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Author Topic: Microphones  (Read 31850 times)
AD9DX
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Posts: 1480




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« on: July 26, 2013, 08:05:17 AM »

Ok, in an effort to continually improve my station I am looking to get a different microphone. I already have a Heil "topless" boom that I got in a trade. I primarily DX bit do check into one 160m SSB net. My current rig is the Elecraft K3 and I use the standard hand mic at the moment. For reasons not important enough to mention, I don't want to use a headset. I am looking at the Heil Gold Elite. The reason I would assume it would work best is because I can have a "full" sound while chatting with friends and with the flip of the switch I can use the narrow (quasi annoying) pile up busting element to snag the rare ones on SSB. Any advice would be appreciated.

Also, mikes chosen by others do NOT have to be Heils.
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
K6LCS
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2013, 02:39:44 PM »

Heil recommends ...

GM 5.1, HM-12, Handi Mic 4   - with CC-1-K cable

... or ...

PR 781, PR 20, PR 30, PR 40 Heritage, The Fin  - with the CC-1 XLR-K cable.

Call 'em Monday to discuss!

618-257-3000

Clint K6LCS
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
AD9DX
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Posts: 1480




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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2013, 05:01:23 PM »

Heil recommends ...

GM 5.1, HM-12, Handi Mic 4   - with CC-1-K cable

... or ...

PR 781, PR 20, PR 30, PR 40 Heritage, The Fin  - with the CC-1 XLR-K cable.

Call 'em Monday to discuss!

618-257-3000

Clint K6LCS


I posted here because I wanted to know what users preferences are... I really don't like taking advice from salesmen or surgeons. 
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
N3HFS
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 08:43:51 PM »

Any advice would be appreciated.

I really don't like taking advice from salesmen or surgeons.

I'm won't offer my advice until you make up your mind!  Shocked
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AD9DX
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Posts: 1480




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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2013, 09:44:51 AM »

Any advice would be appreciated.

I really don't like taking advice from salesmen or surgeons.

I'm won't offer my advice until you make up your mind!  Shocked

Advice from end users is what I am looking for  Grin
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
K6LCS
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2013, 07:24:43 PM »

>> ... I really don't like taking advice from salesmen or surgeons.

I am so sorry that you have no idea what the people at Heil Sound are there for. They are there to make hams (and professional audio people) sound their absolute best. They KNOW your amateur radio model, and KNOW what works best with it. Why you would not want to go directly to the source who has first-hand information on what would SOUND BEST for you escapes me.

Instead, you can hear here how people have mis-matched pieces of equipment, how one poorly-made choice didn't work out, and all sorts of un-essential, wastes of time.

The best advice would be to call a fellow ham at Heil and find out what will make you sound the best. Anything other tactic - unless you get really lucky here - might just be a hit-or-miss proposition.

Clint Bradford K6LCS

PS - Did you know that there is only ONE manufacturer of microphones who has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Of all the scores of models and manufacturers of mics out there, only ONE has been honored by how extraordinary he has made musicians sound the past few decades. I'll give you a hint: The guy is also a ham ... and he runs a weekly video podcast (one of the best was Episode 36 with me on it ... (grin) ... and established an "amateur radio" side to his business to make us all sound better.
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
K5TED
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2013, 08:46:57 AM »

Heil found a lucrative niche market in amateur radio, one that was underserved even by the radio manufacturers themselves.

That said, none of the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame awards had anything to do with amateur radio microphones.

As for the notion that a PR-40 is somehow tailor made for a K3, I'm not buying that. The PR-40, just for example, is a full range dynamic microphone marketed as a solution for "sound, recording, and broadcast applications". Nothing mentioned about 2.9kHz SSB. There is no dispute over whether or not it will actually work with a K3, just that it shouldn't be much different or any more well suited for amateur radio than any other similar offering from EV, Shure, Sennheiser, etc.

Microphone "sound" is a very subjective matter. What sounds good to me may not be what sounds good to someone else. How I sound to myself on recorded material, and what I consider to be a sound that I prefer for my own voice, may not be what another listener might prefer.

The price/value of the Heil microphones is good, considering you can get the whole package of a PR-40, with boom and cable for about the price of an EV RE-20.

IMO, the biggest selling point for Heil is the availability of ready made cables for just about any radio, and the line of amateur radio specific microphones.

The question is really, "off the shelf" vs "roll your own".

.

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K6LCS
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2013, 09:45:28 AM »

>> ... That said, none of the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame awards had anything to do with amateur radio microphones.

It is part of the history and background and accomplishments of Bob Heil. He saw a need for improvement for instrument and vocal mics, and made it happen. He ALSO saw a desperate need to improve mics in the amateur radio arena - and has made that happen,  too.

Clint Bradford K6LCS
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
AE5QB
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2013, 11:21:37 AM »

In my opinion, the issue of top of the line microphones is not really an issue at all.  Radio communications is not the same as hi fidelity recording or live performances.  In ham radio we talk about rolling off the lows around 100 hz and the highs while bumping up the 2 KHZ area.  Most any good quality microphone will produce acceptable results well below and above these numbers.  Most of today's rigs have some kind of compressor and/or equalization.  IMO it is much more important to adjust these functions and mic gain properly than to worry about the differences between a $100 microphone and a $300+ microphone.

I think more important than reproduction quality in a ham mic is directionality.  One reason the PR40 is a good broadcast mic is because it is very directional and cuts out a great deal of room noise.  Check out some of the videos on YouTube to see what I mean.  Also check out Bob Heil's Ham Nation broadcast (I believe 36 or 32), in which he talks about audio processing and connecting studio type mics to a ham radio.  In it you will see where he recommends rolling off the lows and pumping up the 2 khz region.  Very good video.

I agree that Heil has just about any cable you would want and he is to be commended for that.  He also makes some less expensive microphones like the HM12 that is only $71 dollars that have great sound.

I guess my point is that if you think a $300+ microphone is going to make your audio $300 better, you should think again.  Consider a $100 mic, a $100 mixer, and take the time to learn how to set up your radio and you should have no difficulty getting good sound out of your rig.  And don't think you have to buy a third party mic at all.  The stock mics that come with the rigs work pretty darn good.  The tried and true SM-58 is good enough for live vocals so I suspect it should be good enough for any ham voice.  So if you feel you need another mic, don't limit yourself to just "ham" mics, there are plenty other great ones out there.  I use the stock mics and I have a Sennheiser E835 that I like just fine.

You can't go wrong with Heil and I agree that it wouldn't hurt to give Bob a call.  He is a nice guy that will not try to hard sell you and he can probably tell just by talking to you and listening to your voice, which mic would be good for you.  I talked to him about a mic issue and it wasn't even about a Heil product. Super nice guy.

Good luck.
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K6LCS
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2013, 11:35:40 AM »

>> ... like the HM12 that is only $71 dollars that have great sound ...

That HM-12 is a WONDERFUL performer! I am not replacing my PR-40 for podcasting and voice recording with one, but it sure is great enough to use for interview guests ... I wrote a mini-review of it when it was released ...

http://www.work-sat.com/Work-Sat/HM12.html

Clint K6LCS
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
K2OWK
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2013, 09:40:04 PM »

I wont knock Heil, but there are other fine manufactures of communication microphones, Electrovoice, Astatic, ( I use a ancient D-104 with excellent results), Wireman Inc (inexpensive), Ham Pros, MFJ, Turner, and on and on and on. Keep your options open, and check out the available communications mikes. Look at the Eham reviews. I say communication mikes, because these mikes are set for the voice range and are not high fidelity broadcast and music mikes.

73s

K2OWK
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K5TED
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Posts: 727




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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2013, 10:46:18 PM »

Mics I have had good results with on a variety of radios:

Astatic 10-DA on UG-8 stand
Astatic Silver Eagle head on UG-8 stand. Sounds totally different than the typical D-104 head.
Yaesu MD-100 Works very well on FT-847 and 857D
Yaesu MH-31 stock hand mic, works well on most any radio I've tried it with. Can be EQ'ed to be quite the crud buster
Sennheiser MD421U Very smooth or very loud, depending on how you set the response switch.
Calrad DM-9 Amazingly good pileup buster, borders on annoying. Very heavy on the mid to high-mid range.
Shure SM5B Extremely large microphone, very directional, very smooth.

Mics that are weird but fit certain situations:

Sonetronics M-80/U Great for field day. Distinctive sound. Works really well with the SG2020. Can be used as a weapon.
Calrad DM-11 Great if you want a mic that looks cool and to sound like an auctioneer or rodeo announcer.
Astatic 1104C Odd tan color, sounds really nice on VHF/UHF FM, plastic body feels wrong.

Mics that didn't work out:

Canadian Astatic DN-HZ "The Commentator" Yuk.
Astatic 10-C Probably would work really well on some radio that I don't own.
Astatic 636L I bought this to use with the SG-2020 in the mobile. It's not great. In fact, it's not even good.

My current mic project:

MXL R144 through a Valley 401 with Aphex 250 Type III in the effects loop, into the Flex 3000 Flexwire port. After much twiddling of knobs, it gets unsolicited compliments almost every contact. Not for the impatient. Overkill but interesting.
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W2RWJ
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2013, 03:28:27 PM »

RE-20 on a boom with a home-made PTT controller.   That being said, the microphone will be used for audio recording (podcasting) as well.



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AB4D
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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2013, 05:41:38 PM »

Hi,

For the past few years I've been using an Electro Voice RE-27 on a boom.  I usually receive unsolicited favorable comments regarding the quality of my audio, and frankly my voice is not what I would classify as a good voice for radio.  I use the RE-27 on almost all of my modern rigs, including a FT-1000D, FT-1000mp Mk.V, Icom 7700, and Flex 5000a. It works FB on all of those rigs.

73
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AE5QB
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2013, 08:15:45 PM »

Hi,

For the past few years I've been using an Electro Voice RE-27 on a boom.  I usually receive unsolicited favorable comments regarding the quality of my audio, and frankly my voice is not what I would classify as a good voice for radio.  I use the RE-27 on almost all of my modern rigs, including a FT-1000D, FT-1000mp Mk.V, Icom 7700, and Flex 5000a. It works FB on all of those rigs.

73

I would hope so...that's a $500 microphone!  That's more than many hams spend on their radio.

Tom/AE5QB
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