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Author Topic: Heil Sound PR Series or Shure Beta Series?  (Read 31082 times)

David Hoover

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Heil Sound PR Series or Shure Beta Series?
« on: November 12, 2009, 12:08:23 am »

I'm am on the search for the best quality microphone to suit my situation.  Let me explain my situation.  I do live sound for outreaches outdoors about once a week.  I also do a little bit of studio recording inside my house.  I live in Florida, so keep in mind the humidity is going to be 70-90% most of the time and hot.  My sound chain is very good.  From the microphone: Peavey cables with Neutrix connectors, Peavey 75' snake, Yamaha 01V console, crown XTI, Bill FitzMaurice subs and tops.  Oh, and monitors behind the mics.  When I record, minus the snake and FOH.

I don't really know, but is it bad to use a capacitor mic for live sound?  I hear the humidiy is bad for it.  If it's possible, a mic suitable for live and studio vocals would be great to save $.

So that now you know a little about the setup, here's the question:

Which microphone?  

I now use the Shure SM58, but I really don't care for the sound.  I've heard the beta58a on my setup and on someone else's, and the sound is almost the same.

How about upgrading to a Heil PR-20, PR-35, or maybe a Shure Beta 87c? I just want a quality mic so that when I put one of my good singers on there, I can have that smirk of "wow, that sounds great" on my face.  I'm definately up for suggestions outside those brands, too!
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Drew West

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Re: Heil Sound PR Series or Shure Beta Series?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 12:16:27 am »

Audix VX5. Great mic, and very versatile.

That's my recommendation!
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David Hoover

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Re: Heil Sound PR Series or Shure Beta Series?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 12:22:29 am »

Drew West wrote on Thu, 12 November 2009 00:16

Audix VX5. Great mic, and very versatile.

That's my recommendation!


I forgot to mention: can you guys please tell me what you like about the microphones, what you use it for, and why you have chosen that one above all others.  Didn't mean to dis your reply in any way, but I want to hear your review/testamony! Smile
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Jeff Wheeler

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Re: Heil Sound PR Series or Shure Beta Series?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 12:54:31 am »

I don't have nearly the experience with a wide variety of mics as many of the guys here, so keep that in mind when reading my opinion.

Regarding the mics you've mentioned, I also hate the SM58.  I hate the Beta58 a little less.  I own several Heil PR20s and I wish they had a trade-in program so I could swap up to PR22s.  The PR20 sounds great, but it has a handling noise issue that can be pretty apparent depending on the application.  The PR22 is functionally the same as the PR20 except its handling noise is greatly improved.

The PR20/PR22 mics seem to have a wider pick-up pattern than other cardioid mics I've used.  For this reason I don't rush to put them in front of vocalists on loud stages.  I love using them when the stage volume isn't crazy, though.  When I mic myself I always choose a PR22 or PR20.

I like the way they sound on many instruments, too.
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Drew West

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Re: Heil Sound PR Series or Shure Beta Series?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 01:14:26 am »

David Hoover wrote on Wed, 11 November 2009 23:22

Drew West wrote on Thu, 12 November 2009 00:16

Audix VX5. Great mic, and very versatile.

That's my recommendation!


I forgot to mention: can you guys please tell me what you like about the microphones, what you use it for, and why you have chosen that one above all others.  Didn't mean to dis your reply in any way, but I want to hear your review/testamony! Smile


Laughing Sorry bout that. I was in a hurry...

Anyways, I use that mic for a lot of things. First of all, it's a great vocal mic in just about any setting. Comparable to some good neumanns I've used. They also work fantastic in pairs hovering a couple+ feet above the kick drum and angled out to the edges (hat and floor tom usually). Great overheads to ignore stage sound when used in that way, and it sounds great in the studio too, which is where I discovered it.

They sound great anywhere an sm57 or 58 would, but way better. Good full sound, and it also takes well to eq if that makes any sense. It's an easy mic to add warmth/sparkle to.

Sound good on the drummers side of the kick angled down apposing a dynamic which has it's polarity switched.
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Heil Sound PR Series or Shure Beta Series?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 01:24:10 am »

Jeff Wheeler wrote on Wed, 11 November 2009 23:54

I own several Heil PR20s and I wish they had a trade-in program so I could swap up to PR22s.  The PR20 sounds great, but it has a handling noise issue that can be pretty apparent depending on the application.  The PR22 is functionally the same as the PR20 except its handling noise is greatly improved.


At one time they had an exceedingly reasonable upgrade program.  I recommend that you call them.

Phil LaDue

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Re: Heil Sound PR Series or Shure Beta Series?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2009, 01:34:17 am »

Jeff Wheeler wrote on Thu, 12 November 2009 00:54

 I own several Heil PR20s and I wish they had a trade-in program so I could swap up to PR22s.  The PR20 sounds great, but it has a handling noise issue that can be pretty apparent depending on the application.  The PR22 is functionally the same as the PR20 except its handling noise is greatly improved.

I did exactly that.

Contact Heil directly.
http://www.heilsound.com/pro/aboutus/contact.php

Tim Padrick

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Re: Heil Sound PR Series or Shure Beta Series?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2009, 01:40:37 am »

IME so far, there are a number of much better sounding mics, but the trouble is they all pick up a lot more unwanted sound than "the usual" live mics.  Mics such as:

AE5400 (I sold mine)

KMS105 (a friend sold his)

PR20/PR22 (A friend never uses his)

VX5 (I've never used one)

VX10 (I'm selling mine, a friend never uses his)

When one has such mics he tries them.  Once he's run into enough gigs on which he tried them and had to switch to something else, he eventually stops bothering with them.


There are also mics that sound better than the usual suspects, but have decent rejection of unwanted sounds.

OM7 (best rejection, must be worked close, fast dropoff which can be easily dealt with IME)

M88

767a

PL80a (I've never used one)

E945

E935

E845

E835

Dave Dermont

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Re: Heil Sound PR Series or Shure Beta Series?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2009, 08:24:43 am »

Is there a budget restriction?

For an inexpensive dynamic I like the Sennheiser e835.

If you got the bucks, the beyerdynamic M88 is extremely versatile.

I don't use a great number of condenser vocal mics, but I do own a CAD C-195, and it's way better than an under $100.00 microphone ought to be.

The Neumann KMS105 has worked well for me, but I usually use that in situations where I have good singers on quiet stages. It is very much a "warts and all" kind of microphone.

The Heil mics are good, but the 'buzz' about them is mostly manufactured by the Heil Sound marketing department. A good mic, but I don't think they will cure cancer.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Heil Sound PR Series or Shure Beta Series?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2009, 08:42:35 am »

David,
The Heil line of microphones are great for recording and live sound. The entire line has a very flat response and a clarity to them that you'll not find in many mics in their price range, or for that matter, in many mics well above their price range.

As others have pointed out though, just like any other microphone it's best to know their limitations. The PR-20, the first new kid on the block, was the spawn of Bob Heils amateur radio line, for which he is world famous. It was a collaboration between him and Joe Walsh which led to it's development and release. The handling noise was an issue, pointed out on this site and brought to Bob Heils attention. With the help of many including myself the handling noise was eliminated and the mic renamed the PR-22.

All of the Heil mics are known for their clarity and GBF. They are, according to some, also know for their ability to pick up stage wash. This is a trait that is debatable IMO because the fact remains the PR series will replicate frequencies above and below that of it's competitors, hence more sound is heard and then reproduced. Anyway, this is not the place for this debate.

As far as comparing the Heils to the Beta line, there is no comparison. The Heils win hands down in my book. My suggestion to you is to purchase a PR-35. The PR-35 is a wonderful mic that works very well on loud stages, has great GBF, and is suitable for recording, male, and female vocals. The PR-35 is also often compared to higher priced $6-7-800 Neumann's and Shures, and for very good reason. More can be found about these comparisons on other sites including the PSW recording site. If that mic is out of your price range, then I would suggest a PR-22. And here is a link to the discussion about the PR-35.

 http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/31781/15733/

Jeff,
Call Heil and ask them about a price for a bulk upgrade. I think you'll find out it's a pretty good deal.

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