Heil Sound PR 30 by daffy
This is my latest toy so my review is based on just a few outings, but boy this baby sure has lived up to the hype!
I guess you could call this a large diaphragm dynamic mic - when I first saw it I thought it looked like a condenser or a ribbon, and certainly not a front firing mic! They even put stickers and warning tape on it to make sure people know to point the end at the noise lol!
I picked this up on eBay for a great price but would have been quite happy to pay full price for it. I was actually travelling interstate and had my portable Tascam I/O box with me at the time (see my review of the other workhorse mics I have - the CAD M179) and so I was keen to make sure it worked ok after I picked it up.
I don't like my voice on recordings - never have. I mostly record it with an SM57 and it's ok, and I recently recorded with the CAD and it's quite nice, but the moment I played back the hotel room recording with the PR30 I was blown away. I think it has a presence hump at just the right spot for my voice, because I turned into this smooth as silk radio announcer!!! hahaha So 10 seconds in and I know I'm going to be using this baby for any spoken word stuff!
Next outing was on an electric guitar cab and it was amazing! I used it pretty much the same way as a 57 - close mic and about half way out from a speaker and it was lovely. Again, that presence peak or whatever took any harshness out of the guitar and it sat beautifully - and the louder and more annoying the guitar got, the better this mic made it sound! You could have amplified a buzzing mosquito and it would have sounded good.
The last thing I'll mention is snare - I still haven't figured out the best place to use this, but given the guitar experience I think I'll try it on the snare bottom next time. That would make it easier to mount as it's not a small mic and it took quite a bit of playing to find a spot where it would fit (Heil make a shortened version of this mic and I would LOVE one of those, but I was buying all purpose so went with the stock version) but once I did it was a great phat rock snare sound - really big and solid.
In short, I love this mic and based on my experiences with Heil gear I have just ordered a PR40 for use on kick and bass. But I am also now seriously considering ordering another one of these - I just read an article where someone used two as OVERHEADS in a Glyn Johns configuration and I am dying to try that!
I think I'm going to have to at least pop it up over a kit to see how it sounds :-)
PS: I struggled with the Ease of Use and Features criteria. This is a big mic and it was a fiddle mounting it for snare so I couldn't mark it 10, but Heil make a smaller bodied version. And it's only a one pattern mic, but it does that really well, and across lots of instruments so again it was tough.