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Recording Guitar Amps - Sennheiser MD 421 versus Sennheiser MD441 U???
Old 15th June 2010
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Recording Guitar Amps - Sennheiser MD 421 versus Sennheiser MD441 U???

So it seems like everybody records guitar amps with the trusted and true Sennheiser MD421 but I haven't heard much about the more expensive Sennheiser MD 441 U microphone. I'm definitely going to pick up one of these mics but which one do any of you suggest I get? With the MD 441 U would I be paying $500 more for the added features of a 5 position low freq switch and 2 position high freq switch and that's it? What are the pros and cons of each?

So yeah, MD421 or Md 441 U???
Old 15th June 2010
  #2
Gear Nut
 

The 441 sounds very different from the 421, less scooped and fuller. Great for several types of horns, snare, a number of things. It'd be in my "essential dynamic mics" list. Both have a multi-position lo freq switch, btw.
Old 15th June 2010
  #3
I'm with Bernardo, definitely an incredible mic. However, or guitars, I'd take the 421. I've just had better luck with it.

On that note, last night during a session, I was tracking the band live in the room and had a 441 on the acoustic guitarist's amp. He ended up not even using it, but the mic was on and recording. With it so low in height and facing away from the drums, it proved to be one of the COOLEST drum room sounds I've ever heard. So, make sure to try that if you get one! Haha.

Verdict: for guitars, I'd take the 421 but if can, get both! thumbsup
Old 15th June 2010
  #4
Agreed good mic to have around.

I would sometimes poke a 441 into the side carry handle cavity of a 4x12 speaker cab

give that a try sometime! (whip out all the ugly "horn honk" mid + hype the top end) aim for a "swarm of angry bees" sound and try blending it in with your MICS (wit the customary phase flip checking first) it can add a bonkers ambience to metal dist gtr.

also the mic is good for

lead vocals
snare
over the shoulder "high snare mic"

er... And other stuff
Old 15th June 2010
  #5
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Ozzy's Avatar
 

I own both, and prefer a 57 on most amps

If I *had* to pick either for guitar (to be used on its own and not blended), it would be a 441 as i find the 421 a bit scooped for my taste on its own. However, 57+421 can yeild some decent results.

Oz
Old 15th June 2010
  #6
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SoZo's Avatar
57 on cab no eq or effects...

http://sozoamplification.com/Audio/S...tar%20Clip.mp3
Old 17th June 2010
  #7
Gear Addict
 

well i think that feedback has me leaning towards the 441. But I'd definitely like to own both.

I need to search through the forums for a thread on dynamic mics or I need to make a new post because I'm checking out all the dynamic mics out there like the heil sound - pr30, pr40/ beyerdynamic - m201, m88, m99 / Electro voice re20, re27N/d / and wondering if neumanns only dynamic mic, the bcm 705 is ever used for recording guitar/bass amps.

And beyond picking up a cheap shure 57, if I could only get one dynamic mic I'd be leaning towards the sennheiser 441 right now.
Old 17th June 2010
  #8
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softwareguy's Avatar
 

Apparently you missed the memo on how many GSlutz worship at the temple of the SM7.

I think that would be my first choice, but I own a lot of the other mics you mentioned as well, and love them lots.
Old 18th June 2010
  #9
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
as a do-all mic in a small start up collection, I don't think you could go wrong getting one MD441 and one SM57 (or more if you need)

but to answer your first question, I would also agree that the MD421 sound great on a cab, but mainly when paired with an SM57. the 441 seems to do well on its own, and is very "smooth" sounding (on a cab, or just about anything really). the sm57 adds a little more rawness, and the 421 on a cab by itself seems to me a tad "dark"
Old 18th June 2010
  #10
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popmann's Avatar
It's funny..."scooped" is actually what I'd call the 441...not the 421. But, whatever. 421 any day of the week. Short of my 121, it's been the most consistent performer on amps for all my 20 years doing this...gotten a lot of great tones with a lot of other mics for this or that, but if there's a single dynamic I'd put up knowing I HAD to live with the outcome...421. No question.

Actually, it's probably more consistent than the 121...in terms of I like how forward the mids are on it for lead guitars.

I'll be honest, when I record amps now, I'm mostly complacent. Rhythm part or cleanish lead? 121. Dirty lead in a busy mix? 421. Only occasionally does one of those not work pretty darn well...

Back on topic...I never got a single amp track I liked with the 441. Nice mic for a number of situations...but, amps wasn't really one for me.
Old 18th June 2010
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Re: Recording Guitar Amps - Sennheiser MD 421 versus Sennheiser MD441 U???

Tab modded sm57... On the knes you asked about 421 all the way
Also +1 on the 121!!!
Old 18th June 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by softwareguy View Post
Apparently you missed the memo on how many GSlutz worship at the temple of the SM7.
SM7B for distorted guitars? I've had no luck with that.

The 441 can yield interesting results (indeed a very full sound), but if you're specifically looking for a mic that makes recording guitar cabs easier (especially distorted ones), my money's on the 421 combined with a 57.
Old 18th June 2010
  #13
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softwareguy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Shadow View Post
SM7B for distorted guitars? I've had no luck with that.

The 441 can yield interesting results (indeed a very full sound), but if you're specifically looking for a mic that makes recording guitar cabs easier (especially distorted ones), my money's on the 421 combined with a 57.
I totally get where you're coming from. I can usually make an SM7 work on distorted gits myself, as they seem a little less "peaky" than the 57, which can be helpful. However, I certainly understand if they are not your first call, they're not mine either. I usually prefer a BK5B. But hey, different strokes.

With the SM7 suggestion I was actually responding to the OP's change in emphasis where he was talking about "if I could only pick up one dynamic mic". I'm assuming that mic would have broader duties than just heavy guitars, and as an all-arounder, including drums, percussion, vocals and more, I think the SM7 is a good candidate, and should be included in any discussion of high-end dynamics.

Just my $.02.
Old 30th October 2010
  #14
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I'll never understand the SM7 thing. Never sounded cool on anything to me. I actually find it hard to believe anyone does a shootout, and tracks vocals on it, even though I know big records are made with it on the lead vocal. Maybe if I used it with something colorful like a v72 or a 1073 DPA I may have a different opinion.

The 441 is a good mic. Sounds real good with clean guitar stuff, steel guitar, jazz stuff
Old 4th December 2015
  #15
Here for the gear
 

I love mine on just about everything

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzy View Post
I own both, and prefer a 57 on most amps

If I *had* to pick either for guitar (to be used on its own and not blended), it would be a 441 as i find the 421 a bit scooped for my taste on its own. However, 57+421 can yeild some decent results.

Oz
I'm in total agreement with that! My 441 is an original model and has some rather interesting characteristics. Paired with the right pre, it's friggin' great on anything I've ever used it on
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Both are awesome mics and indeed very different as others have pointed out. On guitar amps I find both a bit hit or miss, although 441 most so. But when it works it REALLY works. A few months ago I got some of my best guitar tones ever to tape recording my friend with a LTD strat copy and a Music Man 65 blasting really loud. Huge and very 3D.
My favourite use for 441s are on lead vocals and on snare, I normally have it sitting below the snare drum with a M201TG or SM57 on top as it's fairly difficult to position and I don't wanna risk stray drumsticks on it. If the wires don't rattle too long I tend to turn it up almost as much as the top mic.

441s are incredibly hifi for a dynamic, goes to 20 khz and are damm directional. A week ago I was recording a singer who found he had difficulty getting into the right vibe only using headphones, using the 441 the bleed was minimal and largely irellevant. A month ago I tried it on a singer performing live in room with an upright piano. Besides being the best choice for his voice the piano was barely audible soloed. Sounds great and being massively practical at the same time. Might be my favourite mic although I havn't used them long enough to say for sure.

Not all 441's have the low cut switch, mine don't.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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MD409-U3+Royer 121+Sony 37A. The ultimate Cab mic mixture.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
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bowzin's Avatar
441 is my fav for guitar amps, hard to get a bad sound, very smooth. 421 is probably a close second. Not the biggest 57 fan, have certainly used them a lot but the 421 and 441 stood out as better for me.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
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I have a 421 U5 and a 541, which is the "Blackfire" version of the 441 that omits the low-frequency rolloff (I also have a 421 MkII, but the less said about that the better). The 421 would be my choice for anything that needs to sound aggressive or cut through a mix like a buzzsaw. The 541 delivers the nicest, fullest, all-around most honest representation of the amp compared to any mic I own short of the Shure KSM313, which is my first choice on guitars. If you're looking for something versatile, the 441 is the one.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Nut
 

A little off topic but I really like the Beyer M160 on guitar amps especially blended with a non ribbon dynamic of your choice.
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