Thread: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

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  1. #1
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    Default Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    Oki doki

    First off, I just want to mention that I'm in no way an expert in this field and if you think I'm talking out of my cornhole just let me know. I would love to know more about this subject.

    I've bought a couple of dynamic "sleeper" mics the last two years and found out a thing or two about the different "not so known" models from Sennheiser, Beyer and other german manufacturers, so I thought that I should share my experience to you Wombies before you bid and buy.

    I'll skip the usal suspects in this thread. Everybody knows about the 409, 421, 441 blah blah blah...

    Let's start with Sennheisers.

    So you want a classic vintage Sennheiser MD409 for that classic guitar sound? Get ready to fork up at least 300 bucks for a 409 in good condition. If your lucky.

    "But mom, I want one!!!!!"

    ppsssst!

    There's cheaper 409's out there. But they're wearing a disguise...


    Echolette 409
    Made by Sennheiser for Echolette. The exact same mic as Sennheisers 409. If you see this one on a flea market or an on line auction for cheaps, knock everybody in sight out and get it.

    Sennheiser MD-403
    Classy 50's looking mic with the same capsule as the 409. These can be expensive on ebay but I've seen them go for less than 100 bucks an smaller auctions. I got mine for about 150 bucks in mint condition and with a Berlin City sticker on it. Has probably been sitting on a shelf in Berlins City Hall for about 40 years. Sounds great on amps and toms. And it looks fabulous.
    Mine came with a new XLR but the original has a DIN-connection at the end of the cable.
    One downside. You can't use it with a clip/clamp. Screws straigt on the mic-stand. Hard to place in front of a guitar cabinet.

    Sennheiser MD-407
    This little feller looks really cheap with a beige plastic housing. Don't let the looks fool you. This also has the classic 409 capsule. These usually comes with a non-balanced 1/4-inch plug at the end of the cable and needs to get a balanced XLR-connection. Kind of tricky if your not familiar with the opening and fiddling with old mics. I have a great guy in Germany that fixes stuff like this pretty cheap. PM me for his adress.
    People who sells these on auctions usually don't have a clue what they have and you can get these really cheap. I got mine for about 40 bucks.
    One downside. You can't use it with a clip/clamp. Screws straigt on the mic-stand. Hard to place in front of a guitar cabinet.
    I've seen this mic branded as a Luxor Radio and The Fisher ST-10 too. Made by Sennheiser.

    Sennheiser MD-408
    Gooseneck version of the 409. A little less bottom end than a 409 but sounds great. This is great on toms, snare and percussion and is easy to place in a tight drum setup. I've seen old pics of Mick Jagger singing through one.
    This one has a male Klein Touchel connection at the end of the "neck". You'll need a short Touchel to XLR cable. Easy to solder if you have a female Klein Touchel. See attached chart.
    I'm not really shure but I think I've seen this one branded as Telefunken too.

    WARNING! Don't get this one mixed up with the similar looking MD418 which is a crappy sounding conference mic with a transparent plastic "saturnus" ring around the housing. I found out the hard way...
    If you run across one really cheap it could look cool as a talkback mic. A crappy sounding talkback mic...


    Sennheiser MDS-1
    Two MD 409 in a stereo configuration. Cool looking mic. They can be unmounted and used as two seperate mics.
    I've seen these branded as Grundig GDSM-200. Made by Sennheiser. Exactly the same mic. Usually goes for about 300 bucks.... but hey, you'll get two 409's!

    All these 409 clones can also be used as spare parts if you have a real 409. Sennheiser have no intention of making these great mics again. They care more about money these days, not quality.

    Lets move on to other Sennheiser models...

    Sennheiser MD-21
    This little feller can be used as a hammer. Or defence weapon. This would kill anyone with a direct hit. Really. The most sturdy construction ever. First made in the early fifties as a reporter mic, it is still done today. From Sennheisers site:

    "The indestructible design of the new microphone was impressively demonstrated at the Industrial Fair in Hanover in 1954. "We set up a round wooden board, about 5 feet in diameter, on which we had fitted ramps at regular intervals. An MD 21 suspended on a short cable was placed on the board, which was then rotated quite fast. The microphone was dragged up each ramp and could be seen crashing down onto the board again and again," said Fritz Sennheiser describing the unusual demonstration.‹‹€››"It was sensational - at that time, microphones were delicate objects and had to be handled carefully." And even today, the extremely low percentage of repairs for the MD 21 - 0.4% - speaks for itself."

    Sound? well......... I have gotten great guitar tones on small combos with this mic and I have gotten terrible results on toms..... you never know.... But somehow I just love this mic. Comes in either blue/grey metallic or beige/white/grey (like the old 421's) or black if it's a newer one. The old ones either have a Klein (small) Touchel or a Gross (big) Touchel connector. You need a short Touchel to XLR cable. See attached chart. If you're lucky, some of them comes with a cool sturdy steel tablestand. A little bit hard to place as there is no clip/clamp. Stand screws directly in to mic.

    I have seen these branded as Grundig GDM-21 in a gold metallic housing. Same mic, made by Sennheiser.

    Sennheiser MD-421
    I know.... this needs no introduction. Probably one of the best allround dynamics around.
    The older beige/white/grey can also be branded Telefunken.
    However, there's other versions of this as well. If you'll find a MD-521, it's a 421 without the speach/music hipass filter.
    Then there's the MD-422. This is supposed to be the successor of the 421. I've seen them from time to time but they're rare. I have no doubts that it's a great mic. Anyone?

    There's also some confusion about the Black Fire branded Sennheisers. The Black Fire series is exactly the same as the other models but was made for the consumer market. The regular Sennheisers was made for the live/studio/radio market.

    Moving on to Beyer Dynamics...

    Beyerdynamic Soundstar X 1 HLM
    Cool looking 421 copy with a 50's twist. It sounds different from a 421. More low mids and not as much top. I've gotten great results on 4x12 cabinet. Great as a sidekick to a more top endy mic. Tuchel connector. These usually goes for under 100 bucks. A bargain if you ask me.
    Downside: Same idiotic clip-construction as the 421. What the hell were they thinking?

    There's also the Beyer Soundstar Mark II that looks more like the usual Beyer mic. (M88, M69 etc) I remember that ol' Slippy mentioned these a while back as a great mic on guitar cabinets. Anyone?

    Beyer also has a lot of ribbon mics that are suppose to be great like the M-500, M-160 and M-260. Some of these Beyer ribbon mics and dynamics is also rebranded to Revox and Strässer. Look out for them if you want a Beyer ribbon but don't want to fork up 500 bucks....


    Moving on...

    So you want a vintage AKG D12? Or a new capsule for you old loved D12? Steep eh?

    Look out for a Echolette ED12 instead. Same mic made by AKG.

    Other than that I have not seen any other of AKG's dynamics rebranded. Not that I know of... anyone?
    I think it was mainly Sennheiser and beyer that did mics for other companys.

    ...which brings us to


    UHER
    Right now your thinking "what???"
    Well.... it's hard to find anything about these mics on the internot. Back in the day UHER made reel-to-reels, microphones and accessories for reporters. Most of the mics where crappy plastic mics for the consumer market. However, there's the UHER 500-series M537, M538, M539, M534 etc which are great mics. Probably made by AKG. Or Sennheiser or Beyer. Can anyone shed some light on this mystery? Anyway, they sound great on guitar cabinets and drums.

    Rule: If they have a Tuchel connector, it's the good ones. If they have a 1/4 inch cable it's their budget series.


    It would be nice if you wombies shared your experience with old "sleeper" mics.

    Thats it for now. I've attached a JPG with some pics of the mentioned mics and a chart if you want to make your own Tuchel/XLR cables.

    Enjoy, and as I said before, please correct me if you find errors in this information.

    Senap

    Edited cause you cant write P*R*I*C*E*Y here.... he he he....


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    Senap,


    Thanks for all the great info.






    ..... You IDIOT. Now there's not gonna be ONE of those mics left on the market!!!!


    Seriously, awesome stuff.


    - otek
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    Shhhhhh,


    Senap, dude



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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    he he..

    go get 'em!
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    You deserved you rep ratio going up, buddy

    malice
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    You deserved you rep ratio going up, buddy

    malice
    Merci!
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    I'm totally with you on the MD21. I've got a couple of Sennheiser ones and a couple of Telefunken ones. I've also got a Grundig one which is GOLD COLORED. Unfortunately that one doesn't work (the cable has been pulled out, and it doesn't have a connector. And I can't for the life of me figure out how to take the damn thing apart. Sigh).

    Another one: Coles (or stc) 4037. It looks scary and cool at the same time, and it sounds ... well it actually sounds quite good. Like an MD21 but way better lows.
  8. #8
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    I'm totally with you on the MD21. I've got a couple of Sennheiser ones and a couple of Telefunken ones. I've also got a Grundig one which is GOLD COLORED. Unfortunately that one doesn't work (the cable has been pulled out, and it doesn't have a connector. And I can't for the life of me figure out how to take the damn thing apart. Sigh).
    I know. It's the Fort Knox of mics. It wouldn't open if you dropped it from the Empire State Building. I wouldn't attemp to open one myself. I don't know where you're located, but if your i Europe this guy is great at fixing old dynamics and ribbons:

    www.vintage-microphones.de

    Who's good in the states? Anyone?

    I forgot to mention that all the Grundig branded MD21's have a fixed cable and not a connector in the mic like the Sennheisers.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    great stuff, senap.

    I'd add some of the odd Beyerdynamics to the list - beyer m59 and other weird old square beyers.

    Also, the Sennheiser 504 is nice - you can find beat up ones for cheap on ebay typically.

    The audix cd-21 is a cheapo vocal mic that's good for percussion and toms, too.
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    great stuff, senap.

    I'd add some of the odd Beyerdynamics to the list - beyer m59 and other weird old square beyers.

    Also, the Sennheiser 504 is nice - you can find beat up ones for cheap on ebay typically.

    The audix cd-21 is a cheapo vocal mic that's good for percussion and toms, too.
    Great. Keep 'em coming.
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    AKGs were rebranded as Norelcos in the US during the '60s. I have a Norelco D-12. The D-24 was the most common one.
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    AKGs were rebranded as Norelcos in the US during the '60s. I have a Norelco D-12. The D-24 was the most common one.
    And when you were done recording you could shave your face with it
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    AKGs were rebranded as Norelcos in the US during the '60s. I have a Norelco D-12. The D-24 was the most common one.
    I had no idea. Good info.

    I reckon that the rebranded Revox, Strässer, Echolette, Luxor and Grundig mics are more common in Europe.
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    Cool stuff, Senap! Thanks for sharing all of this.
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    I have to mention an old favourite of mine.

    The Milab F-69 is a fave on electric guitar - unfortunately discontinued years ago. Packs the clarity of a 57 but with a little more girth, as well as a different midrange emphasis.
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    this ought to be made into a sticky. Great stuff, senap. Thanks
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    I'm totally with you on the MD21. I've got a couple of Sennheiser ones and a couple of Telefunken ones. I've also got a Grundig one which is GOLD COLORED. Unfortunately that one doesn't work (the cable has been pulled out, and it doesn't have a connector. And I can't for the life of me figure out how to take the damn thing apart. Sigh).

    Sorry to hear about your sick 'Grundig MD-21'. FWIW some variations exist: I have two of those 'gold' Grundigs and one has the fixed cable, the other a DIN-3. IIRIC the latter is also the one that happily calls itself a MD-21 i.s.o. a GDM...


    OK, but onto opening these mics: have you seen the two small spots at the capsule-rim ? Press the little 'sticks' inside and open the mic.

    And please then let me know how to close the mic again after you're done...

    Maybe replacement-sticks could do it (remove the old ones).

    Bye!
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    I wish I could find a couple of Shure SM53/54.

    Nicer, flatter, & more extended than the 57.
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    I wish I could find a couple of Shure SM53/54.
    Nicer, flatter, & more extended than the 57.

    You should try a Beyer 201 then.....
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    Default Re: Senaps guide to old, not so famous, dynamic mics

    You should try a Beyer 201 then.....
    Ditto. I've tried it on one occation. Sounds great.

    Looks like a SDC:

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