. You're welcome. Good luck with your search! I like the vintage stuff if I know where it comes from and how it's been taken care of. I got a bunch of vintage mics (including a bunch of Gefell's, KM53's, KM86's, TLM170, original SM7, and more...) from a top film scoring engineer buddy of mine. All in excellent well maintained and low use condition. I take care of them, and they have served me well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Heiserman, the person, Eric, is originally a Mechanical Engineer, is that right? I wouldn't be surprised at all given the description and pictures.
I'm not sure, but the fit and finish is at the top of the heap from what I've seen.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
Animesh Raval's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
It was a faith thing. Talked with some who heard it at NAMM. Heard the on-line clips. Took the leap. So far....so good!!
Thanks very much for that! Faith got me a Silver Bullet and that’s working out very well too :-)

This H47t definitely sparks my interest, so will look forward to hearing more of your thoughts in due course. Thanks again for taking time to share, it’s much appreciated!
Old 22nd September 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
drBill -

On this first try, you ran into a Locomotive Weight Tank WT72.

One aspect of my workflow preferences is the complete lack of external preamps/compressors: I run all of my mics straight into my interfaces, usually a Pro Tools MTRX [DAD Line/Mic-Pre]. As I currently have only myself to please, I 'get away with it'. I understand this is not popular at the high-end, and not your practice.

So, I am curious about how the mic stands up in isolation [absent a tube preamp or compressor]? Don't know if anything like the DAD Pre/converter circuits are handy in your shop - or that you would have time to fool with such a notion. And I get that wouldn't be your choice.

But I am curious about your thoughts on use cases for the H47tube in that scenario? And how its 'straight in' sound/response strikes you?


A bad person,

Ray H.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #12
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
drBill -

On this first try, you ran into a Locomotive Weight Tank WT72.

One aspect of my workflow preferences is the complete lack of external preamps/compressors: I run all of my mics straight into my interfaces, usually a Pro Tools MTRX [DAD Line/Mic-Pre & DAC]. As I currently have only myself to please, I 'get away with it'. I understand this is not popular at the high-end, and not your practice.

So, I am curious about how the mic stands up in isolation [absent a tube preamp or compressor]? Don't know if anything like the DAD Pre/DAC circuits are handy in your shop - or that you would have time to fool with such a notion. And I get that wouldn't be your choice.

But I am curious about your thoughts on use cases for the H47tube in that scenario? And how its 'straight in' sound/response strikes you?


A bad person,

Ray H.
Dear Mr. Bad Person -

Sorry, none of my interfaces have mic preamps. Avid HD 16x16's.

PS - I should have put a smiley emoticon here. Several of them....here :

Having a decent mic pre seems pretty important IMO. Not sure how the AVID's stack up. Never used em. I like the ability to "drive" my pre's how I like em, but the WT72's don't have that option. But they were handy, and ready to go - so that's what I used. I'll be trying out the Silver Bullet, Chroma, Coil, and other pre's soon....

I hope.

Last edited by drBill; 22nd September 2019 at 10:44 PM..
Old 22nd September 2019
  #13
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Heiserman, the person, Eric, is originally a Mechanical Engineer, is that right? I wouldn't be surprised at all given the description and pictures.
Eric is a really smart and lovely guy.

We miss him here in Chicago!

I am so happy to see him chasing his dream of making mics!

I would love to hear one at some point.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
[. . .] Having a decent mic pre seems pretty important IMO. Not sure how the AVID's stack up. Never used em. I like the ability to "drive" my pre's how I like em [. . .]
Mic pres in the MTRX [DAD] are 'extremely decent' - but not in the same way you mean. Perhaps, another 'bad person' - who has used the H47tube 'straight in to clean solid state' - will also contribute thoughts to this thread.


Thanks for the quick response! Looking forward to more on your experience,

Ray H.


BTW, until the Heiserman H47tube, I was more on the track toward a Flea. That trajectory has changed.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #15
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pentagon's Avatar
 

The DAD mic pres found in the MTRX are of the extremely clean camp of mic pres. Some of the best in that category (very high definition -- it helps that they are so close to the converters.) But absolutely no colour and they aren't meant to be "driven" in the least (they have a lot of dynamic range to capture orchestral transients.)

So, noticing your Grace monitor controller, Grace mic pres, Gordon, Millennia, Merging Horus/Hapi, and Pueblo Audio would be of this category.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #16
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Dr. Bill, how would you compare/contrast the new Heiserman, to your Joly Modded Oktava 219? Guessing and expecting to hear the H47 tube is a further upgrade.
I just remember you liked that modded 219 a lot.
Thanks, Chris
Old 22nd September 2019
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Dr. Bill, how would you compare/contrast the new Heiserman, to your Joly Modded Oktava 219?
Chris, you're asking what I was thinking.
Which isn't for the first time BTW.


Quote:
Guessing and expecting to hear the H47 tube is a further upgrade.
Yup, same anticipation here.
Different league altogether, one would assume.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #18
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
Mic pres in the MTRX [DAD] are 'extremely decent' - but not in the same way you mean. Perhaps, another 'bad person' - who has used the H47tube 'straight in to clean solid state' - will also contribute thoughts to this thread.


Thanks for the quick response! Looking forward to more on your experience,

Ray H.


BTW, until the Heiserman H47tube, I was more on the track toward a Flea. That trajectory has changed.

Haha!! I'm sure there are a lot of "bad people" out there. Sorry Ray, I should have put a smiley emoticon on my post. When I addressed you as "Mr. Bad Person", it was totally in jest. Hopefully other H47T owners will jump in with differing perspectives in gear, esthetics, and usage!
Old 22nd September 2019
  #19
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Dr. Bill, how would you compare/contrast the new Heiserman, to your Joly Modded Oktava 219? Guessing and expecting to hear the H47 tube is a further upgrade.
I just remember you liked that modded 219 a lot.
Thanks, Chris
Hey Chris -

First, I rarely use the 219's for vocals. So...it's been awhile on those. Last time I used one for that it was decent. What I mostly use them for is toms. And sometimes overs or other drums.

Without a direct comparison (which would be the only real way to really compare the two) the H47t is bigger, more detailed, more present, more alive. Unless it somehow just doesn't fit your voice, it would definitely be an upgrade, not just a side-grade. Hope that helps in some way....

bp
Old 22nd September 2019
  #20
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
The DAD mic pres found in the MTRX are of the extremely clean camp of mic pres. Some of the best in that category (very high definition -- it helps that they are so close to the converters.) But absolutely no colour and they aren't meant to be "driven" in the least (they have a lot of dynamic range to capture orchestral transients.)

So, noticing your Grace monitor controller, Grace mic pres, Gordon, Millennia, Merging Horus/Hapi, and Pueblo Audio would be of this category.
Thanks pentagon! I figured they were decent. I presume they are chip based? Or are they discrete? If IC, do you know which IC?
Old 22nd September 2019
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Thanks Dr. Bill. IMHO as my ear gets "more educated"...I'm better at hearing the nuances of a truly great mic (like the H47 tube & FET), versus an "excellent" sounding LDC(modded Oktava 219/319 for example. FWIW I'd put my stock 219 & 319, at least on the level of the Warm line-since I got lucky soundwise on both of them.

Both Oktava's super cool as "character" microphones (just discovered my 319 kills on old Box Top/Alex Chilton style vocals), but they don't sound near as all rounder, as the Heiserman H47 FET & tube models.

I think Martin John Butler "hits it right on the head", when he has spoken regarding the low level detail factor. As that being one of the prime factors, in how "the icons" (87i/67/47/251/C37) are on the highest sonic level. Having an (unusually) bright upper 2nd Tenor extension (helps with doubling "real Tenors" on live harmonies though BTW), I look forward to also trying the M7 capsule version, early next year at NAMM. The Heiserman K47 capsule I tried though, already had that "sounds like a record" thang, you get with a terrific vocal mic.

Thanks again, Chris
Old 22nd September 2019
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Haha!! I'm sure there are a lot of "bad people" out there. Sorry Ray, I should have put a smiley emoticon on my post. When I addressed you as "Mr. Bad Person", it was totally in jest. Hopefully other H47T owners will jump in with differing perspectives in gear, esthetics, and usage!
drBill wrote: 'I should have put a smiley emoticon here. Several of them....here : '


Response: Oh, that's ridiculous! I immediately saw the good humor in your extending the joke that I initiated - and it immediately brought a big smile to my face that is still there. Hilarious! I laughed and laughed. . .

No one in this forum need ever, ever, ever worry about offending me - it simply is not in my nature.


Cheers,

Ray H.

PS - Sorry for the delayed response: I was helping a niece with her math homework.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #23
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
No one in this forum need ever, ever, ever worry about offending me - it simply is not in my nature.
Shall we try harder then??

BTW - I was told there would be no math.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #24
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monkeyxx's Avatar
What's your next move with the mic, drBill? shaker and scratch vocals are a good start but I'm wondering what your feeling is about it for the future.
Old 23rd September 2019
  #25
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pentagon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Thanks pentagon! I figured they were decent. I presume they are chip based? Or are they discrete? If IC, do you know which IC?
I presume they are chip based as well. There used to be good pictures of the board on DAD's website but that website is a bit of a mess now. I remember the mic pre section is at the front of the card and the converters at the rear of the board (it is capable of double DSD.)

I'd pull the card to take a look at it but it takes removing about 20 small screws to get to it (DAD's design does not make it easy to install or remove cards.)

I'll flag
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntpjl
Jan Lykee
to see if he'll give insight.

But a comparable test of the Heiserman H47t to Ray's question would be any of the cleanest solid-state mic pres.

Watching this thread as well since I haven't invested in any U47 clones. Most of the time I just use the actual U47s at whatever studio I'm working (LA recording studios are full of them in different working/sound condition as you well know.) But it'd be handy to have a pair for my studio.
Old 23rd September 2019
  #26
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
What's your next move with the mic, drBill? shaker and scratch vocals are a good start but I'm wondering what your feeling is about it for the future.
I was thinking Kazoo, but perhaps a 251 is better for that. I need to get onto buying a pair of those.... Not kazoo's - 251's. I've already got a dozen matched pairs of kazoo's.

So....

Instead, I'm thinking either real vocals or putting it out in front of my house Gretch kit alongside my MK47 and see who comes out bloody....
Old 23rd September 2019
  #27
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Please post the drum clips if you feel extra-credit inspired.
Old 23rd September 2019
  #28
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More cowbell!
Chris
Old 24th September 2019
  #29
Gear Head
I’m so glad you like the mic!! And for some clarity I come from a family of Jewelers and watch makers .. pretty much grew up at my grandparents shop!
Thanks Eric Heiserman
Old 24th September 2019
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tskguy View Post
I’m so glad you like the mic!! And for some clarity I come from a family of Jewelers and watch makers .. pretty much grew up at my grandparents shop!
Thanks Eric Heiserman

Ever worked on a (mechanical) camera, Eric?



Henk
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