The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Sennheiser 421 vs 441 Condenser Microphones
Old 4th May 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Lee Cardan's Avatar
 

Sennheiser 421 vs 441

I'm going to mainly use them for rack toms
Given the price difference, basically the 441 is twice the cost of the 421.. Is the 441 really that much better that it justifies the price difference to me? or could I likely EQ the 421 to still get a great sounding tom?
Old 4th May 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I think you would probably find that the 421 is actually way more popular for toms than the 441. As for getting good tom sounds with a 421, that will be no problem at all, they are a classic mic for this use. Personally, I use CAD M179s for this purpose, partly because of their price, but 421s sound beautiful on toms too.
Old 4th May 2009
  #3
Gear Nut
 
Jarp2600's Avatar
 

421's are useful in quite a lot situations. Sounds nice on toms, guitar amps, bass amps, und so weiter. 441's are a bit more specific in use. I used to put 'em on snaredrums etc...
Old 5th May 2009
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

I think the 441 is a much better mic. For my tastes, the 441 sounds better on any source I've tried than a 421. I've used "vintage" 421s as well as the current rev. I bought my 441 used for $300, so I couldn't be happier.

Rick
Old 5th May 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 

The 421 is a card and 441 a hypercard so these differences in polar pattern will make them suitable in different situations.


/Peter
Old 5th May 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Lee Cardan's Avatar
 

In Australia, neither of these are particularly cheap
RRP 421 is ~$800
RRP 441 is ~$1700

But, I found the 421s for as low as $550, and the 441s for $1200

$1200 isn't as bad as $1700, so I'd actually consider the 441s
I've heard again and again only great things about both, leaning towards better regaring the 441...

I guess the main question is that is there any reason the 421 would be better than the 441 on toms? If not, I'm leaning towards the 441 at this point
Old 5th May 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 
carlheinz's Avatar
 

609'S work very nice on toms as well for the price.
Old 5th May 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 
picksail's Avatar
 

The 441 is a great hi hat mic. It is also surprisingly great on a male tenor lead vocal.
Old 5th May 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 

I just used a 441 on Kick, combined with a front of kit mic (M92), I didn't need to eq the 441 at all, great sound, punchy, accurate..
Old 5th May 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
leaper's Avatar
 

For many purposes they are kind of interchangeable.
The 441 has a more open top end which makes it perhaps more suitable for wind instruments and voices. The 421 is more compact in the top end and has a slight presence boost.. hence the popularity with toms.
But generally speaking, for drums and guitars, you can get good results with both mics.
Old 5th May 2009
  #11
Gear Addict
 
greyskull's Avatar
the 441 seems less obviously scoped as the 421.
that being said, still prefer the 421 on toms
441 is nice on snare
Old 5th May 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
dangoudie's Avatar
 

The more I use my 441 the more brilliant I think it is.

Snare, toms, hh, kick, guitar cabs, bass cabs, male/female vocals. You name it, it will do it well.

Whilst they are great on drums, they DO NOT take stray stick hits well.
The screen dents easily so if your drummer isn't very good then he/she will ruin one of the most aesthetically attractive mics in your locker.

If you're just looking for a tom mic then get some 421s. 441's will serve you incredibly well on a number of sources but if you have your based covered on those already then the extra expense is unnecessary.
Old 5th May 2009
  #13
441 = ++thumbsup

Quote:
Originally Posted by dangoudie View Post
...they DO NOT take stray stick hits well.
The screen dents easily so if your drummer isn't very good then he/she will ruin one of the most aesthetically attractive mics in your locker.
which is why I use the 441 on the bottom of the snare & my 57 on the top.
Old 5th May 2009
  #14
+1 441

I am brave enough to use a 441 on snare top with most of my drummers.
U 87 on -10 dB on the lower head with a little labs phase tool in the insert, does wonders
for my rep that little combo.
Cant make up my mind if I like it with the bright switch on, some snares yes, some no I spose.
Old 5th May 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Lee Cardan's Avatar
 

So perhaps 421s to begin with, and then 441s later on

I can appreciate that the 441 seems to be a great mic in most peoples books, but like I said I'm really mostly looking to get a better tom sound, so 421 it is it seems

just FYI

So far this is what I'm doing for the drums:
Sennheiser e902 on kick (just outside the hole)
sE Z5600A II in a kick tunnel about 2 meters back
sE 4A stereo pair for overheads (focusing on ride and crash)
AKG C1000 for Hi Hats and any additional cymbals that require focus
Sennheiser e906 on top of snare
Shure SM57 on bottom of snare
AKG C418 on toms for the moment

So, I'll replace the C418s with 421s

I'm also strongly considering a pair of Blue Woodpeckers for drums L + R, perhaps two to three meters back from the kit, 2 meters high, two meters apart

heh

even now I can get a great drum sound, but really want to bring those toms out

thanks!
Old 5th May 2009
  #16
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Just to keep a budgetary perspective on this discussion, as the OP pointed out, one of these mics is more than double the price of the other...

Sennheiser MD421 II... $379.97
Sennheiser MD441U.... $849.97
Old 5th May 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 

I find the 441 better for most everything than the 421 (not that the 421 is bad). It is a long mic, so, placement on toms can be a problem.
Old 5th May 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 

One of the instructors in the engineering school I attended (ages ago) summed it up this way: The 421 is great at some things, but not all, while the 441 is good at everything, but great at nothing. In general, I'd agree with this. The 441 is an excellent, all-purpose dynamic with condensor-like qualities that has never sounded bad on anything I've used it for. The 421 is killer on toms, and sometimes perfect for kick, snare or guitar cabs, but I haven't liked it for much else.
Old 6th May 2009
  #19
Lives for gear
 

I am a sax player and have a 421 in my case. I love it on my horn. I have a pair of them. I used to have an old 441, along with my two 421's. I sold the 441 as I didn't hear much difference between them. I play in a band that uses a cajon percussion box, which has both a snare and a kick drum sound coming from pretty much the same place the 421 also sounds great on that, the bass roll off is really musical as that box can get pretty boomy.
Old 6th May 2009
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
Guruceta's Avatar
 

I think for tombs, the 421 kills the 441..Always though the 441 would be better until I tried them together (for this particular purpose)...
Closer sound, warmer and all the mojo.

good luck!!!
Old 6th May 2009
  #21
teo
Lives for gear
 
teo's Avatar
 

I really like the 441, I think it's a much better allrounder than the 421. That said, if the application is mainly toms, don't sweat it and go for the 421.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coschi View Post
I'm going to mainly use them for rack toms
Given the price difference, basically the 441 is twice the cost of the 421.. Is the 441 really that much better that it justifies the price difference to me? or could I likely EQ the 421 to still get a great sounding tom?
I actually think the 421 is a better choice for toms...
Old 6th May 2009
  #22
Gear Addict
 
Recycled_Brains's Avatar
 

The 441 is an insanely awesome mic. Leaps and bounds more useful [to me] than a 421.

There have been very few times where I have put up a 421 on a source and actually stuck with it.

I can say the complete opposite for 441s.

One thing to keep in mind, in regards to tom micing, is whether or not the off-axis bleed of the mics is flattering to the overall kit sound. 441's have wonderful rejection, and the bleed actually sounds good.

You should have no trouble finding used 441s for a reasonable price, so the cost factor shouldn't really come into play.
Old 6th May 2009
  #23
Just my opinion...which you can take for the $0.02 cents that it's worth... Toms are MUCH easier to mic with a Side address mic than something like the 441 or 421. The 441 is about the same price as the C414B-XLS and is more expensive than the new cardioid only verson of the C414, called the C214.

C414's are by far my favorite mic on toms. I've never been a fan of MD421s on toms because they become omni directional below about 250Hz and above 6KHz. Using them on toms I get a lot more bleed from cymbals and kick. When you put a C414 on the toms, you might be amazed at how little bleed you actually get in the mics compared to the level of the tom you are mic'ing.

So, if I could suggest anything to you, it would be to at least look into and consider the C214 or maybe C414B-XLS or some used C414B/ULS mics for toms.

By the way, I've never tried the new B-XLS mics. So look into them and how they differ from the B/ULS. I use the B/ULS on toms all the time, and they are amazing. And they can take a beating!!!
Old 6th May 2009
  #24
Lives for gear
 
HudHudson's Avatar
 

[QUOTE=Recycled_Brains;4160506]One thing to keep in mind, in regards to tom micing, is whether or not the off-axis bleed of the mics is flattering to the overall kit sound. 441's have wonderful rejection, and the bleed actually sounds good.QUOTE]

+1. I hate how 421s sound off-axis and use D224s or D19s on toms for that reason.
Old 7th May 2009
  #25
Gear Head
 

This is coming from someone with no experience with either mic in question so take this suggestion for what it's worth (probably jack squat), but I wouldn't recommend either of those.

I mean, both mics are rather expensive (especially the 441; my god, for nearly a GRAND for a dynamic mic, that thing better suck your dick and tuck you into bed at night), yet everything I've read about them makes it seem like they're not terribly diverse. I never hear about them being used for much other than certain drums and perhaps horns.

Consider this: for about the same money (or even considerably less), you can get a decent condenser, even a multipattern like the CAD M179, which would still work great for all the sources that those dynamic mics would, and yet be far more versatile and useful.

I know the allure of getting the "classic, popular mic" for various sources, but in the end, it's getting your money's worth and having gear that you can really get the most out of that's most important.

Just because most people always use these certain mics on certain sources does NOT mean that they're the best for those jobs and nothing else will work. It just means that most people are lazy and don't want to do their own experimenting so they go with what's popular.

I say, save some money, do your own experiments for what works, and cut your own trail. Then again, I ain't nobody. Yet.
Old 7th May 2009
  #26
Lives for gear
 
hobson's Avatar
 

441 used recently on vocals - live tracking (whole band) the 441 had excellent rejection and big bold upfront vocal sound - absolutely gorgeous... again, unbelievable rejection.

has also worked well for elec. guitar - kick drum - snare - for toms we use either xformerless 57's / 906's - sometimes KM32 / 414buls.

consider also, that these mics on the used market generally cost 1/2 the retail price.. i bought both of mine used in A+ condition for about $400 - $450 a piece.

+1 for the 441 .
Old 7th May 2009
  #27
Gear Addict
 

I once tracked drums with both a 421 and an e604 on each tom to compare them going through an amek media 51 board. I did prefer the 421's just a bit more than the e604's, but barely, nothing a little eq couldn't fix.

I felt like the 421 sounded slighty more mid scooped and the upper midrange a hair clearer.

Since then I have sold 2 of my 3 421s and bought the 3 pack of the e604's.

And so far I am very happy.
Old 7th May 2009
  #28
Gear Addict
 
Antonio_4346's Avatar
 

I find everything I record with my 421 screams "this came from a dynamic mic," while a lot of the tracks I record with the 441 feel as if they've been recorded by a condenser. I find this characteristic mostly evident in the upper mids and highs. Both microphones sound great, but, in my experience, only really show their full grace when sent through a nice pre.

That being said, I don't think you can go wrong with either.
Old 7th May 2009
  #29
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by -Josh- View Post
This is coming from someone with no experience with either mic in question so take this suggestion for what it's worth (probably jack squat), but I wouldn't recommend either of those.

I mean, both mics are rather expensive (especially the 441; my god, for nearly a GRAND for a dynamic mic, that thing better suck your dick and tuck you into bed at night), yet everything I've read about them makes it seem like they're not terribly diverse. I never hear about them being used for much other than certain drums and perhaps horns.

Consider this: for about the same money (or even considerably less), you can get a decent condenser, even a multipattern like the CAD M179, which would still work great for all the sources that those dynamic mics would, and yet be far more versatile and useful.

I know the allure of getting the "classic, popular mic" for various sources, but in the end, it's getting your money's worth and having gear that you can really get the most out of that's most important.

Just because most people always use these certain mics on certain sources does NOT mean that they're the best for those jobs and nothing else will work. It just means that most people are lazy and don't want to do their own experimenting so they go with what's popular.

I say, save some money, do your own experiments for what works, and cut your own trail. Then again, I ain't nobody. Yet.

I really try to take everyone's opinion as just that, and not get on anyone's case. And I'm gonna assume this poster is a tadpole, because when I was a tadpole I probably said some dumb stuff like that.

But some stuff you learn to appreciate in time, and a 441 is like that. when I was fortunate enough to acquire my current studio from its previous owner 20 years ago, I got a bunch of 421's and 2 441's in the deal. I was hip to 421's, but not so much to 441's. At first I used them in 421 kinds of situations, and then REALLY didn't get it.

Then a blues label came around that needed to record the whole band in the room at once. with the singer, who was either the guitarist or the B3 dude.

We tried all sorts of LDCs, with all sorts of cred. including 67's and 87's and c12. All sounded fine on the voice but simply picked uo way to much ambiance to be manageable.

Then we tried the 441. And it made the session. A great vocal mike with near condenser top end, but with a tight enough pickup that when the singer got up on if the bleed was minimal. In fact..what bleed there was sounded great. Saved the session...the second record won a Handy Award.

These guys play great when with the band band...but when overdubbing just don't feel it. The mic made it all work.

How can you dis a mic you've never heard?? Because it seems expensive to you?? Shame on you. IF you manage to become someone who anyone lets record them, you will find yourself in a situation one day where a mic like this will make a difference to your session. And if you avoid that mic because of the price, you are truely a fool, because your work will suffer.

So my question to you is....if you haven't tried these two classic mics, how do you know that they are NOT the best mic for the job. And if they ARE the best mic for the job, how do you justify to your project that you don't even know what they sound like??

The knowledge you can accumulate around here can save you YEARS of learning curve. If you think you can simply replace that lack of knowledge with arrogance, I respectfully submit that you are wrong.
Old 7th May 2009
  #30
Lives for gear
 
hobson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo View Post
We tried all sorts of LDCs, with all sorts of cred. including 67's and 87's and c12. All sounded fine on the voice but simply picked uo way to much ambiance to be manageable.

Then we tried the 441. And it made the session. A great vocal mike with near condenser top end, but with a tight enough pickup that when the singer got up on if the bleed was minimal. In fact..what bleed there was sounded great. Saved the session...
exactly! thumbsup
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Ben B / So Much Gear, So Little Time
6
judah / So Much Gear, So Little Time
8
Mike Jasper / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
3
tubeman / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
0
fuzzface777 / So Much Gear, So Little Time
4

Forum Jump
Forum Jump