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Neumann BCM 705 vs Senn. MD 441, highest performing dynamic Dynamic Microphones
Old 19th December 2009
  #1
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Neumann BCM 705 vs Senn. MD 441, highest performing dynamic

Hello,

I mean to keep this very to the point so please disregard if you find it not in your area of interest. I have researched quite extensively and not found any gelled opinions on the BCM 705 model. I have not had the opportunity to test one myself. Compared to SM7, MD 441, etc.?
Old 19th December 2009
  #2
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On the radio i work for we did test a whole leap of large diagram dynamics including the ones you mention, and the best was the BCM 705. This was for radio use off course (mainly talking) and powered with a Dateq BCS51E pre from our broadcast console. We also have a 421, but use this only for live concert recordings, not for presenters nor even singers (an old Beta57 with a plopscreen, the ones with the different old grill, does it better for us).
Old 19th December 2009
  #3
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Sweetwater let me try a Neumann BCM 705 last year.

Thank God they have a generous return policy.

It has more output than most dynamics, other than that not many redeeming qualities that I could hear.

I believe there's a reason you don't hear much about this mic when legendary dynamics are being discussed.
Old 19th December 2009
  #4
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Whilst Rob is absolutely entitled to his opinion, I could not agree with him on this. The BCM705 is an excellent mic and should be considered in the same league as the SM7B and the MD441.

We have all three of those mics here, including a pair of 441s and a pair of 705s and on some sources I prefer the 705s,. They have a crisp definition that the SM7B lacks, but don't have the silkiness in the upper reaches that is the tell-tale characteristic of the 441. On strident sources the SM7B can work well, taking off some of the bite while capturing the body. On airy open sources, the 441 can shine, smoothing high end detail. On full-bodied resonant voices, the 705 has a pristine quality and does its thing superbly in the mids, while capturing a broad spectrum and sitting very well into a mix.

Among dynamic mics, I certainly think highly of the 441, but there are some sources where I find the 705 works better. If you can, you'd be well served to try them yourself to see what works for you.
Old 19th December 2009
  #5
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great thread newbie!!!!!!!!!!

i completely forgot about that neumann dynamic!

sounds like it could be useful in the right areas...

i also can't wait to get a 441 -

are vintage 441's better sounding than the modern??
Old 19th December 2009
  #6
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Guys,

Thanks for everything so far. I really appreciate it. Right now I'm just hacking along with an e845 Sennheiser and boosting top and mids ALL the way and using the low-cut filter on the pre in the mixer. Dynamic seems to give better response than the junk MXL condenser I have. I've never invested in mics before, have nice guitars though, and it's time for mics.

Given that my emphasis is indeed on highs ("silky" or "airy" or "open" are words that describe well the desired feel and effect here) it seems the MD 441 will best serve me. Vocals are not so overtly aggressive that they need taming and all-frequency-smoothing with an SM7B (it seems that's the use of that mic?) and are not so full bodied that a BCM 705 would be the most appropriate piece of equipment...

If I'm putting this all together correctly...

Of course the other option may actually be ribbon mics (I guess AEA or Royer, maybe Blue Woodpecker, probably not the Shure). Like dynamics they too don't completely trace the motion of the air with the excessive transients.

But the important thing it to first identify the dynamic mic of record and reference. It seems the MD 441 has taken that position from your feedback.

Further comments of course are very appreciated...

Gratefully,

Newbie
Old 20th December 2009
  #7
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4'33"'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tapehiss View Post
great thread newbie!!!!!!!!!!

i completely forgot about that neumann dynamic!

sounds like it could be useful in the right areas...

i also can't wait to get a 441 -

are vintage 441's better sounding than the modern??
Nope. The 441 has mercifully escaped the clutches of the bean counters and penny pinchers at Sennheiser thus far, thank Christ....
Old 20th December 2009
  #8
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I don't think the MD441 is a different league than SM7. I've compared both a few times... once the md441 was winning, once the sm7, once a condenser.... As always, it really depends on the voice/singer.

u can hear both (and some other mics as tlm170, m149, c1) on a male artist with a edgy middy but powerful voice here: http://www.kgn-projects.net/files/da...cVergleich.zip (preamp was a tubetech mp1a)
Old 20th December 2009
  #9
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DaVogi,

I listened to your files, the SM7 obviously is the winner for imparting some sense of body to the vocal. MD441 not any competition there. But for highs-focused vocals with a sense of air -- pure pop -- it seems like a 441 would be in a different league. On that application anyway.

The singer in your demo files seems to have had a voice nearly devoid of very high resonance and air and the SM7 sounded better on him but I think the overall consensus remains about the same, 441 for highs-focused recording..?
Old 20th December 2009
  #10
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yes, on a brighter/higher voice and jazz-songs I prefered the md441 in one shootout against the sm7. was this female singer: Nina Braith on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos (man, some peorple, island, running in circle) - but she liked an tlm170 even more so you don't here the md441 here :-) .... the md441 would have smoother highs, less air, a warmer sound but a perfectly round tone for this kind of music.
Old 20th December 2009
  #11
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Greatly appreciated.
Old 21st December 2009
  #12
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Big fan of the 441

Andonwego: I have used the 441 extensively for the past 10 years and have generally been either happy or very happy with the results (on a variety of instruments, voices, open air, in the studio, live concerts etc). Except for its size (which sometimes cramps placement), I really don't see any downside to this mic.

For vocals in particular, I have found that it does "pop" if miced too close and will need the windscreen for most cases. At a distance of about 12 inches or greater, this is one of the best general purpose mics out there. For closer micing of vocals, I do use the MD431 regularly since it is much more pop resistant.

The bass / treble tailoring capability of the 441 make it very useful in live situations where there is sometimes not much time between acts to anything but the most basic stuff.

Good luck in your search and if you do get to compare the BCM 705 to the 441 please do report back.

Baithak
Old 21st December 2009
  #13
if you want loads of high end on a dynamic, consider the Heil mics too. I've only tried the PR30 and 40, but they could be just the trick.
Old 21st December 2009
  #14
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Baithak,

It seems that the BCM 705 is really just an MD 431 in a Neumann broadcast casing with some KMS 105 style windscreen mesh. I've looked deeper into this and it seems the whole mystery is sort of...not. I imagine a 705 is applicable wherever a 431 would be. Of course it lacks a 431's inner foam, using instead only the Neumann metal grill system, so some high end should be more present, but otherwise it appears that the 441 is the winner, hands down, for pop vocals, provided -- as you say -- that a windscreen is used.

And of course only on applications calling for a dynamic mic, but there are always those very physical singers with percussive voices with good high end...

Another question I had, and brought up in another thread's which been totally ignored, is possibly using one of the new ribbon mics, the ones with good high end articulation unlike the classic models. Still not as overly reactive to plosive and sibilance as a condenser, might be the trick.

Of course if I lose enough sleep I might just wake up in a cold sweat and hammer five Red Bulls, pace for four hours, and go impulsively rent a C800G....
Old 21st December 2009
  #15
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tapehiss View Post
are vintage 441's better sounding than the modern??
There is no difference in the manufacture of the MD 441 from the earliest to the latest.

That's why it costs what it does.

At the same time as the MD 421 Mk.II was designed, Sennheiser also looked to see if the MD 441 could be made with more automatic processes and less labour - they found that any change they made changed the sound - so they continued to make the MD 441 in the same way as it had been made from the start.

So - no change at all.

Any sound differences will only be down to the age of an old capsule and not to any change in the way it was manufactured.
Old 28th June 2011
  #16
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Waking up an old one here. Has anyone used the MD441 as a stereo mic? And by that I mean for other things than drums because I know it's a popular overhead mic. I'm thinking of getting one for stereo miking of ambiences etc. Would a hypercard. mic work for that or will it be too narrow in its pickup pattern to work well as a stereo pair?
Old 28th June 2011
  #17
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
RE-20 anyone?

What about the world's most popular dynamic radio broadcast mic, the EV RE-20? Easily comparable to the Sennhesier 441 or the BCM 705. You can't have a discussion about the highest performing dynamic mic without talking about the RE-20, which is probably the world's highest performing dynamic mic, can you?
Old 29th June 2011
  #18
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This was a very old thread and I was merely trying to avoid starting a new one. But I'm not sure the OP is reading so posting apropaux the original question might be useless.
Old 29th June 2011
  #19
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Matti's Avatar
You want to angle hypercardiod mics in a stereo pair bit narrower than cardiods to avoid
"hole in the midle" but you get similar results to the cardiod pair from greater distance,
sometimes desired.

Matti
Old 29th June 2011
  #20
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Toppermost's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmikeperkins View Post
You can't have a discussion about the highest performing dynamic mic without talking about the RE-20, which is probably the world's highest performing dynamic mic, can you?
Seems we get different mileage on that one!

I wouldn't personally rate the RE-20 as even in the same league as the two mics on this thread. IMO it's a solid useable dynamic and a cut or two above an SM57, but as for "worlds highest performing dynamic mic", not even close - on paper or in use.

No doubt it's your personal favorite, probably some other people's as well, but...
Old 29th June 2011
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petsematary View Post
Waking up an old one here. Has anyone used the MD441 as a stereo mic? And by that I mean for other things than drums because I know it's a popular overhead mic. I'm thinking of getting one for stereo miking of ambiences etc. Would a hypercard. mic work for that or will it be too narrow in its pickup pattern to work well as a stereo pair?
I used a pair of 441s as stereo room mics for many years. They're beautiful in that application, and many others as well, especially trumpet and female vocals.
Old 29th June 2011
  #22
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Sounds good, maybe that's the way to go then.
Old 1st July 2011
  #23
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bonne's Avatar
I've never worked with the 441. Has anyone had any luck with it on acoustic guitar?

Thanks

JB
Old 1st July 2011
  #24
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonne View Post
I've never worked with the 441. Has anyone had any luck with it on acoustic guitar?

Thanks

JB
Yes, absolutely.
Old 1st July 2011
  #25
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSky Media View Post
Yes, absolutely.
Yeah its a bit like halfway between a dynamic and good condenser on M with the bright switch engaged.
Killer snare drum top head mic too, the old 441.
Hard to think of something its bad at except placement due to the length
of it.
Old 23rd July 2011
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTatman View Post
I used a pair of 441s as stereo room mics for many years. They're beautiful in that application, and many others as well, especially trumpet and female vocals.
I bought a pair of Beyer M101N mics for this. I will find out tomorrow if they work as such....
Old 3rd September 2016
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by andonwego View Post
Baithak,

It seems that the BCM 705 is really just an MD 431 in a Neumann broadcast casing with some KMS 105 style windscreen mesh. I've looked deeper into this and it seems the whole mystery is sort of...not. I imagine a 705 is applicable wherever a 431 would be. Of course it lacks a 431's inner foam, using instead only the Neumann metal grill system, so some high end should be more present, but otherwise it appears that the 441 is the winner, hands down, for pop vocals, provided -- as you say -- that a windscreen is used.
What about taking the foam out of the 431? Would that give the high-end detail of the 441? Maybe adding a pop-screen to stop popping? Could I damage the diaphragm this way because of moisture?

Quote:

Another question I had, and brought up in another thread's which been totally ignored, is possibly using one of the new ribbon mics, the ones with good high end articulation unlike the classic models. Still not as overly reactive to plosive and sibilance as a condenser, might be the trick.
Can you name these ribbons for me? I love the idea of a supercardioid ribbon with extended highs.

{Edit} I'm also a bit confused how the freq response specs for these mics can be different if they have exactly the same capsule. I'd love to hear some recorded comparisons between the 441, 431, 541, and the Neumann.

Last edited by saurumanx; 14th September 2016 at 11:14 AM..
Old 26th February 2019
  #28
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For broadcasting and voiceover work, I fell in love with the Sennheiser MD421 decades ago. In various broadcast and recording studios I have also frequently encountered the EV RE20 and Shure SM7. I also own a Neumann U87. I find my voice sounds best on the MD421. I like the 5-step EQ switch. I’m not as fond of the plastic housing and fussy clip. Last year I started upgrading my home studio to an all Neumann set-up, starting with the BCM 705 and KH80 DSP monitors. The BCM 705 is the best sounding mic I’ve ever used, at least for my voice. It did require a little EQ fine tuning, but not as much as the MD421. It sparkles without being harsh. It’s not quite as silky as the MD421 but that silk can quickly turn to mud in some situations. It’s natural EQ is somewhere between the MD421 and RE 20, but with a much richer pallet of tones. I’ve never been impressed with the SM7 and its clumsy wire between the XLR and the capsule. The only plus the SM7 has is a built-in windscreen. All of these mics require a windscreen for the kind of close work you do in radio and voiceovers, in my opinion — including the BCM 705. Like all dynamics, the BCM 705 can be improved with a FED Head pre-amp. The BCM 705 housing is really optimized for radio boom arms and the rough treatment these mics get in a broadcast studio. Many people ask me about the Neumann TLM 103. It’s essentially the same mic as the BCM 104, the condener sister of the BCM 705. The BCM 104 and TLM 103 have the same specs, except the BCM has a few more set-up controls. The TLM’s spiderweb-style shock mount is more fragile than the BCM microphones’, but it is a little more robust. The BCMs certainly have a distinctive look in an ocean of tube-style microphones.
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