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Reviews Categories | Microphones for ham radio | Heil Goldline Help

Reviews Summary for Heil Goldline
Heil Goldline Reviews: 102 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $140.00
Description: Truly, the full-range microphone for all occasions - FM - AM -
Product is in production.
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W5FRT Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2017 08:40 Send this review to a friend
FANTASTIC MIC  Time owned: more than 12 months
I currently own two of them and one is on my Icom 7300 and audio is very good,other mic is on my Yaesu FT991A. Same here, very nice audio. What more can you want. It has switch for "DX" mode (higher frequencies) and one for "wide" brings in the nice lows. Both microphones are direct connect to mic input with no matching issues. Special thanks to Bob Heil for building a great product. watch every Wednesday evening for Bob and guys.
N4MJG Rating: 5/5 Aug 13, 2016 14:05 Send this review to a friend
Great Microphone GM-4 in 10 years  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have this mic with boom and shock mount 10 years ago and put it in my FT-847 !

Now i move the mic to FT-897D still sounded as good as i did on 847 !!

When you speak into mircophone don't get too close to GM 4 !! move away about 2 to 3 in, away from your microphone.

Anyway i use to use my behinger 802 mixer either radios not no more , I use EQ on settings either radios ! and they saying sounded great audio reports either radios !!

Been Hamming since 2001
W6LBV Rating: 3/5 Feb 2, 2013 09:38 Send this review to a friend
A   Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my second review of the Heil Goldline microphone; the first was published just over seven years ago. During that time I have made good progress in the field of non-professional audio engineering, including collecting a number of additional microphones and using them both on-air and for recording.

I have set a personal “guideline” about buying microphones: any microphone whose purchase price is more than $75 has to be suitable for other purposes in addition to Amateur radio. I believe it is today possible to produce acceptable quality Amateur radio voice transmissions (across the 0.3 to 3.0 kHz SSB speech bandwidth) even with $20 imported microphones (such as the Audio Technica ATR1300). The wide availability and use of Amateur radio audio equalizers and processors today, both rig-internal and stand-alone external, makes it possible to correct many of the limitations found in inexpensive mikes. So Amateur-use-only microphones need no longer be expensive.

But expensive mikes are higher quality mikes, and they are worth purchasing if one does more with them than just Amateur radio. For example, a Neumann U87, selling for over $3,000, would be “overkill” for just Amateur radio use, but not if one wanted to do very high quality recording where small performance differences are noticeable. In this case the use of the U87 for Amateur transmitting would be incidental to the main task.

Applying the “guideline” to the Goldline (and specifically to its “wide band,” not the “DX Dream,” element), the cost of this microphone places it in the over $75 category. This means that it must be both useable and acceptable for purposes other than solely Amateur radio. And that guideline is how I evaluated the Goldline.

As to the “useable” part, the Amateur version of the Goldline microphone has some distinct disadvantages. Its output is by means of a four pin XLR plug, while all other quality mikes use an industry- standard three pin XLR plug. Therefore immediately the Goldline requires an exception in audio cabling that is not necessary for other microphones.

I well know that the Goldline’s third and fourth XLR pins are used for the PTT keying, but I would rather see the radio keying done independently of the microphone, via a separate pig-tail coming directly out of the radio’s microphone connector. Then the Goldline’s own output connector could be put back to a conventional three pin XLR. The Goldline, despite its shape, is more likely to be used in Amateur operations as a fixed microphone, one which is mounted on either a desk stand or a mike boom, than as a hand-held. In that case, the usefulness of its (non-latching) PTT switch on the mike case is downplayed, since the operator is not hand-holding the mike continuously.

The Amateur version of the Goldline’s use of an unbalanced audio transmission line (audio hot conductor and audio return through the cable shield) is an anachronism today, when most radios have microphone inputs with separate microphone hot and microphone ground pins, plus a third cable shield pin going to chassis ground. A balanced audio transmission line (in this case, really pseudo-balanced) from a microphone could easily be used for a redesigned Goldline instead, with its own noise-rejection advantages.

I put the Goldline and all my other microphones through several series of “direct-to-digital wide bandwidth performance tests” over the course of several years, recording my own voice in a standardized test sequence and listening to the playback with minimum amplification. No input or output equalization was used for any of the testing. However, it was not the Amateur- issue Goldline that was tested.

The original dynamic cartridge in my Amateur version Goldline mike failed, and I paid for a factory replacement of the cartridge. I believe that I ordered and Heil repair installed the “professional” dynamic cartridge as used in the broadcast series of mikes; the new cartridge is labeled “Studio One by Heil Sound.” Thus it should represent one of Heil’s “best efforts” in the competition for product acceptance at the professional level.

Over the course of time, the quality of the recorded wide band audio tracks produced by the Goldline has tended toward “indifferent.” Not “rotten,” but also not “superior.” My subjective impression is that the Goldline’s speech audio is somewhat range restricted and lacks clarity within some of the audio frequency bands. On-air use of the mike has given acceptable but not spectacular results.

Thus there is nothing in the testing or on-air use that marks the Goldline as being an exceptional performer. It is certainly a “good” mike, producing results far above those from the T-1 carbon buttons that were much in use when I began in the Amateur Service. But it is also not a “great” mike.

The results can be summarized: For Amateur use, with the Service’s limited microphone performance requirements, the Goldline will certainly work acceptably well. But it is too expensive for Amateur-only use compared to equivalent results available from the crop of under-$75 microphones now on the market. For non-Amateur purposes, its “full range” performance is unimpressive for the price compared to other mid-priced professional microphones (such as the EV RE-320). The Goldline is a very pretty microphone that will enhance the appearance of any shack. But it just doesn’t “carve its own unique niche” within the range of performance results produced by other microphones in either class.

AC0X Rating: 4/5 Jan 29, 2013 17:53 Send this review to a friend
Great DX Mic, not so much for rag chew  Time owned: more than 12 months
For me, my Goldline (with the HC-5 element, the DX'ers HC-4 elelent is waaaaay to tight and high-ended) was my go-to DX mic for years. In that capacity it's a GREAT mic. But when switched over to "Full Range", I always felt it had too much bottom end, and I for sure do NOT have a basso-profundo voice. But for those who do mostly DX, and don't have a rig that you can easily adjust your transmit EQ, it's a great mic. If you'd rather mostly do rag chewing, or if you can adjust your transmit audio with your rig or an external mixing device, you'll probably want to look elsewhere, and that does include Heil's more recent offerings.
VE4TTH Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2012 16:46 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Audio Quality  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased the GM-4 in January, and have received the same compliment from hams both local and DX. The most common remark is "your audio quality is outstanding". I have even had people call me after listening to a QSO I was having with some other station, and state that they've been listening to the conversation for a while, and say "have to say your audio is fantastic". The microphone is connected to a Kenwood TS-2000 directly. I have the compression set at 50 percent, and the level set with the ALC at the recomended conservative level. I have absolutely no need or want to tweek the audio higher in any level based on the reports, many unsolicited, that I have been getting. I also seldom switch the element to the Narrow setting, leaving it on the Wide setting. They say the Narrow setting helps get through pile ups, but I have found with some experimenting that it doesn't really make a difference in pile ups. It does change the audio, making it narrow, and some reported it as sounding "hollow". So I leave it Wide and enjoy the compliments I get. The last person to compliment me was a DX station from Sweden, who said that I sounded like an FM broadcast station, and thats what made me stick out in the pile up and prompted him to single me out.

Happy DXing and 73 to all...
KC9NCS Rating: 5/5 Oct 9, 2011 15:06 Send this review to a friend
Excellent mic delivers solid audio performance  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have two Heil GM-4's, one on a Kenwood TS-2000, the other on a Kenwood TS-940.

On my 940, the GM-4 delivers too much low end when set on wide. I used to run an MC-60 on this rig and routinely received audio compliments on it, so I figured a Heil would only improve that. Not so, specially when set on Wide. on Narrow by itself it seems to work well, turning on the Speech Processor just adds to the high-end when the GM-4 is set on narrow. On the Narrow setting on the 940, the general "complaint" is that I sound "nasally" to those who've heard my voice in person. Others don't seem to notice.

On my TS-2000 it's another story entirely. The GM-4 works extremely well. The audio settings that Heil recommends are really a "starting point" more than anything else. I have the mic gain set a little higher than Heil recommends. I've not had any reason to even think about engaging the speech processor on the TS-2000. I also had the wideband transmit mod performed on this rig which I'm sure helps.
VK3LBT Rating: 5/5 Aug 15, 2011 03:46 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Mic  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used the GM5 on a Ten Tec Orion 2, FT847, IC910H and now a fully restored TS520s, with all good results.

But it has come into its own on the TS520S, with the wide range giving good bottom and mid range response, great for rag chewing on 80/40. The narrow range has been particularly good on 20m and again on 80 & 40. Admittedly I have done some work on the 520s audio response but the comments over the last few weeks are the best I have heard whilst using this mic on the 520s. For those who might consider using this on a 520s I would suggest as a starting point that you set the processing at about 4 on the mic/processing which will add just a slight amount of top end with the wide setting on mic.. However if you want the deeper rounded response set the mic gain, with processing off, from between 5 to 6 and sit back for easy rag chewing.
Have had this mic for about 6 years and love it will not part with this one.

Cheers Barry VK3LBT
N6MJS Rating: 5/5 Jan 29, 2011 19:11 Send this review to a friend
Love it  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A year or so ago I went to an open house at HRO San Diego. I met Chip Margelli, K7JA there He was one of the guys on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno doing Morse Code and competing against kids doing text messages. I was interested in a Heil microphone, but did not know which type to buy. They have about 8 on display. Chip asked me what type transceiver I had - FT990. He explained why the GM-5 was a good match for my radio. He also explained the difference between the Yaesu mics and the Heil. He said the English dialect works best with the GM-5 vs. the Yaesu. I am sure Chip could have easily convinced me to buy a much more expensive Heil microphone, but he didn't. I therefore trusted his advice. At the time, Chip was employed by Heil. I remembered this advice and did buy the mic over the holidays. I have received many good reports from this mic. I elected to purchase the 5.0 as it was on sale for $99.00 at San Diego HRO since the new 5.1 was just released.
N4KC Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2010 08:03 Send this review to a friend
If you are throwing it away  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wish the OM who threw his Goldline away had let me know. And if anyone else is considering such action, drop me a note. I'll gladly pay shipping. This is one fine microphone, specifically designed for amateur radio use. If you have serious RF problems, the mic is the indicator, not the problem. (By the way, the RE-20 is a good broadcast/recording studio mic and sells for about $400...four times the cost of the Goldline.)

Anecdotal I know, but I had two SSB QSOs yesterday on two different bands, both DX. And both strongly complimented me on my audio without prompting. Heil Goldline with "5" element selected, Kenwood TS-2000 set up as Heil recommends, and nothing else.

My only complaint is the tiny little toggle switch that seems fragile and sometimes gets flipped to "Wide" accidentally.

So if you are going to throw one away...


Don N4KC

KC0JGJ Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2010 08:45 Send this review to a friend
One Rock Solid Mic!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
For the last 10 years I have owned a Goldline Mic. I have also owned several other Heil Products. I find the mic perform solidly. It is a consistent performer. I have never had a problem. I recommend Heil products to all my friends. I don't see a product out their that can match it for the Price.
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