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Is the Sennheiser MD441 Dynamic Mic worth it's $900 Pricetag? Dynamic Microphones
Old 21st December 2010
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Is the Sennheiser MD441 Dynamic Mic worth it's $900 Pricetag?

So I'm wondering if the Sennheiser MD441 is worth it's $900 price tag? I'm building up my mic collection and as of now my only dynamic mic is a Shure SM57. I was thinking of picking up a new MD441 but it's pretty costly. (And yes, I know I could pick up a used one but for some reason I'm going for a new one, I'm a gearslut!) Yeah, new it costs just about $900.

My issue is these other mics I could get -

Sennheiser MD 421 - $380
Heil Sound PR30 - $250
Heil Sound PR40 - $325
Electro Voice RE20 - $430
Beyerdynamic M201 TG - $300
Beyerdynamic M88 TG - $450
Beyerdynamic M99 - $600

Instead of paying $900 for ONE MD441, I could spend that same amount of cash and get almost any TWO of the different mics from above! So I'm asking you MD441 owners, does the 441 excel that much at what it does, in ways it can't be matched by other dynamic mics, to be worth more than getting two of these other mics for the same amount of money?

Some last info, my intended use for any future dynamic mics I get is primarily for guitar amps at this point.

Opinions?
Old 21st December 2010
  #2
Gear Head
 

I would say that it is worth it, but you should definitely have a look on eBay.
Don't buy them brand new, find an old one at half the price, maybe less..

I would say, never buy new microphones (unless you can't get them used),
their so much cheaper when you buy used, and if it's a quality mic you won't get disappointed, great dynamics mics last all most forever.

Whether or not it can be match on certain sources with one of the other microphones, I really can't say, haven't tried them all, but most likely yea sure, it's possible.

But I will say this though, the MD441 and the Shure SM7b are my two favorite dynamic mics of all time.
I use the on pretty much everything; vocals, electric guitars, drums, even for micing the bass amp, I can't think of anything I wouldn't use it on.

But maybe you should ask yourself if you need that one mic or maybe you're in need of two pretty decent mics like the MD421
- although the MD441 I bought was way cheaper than all of the older MD421 that were on eBay at the time..
Old 21st December 2010
  #3
I see used 441s going for $400-500 all the time, check out the classifieds sections.
Old 21st December 2010
  #4
Gear Nut
 

I think they are more than worth the $250-$300 it will take to get a nice used one on ebay. You can easily get a used 441 for $300 and they will sound every bit as good as a new one. They have been for decades and still are a time tested staple of the recording industry... a virtual Swiss army knife of microphones. Even though dynamic, I would much rather have a 441 than just about any condenser mic I've heard under $2K. Not much they won't do extremely well. It's a pro studio quality mic you can keep forever with no need for upgrade.
Old 21st December 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
retractablezing's Avatar
 

you can get a decent pair used for the price they go for new, just be a little patient.

i don't think they're worth the 900 dollar price tag, but that's me...i get a lot more mileage from my other dynamics, including the 421. the 441 has a very characteristic sound, the pattern response probably having a lot to do with it, that will totally make it work or absolutely not on a given source...it can sound muffled or very small, depending on how badly it's working on a certain source, but it can also sound nice and very adequate.

with that said, when purchasing used 421s and 441s, one should be careful, as lots of them sound just plain wrong and need service, but you can never tell for sure if you haven't tried one of them in good condition. i went through some pretty bassy 421s and a couple of severely high passed 441s for no good reason, before i found decent examples of each. they're rugged and won't ever stop working in some form or another, but the capsules do go south eventually.

i'll say that the 441 is probably the coolest looking mic ever..and sad to say, it's also probably a big part of why i kept the good one i found eventually. so yeah, to me, it's not worth the price tag, not by a long shot.
Old 21st December 2010
  #6
Gear Addict
 
Markus Stock's Avatar
 

You get them cheaper used - but still it's worth 900$ as well. Best dynamic mic I heard. Very versatile and a smooth, lush and beautiful sound. I really love this mic for snare top and bottom, toms and vocals!
Old 21st December 2010
  #7
Lives for gear
 
leaper's Avatar
 

Maybe be worth adding that I've successfully used RE 20's in place of 441's.
Quite a few times both have been put up for the same source and the RE 20 holds it's own, sometimes chosen over 441.
That includes guitars, BTW.
Old 21st December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 
waxx's Avatar
 

441 is one of the best dynamics ever made for me. But it's you that have to decide if you want to pay the price. I'll also search second hand (they are common and not easy to break) for a cheaper price.
Old 21st December 2010
  #9
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frans's Avatar
To answer your questions: YES. Keep in mind the dollar is low, so look for a used one.
Old 21st December 2010
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Saxon-of-a-son's Avatar
 

I got a new one for $650 a couple years ago. Look around. It's totally worth that price to me. Excellent, cool vibe on vox. Perfect on flute. Great on percussion. Only thing I didn't like it on was distorted electric guitar (a bit nasally).
Old 21st December 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Definitely to each his own...

The 441 is one mic I could care less to own...

NO its 100% NOT worth 900 bucks. Not even close.

Its usefullness is its super-cardioid, otherwise its meh... Theres a GOOD reason they sell for cheap on Ebay... And RECENT gearslutz is the ONLY place Ive heard anyone drool over a 441... Literally.

Its a decent dynamic with great rejection but its never the best mic for the job IMHO. Not even close. Again unless you need the super-cardioid.

For 300 - 400 bucks, its not a bad buy. Just not the grail like people seem to be posting.

Vocals- never the best choice.
Horns- md409 is a better Senn. for less (though discontinued)
Guitars- md409 is the greatest dynamic made for this
Drums-??? maybe snare for rejection... But still better sounding mics for way less...

Or for 900 buy a used royer 121- which would destroy the 441 on most applications (other than rejection as its fig 8). And its a ribbon so its got a lot more magic to my ears.

Notice a constant- the only arguable benefit is its rejection and super cardioid pattern...

I can't imagine the mic lockers of anyone claiming the 441 is the best dynamic mic made or better than condensers under 2 grand... Thats silly...
Old 21st December 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Lee Cardan's Avatar
 

I think they're great, love them to bits on some things (hi hats, bottom snare, some brass, some woodwind, even fantastic on acoustic guitars if the player can sit really still). $900.. depends on how heavy your wallet is, I guess. I paid around $500 each which I felt was a steal. They've a beautiful mic, very nicely made and a top notch sound (however I wouldn't be comparing it to a any condenser, apples and oranges, both great, totally different flavours)

I love them, the guy above clearly doesn't
I guess the only answer is to get one and see for yourself (get one off ebay, $500 is still a good price for what they have to offer imho, and sell it for the same if you don't like it)
Old 21st December 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
 
andychamp's Avatar
I noticed that used 441s are usually in very good shape.
Possibly their former owners treated them well because of the original purchase price.
They aren't "mojo" mics, which may be why many owners sell them again.
But really, they're very good mics.
Old 21st December 2010
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Baroque's Avatar
I'm about to buy a new 441 from SW. I must say, after looking around on ebay from weeks, I haven't found anything TOO great. Most people are saying "I can't verify if this works or not, but it LOOKS great!"
Even if it's a trusted source, seller, etc. There's usually a reason they're selling it.
And I know the mic most likely works, but you never know. A fellow gearslut once pointed out to me, you never know what minor damage could have been done to the capsule. If you start recording with your used 441, and it sounds fine to you, you have no point of reference (i.e. another 441 to compare.) It could have suffered internal damage and you would never hear the difference.
A factory fresh 441 would be perfect, a fresh for you.

The way I see it, buy it new, this mic will most likely out live you... Must be worth the investment. Just because it's dynamic, people are aways afraid to spend that much.

let me just add, in all my ebay searches, two of the best price and cosmetic condition deals I found: One had glued the mic clip to the 441, and the other had modified the bass roll-of switch to an "on/off" switch.
Old 21st December 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Bought mine used for 225 euros. Nice mic, but if I had paid 900 euros for it I would have been disappointed.
Old 21st December 2010
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Baroque's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Shadow View Post
Bought mine used for 225 euros. Nice mic, but if I had paid 900 euros for it I would have been disappointed.
900 euro is nearly 1200 u.s. dollars.
Old 21st December 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 
petsematary's Avatar
 

You can get one in great condition for 4-500 dollars, even in Europe. Quality wise those mics are really solid. But I've noticed the plastic rim around the bright switch is somewhat brittle and frequently break.
Old 21st December 2010
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

No drooling, no holy grail, not sure where you are coming up with this stuff.

It has only been claimed on gearlutz as a most excellent dynamic microphone, which it is, and much better sounding and balanced than many and perhaps most condensers in its price range, which it also is.

Feel free to disagree, future users will have to depend on their own ears to decide. And they don't sell cheap on Ebay, three to four hundred dollars for a used dynamic microphone is far from cheap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McDingus View Post
Definitely to each his own...

The 441 is one mic I could care less to own...

NO its 100% NOT worth 900 bucks. Not even close.

Its usefullness is its super-cardioid, otherwise its meh... Theres a GOOD reason they sell for cheap on Ebay... And RECENT gearslutz is the ONLY place Ive heard anyone drool over a 441... Literally.

Its a decent dynamic with great rejection but its never the best mic for the job IMHO. Not even close. Again unless you need the super-cardioid.

For 300 - 400 bucks, its not a bad buy. Just not the grail like people seem to be posting.

Vocals- never the best choice.
Horns- md409 is a better Senn. for less (though discontinued)
Guitars- md409 is the greatest dynamic made for this
Drums-??? maybe snare for rejection... But still better sounding mics for way less...

Or for 900 buy a used royer 121- which would destroy the 441 on most applications (other than rejection as its fig 8). And its a ribbon so its got a lot more magic to my ears.

Notice a constant- the only arguable benefit is its rejection and super cardioid pattern...

I can't imagine the mic lockers of anyone claiming the 441 is the best dynamic mic made or better than condensers under 2 grand... Thats silly...
Old 21st December 2010
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Of course it is worth the money. It is an incredible tool.
Old 21st December 2010
  #20
Lives for gear
 
retractablezing's Avatar
 

double post.
Old 21st December 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 
retractablezing's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
It is an incredible tool.
i really think that's a stretch Plush...no need to push the prices of these things even higher. incredibly decent and acceptable, sure. certainly has its place. it's a good mic...but emphasis on "decent".
Old 21st December 2010
  #22
Gear Addict
 
Recycled_Brains's Avatar
 

Worth it, yes... but I wouldn't spend that much, considering they are easily found used for $400 or less.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #23
I've been equally impressed with a handful of dynamic mics, and I've accumulated many to compare. Re-20, SM7, M88, D12, MD409, M201, etc. If I could only afford 1 mic, I could be happy with any of these. But the 441 is the last one I'd sell.

You can quibble whether it's worth $900, but how 'bout $750 new?
I just spotted brand new online for $750. Google it.

I bought a new 441 a few years ago, which started an obsession to get more. People seem to take good care of their 441's. Used copies micght have a cosmetic flaw or two, but it rarely affects the sound.

Here are the common faults I've found with used ones:

-No clip. (These take a unique clip and the older clips break easily. New clips last fine, but cost over $40)

-No foam in the case--if there is a case. The older foam disintegrates.

-Missing the little plate with the serial number and high shelf switch label.

-Dents in the grille. Very common. Same problem with 421's

But every one I've gotten sounds great. Maybe I'm just lucky. I wouldn't hesitate to buy used.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baroque View Post
900 euro is nearly 1200 u.s. dollars.
Indeed. However, in Europe a new 441 costs almost 900 euros.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkVan View Post
Here are the common faults I've found with used ones:

-No clip. (These take a unique clip and the older clips break easily. New clips last fine, but cost over $40)
I've actually found the clip to be quite sturdy. A lot more reliable than the 421's at least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petitehand View Post
But I will say this though, the MD441 and the Shure SM7b are my two favorite dynamic mics of all time.
I don't get the SM7B love around here. I always like something better on any source; I sold mine about 6 months after I'd bought it. I found it a thoroughly useless mic.

As for the 441, I usually like it on electric guitar, with or without help from a 57/421. Adds body imo.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #25
Lives for gear
 

do it!
Old 22nd December 2010
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
Baroque's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Shadow View Post
Indeed. However, in Europe a new 441 costs almost 900 euros.

I can't believe something designed and manufactured in europe would cost so much less in the states. Though I guess it makes sense in a way. Sorry to hear.

Also, I found 441s on Google shopping for $756... Yes! BUT! That website is NOT an authorized sennheiser dealer. That makes me feel uneasy. If you're gonna buy new, might as well buy from Sweetwater.

IF YOU'RE GOING TO BUY USED:

Don't think twice, buy here


Madooma is the most reliable way to buy a nice used mic. I'm sure lots of GS will tell you the same thing.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxon-of-a-son View Post
I got a new one for $650 a couple years ago. Look around. It's totally worth that price to me. Excellent, cool vibe on vox. Perfect on flute. Great on percussion. Only thing I didn't like it on was distorted electric guitar (a bit nasally).
I've got access to both a 441 and an SM7 here. 441 was great paired with a 57 on guitar, but very honky on vocals compared to the SM7. Both running through API preamps.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
packagebear's Avatar
 

I'm not a huge lover of the 441, i actually have the 541. It's pretty "flat"(unhyped) and pretty tight to my ears. They do make a rubber clip that is way more heavy duty then the clear plastic version

https://www.audiolinks.com/tek9/tek9...ific=jnnpfpcmk
Old 22nd December 2010
  #29
Gear Nut
 

I paid 350€ for my 441, wouldn't pay more for them.

Good mic but not the "all great" in sound, but it will last a lifetime I guess.

My 2 cents
Old 22nd December 2010
  #30
Lives for gear
 
petsematary's Avatar
 

Yup, you wouldn't believe it's true but it is, seen it tens of times. Totally makes my head spin to be honest. Almost everything seems to be considerably cheaper in the US... you lucky sob's.

Here's another example: I bought my mom a niceish swiss watch when I was stateside - thing was 40% cheaper than over here, and I'm based in Sweden (which a lot of americans confuse with Switzerland funny enough) which is part of the EU just like Swizz... Like I said, it's madness. No, in fact it's worse, it's Sparta.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Baroque View Post
I can't believe something designed and manufactured in europe would cost so much less in the states. Though I guess it makes sense in a way. Sorry to hear.

Also, I found 441s on Google shopping for $756... Yes! BUT! That website is NOT an authorized sennheiser dealer. That makes me feel uneasy. If you're gonna buy new, might as well buy from Sweetwater.

IF YOU'RE GOING TO BUY USED:

Don't think twice, buy here


Madooma is the most reliable way to buy a nice used mic. I'm sure lots of GS will tell you the same thing.
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