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Author Topic: Sennheiser MD 409  (Read 31460 times)

dofo

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Sennheiser MD 409
« on: September 25, 2007, 10:51:05 pm »

Hi there folks,

Does anyone out there have tech/spec docs for the original Sennheiser MD409 or any of its Ux versions (U3 is the one I see the most it seems)?  

In particular, a legible, graphed frequency curve for the mic would be very helpful to me right now.

I've got lots of different tech docs myself, so a trade would be in order, I presume...


Cheers,

Tillmann
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Aaron Zeller

Markus Aalto

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2007, 04:27:48 pm »

Information: http://www.coutant.org/md409u3/index.html

Specification sheet pdf: http://www.coutant.org/md409u3/md409u3.pdf

I've been told BF509 is exactly the same microphone. I have one. I can't understand high prices of these mics - especially MD 409. I've seen many times some sellers on eBay asks almost similar prices than how much used AKG C414's are.... What makes MD 409's so expensive? Because Stevie Ray Vaughan used them? I paid about 60 euros couple of years ago. It's realistic price for used BF509. It is just normal dynamic instrument microphone (from German high quality manufacturer).
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ricknroll

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2007, 01:16:36 pm »

Markus,

If you do a search on the PSW forums, you'll find that some people LOVE the sound of this mic on electric guitar.  For example, Oliver Archut wrote, "MD409 the greatest close distance mics for 4x12, etc..." in the following thread:    http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/mv/msg/7565/0/16/ 1550

Rick Hedges
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Markus Aalto

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2007, 06:48:56 am »

Rick,
It is good microphone but i can't understand "Buy it now" prices from $399 to $499 like someones asking on eBay. It is possible to get C414 for the same price. Of course MD409's are rare.

I use usually stereo set up on guitar in the studio. A pair of large diaphgram mics on "custom made" 2x12" stereo cab with tube pre amp and 2 channel tube power amp (if guitarist doesn't want to use own amplifiers). I've used Sennheiser only in some live concerts yet. In that kind  conditions is more difficult to hear all the details in sound. Maybe i need to test that BF509 again and compare it to some other ones that i've used more often... Oliver wrote MD409 and MD509 but i think also BF509 (Black Fire) is the same(?).
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2007, 12:40:00 pm »

409 and 509 are exactly the same.  I have both.  The difference was to whom and where they were marketed, AFAIK.

The difference between a 409 and a 414, is that the 409 is the perfect guitar and bass amp mic.  There's something about its response that allows you to just throw it on and not have to use any EQ, and you get a great guitar tone.  

A current fad is to use a SM57 with  Royer 121.  That's $1,200 worth of mic there!  I prefer the sound of a single 409 to those two.  And on a guitar amp, I prefer a 409 to any 414 that costs $500.

They were a $450 or so mic when they were brand new.  They are still in high demand by the people who know them.  The fact that they are no longer being made, and are still in demand dictates those prices.  I own four of them.  If I ever have to record amplified music, they go with me.  They are my first choice for amps.  
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

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John Monforte

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2007, 12:19:53 am »

I agree with JJ here - I myself have three of them in cherry condition.

They also work well on rack toms. They take high levels more cleanly than most dynamics.

Are they better than a C414? They are only worth what the market will bear. Sennheiser supposedly makes an updated version which I have not heard, but with that possible exception I know of nothing else that works quite like they do.

Around here the talk is mostly about large diaphragm condensers. As nice as they are, relying solely on them can result in rather monochromatic recordings. The MD409 is quite different and not a one-trick-pony either. I'm not selling!

By the way, it is a fairly modern mic. I am of the opinion that the art of microphone design has not been lost and future classics are being built right now. Better identify them and buy them while they are still affordable!
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Markus Aalto

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2007, 09:12:00 am »

J.J. Blair wrote on Fri, 26 October 2007 19:40

409 and 509 are exactly the same.  I have both.  The difference was to whom and where they were marketed, AFAIK.

 And on a guitar amp, I prefer a 409 to any 414 that costs $500.
 


I've learned on this forum that J.J. does not love C414's.  Twisted Evil

I had my BF 509 on stage yesterday night. It worked. Anyway the guitar amp wasn't maybe the best sounding one and haven't heard that guitarist many times before... Still need more experience get to know that mic better...

It depends also about preferred sound. I'm a big fan of Dann Huff's "Californian era" sounds and Also Michael Landau's sounds from late 80's and 90's. Typical setup i use is MESA Quad preamp + multieffects + Marshall 50+50 power amp(or QSC in some cases). I've found large diaphgram condenser mics more suitable for those sounds. In the studio sound levels aren't too high...

I believe MD409/BF509 are good universal guitar amp mics. I also believe that Stevie Ray Vaughan used them for reason. Anyway i still don't understand $500 price for buying one in used condition.
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2007, 02:04:07 pm »

My mentor engineered and mixed Michael's "Tales from the Bulge," and my first paying session as an engineer was for Michael.  I love that guy.  Great tones.  However, he asked me to use an SM57 on his session.

Yeah, I must not like 414s.  That's why I own five of them, but I sell every U87 that comes my way.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Markus Aalto

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2007, 05:39:40 pm »

Sorry about my slightly incomplete comment.. If i remember your website right i've seen there grey C414's with CK12's... Not with "teflon" capsules. I had newer versions in my mind. Maybe i didn't remember exactly what you have commented....

I know this goes off topic but must write a short comment. In Michael Landau's cd "Tales from the Bulge" most of sounds are more rough. They are nice anyway. Difficult to name some specific examples about the sounds but some older Herp Albert cd's comes to my mind like:  Keep Your Eye On Me, Under A Spanish Moon. Wilson Phillips cd's and countless other ones...  He has played so much.... I don't know what kind mics he has normally used....?
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2007, 12:30:46 pm »

From my mentor, Alan Hirshberg:

Quote:

We always used 57s. Many times, Michael would actually tweak the position himself. As for amps, it depends on whether he was using is Bradshaw rack or not. At the time, he had a Bogner preamp in the rack. I can't remember what power amp. He also had a Bogner combo amp, and a rather large collection of vintage Marshall heads.

On the Burning Water sessions he used the Marshalls, as well as a Matchless and a Vox.
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studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Markus Aalto

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2007, 04:43:38 pm »

Hmm. The discussion goes quite far from the title...  Embarassed  This forum is amazing place to find and get many kind information related to microphones. Thanks J.J.

What features gives justification to call microphone "high end"? Price? Manufacturing country? Suitablibity to some specific use? SM 57 is quite interesting microphone. I believe no one will call it high end microphone but it works well on guitar amps, drums and it is also president's speach microphone too.
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Oliver Archut

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2007, 06:18:15 pm »

"Anyway i still don't understand $500 price for buying one in used condition"

It is the same old story more people want to buy those 409 and not to many are available! As far as I remember in the days you can get them there were about four times what a SM57 went for...

So today the in demand price reflects that, about four times the price of a new SM5x...

Unfortunately Sennheiser lost the "Know How" to make them...

Best regards,

Oliver
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Oliver Archut
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We are so advanced, that we can develop technology that can determine how much damage the earth has taken from the development of that technology.

panman

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2007, 09:18:59 pm »

Well, at least the MD409 capsules can be found in some other Sennheiser and Grundig mics. I have a few and when I will have time I will try to implant one in an AKG D14. Doesn`t even look too much different.
Then there is Echolette 14ES, which is the basically the same mic. Though rare as well, it pops up on Ebay slightly more often than the MD409 and sell not so dear.
Regards,
       Esa
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E.T.

Oliver Archut

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2007, 09:30:14 pm »

The Echolette is a low budged version of it, not real a 409 but it is very close, never heard about the Grundig ones, but you can find the capsules in several Uher microphones.


Best regards,

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Oliver Archut
www.tab-funkenwerk.com

We are so advanced, that we can develop technology that can determine how much damage the earth has taken from the development of that technology.

panman

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Re: Sennheiser MD 409
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2007, 06:08:08 pm »

I did implant one of those "Grundigs" into an AKG D14A.

The result was a surprise to me. My "bastard 409" works really nice. It`s a pity I don`t have a real MD409 to compare. But it stood up against my heap of MD421s.

The frequency responce on axis close-miking is pretty much the same with slightly less high-end on "the Bastard" judging by my ears. Off-axis makes the differences more audible, the cardioid on MD421 being wider. And the mic really can handle high SPLs at least as good as MD421. Further testing did also prove, that I have found another mic capable of handling the very problematic and complex sound of a Steelpan.

I confess, that I was dismissing the MD409s before this thread. That is because there have been previous threads about it and in some pictures I saw the same capsule as my Grundigs have and for me those Grundigs were crap and even looked like toys. But now I replaced the crappy cable into a proper one and I also noticed, that there was a hi-ohmic trafo inside the DIN-plug and without it( with proper impedance) they sound good, but yet take very little space. Only a bit more than the capsule size.
They are sold as Grundig GDSM 202.
What is the difference between Es-14 and MD409?
Regards,
       Esa

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