Headphones and Mikes


I’m looking to mix with these which have a nominal freq respponse 5Hz – 35kHz and weigh 270g and block out all sound. They should be good. I like Beyer. I used to use a Beyer M501 ribbon mike by them which could pick up flies sniffing with a cold and was hypercardiod to boot! I could overload it shouting down it though so you had to be careful.

Now I’m probably looking at some new copies of classic designs like Rode etc. Nothing too much though. I’ve an idea to do multiple mikings of this acoustic guitar I’ve been given when I sort out the action. Then turn them all down but bring them all forward with compression as a king of weird acoustic heavy sound. That’s what’s in my head for a tune I’ve got. I’ll let you know (if) when I get it together!

By Strangely

Founding member of the band Crawling Chaos from the North-East of England


  1. I’ve looked at an AKG tube and it seems okay but too much dosh for me. Apart from that, I’ve a built-in caution for anything including valves as I got a really bad shock from a valve radio when I was 14. The main advantages of a valve as an amp are the exceedingly high input impedance which doesn’t load the source (like plugging a bass guitar into a valve amp, there’s no string dampening from the amp. This is because the input is the grid in the valve which sits in a vacuum (hence the name) and electricity doesn’t go very well in a vacuum which is the definition of high impedance. Overloading the valve input produces even harmonics which sound nice to the ear unlike the odd ones. ( If you want to know where these terms come from you’ll have to look up Fourier Analysis. Fourier was a French mathematician bloke around about the time of the French Revolution, I think.). This comes from the motion of electrons in the vacuum, but I’ve forgotten how! Under overload conditions, the valve doesn’t get thermal runaway like a silicon counterpart might. The disadvantages are the extra (high voltage and cathode heater) power supplies needed, the fragility of the valve, the valve wears out (as electrons boil off the cathode) and needs replacing frequently, the large size compared to semiconductor equivalents(the biggest valve in common use is the old fashioned TV screen!), the high voltage is dangerous when servicing.

  2. The 990 pros should be more accurate than the 250’s as they are open back. The impedance is 250ohms so they will appear quiet to an amp designed to pump into 60ohm load say. But they are really flat which is what you want, with a really wide freq response. They may not be too good when recording a vocalist alone though as there will be bleed-thru onto the mike because of the open construction. Your 250’s could do for that as Beyer say they are for studio playbacks and intercoms but the response is 10-30,000Hz which seems a bit over the top for that.

  3. Forgot to say, I have a pair of AKG 301s too. But I dont like them as there seems to be a lift in the bass region and they definetely dont seem too accurate across the board

  4. The SE looks good but is pricey. Most of the time I don’t think the switched pattern would be of use. This is a dump of the SE and a rode nt1 next to each other, but the rode is a third of the price. You’ll see that the rode also has really low noise output and greater sensitivity. This means to get a given electrical output from a quiet sound, the RODE gives more with less background hiss. They both claim to have a warm sound etc with similar specs in other respects. Have a look at the Beyer ribbon mikes like the M88, M160, M260 which are all excellent at acoustics, vocals AND bass drum of all things!
    I’ll have a look at some AKGs next. The AKG 171 looked okay as a headphone, spec-wise as did the Beyer DT990 pro and you won’t get as deaf as with the Sennheiser you bought!


  5. Exactly, or a sine sweep from 20hz – 20 khz, this will better capture the full range of frequencies. You can take impulses of all kinds of equipment too. Like pre amp, compressors, eq and even tape Paul&lt

  6. So I suppose a good way to get it would be to let off a starting
    pistol in a church while recording the sound with a good omni-mike and
    then chop the bang off the front so you’ve just got the echoes and
    then stick that through your processor so that the dsp chip thingy
    emulates it.


  7. Its basically the sonic imprint of the reverberation of a space(ie
    church or hallway). With a piece of software you can then use it as
    reverb effect on a sound. It then sound like the sound was recorded in
    that space. It has to do with the frequencies in that space. If they
    are multiplied, not reflected etc etc Pau lo fi

  8. I don’t know what you mean by the term “impulse response”. What’s it
    to do with.

    Yours Lo-Fi-ly


  9. Cool. I was thinking about doing something with piezzo pick-ups. But
    once again wouldnt know where to start. Also if you see any cheap reel
    to reel recorders or drum sets(kick, snare, hi-hat)for a bout £40 let
    me know. Also are you familiar with impulse responses? Because of
    these Im looking for a portable cassette recorder with a built in
    stereo mic. I bought a Hi MD minidisc on ebay for £20 which can record
    wav’s to a 1GB mini disk and I bought for £7 a stereo amplifier with 2
    electret mics kit. I have to build it and I also have to make a
    balanced connection for it and change the electret mic positioning so
    they cross over each other. I want the cassette recorder fo that lo fi
    sound All fun stuff Paul

  10. Thanks for that Paul. I’ll have a look as I’m much better with
    plots and figures than manuf. brochures! However, making a mic
    element is a different kettle of fish – especially ribbon ones.
    They are put together by people wearing fully enclosed suits so
    that there’s no dust to drop in the magnetic gap and also so that
    the person doesn’t breathe on the ribbon, which would snap or
    crumple in the teeniest gust of air!

    Funnily enough, the guitarist in my old band worked for a time in
    Rock City, Newcastle which is a music shop, but he worked in the workshop,
    usually fixing ac30s and marshall amps which was usually a new valve
    and a squirt of servisol! However, he did “aquire” a box of shure mike
    elements, mainly smIIIs and Ivs. All we did was solder some wires,
    stick them into bog roll inners and then the whole drum kit was really
    cheaply miked up! We couldn’t use them for vocals though as there were
    no pop filters or grilles or anything, but it was great on the drums;
    I had them everywhere!


  11. You didnt say what headphones they were. I used this site for headphones specs headphones.com you can see the frequency plot. I eneded up going with a pair of Sennheiser 595, which I got on ebay brand new for £90. The cheapest anywhere else was about £130. So taht was agood deal.
    The SE5600 is a great mic. So is the AKG tube mic.
    Let me know what your looking at.
    With your skill, I dont know why you dont just get hold of an old case and make your own Paul

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