Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone Review

The Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone comes from a company that has been there for some amazing moments in music history. From the “wall of sound” legendary PA system used by the Grateful Dead to awards in movies due to their sound, Bob Heil has designed and created some impressive microphones in his company’s history. The PR-40 is created for crystal-clear studio recording. While some dynamic microphones are limited in what instruments and sounds they’ll capture, that’s not true of the PR-40.

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What’s Included in the Box?

  • PR40 microphone
  • Mic clip
  • Leatherette bag

Technical Specs

  • Copper-wound dynamic
  • Frequency response 28 Hz – 18 kHz
  • Impedance 600 ohms balanced
  • Steel constructed body

First Impressions

While this looks like a condenser mic with a standard, large capsule cardioid pattern, it’s actually a dynamic microphone that provides almost perfect rear sound rejection. Most dynamic microphones are created to capture low instrument sounds, but this microphone can perform double duty as an instrument mic or a voice microphone. The Heil company has a background in producing microphones for ham radio enthusiasts, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the company would have mastered a way to capture low frequencies as well as higher voice registers.

The body of the microphone has a lot going for it. The basket screen is comprised of two types of screen. This allows the microphone to strategically pick up sounds without allowing popping from voice work to seep into the microphone. The steel body has a smooth satin finish that helps it look good while capturing vocals or instruments.

Heil Company

Bob Heil’s company Heil sound has been around for over 50 years. The company has changed the way the music has been brought to audiences around the world. The founder created unique systems specifically for touring musicians like The Grateful Dead and The Who. Heil was the first to be invited to have an exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Each microphone and piece of audio equipment is designed and manufactured in the same facility in Illinois, and the entire operation is overseen by Bob himself.

Handles High Percussion

The PR-40 is a fantastic microphone for deep bass recordings. It was once taped to the side of a cannon during a movie. They used the soundtrack in the movie Letters from Iwo Jima, which received an Oscar for its soundtrack. If it can record the sound of cannon fire from an impossibly close microphone, it can certainly handle being close to a bass guitar amp.

Cardioid Pattern

A cardioid pattern is used for recording sounds directly in front of the microphone while limited on the sides. The cardioid mic shouldn’t be able to capture any sounds from behind. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Some microphones have only limited rear sound rejection. That’s not true with the PR-40. The company uses a tight polar pattern that virtually eliminates all sound from behind the mic.

Varied Uses

The solid bass response means that it can be placed near a kick drum and an electric bass guitar amp. There’s a smoothness on the high notes that will make you think that the dynamic is using a ribbon.

While we’re covering this microphone for instrument use, there’s no reason why this can’t be used as a vocal microphone in certain situations. It provides the broadcaster with a deep, rich sound that sounds great over radio waves. It definitely colors the sound being received during a certain range, so that’s why it should only be used when you want a deep sound on vocals.

Construction

The outer body of the microphone is made of steel with a satin finish. This outer steel gives you a strong, virtually indestructible microphone that you don’t have to worry about breaking if it falls.

As far as the interior, the low-mass diaphragm is created using a special mix that the company’s creator has always found to be stellar, which is iron, boron, and neodymium. The voice coil is made of aluminium. All of this is protected by a built-in shockmount that keeps the deep sounds from unduly shaking the microphone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this need phantom power?
Dynamic microphones don’t need phantom power.

What kind of cable should be used with this mic?
The PR-40 needs an XLR cable.

It says this mic is good for vocals. Will it work for professional voice over work?
Absolutely. It’s a great microphone for deep, rich voice over work.

Conclusion

The Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone is a fantastic choice for professionals and amateurs alike who want to capture their electric bass guitar, kick drums, or discover their broadcaster’s voice. We love that this microphone has more than one purpose. It can be used in a professional studio environment by sound engineers or in a home studio for those who are recording a podcast.

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