Sennheiser MD 441 by edva
The Sennheiser MD 441 dynamic "vocal and instrument" microphone is, in my opinion and that of many others, perhaps the finest dynamic mic ever produced.
The mic was introduced in the magical year of 1966, and continues to be manufactured today, in Germany. It is very expensive for a dynamic mic, at retail, but a lucky shopper can sometimes find a nice used one for about half off, at which price it is a very good deal indeed.
For those who like detailed descriptions, may I quote from the manufacturer's web page?
"The MD 441 is acknowledged as the most accurate and versatile dynamic mic available. It has a nearly textbook perfect super-cardioid pattern, a five-position low frequency contour switch, a two-position high frequency switch, a critically damped internal shock suspension, and a hum bucking coil. Perfect for vocals and virtually every instrument."
As an owner and user, I will say that it is a very good sounding mic, which can give usable, or better, results on almost any source. The mic is very quiet, and has excellent rejection of bleed from other sources. The tone is crisp for a dynamic, clear in the mids, with tight, warm lows, and very well balanced across the spectrum. Though not completely transparent or un-colored, it could certainly be called accurate, and has an overall high quality and pleasing sonic signature.
The contour switches provide options, though I generally use the mic in the flat position. I have also read on blogs that the mic sounds cleaner with all the switches removed or bypassed somehow, but have no personal experience of that. As said, it is clean enough in stock trim.
The mic is extremely well built, a work of art really, but of course the little troll who lives under the bridge at Sennheiser and designs the mic clips worked his spell on this one too, and it is the only weak link in an otherwise golden chain.
The MD 441 is perfect on flute, live or in the studio, great on live vocals, I use it whenever I record banjo (it happens to the best of us), makes me feel good, if I used an under snare mic this would be the one, and really if I could only have one dynamic microphone, sorry 57, it would have to be the MD 441.
If you come across one in good shape for a decent price, I highly recommend this mic, especially for the uses mentioned. Plus, it is so cool looking!