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Author Topic: MIC HELP! Go Heil or keep my Icom SM-20?  (Read 5402 times)
K5LXY
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Posts: 3




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« on: March 12, 2012, 09:32:28 PM »

I run an Icom 746 Pro using the SM-20 into a W2IHY Dual Band EQ/Gate. So far pretty happy with the results, however since the majority of what we do is based on audio quality I am wondering about opinions on moving to a Heil PR-781 or Pr-30?
  Anybody have experience with this option?
Have also seen opinions that the Heil line is overpriced and can get just as good results with other mics such as Behringer, Shure, Electrovoice, etc.
Am I wasting time looking to replace the SM-20 or is it worth a look?
 Any input appreciated!
  TNX.
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K6LCS
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012, 11:38:01 AM »

>> ... Icom 746 Pro using the SM-20 into a W2IHY Dual Band EQ/Gate ...

Very nice setup, indeed.

>> ... pretty happy with the results ...

And I am sure your received audio reports are fine, too.

>> ... Heil PR-781 or Pr-30?

You already have a very good setup. "Improvements" by upgrading to a Heil are not going to be as noticeable for you than someone with "lesser" audio equipment.

>> ... Have also seen opinions that the Heil line is overpriced ...

Usually from ignorant folks ... or folks with poor ears. Or folks who just do not care about the quality of their audio.

>> ... just as good results with other mics such as Behringer, Shure, Electrovoice, etc.

The amateur radio market is a little different breed than that live/pro audio market. Bob Heil knows both industries very well. I believe he is still the only manufacturer of audio equipment to inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. And he is a ham, and knows ham equipment. I use Heil mics for podcasting and VOIP sessions ... but I also use a Sennheiser mic for field interviews.

>> ... Am I wasting time looking to replace the SM-20 or is it worth a look?

There's a degree of satisfaction knowing that you are putting out excellent audio. Many may not appreciate it. But YOU will know ...

Clint Bradford, K6LCS

P.S. - "Heil is over-priced?" Here's a mini-review of the Heil HM-12 - retailing for
well under $100 ... http://www.k6lcs.com/k6lcs/HM12.html

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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
AD9DX
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Posts: 1484




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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012, 04:10:31 PM »

My dad uses the 781 with his Icom 7800. I obviously know his voice very well and think the 781 sounds great. He does run a touch of compression to achieve a level of fullness not reached without, but the results are amazing. I use a lesser Heil mic (ICM) with a lesser Icom (7000) and have great audio reports.

I think you are going for the ultimate icing on the cake. I say give it a try. If you hate it, someone on eBay will give you 90%+ of your money back.
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
K5LXY
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2012, 09:23:29 AM »

The best Mic for the job is a key.
Thanks for the pointless input.
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W5DQ
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 11:37:14 AM »

Anybody have experience with this option?

Not that particular setup but I have the GM-5 and the W2IHY EQ-Plus and have really good audio and get excellent audio reports.

Quote
Have also seen opinions that the Heil line is overpriced and can get just as good results with other mics such as Behringer, Shure, Electrovoice, etc.

I'm sure you can. I agree with K6LCS. I've met Bob Heil at several ham events and had a chance to talk to him for a bit and the man's knowledge on audio and interfacing to ham gear is just phenomenal. I would not use any microphones but Heil now and I believe strongly in the old adage "you get what you pay for".  There are those on the forums that will argue till they're blue in the face that their Radio Shack 19 dollar piece of junk mirophone is just as good or better than a Heil microphone. They also live by the idea that the hand mic that comes with the radio is the best one to use since it came with the radio. There is no reasoning with them on this either.

Quote
Am I wasting time looking to replace the SM-20 or is it worth a look? Any input appreciated!  TNX.

It's never a waste of time to research alternatives. It is a waste of time and money to blindly buy a product based on someone elses word that it is the 'end all' product of the century without doing your due diligence on it's suitablity for your needs. I say look at the specs, talk those that have them (like you've done here) and let your wallet and suitability to your needs decide what you should get. Sounds like you have a good setup so use that as your base specification and compare the specs of other configurations to that. No need to spend money to improve what really doesn't need improving.

Good Luck,

Gene W5DQ

Oh yeah, not a bad idea of having a good CW key either Smiley
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
NA4IT
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2012, 03:25:52 PM »

Most of the Icom rigs of that vintage use and are designed for electret mics. The Icom mics are tailored for the rigs. I would stick with the SM20.
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WA4MLD
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 07:05:07 PM »

I'm using a Heil 781 with an Icom 746 Pro, with no outboard audio equipment, and I have had excellent audio reports, mostly unsolicited. You do have to use a DC blocking capacitor as there is DC on the mic line. The 746 has, I think, sufficient audio-doctoring adjustments built in, at least for me, even though I did work in professional audio for several years. Besides, the mic looks pretty cool on a boom stand. -- Ray, WA4MLD
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N3IG
Member

Posts: 39




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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2012, 02:25:16 AM »

     For what it is worth, I run a FT-950 and went from a MD-100 factory mic to a PR-781 with no EQ and the guys I talk with nightly say it is the best I have ever sounded.
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KG4NEL
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Posts: 373




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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2012, 12:16:08 PM »

First off, welcome to Eham!

I used a Heil HMM hand mic with an Icom 706 for a while, and although I didn't think it was overpriced at all (check out vintage ribbon mics if you think differently  Tongue ) it had reliability issues after a year or so. The PTT switch needed finagling, and the connector had to be taken apart and resoldered. Minor nits to pick, sure, but it made me think twice about purchasing another.

IMHO, I'd probably keep the setup you have.
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W4FID
Member

Posts: 133




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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2012, 06:44:09 AM »

I had the fancy "studio style" Heil with my call letters above it. It was great to look at and OK but not really special to use. On the air comparisons said no difference with the OEM hand held mic that comes with the 746 many times. I wanted a desk mic; so I sold the Heil and paid about half what I got for it for the Icom SM-20. Took a few minutes and did the audio set up menus for it (which I had done for the Heil) and it is great. I have as much mic and a desk mic for half the cost. On FM you may find a few who may say they can tell a difference. On HF with QRM and QRN and QSB on SSB you will not be able to talk about "great audio" whatever you're using. Even on AM let's be realistic -- 90% of the guys you talk to are listening to you on a 2 or 3 inch speaker and the major demographic in hams these days is a lot of us are older -- i.e. not hearing as well as we once did -- or younger i.e. ears burned out already from MP3 players in their ears 24-7.

So if you want a neat pix the Heil is good. But for on the air save some money. Or, if you need to talk about big bucks, get an Icom SM-20 and tape a $100 bill on the back.

Personally, when I want a nice voice QSO, I enjoy a D-104 on my S-line. That mic's characteristics and the rig's audio circuits and my voice seem really match each other well.
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