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Horch RM2J initial impressions Condenser Microphones
Old 3rd December 2008
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Horch RM2J initial impressions

After extensive lurking here on gearslutz I've finally decided to chime in on my experiences with the Horch RM2J that I just got (used, but in shiny new condition).

As background, I've worked with many of the classic LDC's (47's, 67's, c12 etc) as well as the modern mics (soundelux, gefell, neumann, BLUE), have owned several and still have a use a Lawson L47. The Lawson is a great mic (and not just because I share a last name with Gene) and it has complemented many female singers I've worked with quite nicely. My voice is a slightly choir-boyish tenor and so I needed a mic that would add a bit of big-ness. That being said, I've heard mics that make things BIG at the expense of openness and detail. I love detail.

I had been putting off buying a mic for my voice because I knew that most of mics that interested me were out of my price range and while I have no doubts that I could get serviceable results from one or more of the budget mics (peluso, permlan, ak47 etc.) my brief encounters with a few of those mics did not have the same affect on me that I was looking for. Essentially, I remember the first time I used a neumann 269. It sounded like the record in my head. The next two times I encountered 269's, however, one was having technical difficulties so we couldn't rely on it and the other clearly had "issues" with the low end. If I had a bigger budget I would likely have a few of those lovely old mics and I'd also have a fulltime tech. As things stand, I decided to keep my distance from vintage mics largely for fear of maintenance costs but also because I suspected I'd be more than satisfied with some of the high end new mics.

I pulled the trigger on the Horch because the price was too good to pass up. I figured if it didn't float my boat I could sell it without losing anything.

In short, I don't think I'm going to sell it.

Ever.

I mean, Damn. I've only played around with it for 48 hours so perhaps I'll sing a different tune in a week or two, but it's doing several things that I was looking for and several things I didn't expect to find soooo well... The sound in the fixed cardiod mode (red) is yummy. Big, but detailed. When you get loud it captures everything effortlessly and doesn't add or focus on anything ugly. Wow. Ivo, a confirmed Gearslutz RM2J fan, recently compared the Horch and the Wagner. I've never had the pleasure of using a wagner but, from Ivo's description, it sounded similar to the best 47's I've used... It thickened and richened things and almost compressed them where as the Horch felt a little more "real". Well, I couldn't agree more: The RM2J maintains a detail and "realism" that I crave while at the same time flattering the source.

So, those were the things I was hoping it would do which it does do. The unexpected side for me was when I flipped it into multi pattern mode. The slightly smaller and softer bass response will be great for LOTS of things as it makes the mic a good deal less prominent. Further more, the frequency response of the various polar patterns are all very usable. I realize most mics frequency response is altered pretty significantly by pattern, but the Horch feels to me almost like three useful voices in one.

Finally, after a bunch of singing my wife was asking about my violin... I've been using Schoeps pretty exclusively for a while and I've been very happy. However, after playing a few bars into the Horch in variable pattern mode, damn. This purchase was right on. I'll be eager to get to know the mic over the coming weeks and, in time, compare it to the competition (wunder, korby etc.) but for the moment, I'm a happy camper.

Oh, for those curious, I've been listening to the mic through Grace 201 mic pre with no compression into an apogee duet a 88.2 khz. I'll be adding a more colored pre down the road, but I figure if I like the Horch this much in its "naked" state then when I dress it up in pre-amp colors it'll be a true partyheh!
Old 3rd December 2008
  #2
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Carlos Boll's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawsminguez View Post
I'll be adding a more colored pre down the road, but I figure if I like the Horch this much in its "naked" state then when I dress it up in pre-amp colors it'll be a true partyheh!
It's the only microphone that I have ever used that works wonderfully with any preamp you throw at it.

It is truly a mic.
Old 4th December 2008
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
t-hiho's Avatar
I have the pleasure of testing a Horch RM3 (!) right now.
Just did some fem. vocals, jazzy stuff, high bright voice.
I NEVER HEARD ANYTHING LIKE THIS.
I had it side by side with Neumann TLM67, TLM49, Gefell 990art and MG UM92.1S. The Neumanns didn't do the job here (while the 49 was still interesting thou). Gefell 990art was very nice also: great directness, loud, punchy, interesting "steel" coloured high-mids. 92.1 had great air, but lacked a bit in terms of directness. Delivered a completely lovely and natural picture. Sounded like I know her voice. Perhaps a tiny bit more "soft-Pop" than jazz...
>>> Did anybody already compare RM3 to RM2???
Horch RM3: completely other tone. Can't compare to the other mics. Sounded different than the singer, but also great in any way! Slightly compressed high breathy air band, like the vintage M50 I heard at Galaxy Studios. A bit more susceptible to rumble, pops, though. Loud vocals can audibly distort the mic, but in a pleasant way (kinda "no need for that XXX tube pre"-sound).
I think I'll have to keep the Horch and the M990art. Two completely different directions. I couldn't imagine a signal that wouldn't sound perfect with one of those two mics at present...
Old 4th December 2008
  #4
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FULL-DUPLEX's Avatar
 

Yes it is a beautiful sounding mic. The quality is superb and I don´t know why the company is so unknown here at gearslutz.

I have the old (out of production) RM2:
akzent audio-Distribution, Sales and Rentals of professional Recording Gear

Old 4th December 2008
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Yes it is a beautiful sounding mic. The quality is superb and I don´t know why the company is so unknown here at gearslutz.
Gearslutz is a universe filled with a huge amount of information, but we all have our biases and a bit of "group-think" tends to happen. There are a few other products that I've used that I think are extraordinary that simply don't get the buzz treatment around here. The only negative effect of this is I'd like the companies I love (of which Horch is rapidly becoming one) to get more business!

t-hiho: I'm jealous of your RM-3 experience. Ivo, a regular gearslut and a big fan of the RM2J, has posted that he's going to be getting one in for some side to side comparison soon. Keep an eye out for that. What others have posted seems in keeping with your experience: more c-12 ish with that extended, sparkly top. Potentially a real nice complement to the RM2J. Fletcher at Mercenary (a U.S. dealer of Horch) was checking the RM3 out over a year ago but has yet to add it to their inventory. I'd be curious what his thought process has been on that. Maybe when my bank account recovers I'll give Mercenary a call and get the story.

Carlos: I get the feeling that I'm going to be agreeing with you on the "sounds great with every pre" comment. When something sounds this good, natural and un-hyped through a super clean, un-hyped pre then the colors of different gear become just that, colors. Hooray!

-jacob
Old 11th December 2008
  #6
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Yoda117's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos Boll View Post
It's the only microphone that I have ever used that works wonderfully with any preamp you throw at it.

It is truly a mic.
+1 to this comment.

I've yet to find a preamp combo with this mic that did not product a pleasant sound. One of the more interesting experiences of mine was to put it on a DBX 286 for a VO just to see how it'd work (testing mics for local casting agency and I decided to have some fun by tossing it into the mix). The mic is nothing short of amazing.

It's one of the few pieces of hype (remember about 2-3 years ago it was the flavor of the day) that has consistently lived up to or exceeded it's reputation IMO.
Old 12th December 2008
  #7
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Zep Dude's Avatar
 

I'll +1 this as well. These guys deserve some praise. The RM2J has a beautiful tone as described by the original poster.
Old 23rd January 2018
  #8
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
I believe in 10-20 years time the Horch mic's will be coveted by those in the know.
Old 23rd January 2018
  #9
SEED78
Guest
every now and again I forget how heavyweight the Horch is - I shot it out against 2 other mics last night, and the Horch sounded MASSIVE in comparison. The Low end was crazy too.
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Horch RM2J initial impressions-horch.jpg  
Old 24th January 2018
  #10
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Yep, and while no mic is perfect, the Horch holds it's own against the classic vintage and best of the modern mic's IMHO.
Old 24th January 2018
  #11
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Seed you have a mk1 or 2?



Quote:
Originally Posted by SEED78 View Post
every now and again I forget how heavyweight the Horch is - I shot it out against 2 other mics last night, and the Horch sounded MASSIVE in comparison. The Low end was crazy too.
Old 24th January 2018
  #12
SEED78
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twenty Staxx View Post
Seed you have a mk1 or 2?
I have MK2.

there has been no shootout between MK1 and MK2 that I know of. standard power supply with MK2 is smaller than mk1, but Mk2 is cheaper (by a LOT), and you can ask for the OG power supply I think. Personally I've been more than happy with mine, and Paul G loves his Mk2 also.

there used to be speculation about Mk1 vs Mk2, but none of it is founded on real shootouts between the 2, or first hand experience as far as I can tell. Me and Will (he has MK1) compared insides of our Horch's and they look fairly similar. Mk2 has jumpers you can remove to make the circuit identical to the MK1 so Horch say - I've not tried that with mine yet, but will do very soon.

Only things I'd say against the mic is compared to other mics I have it def likes to eat tubes - but the tubes are very cheap so its not such a big deal. blue mode is too noisy for me, mine lives in Red mode. switching between the 2 modes while the mic was still on killed a tube one time!

Its a mic I'd pull out to tame a harsh/bright vocal, or for anything a U47/M49 would be used for. not sure its my first choice for modern pop (on a person with a deep voice at any rate) - but I have another mic for that sound anyway. Horch is warm and large etc etc what it does it does better than any other mics I've heard so far. Using a nice tube preamp I can get in the ballpark with some other mics, but only 80% of the way there, if that... To me its a very special mic
Old 24th January 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEED78 View Post
I have MK2.

there has been no shootout between MK1 and MK2 that I know of. standard power supply with MK2 is smaller than mk1, but Mk2 is cheaper (by a LOT), and you can ask for the OG power supply I think. Personally I've been more than happy with mine, and Paul G loves his Mk2 also.

there used to be speculation about Mk1 vs Mk2, but none of it is founded on real shootouts between the 2, or first hand experience as far as I can tell. Me and Will (he has MK1) compared insides of our Horch's and they look fairly similar. Mk2 has jumpers you can remove to make the circuit identical to the MK1 so Horch say - I've not tried that with mine yet, but will do very soon.

Only things I'd say against the mic is compared to other mics I have it def likes to eat tubes - but the tubes are very cheap so its not such a big deal. blue mode is too noisy for me, mine lives in Red mode. switching between the 2 modes while the mic was still on killed a tube one time!

Its a mic I'd pull out to tame a harsh/bright vocal, or for anything a U47/M49 would be used for. not sure its my first choice for modern pop (on a person with a deep voice at any rate) - but I have another mic for that sound anyway. Horch is warm and large etc etc what it does it does better than any other mics I've heard so far. Using a nice tube preamp I can get in the ballpark with some other mics, but only 80% of the way there, if that... To me its a very special mic
Hey SEED

IIRC you also have a Wunder CM7?

If I'm right, how does it compare to the Horch MK2?

I bought my CM7 - 8 years ago now - it was an early one in the 200's serial number wise with an M7 capsule which Mike tweaked a touch to suit my bright light tenor voice.

My chain is CM7 > BAE 1073 > Retro STA Level (it certainly sounds very smooth and warm with that detailed U47 reedy mid thing an M7 cap gives you)

Is the Horch MK2 a bit of a double up with the CM7?

I want another vocal mic to give me an alternative sound - as a point of reference I definitely don't suit a C800g or BLUE Bottle with B6 capsule (been there tried that!)

Will the REDD mic be a bit to "modern" and etched? - maybe a U67 type mic? or 251? - (it's so hard to get home demos in the UK)

Thanks
Old 24th January 2018
  #14
SEED78
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Hey SEED

IIRC you also have a Wunder CM7?

If I'm right, how does it compare to the Horch MK2?

I bought my CM7 - 8 years ago now - it was an early one in the 200's serial number wise with an M7 capsule which Mike tweaked a touch to suit my bright light tenor voice.

My chain is CM7 > BAE 1073 > Retro STA Level (it certainly sounds very smooth and warm with that detailed U47 reedy mid thing an M7 cap gives you)

Is the Horch MK2 a bit of a double up with the CM7?

I want another vocal mic to give me an alternative sound - as a point of reference I definitely don't suit a C800g or BLUE Bottle with B6 capsule (been there tried that!)

Will the REDD mic be a bit to "modern" and etched? - maybe a U67 type mic? or 251? - (it's so hard to get home demos in the UK)

Thanks
I've never used the CM7 - Redd is much much brighter and detailed than the Horch. If your voice didn't suit the Sony I don't think it will suit the Redd. But depends what you end game is and what else is in the chain. Great mic!!

This stuff is SO subjective. When I tried my first U47 I thought it would be some instant Beach Boys magic happening, turns out I needed a UA console and a lot of tape, who would have guessed!!
Old 25th January 2018
  #15
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Is the Horch MK2 a bit of a double up with the CM7?
They are close IMHO but the Rm2J in Red mode will be closer to an M49 than U47. If I had a CM7 I would look for Horch RM3 or another mic with more difference than the Rm2J first...... unless you crave an M49 sound on the cheap. (Disclaimer, I own an Rm2J MK1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
I want another vocal mic to give me an alternative sound - as a point of reference I definitely don't suit a C800g or BLUE Bottle with B6 capsule (been there tried that!)
As you don't want a bright modern sound I would look at maybe a U67 type sound or maybe the new Manley Silver (Sony C37ish). Also don't ignore the unique Lauten mic's, their new Eden tube has 3 voicings for tonal options using large custom capsules and they have their own sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Will the REDD mic be a bit to "modern" and etched?
The REDD will be a big beautiful modern sound with a link to the past, think between a C800G and 251 up top with a U47ish mid, full of detail with tonal control thanks to the built in preamp.
Old 25th January 2018
  #16
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Thanks guys for those two great replies, great info - much appreciated.
Old 25th January 2018
  #17
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Thanks guys for those two great replies, great info - much appreciated.
You today, me tomorrow.
Old 5th March 2018
  #18
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Hello there friends-- any chance someone knows how one could go about purchasing one of these in the USA? Are they still being distributed/manufactured? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Old 11th March 2018
  #19
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Dunno - was looking for the same thing, however I found one in europe: HORCH Audiogerate RM2J Mark 2 Valve Microphone Set | HORCH Audiogerate | A-I | Brands | SonicWorld Audio Shop
Old 11th March 2018
  #20
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by markelje View Post
Hello there friends-- any chance someone knows how one could go about purchasing one of these in the USA? Are they still being distributed/manufactured? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
After the people in the original Horch company split ways, I don't believe there is anybody in the US distributing Horch mics, and Urton is no longer in busisness. I would look to pick up anything Horch used in the US, or new with the Horch company that is still around in Germany.


More Horch info can be found here.
URTON microphones - Horch rebirt or split?
Old 12th March 2018
  #21
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Thanks very much!
Old 22nd September 2018
  #22
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
I just wanted to bump this thread as I love my Rm2J even more today than when I bought it. I've finally teamed it with a Requisite Pal Plus and the results are world class, I can't think of a better deal in microphones than a used Rm2J.
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