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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => SR Forum Archives => Road Test FUD Forum Archive => Topic started by: Dave Dermont on May 26, 2009, 09:55:35 am

Title: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Dave Dermont on May 26, 2009, 09:55:35 am
I recently received four Telefunken M80 microphones for Road Test. The first thing I noticed when I opened up the box was how they felt. They exuded a feeling of high quality and robustness. The next thing I noticed was that they were larger than most mics of their type, and did not fit into the “standard” size vocal mic clip. The quality of the supplied clip is a C+ at best. I suppose it will hold up as well as any other mic clip, but what happens if it gets lost? If the reason the mic is so big is because that's how big they have to be to get the high quality transformer inside, then fine, I can live with that.

I used the mics at a club where I am house sound man. My first reaction, on comparing them with the house OM3 vocal mics was the lower end. The M80 has gobs more low end, bordering on being “tubby”. It's a wide cardioid microphone, so off-axis rejection is not spectacular, as would be expected. Proximity effect is less pronounced than what you find in other mics of this type. This makes the hefty low end very controllable.

After using the microphone on a half-dozen or so vocalists,  as well as some snare drums, and guitar cabinets, I found the M80 to be a versatile microphone. It has a distinct character all its own, and as is usually the case with with vocal microphones, results went from good to spectacular depending on the vocalist. Unlike some other vocal mics, I was never compelled to replace it with another microphone.

I can recommend giving this mic an audition. In fact, at a street price of around $270.00 this microphone absolutely needs to be auditioned. I am certain there are applications where the Telefunken M80 is the best mic for the job, no matter what the price. There are other applications where a microphone costing $100.00 less may work just as well as, or better than, an M80.

Telefunken mat not have given us the be-all end-all live performance microphone, but then, neither has anyone else. What Telefunken has done is give us a mic unlike any of the other usual suspects, and delivered a new color to the live sound palette.

Telefunken M80 Website
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Silas Pradetto on May 26, 2009, 12:02:55 pm
I have several demo units as well. The vocalists that have tried it so far have mentioned to me that the mic is very good to pull back from and sing background vocals; it stays very consistent regardless of distance.

I will write up a real review when I get time and have more opportunity to test them out.

I am allowed to comment on Road Test posts, right?
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Dave Dermont on May 26, 2009, 12:10:34 pm
Silas Pradetto wrote on Tue, 26 May 2009 12:02

I have several demo units as well. The vocalists that have tried it so far have mentioned to me that the mic is very good to pull back from and sing background vocals; it stays very consistent regardless of distance.

I will write up a real review when I get time and have more opportunity to test them out.

I am allowed to comment on Road Test posts, right?


Since the M80 is an "official" Road Test product, anyone with opinions are welcome to post, even if they have not used the "official" Road Test samples.

There is no need for a separate product review thread.

The Road Test M80s are in the hands of user #2 with user #3 already scheduled. Look for those reports to follow soon.

DD
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Jason Dermer on May 26, 2009, 07:38:46 pm
Somehow I have never thought of myself as "user #2."

I'll be banging these around this weekend, my plans are for BRVs, snare, and electric guitar. If my "Diva" will let me I'll also see how it compares her KMS140.
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Ian Jones on May 27, 2009, 04:23:36 pm
Dave Dermont wrote on Tue, 26 May 2009 09:55

I recently received four Telefunken M80 microphones for Road Test. The first thing I noticed when I opened up the box was how they felt. They exuded a feeling of high quality and robustness. The next thing I noticed was that they were larger than most mics of their type, and did not fit into the “standard” size vocal mic clip. The quality of the supplied clip is a C+ at best. I suppose it will hold up as well as any other mic clip, but what happens if it gets lost? If the reason the mic is so big is because that's how big they have to be to get the high quality transformer inside, then fine, I can live with that.

I used the mics at a club where I am house sound man. My first reaction, on comparing them with the house OM3 vocal mics was the lower end. The M80 has gobs more low end, bordering on being “tubby”. It's a wide cardioid microphone, so off-axis rejection is not spectacular, as would be expected. Proximity effect is less pronounced than what you find in other mics of this type. This makes the hefty low end very controllable.

After using the microphone on a half-dozen or so vocalists,  as well as some snare drums, and guitar cabinets, I found the M80 to be a versatile microphone. It has a distinct character all its own, and as is usually the case with with vocal microphones, results went from good to spectacular depending on the vocalist. Unlike some other vocal mics, I was never compelled to replace it with another microphone.

I can recommend giving this mic an audition. In fact, at a street price of around $270.00 this microphone absolutely needs to be auditioned. I am certain there are applications where the Telefunken M80 is the best mic for the job, no matter what the price. There are other applications where a microphone costing $100.00 less may work just as well as, or better than, an M80.

Telefunken mat not have given us the be-all end-all live performance microphone, but then, neither has anyone else. What Telefunken has done is give us a mic unlike any of the other usual suspects, and delivered a new color to the live sound palette.

Telefunken M80 Website



I'd like to correct one point.  The list price of the M80 is $239, which would make the street price much less than $270.
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Dave Dermont on May 27, 2009, 09:16:59 pm
Ian Jones wrote on Wed, 27 May 2009 16:23

I'd like to correct one point.  The list price of the M80 is $239, which would make the street price much less than $270.


Ian,

I don't know how I got that wrong. Maybe because it seems like $270 would not be out of line for this microphone.

The $40.00 might not seem like much, but it brings the M80 down to a much more crowded price point.

In checking some online dealer pricing, I don't find anyone listing a selling price of less than $239.00, so it looks like I was not the only one who missed the pricing memo.

I bet a $199.00 street price would be like opening the flood gates. This is assuming I am not the only one who has a use for a cardioid dynamic that's more than "just a vocal mic".

DD
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Dave Dermont on May 27, 2009, 09:18:32 pm
Jason Dermer wrote on Tue, 26 May 2009 19:38

I'll be banging these around this weekend, my plans are for BRVs, snare, and electric guitar. If my "Diva" will let me I'll also see how it compares her KMS140.


At the risk of looking uncool, I'll just ask...

What the heck is a BRV?



Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Jason Dermer on May 27, 2009, 09:53:01 pm
BRV is board tape speak for Back Round Vocalist
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Duncan McLennan on May 28, 2009, 07:53:53 pm
Well, now that it's an official Road Test item, I don't feel bad linking to the other thread that shows my initial impressions (and some others) that I started a few months back.

http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/43340/10364/
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Jon Roberts on June 25, 2009, 09:30:56 am
Any more info on the M80? Curious to hear how people are fairing with them.

- Jon
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Bennett Prescott on June 25, 2009, 10:31:09 am
Spent an evening with them on monitors the other day. The short story is they have above-standard feedback stability and a nice reliable pattern, plus they sound good and have good "cut" right off the bat. Didn't have to hack up the EQ to get them good and loud. On some voices, unfortunately, they suck... one of those kinds of mics that really shines for some, is OK on others, and is awful for the rest.
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Silas Pradetto on June 25, 2009, 10:12:47 pm
Bennett Prescott wrote on Thu, 25 June 2009 10:31

Spent an evening with them on monitors the other day. The short story is they have above-standard feedback stability and a nice reliable pattern, plus they sound good and have good "cut" right off the bat. Didn't have to hack up the EQ to get them good and loud. On some voices, unfortunately, they suck... one of those kinds of mics that really shines for some, is OK on others, and is awful for the rest.


I've actually found them to be better than my OM5s in just about every case.

I still have to do that long review, I've done probably 10 shows with a pair.
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Paul Dershem on July 13, 2009, 12:04:15 am
Have you been able to establish a correlation between the kinds of voices that work best, or should be avoided, with these mics?
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Weogo Reed on July 30, 2009, 01:29:35 pm
Hi Y'all,

Has anybody compared the M80 to the Heil PR22 or EV PL80a?

Thanks and good health,  Weogo
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Robert Alan on July 31, 2009, 11:37:26 am
i believe John Chiara has done some shootouts with the heils

http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/47379/0/

from above and what he has said before seems the tele M80 sounds about just as good as the heils but is alot more stable and without the bleed problems of the heils etc.

as for the EV PL80a from what ive heard its supposed to be quite a warm-ish sounding mic with lots of proximity where as the M80 is supposed be be a more present, brighter sounding mic.

if this is true, then maybe comparing something also present sounding like the AT ae6100 might be better.

i would still like to know more about the PL80a though. will hopefully check one out soon.

another one ive wanted check out for a long time is the equation audio DS.V10. its supposed to be very clear and articulate. would be cool to know how that compares to the M80 as the price difference is massive!
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: John Chiara on September 04, 2009, 02:50:23 am
Another success with the M80. Tea Leaf Green keyboard vocal..made it come to life.
A little tweak in the highs depending on the voice and it sounds very HIFI.

Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Robert Alan on September 04, 2009, 02:14:39 pm
i have to say the vocal audio clip on the M80 website
( http://www.m80mic.com/ ) doenst get me too excited. i would love to try the M80 but im not sure i want to take the hefty
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Paul Dershem on September 04, 2009, 06:03:59 pm
+1  Not a good singer and, at least over my headphones, the recording quality sounded mediocre to awful as well.
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: John Chiara on September 04, 2009, 07:01:43 pm
Paul Dershem wrote on Fri, 04 September 2009 18:03

+1  Not a good singer and, at least over my headphones, the recording quality sounded mediocre to awful as well.


I MAY have a live 2 track recording of some bands using the M80...I will have to look.


Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Robert Alan on September 04, 2009, 09:17:13 pm
that would be most helpful John. thanks  Smile
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Drine Fet on September 09, 2009, 01:23:12 am
Tea Leaf Green keyboard vocal..made it appear to life.

A little abuse in the highs depending on the voice



________________
Best diet pills

Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Silas Pradetto on September 09, 2009, 08:47:19 am
John Chiara wrote on Fri, 04 September 2009 19:01

Paul Dershem wrote on Fri, 04 September 2009 18:03

+1  Not a good singer and, at least over my headphones, the recording quality sounded mediocre to awful as well.


I MAY have a live 2 track recording of some bands using the M80...I will have to look.





I have a board recording of a recent acoustic show I did; I used the M80 on the female lead vocal. It sounded pretty good, let me see if I can find what I did with that.
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Denny Jagard on October 02, 2010, 09:45:58 pm
I used them mixing in ear monitors for maybe 60 shows on vocals.  Now I'm mixing FOH using them on snare, under snare and bells/crotales.  My current lead vocalist tried one in rehearsal with IEMs, but preferred his OM7 (maybe for isolation?  I wasn't there to witness or adjust).

Audio quality and side/rear rejection is excellent.  I still pick up high frequencies if the mic is pointed at cymbals (I try to angle vocal mics away from high hats), but otherwise great gain before feedback and isolation.  Less EQ is needed in general compared to a 58...less low end proximity effect, dips in response around 400 hz and maybe 2.5k, but a bright presence from 4k to 8k (like what I often do with EQ to a 58).  Less distortion than a 58, my impression is it sounds more "hifi-ish" but still has great gain before feedback.  Regarding the earlier question about which voices wouldn't sound good with this mic, I'm guessing voices that have peaks at 4-6k, heavy sibilance issues, or a lack of low mids around 400hz.  

Clip is terrible (can't hold the mic up, hard to tighten, prone to tearing apart when tape inserted to tighten, prone to brass threaded part coming out when mic stand slams the stage), BUT Telefunken is designing a new better/stronger one that is "nearly ready."  The Audix vocal mic clip works great with them.  The Shure clips are a bit stressed to receive the large shaft, though I'm still currently using them on snares due to neccessity.

When thrown to the stage repeatedly, grill is more likely to come apart than a Audio Technica AE6100 or SM58.  Depending on the severity, usually about 4 hard "drops" will pop open the grill around the ring.  Telefunken has been supportive with spare parts.

When thrown repeatedly and grills are repeatedly damaged and replaced, audio degradation was only noticed after MANY drops.  I've been told this is likely transformer/connections damaged.  Result was a loss of gain, maybe 10 db and slightly different tonality.  This happened with 2 mics out of around 60 shows averaging maybe 5 hard "drops" per show.  

I am now currently using them on snare tops and bottoms, for a much more "hifi-ish" beefy sound and more isolation than a 57.  Also using them on bells and crotales, with same results.

Telefunken can make very pretty gold and silver ones.  See ZZTop for silver, AFI for gold.

I did not notice much handling noise with an agressive singer and a vocal heavy in ear monitor mix, even in the shiny metallic model (rather than rubber finish).  I never muted the mic in the monitors despite lots of "drops" and replacing the mic in the clip.

Telefunken seems eager to work with engineers to get the mics out there.

Definitely worth a try.  I've watched engineers get VERY happy when trying these as a lead vocal mic.  It's hard to beat a mic that sounds hifi-ish AND has great gain before feedback.

Denny
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Daniel Nygaard on October 03, 2010, 11:19:16 am
I bought a M80 about a year ago and have used it on a wide veriety of vocals ever since.

In my experience it has a higher gain before feedback than for example SM/B58 and E935 in the low end, but a lower GBF in the high end. In fact sometimes the HF-feedback has taken me by surprise; quality speaker systems, nice acoustics et cetera, and still a few nasty HF feedbacks (problem instantly solved when switching to a B58a).

Another problem I've been having with my M80 is that every now and then it'll give the vocalist a little electric shock (Yes, even the vocalists that are not holding an electric guitar). Have anyone else had any problems with this that seem out of the ordinary?

Apart from the above mentioned problems I find it to be an excellent alternative for many vocalist where a condeser mic would have a too low GBF. Just like you've been saying in this forum, it has a nice tonal response and I even find it to have a clearer midrange in terms of distortion, though that might be caused by something else.

However, just like Bennet was saying earlier; it's not for every vocalist out there.
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: Silas Pradetto on October 04, 2010, 11:18:01 am
Denny, what the HECK are you doing that requires throwing the mic on the ground 5 times per show for 60 shows? Are you doing some sort of pro wrestling gig? Glad to hear it's surviving, but it's a microphone, not a hammer!

THIS is the hammer:

http://www.electrovoice.com/family.php?id=35

Edit: Lately, I'm using the M80 for folk vocals and snare top. I can't seem to get it working well on a rock stage, it's a bit too ringy. Folk vocals are FANTASTIC, so is the snare sound.

I have a huge backlog of multitrack show recordings, but once I get some edited down I'll post them.
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS on October 05, 2010, 12:38:39 am
Had a band show up recently where the lead singer used an M80.  Band had it's own engineers.  The vocals through the monitors sounded great.  I was only able to hear it during a very brief sound check and through the cue wedge but thought the mic sounded very nice there.  The ME used death to 100...A comment earlier in the post about a lot of low end may have accounted for that.  There was also a bit of a cut at 200 but no other significant cuts in the monitor EQ that I can remember.  

I have no comment on the sound through front of house as the BE hacked his EQ WAAAYYYYY too much to get get any realistic feeling for the true posibilities of how the mic could have sounded.  That's what happens when you mix with your eye attached to the computer screen rather than using your ears that are so conveniently attached to your head.
Title: Re: Telefunken M80 Hand-Held Vocal Microphone
Post by: John Chiara on October 31, 2010, 06:39:38 pm
The M80 is a great mic. As I may have stated before, it sounds good on about 80% of the voices I try it on. One exception is a local blues singer..kind of a throaty and full voice..for some reason the M80 makes his voice sound shrill and thin....so again last week in a small club..back to the Heil PR35.....stellar.