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MD421 model differencies? Dynamic Microphones
Old 13th March 2008
  #1
Gear maniac
 
Kristian's Avatar
 

MD421 model differencies?

Hi

Anyone know the differencies between the MD421-N, MD421-HL, MD421-2 etc, etc.

I'm in the market for a good sounding vintage MD421...

It's for my drums(toms) and guitar amp...

Old 13th March 2008
  #2
Gear maniac
 
brutze's Avatar
The MD421-N is really the one you want IMO.
It is a classic grey model WITH the low cut filter (important and useful!).
Sounds great on Toms, Kick, Amps, Trumpets etc. etc.
Old 13th March 2008
  #3
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toonviking View Post
Hi

Anyone know the differences between the MD421-N, MD421-HL, MD421-2 etc, etc.

I'm in the market for a good sounding vintage MD421...

It's for my drums(toms) and guitar amp...

The MD 421-N has the Tuchel (screw DIN) connector.
The MD 421-2 has the large Tuchel connector (flat pins)
The MD 421-HL is dual impedance and *unbalanced* and does not have the bass roll-off switch
The MD 421U has an XLR connector
The MD 421U-4 has an XLR connector and is black finish
The MD 421U-5 has an XLR connector and is black finish and the stand clip has the horrible 5/8" American thread.

All these are the original Mk.I version.

Personally I would go for the U or N version - definitely do *not* get the HL version (unless it's *very* cheap).

It is possible to convert an N to a U but you have to replace the complete filter module, so it's not so cheap.

I hope this is clear.
Old 13th March 2008
  #4
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Nice post, John! Great info.

thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
Old 13th March 2008
  #5
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbowes View Post
Nice post, John! Great info.

thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
Thanks.

If you want the Owners Manual for the original 421, you can download the pdf HERE.

Most Sennheiser manuals can be downloaded from the German website, including most of the old discontinued models.
Old 13th March 2008
  #6
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orange's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbowes View Post
Nice post, John! Great info.

thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
2nd that thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
Old 13th March 2008
  #7
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Kristian's Avatar
 

Thanks for the superb info!!!


I'm now looking for the N version.


Old 13th March 2008
  #8
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Kristian's Avatar
 

Saw a version called HN on ebay, is that something I should stay away from?

SENNHEISER MD-421 GERMAN Vintage Microphone MD421 MINT - eBay (item 230226251401 end time Mar-25-08 15:43:14 PDT)
Old 13th March 2008
  #9
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orange's Avatar
 

that's a tuchel connector (N?) WITH bass roll off switch.

wonder what the H is ?
Old 13th March 2008
  #10
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casadios's Avatar
 

i've got one of those HN... i've been told they're dual impedance too
does anybody have more info?

Last edited by casadios; 13th March 2008 at 11:13 PM.. Reason: didn't see the ebay post!
Old 13th March 2008
  #11
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orange's Avatar
 

nicked this info from another forum

PSW Recording Forums: Klaus Heyne's Mic Lab => Sennheiser MD421 HN

and

PSW Recording Forums: Klaus Heyne's Mic Lab => Sennheiser MD421HN pinout

so HN = HL (one is german, one is english)

But HN version has bass roll off switch - so this doesn't tally with John's post ?
Old 29th May 2008
  #12
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Jbassist's Avatar
 

I love this forum for this kind of info! i just bought a beautiful Md421 N realy cheap!
Had to choose between a N and a HL heh

I got a Tuchel cable with it, but its to unbalanced jack out, this is normal?
Old 29th May 2008
  #13
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbassist View Post
I love this forum for this kind of info! i just bought a beautiful Md421 N realy cheap!
Had to choose between a N and a HL heh

I got a Tuchel cable with it, but its to unbalanced jack out, this is normal?
Congratulations.

The mic. would have been supplied without cable and the cable would have been made by the previous owner.

So just check the cable is OK, cut off the jack and fit and XLR (or whatever).

Don't forget that the Tuchel is pin 1 = +ve, pin 2 = screen, pin 3 = -ve.
Old 15th June 2008
  #14
Registered User
 

I'm bout to get me one as well, preferably with the old script logo. I saw one with a Telefunken logo the other day, I know Sennheiser made some mics for 'm when Telefunken went out of business but do they have the Sennheiser or Telefunken quality control? In other words....does it matter which brand logo they have?

John, what can you say about this HL model:
VINTAGE SENNHEISER MD421 MD-421 60`s SCRIPT LOGO RARE - eBay, Vintage, Microphones, Pro Audio, Musical Instruments. (Eindtijd 23-jun-08 10:49:10 CEST)

it seems to be modded to a N version....i just prefer that gooseneck over those horrible clips
Old 15th June 2008
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teo Macero View Post
John, what can you say about this HL model:
VINTAGE SENNHEISER MD421 MD-421 60`s SCRIPT LOGO RARE - eBay, Vintage, Microphones, Pro Audio, Musical Instruments. (Eindtijd 23-jun-08 10:49:10 CEST)

it seems to be modded to a N version....i just prefer that gooseneck over those horrible clips
It looks like a standard HL version that has been modified to an N.

All MD421 versions used the arm clip (I like them, but earlier ones were metal and better than the later plastic ones).

You can use a gooseneck on any MD421 if you like.
Old 16th June 2008
  #16
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

There's a thread somewhere on this Forum with actual photos of all the different models - try a search.
Old 16th June 2008
  #17
Registered User
 

yea i know, I was just wondering about the version with the Telefunken logo and if there's any difference.
Old 16th June 2008
  #18
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dangoudie's Avatar
 

So what about SOUND differences?
Old 16th June 2008
  #19
Gear interested
 

In my experience (I have a few Ns, well had) the older vintage 421s sound
significantly different to the new ones. Mine had a lot less low end then more
current 4s or 5s, so they didn't work in a kick so well for me. They're also a little more
aggressive sounding IMO, not as smooth. Whether that's how they were from the
start I don't know, but apparently they can loose some low end due to aging.

More significantly, two of my three old ones have died, also due to age (I treat them well, I was unlucky). The moving coil has started to develop some friction, they now start rolling off below 800 and sound really thin. To my knowledge you can only fix them by putting a new (current) capsule in, but then you might as well buy a new 421, because the caps are just a little less.

But the old ones do sound good in an interesting way I think, IMHO a little more interesting than the new ones on amps for example. It's a definite tone. They've just lived long hard lives already and haven't always been kept well and dry.
If I were buying now, i'd probably get new ones. They still have the character, work
better on kick and bass for me, and they'd last longer.
Old 8th September 2008
  #20
Gear maniac
 
Kristian's Avatar
 

Well, I bought a vintage pair of the MD 421N. And yes, they sound very good. It's like they almost never have been used. Anyway, they sound perfect on my toms.
Old 23rd September 2008
  #21
C/G
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C/G's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teo Macero View Post
yea i know, I was just wondering about the version with the Telefunken logo and if there's any difference.
The only difefrence is about $75 - $100 in price. Totally not worth it. Just get the OG Sennheiser version.
Old 23rd September 2008
  #22
C/G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
The MD 421-N has the Tuchel (screw DIN) connector.
The MD 421-2 has the large Tuchel connector (flat pins)
I had one 421-N with a thread-on mini tuchel connector. I'm pretty sure it was a German radio version.

I also had a 421-N with an XLR. More than likely made for the N. American market perhaps?

Both had 421-N clearly marked on the microphone connector.

I do agree the white ones sound much better than new. They are truly fantastic on electric guitar amps or Rhodes suitcase, and of course toms.
Old 23rd September 2008
  #23
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Anyone have any views on the Senheisser Blackfire 521, (that has no roll-off.) ?
Old 15th October 2008
  #24
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
Anyone have any views on the Senheisser Blackfire 521, (that has no roll-off.) ?

Never Tried the Blackfire 521.
We had several of them at a studio I was working and the main engineer almost killed me when he saw that I was going to use one instead of a 421.
He said they were crap, and I never got the change after that to really try them out. They were just rotting in the closet.

What the guy was using a lot, and he said they were similar or even better than a 421 was the MD 422. We were using them quite a lot in Toms, and they sounded great.

Its strange that there's not more info on the md422 around.
Old 16th October 2008
  #25
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by C/G View Post
I had one 421-N with a thread-on mini tuchel connector. I'm pretty sure it was a German radio version.

I also had a 421-N with an XLR. More than likely made for the N. American market perhaps?

Both had 421-N clearly marked on the microphone connector.

I do agree the white ones sound much better than new. They are truly fantastic on electric guitar amps or Rhodes suitcase, and of course toms.
421-N was definitely a Tuchel connector.

If a 421-N had an XLR it was modified later to change the Tuchel for am XLR.

There were still Mk.I black versions.
Old 16th October 2008
  #26
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
Anyone have any views on the Senheisser Blackfire 521, (that has no roll-off.) ?
The BF521 was identical to the MD 421 except that it had no roll-off switch.
Old 16th October 2008
  #27
Gear nut
 
jackrabbit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
Anyone have any views on the Senheisser Blackfire 521, (that has no roll-off.) ?
They sound excellent. I use it interchangeably with my 421U.
Old 9th May 2011
  #28
Gear maniac
 

I just bought a Sennheiser 421 and I'm trying to figure out some stuff about it.

The model is MD421 (no other signifier like U-5, HL, N, etc). Serial is 29747. It has a bass roll-off which only clicks at M/S (not a 5 position one). It has a small tuchel DIN screw on connector type. On the side of the DIN jack it says "Made in W. Germany." It also has the script logo on the front.

However, it is black with a gold grill/connector. It looks just the black/gold anniversary edition but the model number, grill logo, and connector are totally different. It's also not some sort of refinish. It looks factory to me. Anyone know if Sennheiser made a black/gold version of the older 421s?
Old 9th May 2011
  #29
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evangelista's Avatar
 

FWIW -

I used to have two beige Touchel N-series ones. Used them here and there, was never totally in love with them.

One day, I A/B'd them on a few different sources with a friend's newer black model. His sounded way better, without exception.

Maybe it was because mine were more worn, I don't know. But it got me over the "older is better" thing real quick.

In the interest of full disclosure, I've since gotten rid of all of my (more recently acquired) 421's, even black ones. They may have been "the thing" (especially on toms), but I suspect they work better going to tape. For me, 421s and digital have never been quite "right".
Old 9th May 2011
  #30
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KHilbert View Post
I just bought a Sennheiser 421 and I'm trying to figure out some stuff about it.

The model is MD421 (no other signifier like U-5, HL, HN, etc). Serial is 29747. It has a bass roll-off which only clicks at M/S (not a 5 position one). It has a small tuchel DIN screw on connector type. On the side of the DIN jack it says "Made in W. Germany." It also has the script logo on the front.

However, it is black with a gold grill/connector. It looks just the black/gold anniversary edition but the model number, grill logo, and connector are totally different. It's also not some sort of refinish. It looks factory to me. Anyone know if Sennheiser made a black/gold version of the older 421s?
You'll have to ask Sennheiser themselves.

Send an e-mail to sennheiserusa.com if you are in the States.

It sounds like a special version of the MD 421-n - maybe an anniversary edition of some sort. But it would have been prior to 1985, I'm sure.
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