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Hi everyone, I was wondering if anybody had any experience or insight into the differences between the sound and/or design of the Sennhesier U5, U4, and MKII mics. There are no details as on the Sennheiser website and I was wondering if anybody had made an attempt to quantify the sonic differences between these mics.


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anonymous Wed, 06/23/2004 - 05:50


A while ago I had took the opportunity to compare the U4 against the MKII in a very non-scientific test. Both mics were set to the same roll-off position, placed on-axis against the grill of a Marshall Cab and run through a JoeMeek VC1Q. I thought the U4 had a tighter bass sound - the MKII seemed slightly (very slightly) cloudy on the same lower frequencies. However, I preferred the way the MKII picked up the upper-mids of a heavily distorted electric guitar making it crunchier sounding. Both mics sounded very good but ever so slightly different. I've got a U5 coming in the mail right now so I plan to compare the three mics side by side sometime when I've got some spare time.... I was just curious to hear some other people's impressions of these mics.


AudioGaff Wed, 06/23/2004 - 09:48

Greg Beebe at Sennheiser wrote a while ago in response to this question. He said:

"There are four significant differences between the MD421-U and MD421 II.

Easier positioning:
-The metal inner chassis has better distribution of weight.
-The bass roll-off is contour fitted to the housing making the mic
shorter and more "stylish"

More durable:
-Housing is made of polyacetals: a glass composite
-Basket is hardened stainless steel

More immune to the elements:
-The acoustic components are enclosed in the inner chassis making he mic less sensitive to dusts and humidity.

Easier Servicing:
-Individual components can easily be replaced
-Self-sealing acoustic connections: no adhesive or sealing compounds

The MD421 II does sound different. It has improved transparency,
thus a more natural sound. We changed because of improved technologies. New materials and production techniques which enable us to manufacture at even closer tolerance.

Coincidentally, this was not the first time we changed the MD421. We are constantly striving to improve our products. Over the years, the MD421 has seen upgrades in the housing, output connector, basket and capsule assembly.

In my personal opinion, the MD421 II has been accepted, for the most part, as the replacement for the original. However, as you know, there are die hards who swear by the original. Interesting enough, the biggest complaint on the original was the clip. I've not receive one complaint about the clip since the redesign. I attribute this to the mic being more balanced. Now the clip pivots on the mic's fulcrum point."