1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Micing an SVT: Heil PR 40 vs. EV RE 20

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JimmyM, Apr 30, 2010.


  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i've been using a heil pr 40 on my ampegs for the past couple years. but earlier this week, i was actually given an ev re 20 by an old friend of mine from canada who shall remain nameless unless he wants to identify himself, but he shall be referred to in this thread as "the greatest person to ever live." ;)

    so i got to my gig early today and asked the soundman if he didn't mind letting me ab each mic before the gig. so i finally got to compare the re 20 and the pr 40 in the same setting. the pr 40 is often compared to the re 20, and they both sounded excellent, but there are some differences.

    pr 40:

    ---big low end and midbass, upper mid presence but not quite as present as the re 20

    ---snappy high end but not much past 10k

    ---hot

    re 20:

    ---more even response

    ---snappy high end, not quite as hyped around 3-5k as the pr40, but has more ultra-highs

    ---hot enough, but needs to be boosted compared to the pr 40

    the soundman clearly preferred the re 20, so that's what we ran with. i liked both and thought both had compelling reasons to use them, but i thought i'd give him a chance to make it shine in a mix. i went offstage a couple times, and i liked it a lot in a mix. though i do like the midbass from the pr 40, i think the re 20 sounded a little more natural and more like the amp itself. you could eq them to sound more similar, i'm sure, but the re 20 may work a little better for my thing.

    of course, this is the first gig i've used it, and i really haven't gotten to know its character at the level of the pr 40, but i plan on doing some recording with it and the pr 40 this weekend. i'll post some clips and see what you all think, but if it goes the way it went on the gig tonight, i may be switching permanently.
     
  2. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i just got back one of my RE20's that had developed a 'rattle' in it from Electrovoice. they rebuilt it and it now sounds as good as ever. they charge a flat rate of $200 to repair one, no matter what it needs, and that includes shipping via priority mail back to you. it took about 2 weeks and came back with the test/frequency response chart of your actual mic after being serviced. i've always loved them for mic'ing bass amps, floor toms, and really just about anything that requires a big full sound without sounding too 'hyped' or 'colored', so it doesn't surprise at all me that you liked it on your live bass rig.
     
  3. So um ...... now you won't be needing that PR-40.... here's your chance to become "the second greatest person to ever live"

    (I'll PM you my address later)

    :bassist:
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    that's ok, vin...i don't mind being thought of as a jerk.

    :p :D
     
  5. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    A month after I buy a PR40 over an RE20. You sir, are harshing my mellow. ;)
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    hey now! :D

    corey, i might have initially gone with the pr40 going by first impressions. it sounded excellent as well. so don't worry, it's not like you're not getting a quality sound with the pr40.
     
  7. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Haha no worries, I'm certainly digging my PR40.
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    dang it, i wanted to do some ab recordings tonight, but i was too worn out. and now everyone's asleep, so i can't do it.

    i did do some voice recordings, though you guys will never hear them ;) both of them do a great job on vocals, and the heil mellows out with the low end if you back off of it, but the re20 is brighter and more consistent with tone when you back off so it's getting the vocal recording mic nod from now on, at least with my voice. also checked a 58 and 57 against it, and i don't care what anyone says...the 58 and 57 hold their own very well. i've been known to take a 58 over an re20 for vocals in a demo studio. but in my studio, the re20 works best for me, although i'll be using the pr40 for my bass vocals.
     
  9. The great thing about the RE20 isnt how it sounds. Its how it sits in a mix. Most really good mics dont sound so great when you solo the instrument. It's how they subtly affect the tone and dynamics that allow you to not use a comp/limiter or EQ. Just source-mic-mixer-tape/PA whatevs.
    For those of you who arent hip to what an RE20 is, it's that big, beige, phallic mic that radio guys always use. Rush Limbaugh has a gold plated one.
    They also sound great on kick drum, vocals, guitars, horns etc. Only other dynamics that are in its league IMHO are the Shure SM7 and the Sennheiser MD421.
     
  10. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I've never worked for or at a studio or with any sound companies that had any Heil mics

    Have used plenty of RE-20s and Senhiser 421's on bass and think their both just dandy although prefer a U87 for upright with jazz and orchestral music
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    justin meldal-johnsen said rick rubin put a pr40 on his b-15n for some dixie chicks sessions. don't think they've been released yet, though.

    who wouldn't? ;)
     
  12. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i think that the sennheiser 441 is definitely also in the same league.

    and i agree with Jimmy, the 'ol 57 & 58's are also great mics on just about anything.

    but yeah, i have multiples of every mic mentioned in this thread (and a bunch more) with the exception of a Heil, of which i don't have a single one.
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    gay.

    ;)
    ya, the 421 is very cool, too. that's what most sound companies have on the road. have not used an sm7 yet, though. robin quivers uses one.
     
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i don't know what you'd say about the heil. it could go either way with you. i dig it, but now that i have an re20 to compare to it, i don't know why it's always compared to it. i don't hear much similar about them. they definitely don't sound similar on voices. wish i could record some tracks for you to hear, but looks like it'll be until monday before i can do any recording. going to be out of town most of the weekend.
     
  15. U47 or Beyer ribbon on upright for me. Heck the Beyer TGX50 and beyer 201 also sound cool on uprights to me. But I like the 201 on anything.
    The 441 is a weird mic. It sounds goodbut has a weird polar vs freq response. It seems a lot more sensitive to placement on cabs. This can make me chase my tail for hours with the ....well this sounds good, but this one also sounds good but different. HMMMM. For hypercardiod dynamics I like the 201. It's not quite as low endy but it's really clear.
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    judging by the paltry amount of looks this thread has had, it doesn't seem like anyone's clamoring for it, but i just tried to record my b-15n with the pr40 and the re20. the pr40 track went fine, but i tried for an hour to get rid of distortion in the lower notes with the re20 and i can't seem to do it. i don't think there's anything wrong with it because it's worked fine on my last two gigs, but i can't figure it out. even with the input level way down on my preamp, it distorts the low notes. could it just be it doesn't like my preamp? it's an old art dual mp tube preamp from 2000 if it matters.
     
  17. rbonner

    rbonner

    Sep 25, 2008
    I haven't been around as much lately, been playing with loaded guns and sharp knives a lot in my spare time... Really miss some of these better posts that end up on the second page by the time I see them...

    I might have something to ad regarding this stuff... I see Bob Heil at the annual ham radio deal in dayton Ohio and get to play with his comparison between his various mics and the RE20 in ham applications. Plus he has stopped by my ham radio group several times and have talked a bit on the radio.

    My buddy Ray, is pretty tight (harp player) with Bob and invited me to go to the eagles tour opener with him and Bob a few years ago. I was busier than a three handed paper hanger in the Senate race at the time. Wife thought I was nuts I didn't go as I'd probably had a blast.

    Anyway, yeah the RE20 has been the broadcasting standard since day one for FM radio. The output is very LOW from the mics so they need a good preamp. Thats the thing that I think Heil is tricking people in the demonstration with his as the output is so low on the 20's. But once you crank them up, there's no difference.

    The RE20 has an output that is like a pancake frequency wise for the most part where the Heil is peaky and that also gives you a false sense of achievement.

    I'll take pancake frequency wise.

    You dont have phantom power turned on do you? The Re20 doesn't need powering. I would think you need to crank the gain UP on the re20 considerably compared to the Heil.

    BOB
     
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    thanks for the insight, bob. you're right...the re20 SHOULD need to be cranked up considerably. but no matter how low i have the gain, it distorts. could be something with my cheeseball setup, for sure. i really don't think the mic is bad or anything. and no, i didn't have phantom on.

    i must admit, though, peaky or not, i still really like the recorded sound with the heil. it seems to be peaky in the places i like, at least ;)
     
  19. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Here is a pointer to a comparison of the two mics http://www.wz5q.net/index/pr40.htm.

    The evaluation is based on spoken word but there are some interesting insights as to how they compare.
     
  20. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    That seems to be the analysis I always see quoted when people are talking re20 vs pr40. Looks thorough at least and contains lots of perdy pictures.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.