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md 421???
Old 27th April 2010
  #1
md 421???

what are the differences between the vintage sennheiser and telefunken 421's and the modern equivalent? are they worth extra cash?
Old 27th April 2010
  #2
Gear Addict
 

I dunno, but I'll bump you for the cause.

I have a pair of new ones - they're great. They work hard in the studio alongside plenty of expensive mics.

Edit to add: If I ever find myself wanting another pair of 421s I will probably get vintage ones because I have heard """"other people""""" say they are somewhat smoother than the new gen. Won't cost too much to find out for myself.
Old 28th April 2010
  #3
exactly! i'm gonna buy my first pair and I keep hearing "snake oil" stories about different models. I'm really big on vintage stuff.... but not on black magic!
Old 28th April 2010
  #4
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superwack's Avatar
Copied from recording.org

I copied this from recording.org. I tried the new ones and found them slightly brighter than the old (copper coil v. aluminum) and they have a slightly hotter output. I went with the 421-U-5

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is the official word of the differences between the 421 and 421 II.....

Greg Beebe at Sennheiser wrote a while ago in response to this question. He said:

"There are four significant differences between the MD421-U and MD421 II.

Easier positioning:
-The metal inner chassis has better distribution of weight.
-The bass roll-off is contour fitted to the housing making the mic
shorter and more "stylish"

More durable:
-Housing is made of polyacetals: a glass composite
-Basket is hardened stainless steel

More immune to the elements:
-The acoustic components are enclosed in the inner chassis making he
mic less sensitive to dusts and humidity.

Easier Servicing:
-Individual components can easily be replaced
-Self-sealing acoustic connections: no adhesive or sealing compounds

The MD421 II does sound different. It has improved transparency,
thus a more natural sound. We changed it because of improved technologies.
New materials and production techniques which enable us to manufacture at
eve closer tolerance.

Coincidentally, this was not the first time we changed the MD421. We are
constantly striving to improve our products. Over the years, the MD421 has
seen upgrades in the housing, output connector, basket and capsule
assembly.

In my personal opinion, the MD421 II has been accepted, for the most part,
as the replacement for the original. However, as you know, there are die
hards who swear by the original. Interesting enough, the biggest complaint
on the original was the clip. I've not receive one complaint about the
clip since the redesign. I attribute this to the mic being more balanced.
Now the clip pivots on the mic's fulcrum point."
Old 28th April 2010
  #5
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by reeserichardson View Post
exactly! i'm gonna buy my first pair and I keep hearing "snake oil" stories about different models. I'm really big on vintage stuff.... but not on black magic!
Yes, I think the stories are mostly snake oil, as you say.

The differences have mostly been minor and cosmetic and in my experience don't appear to have discernible impact on the sound. From the point of view of recording, the fact that the old ones are old/aged and more likely to have deposits on the diaphragm or dents in the mesh is probably a greater difference than any that may arise from the manufacturing processes AFAICT.

Old 28th April 2010
  #6
Here for the gear
 

That Settles it to me. I cant really tell much difference anyways.
Old 28th April 2010
  #7
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Did they do anything to improve the mic clip?

It takes the top award for the worst designed piece of pro equipment hands down!
I have bought so many over the years!
Old 28th April 2010
  #8
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I love my 421's..... But if anyone from sennheiser is listening.... I do have one complaint about the clip.

The Release on the clip is placed in a terrible way. Every time you want to grab the mic and tilt it on its "magic fulcrum point", it accidentally releases the mic and it falls off the clip... causing it to fall!

I would prefer it with a mount like the 441. Slick as the 421 looks, I think the clip is too easy to fumble with. And I've had too many accidents with the 421 and its clip.

my 2 cents...
Old 28th April 2010
  #9
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Jamie Mac's Avatar
I don't really hear a significant difference..
If you're in europe you shouldn't be expected to pay more for a vintage 421.. They're all over the place for 100-200 euro. Just dont get them on ebay from people who charge almost 400 for one.
Old 28th April 2010
  #10
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waxx's Avatar
 

i've used both 60's versions and 00's version next to each other and didn't really hear a difference at all. I think it's mainly cosmetic and hype.
Old 28th April 2010
  #11
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theatomicgarden's Avatar
 

i have a pair of old 421's that were refurbished by sennheiser and they sound very different compared to my new 421 II. the oldies are much less harsh/hyped in the high end.
Old 28th April 2010
  #12
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
Did they do anything to improve the mic clip?

It takes the top award for the worst designed piece of pro equipment hands down!
I have bought so many over the years!
Funny - because I always like the MD 421 clip.

Locking into the mic. you could put it at any angle without any fear of the mic. falling out of the clip.

However, my clips are early versions made from metal - later versions were plastic and did not seem so good.
Old 28th April 2010
  #13
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by reeserichardson View Post
exactly! i'm gonna buy my first pair and I keep hearing "snake oil" stories about different models. I'm really big on vintage stuff.... but not on black magic!
I don't think it's hype....

My 3 Telefunken MD-421s (from the 60ies I suppose) are among my fave mics. There's a pretty big sonic difference to the newer 421s, not saying that the latter aren't good though.

If you check e-bay Germany or some reputable dealers you'll find older 421s for probably less money than a new one. It's a no-brainer to me especially as these mics seem to last forever. I can't hear any sonic differences between the 3 421s I have, though I certainly didn't do any scientific shootouts.

Those German mic dudes just got it right the first time around......
Old 28th April 2010
  #14
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nomoreflakes's Avatar
I have an older and newer version and IMHO there is no significant difference worth getting excited about
Old 28th April 2010
  #15
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoreflakes View Post
I have an older and newer version and IMHO there is no significant difference worth getting excited about
Maybe we should define what 'older' means, the MD-421 has been around for more than 40 years!
Old 28th April 2010
  #16
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nomoreflakes's Avatar
AFAIK there have only been two versions ? I have a late 70's model and one I bought last summer.
Old 28th April 2010
  #17
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
Did they do anything to improve the mic clip?
The new ones come with the roll of duct tape already included.
Old 28th April 2010
  #18
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
The new ones come with the roll of duct tape already included.
ROFL!!
Old 28th April 2010
  #19
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Guest
opinions abound I am sure.. for that $$ RE20's alllllll Daaaayyyyy

if you REALLY like the 421 and REALLY know what an RE sounds like ..great ...

I know they are different. bla bla bla... and i liked them as long as all I owned was sm57's and had not heard anything else in the price range..they were hotter 'zippier' and looked cooolllll ..the only thing I found they worked for me on was toms... and sometimes they were tooo raspy for that

... that was in the 70's with the (now) vintage ones...when the new version arrived I was excited that they had improved it and gotten rid of the high mid ringing (opps presence peak)

IT WAS WORSE...

you may already own them you may hate RE20..all good ..but if you have not used RE20 (or RE27 for that matter) you 'should' try 'em
Old 29th April 2010
  #20
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huarez's Avatar
 

The main difference so far I know is the use of a metell housing for the capsule up to the 80´s instead of the plastic housing in the new ones.
Old 421 ´s can sound very different. I checked a refurbished original without filter agains an old as it is original 421 and the difference was HUGE!!
The refurbished one was just AMAZING. Didn´t compare to new ones, but can imagine that the time sometimes didn´t passes by without doing some harm to a lot of old 421.
So you have to judge about the induvidual mic when it comes to vintage 421´s.
Old 29th April 2010
  #21
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Outlaw Hans's Avatar
 

old ones sound different. Some sound like ****e. The new one is o.k. Having said that my favourite is an older model.
Old 29th April 2010
  #22
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The dman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
The new ones come with the roll of duct tape already included.
LOL. I've been there with the duct tape
Old 29th April 2010
  #23
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theatomicgarden View Post
i have a pair of old 421's...the oldies are much less harsh/hyped in the high end.
Until now.

You just hyped them in the high end forum.
Old 29th April 2010
  #24
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Turdadactyl's Avatar
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/1906182-post3.html

Quote:
The MD 421-N has the Tuchel (screw DIN) connector.
The MD 421-2 has the large Tuchel connector (flat pins)
The MD 421-HL is dual impedance and *unbalanced* and does not have the bass roll-off switch
The MD 421U has an XLR connector
The MD 421U-4 has an XLR connector and is black finish
The MD 421U-5 has an XLR connector and is black finish and the stand clip has the horrible 5/8" American thread.

All these are the original Mk.I version.

Personally I would go for the U or N version - definitely do *not* get the HL version (unless it's *very* cheap).

It is possible to convert an N to a U but you have to replace the complete filter module, so it's not so cheap.

I hope this is clear.
Old 29th April 2010
  #25
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blackcom's Avatar
 

One single MD421 for metal guitars!!
Old 29th April 2010
  #26
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The three I bought new in the early 90's (still sound great) have the plastic clips, which I agree aren't so good. But I have one more I bought used way back when that has the metal clip and a gold grille that I've always wondered about. Anybody know the story behind the gold-grilled 421's?
Old 30th April 2010
  #27
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmccoy View Post
The three I bought new in the early 90's (still sound great) have the plastic clips, which I agree aren't so good. But I have one more I bought used way back when that has the metal clip and a gold grille that I've always wondered about. Anybody know the story behind the gold-grilled 421's?
The gold grill 421 was a special edition - on the market *after* the Mk.II came out, but built to the Mk.1 spec.
Old 30th April 2010
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
The gold grill 421 was a special edition - on the market *after* the Mk.II came out, but built to the Mk.1 spec.
Really? I bought this one used around 1995 or 1996. Have the MK II's been out that long?
Old 30th April 2010
  #29
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmccoy View Post
Really? I bought this one used around 1995 or 1996. Have the MK II's been out that long?
Yes - I can't remember the exact date, though.
Old 30th April 2010
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Yes - I can't remember the exact date, though.
My OCD required that I check into this a little further, and I dug this up:

Sennheiser Electronics Corporation MD 421-II | RecordingHacks.com

I couldn't verify the claims here, but it says the MK II came out in 2002, and that the gold special edition was released to celebrate Fritz Sennheiser's 90's birthday, which, according to another article I found about him, would have also been in 2002. My thirst for virtually useless tidbits of information is now satisfied. (for today)
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