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Heil PR-30/PR-40 vs. SM7 for rock vox/guitar?
Old 26th January 2008
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
TCW's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Heil PR-30/PR-40 vs. SM7 for rock vox/guitar?

Hi all,

I'm a solo artist, and I write & record rock/pop (radiohead, U2, Coldplay, Live). I have a pretty good studio running with the following mics:

M-audio Sputnik (vox - male)
sm57 (guitar cab)
sm 58 (vox)
MXL 603 pair (ac guit)

I'm interested in getting a large dynamic mic for some variety with the vocal and guitar cab. I'm considering the Heil PR-30 or the PR-40 because of the price and good reviews. ...But I'm also considering the notorious SM7.

Any thoughts on which of the Heil mics would do the best job on male vox/elec guitar or how they would stack up against the SM7 for those roles?

Thanks for any advice!

TCW
Old 26th January 2008
  #2
Gear Guru
 
tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years


For rock and roll style electric guitars, you probably won't find a better mic than the PR30.

I haven't had the PR40 long enough to say, but there is a lot fo people that like it on vocals. I had good results on vocals with the PR30, but all the singers were strong (IE vocal soloist without reinforcement type singers).

The SM7, seems to be liked by a lot of folks for pop vocalists (where they often couldn't sing a solo for a choir without a mic).

But, since guitar amps are on the menu, I'd steer you towards the PR30 - If you don't like it, you can probably get most of you money back selling it off.




-tINY

Old 26th January 2008 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
TCW's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
pop vocalists (where they often couldn't sing a solo for a choir without a mic)
I have fairly strong voice, but most of my stuff is low to medium strength in terms of vocal loudness.

Do the SM7 and the Heil mics have a similar sound?
Old 26th January 2008 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
 
tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years


Haven't played with the SM7 much, but the Heil mics sound more like a condenser mic than what you'd think of in a dynamic. Presence peak up around 4k, very articulate and extended high frequency response.



-tINY

Old 27th January 2008
  #5
Gear Addict
 
BenJah's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I own both the pr40 and the sm7.

I've never really liked the pr40 on vocals. To my ears it can sound a little grainy a lot of the time.

I find the SM7 to be a much stronger vocal mic. If I had to choose out of the 2 it would be the shure. The pr40 does kick arse on kick and bass though.
Old 27th January 2008 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have all three mics. For electric guitar and vocals I think the SM7 and PR30 are a better bet than the PR40. I've never gotten a sound I liked with the PR40 on vocals. It sounds way too peaky in the upper mids to my ears. However, it sounds like magic on my friend's voice. It's hit or miss on vocals. I love that mic on bass cabs and kick drum though. And some acoustic guitars as well. If you like the SM58 and SM57 on vocals then the SM7 will be a familiar sound. Think SM57 but with a smoother and bigger sound. I actually have never tried my SM7 on guitar cabs yet. The PR30 has a much more present midrange due to a well placed bump around 3k. The mids and highs are very articulate on this mic and you can easily be fooled into thinking you are listening to a condenser. This helps things like snare and guitars to really cut through a mix. The mids on the PR30 are present and forward, but in a very rich and smooth way. This really allows the mic to excel on distorted electric guitars. The low end is tight and doesn't get boomy when placed closely to the source.

I'd try to get your hands on both the SM7 and PR30 and then send back the one you don't like. They compliment each other well so you may want to keep both.

Brad
Old 25th April 2008 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
The PR-40 and the SM7

I own both of these mics and I love them both for different reasons. As was mentioned earlier, the PR40 can sound great on some voices and not for others. That is usually the case with any mic, but this one especially. I have found that the PR40 will give a female voice that is a little huskier than the average girl much more cut in the mix. As for its other uses, I almost never mic a bass cabinet with anything else. It also captures acoustic guitar surprisingly well.

The SM7 is an amazing all around rock vocal mic. It is a solid performer that rarely lets me down. Everywhere that I have used it, I have had very good results. Surprisingly I have done little on electric guitar with it, but after reading this thread, I will have to check it out.

I can not speak for the PR30, but I would like to get my hands on it to see what it is all about. Because I have really come to love the large diaphram dynamic sound so much with these mics, I want to get a Sennheiser MD 421 and a Electrovoice RE20 into the collection. Wouldn't unlimited funds make this all that much easier?

- Ryan Canestro
Ryan Canestro Presents - Adventures In Sound

Last edited by livesoundman14; 25th April 2008 at 03:34 AM.. Reason: No signature
Old 15th March 2010 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
I own both the PR40 and the Sure SM7b. They are both fantastic mics but the i find the SM7 wins out on rock vocals every time, although the PR40 is no slouch.

For an all purpose utility mic that sounds good on everything buy an SM7. I'm always really happy with the results where ever i put it. The PR40 is great when you want a more aggressive sound but it is hit or miss on some sources. It works very well on kick drum and bass cabs though. I like it more than the other standards for low end instruments.
Old 15th March 2010 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Lifted's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
SM7B =

I have tried Heil mics, but SM7B just blew me away on the rock/rap vocals.
Old 15th March 2010 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I have a PR30 and an SM7. (I haven't heard the PR40)

Both are great mics, and both are great on guitar cabs. For the majority of vocals the SM7 is probably better, but in my experience, occasionally a singer can sound a bit nasally or woofy through the SM7. Those people often sound great through the PR30. In other words, imho, these two mics are very complimentary.

Since you already have an SM57 and SM58, why not give one of the Heil's a try. If you didn't already have the Shures, I'd have said go with the SM7.

Either way, you'll end up with a cool mic.
Old 16th March 2010 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
cavern's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i wouldn't buy the pr-40 for vox and guitar.mine lives in the bass drum and does a great job there but i havn't found many other uses for it..

don't know what kind of guitar amp you have but my sm7 pretty much lives in front of my deluxe reverb amp unless im using it for vocals.it's great for both.

don't know the pr-30.
Old 18th March 2010 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Addict
 
Mike Douaire's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
About to buy an SM7 for vox. Hear good things about it on guitars.

Have the PR-30, love the PR-30 for my guitar (Genz Benz El Diablo 100 -> Marshall 1960 cab). I play stuff along the lines of Radiohead/Coldplay. Sounds fantastic. Definitely a great investment, can't go wrong with it.

Used the PR-30 for scratch tracks on my singers voice. Was pretty impressed at the sound, but waiting to get my SM7b to make a full comparison. However vocals through the PR-30 (at least with his voice) were a MUCH better match than low-end condensers (Perception 200, NT-1A) and put up a pretty good fight with the MA-200.
Old 18th March 2010 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
I've been using an MA201 for vocals quite a bit lately. I bought my SM7B a month ago and now it sees a lot more of the action.

Let us know what you think when you get yours!
Old 18th March 2010 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Aaron Miller's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
SM7B is awesome on guitars! Like a 57 if you want it to be, but also more polite if that's your thing. Holy crap! 6 out of top ten posts on this page have the SM7B in the title. I never seen this much mic love before.
Old 21st March 2010 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
never had a heil, but I can vouch for the SM7 slaying on vocals on many different singers in my room
Old 21st March 2010 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
If it were me, I'd start with the SM7B as it's such a solid and versatile performer, then start picking up some other LDDs such as Heil, Sennheiser (love my MD421!), etc. As everyone else has said, it's hard to find a voice (or much else) the Shure doesn't sound good on.
Old 21st March 2010 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
based on your situation and my preferences my vote goes to the Heil PR-30.

I own the PR-20 UT and PR-40 myself (and have used/owned all the mics being discussed here at one time or another).

I think the PR-30 will give you what you are looking for and compliment your existing mics better than another Shure dynamic which despite some arguments on here will be a similar character to 2 mics you already have.
Old 21st March 2010 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
rty5150's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
not used the heil pr 30/40(but i did just get the rc35 head for my sure wireless...great investment!), but the sm7b is pure awesome on vox and EG here. they are my go to's. especially for rock and metal!
Old 21st March 2010 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've used both the Shure SM7b and Heil PR35 on a really loud gospel vocalist.
I much preferred the SM7b. The Heil sounded quite harsh and the SM7b was really smooth!
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Anyone wanting for a bit better breath/pop screen for the PR35 on up close vocals?
..Or is the ticket' just don't get right up on it?
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I think what you're finding is that those who like bright, like the the Heil, those who like smoother, like the Shure. I would go with the Shure as well. Always source dependent though.
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Since i picked up my Shure a month ago i've used it instead of of the 57 on all of my guitar tracks. It pairs up better with the 421 than the 57 does IMO. I used it on acoustic for a dense rock mix the other day and was really happy with it there too. It has so much body and fits in the track very nicely. I left it up the other day as a room mic after cutting a scratch track vocal with a drummer and it was killer there too.

I'm picking up a second one for sure.

My PR40 lives inside of the bass drum now. It is PERFECT for that job.
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
TCW's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I ended up buying both and found that I preferred the SM7. It's awesome with vox and guitar cabs. I sold the PR30. It didn't do much for me.
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Addict
 
kesslerjesus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Good choice!

If only this comparison would have been posted before, it would have made choosing easier thought.

https://gearspace.com/board/gear-sho...eat-river.html

The examples speak for themselves
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Guru
 
tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne ➑️
Anyone wanting for a bit better breath/pop screen for the PR35 on up close vocals?
..Or is the ticket' just don't get right up on it?


It's got a 3 position roll-off switch, and you have a HPF on the mixer, no?

It's definately not a beginers mic. You have to have decent technique, or stay back 10-12 inches.



-tINY

Old 14th April 2010 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I just got a pr30 a few weeks ago and the mic has shocked me how good it is for a dynamic and for the price. I even tried it as a mono drum overhead and it killed! Sounds similar to a ribbon with a mildly brighter top end and less bass response, it also held its ground when cymbals were blaring and kicks, snares and toms were flying all over the place at full volume in a bright room. It's the only mic i've ever felt like I could mic up a whole kit with. Excellent mic.
Old 14th April 2010 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Addict
 
Mike Douaire's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Cool, this thread is back.

Got the SM7. That thing is ridiculous on vocals. Seriously makes my voice sound awesome and I cant even sing worth a damn!

The Heil PR-30 on vocals can be pretty sibilant and a little harsh on the top end (sounds good enough tweaked tho - just gotta dip out a few high-mid freqs). It's doable.

Heil PR-30 on guitar cabs is pretty slick tho.

Do the slutty thing - Get an SM7 for vocals and the PR-30 for guitars!
Old 24th July 2010 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
this is why it is important to understand the tools you are using.

The PR-30 is a mic that can work on both apps you just have to understand how to work with the mic.

If you are used to working with a certain mic and move to a completely different mic of course the results may seem less than stellar that's why you have to move around the mic and use your ears before you setup shop. As a performer you may also need to compensate to get a better sound from the equipment you have.

I definitely prefer mics other than the PR-40 and PR-30 on my own voice but man they slay on instruments.

The PR-40 is my go-to for kicks and bass cabs.

The PR-30 (don't own yet, but plan to order one or a couple soon) is incredible on guitar cabs, toms, and on some snare drums.

The PR-20 is nice on guitar cabs and snare drums. I like it on voice but I prefer my Audix OM-5 or the Sennheiser e945 I formally owned (had to sell it to pay for something).

I think for recording I definitely prefer using a condenser on my own voice just because a lot of dynamics don't tend to flatter the darker, raspier nature of my voice. But again I can't really blame mics for my poor singing skills, I know I'm not a great singer. My gripes about the Heil's on my particular voice is that sometimes it's too natural of a sound for me which with my singing isn't always flattering.

At the same time me and most decent singers are/should be good enough musicians to naturally compensate for the shortcomings of ourselves/equipment. Things like sibilance, enunciation, dynamics, etc are all controllable these things are not barriers.

don't blame a mic because the sound you want isn't in the room before it hits the mic.
Old 24th July 2010 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I adore the SM7 on rock/pop/rap vocals (even tho' is completely wrong for some reason on *my* voice..) but I've never had luck with the electric guitars with it, i don't know.. even a modded 57 sounds better to me

Not the only one but one reason is also the grill.. I can get as close as I want to the cone
Old 24th July 2010 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
alvagoldbook's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
get both! while you're at it, get an affordable ribbon for guitar like a cascade fathead. that way you'll have a little diversity in what you can put in front of a guitar cab.
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