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Heil PR40

Heil Sound PR40

4.5 4.5 out of 5, based on 12 Reviews

full-range dynamic mic targeted for kick drum applications but usable for many other purposes


21st December 2011

Heil Sound PR40 by oudplayer

  • 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
Heil PR40

I do a lot of percussion recording - Bulgarian/Greek tapan, Egyptian tablas, Turkish darbukkas, Persian dafs, Kurdish erbanes, and less conventional forms of percussion, too - and am always in search of high quality dynamic mics that are up to the challenge. I first heard of the PR40 a few years ago on Gearslutz, and got to try one out for a Bulgarian music session. I was impressed by how the PR40 handled the bass sound of a tapan (which you can hear on Brenna MacCrimmon's album Kulak Misafiri). However, the PR40 shines on percussion with a lot of high frequency energy - instruments with embedded snares, rings, cymbals, etc., since it has a much higher frequency extension than nearly any other dynamic mic out there. I exclusively used the PR40 for all the percussion tracks on the latest Current 93 album. I've also experimented with tracking vocals with this mic, and could see it working very well with certain singers and punk or screamo vocals that need to be lo-fi but have a special "hi-fi sheen" to them. I haven't found the mic to be good for stringed instruments, though.

Only a couple other dynamic mics even come close to the sound quality PR40 for percussion applications, but they cost more, and the high end of the PR40 still wins out every time.

  • 2
23rd December 2011

Heil Sound PR40 by rack gear

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 2 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Heil PR40

It's a dynamic that thinks it's a LDC... I use it pretty much exclusively on electric guitar cabs, it has the right bite of clarity, phatness and edge that makes guitar tracks sit in a mix really nice. Highly Recommended as an upgrade from the time tested sm57...

  • 2
25th December 2011

Heil Sound PR40 by Pale Pyramid

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Heil PR40

I bought this recently to mic my bass cab in my home studio. I was looking to pick up the EV RE20 for this purpose but ultimately went with the PR40 do to some positive reviews of it here in some older threads on GS and a discount coupon that I had for an U.S. vendor that brought it's lower price down into no-brainer territory .

My first impression upon receiving it was that it was packaged quite nicely . It arrived In a Heil glossy matted cardboard box covered with pictures and product info . Inside is a nice glossy black padded fabric case with black zipper . It seems sturdy . Inside of that is the Mic along with a mic clip tucked safely inside cut to fit foam padding . The Glossy Labeled Card board box looks great in my mic locker so I'll be keeping it just as I received it when storing this Mic . The packaging just added a little touch of class to my first experience with a Heil mic .

I tested the PR 40 through a UA LA610 and a Vintech 573 pre amp on an Acoustic 1 X 15 bass cab with a Fender Jazz bass. My impression was that it was so articulate , full and detailed it seemed like an large diaphragm condenser . It's very bright with much definition . Nice and tight . It really caught the attack of the pick and transients with ease and clarity. Hard to beleive it wasn't a condenser . I then put an AEA R 84 next to it and found that it was just nearly as detailed as a ribbon mic that cost me almost 4 times it's price !
I was also curious to see how it handled an electric guitar cab with a Les Paul and had similar results . I then used an EV RE 15 dynamic which I know is not as detailed on guitar but crunchy and warm alongside the Heil . The blend of the two sounded fantastic on guitar . I had a sort of Black Keys HiFi grit going very quickly with the RE15 through the Vintech and the Heil through the LA610 . I can't wait to test it on vocals, kick drum and percussion in the future .

I'll wrap this up and let you get on with your life now ..

My ratings are high , but again , I found it deserving in Sound . It seems like it will require minimal EQ in a mix . It is bright for a dynamic also which some may or may not care for . But it's not at all brittle up there .

Ease of use , well plug it in and point it at a cab and away you go .

Features , It has one really so how do I rate that ? It does well what it does .

Bang for the buck . It's already priced lower then the competition - EV RE 20 and SM7B . I purchased it for even lower then that so I wouldn't hesitate in saying for me it is a fantastic bang for the buck .

In conclusion - . If you pick one up , enjoy your new Heil PR 40 !

  • 1
29th January 2012

Heil Sound PR40 by mikedboh

  • 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
Heil PR40

I bought this mic on a whim after reading tons of reviews on the web. I was sold on picking up an EV RE-20 but went with this instead. Initially this mic sounds more open on the top end - noticeably more clarity compared to an RE-20. Proximity effect is apparent when you close in on it, but pulling back 3-4 inches and throwing up a pop filter tames it nicely.

I have used this microphone successfully on lead vocals, guitar, and believe it or not as a close cymbal mic(placed under the cymbal about 3", on axis with cymbal). At times it can sound slightly brittle on bright sources(like cymbals or female vox) but a small EQ nudge easily fixes this.

Build quality is solid. The mic is heavier than I expected and just beautiful to observe! Also comes with a quality case for moving from gig to gig.

If you are in the market for an SM7/RE20 variant, this mic is seriously worth checking out.

  • 1
3rd February 2012

Heil Sound PR40 by hakanai

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Heil PR40

I have had this mic in my kit for a few years now and have gotten to know it pretty well. In the field this is my usual go to kick mic. I have never been a fan of all of those tailored response mics designed just for kick. This things is clear and flat by comparison. It has a nice round bottom end and stays articulate through the mids and highs. Never disappoints on kick. It was actually because of this great kick sound, it didn't see much other use for the first year I owned it but then I needed something different for a guys voice and gave this a try. It gives that wooly announcer vibe that works well on thin or nasal voices. The nice thing about it here is the clarity that remains in the mids. This mic is always compared to a RE20 it seems and that is probably a decent comparison, but the pr40 manages to get that thick bottom without the sometimes muddy mids of the RE20. Finally I came to find my favorite use for this guy. Banjo. Remember how I said it worked well on thin or nasal voices? Well hello average banjo sound. It really has been so much more versatile than I ever expected. Great mic.

  • 3
4th February 2012

Heil Sound PR40 by Claude G.

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Heil PR40

I've had one for a few years and had not found a good use for it....until I tried it on Harmon muted trumpet...Fantastic!!!!! Particularly if you EQ a bit of low end going in. Also found that it is great on voice , particularly with the EQ mentioned above. I found it really likes a custom Sony/UreiEQ mic pre I have. Interesting to note that the Heil didn't really shine with my other mic pres (ISA One and Great River M1NV) and the Sony/Urei didn't really shine with other mics......so, the theory that certain combination of mic/pres are magical is true! Incidentally, the Heil bested such classic dynamics as the Beyer M260, Shure 57 & 58, and a host of cheap ribbons....

  • 1
14th February 2012

Heil Sound PR40 by 2trackmind

  • 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
Heil PR40

Pretty much my only Kick mic at the moment and quite happy with it. Also used it on male vocals in a live setting with good results (although it looks a bit odd) Works well on guitar cabs too. Built well comes with a nice case. I purchased a factory shock mount which also fits a Royer R121 perfectly.

  • 1
26th February 2012

Heil Sound PR40 by daffy

  • 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
Heil PR40

I ordered this mic after using the PR-30 and being very pleased with it (my review of that mic is on GearSlutz as well), and after hearing a lot of good reviews about the PR-40 being used as a kick drum mic.

The mic arrived and my initial impression was that it was much more professionally packaged than the PR-30. Opening the box I found it came in a nice 'leather' zip up case with a fitted foam interior (the PR-30 is in a cardboard box with foam interior, no case ), with a solid looking mount and a big sticker reminding me it was an end firing mic. This is important as anyone looking at it without knowing would think it was a side address condenser!

Tried it out at my band's rehearsal a few weeks ago and I was absolutely blown away. I had very little time to set anything up properly, and I literally threw it on a stand, put it inside the kick through the front head so the body was just completely inside, and lined it up pointing vaguely at the place where the beater marks were. No chance to sound check.

Listening back to the recordings, the sound was amazing. Straight out of the mic the sound was full, fat and punchy with just the right amount of attack and none of that beach ball sound I personally hate in a kick. I had almost zero bleed from any other part of the kit, and in the final mix I used the recorded track exactly as it was - no gate, no EQ at all, just a bit of compression. Now I'm annoyed I didn't spend more time taking note of exactly how I placed it!!

Since then I have used the PR-40 on my bass cab just to try it out on other sources and it performed beautifully. I normally DI my bass but it's great to know this captures low end so well.

I also tried male speaking and singing vocal and loved the result - this will be in my list of 'must try' mics for all my future male vocal recordings.

I also plan on trying this mic instead of the PR-30 on my band's lead guitar.

In short, I don't think I will ever use another kick drum mic again.

I gave it an 8 for features because it's single pattern, no pad and a basic mount - but I really dithered over that. I guess if it had come with a shock mount I would have given straight 10's. An amazing mic, and killer value for money!

  • 1
19th October 2018

Heil Sound PR40 by Zargg

  • 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
Heil PR40

Hi. This is my go-to vocal microphone, paired with a Universal Audio LA610 MkII. I do mostly heavy/hard vocals, and I love it for that
I even recorded acoustic guitar with success.
I got this after shooting out against SM7B, EV RE20 with my voice
It needs a bit of gain to make it shine (IMO). I tried it with a GAP Pre73 I had on loan, but it got noisy before I could get a proper level.
All the best.

  • 1
7th March 2019

Heil Sound PR40 by ShelGef

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Heil PR40

Before you read this review, or any Heil Sound product reviews, I highly recommend you read Radio And Production's interview of Bob Heil, from September 2016. It will give you a lot of great insight as to how Bob thinks, and designs his product line.

R.A.P. Interview: Bob Heil - Radio And Production

That having been suggested ...

The Heil PR40 represents a totally different way to approach the performance potential of the dynamic microphone. Half-jokingly, I used to say that it was the love-child offspring of something like the EV RE20 and a Neumann TLM103. But the PR40 isn't a "new" model anymore -- it has been out for a while -- and I have to now say that it presents its own individual, established sonority. It is as unique a "voice" as that of any of the "leading" or "industry-standard" dynamics, such as the EV RE20/27/320, the Shure SM-7B, or Sennheiser 421.

As you will see, I have given this microphone a 5-star rating across the board. Obviously, I like the PR40s "signature sound." I think it is better than the sound I can get from the other aforementioned microphones -- and don't get me wrong, they are all excellent products. As an announcer/narrator and VO artist, I prefer the PR40. Here's why.

As you read the R/A/P interview, you are going to see the word "articulation" many times. Vocal articulation is extremely important to Bob. That is because of his background in ham radio -- a medium in which it is vitally important to be understood the first time around. And this particular point having been made, the PR40 delivers unparalleled spoken word clarity and comprehensibility -- in a very professional, high-fidelity, almost condenser-like fashion.

What I find appealing about this microphone is how great it sounds on my mid-baritone voice ... right out of the box. It requires no additional tweaking, fiddling, EQing, sweetening, or fine-tuning ... and all of this translates into a very quick & easy, no-muss / no-fuss way to get your spoken words recorded & processed for distribution. By contrast, I cannot say this for my voice as captured by any of the aforementioned "industry-standard" dynamic microphones.

I am not going to spend any of your reading time regurgitating what Bob Heil said in his 2016 interview, so again -- I highly recommend you read it. You will learn so much of the logical, well-thought-out reasoning behind both "the Heil articulation response curve" -- and "the Heil pickup pattern."

I am going to conclude my review by commenting on something that Bob doesn't cover in that interview, and that is Heil Sound's ongoing commitment in how they back their products.

Without delving into specific prices or dollar amounts -- for "everything is subject to change," let me say that as of this writing, Heil Sound backs something they made -- even when it is out of warranty -- at extremely reasonable prices. You will not be expected to "pay for the product again" when having it factory-serviced. Bob Heil considers that to be an "obscenity" -- his word.

I bring all of this up because you may want to check with the out-of-warranty factory repair rates currently being charged by two of America's oldest & leading microphone manufacturers. You will find they have adopted "flat repair rates" that approach approximately 50% of a microphone's MSRP.

Heil Sound doesn't charge anywhere near that to repair one of their microphones. You may want to consider this fact before you buy.

Add it all up. Outstanding sonority, superb craftsmanship, build quality & value ... all backed by an honest, responsive, USA-based company. That is what the Heil PR40 Dynamic Microphone is all about, and I consider it one of the best sound equipment purchases I have ever made.

  • 2
28th March 2019

Heil Sound PR40 by bambamboom

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 3
Heil PR40

Not a fan.

I owned 2 for a couple of years and sold them.

Relatively uninspiring, NOT a comparable replacement for RE20 despite what some say.

Not particularly impressed on bass or kick - certainly not terrible, but there are many better options.

Not a great design, they look like a side-address mic which confused musicians.

I really don't understand why these get so much attention. I couldn't find ANY duty for it where it would be my first choice.

The only Heil mic that I have found really impressive is the PR35.

  • 1
3 weeks ago

Heil Sound PR40 by SevereWX

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features N/A
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
Heil PR40

The Heil PR40 is a dynamic mic suitable for many uses. It excels at broadcast, micing guitar cabs, or kick drums just to name a few of the more popular uses. It has a wide frequency response for a dynamic, really reaching down into the low frequencies without sacrificing any top end clarity. And make no mistake about it, the top end is clean and clear, making this sound more like a condenser mic than the dynamic it is.

This is a forgiving mic, it has a fairly large "sweet spot" and well controlled proximity effect that doesn't start getting muddy or boomy until you're right up on the source. I've found it's side axis rejection is exemplary and the sound doesn't discolor in unpleasant ways.

I've had my PR40 in service now for 4 years without any issue, other than some XLR connectors can be a bit of a tight squeeze getting to lock into the base of the mic housing.

  • 1
 
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