different versions sennheiser 421

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by GentleG, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. GentleG

    GentleG Guest

    Hi All,

    I'm looking for an alternative to the tried and tested sm57
    Reading along I find many people very happy about the 421
    They come up on ebay and such pretty often

    My question:
    there seem to be many different versions
    does anyone know what the differences are (besides the colour and connector)

  2. the mkII are the newest version, i highly reccomned these mics for toms and heavey guitar, it has changed the whole scope of my drum and guitar sound
    hope that helps alittle
  3. GentleG

    GentleG Guest


    for now I can't afford a Mk II
    so I'm looking for a second hand Mk I

    even within the Mk I
    there seems to be quite some variation
    sometimes called 421-u5 or -ux (something)

    what's the difference?

  4. couldnt tell you. i am sure someone on this board has all of the :wink:
  5. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    try this link


    also use the contents button on top, all sorts of mic description

  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    The original MD421-UL was made from some sort of metal alloy (zinc, I think). This is what is shown in the website listed in the above post (features a 1985 photo), and the differences sited were electical connections. Later on, somewhere in the 90s, Sennheiser came up with a "new" version, the 421-II. It is constructed from some sort of high-impact plastic, and is a bit slimmer. These 2 traits make the 421 a bit easier to stick into a drumkit without being smacked, and if it is smacked, it tends to hold up better. The sound of the mic changed when they made this transition, possibly due to the transformer/cartridge upgrade that was made at the same time. These "II" mics tend to have a bit more snap in the top end. If you are looking at buying any used 421s, make sure that they sound "right". They are fairly tough mics (compared to other German dynamics), but they can get beaten up to the point that the cartridge is whacked out of place, and that gives them a "hollow" sound. If they look beat up, be careful!

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