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AEA KU5A vs. Sennheiser MD441
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
AEA KU5A vs. Sennheiser MD441

I work almost exclusively with live sessions, and I've been using the Sennheiser MD441U on nearly all my vocals for the past year. It's rare to find a mic that combines great sound quality and extended frequency response with good isolation, so when I heard the AEA KU5A was designed for a similar purpose I was excited to shoot them out. I've made a video below comparing the two mics on male vocals:



And guitar amp:



I'll also be releasing a video demo of the mics on female vocals in the coming week (I'll update this post when it comes out). Below is a link to the audio files in 48k WAV:

Male Vocal

Guitar Amp

I've written out my thoughts in a short blog post, but I'm very interested to hear the opinions of you all here, as there are better ears than mine on these forums. I'm not expecting either mic to be a favorite across the board, but I'm curious as to your thoughts on the overall tone, and how they matched up with the different performers and instruments.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Matti's Avatar
I like the AEA bit more, both are good though

Matti
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
matucha's Avatar
MD441 has fuller mids around 1k, while AEA is smiley-face in comparison. Both sound good to me.

I prefered AEA on the most vocals except for the last one and maybe the penultimate one too. My choice would be influenced by the arrangement and how the other instruments sound. If there was a lot of 1k energy in the song/band, I'd probably go with AEA (and try to moderate the mids in the other instruments as well). Though not always, because 441 could probably give the vocal some fighting chance in this area if the vocalist didn't have harmonics rich voice.

On guitars, I'd pick sennheiser most of the time. Probably.


Yep, different enough mics to keep them both I guess.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
Dr. Jule's Avatar
 

Great overall sound and image. Good job!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by matucha View Post
MD441 has fuller mids around 1k, while AEA is smiley-face in comparison. Both sound good to me.

I prefered AEA on the most vocals except for the last one and maybe the penultimate one too. My choice would be influenced by the arrangement and how the other instruments sound. If there was a lot of 1k energy in the song/band, I'd probably go with AEA (and try to moderate the mids in the other instruments as well). Though not always, because 441 could probably give the vocal some fighting chance in this area if the vocalist didn't have harmonics rich voice.

On guitars, I'd pick sennheiser most of the time. Probably.


Yep, different enough mics to keep them both I guess.
Yeah, the Sennheiser really makes those guitars sound fat! I like the vintage vibe it gives vocals (probably the slower transient response I'm hearing there), but the KU5A sounds more relaxed and natural on voice. Being able to use it without a pop screen means I'm more likely to use the KU5A for live concert recordings too, where it doubles as a very extravagant stage vocal mic.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Nut
Hard to beat a 441 into a TG2 for rock guitars IMO
Bonus if you add a 121 to the mix.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
standup's Avatar
Just got a KU5A today, and can't wait to check it out. Vocals in the short term, doing some overdubs. Tenor sax this week. Upright bass and guitars in the near future.

I'm justifying this as replacement for SM7B when tracking a band live all in the room. Selling off a few mics that will cover the cost, just about.
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