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Try to finde two matching vintage MD421. Good luck! Dynamic Microphones
Old 11th October 2018
Gear Head

Try to finde two matching vintage MD421. Good luck!

Dear folks,

I've used three special edition black/gold Sennheiser MD421 for years. They are from the same batch and sounded great. I don't own them anymore and now I'm trying to get three matching vintage MD421-2.

Damn, that's a tough task! They all sound pretty different. There is the obvious thing about a lot of them getting degraded bass response over the time. I'm talking about the 421-2 without the rolloff switch. Then there's also a lot of shift in high frequency and presence.

I had 6 of them now of which 2 are fat and open sounding and quite similar. But really, I didn't expect this to be that hard. If people do not compare they might think they get the MD421 sound without knowing how good they can sound. You have to be patient searching.

Am I just unlucky or do you have similar experience?

Old 11th October 2018
Gear Head

I don't know, so many of the vintage mics off ebay etc. need cleaning and basic maintenance to sound their best. Disintegrating foam, sometimes you have tiny magnetic particles stuck on the diaphragm etc. and that will kill low-end response. Don't know about the MD421 but I have had MD221's with 'collapsed' diaphragms that refused to produce real lows. AKG D19's have also been notoriously inconsistent for me. With these mics being half a century old, I guess some aging is inevitable. Still, I am surprised at how well some hold up.
Old 11th October 2018
Lives for gear
I have an old 421-U5 that I've compared directly with two newer ones, the newer ones both sounded identical and the older one was pretty close, just less "constrained" sounding and a little smoother. So I'd say unlucky. If they've been very beat up they will lose some bass though.
Old 24th October 2018
Gear Head

MD 409

Do you match your vintage mics? How close do you want them to get?
I'm still testing MD 421. I recently got a second MD 409. And guess what: Yes it sounds a bit different.

In both MD 409 i replaced the foam the same ways, so that should be no problem. But capsules seem to have aged differently.

My quick testing is this: I play back the beginning of MJ's Billie Jean, because it's broad frequency range and compared to modern production has still dynamics and transients. So I play a few seconds of that track through one of my monitors (RL906) and record the signal with the exact same mic position close to the speaker. As a quick test I think that's quite good to have reproducable results.

I'm wondering if some audible tolerance is ok. Of course, those mics won't make a stereo pair. Talking about the usual sources like guitar cabs, drums, vocals.

Are you vintage mic owners not having any trouble like that?
Old 25th October 2018
Lives for gear
this is a really hard task friend. i got a few 421-2 and they’re all a little different so a match pair is not so much on vintage stuffs, but you buy a bunch you may find your luck.
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