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sennheiser md421
Old 24th April 2006
  #1
Here for the gear
 
ambrot777's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
sennheiser md421

ok i really need some feedback here! i want to buy a 421 but is the vintage one better and why?
Old 24th April 2006
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Sqye's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I've only used the originals, and they're pretty much my favorite dynamic mic for any skin drum. This includes kick, toms, any ethnic skin drums - small, large, played with hands, sticks or mallets. They're awesome, and won't let you down.

I've used them over the years for rock, jazz, acoustic music, world music, fusion - you name it, and they always do the trick.

Of course you should listen for yourself.

Good luck.
Old 24th April 2006 | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
ambrot777's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
well i have used one of the newer ones on an electric guitar cab and just loved it!! so is the older just a better buy? is there a difference between the sound of the 2? i have heard in mosts cases "vintage" is better.
Old 24th April 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
I have one from the 60's and It's fantastic on toms, bass, guitar.

One thing I can say for SURE is that they were built better back then. The clip is metal, as opposed to cheap plastic used on the modern ones theat seem designed to break.
Old 24th April 2006 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Addict
 
phelbin's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have two newer ones and they've been great for me. I use them on toms (of course), electric guitar, bass cab, etc. The older ones may be a better value, but if you can't find a good deal, a newer one will still do a great job for you.
Old 24th April 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Improv's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by farside
I have one from the 60's and It's fantastic on toms, bass, guitar.

One thing I can say for SURE is that they were built better back then. The clip is metal, as opposed to cheap plastic used on the modern ones theat seem designed to break.
That's like saying celery is more articulate than cauliflower.

Still the worst clip in the history of rock and roll. dfegad
Old 24th April 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Mark Cattano's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Phelbin,

MORE COWBELL!!!

Mark Cattano
Magneto Studios

P.S. MD-421's are my favorite guitar cab dynamic mic.
Old 24th April 2006 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Addict
 
retropete's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
This is one of those instances I don't think there's a difference, sound-wise.

Can't go wrong with this mike. My favorite electric guitar mike. Better than the SM57 on snare.
Old 24th April 2006 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
pieter's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a couple of vintage white ones as well as the new black ones. For me, the quality is equal but due to ageing components you are likely to have some high end roll-off on the old ones. This might be might exactly the thing to take the agressive edge out of some sources.
Old 24th April 2006 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
StefanM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
of course the vintage ones are better! But make sure you get the ones that were assembled by blonde virgins while Rupert Neve was drinking a glass of red whine in the next room - those sound best....

No really: I do hear differences on U87s vintage vs. new but 421 are always fine.
(I'm currently mixing a show with a vintage 421 on trumpet - still not enough high-end roll-off... )

Cheers,
Stefan
Old 24th April 2006 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Mozart's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I had two vintage ones (sold) and two new ones (still have them). Never heard the difference, used them on everything, so i sold the vintage ones, (more money) and bought something else.
Old 24th April 2006 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
PhilE's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have used them mixed round a kit before and the only thing thats bothered me is the clips.
Old 24th April 2006 | Show parent
  #13
Han
Lives for gear
 
🎧 20 years
It's been discussed before, so you may find quite some when you search these forums.

The MD421 MK1 sounds a little smoother, a little less hot than the MK2. The MK1 has a copper coil, the MK2 has an aluminium coil.

About the clips: the worst ever. But there are solutions:


Old 24th April 2006 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
OT:

Anyone know a retailer that sells metal versions of these clips? If not, I'm going into business selling them
Old 24th April 2006 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
andre tchmil's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I HAVE 3 VINTAGE ONES, NEVER HAD A SINGLE PROBLEM WITH THE "ORIGINAL " CLIPS THEY CAME WITH , SO ...
MAYBE THEY CHANGED THE STYLE OF THE CLIPS , DUNNO.

PS: I MOUNT THE 421 AT AN AVERAGE OF 2 / 3 TIMES A WEEK.
Old 25th April 2006 | Show parent
  #16
Here for the gear
 
ambrot777's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
ok so is the general concensus that the vintage one is the better buy? right now it will only get used of electric guitar for the most part and eventually i would like to own 3 or 4 of them for toms!
Old 25th April 2006 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
dokushoka's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Food for thought:

We have 15+ of these guys sitting around and they all sound a little to *very* different. Vintage or new, its worth sorting through the herd to find a good cow...
Old 26th April 2006 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
421s...

The mic with the clip that i have dubbed the 'intern killer'. How many time have I heard a thud from the live room only to glance up and see that the intern hit the release button by accident. I smile when he gets all nervous. Usually only happens once or twice to each cat. Though, I have been known to let one fall when I am moving too fast.
Old 26th April 2006 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
DeepSpace's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Heh. I think this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by daryllh
How many time have I heard a thud from the live room only to glance up and see that the intern hit the release button by accident...
may provide the explaination for this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dokushoka
We have 15+ of these guys sitting around and they all sound a little to *very* different...
Old 26th April 2006 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSky
Heh. I think this:

may provide the explaination for this:



haha. Too true!
Old 26th April 2006 | Show parent
  #21
Here for the gear
 
ambrot777's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
thanks guys well i guess i am going with the vintage one!
Old 26th April 2006 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
vintage, vintage, vintage.

My "day" job has 30 vintage 421s and 12 MkII's... the vintage sounds better. PERIOD.

Don't quit the day job...
Old 26th April 2006 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Guru
 
Sqye's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/printthre...3?t=2496&pp=40

OK, dude - here's some helpful info - this is a page discussing differences between all the various 421s.
It's a "vintage" Gearslutz thread from back in the day - 2003, WAYYYY before I was a slut
(not that I'll ever be a real slut, compared to these FR*gg*n SLUTZ.)

The thread includes posts from some of the smartest and more experienced gearsluts here, AFAIK.

The thread also includes posts from Nathan E. at Atlas Pro Audio.
Nathan has been helpful with me on the phone, in terms of gear advice, but I've never purchased anything from him..

But, best of all, the thread includes posts from the guys at Sennheiser,
describing some of the exact differences between the various models of 421.

It get a little hairy, though.

Keep in mind - there are many different 421s, so it's not as simple as "current" and "vintage".

My experiences have only been with the Black (or Greyish) MD421. On this thread they are talking about a grey 421 -
I'm not sure if the one I've used over the years is blacker or greyer than the MD421 MKII - because I've never used the MKII.

So, what I'm calling vintage is really not "vintage" to some of the guys here,
who were using the white MD421s, which were modified quite a few times.

Here's a link for some photos of the different white 421s.

http://images.google.com/images?q=se...ourceid=tipimg

I will tell you this. Just to be clear. I have used the Black MD421
(or what may be considered grey - it's not as black as the MD421 MKII, apparently).

OK - enough of that.

The Black (or Grey) MD421 is usually my favorite dynamic mic for any skin drums.
(Sometimes higher drums will sound better with a 57, or deeper drums will record better with a 441).

As I said before, hand drums, toms, kicks - all sizes, ethnic drums, drums played with sticks, mallets,
hands - palms and fingers (like tabla, conga and bandir, bongo, djembe, dumbek, you name it, etc.), etc.
Any drum with a skin on it to me sounds fantastic recorded with a MD 421.

Now, if you play around with hundreds of mics, you may find a better dynamic mic - one that you prefer,
or that's better for a very specific purpose, but you just can't lose with the MD 421.
It's a very safe investment - you may lose a little on the resale,
but you'll always be able to sell it, and you'll get tremendous use form it.

This is all just my opinion, but I've recorded tons of music over the years in many different situations,
different studios, countries, genres, tons of different players, and the MD 421 has always come through.

I'm sure most engineers here will agree that the MD 421 sounds good, if not great.

While some may have found mics that they prefer over the years, I believe that you'll get mostly stellar,
if not at least satisfactory reviews of most of the 421s.

I don't know how much experience you have micing drum kits, but I assume you realize that you won't
be using only close dynamic mics for your kit - then again, I don't even have any idea what you'll be doing.

But, here's a close mic sample drum kit mic set up:

the only thing here that's a bit odd is the pzm factor - something I've found can be nice.

kik 421/ AKG D112/ EV RE20
snare top 57
snare bottom beta 57
hi hat AKG 451/ or 414/ or sm81/ Royer 121
hi tom 421
hi mid tom 421
mid tom 421
lo/ floor tom MD 441
cymbals 2 to 4 pairs pzms taped back to back between cymbals
ohs pair u87s/ or 4033s/ or km84s


Of course, you can also mic the entire kit with one 451 pretty much dead center kit anterior in a small dead room -
and you'll get a sound that sounds remarkably like a James Brown drum recording.
I learned that trick from Roberta Flacks FOH guy, Paul Taylor during a session with Roberta's band
in my studio in NYC abuncha years ago. Of course, it helps when you have Poogie Bell playing drums heh

PLEASE, my man, USE YOUR OWN EARS, ASK ANY EXPERIENCED ENGINEERS,
DRUMMERS AND PRODUCER FRIENDS YOU KNOW AND TRUST TO COME IN
AND GIVE A LISTEN, OR AN OPINION, OR SEND THEM TRACKS AND HAVE THEM LISTEN.


DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR ANY OF THIS.

I have a few major label engineer credits, but I'm not like some of the cats here -
IOW, I'm not a "REAL" engineer, like Michael Wagener (who is an actual EE, in addition to being an Audio Engineer)
heh MIchael's got the attitude like, "F&ck it, if they don't make what I need, I just build it myself -
I LOVE that. I have EEs all around me - in family and friends.

Anyhow, good luck, and hit us back with your discoveries.

(You won't be unhappy with any of the 421s, I'm sure).

On a side note, a friend of mine, who's endorsed by Ayotte, Audix, Sabien & Vic Virth - kickass drummer,
just got the newest Audix drum kit mic package. It sounds awesome.
I spoke with the drum mic designer at Audix, who happens to be a drummer himself,
and he explained that they were actually trying to capture a lot of the best features of the 421
in their tom mics. The Audix tom mics are much more sensitive, however, and can't be mounted
as close as 421s, because you get some serious proximity sh&t going on.

OK - end of evening thesis.

Old 26th April 2006 | Show parent
  #24
there are also diffrent vintageversions (Rupert neve drinking wine...). The letters on top of the grill are diffrent.. I saw 3 versions so far, all gray but with diffrent grill.

I have 2 Vintage ones and one "new" and the new one sounds fatter while the old one has more topend (yes I know M & S).

but in principal in doesnt matter.. the new one will last longer and become vintage again in 30 years.. if you take the time
Old 26th April 2006
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambrot777
ok i really need some feedback here! i want to buy a 421 but is the vintage one better and why?

The most note worthy difference:

The MKII has a midrange presence bump that the originals do not have.

Some feel this takes away the entire point of the MD421 (the smooth midrange).


Regards,
David
Old 27th April 2006 | Show parent
  #26
Here for the gear
 
ambrot777's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
well i baught it today! ill et you guys know how it works out but b4 i put it to rest does anyone know if the new skock mounts for it will fit the old ones?
Old 13th March 2014
  #27
Here for the gear
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Go for it! I love it on electric Guitar.
Great but still it has its own sound, its big and not very bright. nevertheless it doesnΒ΄t get your signal lost in the depth of your mix.
Its a truly classic mic!
Old 13th March 2014 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Ward Pike's Avatar
 
15 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magenta_rules ➑️
Go for it! I love it on electric Guitar.
Great but still it has its own sound, its big and not very bright. nevertheless it doesnΒ΄t get your signal lost in the depth of your mix.
Its a truly classic mic!
Not very bright? Bring it back. You've got a faulty one. Possibly stuffed with epoxy resin. LOL
Old 15th March 2014
  #29
Lives for gear
 
dabigfrog's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
we have a pair of md421-N, and a pair of md421-2 have not tried the newer (80's-on) black ones... we like the old ones so far (10yrs) and never felt a need to get the newer ones... although now I'm thinking we should try a new one for comparison ....

like the md409 u3 , older is better than 509, 609, 906 ??... it just has something... big fan of old, not fan of price.
Old 16th March 2014
  #30
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Howdy all..

I have 2 x md421-N. The old white ones.
1x md421-U5. Matt black
1x md421 mark 2.. Glossy black

I do love the 'n's'. It always feels further off the source than it really is.. If I jam the N right up on a grill of a guitar amp, I still hear a bit of distance. The mark 2 sounds like it's right up on the grill. Has more bite..

The u-5 in the same spot, it a bit more bitey than the N as well, but has a great bottom end thing on..

Overall the N has the win from me.. The U-5 on kick is lovely. The mark 2 seems to be used when I run out of the others..

Cheers
Dave
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