- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Microphones for ham radio | Heil Classic Help

Reviews Summary for Heil Classic
Heil Classic Reviews: 30 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $229
Description: A new classic microphone with a "Broadcast" - wide band element and either a HC4 or HC5 element
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Heil Classic.

Page 1 of 3 —>

GI0ZGB Rating: 2/5 Apr 2, 2019 21:13 Send this review to a friend
Failure In Legends Clothing  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This mic wears the clothes of a legend, but, its out of the box performance is sadly lacking.I bought mine used, and it had the HC-5 element working with the standard dynamic.
The HC-5 is a joke, you could buy a box of twenty identical HC-5 elements in a Hong Kong flea market for five Hong Kong dollars back in the day.
I agree with the comments of W6LBV, the performance does not justify the price.
It works best on my Kenwood rigs, helped by the W2IHY EQ.
I managed to get chrome call sign lettering and it has become very attractive shack eye candy.
As far a Heil products go, it will be an only child.
W4WIL Rating: 5/5 May 29, 2016 06:56 Send this review to a friend
Beautiful Performer !  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this just before they stopped production. This microphone is the only one you need to own. With all the adapter cables it fits almost every make. And has worked equally well on all the rigs i have owned. Yaesu FT-736.worked Perfect.Icom 775.worked perfect.Icom 746.worked Perfect.Icom 756 pro 3.In use on the pro 3 now and i get alot of complements on my audio. What more can you ask for?
N4YX Rating: 4/5 Jul 12, 2012 13:17 Send this review to a friend
Check the Internals!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I probably should have written this a long time ago. I've had several of these mics; both iterations. The broadcast model was never an issue. However, the combo ham/broadcast models I owned were wired internally incorrectly at the factory! When "fixed" they performed correctly.
W6LBV Rating: 2/5 Feb 20, 2012 08:29 Send this review to a friend
A Classic Failure  Time owned: more than 12 months
Fortunately the Heil Classic ham microphone was discontinued from the product line, but unfortunately not until after I squandered good money on it. It is/was a poor performer.

The Classic’s “retro look” is historically accurate. The microphone case is a fair copy of the RCA Model 74 broadcast microphone of the 1930s and 1940s. The two microphones differ in that the Heil Classic uses a dynamic mike cartridge, while the RCA is a (velocity) ribbon microphone design.

One has to wonder why, if Bob Heil wanted to copy a classic microphone case design, he used the RCA 74 as a source? The 74 was marketed as a “low cost” broadcast model and was far less prevalent in the industry than the vastly more popular and much better recognized RCA Model 44 (to which the 74 bears a family resemblance). Look at an old black-and-white publicity photo of a radio star of that era, such as Bob Hope or Bing Crosby, shown cradling in his arms a wedge-shaped microphone mounted on a floor-stand......and that microphone will inevitably be an RCA 44.

Also in the design area, Heil insists on equipping his mikes with unbalanced audio interface cables (i.e., the mike audio runs on the single hot lead and returns on the shield ground). Most modern ham transceivers use two conductors plus an independent shield ground for their microphone inputs. While these two-wire transceiver inputs may not be truly “balanced,” at least they provide the possibility of avoiding ground loops that arise from running the mike audio return on the cable shield ground!

While it was a visually pleasing addition to my station, the Classic never produced quality audio on my SSB transmissions, as evidenced from on-air reports. As a consequence it was little used. Nor did I have the “Icom problem” with insufficient transceiver mike gain; I use Kenwoods with more than sufficient mike sensitivity and a record of good-sounding transmitted audio. The Classic still never performed and today it remains stored away.

Somewhat later I recorded my voice “direct to CD-R disc” using a stand-alone CD audio recording deck as a means of testing my entire collection of microphones. The Classic produced muddy, flat voice tracks that were in no way competitive with other microphones in the collection. Presumably the Classic might benefit from external equalization to improve its mediocre performance, but why start the process with a handicap when better choices are available?

I note the hardware quality control problems, mostly involving small screws, that others have reported, but I had no unusual mechanical difficulties with my mike. However, the HC-4 “DX Dream Machine” second element in the Classic stopped working soon after purchase. The internal rubber bands which suspend the HC-4 element inside the grille also partially failed. In my other Heil product, a Goldline mike, the main cartridge quit and the mike had to be returned to the factory for a non-warranty repair. Given all this, I will deduct points for quality control issues.

In my opinion, Heil microphones are over-priced for the value that they deliver. At the Heil products’ price levels, hams can look toward choices from other, better recognized microphone manufacturers (see other E-ham reviews in this section). The present price differential between Heil and the major professional microphone manufacturers is just not that large. Looking elsewhere allows a broader choice, since a microphone does not need to be a station component “made expressly for ham radio use.”

I will keep the Heil Classic and, in the future, probably gut its interior and rebuild it with a quality cartridge. I even have an original RCA “meatball” medallion to install on the exterior of the case! When this job is finished the microphone can once again enhance the appearance of my shack and it will then also produce the quality of transmitted audio that I can accept.

K4YYY Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2011 14:12 Send this review to a friend
Heil Classic Pro Studio + EuroRack UB802  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the Heil Pro Classic Studio because i like the Retro look and Reputation of Heil products.I'm using a Beringer/Eurorack UB802 (PreAmp/EQ) Robert Heil recommended this setup and it works great.The Rig is a Icom 718 with At100 Tuner. All my antennas are Homebrew inverted V's made from aluminium electric fence wire all give me 1-1:1 SWR. I break through Log jams when DXing with my 100 watts when 1KW stations can't get through. Thank You Again to Bob Heil. 73 Hoyt K4YYY
KF5AHV Rating: 5/5 Jun 21, 2010 10:34 Send this review to a friend
Excellent but can be better  Time owned: more than 12 months
i rewired it to run both the wide dynamic element and the hc5 element at the same time instead of just one or the other. its an old trick and makes the mic sound even better!
KC0JEZ Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2010 06:24 Send this review to a friend
Great for Broadcast Use  Time owned: more than 12 months
We purchased this mic more as a "functional prop" to use on a live stage during a stage show for the 60th anniversary of the radio station I work for. It worked easily as well as any other mic on the stage, as our newsman narrated the show.

After that it came back to the studio and has been used in on air and production work in typical broadcast station use. For broadcast use it has demonstrated a very good sound, both in the demands of quality FM full range sound broadcasting, AND on AM. Now, please note there is a HUGE difference between broadcast and ham audio requirements and sound. What works great in broadcast can often be horrible in a ham setting (you don't want or need "full range" sound in ham communications).

I have no experience with the varying elements, etc. Ours came from Heil with the typical pro audio 3 pin XLR connector. WE connect it to broadcast or multichannel audio mixers in the production studios depending on where we need it. In three years use we have seen no quality issues, no loose or bad electronics, stripped screws, etc.

Heil IS no longer supplying the letters for call signs, etc. However, you can go to a decent office store or trophy shop, etc, and obtain a variety of nice looking letters in varying styles that work very nicely, and cost very little. There is also an outfit selling very nice inserts for these mic flags at:

They are also on ebay at a lower price, (the ones from mpg)and they look quite nice (I have one on my personal Classic that I use in my home recording studio where I do voiceovers, etc).

So, in my experience as a full range broadcast or recording mic, it works quite well. Apparently there are some quality issues depending on which mic you happen to get, but I've had two in regular use with no issues.
K2ER Rating: 2/5 Dec 31, 2009 08:10 Send this review to a friend
Yuck  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
There are products that work with everything, and products that don't. Obviously some people love this mic. It looks great and that was a major motivation for me to purchase it.

This mic is discontinued but I got it from AES for a "great" price of $99. Note to others who might do this: The call letters are not, repeat NOT, available any longer from Heil. So if you like the look of a blank callsign flag on your mic, terrific - otherwise you are hosed!

There are reports of poor performance with Icom radios, but this mic did lousy with my Ten-Tec Orion, which is saying something since the rig has a jillion audio adjustment settings.

The worst aspect of the mic, though, is that with the full range element switched in, there is practically no vibration isolation. When placed on the table in operating position, about 9" in front of my linear amplifier, it picks up fan and other noise to the extent that a decent signal is actually modulated when keyed. That means, it transmits a significant signal WITHOUT any talking. Just the mechanical noise. If you tap on the cable or anywhere near the base, it's like playing a drum kit.

I can hold the mic in my lap and this problem abates, but that's not exactly practical. Strangely, the "DX" (HCL-4) element does not exhibit this sensitivity. But it also sounds worse, so basically we are out of luck on this attractive but very mediocre microphone.

I am back to my ugly but far better performing Kenwood MC-80 desk mic.
W2YM Rating: 5/5 Nov 16, 2009 20:19 Send this review to a friend
Real nice Mic  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the Classic mic for over 2 years and it works GREAT on my IC-775DSP rig. My audio is Great and I have know problems with this mic in anyway. I give it a solid (5)... Mark W2YM 73's.
MD11DRIVER Rating: 3/5 Aug 3, 2009 22:01 Send this review to a friend
Looks nice, but quality is lacking  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This mic looks nice, and for the most part works pretty good, but the fit and finish and over all choice of materials leaves a lot to be desired. With the current "Discontinued" blow out price, it's not a bad value, but for the original close to $300 price, it's not a good value. Two screws were stripped out of the box, and the rubber shield at the bottom of the mic was lose, exposing the wiring of which at least one wire wasn't fully insulated.. Response we good, but nothing like my Sennheiser MD441U.. not even close. Then again the Sennheiser is 4x the price.
Page 1 of 3 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.