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re20 / 27 vs. SM7A/B vs. 441 vs. ?? - King Of Dynamics? Dynamic Microphones
Old 24th August 2005
  #1
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7 Hz's Avatar
re20 / 27 vs. SM7A/B vs. 441 vs. ?? - King Of Dynamics?

Ok, so I am looking for the best dynamic microphone out of these three... if there are better dynamics (excluding ribons) please tell me!

Use has to be wide as possible... voice, singing, percussion, bass, guitar ect

I have used the RER20 for many years, nice springy kick sound, rich on male vox but with a mid/high thing going on that made it not quite brilliant... maybe the re27 is better? 441 i have used many years ago, remember it as a good workhorse mic, maybe boring? SM7 I dont know at all, but people like it.. low output bothers me, plus the idea that its just a sm57 about 3 inches further out...

Could the RE27 be the king of dynamics?
Old 24th August 2005
  #2
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SoundCampaign's Avatar
 

I'm sure some of you may piss on me for this, but I've used an akg 414 on pretty much everything and though it's not always the most "exciting" mic on earth...It covers every thing I throw at it decently...I've used it on vox, bass, guitars, snare, overheads, room mics, acoustic guitars etc.. etc.. It's a damn workhorse w/ multiple patterns and pads...Go grab a used one on ebay or somewhere and see what it can do...

Peace
Old 24th August 2005
  #3
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

i'd say the 441 is the most flexible of the ones you mentioned (except the re-27... i haven't used it and therefore can't comment). although, each is really great, and there are situations where one is better than the others. also, they're all cheap enough that you can't go wrong by owning all three.

--jon
Old 24th August 2005
  #4
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kevinc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundCampaign
I'm sure some of you may piss on me for this, but I've used an akg 414 on pretty much everything....

Theres certainly no reason to piss on you for liking 414`s but that`s a condenser mic aint it ?

We`re talking dynamics here bro !


I`m becoming a big 441 fanatic myself these days.

I like it a lot on vocals and snare and I want to buy about 5 of them and start throwing them everywhere I can.

It`s funny that you thought they might`ve sounded a bit boring to you 7 hz because the one time I tried to mic a guitar amp with one that`s exactly what I thought. It just sounded kinda boring to me though it was a more accurate sound than a 57 or something. I`ll try it again one of these days and see if I can get something better happening.

Other than that I like it everywhere I`ve heard it.
Old 24th August 2005
  #5
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441 is my go to mic for snare, on occasion, acoustic bass, rack tom, etc. Great mic.
Old 24th August 2005
  #6
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absolutely!!!
seriously though, they are all good 'colors'. if i had to narrow it down to two to start out with, i would get the sm-7 and 441 and add from there.
good luck,
joshua
Old 24th August 2005
  #7
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I'll put in a vote for the Beyer M-88.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Old 24th August 2005
  #8
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

no fair, chris... that's not on the list. you're banned from gearslutz for life! heh heh heh

OT: chris, a while back you sent some cd's to a buddy of mine, jon arnold. he was on tapeop as jca83. they're great sounding records; keep up the great work!

--jon
Old 24th August 2005
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonCraig
no fair, chris... that's not on the list. you're banned from gearslutz for life! heh heh heh
??=M-88 ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonCraig
OT: chris, a while back you sent some cd's to a buddy of mine, jon arnold. he was on tapeop as jca83. they're great sounding records; keep up the great work!
Oh, cool! Jon's a really nice and smart guy. I'm glad you liked the discs. I seem to remember Jon really digging the Ron Brendle/Frank Kimbrough and Big Octave discs. (Looks like I'm doing another one for Ron, Frank, and Al in October.) I haven't talked to Jon in a while (his computer was down just before I went to Nashville last month, so we didn't catch up), but he said he had some questions for me about a few of those records. When you talk to him, tell him to drop me a line. Thanks for the compliments!

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Old 24th August 2005
  #10
Gear Addict
 

MD 441

followed by The RE20


then

the SM7


all great mics imho,

The 441 can step in and do a decent job (not always first choice) on snare, hi hat, toms, Bass drum, bass cabinet, electric guitar, trumpet, vocals, sax,
I think i probably coud make a decent record with a few 441's and a couple of M160's.

that would actually probably sound pretty cool!

and it's a wonderful live vocal mic!
Old 24th August 2005
  #11
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Doublehelix's Avatar
 

Dang, I hate to be boring here, but I love my MD441 too...you just can't go wrong here. It is my go-to snare bottom mic, and also good on guitars and vox. Good all-arounder imho.
Old 24th August 2005
  #12
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7 Hz's Avatar
Thanks for all the feedback! I guess the 441 is the most popular here, although I am guessing that it is getting used a lot on snares / cabs and loud vocals. I need a dynamic that is possably a little more versatile, it is for use at home doing voice / vocals (silly noises, raps ect) and also for location / field recording (hitting things mostly i.e. scrapyards / street signs / bus shelters) and also to pick up the slack in recording studios for #whatever# I play percussion so that is a good start. I'm not really looking for smooth, I am looking for rich / characterfull, and probably a reasonable high output... I did a chart with all 5 mics talked about so far so I can get my head round the relevent aspects. For me, the Beyer 88 and the EV re27 are both interesting, they beyer is a good price here in the UK (£225 as opposed to £800 for the damn RE20/27), and they Beyer is probably good for location as well (right shape).

Also interesting that the 'top of the line' dynamic market is so slow moving and un-flooded, whereas there is a new cheepo (crappy) LDC every second day!
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re20 / 27 vs. SM7A/B vs. 441 vs. ?? - King Of Dynamics?-dynamic-mic-comparison.gif  
Old 24th August 2005
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 Hz
Thanks for all the feedback! I guess the 441 is the most popular here, although I am guessing that it is getting used a lot on snares / cabs and loud vocals. I need a dynamic that is possably a little more versatile, it is for use at home doing voice / vocals (silly noises, raps ect) and also for location / field recording (hitting things mostly i.e. scrapyards / street signs / bus shelters) and also to pick up the slack in recording studios for #whatever# I play percussion so that is a good start. I'm not really looking for smooth, I am looking for rich / characterfull, and probably a reasonable high output... I did a chart with all 5 mics talked about so far so I can get my head round the relevent aspects. For me, the Beyer 88 and the EV re27 are both interesting, they beyer is a good price here in the UK (£225 as opposed to £800 for the damn RE20/27), and they Beyer is probably good for location as well (right shape).

Also interesting that the 'top of the line' dynamic market is so slow moving and un-flooded, whereas there is a new cheepo (crappy) LDC every second day!

The Sennheiser IS extremely versatile! It's just for some applications there ARE better mics. As i mentioned previously, I wouldn't have any trouble with doing a recording only with the sennheiser and a couple of ribbon mics.
Old 24th August 2005
  #14
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7 Hz's Avatar
By versitile, I ment have a bit of a higher output, so recording quieter things doesn't end up in a hissy recording...

Also, interesting to see how close the 441 and the RE27 response curves are! Anyone used an RE27 in anger?
Old 24th August 2005
  #15
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Ruudman's Avatar
 

That dip between ca 3.5-5.3 kHz makes the RE-20 well suited for daw's IMO
Plus for the extremely good off-axis response.

441's a good mic, though... thumbsup


ruudman
Old 24th August 2005
  #16
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Graphs aren't always a good way to judge the sound of the mic. Mics that "look" bright can be dark etc.
Old 24th August 2005
  #17
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 Hz
Also interesting that the 'top of the line' dynamic market is so slow moving and un-flooded
I'm looking forward to trying out the Heil Sound PR40 for this very reason.
Old 24th August 2005
  #18
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Ruudman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuntz
Graphs aren't always a good way to judge the sound of the mic. Mics that "look" bright can be dark etc.
I know, but they're indicators: I wouldn't base my statement regarding the
RE-20 solely by referring to the graph.
It's my experience by usage that it's rather forgiving in that mentioned
frequency area.


ruudman
Old 24th August 2005
  #19
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David R.'s Avatar
 

No such thing as the best dynamic. Only what does the best for what you need at the time.

RE20 is great, I use it often. I also use the RE38 N/D .



SM57/58, how can you leave these out?

If I could have only one, I would sell some stuff I have not used in a while and buy more.

Old 24th August 2005
  #20
RE-20 i love for some female vocals that don't work with condensers. also good for kick , male vocals , spoken word and some cabinets in conjunction with other mics. get two of those .
Old 24th August 2005
  #21
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 Hz
Also interesting that the 'top of the line' dynamic market is so slow moving and un-flooded, whereas there is a new cheepo (crappy) LDC every second day!
Well dynamics just don't have seem to have the same kind of 'wow' factor at the cheaper end of the market and think alot of people get caught up in the 'I can get £150 mic that sounds like a £1500 mic' and do just that.

I think it was Bob Olhson that said he'd rather have an SM7 than a low-end condenser. (I hope I'm not mis-quoting him here. If I am, apologies...)

But it was those words that sent me back to trying out the SM7 again (after having kind of forgotten about for a few years, don't know why really...) and god do I like that mic.

I had a couple of 441 for a few years and while they were good mics they just never really excited me. By all means YMMV though.

If your in the UK/Europe check the EV prices at this place though: Musicians Gear - Germany

I must add that I've never used them but they have some great deals on those microphones (way below £800).

Good luck,

R.
Old 24th August 2005
  #22
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 Hz
By versitile, I ment have a bit of a higher output, so recording quieter things doesn't end up in a hissy recording...
don't EVER judge a mic by the spec sheet. it's simply too easy for the manufacturer to "fudge" the data/scale/test conditions to suit whatever picture they wish to show you.

as for a "hissy recording", dynamics are inherently quieter than condensers, but have a lower self-noise. as long as you use a halfway decent preamp, you'll be fine. even if you're recording to DAT, or DA-88, or Mini-DV, so long as you've got the meters moving well, you'll be fine as far as noise is concerned.

--jon
Old 24th August 2005
  #23
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7 Hz's Avatar
Yeh well that's a good statement in principle, and I agree, but without getting all 5 mics together and trying them out, all I have to go on is my past experences / word of mouth / spec sheets / any audio clips I can dig out. I don't nessasarily agree that a professional mic manufacturer would skew things like the sensitivity figures or frequency response, especialy as we can back these up with facts. Looking at the charts I made above, you can see that the SM7 is, by far, the lowest output of all those mics. That equates to over 12dB of difference in the mic amp gain against the RE27 and the Beyer 88 to get the same signal... which is a LOT at that end of the mic amp gain (i.e. if you are recording quiet things).

Also, initialy at least, I am not going to have access to pristine stand-alone mic pres.

I strongly beleive we have to use all the tools at our disposal to make good choices regarding equipment. Spec charts and forum posts are parts of this toolkit!
Old 24th August 2005
  #24
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

and which of these specs will you be backing up w/ facts? i know i don't have an anechoic chamber & an audio precision system to measure it with. frequency response graphs don't take into account off-axis response & the associated phase distortion--both of which have a HUGE effect on the sound when used in the real world.

12dB on a clean mic pre (or any pre, for that matter) shouldn't be an issue, unless maybe you're making field recordings of crickets in the desert. what will you be recording?

--jon
Old 24th August 2005
  #25
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7 Hz's Avatar
Jon - we don't need to get too deep into this, 'facts' are all the knowlege I already have from 15 years of being a sound engineer, using mics, recording loud things / quiet thing, and making them into music. I 'know', for example, that a SM7b is wrong for me in the particular applications I have in mind (listed above the charts), because its output (both from the spec sheets and from word of mouth) is too low for anything quieter than a loud spoken presenter.

I can also make ROUGH value judgements based on mics I know, and looking at the spec sheets against mics I don't know. That, of course, will never tell me how a mic SOUNDS, but it will let me know roughly what the on-axis frequency response is, which is a large part of the sound.

I am not very interested in conducting scientific measurements of each mic in anechoic chambers, I AM very interested in peoples 'vibe' about high-end dynamic microphones, and also people pointing out mics I have missed in my initial list and making recomendations for other quality dynamic microphones.

12dB on a mic pre is a massive amount if you are close to the edge anyway.. it means the noise floor comes up 12dB, and thats BEFORE you compress the signal and mess about with it in other ways.

@ David R. - I left out the 421, 57, 201 ect as I felt these were not top quality dynamics, I am really more interested in the cream of the crop! If you think a 57 can stand up against a 441 on the sound quality stakes, let me know!
Old 24th August 2005
  #26
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 Hz
Jon - 12dB on a mic pre is a massive amount if you are close to the edge anyway.. it means the noise floor comes up 12dB, and thats BEFORE you compress the signal and mess about with it in other ways.
but what i'm saying is... when are you actually close to the edge? you mentioned "voice, singing, percussion, bass, guitar ect" all these sources will be plenty loud. especially guitar & bass cabs... the noise floor of the amps is a LOT higher than that of the microphone.

but if your 15 years say that a spec sheet tells you what you need to know, i've got an mxl 2001 i'd love to sell you. it *looks* great!

--jon
Old 24th August 2005
  #27
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7 Hz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 Hz
for use at home doing voice / vocals (silly noises, raps ect) and also for location / field recording (hitting things mostly i.e. scrapyards / street signs / bus shelters) and also to pick up the slack in recording studios for #whatever# I play percussion so that is a good start.
I am ALWAYS on the edge...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonCraig
but if your 15 years say that a spec sheet tells you what you need to know, i've got an...
Aww man, listen, life is too short for sarcastic comments like that... I really don't need to be told when and when not to use fuggin frequency plots, I have already explained this to ya! Enough already!!
Old 24th August 2005
  #28
Gear Addict
 

I guess I would consider a 421 a high quality dynamic. Have used the Beyer M88 a lot years ago (my roomate had several) and really liked them on vocals and guitar amps. RE20 and SM7 are very cool also. Couldn't go wrong owning any of the above.
Old 24th August 2005
  #29
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 Hz
Aww man, listen, life is too short for sarcastic comments like that... I really don't need to be told when and when not to use fuggin frequency plots, I have already explained this to ya! Enough already!!
k. you're right. sure you don't want that mxl? ;-)

--jon
Old 24th August 2005
  #30
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7 Hz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonCraig
k. you're right. sure you don't want that mxl? ;-)

--jon
Sure, send me a frequeny plot, your phone#, and your C/Card details, and I'll think about it!

heh
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