Heil Ham Radio Microphone Review & Testing

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by W5KV, May 27, 2017.

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  1. W5KV

    W5KV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Reviewing & testing the Heil PR40, PR781 & PR77 Microphones.

    Some great dynamic microphones available through Heil Sound. Bob, K9EID offered me the chance to test these out after a frustrating experience I had with a condenser mic!

    Big thank you to Bob, K9EID, & Heil Sound!

    Also another big thank you to my almost 500 subscribers - how cool?! - thank you so much!

    KA0HCP, K5JM, K9ASE and 1 other person like this.
  2. WA6AM

    WA6AM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good job and Thank You. 73
  3. KC5GOI

    KC5GOI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Johnny, I like the review you did. I had an email exchange with Bob a little over a year ago about what you just covered. I went with Bob's recommendation of a PR781. I have the the same Behringer Q802USB mixer and JBL speaker you used in the video. I use it on my IC-7100 for my HF, Skywarn NCS and what I need to do for identifications for running Newsline, ARRL Audio News and The Rain Report. Based on audio reports from operators in Denton Co. they love the audio I get from my 781. The PR40 is great but I have been told overkill for HF. I did have to install isolation transformers between my IC-7100 otherwise the audio had a significant amount of hiss. Bob and George have both mentioned this on HamNation, gotta love ground loops but the installation of the isolation transformers was trivial.

    Good job on the review.


    Denton Co. Texas
  4. WN2C

    WN2C Ham Member QRZ Page

    Johnny, the audio from the 77 sounded better when you switched it to music. Are you sure that you didn't have it backwards on the switch setting?
    Watch that part of the video yourself.
  5. WX4W

    WX4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great and useful demo of these microphones! I have the less expensive Heil HM-12 and would love to have that model included in your demo as it is much less expensive than the ones in your video. I would think may hams would be interested in that comparison.

  6. K5KNM

    K5KNM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Are Heil the only mic's out there worthy of reviews?
  7. KC2QQR

    KC2QQR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've got a Heil PR28 and with Bob Heil's help I got it hooked up to my FT857D. I've gotten nothing but great sound report and I love the quality. You may pay a little for Heil mics, but let me tell you -- they are worth every penny.


    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  8. K2XT

    K2XT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you were using the clip-on mic in the beginning it was far superior to any of the desk mics. As soon as you went with the Heil mics there was a lot of background hiss that wasn't there before. In the on air demo with hdsdr the audio was definitely way, way over compressed.
  9. KC5GOI

    KC5GOI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Until I put in the isolation transformers in the paths to and from my IC-7100 I also had the hiss. The ground loop was killing the audio. Both Bob and George talk about the need for 600 ohm isolation transformers on their shows.

  10. KC5GOI

    KC5GOI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are but you really can't beat the support Bob and his staff provide.

    I found a mic review that was broadcast industry aimed from Kirk Harnack in the side bar after watching Johnny's review. Multiple sources including the PR-40.

    You can tell big differences in the audio. I suggest steering clear of sub $100 mics.

    73 KC5GOI
  11. K1FBI

    K1FBI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey, don't blaspheme.
  12. K1MIX

    K1MIX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hey, Johnny, thanks for the review of the mics. Microphones fascinate me and I own a bunch, including Heil PR781, Goldline, Yaesu MD100, and about 35 high end ($1,000+), professional recording mics I use at work. Bob Heil understands what is important, and what is a waste in a Ham Radio mic. I tried out some of my expensive condenser mics, using only phantom power, directly into the radio. Adding a mixer just complicates level and impedance matching, so I don't use one. Obviously the mic gain has to be adjusted for the much higher output of the condenser vs. dynamic mics. The mics designed for radio have a rise in the presence range (around 2 kHz) and sound very clear on the air without using up too much energy/bandwidth on the low frequencies. The studio mics I tried sound lifeless by comparison and are definitely not suitable for SSB. I do have a cheap Chines condenser that I use for FM and it works fine for that, but when I switch to SSB, I go to my PR781. (Thanks, Bob!)
    P.S. the PR77 looks a lot like the famous RCA77!
    K5JM likes this.
  13. K5KNM

    K5KNM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You have to be joking,
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
    PA1ARL likes this.
  14. K5KNM

    K5KNM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You have to be joking,

    Not being blasphemy, I asked a legitimate question.

    There are better mics than Heil but it seems many are stuck on brand names.

    I had Bob Heil break in on 40m one night while I was talking with a friend. I didn't know it was him at the time. I wasn't impressed with his audio because I could tell right away it was over processed.

    You think someone as knowledgeable as him would know to keep it simple on Amateur radio and not try to sound like a FM broadcast station.

    The more processing done to an audio signal, the further from the truth it is. The truth starts with your voice, the mic, then the radio. Most radio's have enough basic tools to tweak a bit if needed. A little compression is good to smooth some of the dynamic range and a little EQ within the bandpass to suit your voice or correct a bass heavy mic.

    Many of you remember W8ERN? He had the gift of a nice strong radio voice. There is no outboard gear or fancy mic that will substitute for that. As I recall he had nothing fancy, just a nice radio and really nice antenna!

    There should be no reason to go outboard. That gear is for pro audio studio recording and live mixing. I have a lot of outboard gear for my home project recording studio and could easily integrate it but why? To show off?

    It also seems people who buy racks of outboard gear are compelled to use it all just because they have it

    Save it for your future FM commercial broadcast station where it can be justified
    KR4HH, KD5BVX, KR3DX and 1 other person like this.
  15. K7YB

    K7YB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I found PRO 40's in every studio of a broadcast company I worked for (after I purchased one for home). My broadcast standard for years was the Shure SM-7 (I have one at the shack). I took my Shure into the studio and switched between the two...PRO 40 is a better investment in your ham station for great audio. You will not need any outboard equalizers/compressors/etc when you use the PRO 40. I consistently get outstanding audio reports using my ICOM 756 PRO II. Comparison test at the end was with an audio chain that was OVER processed. Use your monitor function regardless of whatever mike you use. V31YB
    Last edited: May 29, 2017

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