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Author Topic: Heil PR-22  (Read 51729 times)

Andy Peters

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Heil PR-22
« on: June 14, 2008, 12:56:08 am »

A couple of PR22s and Heil's "Handi-Mics" showed up on my doorstop this afternoon (an early father's day gift!). Here are my "first impressions."

The PR22s come in a neat thick padded case, and as an added bonus, the package includes the gold and matte-black windscreens in addition to the standard silver screen.

Naturally, the first thing I wanted to do was compare it to the "obsolete industry-standard ball microphone." I do own one SM58, which I've had for years but it's been used very rarely. I never keep it in the mic box; it was in its pouch on a shelf, and as such it's "like new!"

My "test set-up" consists of a pair of Genelec 1031A studio monitors hooked up to a Rane MLM82a mic/line mixer. (The Rane mixer mic inputs are the same TI INA163s found on many mixing consoles. Its input impedance is 2.66k.) I just plugged the Heil into one channel and the Shure into another, turned on one speaker, talked into the two mics and matched levels.

I asked my wife to listen to both mics (not telling her which was which) and tell me which she thought sounded better. I spoke into both, back and forth, and at one point while speaking into the PR22, she said, "That sounds better." But her comment about the SM58 was telling: "That one sounds like you're talking into a microphone."

To my ears, the Heil sounded like my voice, which I suppose is the whole point. And it does so, regardless of the distance between the mic and my mouth, since the PR22 doesn't exhibit much proximity effect.  However, if you're working with a vocalist who expects same and knows how to "work the mic" you might want to look elsewhere. I suspect that most of us just roll up the channel-strip high-pass (or, better, use a multiband compressor). The thing is, while the PR22 has little proximity effect, its data sheet indicates its LF response is flat down to 50 Hz, an octave better than the SM58. So to me this indicates that you get useful, "unhyped" LF and simply speaking into the mic bears this out.

Also missing is the SM58's presence peak, which is a comparative icepick to the forehead. I suppose the presence peak is an example of a bug that got turned into a "feature," but to be honest, who the hell needs it? (An aside: the SM57 is the "standard" guitar-amp mic, but what guitar amp needs a presence peak?)

Another thing I noticed was that the SM58 sounded a bit distorted, even with just my speaking voice. I suspect that this is a function of the presence peak and the proximity effect.

(I've noticed this distortion on the voice of the singer I work for; he was using an SM58 and then a Beta57A and I noticed the same distortion. It was driving me nuts, as it was happening on different consoles on different systems, and I thought it might be an insert or whatever. I tried swapping Beta57As with no effect. Finally replacing the Beta57A with an EV757A solved the problem. Some old-timers may remember that one complaint about the original, non-A, Beta58 was that it overloaded easily.)

Handling noise, at least in my test set-up, was not a problem, certainly as good as the SM58. It remains to be heard how well it rejects LF crawling up a mic stand that's sitting on top of sub cabs built into a stage.

I compared the PR22 to my EV757A, but I'm not sure how fair a comparison this is, because the EV has been around the block a bit and that mic is no longer in production (it's been replaced by the 767A, which is noticeably better sounding). The PR22 is certainly clearer. With the 757's LF rolloff disengaged, its proximity effect (it's a supercardioid) is very obvious, resulting in very hyped low end on my voice (which, again, is typically rolled off on the channel strip). With the high-pass engaged, the 757 clears up but it then sounds thin.

So ... the first impression is that "it sounds like my voice," much more so than the SM58. The next step is to put it in front of a vocal wedge and see how loud it gets before it goes to shit.  Also, I want to hear how it works when the singer is 5' from a drum kit. Hopefully, I'll get to that next week.

-a

PS: I suppose it's worth mentioning that Shure obviously believes that the SM58 is not the be-all and end-all of handheld vocal mics. Otherwise, they wouldn't have bothered with the SM86, Beta87 or KSM9, all of which are much better mics than the SM58. And SM58-bashing is sorta like shooting fish in a barrel. But, then again, they market it as the "industry standard."

But really, but when you consider that Bob gives you a mic and two replacement windscreens for what you'd pay for an SM58 and two new windscreens, why bother with the obsolete ball microphone?
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Heil PR-22
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2008, 08:26:11 am »

Keep us up to date please Andy. I'll be curious to hear what you think once you adjust the channel strip EQ for the PR-22. What does Milo think?  Smile
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Heil PR-22
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2008, 09:10:56 am »

I've got a small concert with a gospel singer tomorrow and I'm planning to use my PR-22 so long as it suits her voice.  The only reason I might not is if she needs 2 mics (1 CS and 1 at the keyboard).  I'll let everyone know how it pans out.
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John Chiara

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Re: Heil PR-22
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2008, 03:00:25 pm »

Jordan Wolf wrote on Sat, 14 June 2008 09:10

I've got a small concert with a gospel singer tomorrow and I'm planning to use my PR-22 so long as it suits her voice.  The only reason I might not is if she needs 2 mics (1 CS and 1 at the keyboard).  I'll let everyone know how it pans out.


I had this with a keyboard player with 2 mics and he had a PR 22 and a Beta 58..interesting hearing the difference on the same singer/same stage/setup..etc.

John
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Heil PR-22
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2008, 04:52:37 pm »

John Chiara wrote on Sat, 14 June 2008 15:00

I had this with a keyboard player with 2 mics and he had a PR 22 and a Beta 58..interesting hearing the difference on the same singer/same stage/setup..etc.

John


Wow...that is the exact same setup I'll have tomorrow.
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Douglas R. Allen

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Re: Heil PR-22
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2008, 07:31:26 pm »

Thanks for the review.
Is there a big difference between the PR22s and PR20?
How did the Hindi-Mic compare to the PR22?

Lastly who is your dealer? Link?

Looking for some mic's and hearing allot about these.

Thanks again.

Douglas R. Allen
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Heil PR-22
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2008, 01:09:51 am »

Well, sadly, I decided not to use the PR-22 today.  The artist is a great singer and utilizes a mic technique that plays on the proximity effect...so, that left the PR-22 out of the equation this time.

Other than that, the little concert went fine.

To Douglas:
The PR-22 is a "fixed" version of the PR-20.  It was found out that the PR-20 had a very big handling noise issue, so Bob (Heil) came up with a fix and, thus, the PR-22.  
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Heil PR-22
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 05:51:45 pm »

Jordan Wolf wrote on Mon, 16 June 2008 01:09

Well, sadly, I decided not to use the PR-22 today.  The artist is a great singer and utilizes a mic technique that plays on the proximity effect...so, that left the PR-22 out of the equation this time.

Other than that, the little concert went fine.

To Douglas:
The PR-22 is a "fixed" version of the PR-20.  It was found out that the PR-20 had a very big handling noise issue, so Bob (Heil) came up with a fix and, thus, the PR-22.  


Jordan/douglas,
The PR-20 has what should be considered excessive handling noise when hand held. If the mike is used in a stand the handling noise is negligible. The PR-20 is an excellent mic where it is stand mounted such as when used as a drum overhead, guitar cabinets, etc.
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Andy Peters

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Re: Heil PR-22
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2008, 07:47:50 pm »

Bob Leonard wrote on Mon, 16 June 2008 14:51

Jordan Wolf wrote on Mon, 16 June 2008 01:09

Well, sadly, I decided not to use the PR-22 today.  The artist is a great singer and utilizes a mic technique that plays on the proximity effect...so, that left the PR-22 out of the equation this time.

Other than that, the little concert went fine.

To Douglas:
The PR-22 is a "fixed" version of the PR-20.  It was found out that the PR-20 had a very big handling noise issue, so Bob (Heil) came up with a fix and, thus, the PR-22.  


Jordan/douglas,
The PR-20 has what should be considered excessive handling noise when hand held. If the mike is used in a stand the handling noise is negligible. The PR-20 is an excellent mic where it is stand mounted such as when used as a drum overhead, guitar cabinets, etc.


Stand mounting doesn't mitigate the problem of handling noise is fucked-up-yet-common situations like Club Congress here in Tucson. The subs are built into the stage in such a way that the whole downstage section (above the subs) resonates, and of course that's where the frontline vocal mics live. LF has a fun habit of traveling up the stand to the vocal mics.

(And that's not the worst thing about that install ...)

-a
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Heil PR-22
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2008, 08:58:36 pm »

Andy Peters wrote on Mon, 16 June 2008 19:47

Bob Leonard wrote on Mon, 16 June 2008 14:51

Jordan Wolf wrote on Mon, 16 June 2008 01:09

Well, sadly, I decided not to use the PR-22 today.  The artist is a great singer and utilizes a mic technique that plays on the proximity effect...so, that left the PR-22 out of the equation this time.

Other than that, the little concert went fine.

To Douglas:
The PR-22 is a "fixed" version of the PR-20.  It was found out that the PR-20 had a very big handling noise issue, so Bob (Heil) came up with a fix and, thus, the PR-22.  


Jordan/douglas,
The PR-20 has what should be considered excessive handling noise when hand held. If the mike is used in a stand the handling noise is negligible. The PR-20 is an excellent mic where it is stand mounted such as when used as a drum overhead, guitar cabinets, etc.


Stand mounting doesn't mitigate the problem of handling noise is fucked-up-yet-common situations like Club Congress here in Tucson. The subs are built into the stage in such a way that the whole downstage section (above the subs) resonates, and of course that's where the frontline vocal mics live. LF has a fun habit of traveling up the stand to the vocal mics.

(And that's not the worst thing about that install ...)

-a


Andy,
I have to agree. Actually, it was a club with a high hollow stage that prompted me to call Bob Heil about the issue in the first place. But then again, everything we put on the stage that night gave up the same shit. We finally rolled in some carpet and that was that, but correct again. If it's there it's a problem.

I wish I could remember the model of the subs built into the stage at a club I worked in Somerville, MA. I built out the system with what they had, all EAW. The subs were horns built into the stage and I could literally crawl inside them. Opened for a name there one night and the names girlfriend sat on the edge of the stage all night. I asked her why and she told me she was into the vibration. Laughing

How's Milo??
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