Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KM9G, May 26, 2020.
A clip from the YTB Hamfest this past weekend with Bob Heil about why his mics are so good.
Purchased a PRO-7 IC brand new 40 days ago. Mic is inop, massive distortion. Been calling Heil for three weeks, phones go unanswered, voicemails not returned, emails ignored.
Was cutting them a bit of slack with the COVID, but since it appears they have time for a promotional spot....Well, can they spare a few minutes to return a call or email from a customer??
he must be using one of his heil mics judging by the audio quality on the video
His audio is a great example of what not to do, that is use outboard processing.
Fact… The more processing you use, the further from the truth you get!
It starts with your voice. You're either born with it or not and no fancy rackmount gear is going to give to you. There is plenty of you out there that really do have a good radio voice. Don't hide it with too much processing.
There are many great mics for voice. All great recordings of the past used the Ribbon mic design, as they were the standard in recording studios. Bob sure has convinced the hams that his is the only ones to use.
Don't get me wrong, I like Bob Heil but the audio in this video is the worst and not a good representation of his products. Maybe Bob has a cold or something. Hope Bob & Company can fix this and some of the other mics that are not up to snuff. Maybe it's time for others in the Heil family to step up and help.
Alot of mics have a built in "EQ" like a treble boost or some response variation. That is useful to adjust the audio response of old rigs with no adjustments. Today the radios have built in EQ adjustments, thus I see the value of starting with an electret mic that is basically flat across the audio range of SSB and beyond, and tweaking with the radio, for most people. Many radios are now made to power the electret and a decent electret mic should not cost hundreds of dollars except radio makers make alot of extra money from "matching accessories" that improve overall profit. The radio controls are like "tone" controls. If you want to add peaks and valleys in the response curve, you would have to get an external EQ of some sort. Spend what you want. I cannot see spending more than stock mics with the audio quality I get from my up to date radios.
Yes, Bob's audio sounds terrible here - low-mids and lows are gone - but I am pretty sure that is a result of the video conferencing software/service he was using and not the mic or his processing.
Heil mics are fine, I'm certainly not going to say they're not because they are, but they certainly aren't the best on the market. They could change that by making some improvements or getting past Bob's preferences but they are liked by many (some I suspect simply because of the name or because they've seen a friend use them or on the Ham Nation show) and they do sell so I don't suspect they'll make improvements anytime soon.
This sounds more like a combination of Bob's low-end-starved mics in combination with the typical distortion of the audio codecs used in Skype.
Tuning across the bands and one can get an ear full of BAD sounding audio. Add in a EQ, noise gate, DSP processing filters... is just operator overload to make your ears bleed (2 puns intended) with more knobs and menu to fiddle with. It's interesting to hear when someone compliments your audio "Sounds Great" and you come back with "Stock Mic".
My guess would be ? top brands spend a bit of design time and money to get it right. That is reflected in the cost of todays rigs with microphones included. Most hams would be scared to death to open the rig to reach in and diddle something. (and why would U not any 807's in there. We know where those are)
So there's not much left to make a buck at. Whats left ? that is in add on's... mic's and antennas. See the latest ads in magazines or on the shelfs at the candy store. AND don't get me started on the audio of our repeaters and users. Don't need a big chrome plated mic and built a cheap dipole kind a guy. Not trying to be a buzz kill for the ham economy.