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Sennheiser MD 409 Dynamic Microphones
Old 26th September 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

Sennheiser MD 409

Hi there folks,

Does anyone out there have tech docs for the original Sennheiser MD409 or any of it's Ux versions (U3 is the one I see the most it seems)? In particular, a legible frequency curve for the mic would be very helpful to me right now.

I've got lots of different tech docs myself, so a trade would be in order, I presume...


Cheers,

Tillmann
Old 26th September 2007
  #2
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Santiago's Avatar
 

Hopefully this is readable enough?

Sennheiser MD 409 Frequency Range

I have a 409 too, wonderful mike for guitar, and underrated for vocals...

Santiago
Old 26th September 2007
  #3
Gear Nut
 
mcollinge's Avatar
 

I wonder if this is document holds for the MD 509. freaking great mic.
Old 27th September 2007
  #4
Gear Head
 

Thanks for the link but I've seen that already. I'm looking for something a bit more "official".

also, the 409 and 509 have completely different capsules, so I would bet that that does not hold true.

T
Old 3rd April 2017
  #5
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frans's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tillmann View Post
also, the 409 and 509 have completely different capsules, so I would bet that that does not hold true.
T
Having serviced a number of 409s and 509s - the capsules I saw looked the same to me. The only difference I could make out from the outside, for what it's worth, there are capsules with grey resonator discs and those with black (or very dark grey) discs. But I saw 409s with both kinds and only 509s with the black ones. To answer if there actually is a difference between the 409s and the 509 inside the capsules, you should ask somebody from that time at Sennheiser, for example John Willett.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
The BF 509 was a renamed MD 409.
(...) But these were still expensive to make and the Black Fire range was later replaced by the evolution series. Evolution had automated manufacture which meant that a high quality microphone could be made for a lower cost as the whole production line was run by just two people.
The earlier 409s had a longer shaft and a switch and a tuchel connector on the back of the shaft, the simpler form of the later MD409s was a bit cheaper to make.
Old 3rd April 2017
  #6
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frans View Post
Having serviced a number of 409s and 509s - the capsules I saw looked the same to me. The only difference I could make out from the outside, for what it's worth, there are capsules with grey resonator discs and those with black (or very dark grey) discs. But I saw 409s with both kinds and only 509s with the black ones. To answer if there actually is a difference between the 409s and the 509 inside the capsules, you should ask somebody from that time at Sennheiser, for example John Willett.
When Sennheiser introduced the, now defunct, "Black Fire" series; as well as introducing a few new macs, they re-named some existing models as BF.

The MD 421 and MD 441 were re-named BF 521 and BF 541 were all black and had the bass roll-off filter removed.

The MD 409 was re-named BF 509 and was, again, all black. Otherwise it was identical.
Old 3rd April 2017
  #7
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
When Sennheiser introduced the, now defunct, "Black Fire" series; as well as introducing a few new macs, they re-named some existing models as BF.

The MD 421 and MD 441 were re-named BF 521 and BF 541 were all black and had the bass roll-off filter removed.

The MD 409 was re-named BF 509 and was, again, all black. Otherwise it was identical.
I was under this belief for many years, and recently A/B'd a couple 509s against 409s, and they seemed to have a just slightly diminished bass response in comparison. Was this just coincidence, or was that an actual feature of the 509?
Old 3rd April 2017
  #8
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
I was under this belief for many years, and recently A/B'd a couple 509s against 409s, and they seemed to have a just slightly diminished bass response in comparison. Was this just coincidence, or was that an actual feature of the 509?
How old was your MD 409? Later versions were slightly different, but I didn't think they changed the sound.

And, of course, duff foam could change the sound.
Old 3rd April 2017
  #9
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
How old was your MD 409? Later versions were slightly different, but I didn't think they changed the sound.

And, of course, duff foam could change the sound.
I have three MD409-U3s. So, what? '80s? '90s? The two 509s were just a hair shy on the bass, but by the same amount.

I had always believed they were the same, so I was little confused. It's nothing that makes them unusable, but it was at least to me perceptible.
Old 3rd April 2017
  #10
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
I have three MD409-U3s. So, what? '80s? '90s? The two 509s were just a hair shy on the bass, but by the same amount.

I had always believed they were the same, so I was little confused. It's nothing that makes them unusable, but it was at least to me perceptible.
What Sennheiser said at the time was that they were the same other than the 509 was all black.
Old 3rd April 2017
  #11
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
What Sennheiser said at the time was that they were the same other than the 509 was all black.
I know. They told me as much, too.
Old 6th April 2017
  #12
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frans's Avatar
My 509s and 'newer' 409s sound pretty much alike. It's just my MD409 from the 60s that sounds a little brighter. All with new foam and clean, could be the age difference of the capsules.
Old 7th April 2017
  #13
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
I have three MD409-U3s. So, what? '80s? '90s? The two 509s were just a hair shy on the bass, but by the same amount.

I had always believed they were the same, so I was little confused. It's nothing that makes them unusable, but it was at least to me perceptible.
I've had much the same experience on a couple of occasions. I too had been told and had read any number of times that the BF and MD models were the same apart from cosmetics. So I was initially surprised when someone brought in a BF509 and it sounded a bit different from my pair of 1980s MD409s. I had a similar experience again on a later occasion with a pair of BF509s.

I've have copped a thorough flaming for mentioning it on a couple of occasions - and have even been told that all three BF509s must have been defective (in which case they must have all had an identical 'defect', since they each sounded similar to each other, while sounding a little different from the 409 U3 mics). I don't know why (though I doubt they were defective) but I do know what I heard.

Meanwhile, on the *remote* offchance that the OP is still hunting for MD409 docs after all these years, attached is a pdf of the datasheet from Senn.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Sennheiser_MD409_datasheet.pdf (1.16 MB, 52 views)
Old 7th April 2017
  #14
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Silvertone's Avatar
Sennheiser stopped making the MD409, got a wicked backlash and came out with the MD904 to answer the call, only trouble is it didn't sound similar at all... so the revamped it and came out with the MD906, which while still not an MD409 is very, very close in sound.

I ended up getting MD906's to replace the 409's I had when the internal foam started breaking down on the 409's. Nasty.

Silvertone Mastering
Old 7th April 2017
  #15
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frans's Avatar
In the live rack we got a MD509 and a e906, amongst others. At FOH the difference is not much. For recordings I think the e906 could made to sound like a 409 with a little hicut, low cut and a small midpeak. But what do I got 25 mics for guitar for, I just will use the one that sounds like I need it in the moment.
Old 7th April 2017
  #16
Here for the gear
 

I've got 4 409 U3s from Townhouse London,2 echolette 409s and 2 509s and I find there's enough intra and inter species variation that I can't pick a trend.I've not checked all the foam as getting the mesh halves back together can be a dangerous exercise.My fave is one of the echolettes in which I replaced the foam with cotton wool,gets the mids and bass just right,up on the grille cloth.
Got a 609 and 906 but haven't really tried them out.
Old 7th April 2017
  #17
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frans's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratite View Post
I've not checked all the foam as getting the mesh halves back together can be a dangerous exercise.
If you wait long enough, the disintegrating foam turns sticky and you wouldn't want these crumbs to get between the diaphragm and the resonator disc in front of it. I know it can be tricky to put them back together again, usually I use my tools to clamp the parts together in two different directions at the same time or the screws won't thread in.
Old 8th April 2017
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Can you recommend a replacement foam?
Old 8th April 2017
  #19
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frans's Avatar
Anything is better than the crumbly old foam - I use foam from the hardware store, cut it into shape and spray it with something that prevents it from taking moisture from the air. Letting it dry and de-fume for a few weeks. I make a foam that is from two halves, so the capsule sits inbetween, with some foam extending to the front and back of the capsule, so it never can touch (and rattle/vibrate) against the grille. It's a bit of work, but it pays off.
You don't have to exactly reapeat all that, as any foam that can hold the capsule is better than old foam. If you aren't confident you can pull it off, look for someone in your country to service them, it's not rocket science. Where are you from?
Old 8th April 2017
  #20
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Silvertone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by frans View Post
If you wait long enough, the disintegrating foam turns sticky and you wouldn't want these crumbs to get between the diaphragm and the resonator disc in front of it. I know it can be tricky to put them back together again, usually I use my tools to clamp the parts together in two different directions at the same time or the screws won't thread in.
That what happened to mine, ruined the mic's unfortunately.

www.silvertonemastering.com
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