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Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone
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- Generating element: Copper-wound dynamic with neodymium magnet structure
- Body: Steel body with zinc die-cast bottom ring
- Frequency response: 28Hz to 18kHz
- Impedance: 600 ohms balanced
- Output level: -53.9dB @ 1,000 Hz
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The Heil PR 40 represents completely new dynamic microphone technology designed for a wide range of professional applications such as sophisticated recording, live sound, and commercial broadcast. Producing the widest frequency range available in a dynamic microphone, the PR 40 outperforms most condenser microphones, and can withstand huge amounts of SPL. At the same time, it maintains the 25 year Heil Sound tradition of superbly natural voice articulation.
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The mic itself is everything I would expect of a Heil microphone. It build ruggedly, and has a beautiful, flawless finish. The PR-40 comes in a padded leatherette carrying case that also holds the included mic clamp. The clamp has an adapter that screws in to allow the clamp to be used on different sized stands and boom arms. Also included was a Heil Sound decal. I have to say I'm disappointed the Heil mics don't come in the wooden presentation boxes they used to, but I am quite happy with the padded case they use now too.
The XLR jack on the mic is a little tight, it took a lot of effort to get the Neutrik XLR connector on my mic cable to lock into place. Removing the o-ring from the Neutrik connector on the mic cable allows the cable to lock into the PR-40 with no effort, but I prefer the slight amount of compression the o-ring provides to help keep dust out as well as prevent any rattling.
The thing about Heil mics is they pretty much occupy their own audio space in the world of mics. Nothing else comes close to sounding like a Heil mic, their timbre is unmistakable, but in a good way. A lot of people have trouble getting used to Heil mics because they're used to older design mics that need a lot of EQ to make them sound good. With Heil mics, they don't require an obscene amount of EQ to make them sound great, they pretty much sound great with the EQ set flat.
What I really like about the Heil PR-40 is it has a slightly scooped mid-range that takes the nasal "honk" and stuffiness out of my voice. I've never used a mic that sounded so broadcast-ready right out of box, and much of that is helped by the extended low-frequency response (when compared to most other dynamic mics) that picks up more of the deep chest resonance of the person talking or singing into the mic. Of course, this also makes the mic more prone to picking up low frequency rumble, but installing the mic in the optional accessory shock mount takes care of that problem without having to EQ out the low frequencies, which EQ really should always be left as a last-ditch bandaid only anyways, as you're essentially EQ'ing out an entire octave of the human voice.
Proximity effect is really sweet on this mic. With the PR-40 anything more than 6 inches away from the mouth starts sounding way too thin, with the sweet spot being around 2-4 inches from the grill. However, you can literally get your lips right up against the grill and the proximity effect is still controlled to the point that the bass never becomes too thick or muddy, the mic just takes on an extremely warm, intimate sound that is absolutely spectacular.
Even though the mic comes with an internal sorbothane shock mounted capsule, the mic is still fairly prone to picking up low frequency through the mic stand or boom arm. I highly recommend getting the accessory shock mount to go with this mic, I guarantee it will make a world of difference.
What can I say? I'm more impressed by the mic than I thought I would be. I can gladly say I have absolutely no buyer's remorse whatsoever. This one is definitely a keeper.
This thing blows the RE20 out of the water on my voice (beep bass/baritone) for voiceovers. The one thing is that the PR40 is much crisper and brighter, a little too much so but once I found the sweet spot on the low frequency gain knob (and the HF knob too) for me, look out - no contest. Couldn't be happier.
If you're interested in hearing vocal samples, check out theorbitalmechanics.com, where I and my cohost both have been using this mic from episode 45 and on.