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Reviews For: Heil PL-1T Microphone Boom

Category: Audio Accessories for Transmitter & Receiver

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Review Summary For : Heil PL-1T Microphone Boom
Reviews: 9MSRP: 109
The Heil Sound PL2T "Topless" mount is a unique and versatile boom that utilizes a system of perfectly balanced internal springs to provide perfect balance and silent, effortless adjustment of its position. The PL2T easily handles microphones weighing up to 3.5 lb. (1.6 kg), and it makes for a professional-looking installation without adding to the clutter in front of you.
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
G4MLB Rating: 2013-06-22
Cheap rubbish Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just for the record, this review is for the Heil PL-2T.
Heil should be embarrassed at selling such a poor quality product irrespective of price. The signs weren’t great when I had to clean some of the the paint off the mounting post before it would fit into the desk clamp.
I think many customers are duped into paying the exorbitant price that Heil demands in the UK thinking that for the price it must be something quite special just like I did, well, sorry folks……’s not, in fact it’s not even close.
Compared to my Rode PSA1 that bought for around £79 the Heil PL-2T should have been priced at around £20-£30 not the £139.96 + delivery that it sells for over here.
The desk clamp is almost laughable, obviously designed by an infant, for an infant, it’s far too narrow, it needs to be twice the width that it is and even tightened to just short of what appears to be breaking point it still moves around, removing the rubber glued to the desk contact area of the clamp may help to reduce the wobble. The tinny material that the arm is made from is a disgrace and the physical support for such a small mike (in comparison to my EV RE-27 microphone that is) it’s not brilliant either.
My Rode boom can be lifted to the correct height and it stops there, rock solid with a heavy Electro Voice RE27, the Heil with only my lightweight Heil PR-40 and Heil shock mount has to be lifted about 2-3 inches higher initially so that when it drops back down (which it does despite all attempts at tightening it further) it stops at the target height.
The plastic cable covers are a joke and need to either have the tin arm squeezed together with pliers or, as I have done, cable-tied in place. The only good point is the way that the chrome microphone-securing rod is clamped, better than the Rode version in my opinion. Come on Heil sort it quick or you will lose your well-fought-for credibility.
Heil, forget your style-over-quality policy of hiding cables, make your tin-ware full box section not ‘U’ section and double the width of your desk clamp, toughen-up the springing and damping then and only then, it may be worth close to the Rode’s £79. All I can say on the price issue is ‘once bitten, twice shy’, sorry Bob (Heil).
I am a great fan of genuine quality USA-made equipment, I have a shack full of it, but this is reminiscent of a poor, cheap eastern, fake copy of the genuine thing, and it IS the genuine thing I am sorry to say.
As soon as it breaks (which it will soon I’m sure) I will buy another Rode, no hesitation whatsoever.

W6LBV Rating: 2013-05-30
A Roll of the Dice Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
For my home station I own and actively use both the Heil PT-1 and the O. C. White ProBoom scissors booms. The O, C. White shipped with a 15" vertical riser tube, used to elevate the entire boom above the desktop when mounting the boom behind equipment on the desk. The Heil product did not include the riser.

In everyday station use, the need for a riser also for the Heil product became obvious. Although it is currently catalog-listed as an accessory for the newer PT-2 boom, I purchased the Heil RS-1 riser for my PT-1. I assumed that the riser would also accept the older PT-1 boom, as there is no separate product listing in the Heil catalog specifically for the PT-1.

My assumption was wrong! The diameter of the mounting attachment rod at the bottom of the PT-1 boom is just too large to fit into the top circular clamp on the RS-1. I will make an adapter to fit the PT-1 into the RS-1, and ultimately I will have what I need. But in a vendor of quality products, this kind of problem should not arise.

Uncontrolled variability (i.e.,”lack of interchangeability”) among products seems to be more likely with the product line from a vendor which does not control its own manufacturing. Judging from other Heil products I have examined, Heil seems to buy finished units and assemblies on the wholesale market and re-brand them with its own name. Thus the PT-2 is not just an improvement on the PT-1 design, but an entirely different product.

A purchaser should not have to accept this kind of product uncertainty. The Heil PT-1 boom (manufactured by ???) is a good one and it could compete on its own merits. But any future purchases that I make will be for O. C. White products.

Earlier 5-star review posted by W6LBV on 2008-02-28

I prefer to mount my fixed (ham shack) microphones on desktop scissors booms. These mounts liberate operating real estate, provide hands-free operation, raise the mikes off the desk to a comfortable speaking height, and give the microphones a degree of acoustic isolation from the surrounding environment.

By happenstance I own two different scissors booms, one from each of the major vendors: Heil Sound and O. C. White Co. Bottom line: although each does its tasks slightly differently from the other, both are solid and their cost is essentially the same.

Heil Sound is well known to Amateurs, primarily through its microphone and headphone products. I have Heil’s PL-1T boom; the current PL-2T is very similar. O. C. White is a name more familiar in broadcast circles, where its products are often visible in photos of radio studios and control room announce positions. I have the White ProBoom, the least costly model.

The Heil boom has its counter-weight springs mounted internally. The White boom has two pairs of external (and visible) springs, and it ships with an extra set of (replaceable) springs to accommodate the use of heavier microphones. The White has user-lockable (knob-tightened) pivot points; the major Heil pivots are tightened with an Allen wrench.

The Heil boom is furnished with a C-clamp to mount the boom over the edge of a table-top; the White ships with a 15" vertical riser containing a bottom flange that bolts to the table top. Other mounting accessories are available for both products at additional cost. The White boom has a more substantial base section with more metal in it compared to the Heil, but each has about the same positional stability. Both are essentially noiseless while being adjusted.

It is a treat to have two good and useable products from which to choose. Either should provide strong performance for many years in the average ham shack.

W7KOL Rating: 2013-04-07
Disappointed. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had this boom for several years. One thing I'm disappointed in is the snap on covers that fit in the groves of the boom to hide the mic cord. They don't stay snapped in and fall out. I fixed this problem by securing them with black zip ties. All in all its an ok boom but Bob, you have it priced too high for what is there.

I forgot in my review, my C Clamp broke also.
WA4NUN Rating: 2012-11-17
Boom Good Clamp bad Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is for Heil PL2-T boom to clarify. The boom works quite well. It can easily cover a 36 by 72 inch desk with no problem, quietly and smoothly. The problem is with the provided C Clamp mount. It looks very stout and strong, yet in reality, it is made of a rather soft and pliable metal that can fold in half. When I installed the first C Clamp it was one of those 2 AM installs where you do not inspect parts carefully. A few weeks later the boom was laying on the desk. The Clamp appeared warped. Thought it was made that way. Heil sent a new one that I inspected, looked fine. Within two months, I found the mic and boom behind the desk on the floor and the Clamp bent double in reverse. I do not remember the math, but when you cantilever a two pound weight two or three feet beyond the point of support, the effective weight stress is increased multiple times. Very poor physical support for a decent product. I will be replacing the Heil Clamp with a six inch long piece of scrap 2X4 with a drilled hole, and two 98 cent Clamps. I would guess a better life span. C'mon Bob, fix this problem.
WW8J Rating: 2009-12-01
Microphone Launcher Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchase this item about 3 years ago. It sat for quite awhile, far beyond the warranty period, before I decided to open the box.

I'm very disappointed with this item. Major problems are improper spring size, and clutch slippage. Although I still have mine on my desk, in the beginning, I rarely used it because it is (was) uncontrollable. I have been struck in the face several times with the microphone. Usually when I entered the shack, I would find the microphone pointing at the ceiling, just a few inches away. If anyone else has this problem, I have an almost ridiculous mod or two. Adjusting the pivot screws to maximum tension helps somewhat. After adjusting the pivot screws to maximum, being careful not to strip the Allen screws, (tighten them until they are just short of being stripped)Even with this amount of tension, the boom will not remain stable,(clutches still slip) and boom continues to fly vertically at a high velocity. Next, simply add a 1 pound trolling weight to the end of the boom slightly behind the microphone. Depending upon the weight of your microphone, you may have to add a heavier weight. Another solution would be to remove and adjust the spring tension by stretching the spings.

Aside from PL-2 needing some help(hence the 2 rating), it now works great, and it looks great except for the large lead trolling sinker. Oh yes, Make sure the trolling weight is properly secured and is of enough mass, or else it might get launched. These springs could be used for a Bowflex. After these mods, I have been using the PL-2 for a couple of years without incident. Oh yes, congrats to KC2RGW, for establishing the true value of this item.
KC2RGW Rating: 2009-10-07
Works great Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Bought mine used for a song...totally worth the $20.

Very handy, combined with a foot switch and I have both hands free to type and run the mouse. Perfect.

Mine didn't have any mounting hardware..that's what I get for $20, so I went to the plumbing supply and got a 14" pipe nipple and a threaded flange. Simply screwed the flange into my desk and now I have a riser for about $5...if that.

The riser is very handy if you have a stack of gear or use a laptop, it puts the base point of the arm above the open laptop screen and other gear.
M0TTB Rating: 2009-10-06
Fine - g-clamp thumbscrew not supplied? Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Purchased to support a PR-781. Works smoothly, no fuss. Mic cable neatly tucked away into the boom.

One oddity, I discovered a lack of the g-clamp thumbscrew... plenty of warnings on the box and inside about the perils of having this tightened and moving the boom horizontally, yet this thumbscrew was missing... these things happen.

I found a suitable alternative, no problem. But phoning the supplier here in the U.K. to enquire about gettng the missing part, it seems as if Heil are no longer supplying the thumbscrew.

OK, some people may have damaged their boom by moving it horizontally by not loosening the thumbscrew before-hand (i can see the temptation) BUT it is an intrinsic part of the device. Having customers dig around and find their own thumbscrew isn't going to prevent the chance of misuse and damage. I can't see Heil being repsonsible for any damage due to misuse either way, as they have clearly stated that damage may occur.

Maybe I've been fed a line to excuse an accidental part ommission.

Just to clarify the missing screw from the g-clamp. Heil has not supplied this with the PL2T boom for 12 months now, due to the inevitability of accidents, with possible injury to person.

The boom does in fact work perfectly well without it which allows horizontally movement without any danger, which makes the device more user-friendly.

Presumably I purchased fairly old stock, that had the screw removed but literature and warnings were not updated...therefore giving the impression that it was supplied.

I know I'm not the only one who has wondered where the screw has gone.
AB2CD Rating: 2009-07-21
Well done! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
As a former broadcast engineer, I've purchased and installed many mike booms. This one is very good and well worth the money. My advice to those who are concerned about the price is to go ahead and bite the bullet and buy one. After all, how many mike booms will you buy in your life? Probably not many and this one still will garner a good price at a SK auction. As always, don't hesitate to email me should you have any questions. God bless. Jim AB2CD
G7VKX Rating: 2008-11-20
Nice - but too expensive Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned this boom (Heil PL2T) as well as others so I can at least compare.

Due to the internal spings & ability to route cable inside it looks very neat compared to some others.

Mechanically it works flawlessly - with very little noise or sag even when mounting heavier mic's like the PR-40.

The only downside for me was the price - especially when you compare it to the Rode PSA1 which is better made in my humble opinion & just as neat.

It may be cheaper in your particular county but here in the UK it's expensive compared to similar professional studio equipment of equal quality & that applies for the SM2 shock mount too.