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Author Topic: Microphones  (Read 32766 times)
AB4D
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2013, 06:52:17 AM »

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

On the used market, where I obtained mine, they can be had for nearly half the cost of new in very good condition. Folks can play around with a bunch of cheap microphones trying to find a good one, or spend a little more for a quality microphone that does not require any outboard processing to make it sound good.  The RE-27 is considered by many as the industry standard for broadcasting and voice over work.  Many voice professionals have at least one RE-27 in their arsenal of microphones.  The microphone is well built, rugged, and should last a lifetime.

73   
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N0IU
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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2013, 03:54:20 AM »

Personally I have a Heil PR-781, but my radio is an Icom IC-7410.

My advice is to go to the Elecracft K3 Yahoo Group and ask your question there.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Elecraft_K3/
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K0JEG
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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2013, 09:00:34 AM »

Check out some of the cheap Chinese mics too. I'm sure they're no where near the quality of AKG or Sennheiser, but for sitting in a ham shack on a boom stand I'm sure they're sufficient. When I get around to it, I'm going to put my MXL4000 (picked up at a pawn shop for ~$100) on air and see how it sounds. I know I sound very good through headphones with a little compression and EQ, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.

BTW if you live in/near a big city the place to buy audio gear is the pawn shops, but make sure you know what you are looking for, and don't look for advice from the shop owners. Except for one shop in Denver that has an in-house instrument repairman, I've found they are better pawn brokers than audio engineers.
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KG8LB
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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2013, 10:15:12 AM »

The  $500 microphone is a bargain @ theat price but can often find them under $400 and the bargain brother around $300 . I bought a used RE-20 for $125 and it beats the pants off of most rig maker's offerings .  Voices vary as do the sound preferrences , much of the perceived quality is determined by the receiver at the other end . This is a huge factor and too often overlooked . 
  The fact Heil made the hall of fame does not imply that he knows nothing about matching a microphone to the working load as well as the desired vocal pre-emphasis .  In fact that is one of Mr. Heil's strong points and he certainly puts a lot of effort into doing just that . As an amateur radio operator Mr. Heil understands the needs and technique well . He is actually involved in amateur radio and puts his reputation on line .

  Nothing wrong with getting Heil's suggestions as a starting point . They can take your input as to the type of sound you would like to project , your intended operating style as well as the radio to be used and at least give you pointers . No harm done there ! Certainly no need to give that excellent suggestion a short schrift   Huh 

   To ask for advice is to be willing to accept advice with grace .
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AD9DX
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« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2013, 11:11:02 AM »

I am leaning towards the Heil pr-20 or the Electro Voice RE-27 if I can find a decent deal on one. Also am also smitten by the  Cascade Fat Head ribbon mic's looks. I know the price is all over the board and likely all of them are overkill for ham radio. 

Can someone tell me a compelling reason NOT to get a ribbon mic?
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
K5TED
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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2013, 06:38:13 PM »

I am leaning towards the Heil pr-20 or the Electro Voice RE-27 if I can find a decent deal on one. Also am also smitten by the  Cascade Fat Head ribbon mic's looks. I know the price is all over the board and likely all of them are overkill for ham radio. 

Can someone tell me a compelling reason NOT to get a ribbon mic?

Here's how my $75 Chinese MXL R144 ribbon mic sounds.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRU92DwX5W4
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AD9DX
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« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2013, 07:05:16 AM »

That sounds very good to my ears. Well done
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
K5TED
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« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2013, 01:38:07 PM »

This is a good comparison of the RE20 vs RE27 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvlzN59SM2A

And, I rather like the sound of the Heil Heritage. It seems to have a response that would work nicely on 2.9kHz SSB.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Zgp3hbMeiI

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W2WDX
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« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2013, 01:57:33 PM »

My personal Ham end-user (and recording engineer experience) is this.

It all depends on the radio. If the radio, like 99% of modern transceivers, is not designed with high fidelity audio in its pre-DSP analog audio circuits then you will not gain anything more then what an Equalizer will give you. Whether in the radio or external.

Most modern transceivers have front-ends (mic amplifiers) with distortion figures (in those circuits in isolation) which would not be considered acceptable in most audio applications, even in computers, MP3 players or even cheap home audio. It doesn't show up on two-tone tests since the DSP circuits perform correction on simple waveforms very well and algorithmically corrects them back to a pure sine wave or other simple waveform. This is regardless of how poorly degraded the test tone becomes by passing through the analog audio input circuits. Simple waveforms like sine waves are easy for error correction to predict and can create perfect facsimiles without major processing. The same is not always true for complex waveforms like voice. So whatever extra "detail" a super high quality mic offers is lost anyway, right at the mic jack of most modern Ham transceivers. (Same is true for the "data" or "line-in" inputs, BTW).

This is why on one occasion I was using a not so good tone source, that had slight tilt in the waveform and other anomalies However, on the two-tone test the output waveforms no longer had these anomalies. The output waveform was "more perfect" than the source! Apparently the less than stellar waveforms were "corrected" by the radios DSP or AD/DA converters. Like I said on simple waveforms DSP does wonders, on complex waveforms not so good. So in effect, a two-tone test does not show the linearity of a radio through all of stages in an accurate or meaningful way. Only post DSP. So the fidelity of complex waveforms like voice are not represented accurately on a simple two-tone test with a modern transceiver. Do the manufacturers realize this? ... you betcha!

Now, that being said, the Elecraft seems to be a little better in this regard. The PR-40 is a good known choice for your radio, but honestly you can use anything that matches the input impedance of the radio. Use the internal DSP to save different audio settings for your different "modes" or operating styles you mentioned. However, as a general rule for other modern Ham transceivers (with few exceptions) you will not "improve" the audio fidelity by using a better mic. It will sound "different" but whether it's actually objectively better is limited by the analog sections of audio circuits of the radio, most of which are pretty cheesy these days.

K5TED has a radio with a good hi-fidelity analog audio section, as do most of the FlexRadios. So he can reap the benefits of high-quality mics and the external audio chain. The radio itself handles analog audio with high-fidelity by design. Someone running a modern or current Icom, Kenwwod or similar, would not sound anything like this with the same set-up. Remember, audio fidelity is not issue of bandwidth. SSB can sound great even at its normal narrow audio passband. Nor is fidelity always dependent on "radio conditions". This is only a factor of receive, not the fidelity at transmission. Fidelity is the preservation of nuance, detail and most importantly low-distortion and linearity pre-DSP. This is lost in most newer transceivers, unfortunately by design.

Here's a good example. This is a conversation between W2NBC and K2DK on his Collins 20V AM broadcast transmitter. W2NBC, the louder of the two stations, is using (I believe) nothing more than a Hallicrafters HT-37 (a sixty year old radio). No internal DSP,  however unlike modern radios it has a high quality internal audio section that has been slightly modified (2 caps and one coil removed). The distortion heard on peaks is an artifact of the receiver, not the transmitter. The point is you can hear he is using a high quality microphone in a good sounding room and some light external processing (he doesn't use much and doesn't advocate using it heavily). However on a modern day transceiver you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between what he is using and a stock desk microphone. Yes ... this is AM.

http://www.vikingvintage.com/NBC-K2DK.mp3

John, W2WDX
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 03:00:09 PM by W2WDX » Logged

KE7TMA
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« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2013, 06:21:36 PM »

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.

Have you tried playing around with the TX EQ for your mic?  Elecraft built in some pretty good adjustability for you so you wouldn't have to buy another mic after all.  I'd try this before I went out and bought a microphone.
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AD9DX
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« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2013, 06:27:23 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.

Have you tried playing around with the TX EQ for your mic?  Elecraft built in some pretty good adjustability for you so you wouldn't have to buy another mic after all.  I'd try this before I went out and bought a microphone.

Yes, it have used the mic EQ. It's more that I dislike the hand mic. It is always in the way.
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
W4KVW
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« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2013, 09:07:38 AM »

My neighbor Warren-AB4GE has a K3 & a KX3 that sounds GREAT using a HEIL PR-781 just FYI.That's my 2 cents worth! {:>)

Clayton
W4KVW
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2013, 05:57:12 PM »

I'm late chiming in on this, but...

Those who believe a mike doesn't matter much because SSB BW is restricted anyway are kidding themselves.  Of course it matters.

My main rigs ar TT DSP rigs whose filters are "brick wall" as DSP rigs are; I set the BW to roll off at 300 Hz and 3000 Hz, and nothing at 299 Hz or 3001 Hz is modulated, unlike the old "crystal filter" rigs that had a shape factor.  So, I've set a 2.7 kHz modulation BW.

Then, I can plug in a variety of microphones, and they all sound different.

I strived for a mike that simply sounded "like me" when recorded on a second receiver, then played back -- as compared with me plugging a mike directly into the same recorder, and playing it back.

I use two Heil PR40s, one on each rig.  They sound the most "like me," and mounted on booms, don't pick up unwanted sounds or noise from PTT switches or desk vibrations, or fan or blower noise, or anything else.  They're quite magnificent.

I have tried EV studio mikes that are also about as good, but cost more.  I've tried Shure SM57s and SM58s, which we used to use in my old "band" days, and they're quite good and cheaper, but not as smooth.
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VE3TMT
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« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2013, 12:37:40 PM »

Behringer Ultravoice XM8500

Best $29 you'll ever spend.
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