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Next step up for vocal mics - Telefunken M80, AKG D7, Senn E935/E945 or condenser?
Old 11th July 2015
  #1
Next step up for vocal mics - Telefunken M80, AKG D7, Senn E935/E945 or condenser?

Hi,

I am wondering if there are any mics under £200 that would be a step up from what I use already. My current mics are :-

JZ HH1
EV n/d767a x2
Sennheiser E838 x2
AKG D5 x3

I've also owned/tried a lot of other mics - Sennheiser E945/E935, Shure beta58, Audix OM6, EV967, Beyer M69 Heil PR22, Audix OM3, SE Electronics H1, Rode M2, Shure SM58.

From all of these mics my favourites are the JZ HH1, Sennheiser E935/945, EV 767a and Shure beta 58. The AKG D5 and Sennehiser E838 are also pretty impressive considering their extremely low UK price at the moment!
I am probably going to add the Sennheiser E935/E945 and beta 58 to my collection (because of rider requests) but I'm curious about the Telefunken M80 and AKG D7. The Telefunken claims to be close to a condenser in sound and the AKG D7 is supposed to be a step up from the D7?

Ideally what I'd like is a mic that picks up even more detail and nuances of singers without and boomy muddiness whilst having improved handling noise and less prone to popping and feedback with smooth proximity changes.
Can anyone comment on the Telefunken M80 or AKG D7 compared to any of the mics I've mentioned? Also, would a condenser be a better option? I've been considering the Shure Beta 87a, Rode S1 and Audix VX5?

What would you recommend?
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Last edited by dickiefunk; 11th July 2015 at 07:59 AM..
Old 11th July 2015
  #2
I guess the big question is: what will the mic be used for? You're in the Live Sound forum so I presume live sound, but is it for you and your band? For a club? A church? A corporate gig? Touring?

I would suggest renting a few of the mics you're interested in and giving them a try at home or work. It's usually pretty cheap to rent mics and you can listen to them on your own system.

The Telefunken M80 is a great sounding mic; I would say akin to a Beta 57/58, but a step up. My personal favorite live vocal mic is the Miktek PM9.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11th July 2015
  #3
Thanks for the reply. The mic will be used for a variety of jobs - corporate, church and my own band.
I'm already getting pretty good results with the JZ HH1, EV n/d 767a, Sennheiser E935 and Shure Beta 58. However, I've been fortunate to hear the Sennheiser E965 and Neumann KMS 105 which both sounded fantastic.
Ideally I'd like something close to either of these but with better feedback rejection.

How is the Telefunken M80 a step up from the Shure Beta 58?
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Old 11th July 2015
  #4
I'm sure I'm going to get crucified for this: I find Beta 58s to be shrill. I think the M80 opens up the high-end without being so grating.
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Old 11th July 2015
  #5
And that's what I like about the PM9: it has clarity without being taxing on the ears.
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Old 11th July 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Dutchy15's Avatar
Unless feedback is an issue I would prefer an 865/105/d-facto or the audix condenser of which I don't remember the name.


Dutchy
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Old 13th July 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
 
edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
Hi,


Ideally what I'd like is a mic that picks up even more detail and nuances of singers without and boomy muddiness whilst having improved handling noise and less prone to popping and feedback with smooth proximity changes.
Can anyone comment on the Telefunken M80 or AKG D7 compared to any of the mics I've mentioned? Also, would a condenser be a better option? I've been considering the Shure Beta 87a, Rode S1 and Audix VX5?

What would you recommend?
I've used the D7 once in a live setting, was impressed with the clarity, no boominess or handling issues. A nice sounding mic right out of the box. Used the M80 several times, not as impressed with the balance of the sound. Lots of gigs on the b87, also detailed and not a boomy mic. Not forward sounding enough for some singers, but very natural sounding on many. Not the most feedback resistant of your choices.
I'm enjoying the sound of the Miktek PM9, for a dynamic selling at 200USD, a big, smooth sound, detailed but could be boomy in the wrong hands. Still, an excellent mic IMHO, great rejection too. Not sure how available over the pond though. Good luck.
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Old 13th July 2015
  #8
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Probably the most-used mics in my stage mics kit (after SM58s) and for a whole host of uses, from single over-the-shoulder kit mic, to podium/lectern, to piano, to choral solo spot, is my trio of Shure Beta87As. If I was allowed one PA mic and only one, this would be it. It just works for me.

I've bought two of them at pawn shops for $175 or so.

A mic I want to add ASAP for another host of reasons is a Beyer M88...

HB
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Old 13th July 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Aisle 6's Avatar
Every voice is different and will respond slightly differently to each mic. The way the singer sings and manages their mic technique will lead you to the right mic and let's not forget the genre either. So many variables.
I have a classic singer who I use the E965 with, a singer songwriter who I use the M81 with and a folk/pop artist who just seems to suit an SM58. Although I really want him to sound good on almost anything but a 58. : P

The M81 is a little flatter than the M80 and it also sounds great on snare top.
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Old 13th July 2015
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Al Rogers's Avatar
Another way to go?

I was considering a new vocal mic and then decided to try a TC Helicon Mic Mechanic in my rig. It's a floor pedal for singers and it includes a good mic pre, some decent reverbs and delays, and a magic button that activates something called VoiceTone which is an adaptive eq, de-ess, noise gate, and compressor all in one. The VoiceTone processing makes my old mics sound great!

It's another way to go.
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Last edited by Al Rogers; 13th July 2015 at 04:12 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 14th July 2015
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Nyquist's Avatar
The Sennheiser E935 and E945 are great mics for the money. The Tele M80 is also a rippa.
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Old 15th July 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
I love my Audix VX5 for recording. I've used it live as an instrument microphone for my ukuleles. In this situation I don't really know what it sounds like yet the feedback from the punters was good. I started a trend from fellow performers to mike up rather than rely on pickups.

My review of the VX5 although its a recording, not live,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w63dGm_AFxw

Anthony
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Last edited by AnthonyG; 15th July 2015 at 05:40 PM..
Old 15th July 2015
  #13
Quick update. I managed to pick up a secondhand Audio Technica ATM710 for a very low price. It was a mic I considered trying a while back but had forgotten about it.
Mic will be here on Friday and will be comparing it to Sennheiser E945, E935, E838, JZ HH1, Shure Beta 58, EV 767a and AKG D5.

I'd love a Sennheiser E965 and a friend of mine uses them but they really are out of my budget. The Telefunken M80 is really stretching my budget at £210. I'm already getting very respectable results with my current mics and don't think I can really justify spending around £200+ on mics. If I was running an L'Acoustics or D&B Audioteknik rig and pa was my full time job then fine but I think I'll stick to around £150 per mic.
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Old 16th July 2015
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

For just gigging, if you don't own plain old 58's your setting yourself up for a harder day then you need. I always start there. If the vocalist needs a better mic and has the proper mic technique I then pull out the 105 or an Beta87A (and if I have time during sound check). I only pull out the Beta58 if they want dual wedges and want it loud. Otherwise, I try to avoid it. It is hard to beat the sound of a 58. If you don't own any you need to.

I had an artist ask me once if I had any mics "that were more expensive" then the 58 and 57 they had in front of them. I responded with "yes", but tell me what you are hearing that you want to hear differently. They could not tell me what a "more expensive" mic would improve... so they stayed with the 57 and 58 that sounded great on them. Just because you can choose different mics does not mean you have to. If you know the talent you can get in there and have some fun (and do less work up front). However, if you have 30 minutes to bust out a 30 input sound check the 58 will always work. It might not be perfect, but it will do what you want it to do.
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Old 16th July 2015
  #15
I have access to seven SM58's so I'm covered there.
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Old 18th July 2015
  #16
Just finished a soundcheck a/b'ing Sennheiser E945, E935, E838, JZ HH1, Shure Beta 58, EV N/D 767a, AKG D5 and Audio Technica ATM 710. I tried them through my Yamaha DXR15/EV ELX118p system run through an Allen & Heath QU-PAC. I had all EQ set flat.
I tested these mics on a male tenor vocal and female mezzo soprano.
On the male vocalist I tried the JZ HH1 first and the result was ok. Perhaps the mic sounded a little thin. Also, if he moved literally two inches back the sound was extremely thin. Next up the Sennheiser E838 and this mic had a lot more body to the sound but decent clarity to the high frequencies. This mic sounded better off a couple of inches off the mic but sounded a little muddy closer. the EV 767a sounded a little brighter than the other two with a little less muddiness in the mids compared to the E838. Next we tried the Audio Technica ATM710 and we all instantly thought wow. This mic had a really open sound with the clearest mid range and balanced low frequencies. This mic also sounded more consistent when the singer moved off than the other mics. After that we tried the Shure Beta 58 and AKG D5 and we were all pretty unimpressed after hearing the ATM710. In fact, we preferred the EV 767a, JZ HH1 and Sennheiser E838 to these. Later some dropped off the E945 and E935. Both of which we really liked. The E935 sounded similar to the E838 but with a clearer mid range. The E945 also sounded really good but was more sensitive to the singer moving off mic.
Next we tried the mics on the female vocalist. She normally uses the Shure Beta 58 and normally sounds great so we started with this mic first. It's worth noting that this vocalist has a much better mic technique than the male vocalist. Mic sounded very good. Next came the EV and we all preferred this to the Shure. More presence and depth and clearer mid range. The JZ HH1 also sounded great on her voice with a nice top end sheen and clear mid range. Next was the Sennheiser E838 and E935. We found the results with these mics consistent to what we found with the male vocalist. They sounded similar but the E935 had a clearer midrange. Next came the E945 and this reminded us of something between the EV and JZ. Very clear mid range and sparkle to the high frequencies. However we felt this mic had the edge over the others. Finally we tried the ATM710 and it had the same impact on us as it did with the male vocalist. Wow! Great clarity presence and balance of tone.
Our conclusion from today is the Audio Technica ATM710 was our unanimous favourite. The EV 767a, JZ HH1 and Sennheiser E945 and E935 were our favourite dynamics (not necessarily in that order). I was also very impressed with the Sennheiser E838 and as this mic was by far the cheapest. The E838 is going for £45 new at the moment which has to be one of the biggest live mic bargains!
From our experience with using a better quality condenser live I am now very curious to hear the Audix VX5. Also, one of my friends has the Sennheiser E965 which he loves and would be interesting to hear how it compares to the ATM710.
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Old 19th July 2015
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

I tested the m80 / md431 and atm710 at the same time. The m80 and the atm710 sounded very similar but the atm710 had more bleed... To much bleed for my needs (live looping in a loud band). I am a baritone and the md431 killed both mics: It cuts through the band. It's lighter then other mics and looks like a plastic toy... But it's the only mic that never let me down and all technicians love it! Long time used the 935 too but technicians don't like the plosives (German vocals)
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Old 19th July 2015
  #18
Thanks that's interesting to know. I found the ATM710 worked great last night as the band were using IEM's. Also the fact that it had a wider pickup pattern really worked well as I used it on a bass player/vocalist who doesn't have great mic technique. The result was a much more consistent tone and clarity.
I also really liked the ATM710 on one of the female singers with excellent mic technique so would be curious to hear her on the Telefunken M80.
I haven't heard of the Sennheiser MD431 and it is beyond my budget. How does it compare to the ATM710 and Telefunken regarding tone, handling noise, pop rejection and off axis positioning?
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Old 19th July 2015
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

I dont know the new MD431 II but you can find the MD431 I for 100 bucks (used). It's a super cardioid. So you need to sing straight into the microphone.
Forgot to say that I am a baritone and my vocal teacher (Jazz Vocalist - female - contralto - kms105) sounded like crap through the MD431
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Old 20th July 2015
  #20
Thanks. I've read a couple of comments about people finding there was higher handling noise with the 431?
Still really keen to hear the Audix VX5 and Telefunken M80. After those two I think I need to draw a line as there is quite a jump in price to the E965, KMS105 and MD431.
Getting the ATM710 and E945 has already been a step up so I guess I've already achieved what I wanted.
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Old 20th July 2015
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

I don't think there is more handling noise then on the 945. But I never really had any mic with to much handling noise - maybe with some Sm57 clone.
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Old 27th July 2015
  #22
I'm trying out the Audix VX5 and Sennheiser E865 this week to compare with my other mics on the same vocalists. I'll report back with my experiences with these.
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Old 6th August 2015
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Haven't finished reading thread but he is saying ATM710 a condenser is better than the dynamics. doesnt the ATM710 have a at2020 piece of **** inside of it? Sure its going to have condenser detail but that condenser is a cheap piece of ****.

also, in my experience the nd767a doesnt sound very natural. its may be clear but its not a natural mic. sounds colored as ****.
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Old 11th August 2015
  #24
Here for the gear
 

Beyerdynamic TG V70d
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Old 11th August 2015
  #25
Here for the gear
 

Telefunken M80 plosives are terrible! M81 is an M80 with a thicker foam only!!! Seriously, the Beyerdynamic TG V70d is a sleeper mic. I am also trying the Miktek PM9 today. I already shipped back a KMS 104 for sounding thin and dull for my voice. The Beyerdynamic TG V96c did not wow me either. The Sennheiser e965 is a keeper while the e935 is given away!
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Old 11th August 2015
  #26
Here for the gear
 

Shure and others should be ashamed of themselves sticking to very old magnet technologies while everyone is carrying cell phones! Stage standards have changed people!
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Old 11th August 2015 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geegee View Post
Shure and others should be ashamed of themselves sticking to very old magnet technologies while everyone is carrying cell phones! Stage standards have changed people!
Can you please explain what you mean by the above statement...because I still have not heard a single telephone microphone that even sounds equal to, (let alone better than) a 58.
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Old 11th August 2015 | Show parent
  #28
KEL
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geegee View Post
Shure and others should be ashamed of themselves sticking to very old magnet technologies while everyone is carrying cell phones! Stage standards have changed people!
What might be less shameful new magnet technologies?

I'm certain Canon, Sony and Panasonic are also ashamed for their old camera tech when you can take selfies right on your phone..
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Old 12th August 2015
  #29
Here for the gear
 

I am sorry if I confused our readers and friends here. I meant no analogy to cell phones whatsoever! In my mind, I was thinking, kids nowadays have cell phones, not land-line phones just like car manufacturers can not be stamping cars of old! Process improvement is a great perpetual thing! I realize that Shure has the beta series with the neodymium magnet series and that is good. I owned the beta 58 until I realized how muddy it was when I A/B'd it with a Sennheiser e835. There came Sennheiser e855 afterwards and there went the beta 58. The SM? Oh Gosh!!!! who keeps that??? I don't care if all the magazines in the world call it the world standard. NOT IMPRESSED!!!! it is a dinosaur! On another note, I just tried the highly touted and hyped MIKTEK PM9 against my lovely Beyerdynamic TG V70d, and shipped it (the PM9) back very quickly. Too much hype for nothing!!!! It does not even hold candles to the Beyerdynamic TG V70d. For my (soft) voice, the Beyerdynamic TG V70d sounds better than the Sennheiser e965, the e935, the Neumann KMS 104, the Miktek PM9, and the Beyerdynamic TG V96c. The Beyerdynamic TG V70d is the sleeper of all microphones worldwide hands down. And I am not getting anything to say this. I actually bought 2 of this german made hyper cardioid dynamic microphone. I will use it on my next gig with a windscreen! Try it!!!
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Last edited by Geegee; 12th August 2015 at 04:52 AM.. Reason: typos and clarification
Old 12th August 2015 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geegee View Post
The Beyerdynamic TG V70d is the sleeper of all microphones worldwide hands down.
I will endeavor to try this mic ASAP, but I don't understand what allows you to make the statement above. It works for you, great, but that does not mean that it will work for everybody else or that everybody else will like the way it sounds. You like it for various reasons and you think more people should try it, great. Don't make opinionated statements as if they are fact.

If you made the SM58 and SM57 which despite all the newer microphones and the new technology they employ are still two of the best selling microphones worldwide, would you stop making them just so you could make something "new"...?
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