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Sennheiser 409 vs 421
Old 16th September 2012
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Sennheiser 409 vs 421

I heard these two mics have a very similar tone.

From people who have tried or own both of these, How do they compare and contrast?


Thanks,
Old 16th September 2012
  #2
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Mr. Wilson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I prefer the 421, it's more focused and present. Mine's an older white one. The 409 in combo with the 421 usually loses and gets muted, just doesn't compete though I'm glad I have one since I'm usually using at least 2 mics on my guitar oriented music, where sometimes it works well with another mic or on a specific amp. If you can only have one, the 421 reco stands.
Old 16th September 2012
  #3
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🎧 10 years
anyone else?
Old 16th September 2012
  #4
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lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
my older 421's don't get a huge amount of use here, but the 409 sounds very "plastic" in comparison. Come to think of it, same with newer 421's really. They don't sound as good... So I think you'd be talking about a different comparison depending on whether you mean new 421, or old 421. Older 421 trumps all in this case.

Russell
Old 17th September 2012
  #5
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Sofa King's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenfields ➑️
I heard these two mics have a very similar tone.

From people who have tried or own both of these, How do they compare and contrast?


Thanks,
IMO, they dont sound the same.
there ARE quite a few versions of the 421, and a 422 that kinda looks like a 421, so it may depend on which youre comparing.

I feel that 409 feels flatter to me than the original 421.

If you have both, the feature that has the biggest effect is that the 409 is side address, and allows you to get closer, or into places better, and with better rejection than the 421.


best,
Sean
Old 17th September 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Not very similar to me. 421 is scooped with more aggressive upper mid. 409 is smooth and no annoying fizz up top. They're just rare and much too pricey these days. 421 still gets the job done but the 409 is a really special mic. The 906 ain't bad either.
Old 17th September 2012
  #7
Gear Nut
 
John1982's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've got an old 409. I love it in my Vox AC 15. It's the best mic out of my mic locker for this amp. On my other amps it's never the first choice.
And I like it on trombone.
Old 17th September 2012
  #8
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Santiago's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi, I agree with other posters. These two mics sound really different. The MD421 has a scooped sound with a relatively present top and bottom, whereas the MD409 is much flatter and darker, with a more "velvety" sound - almost like a ribbon. Daniel Lanois once called it his "desert island mic" in an interview.

Which one you prefer probably depends on the application. If you have a very harsh sounding amp or sound source, the MD409 can work wonders because it smooths out the harshness. But if you use it with say, a Marshall stack, the MD421 gives you much more "bite".

The 409 is a bit of a specialist mic, fantastic on guitar amps, toms and (if you like very smooth sounds) vocals

The 421 is more versatile, you can use it on almost anything. I've used it for guitar amps, bass drum, percussion, clarinet and even melodica (one of the nicest melodica recordings I ever got, by the way).

I hope this is useful

Santiago
Old 28th November 2012 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Wilson ➑️
I prefer the 421, it's more focused and present. Mine's an older white one. The 409 in combo with the 421 usually loses and gets muted, just doesn't compete though I'm glad I have one since I'm usually using at least 2 mics on my guitar oriented music, where sometimes it works well with another mic or on a specific amp. If you can only have one, the 421 reco stands.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeshorephatty ➑️
my older 421's don't get a huge amount of use here, but the 409 sounds very "plastic" in comparison. Come to think of it, same with newer 421's really. They don't sound as good... So I think you'd be talking about a different comparison depending on whether you mean new 421, or old 421. Older 421 trumps all in this case.

Russell
Both of these posts make me want to shoot myself in the head...

The 409 plastic??? Then yours is broken.

I admit Im not a huge 421 fan to begin with but both the above posters couldn't possibly have much real experience with an MD409. Literally.

GS is falling off a cliff...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santiago ➑️
Daniel Lanois once called it his "desert island mic" in an interview.
And for good reason.

BTW a 409 and 421 sound nothing alike.
Old 28th November 2012 | Show parent
  #10
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Scott Whigham's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emwolb ➑️
Both of these posts make me want to shoot myself in the head...

The 409 plastic??? Then yours is broken.

I admit Im not a huge 421 fan to begin with but both the above posters couldn't possibly have much real experience with an MD409. Literally.

GS is falling off a cliff...
I laughed - that was my reaction as well.
Old 28th November 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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trompetfreak's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emwolb ➑️
Both of these posts make me want to shoot myself in the head...

The 409 plastic??? Then yours is broken.

I admit Im not a huge 421 fan to begin with but both the above posters couldn't possibly have much real experience with an MD409. Literally.

GS is falling off a cliff...



And for good reason.

BTW a 409 and 421 sound nothing alike.

I totally agree! I prefer the 409 any time on guitar cabs. But it's still a dificult comparison since picking a mic is extending the guitarists playing, his guitar, effects, amp and room and then make something that sounds great with the other musicians aswell!
The newer 421's are quite bad imho, where the older ones are pretty usable.
I also have an ancient md403 wich works really good aswell.

But the km140 and re20 are my favorites for guitar cabs :-)
Old 28th November 2012
  #12
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lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I apologize for sharing my thoughts... Not!

Guess my adjectives don't speak to others sometimes.

Russell
Old 28th November 2012
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
billwarner's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Fan of MD 409s here. I probably wouldn't reach for a 421 on amps or vocals but my 409 can work great for both, IMO.
Old 29th November 2012 | Show parent
  #14
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trompetfreak's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeshorephatty ➑️
I apologize for sharing my thoughts... Not!

Guess my adjectives don't speak to others sometimes.

Russell
Hehe,
You're very right to put your opinion on here ofcourse.
Didn't mean to offend you with that :-)
Old 29th November 2012 | Show parent
  #15
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lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by trompetfreak ➑️
Hehe,
You're very right to put your opinion on here ofcourse.
Didn't mean to offend you with that :-)
I make a point of never taking offense to internet stuff. I'm sure 90% of the time people don't plan to be hostile. I do my work primarily through email, so I always find if I pretend I'm on the other end before responding I can imagine the emotions very differently. Don't worry one bit, its all good, and maybe I haven't spent enough times with 409's! Often times once I dismiss something I never go back to it which may be a failing

Russell
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