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Electro-Voice RE20

Electro-Voice RE20

4.45 4.45 out of 5, based on 16 Reviews


2nd December 2011

Electro-Voice RE20 by {-}

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Electro-Voice RE20

The electro-voice RE20 is a cardioid moving-coil dynamic microphone with LF rolloff and EV's patented "variable d" design which minimizes proximity effect. Its mostly known these days as the "standard" microphone for radio broadcast, though it is also a versatile, durable, and affordable studio microphone.

Its a real "all around" workhorse microphone -vocals, electric bass, kick drum, guitar amps, snare, and toms all benefit from its smooth sound and flat frequency response. Even as an overhead or acoustic guitar mic it performs well, which many would not expect from a dynamic microphone.

On vocals it yields a very "in your face" sound, and it excels at rejecting unwanted noise and reflections, which is particularly useful if you're working in a bad-sounding, untreated room.

This mic can capture a HUGE low end sound on sources such as kick drum and electric bass amplifiers. You can't go wrong using this mic on those sources.

This microphone will give you a fairly accurate representation of whatever you put in front of it, however, transient-heavy sources such as cymbals and acoustic guitars don't always benefit from the sound of this microphone. Being a moving-coil dynamic mic, it does not have the quickest transient response.

Its biggest drawback is its size and weight, which can make using it for certain applications tricky. As a tom mic, it can be very difficult to negotiate placement if there are low cymbals nearby and flimsy microphone stands often have problems properly supporting its weight. These are small considerations, however, when you consider the overall quality and value of this fine microphone.

If you're going to spend less than $500 on a microphone, you should consider the RE20, as it sounds better than almost any condenser or ribbon microphone in that price range.

  • 1
3rd December 2011

Electro-Voice RE20 by baskervils

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Electro-Voice RE20

The RE-20 is an excellent mic for the price. It sounds great on just about everything. I originally bought it to use with my bass drum, but I often use it as a 2nd vocal mic with my Neumann.

  • 1
6th December 2011

Electro-Voice RE20 by Subversounds

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Electro-Voice RE20

The Re20 is one of the best dynamic mics i own. I have it for two years now and use it in most recordings that need a dynamic mic.

It is a kinda versatile mic, known to be a classic 'radio' broadcasting and very good voice-over dynamic mic due to it's solid proximity effect 'handling'. But for me, it is a 'to go' mic for Sax (alto or tenor) and trombone, a great tone. It is also a very good snare mic, specially if you want large rock n roll tones.

The cons is that its shape demands it's own clamp and usually stands with counter-weight or solid locks to avoid position changes.

The other con is that due to over-use with bass drums, one of mine has a 'classic' capsule problem that vibrates doing an annoying sounds. This problem occurs quite frequently with this model, so i think it could handle more SPL in the bass zone.

Highly recommended to any professional studio.

15th December 2011

Electro-Voice RE20 by Deleted User

Electro-Voice RE20

RE20 - extended range dynamic with excellent pop filtering and (almost) no proximity effect.

the mic REALLY shines on singers that have not developed their mic technique.

Used with a Clean high gain pre the mic is quite neutral and will capture everything you need in terms of dynamics and frequencies on literally any source.

the mic also plays well with more colored pre's and any good EQ or compressor.

I gave it a 10 on sound quality (even though it does not EQ or compress itself). This is the least expensive mic I have that will capture what I call 'dimensionality' or preceived depth.

I gave it a 10 on ease of use because I could not give it an 11.. this is the MOST forgiving mic in terms of placement you will EVER use. I have even used it hand held on vocals.

I gave it a 10 on features as it has the fix for pop and proximity built right in and the LF filter is not so high that it actually effects anything but rumble ..

I gave it a 10 for bang for the buck BECAUSE it is the best value mic on the planet. I could make records using nothing but RE20's. When I need to capture the moment I always go for an RE20 becaue it will work well without having to look for 'the majic spot' .. true plug and play.


I've had a pair for a long time and they will be with me until the end.

did I mention I like the RE20??

  • 1
18th December 2011

Electro-Voice RE20 by statzern

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Electro-Voice RE20

I own an older RE20 that I bought used. The mic is now one of my favorites in my mic locker, but when I first received it, it had problems...

Old RE20s suffer from a few common problems. The first is foam rot. The electronics of the mic are encased in a tube of foam inside the body. This foam turns into a pile of mush over the years, and eventually shrinks to the point that everything inside moves freely. This is obviously not a good thing!! Replacement foam can be bought from EV (owned by Bosch) for approximately $10. Replacing the foam is not easy though! You also need a VERY small allen wrench to open the mic (I bought mine online for $0.50). Anyway, all this information can be found on the web, should you need it....

My mic also suffered from the dreaded "baby rattle syndrome." This was not something I felt like I could DIY. So, I sent the mic to Ben over at Micdaddy.com . I also had him redo the paint, and omg. It looks so COOL. (see attached pix) haha nevermind how it sounds!! lol.. Anyway, he was totally awesome - a real joy to do business with. My mic arrived with a new paint job and sounding like brand new!!


If you are considering buying one for kick drum, bass, vocals, etc etc... just do it! You will not be disappointed!!

Attached Thumbnails
Electro-Voice RE20-img_0788.jpg   Electro-Voice RE20-img_0790.jpg  
30th December 2011

Electro-Voice RE20 by Mr. Light

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Electro-Voice RE20

I really like this mic and it's usually the first one throw on the kick. I go between this, a 52, and occasionally a fet47. This is more natural sounding than the 52 and requires a bit more EQ but usually with better results. The 52 comes off a little OVER hyped sometimes and I usually would rather dial that sound I myself so for me, this mic is the shizzo! Kick is where it gets most of its use but I'm happy to use it for other purposes if needed. It sounds great on floor tom, stellar on bass cabinets (tho i find myself using strictly DI more and more these days).......basically ANYTHING needing full lower frequencies. Have yet to try it on voice or guitar cabinets but I don't imagine it'd suck. I think it's another one of 'dem workhorses that'll sound good on just about anything you put it in front of.

The only thing even remotely negative about it (and really this is just nitpicking) is the mount. It's a big lunk of a mic, nice and heavy so you really have to crank on the thing so it doesn't flop down. It does work though so I guess I shouldn't really complain.

It's priced a little higher than its direct competitors but I truly think the extra $ are justified. It's built like a tank and will serve you forever if you treat it right

  • 1
27th January 2012

Electro-Voice RE20 by barforama

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Electro-Voice RE20

Initial impressions;
A looong heavy grey cylinder. It would be wrong calling it a beauty.I dare not say what we call it around mere.....but it is something that means the same as the reproduction organ on a bull...

Due to the swivel mounts location in the end of the long heavy microphone, it can be a problem to keep it up (no pun intended) but when it is in it's apropriate possition it is really awesome. Plenty of everything; highs, mids and lows. I use this, almost as default, on closemicing the front of kick drums - just peeping through the hole - and it reproduces HUUUGE bottom of the drum and plenty of "smack" and "click" from the beater. In my world this microphone is holy grail of kick close micing. It almost never get any other use, but when it does it is for the spoken word which it does fairly well aswell. No wonder it has been use for broadcasting purposes for decades!

Conclusion;
You will most definitely need to own this microphone if you are recording rock kicks - or doing live concerts. Before this I was using AKGD12 (which is great sounding), AKG D112 (which is easy to setup live and does not need so much eq), Audio Technica ATM 25 (which is very natural sounding - as opposed to the D112) or the Shure B52, but all of there are put to shame by the Electrovoice RE-20. It's just in its own league!

23rd February 2012

Electro-Voice RE20 by edva

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Electro-Voice RE20

The EV RE20, mfg. in the USA by Electro-Voice, is a visually recognizable "industry standard" dynamic cardioid mic, often seen in broadcast booths. This is a large, heavy mic, and because of its unique "so ugly it's pretty" design, looks even larger and more imposing than it actually is. The mic ships in a small, utilitarian plastic, foam lined case, with a hard mount. The oft-seen spider shock mount and swing boom are sold separately. The mic has a bass roll-off switch, somewhat superfluous, as one of the RE20's selling points is the unique "Variable-D" technology, which greatly reduces bass build-up caused by proximity effect.
This is apparent in use, as the mic can be placed quite close to the source without the signal becoming too boomy. The mic thus excels at capturing usable sounds from very bassy sources, e.g. kik drum, bari sax, radio D.J., and my favorite use for it, upright acoustic bass.
The mic also has a rather "dry" sonic signature, certainly not "flattering" or lively, which contributes to the overall "tightness" of the sound; and this seems to work very well on those same low frequency sources to give them some control and articulation.
The highs are similarly dry, but clean and present without any objectionable peakiness. There is a bit more detail than with other dynamic mics, but not the "air" or "shimmer" that one sometimes finds in condenser mics.
The RE20 has only a modest output level, and appreciates a good pre-amp with lots of gain. Not an expensive mic, and seems to be built well, although some have reported QC issues, no problem with mine at least. But not really a "first choice" on most things, with the definite exception of upright bass, where it kills. However, given its uniqueness and familiarity, it is a nice mic to have, both live and in the studio, and no one ever regrets owning one.

23rd February 2012

Electro-Voice RE20 by mahasandi

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Electro-Voice RE20

This is a solid workhorse mic.
I agree with the original poster that this mic has a tight low frequency response.
Its design to reduce proximity effect is cool.
It has a nice balanced response.for a dynamic mic it seems to have a little more nuetrality then a 57.

I used this mic on vocals and acoustics as well as the more traditional bass heavy sources, mostly out of curiousity and experimentation.
I think its a good mic and useful enough.
It is really ugly, and not pretty at all.
So what !

I would think of md421 sm7b as iconic conpetition, that might be unfair.
if you find a deal than it might be worth it I did not get to try it on kick versus a d112

if you're looking for a mic it does well up close this mic might become a lot more interesting from my POV
if if budget is a concern this mic might win out against comparably priced mics in a very specific applications.

3rd March 2012

Electro-Voice RE20 by bigmoods

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Electro-Voice RE20

The RE20 is definitely a classic. You find one in virtually every established production cabinet. I wouldn't classify it as a versatile mic because it really only does one thing well - provide clarity and depth on a low-mid/bass source. Even at that though, it has a very particular voice. It sounds good on some male voices and on some low sources like kick. It is nowhere near as versatile as mics like an SM7, but an SM7 will rarely sound as good as an RE20 that has found the right match.

If you have a radio operation or a full-scale recording/production studio, you should have this mic. However, if you have a smaller operation, you really only need to add this mic if you have tested it previously on a specific individual or source and it really captured what you wanted. I don't consider it to be a mic that you should invest in 'just in case' unless you have a pretty significant budget to work with.

Definitely borrow and try before you buy.

9th March 2012

Electro-Voice RE20 by Jack Morgan

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Electro-Voice RE20

I got this microphone after I saw Thom Yorke using it during Radiohead’s fantastic “From the Basement” live sessions. It seemed to capture his voice very easily despite his flailing around and sounded great across his large vocal range. I also understand that this is a popular microphone for radio broadcasting, in part because of the way it mitigates against a proximity effect, as well as having an inbuilt pop filter.

I’ve found a variety of uses for this mic in my small home studio. It works particularly well with my Atomic Reactor 112 amp (I use this for electric guitar and bass – through a Vox Tonelab), bringing a real focus to the sound, especially in the low end. It is versatile in capturing diverse instruments with different frequency profiles. I’ve used it very successfully on my bazouki, ukulele, omnichord and glockenspiel.

As for vocals, I can’t recommend it for everyone since I have quite a particular timbre (quiet baritone), but for me it works beautifully. It does need a lot of pre-amp power, which unfortunately I didn’t have when I bought the thing, but if you’ve got that you’re flying.

It’s a heavy mic so you need a strong mic stand, or it might be a good idea to get the dedicated spider shock mount.

31st March 2012

Electro-Voice RE20 by Quint

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Electro-Voice RE20

I'm sure that many here at GS have been told at one time or another that they should own an EV RE20 or, at least, SOME EV mic. For those that already own an RE20, you already know why they are great. For those that don't, here's why.

The RE20 is a cardiod dynamic which means it has similar behavior to any other cardiod dynamic you've heard except for one glaring difference: Little to no proximity effect.

Sometimes proximity effect is just what is needed and there are a ton of other mics out there that can achieve that. The reason I like the RE20 is because it has a relatively even frequency response and little to no proximity effect. This is really useful when you're looking to capture a sound without excessive bass boost due to proximity effect.

My favorite uses for the RE20 are on vocals and bass heavy instruments like kick drum and bass amps, especially kick drums. The kick drum application, alone, makes this mic worth owning. The RE20 totally allows you to place the mic where things sound the best without really even having to worry about proximity effect at all.

On top of this, the RE20 sounds great. It has a more open, "condenser like", quality to it that doesn't get in the way like some other dynamics can in certain situations. This makes it ideal for situations where you're not looking for a typical "dynamic" mic sound but also don't wish to pick up every nuance of the room. It's kind of a great middle of the road mic that has a ton of applications.

Speaking of which, Neil Young once used RE20's as OH's on drums and Thom Yorke is known to be fond of the RE20 for vocals. It has uses for general music production as well as broadcast. Rush Limbaugh even has a gold plated one (even if you don't like him).

If you don't own one, check it out. It's a mic worth owning for sure. Everyone should have at least one.

2nd April 2012

Electro-Voice RE20 by soundmark

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Electro-Voice RE20

Studio Classic. I'm amazed by how high it tends to place in vocal shootouts at my place with vocalists. I guess EV knew what they were doing (still do.) It likes short cable runs in my experience...really pops close to a preamp, maybe its an impedence matchup thing???. Its one of my must have inside Kick drum mics.

  • 1
28th September 2013

Electro-Voice RE20 by kr2p

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Electro-Voice RE20

I own a macbook pro, and it's very much on its last legs. The battery's condition is "replace now", I've had to buy new adaptors 4 times and the one I'm using now gave up the other day so I have to pay another fortune for another one. It's slowing down, it crashes, and it looks like it's been used and abused. If I mention this to someone they will inevitably ask how old it is, I say five years and they say, "no wonder it's dying, it's time I get a new one".
I recently visited Tunisia and they boast their famous hand made rugs that will not last 5 years, but 5 generations. This is a rare and wonderful approach to manufacture that I fear we will lose forever. However, electrovoice have seemed to make this an essential part of their mantra. We live in a cheap world nowadays, things aren't made to last any more and not enough is said about it. I'm adding a new criteria to the reviews - "Durability", and I'm giving the RE20 5 stars.

Originally developed by the army this mighty piece of equipment was made to last. A strong metal casing that looks like something batman would wear on his belt gives you the sense you could drop this thing from a darn great height and the floor would receive more damage than it does. My RE20 will be around for at least another 50 years and I'm glad, because it is a fantastic mic.

The incredible thing this dynamic microphone has is virtually no proximity effect. If you happen to be someone who wants to exploit this mysterious thing, then this mic isn't for you. Because you can sing into it rubbing your stubble against the mesh as if you're trying to eat it whole and there will be virtually no bass increase. I have no idea how it works, people said it would do this before I bought it and I thought they must be crazy, but I guess I'm one of them now.

Sound Quality
So, how does it sound? Pretty flat actually. It's not so much "inspiring" in the way vintage mics can be with their interesting frequency curves with peaks and troughs that give them their oh so desirable character, but if theres a sound you want to get, and you want to get it exactly how it is, then there is no need to look past this microphone. I know what I will hear when I use this microphone, and thats exactly what was being recorded, and that's what microphones are meant to do isn't it?

Ease Of Use
You plug it in and it works.. The only thing to say is it needs a fair amount of gain. With my FMR RNP I start to get a bit of hiss at the gain levels I need for quiet parts, but as long as your preamp is good and not too noisy, it's absolutely fine.

Features
This doesn't really apply here, apart from a low cut switch which you can either have on or off, hence the 4 stars. But if you change this review section to "versatility" then this mic excels. I've used it on vocals drums bass and guitar all to great effect. I have to say though I only used it on kick and snare for drums. I haven't tried it for far miked drums but that's because that's what the overheads are for, and I like my overheads. Using the lack of proximity effect to get nice tight, clean close miked sounds works great.

Bang For Buck
I would say this microphone is priced about right. It's very durable and sonically faithful, so it's a great mic and definitely shouldn't be in the cheap category. But it doesn't have that much of a unique sound. It doesn't seem to add anything exceptional to the recording, so I would feel robbed if I had paid big bucks for it. It's priced as a great midrange mic, and that's what it is.

Overall it's a fantastic mic, what you hear is what you get and that's what I look for when recording. I wouldn't have it as my only mic or things might get dull, but not everything has to be other worldly. It's like painting a picture, you have the exciting colors, the oranges, the purples. But you also have the more functional colors, the browns, the blues. You need to have a well considered balance of both. This mic is a good old trusty brown, and I like it. If everything was orange and purple it would just give me a headache.

5th May 2016

Electro-Voice RE20 by Rob Hill

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Electro-Voice RE20

Condensed RE20 review here. Yes it is a go to flat response kick drum mic, and I find it most suited to more vintage and less processed kick drum representations. For this I believe it truly excels.

As a result of a pleasing bass proximity effect it can also be used to great effect as a floor tom mic, although mic placement is crucial as bleed can become an issue. Where the Re20 truly shines; for me at least is vocals. It provides a very pleasing, albeit mild proximity effect boost and warmth to vocals while offering a more detailed and almost airy high end compared to almost every mic except the similar 441. Often, when auditioned for vocals it beat out some high end LDC condensers, especially thin female or alto/soprano male voices.

Definitely a valuable tool for a number of sources and one that gets called upon more than I anticipated.

 
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